The Bill and Eliot Show

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Bill and Eliot Show

I really don't like Bill Maher, and it's not just his politics which I find well-to-the-left of Janeane Garafalo or even that old Bolshevik Pete Seeger.

And I've never felt any love for disgraced former New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer who somehow avoided criminal prosecution1 after his March 2008 resignation.

I've been contemptuous of the man ever since his failed 1994 campaign for Attorney General when he proposed, as an anti-crime measure, the serialization of every bullet and cartridge case sold in New York.

(Some rational thinking by even the most hard core hoplophobe reveals the inef­fectualness of such a costly proposal.)

But the curiosity of seeing the re-emerging Spitzer on the current edition of HBO's weekly "Real Time with Bill Maher" overcame my an­tipathy for the "stand-up comedian, television host, social and political commentator."

And yes, the activities which garnered him the sobriquet "the Sheriff of Wall Street," were laudable despite a strong suspicion that they were driven less by a quest for rooting out high level white collar wrong-doing than as a cynical element of his gubernatorial campaign.

(What did he accomplish after becoming Governor in 2007? He delivered a ruinous budget deficit with which his successor is singularly ill-equipped to deal, proposed Driver's Licenses for illegal immigrants, and gave NY "trooper­gate" over a year before the Sarah Palin version.)

On with the show

Even watching Maher with the sound off is disturbing... his own best audience, he is con­stantly snicker-snorting at his own wit so that the viewer is uncomfortably waiting for him to ex­pel a mucus plug from one of his nostrils.

(My apologies, but it is that revolting!)

After an interminable exchange with faux documentary film-maker Michael Moore, Maher turned to his stage guests, Spitzer and econ­omist/New York Times columnist Paul Krug­man for their uniformly Liberal views of the state of our nation.

It was instructive to note that while Maher prides himself on there being nothing "off-limits" on his program, and his monologues and conversational jabs at George Bush2 and Sarah Palin are a staple, not once was there ever even a veiled reference to Spitzer's act­ivities as "Client #9."

The most outrageous moment in Spitzer's ap­pearance, though came when he stated that "Republicanism is destroying the moral foun­dation" of America.

The second most outrageous moment immed­iately followed when Maher, no-shot-too-cheap if it's Mrs. Palin or Glenn Beck, declined a zing­er or even a raised eyebrow.

Maher wimped on an opening through which one could have driven a double-wide without a screech or a scratch.

Okay, hey!, it's HBO, the cable jewel of the Time Warner-Turner information empire, which merger only a Janet Reno-led Justice Depart­ment could have allowed.

Obviously Spitzer is working some sort of "comeback" scheme, aimed at what exactly is still unclear.

In the Webcast "Overtime" segment, however, Maher asked if he would consider running for Governor of New York again and noted that he's "ahead in the polls," Spitzer spluttered and deprecated the notion, so we can assume he's considering running3.

Perhaps the most alarming part of that "Real Time" experience was the enthusiastic react­ions of his audience... who are these people?!?

It's fashionable to brand Ann Coulter and ego­centric gasbags like Bill O'Reilly and Rush Lim­baugh as "vicious Right Wing rabid dogs," but has anyone taken a good look at Maher and Keith Olbermann lately?

  1. Not that ol' Spitz doesn't have his apolo­gists, even revisionists, cf: The Assassin­ation of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.
  2. Undeniably fair game!
  3. Those whose suspicions of the entertain­ment industry run deep might point to The Good Wife, CBS' new series with Juli­anna Margulies as a Silda Spitzer-like character, as an element of a public relations campaign to rehabilitate the man's image.


1. Ray Overton said...

Okay, Dean, I will throw this one out to you. Eliot Spitzer might go down as the most hypocritical prosecuting attorney in history. If you remember, Spitzer notoriously prosecuted both prostitution rings and white collar crimes with tremendous venom. Miraculously, the prostition ring he utilized avoided such prosecution. Even more miraculously, the great "Sheriff of Wall Street" completely missed Bernie Madoff, despite the fact that he and his family had a significant sum of money invested with Mr. Madoff. And, as Mr. Madoff's license as an investment adviser was issued through the State of New York, its regulation was in the domain of the Attorney General's office making Madoff's Ponzi scheme also Mr. Spitzer's responsibility. It makes it seem that his prosecution may have been conveniently tilted away from those that did him favors. I have sent the current AG an E-mail wondering if the investigation into Mr. Madoff included a review through their own office as to possible prior complaints with no response received to the request.

Please let us know if and how Andy Cuomo responds, Ray.

On the hypocrisy issue, we are in full accord... but the main point of this particular blog entry was the hypocrisy of Maher and the entire Left.

2. Jeanne Speir said...

Ya think?

I see it as repulsive on both extremes, and believe they are driving our country into chaos, youbetcha! But as a light aside, I have to smirk when I hear the "new sheriff in town" has decided to destroy his party by running for Governor. Good grief! He'll throw the election. The last thing we need is another Pataki (ya wanna tawk state budget circling the bowl?) a la Giuliani or Lazio.

Yet I can't say as I like the alleged skirt-chaser Cuomo either. I loved his Dad; but Andrew's no Mario. Thanks for letting me vent – we are all hypocrites in our black souls.

Yes dear....

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