February 22, 2014

For the most part, I really enjoy Bill Maher's Real Time on HBO even when I disagree with him or when I'm not happy about his choice of guests. This Friday evening I was really happy to see him dispel a myth he allowed where he wrote on his blog that MSNBC needs to look at themselves because "Bridgegate has become your Benghazi."

On this Friday's show, Maher walked back those comments. I had hoped he would after we saw the right wing start to pile on and play a similar sort of false equivalency game, comparing Maher and wingnut Ted Nugent, and pretend that anything that's ever come out out Maher's mouth is as offensive as we've heard from Nugent.

It's apples to oranges to compare the Benghazi outrage over a fake scandal on the right to the real scandals that surround Gov. Christie. I agree with Maher that MSNBC has spent too much time covering some of it. I'm glad to see the topic discussed in a rational way as it was here instead of the false equivalencies he originally made in his post.

MSNBC's RachelMaddow, who was there as a guest on his panel, stuck up for their coverage even if Maher wasn't happy with it.

Transcript via:

BILL MAHER: Last Friday was Valentine's Day and I did a little humorous, I thought was a little humorous blog on my blog. And I said I had been in love with MSNBC, which I am still actually in love with MSNBC. But I tongue in cheek said, you know, I'm going to have to break up with you because you've become obsessed with another man, Chris Christie.

It was my way of saying -- this is coming from affection -- that I love this network, but I thought that they were a little over the top in how much they were covering this story. And I see even this week -- I watched it, as I do every week, and a lot of the shows, it is the first story, the top story, every night. It's two months into this scandal and I just wonder if it is too much. That's all I was asking. And since we have a representative here…

RACHEL MADDOW: Would you like me to talk about it?

MAHER: Please do.

MADDOW: Here's the thing: I am totally obsessed with the Christie story, unapologetically, and will continue to be obsessed with it while amazing things in that story continue to happen. It may be more coverage than you what, but I sort of thought when Rod Blagojevich had President Obama's Senate seat to sell and he got a wiretap saying, 'It's bleeping golden,' and he tried to sell it to the highest bidder and then it turns out he was going to screw the Cubs unless the Tribune fired writers who were criticizing him, I thought that was the political corruption scandal, like the Gonzo scandal of my day. This is just as good.

MAHER: But you didn't cover the Blagojevich --

MADDOW: Are you kidding?

MAHER: -- as much.

MADDOW: You have no idea how much I covered Rod Blagojevich.

MAHER: Well, the network didn't.


MAHER: It wasn't the top story everyday for two months.


MAHER: Back to Chris Christie coverage. First of all, I opened the charge because this was a comedy piece and I didn't -- because it's comedy, you don't always have room to include everything. I should have said, yes, this is not the same as Benghazi. I made that analogy. But I said this is your Benghazi. Benghazi is nothing. There is no scandal there. This is an actual scandal. It's just that it's not Watergate. He's not the president. He's not even a guy who himself said he's going to be running for president. He's a New Jersey governor who did something bad. He closed lanes on a bridge. Bad. But is it really that bad?

And if it was a Democratic governor not close to New York City, the media capital, would we be talking about it?

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