November 5, 2016

Bill Maher and his audience got their wish.

Barack Obama sat down with Bill Maher for a lengthy, wide-ranging interview, which included questions about atheism and the American empire. (Click those links for specific clips on those issues.)

The video above is the broadcast interview, you can also watch the entire sit-down here. This segment transcribed by Rolling Stone:

"People are busy, people are stressed. They don't have the time to follow the intricacies of some debate around Medicare and what's going on in Syria. When I say I want a government as good as the American people, what I mean by that is that I think people's instincts – their gut, what they want out of life, how they want to see people treated – is pretty good. The question then becomes how do we get enough information in front of them to be able to make good decisions."

"If I could sit in the living room with every person in America, I've got the majority on my side, and a healthy majority on my side. The problem is, we've got all these filters," Obama added. "Look, if I watched Fox News, I probably wouldn't vote for me either. Because you've got this screen, this funhouse mirror, through which people are receiving their information. How to break through that is a real challenge."

Earlier in the interview, Obama said, "I think the question I'd have when it comes to the media is, 'How do we create a space where the truth gets eyeballs and is entertaining,' and we can build a common conversation… You've got 800 stations, you have all these websites, and people have difficulty sorting out what's true."

Of course, Maher also wanted to talk marijuana with the President. Obama related the issue of pot to the issue of smoking and alcohol, and that while legalization may be a desirable outcome, it may also be desirable to ensure these legal "habits" aren't adopted by underage kids.

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