Saturday, May 01, 2004

Bill Maher Kicks Chris Matthews' Butt

Chris Matthews is up to his old tricks. He has declared that voters don't like Kerry. In 2000 he said that voters didn't like Gore. I guess Matthews is on the GOP payroll. But Bill Maher has his number and showed it on the 7th anniversary of Hardball. I don't think it is a good thing that Hardball has been on for 7 years, but there are many other things wrong with America. Here is an excerpt from the transcript.

MATTHEWS: Bill Maher, what do you make of this fight over whether he threw ribbons or medals in 1971, a third of a century ago?

BILL MAHER, HOST, “REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER”: Why are you covering this? Why are you taking this bait, seriously? Why are you even letting them bait you into covering this complete nonissue? This guy has medals. This guy has ribbons. The other guy didn‘t go. That‘s the whole story.

The other guy is a draft dodger. They were both rich kids in the ‘60s. One of them went to where the bullets were flying and one of them found a way not to go and then he lied about that. Stop covering the medals.

MATTHEWS: All right, I did have to cover it because he had a lot to say last night. Apparently, John Kerry wanted to go on and make clear something where he—maybe he should have shut up about it, but he wanted to make clear that he was being truthful because he said medals and ribbons mean the same to a guy who actually served in the military.

MAHER: Look, one guy went into the National Guard, which back then was a way of getting out of it. On top of that, he had the nerve to say to Tim Russert, and, you know, if my Guard unit had been called up, I would have gone. How very brave, Mr. President, considering that only 8,700 out of 2.5 million men and women who went to Vietnam, only 8,700 Guard people were ever called up there, 0.03 percent. So there was no chance he would have been called up.

That‘s George Bush for you. Hold me back, hold me back.

MATTHEWS: Well, he did say in a recent press conference with everyone watching—apparently, 30 million people watched this press conference recently—the president was asked if he ever made any mistakes, and he said he hadn‘t made any.

MAHER: He was drunk until he was 40. That‘s not a mistake?


MAHER: And what about Iraq? What about the fact that he


MATTHEWS: I‘m talking about his four years as president, Bill.


Well, what about Iraq? I mean, and I‘m not even talking about the decision to go into Iraq, which, you know, doesn‘t look so good nowadays. But what about the fact that as of today—I‘m looking at this news about Fallujah, and I hear what President Bush is saying. Do you remember Baghdad Bob, the guy we all laughed at because he was saying things that were completely crazy?


MAHER: OK. Well, President Bush sounds like Washington Bob right now. I swear to God. He‘s saying, it‘s only a few troublemakers. It‘s a few rotten eggs that we‘re fighting over there.

Are you kidding? Is he joking?

MATTHEWS: Well, why is he going up in the polls? We got a Pew Research poll. We could show you any poll. They all show him moving up, where he was behind.

So what is President Bush doing the last month that‘s so good and what‘s so bad, I guess you would have to say, about John Kerry‘s performance the last month or so? What‘s going on?

MAHER: Well, for one thing, he‘s getting the media to cover this nonsense about John Kerry‘s medals. So Joe public, as President Bush would call him, sits home and goes, well, gosh, there was a controversy with Bush‘s military history and now there‘s a controversy with John Kerry‘s military history. I don‘t know who to vote for. It‘s nonsense. It is nonsense.

One guy actually has honor and integrity, although I will admit that John Kerry certainly is not burdened with charisma, and the other guy only has the words honor and integrity. He‘s never connected them to anything.

And he never connects anything


MATTHEWS: What can John Kerry do? Life is unfair, as Jack Kennedy once said, but what happens when you have got a guy like George Bush who may be a swell, who may have gotten breaks to get into Yale, breaks certainly to get into the National Guard, all his life were breaks, maybe to make a ton of money with a baseball team?

But he comes off, fairly or not, as sort of a regular guy, whereas John Kerry, who was the balls-out guy, went to war, did the job for the country, won the three—earned, you would have to say, the three Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star, the Silver Star, saved lives, killed the enemy, he comes off as kind of cold. And then the American people are like thermometers. If the guy is warm, they like him. If he‘s cold, they don‘t. Is that fair?

MAHER: And, also, this is something I said before, but I think it bears repeating in this instance to your question. The true axis of evil in America is the brilliance of our marketing combined with the stupidity of our people.

George Bush has $180 million to spend. With that kind of money, he could convince Americans to drink paint, and he probably will.

MATTHEWS: Is that your prediction?

MAHER: In fact, I believe that‘s his environmental policy.

MATTHEWS: Is that your prediction for November, November 2, that the American people eat paint?


MAHER: Vanilla paint, Chris.

MATTHEWS: I‘m beginning to think like Jonestown here. I‘m getting worried. It‘s one thing to drink the Kool-Aid, but to drink the lead-based paint?



MAHER: I‘m just saying, with enough money, you can convince people of anything. And that is what George Bush does. He is one of the most cynical presidents we‘ve ever had, I believe, because with that kind of money, he plays on people‘s fears, he plays on people‘s ignorance, and he plays on people‘s shortsightedness.

MATTHEWS: If you were one of those guys in a boxing ring, the guy with the towel over his shoulder and the bucket next to the contender, John Kerry—you know those guys, usually names like Bud or something like that, Andy, would you know how to warm the guy up for these national appearance? Would you know how to tweak him and pinch him and punch him and get him to come out there a little more—a little red-meaty?

MAHER: No, you can‘t do that. John Kerry‘s campaign slogan should be, do not resuscitate. I‘m sorry. That‘s just who he is.


MAHER: But you know what? That‘s who he is. Why do people have to like the guy? Why do they have—I hear people say, I don‘t know if I‘m comfortable with John Kerry. You know what? You don‘t have to go to bed with him. Just vote for him.

We‘re such babies about it. We don‘t—you know, in the days before television, people didn‘t judge presidents on whether he was sunny or warm or likable. They judged on whether he was the best man for the job. I would like to bring that criteria back now that we‘re at war.

MATTHEWS: It must be great not to have to be fair and balanced, Bill.

Thank you very much, Bill Maher. Good luck.



MAHER: Speaking of fair and balanced, on your anniversary, I just—

I got some statistics. In seven years, for you, Chris, 1,841 interrupted responses, 3,621 guest bullied into crying, and 2,974 unfairly rephrased positions. That‘s quite a record, Chris. Congratulations.

MATTHEWS: What a toter you are. Thank you very much, Bill Maher.

Good luck with the show, 11:00 HBO. It‘s dynamite, “Real Time.”

MAHER: All right.

MATTHEWS: HARDBALL‘s seventh anniversary continues after this