Maher.jpg

MSNBC Has Lost… Bill Maher?

There are few media figures more predictably liberal than Bill Maher. He’s always the first to add a smirk to a DNC talking point then sell it as a joke. The audience hoots and claps since laughter is never the goal of a Maher punchline. His routines just mark the territory around allowable progressive thought. 

The Venn diagram of Maher fans and MSNBC viewers can be drawn with one circle, so the comedian’s open letter is sure to grab the anti-Christie network’s attention:

Whatever we had is not working any more. You’re obviously interested in another man: Chris Christie. You’re obsessed with him. So I wanted you to hear it from me first. I’m going to start seeing other news organizations. I’ll miss what we had. It was a rocket ship ride. We were both passionate flaming liberals and we didn’t care what the world thought of us. It was a glorious time. We finished each other’s Sarah Palin jokes. But now we never talk about any of the things we used to talk about: global warming, gun control, poverty… All because Chris Christie came along and put you under his spell. 

Look at yourself. You’re turning into Fox News. Bridgegate has become your Benghazi, and this isn’t easy to say, but you and I are no longer on the same news cycle. Sure, you read me the results of a recent Gallup poll, but you never really ask me how I’m feeling. It’s not you, it’s… Chris Christie. 

“Turning into Fox News?” To Rachel Maddow, et al., this is a mushroom cloud. Comparing wayward traffic cones with dead Americans in Libya is typical progressive spin, but don’t be surprised if Maher’s warning shot has quick repercussions in MSNBC’s coverage.

He’s warning the network that their Bridgegate obsession is making the left look bad. If they’ve lost Maher, they’ve lost many of their other viewers. MSNBC will be eager to change their focus.

  1. Salamandyr

    When ones enemies are eating each other, one shouldn’t show up with a knife and fork; it might remind them who they are really hungry for.

  2. RPD

    Bill Maher is a rare honest Lib.  He’ll stick to his positions even when other Liberal idols are not.

  3. Merina Smith

    Thanks for this entertainment, Jon.  I think it is true that Maher is more honest than other lefties, which is perhaps why he says so many loathsome things, but also something I agree with once in awhile.  

  4. DocJay

    Well, if you’ve seen one MSNBC viewer, you’ve seen them both.  

  5. Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    RPD: Bill Maher is a rare honest Lib.  He’ll stick to his positions even when other Liberal idols are not. · 32 minutes ago

    Admittedly, I don’t pay Maher a great deal of attention. When did he stop calling himself a Libertarian and start self-identifying as a liberal?

  6. WI Con
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.

    RPD: Bill Maher is a rare honest Lib.  He’ll stick to his positions even when other Liberal idols are not. · 32 minutes ago

    Admittedly, I don’t pay Maher a great deal of attention. When did he stop calling himself a Libertarian and start self-identifying as a liberal? · 10 minutes ago

    Exactly – this is the first instance that I can recall where he’s actually come out and said what we all knew/suspected.

  7. Aaron Miller

    Don’t worry. MSNBC will start airing live crucifixions and win Maher back.

  8. Klaatu

    I’m not sure how honest he is. Is comparing a few closed lanes on the Jersey side of the GW Bridge to 4 dead Americans including the ambassador an honest argument?

  9. Randy Weivoda
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.

    RPD: Bill Maher is a rare honest Lib.  He’ll stick to his positions even when other Liberal idols are not. · 32 minutes ago

    Admittedly, I don’t pay Maher a great deal of attention. When did he stop calling himself a Libertarian and start self-identifying as a liberal? · 49 minutes ago

    When he came to realize that there is more to Libertarian philosophy than legalizing drugs and prostitution.  I think Bill Maher honestly didn’t realize that Libertarians favored economic liberty, the second amendment, and limited government.

  10. Yeah...ok.
    Aaron Miller: Don’t worry. MSNBC will start airing live crucifixions and win Maher back. · 15 minutes ago

    So did Fox win the rights to broadcast DocJay and his wood-chipper?

  11. DocJay
    Yeah…ok.

    Aaron Miller: Don’t worry. MSNBC will start airing live crucifixions and win Maher back. · 15 minutes ago

    So did Fox win the rights to broadcast DocJay and his wood-chipper? · 1 hour ago

    Apparently O’Reilly thought it would impair his chances at another hard hitting interview with the president.  For now, it remains the stuff of dreams.  

  12. Rudolf Halbensinn
    Randy Weivoda: What astonished me is how Maher used to refer to himself as libertarian and yet voted for Ralph Nader for president, someone who has made a lifetime career out of strenuously advocating greater regulation.  I did not think of myself as libertarian at the time but I knew enough about the movement to know that Bill Maher was the blind man feeling the elephant’s trunk and believing it was a snake.  · 8 hours ago

    Don’t be astonished.  Dictators in the last 100 years have perceived themselves as heroes and sociopaths have considered themselves objects of pity.  

    I think of women who have murdered their own children.  Who was that one who stabbed her boyfriend dozens of times and called it self-defense?

    The idea of Maher calling himself “libertarian” and saying his employer  is turning into “Fox” is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard from this guy’s general direction.

  13. Michael Staughton

    First time I’ve laughed at something Maher said in a while.

    As for the dead Americans vs traffic cones line… let’s be honest ourselves: he’s not equating the events, just the respective news networks’ intense interest while the rest of the world is ready to move on. From a journalism ethics perspective, one case may be easier to defend than the other. But it doesn’t change the effect: both networks seem out of touch, obsessed, heavy-handed. Maher agrees there was wrongdoing in the Cristie case, clearly. In an odd way, that’s a concession for him. I’m not saying fox needs to stop, but stand back while someone takes a shot at your opponent.

  14. Howellis
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.

    Admittedly, I don’t pay Maher a great deal of attention. When did he stop calling himself a Libertarian and start self-identifying as a liberal? 

    Once upon a time, when Maher had a show on ABC called “Politically Incorrect,” he was not clearly ideological. He seemed willing to skewer both sides. I would have called him left-leaning but not extremely so.

    But then he was fired for making the comment that the 9/11 attackers were not cowards, as so many had called them, but, rather, the American pilots who dropped bombs on their enemies from 35,000 feet were the real cowards.

    His overnight conversion from middle-of-the-road politics to rabid anti-Bush liberalism seemed to me to be opportunistic, a way to regain his cachet with the late-night TV watching public. It worked.  He did much better as a Bush hater than he ever would have as a fair-minded observer of the political scene.

  15. Randy Weivoda

    What astonished me is how Maher used to refer to himself as libertarian and yet voted for Ralph Nader for president, someone who has made a lifetime career out of strenuously advocating greater regulation.  I did not think of myself as libertarian at the time but I knew enough about the movement to know that Bill Maher was the blind man feeling the elephant’s trunk and believing it was a snake. 

  16. GLDIII
    Michael Staughton: First time I’ve laughed at something Maher said in a while.

    From a journalism ethics perspective, one case may be easier to defend than the other.  · 14 hours ago

    What an odd formulation, can you put those words together.. ..really?

  17. Heisenberg

    I find Maher’s show marginally entertaining, sometimes funny, and while he most often infuriates me he does say something about every other episode I agree with. Part of me believes that he is interested in an honest discussion of issues, as when you can see a glimmer of his frustration with the hooting, clapping seals in his audience.

    I followed the link to his blog and if you can stand it, the comments on his post are an interesting view into a strange echo chamber. BridgeGate = threat to the fabric of our republic. Benghazi = complete non-story. To be fair, when I read some comment sections ( and I am almost always sorry I did) on conservative blogs they are equally fever- swampish. Makes one appreciate Ricochet.

Want to comment on stories like these? Become a member today!

You'll have access to:

  • All Ricochet articles, posts and podcasts.
  • The conversation amongst our members.
  • The opportunity share your Ricochet experiences.

Join Today!

Already a Member? Sign In