Bill Maher took his show on the road this Friday night to Washington D.C. and why his bookers couldn't have found a better group of guests for his panel is beyond me. They included former Utah Gov. Jon "No Labels" Huntsman, Mrs. Greenspan, aka as MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, former RNC Chair and Mississippi Gov. Haley "Boss Hogg" Barbour, and comedian Jerry Seinfeld.
The topics discussed for the evening included everything from the Middle East and ISIS and whether the Saudis are our friends, to the dysfunction in Washington and who is to blame, to Hillary Clinton heading to Iowa and whether she's running for president running or not, which is included the clip above.
The portion of the discussion I was the happiest to see was Maher calling out Fox for being directly responsible for so much of the polarization of the American public. As our friend Ellen as News Hounds, who transcribed some of this tonight noted, he got major applause from the audience in response to this:
I feel like the reason the people are so polarized is Fox News. I think of all the things that changed in America, Fox News changed the most. It used to be the John Birch Society came to your door once a year. Now, they’re in your TV in your living room every day and we don’t even know how to talk to each other. It’s like we have a language barrier...
While I agree with Jerry Seinfeld, one of the panelists, that you can’t “blame it all on Fox News,” Maher is spot on about Fox's polarizing effect and the enormity of its impact on our country. However, in my opinion, Fox's propagandistic tactics - the way it whips up anger and resentment for the sake of advancing its agenda - are what give it its punch and perniciousness. More so than its ubiquity.
By the way, while nobody else on the panel wanted to join Maher’s condemnation of Fox, nobody argued that the “fair and balanced” network isn’t polarizing, either.
That's the truth. It was a whole lot of "both sides do it" and pretending that MSNBC and the rest of our corporate media isn't just as awful as Fox on way too many occasions that followed during the discussion on the show. As bad as the other networks can be, Fox is actually unique in just how awful they are and with being worthy of the criticism Maher sent their way. They're right up there with hate talk radio with the level if vitriol day in and day out.