Saturday, April 04, 2009

Bill Maher -- I have seen better shows: Wrote this to HBO and Bill Maher

I have been an avid fan of Bill Maher for years. I will continue to watch his show. I do, however, want to convey my irritation lately about his shows. Last week, Salman Rushdie, Christopher Hitchens and Mos Def were the guests. Rushdie and Hitchens are significant intellects with much creative thought to offer. I believe Mos Def, whom I have seen on Maher's show before, yet again was not only out of place but obstructionist as he, in never ending fashion, interrupted the other guests and had little well thought out ideas to convey. He was, I thought, inarticulate noise and prevented my enjoyment of the other two intellectual giants. I thought this was an extraordinarily incongruous choice of guests by Maher and HBO.

This week Bill Maher had on the conservative journalist David Frum who is absolutely humorless and boring. Sam Donaldson, Reihan Salam, and Carol Liefer were interesting. Bill Maher himself was, I thought, obnoxious, disrespectful and crude to both Sam Donaldson and Carol Liefer. First, he forgot Liefer's book which I am sure was an important part of her appearance on the show, next he used insulting words about her body as she described her scare with breast cancer. If that were not enough he used a disgusting reference to her about female genitalia. She, I thought, did NOT deserve that. Moreover, Sam Donaldson, a cultivated journalist, was insulted, too, by Maher when he made reference to his hair. Bill Maher should have refrained from making reference to his "rug." It sounded insensitive, crude and ignorant. Mr. Donalson was a gentleman about it. I thought, however, he was embarrassed by the insult and that Maher's treatment stifled Mr. Donaldson's thought. He, it seemed, did not give the audience enough benefit of his vast experience on the world stage. Surely Mr. Donaldson deserved better treatment than he was given. I, too, in my opinion could have easily done without Joe the Plumber. I believe he has NOTHING to offer. He has no intellect, no achievement, no well thought out ideas and has been merely a media creation with no purpose.

Surely, Bill Maher, a talented man, with many gifts for comedy, political satire and criticism does not have to resort to vulgarity and insult to guests who deserve better. I will give The Bill Maher Show some more viewing time but, truly, if more thought is not put into the congruency of whom Maher has on as guests and WHAT vulgar verbiage Maher uses I just may not view him any more. Time will tell.