Bill Maher went after Democrats for refusing to host their primary debates on Fox, and the network immediately used it as an excuse to aggravate a Democratic Senator about the decision.
March 16, 2019

Last night, Real Time host Bill Maher closed his show with an attack on Democrats for refusing to hold their primary debates on Fox's propaganda network:

Bill Maher used his final “New Rules” segment on Real Time on Friday to continue hitting at a theme that he, a Democrat himself, has been hitting at for years: that Democrats should “grow a pair,” because they “look weak, running from a fight when they should be in there throwing punches.”


On Friday, Maher said that’s exactly the reason Democrats shouldn’t be backing away, calling it a “terrible decision” not to go on the nation’s most-watched cable news network.

“You wanna be in the big leagues, but you refuse to ever play an away game? You don’t like the questions that Fox News might ask, so you’re deciding not to take any questions at all? How very Trump of you,” he said.

Maher added: “Republicans never shy away from coming on this show, and they come with a smile on their face despite knowing that the only people in the crowd cheering them on are the three campaign aides they brought with them… The audience is against them and they don’t care — it’s an opportunity to expose people to your side of the story.”

Maher cited a poll that found 19% of all voters — Dems or GOP — said Fox News was their main source of campaign news, more than NBC, ABC and CBS combined.

“You have to get inside the bubble. You call yourself the resistance, then fight behind behind enemy lines,” he said. “… Get out of your echo chamber, and infiltrate theirs.”

Maher also insinuated that the only Democrat willing to appear on Fox is Rep. Eric Swalwell, which is just patently false. There are lots of Democrats who regularly appear on the network, some of whom are useful props whose whole job is to sit there and politely give credence to the lies being told by their right wing counterparts. Others, on occasion, actually do a good job at pushing back at the network's propaganda, but they're regularly outnumbered or talked over, or cut off before they're allowed to make too much of a dent in the Fox right-wing echo chamber.

He also conflated conservatives being willing to come on his show and the primary debates, as though those are one and the same thing. First of all, Maher doesn't claim to be hosting a "news" program and HBO doesn't call itself a "news network." And second, Democrats have every right to refuse to lend any credibility to a propaganda network that was already shown to have cheated for Trump during the presidential debates. And the fact that a lot of people get their "news" from Fox doesn't mean anyone should be propping them up. It's just more proof of how dangerous the network has become and how many people are brainwashed from watching it.

And right on cue, as you can see in the clip above, Fox's Neil Cavuto used Maher's rant as an excuse to badger Sen. Ben Cardin about the DNC's decision to pull their primary debates away from the network, and aggravate him about other Democrats being reluctant to appear on the air with him, asking him if they're "going to regret" the decision and telling him that "they don't bite." I'd say that's an open question.

You give these people an inch, and they'll take a mile every time. Expect them to use Maher's words as a cudgel at every opportunity when the topic of debates comes up and to play the victim card. Even though Maher did a good job mocking the likes of Sarah Huckabee-Sanders and Trump bootlicker Sean Hannity during a bit earlier in the same show, he seems completely tone deaf to just how dangerous it is to continue to prop up the network here:

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