Maher (Still) Chasing Obama Interview
Host of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher : Presidential candidates remain elusive.
By Marisa Guthrie -- Broadcasting & Cable, 9/22/2008 5:08:00 AM
Bill Maher, the acerbic host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, has welcomed guests from both sides of the political divide including Ann Coulter, Ralph Nader, Bill Kristol and Howard Dean.
But the major presidential candidates have mostly remained elusive, including Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who, Maher said, “promised me he would do it way back when.”
“When I saw him on [Fox News Channel] with Bill O’Reilly,” he continued, “I e-mailed my producers and said, ‘You know, if he’ll go on with Bill O’Reilly, who treated him like such shit, what does it hurt to throw out [an invitation] one more time?’”
But Maher still hasn’t heard from Obama.
Maher surmised that his new movie, Religulous -- a satirical documentary about one of Maher’s favorite targets, organized religion -- further spooked the Obama campaign.
Maher’s comments following 9/11, when he said the hijackers weren’t cowards, could probably be used against Obama, too.
“I think they’re very afraid of me at the moment,” he said. “I’m sure Obama doesn’t need an attack ad saying, ‘He went on Bill Maher’s show and Bill Maher is a godless avatar of Satan.’ I think that may be part of the problem, also.”
Of course, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Alaska Gov. and republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin aren’t likely to stop by the Real Time studios anytime soon.
Maher has been withering in his assessment of McCain and took aim at Palin immediately after she was announced as McCain’s running mate. He called her a “stewardess” in his opening monologue -- a comment that earned him the “sexist” label from Republican surrogates.
“It’s not sexist,” he argued. “Because she’s a woman, anytime you criticize her, you’re a sexist?”
For the record, Maher, who also blogs for The Huffington Post (Arianna Huffington is a frequent guest), would welcome Palin and McCain. He said, “We always go after everybody that’s in the news.”
But he’s not holding his breath. Maher added that both Bill and Hillary Clinton refused invitations to come on the show.
People running for high offices are generally cautious about whom they’re seen with. And while Obama has appeared recently on CBS’ The Late Show with David Letterman, Maher’s persona as a far-left political satirist who rails against the Iraq war, George W. Bush and conservative ideology makes him somewhat radioactive.
The no-holds-barred format and obvious ideological leanings of the host and his audience can be alienating.
“The nature of our show, and why people like our show, is probably why we have trouble getting guests,” Maher explained. “But I would rather do a show with really smart people talking about the people in the news than have the people in the news come on and give me their bullshit and I can’t question it.”
Yea Ira! You hit the nose on the head! Maher calls out everyone, left or right, on their BS and does his best to get smart people representing multiple sides of the issues -- not like Fox Skews... I may not agree with him on everything, but boy, is he out there laying himself bare and open to ridicule for all of us. He really rocks my world and cheers me up when the stupids of the world exceed even my lowest expectations.
Anna Fay - 9/24/2008 1:19:00 PM EDT
Bill Maher is probably the only person -- aside from John Stewart -- that actually bring to light the truths and present the real facts. Not just about the candidates, but the American people as well, who are in fact a bunch of idiots. Read Matt Taibbi's article in the lastest Rolling Stone(The Lies of Sarah Palin); he hits the nail on the head when he says that Americans are basically idiots who will vote for this mockery of a ticket(McCain/Palin) b/c Palin looks like a family member and will standby and watch as they run this country into the ground. The thing I like about Maher is that he doesn't white wash anything and shows who the candidates really are. I guess that's why so many people can't stand to watch the show; they're confused when they are presented w/the real truth. Anna, SD and Ted, you all are a bunch of simple-minded morons.
Ira Eick - 9/24/2008 8:39:00 AM EDT
Oh we are sick of these interviews! They are fake, made up and just plain ridiculous! Give it up and just report the facts like a REAL REPORTER, not what you want people to believe in. We are just over these liberal fake lets make Obama look good to the children voters that follow him. Hollywood should stay out of the elections because they are corrupt. Also, why don't they do exclusive interviews that are based on teh EXACT SAME QUESTIONS! ??
anna - 9/23/2008 11:48:00 AM EDT
SD - 9/22/2008 10:02:00 AM EDT
Wow, it must be sooo cool to be as smart as Bill Maher. I can't imagine why Obama wouldn't want to be associated with his program.
Ted Bridges - 9/22/2008 10:00:00 AM EDT
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