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Welcome to an HBO podcast from the HBO series Real Time with Bill Maher. Hey, thank you. Oh, so great to be back. Thank you so much. I've missed our studio audience. Anyway, we've been off for a month.
I gosh, I was hoping when I got back I'd be able to report better news. But no, actually, California is pretty much shut down. Again, the only thing open here now are beaches, grocery stores and Will Smith's marriage.
Oh, yeah, a lot lot has happened in the last month since we've been off, the Russians put bounties on the heads of American soldiers in Afghanistan. Trump didn't say anything and Trump aced his dementia test. Oh, and we're at war with Portland.
Oh, yeah, no biggie now, but if you protest against the American government, masked guys throw you in a van, it's all explained in Trump's new hat, makes South America great again.
But yeah, I mean, who is doing this with federal office, federal Triplette, this mystery police, Trumpy likes creating these armies. Remember a couple of years ago? Spaceports. Yeah, now he's got racehorse. I thought this was really an incredible part of the story. It got so ugly up there, the protesters moms at one point formed a human shield. They call it the wall of moms. And we're doing a similar thing here in L.A. when we have a protest called the Wall of Milfs.
Oh, yeah, and the head of the Portland NAACP get this, he said that white people are coopting the whole movement. He said it's been co-opted by privileged white people. And I think that's true. Ivanka Trump today, she threw away her jar of caviar and took a selfie with a brick.
I look, I tell you, on the left, you know, you motherfuckers better start uniting because there's 100 days left until the election. Listen to this, Prarie. Bernie Sanders, co-chair of his campaign, said the other day. He said voting for Biden is like eating half a bowl of shit. What your Potente calls the kids menu. No, that's that's not fair, that you're actually healthier than fast food, even though I just said you eat bowls of shit but you don't know it means that you're Botley.
They shouldn't be. But but yeah. I mean, look, things were going great in America, as we know. And then this week, Trump had to find a new favorite doctor, Dr. Stella Emmanuelle. Have you seen her? Yeah, he saw her on YouTube. She was saying that medicines contain alien DNA and that disease is caused by having sex with a demon while you're asleep. But you I'll give you a minute to absorb that one. But she likes hydroxy chloroquine.
So Trump said, I thought her voice, he said, I thought her voice was an important voice, but I know nothing about her. A lot of people are saying she owns a lab coat. I mean, just remember this about when you hear somebody while he's a doctor. Yes, a lot of people can be a doctor. She's a licensed pediatrician. She is a real doctor. In fact, she's in my network, Carnegie Permanente.
And the good news is they're accepting new patient. But that's where we are in America, the president this is the president of the United States endorses this Krank doctor who says that the devil fucks people in their sleep. And my first thought is, well, it sounds better than reheating that meatloaf.
And I'm telling you, this, doctor, doctor, whatever her name, Dr. Crazy Person, she's not backing down. Today, she tweeted, Yes, America, some need deliverance from demon sperm. I'm not kidding. She tweeted that. And that's when Alex Jones went. I'll have what she's having.
But of course, the big political issue these days is that the two parties are trying to hammer out another bill for covid relief and Trump get this, insists that it include this is covered relief. He said, to insist insist that it include money for a new FBI headquarters, which I mean, he does have a point about. We do need that. I mean, all the agents at the J. Edgar Hoover Building say it's a real drag.
And the most important issue, or at least it should be, is that Trump tweeted today, I guess it was yesterday.
Right? OK, yesterday he tweeted that 20 20 will be the most inaccurate and fraudulent election. And then he posed a question, delay the election until people can safely vote. OK, for everyone who has called me crazy the last three years because I was asking this question and saying he would do exactly that, I will accept your apology and we'd.
All right, we got a great show, we have Jim Carrey, Kerry Washington, Thomas Chatterton, Williams and Barry Weiss. I spoke to them all yesterday today. But I will get. Let's get through. OK.
She is the Emmy nominated actor who produced the ACLU documentary The Fight, which you can see in select cinemas, on video and on demand starting Friday, July 31st. That's tonight. For those watching tonight, Kerry Washington. Kerry, thank you so much for doing this. My first question to you is, did you feel the earthquake today? And I don't mean the thing that got me out of bed, I mean that Trump said. Trump said he tweeted that he wants to delay the election year a thought leader in this country.
What is your reaction to that?
You know, not to jump right into the film, but I do have to jump right into the film because one of the things that that happened for me, you know, I've always had such a great deal of respect for the ACLU and have always had a really good working relationship with them. But what I came to realize is every single thing that we are worried about right now, LGBTQ rights, women's right to choose, police brutality on black bodies, immigrants rights, voting rights.
When you read something horrible happening in the paper, you can be guaranteed that the ACLU is on it. They are at the forefront of this fight of battling the attack on civil rights and civil liberties. So my first response, honestly, when I read it was like, oh, I bet that Dale Ho, who runs the voting rights division at the ACLU, is going to drop out of some of our interviews for the movie today because he has work to do.
And I'm grateful that he's on the ground doing that work.
Right. Well, they sure need defending the ACLU because they also defend people who are abhorrent. And and I think a lot of times on the left, we forget about free speech in the interest of not being offended. And I think it's great that someone like you gets out there and says, yes, the ACLU is our friend. Even though they defended the Nazis in Skokie, they defended people at Charlottesville, they defended the Westboro Baptist Church. I mean, they walk the walk.
They really do. You know, people I try to remind people that there hasn't ever been a president since the inception of the ACLU one hundred years ago. There's never been a president who hasn't been sued. They've sued every president, Republican or Democrat, because they really are invested in the rights of all people. But I'm also I'm very proud of how we deal with the whole Charlottesville situation in the film.
We really we ask them about it. We we are invited into their introspection and they're doing a lot of conversations within the organization right now around where they stand and making sure that they're also factoring in access to power when they choose their clients. They believe in free speech. But when they decide which clients they will work with, they're they're having really complicated, nuanced conversations about that. And we were able to capture some of that for the film, which I'm really proud of.
Yeah, well, you should be. It's a great film and I hope everybody gets a chance to see it in some platform. And we have lots of time to do that. So you should see that. That's right.
I know. I know. Everybody's watching Black is King this weekend. I am too. But when you're done with black, then you can watch the fight.
OK, so it was John Lewis's funeral today airing. This show airs tomorrow, but it was today. And I know you know him. You must have had a lot of thoughts and emotions. And President Obama spoke, of course, to no surprise he was great. Bill Clinton spoke, George Bush spoke, not someone you would expect. But to me, I thought that was a good sign in America. We have to. I did, too.
You did, too. I did.
I really did. I felt like, you know, this idea of being able to have conversation across the aisle, the idea of respect and civility. We are talking at each other and not with and to each other. And and that is not how we're going to get to real change in this country.
But, you know, there are people who will say, well, it's it's not right because George Bush's father did the Willie Horton ad and George Bush, you know, was not a great friend of the African-American. What do you say to that?
I get it. I get it. But I think that it's funny. Like, it's funny how things can seem rosy when you're when you're faced with new circumstances when it comes to presidents. But I marched, you know, I pro. Did Bush's presidency, I protested the war, I protested the cuts to federal funding for the arts. I still think that when a great civil rights leader passes and somebody from the other side of the aisle says, I want to come and show respect, that that is something that I welcome and I welcome it because we have to restore the Voting Rights Act.
And I want to be in conversation with legislative officials, with elected officials who are willing to step outside their comfort zone to do what is right for all people. And just staying away and keeping this huge divide is not how you guarantee rights for all Americans.
Yeah, I think that's a great point also about we with Trump. We have perspective now, you know, about people we don't agree with fully. But, you know, it doesn't it doesn't really help anything to point fingers and say you're not you're not nearly as good as me. So, you know, you have to just be banished. But OK, so Joe Biden, he says, announced the other day that he is going to choose his vice president in the coming week.
And we may find out who that is very soon after. Any thoughts on that? What who is who was your brother's choice?
Who do you think it's going to be? I think it's going to be Kamala Harris. You do? Oh, absolutely. I mean, she I mean, for a number, I would bet any money I have left, which is very little now after they took away half my way to make a living and oh, you don't even want to know the stories. But yeah, I think it's going to be Kamala Harris. But she's a law and order prosecutor that answers a lot of what Trump is trying to sell on his side about unrest in the streets.
And she's a black woman. And I just think she's I don't like her. I think she's good. I mean, she made some mistakes in the campaign, but I think she's good.
Yeah, I agree. I think that would be an excellent choice. I think Kamala would be an excellent choice. I think Stacey Abrams would be an excellent Susan Rice was on our show.
Should be great. Yeah, I loved her. Yeah, I love her. These are really, really powerful, strong women.
Well, we love you. As I said before we started, you keep getting to be a bigger star, but you keep doing our show, which I can't say for all the big stars out there like Joe Biden used to do our show. Then he became vice president. He forgot all about this. But you are true blue eyes. Thank you so much. Congratulations on your ten Emmy nominations yesterday and good luck with the film. Thank you so much.
Thank you so much.
OK, here's our panel.
He is a columnist at Harper's Magazine and author of Self Portrait in Black and White Unlearning Race, which will be available in paperback on September 15th. Thomas Chatterton Williams, who I call Sir Thomas Chatterton. Williams good. Just Fitz and Jayson, journalist and author of How to Fight anti-Semitism, our friend Barry Weiss. Hey, guys.
How are you doing, guy? Good. You you two troublemakers. You two are troublemakers. And we're going to talk about the two letters. This is a tale of two letters. We'll start with them in chronological order. The first one was the one that came out in Harper's, caused a big stir. Barry, you signed it and it helped shape it. Thomas, you were, I think, the ringleader. And it was signed by oh, like a who's who of intellectuals around the world.
And it's basically a push back on council culture. And as a guy who did a show called Politically Incorrect and another one called Real Time, thank you. Because we need a push back on council culture. But to people who are coming to this for the first time and don't know all the details, just tell them briefly, you know, what's your gripe? Isn't this just a bunch of elites whining Satomi's?
No, I don't think it is. Basically, I was having a conversation with a couple other writers who, along with me, organized this letter, George Packer, Mark Lillah, Robert Worth and David Greenberg, and with Mark Lillah and George Packer. For a couple of years, we've been talking about a climate of some seriousness and a liberalism that's been setting in and our nation's cultural and media institutions. And in the past few months, it seemed to really be something that we couldn't ignore.
And so we started talking about putting together a letter and seeing if anyone would sign it. And it was kind of catch as catch can. And as we started getting more and more names, we realized that maybe we got some attention, but none of us expected it would be talked about for most of the month of July, the way it has been. And internationally, I mean, I've been taking interviews from LA to to Spain to Canada to the U.K., you name it.
Well, there's very little else going on. That's why I got all the attention. But I want to read some of the names of the names on the list, because what strikes me about it is, of course, the pushback is coming from liberals. And almost everyone who signs this letter is that liberal Margaret Atwood, Martin Amos, Wynton Marsalis, Steven Pinker, Noam Chomsky, J.K. Rowling, Malcolm Gladwell, Bill T. Jones, Salman Rushdie, Gloria Steinem, Atul Gawande.
I mean, these are liberal. This is what amazes me about this, Barrie. I mean, the fact that you they call you a centrist or a right winger, I mean, if a hip millennial, Jewish bisexual girl who's living in San Francisco is not liberal and you certain this who is these days right.
Love that I get to be hip only on this show. My hip, your hip. I think what's critical about the letter is the letter is a warning cry from inside of the institutions, meaning what we're trying to say with the letter and what Thomas, I think did in informing it was saying what's happening now with this growing culture of liberalism is different from criticism Tommasini. And you, Bill, we're used to criticism, criticism is kosher. And the work that we do, criticism is great.
What Cadzow culture is about, which is not criticism. It is about punishment. It is about making a person radioactive. It is about taking away their job. The writer, Jonathan Rauch has called it something like social murder. And I think that's right. And I think a critical part of it. If you look at a bunch of the instances that I hope we'll get into, it's not just about punishing the sinner. It's not just about punishing the person for being insufficiently sure.
It's about a sort of secondary boycott of people who would deign to speak to that person or appear on a platform with that person. And we see just very obviously where that kind of politics gets us if conversation with people that we disagree with becomes impossible.
What is the way that we solve conflict and not just a and not provide and not disagree with that much debt? This is interesting.
This is this is the critical thing about politics in this country has come to supplant religion. And I believe it has for many people, politics has come to be people's almost religious identity. And so you see it right with the kind of worship of Trump as a deity who can do nothing wrong. And you see it on the left where to be anything less than defunding the police or abolish the police to choose the issue of the day makes you something like a heretic.
And that's an enormous problem because what it's meant is the collapse of moderates. It's meant the collapse of the center and the liberalisation of this country and the whole deal with this country. The reason that it's exceptional with all of its flaws is that we depart from history. We say clannishness, tribalism, that we can overcome that, that there's something bigger than lineage or kin or the political tribe you belong to. And I think what we're seeing right now, and it's a very scary moment, is a kind of return to the mean of history.
And I think it's up to us to defend the ideas that have made this country unique and a departure from history.
And it makes people inauthentic for those who think that this is just, again, celebrities whining or elites or something. That was a survey recently. And sixty two percent of people, people, you know, regular people say they're afraid to share what they truly believe. And we've become I used to call them avatars. There's your real self who talks around the kitchen or in a bar or with very close friends who you trust. And then there's this public person, which is even if you have 100 followers on Twitter or whatever at the office, sometimes even at the drunken clam, when you're with friends you can't trust, they might tattle on you at work if you say a bad joke or something.
And people don't like walking around on eggshells. So I just want to read. So put some meat on this. Part of this is exactly from your letter. Editors are fired for running controversial pieces. Journalists are barred for writing certain topics. Professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class. A researcher is fired for circulating a peer reviewed study. You know, when you go when the science has to come second to the political correctness, we're in trouble.
Am I right, Sir Thomas? This is this is more about the just elites.
Oh, absolutely. And, you know, the Cato Institute study that you cite, it states also that moderates, liberals and conservatives are all afraid to say what they think. The only group that says that they don't feel this fear is staunch progressives. So that's most of the country that thinks that you. It is an ideologically diverse assortment of people, and the reason why this critique, that this letter was in defense of elites who don't like taking criticism on social media, the reason why that doesn't ring true is because so many people have been emailing all of us to let us know that their editorial assistants, their associate professors, their people in law firms that don't feel comfortable saying what they actually think.
And it's actually an act of generosity. When you have someone like Malcolm Gladwell or someone like J.K. Rowling sign a letter like this and make it so that these people feel less alone and let them know that there is some support for the views that they have. Cancellation is not about bringing down elites back to earth. It only takes a few cases actually to have an enormous onlooker effect that has a chilling and stifling and narrowing influence on all of our behaviors.
Onlooker effect is really what we're taking a stand against.
All right. Let's go to Barry's letter now. You resigned from The New York Times. It was read in Congress today, part of it because the four heads of the big tech companies were testifying before Congress and Jim Jordan, who I don't like at all. But, you know, this is the thing that you make this a conservative issue that's that's good for conservatives because he's not wrong to quote this and it's not wrong. He quoted you from your letter, Barry, saying, everyone lives in fear of the digital thunder dome online.
Venom is excused so long as it's directed at the proper targets. And Zuckerberg agreed. Bezos agreed. Bezos said social media is a nuance destroying machine. And I agree and I don't want to live in that world. And Barry also said Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times, but Twitter has become its ultimate editor. What do you mean by that?
Well, first of all, I'm gratified that the heads of those big tech, big tech companies agree with me, but I think they need to look inside their own houses. The fact is, is that the reason that The New York Times and all of these other newspapers around the world have been decimated is because of the products that they sit on. Top of the reason that Twitter is the assigning editor of The New York Times is because the printing press isn't the printing press anymore.
It's because the publishing the printing press is in each one of our pockets. These technologies have severed our relationships with the editors and the newspapers we used to rely on. What I meant in that letter when I wrote that Twitter is the assigning editor. What I mean by that is that in order to do our job well, writers and editors, we need to have a level of bravery and thick skin and fearlessness. And when you are living in fear of an online mob at all, it takes is a dozen people to repeat a lie about you, that you're a racist, that you're a that you're a bigot for that lie to become true.
And that's extremely dangerous. Now, the thing that insulates it is that when you when you're the leaders at the top who say we don't care about that outside noise, we're going to stand by you and the truth that you're pursuing, no matter what the problem that happened at the Times and that's referenced in the letter, the Harper's letter that Thomas helped shape is that my boss got fired for running an op ed by a sitting US senator. Now, you might say that Tom Cotton is detestable, that you disagree with him.
But I don't want to live in a world where the views of half of the country can't be heard in the paper of record. And that's, I fear, where we're headed.
Right. Well, you you are I don't know if you are going to sue, but that's part of what was talked about. You said it was an unlawful you talked about unlawful discrimination in a hostile workplace environment. Let me ask this about the link between this issue of canceling and race, because it seems like that's the ultimate issue with the cancellation culture if you're on the wrong side of of what that is now. And of course, Sir Thomas, this is one of your big themes, and it's a theme that goes back to the 19th century in American history.
Should we integrate? Should we become a people who don't see race at all or as the current Vogue seems to be gathering, should we be a people who see it everywhere? So why don't you give us your major theme on that? Sure, well, you know, one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. We have a long and tortured history of believing in what biologically is not real racial differences between groups of people by leaning into this fiction and reinvesting in the racial idea as a way of making a healthier society.
That seems totally wrong headed to me. The two voices that dominate the conversation on race right now in America are Robin D'Angelo and Max Kennedy, both of whom are absolutely uncompromising in their views of racial difference. They, to paraphrase James Baldwin, they both insist that man's categorization is the only thing that's real and that cannot be transcended. So that means white individuals are irredeemably members of oppressive and an oppressive and privileged group. And black individuals are inescapably members of group upon whom white people act either for good or for ill.
But blacks are not agents in this, and then Asians and so many other people who don't neatly slot into this racial binary. We don't know what to say about them. But for D'Angelo, there's a kind of circular logic that's very devastating. If you're white, you're inherently racist. To deny that is to prove your racism and to admit that is to prove your racism. For Kennedy, every single aspect of our lives, reality, every idea, every action, every policy is either racist or anti-racist with no gray in between.
What other aspect of our lives in shared reality is so neatly bifurcated and oversimplified is that we don't even accept any longer and for good reason that even sexual difference is so either or a matter. And we are accepting that now in our understanding of race and racism.
And it's also just it's an unbelievably flat category. Is the person whose grandparents crawled out of the death camps of Europe the same as they had the same lived experience as a person whose grandparents came to this story, whose ancestors came to this country on the Mayflower, is a Nigerian immigrant to America different from a person their lived experience than a person whose father grew up in the Jim Crow South. That's ridiculous on its face, even if those people have the same amount of melanin in their skin.
Right. And I find that everyone is always having a certainly on the far liberal left a contest about who's who's who's better on this issue. And, you know, somebody was saying to me the other day about there's you know, there's never been a black woman governor. And I was like, yeah, that's bad. That's that's terrible. We should elect one and or more. And then that was just become a contest of who hates that more, who is more pissed off about that.
And that's not what really is going to move us forward. I feel like the the view of Obama and Martin Luther King is is being lost. Do you feel that way? Yes, I think that we're in danger of really reinvesting in the idea that race is real and that it cannot be escape, that it is the fundamental category that defines us, that white people are essentially different from black people and we're in danger of making people living today. We're creating a world where everybody alive today is a representative of the thoughts, misdeeds and circumstances of their ancestors.
And that's not a world that I want to create your for.
I just I want to connect with Thomas just said the idea that people are guilty because of the sins of their ancestors. There's a really relevant case that connects to cancel culture, which is what we were talking about before the letter was signed by luminaries. But there are lots of people in this country who are feeling the sting and the immiseration of council culture who aren't famous. I spoke to one of them last night. His name is Majidi Wandy. He's a Palestinian refugee who built an unbelievably successful business called Holy Land in Minneapolis.
He has two hundred employees. They make Christmas Eve a bakery. They have a restaurant. Someone discovered the tweets of his daughter that she wrote when she was between the ages of 14 and 16 years old. Immediately, when those tweets were discovered, they were horrible tweets. They were racist. They were anti-Semitic. All of his accounts were canceled from places like Costco and Sam's. He's the the least owner of his bakery kicked him, is kicking him out of the building and he's scared he's going to go bankrupt.
He fired his daughter. He apologized. He agreed to have anti-racism training. None of it was enough. And he said to me, I'm I live the American dream. But is this America is it America to hold a person, a business owner, liable for the sins of their child when they were a teenager? That seems deeply un-American.
I mean, that's an extreme example. But there are lots of extreme examples, examples that aren't extreme, but also makes me always want to go. Who are these perfect people out there in the world today who have never made any mistake of any kind and don't think it's going to come back and bite them in the ass? Well, that's the whole point.
There's also an argument from self-interest that should be more prominent in the debate around cancellation. To paraphrase Christopher Hitchens, when you violate someone's free speech or you propose to violate their free speech, you are in effect also making the rod for your own back. The rod of liberalism can be picked up and used by anyone. And we all seem to think that it's just our side who will always get to the side. But of course, that's not true.
And of course, I mean, it's like Robe's Robespierre couldn't escape the guillotine. Like we should learn a lesson from that. And the fact is that council culture can come for any of us, which is why we have to resist it. Right.
And I want to make one in this week when we think about an extraordinary life like John Lewis, I want to make the point that his was a view. There was a point of view that was divergent from the consensus at the time that he was. A lot of things look so clear to us now. But back then, at the time, he was defying consensus. Minorities and the powerless and the oppressed do the best in societies and spaces that are open, that are maximally open, that are maximally tolerant of divergent and even heretical points of view.
And we need to have all the points of view that we can have because we don't know what the truth is actually going to shake out to be 10, 20, 50 years down the road. We need we need to challenge our consensus views. Right. And when we think about John Lewis, we should think about that was a guy who saw something wrong and stood up and spoke up for it. And he didn't just adhere to the prevailing consensus at the time.
Right now, I'm sorry. I was just going to add that he did it at unbelievable personal cost. And when we're thinking about the cultural problems we face and Billy referenced this before, where there's, you know, people have avatars, they have a public persona and they've a private persona. And to many people right now do not want to speak up because they are afraid of the consequences and the ramifications. The only way this stops is if people start to speak up.
Well, that's a great question. Why did if most people don't like this and there have been a number of surveys about this, like something like 80 percent, including most liberals do not like this atmosphere, why does it retain the power that it does? Who has this power and what? And how can they exert it so fully? Is it just because people are too afraid when when someone sticks a microphone in your face? I think this is what it is a lot.
And they say this person said this. Even you if you really think again, you're a real person, that wasn't so bad, it's just much safer to go. Yes. What a terrible thing they said. Now I'm on the safe side of the debate and the Twitter mob doesn't come after me. How do you get back at the Twitter mob? How do you take down the mean girls? How much you want to go first? Sure. I think that we're in uncharted territory.
I think that we can't really have a conversation about what is new and different and why people are so timid now without talking about technology and about the fact that people aren't really accustomed to or built for other than some celebrities aren't really built for one hundred a thousand. In the case of someone like Justine Sacco, a million or more people criticizing you and calling you names and coming at your job all at once. I mean, when you have a big enough quantitative change, it makes a qualitative change.
We're in a new territory. And I think that the onlooker effect it cannot be overestimated. People see what happens to somebody like Justine Sacco. They even can see what happens to somebody who's strong enough to survive it, like Kevin Hart or J.K. Rowling. And they know that they don't want to come anywhere close to that. And so we all keep our heads that much lower and we all adjust our views to to to to not speak out, to not ruffle feathers.
And it has a devastating effect on on the free exchange of ideas. And it's something that we haven't tackled yet. We're participating in a mass psychological experiment with these technology companies and we don't know where we're headed with it.
I agree. And I think that one very obvious way that this stops is by, you know, it's one thing for individuals to stand up. It's another thing for companies and corporations to stand up. Trader Joe's today, I recommend everyone goes in, find it, finds it, put out an amazing statement. They were criticized because they have different ethnic names on various food. It's kind of kitschy and fun. Trader Joe's is on their beer and they were criticized by a very strong online boycott that said this is racism.
And they said, no, it's not.
It's fun. Our customers enjoy it. We enjoy it. Sorry, we're not changing it. That kind of thing right now is sort of like a profile in courage, right. Says something about our movement.
But that's really what's required, right? You're right. That's what we need more of, because being able to speak freely for those who say, well, sure, this is an issue. But, you know, in the age of Trump, it's really just a small it's not a small thing. Being able to speak freely is the lifeblood not only of democracy, really just our very way of life. So, yeah, OK, Trader Joe's got to do something about the parking lot.
But I agree with you that that's a good thing. But I got to go. You were great. Thank you for coming on and keep keep at it because, you know, we, we need to keep at it. Thank you, guys.
Thank you so much, Bill.
Well, in a week of bad news, I guess the most chilling came from Trump himself. He tweeted that he was thinking about delaying the election and I know it was going to happen. But you could tell he's serious about being president for life because he's talking about a book. We got an advance copy of it because that's what people do when they want to burnish their credentials to be president for life. They put out a book and his is called People Don't Know That because that's his big claim to fame.
He's always telling you things nobody else knew about. Health care is complicated. Nobody knew that Lincoln was a Republican. People don't know that. So this is his book. And look at some of the things in this book. Babe Ruth was a fantastic baseball player. People don't know that. Most people do not. When you look at a mirror, everything is backwards. People. When when doctors do the talking about your poop, nobody knows that, but when a woman gives birth, the baby comes out with a cord attached.
Most people don't know that a pizza is made from cheese, tomatoes and dough. People do not notice Eminem is a rapper, but also a white guy. Most people don't know that in the Wizard of Oz, the whole thing turns out to be a dream.
People and women have orgasms just like a man. People don't know that.
All right, he is an actor, a great actor and a comedian, to say the least, who wrote this, who's here Times best selling novel written with Dana Bash on our Vasher I'm sorry. It's called Memoirs and Misinformation. I read it. I loved it. He's a national treasure. A national icon, I'm sure will be a national monument someday.
Jim Carrey is we've had enough of these crazy monuments. We will not be tearing yours down one of the many damaged homes all around. So I wish we could be together in person because you have such electric energy.
It's almost as I love to touch on you. I love to touch exactly that. It's almost a sin that we have to do it by zero. Very difficult. I was thinking about you and like, you're such a hard guy to predict. I don't know if being home alone, by the way, you would have been great in that movie. I think you even as an adult, I think you could have done the movie as the child, but except the burglars are imaginary in your mind.
Yeah, they never existed. So were you home alone all day like the rest of us have to do, quarantining? Is that a good thing for you? Do you love that or do you hate that? I could see it in a way. It's it's it's it's great and it's horrifying, you know, because I need to be encouraged to be social. You know, I need social encouragement. I need a reason to go out. And even when they tell you you can wear a mask and you can do this and you can do that, I say, what a flatulence.
Yeah, well, wear the mask on your ass talking about it. She says nothing on the subject of flatulence. And what about these days? You have a reason to be angry when you smell something. What about painting? I you know, I have this in my home and I'm going to hold it up to the camera. I bought this at you had a gallery showing and this is your picture, baby. Dumdum, it's you have many I mean, you're so political with your painting.
This is I love that I bought this and it's going to get me to a lot of money someday.
I mean, it's it's it's an amazing it's really going to be an accurate depiction of the political record of this. It's called the Wicked Witch of the West Wing and it's called the Wicked Witch of the West Wing. And it's I fucking love it. And I have to grow up with a pretty penny to get me to part with this.
But if Trump does go away, money I can't put out there, Bill, there's so many I can't put out there. If Trump does go away, there's the Lincoln Monument with the shotgun shooting himself, you know, that kind of thing, you know, but you're saying that you're kind of losing your muse, you know? I mean, what what were you paint if he goes away? Oh, my gosh. There's so many things. There's really so many things.
But that's the crazy thing about this era. You know, that this this one megalomaniacal lunatic traitor is able to capture the Zet Gaist entirely, almost, you know, and and everything else is just second tier as far as our interest goes, because we're in actual mortal danger, you know. So, yeah, it's it's on our minds and he gets our attention and he gets too much attention. And, you know, basically I sit back and I look at Trump and I go, for God sakes, can't we see this for what it is?
It's a heist, man. It's not Kotomi Plaza, OK? And Bruce Willis is on the wrong side. Yeah. And it's it's like it's it's a guy who's literally his entire life is focused towards creating chaos. Yeah. And that's that's an agenda set by someone else, by a foreign power. Well, he's doing quite well with that agenda. And if you look at everything through that prism that Trump is doing, it's the only prism with which you can look at it and it makes sense.
Well, it makes sense as total chaos and destruction meant to, you know, like the oligarchs plan to, you know, divide and conquer, get us fighting with each other, fighting with ourselves, and and then they can steal whatever they want to steal. We can turn the world upside down and shake until the money falls out.
Well, as someone who played Andy Kaufman once, it must strike you, as it strikes me that really a lot of what he does looks like performance art.
Well, exactly. I don't think he's smart enough to do performance art, but I honestly, I just think he's he's a wounded, wounded being, you know, and that is the difference. You know, we talk about I talk about that, Dana and I talk about it in the book. Is is the difference between. Yeah, let's get to your book. Let's hear. That's not like Donald Trump hijack all your time here when it's really about your book, which I have here.
I wrote you after I read it. I loved it. How did it happen? I did nine years of conversation. Friendship turned into three years of insane work and something. So what I think is beautiful and I can. They say that because I'm only responsible for half of it. Well, it really, you know, it's just an incredible gift. I don't know what else it's like. I'm almost embarrassed about it. Well, let me let me tell people a seller's list.
I was just shocked in the best possible way. And but at this point, people are going to go like a Cheesus. I mean, what is this dude?
I mean, that's what I tell them what the is about. Let me tell them what the book Quantum Entanglement. What let me describe a little for people who might want to get this. You're fucking up your own plug, Jim. OK, I know you don't like this format.
There's that Jim Carrey people just too big for it just this weekend. Did you get. Can you move back a bit? It's the pictures that got little geneste, the democratic movement.
It's so but what I immediately was grabbed by was the fact that it's a book where Jim Carrey is a character much the way in a sitcom that became the template. Now, Larry David started it with Curb Your Enthusiasm or maybe Jerry Seinfeld, really. But that was Larry half Larry show to watch where Jerry was. Jerry Seinfeld. Larry is Larry David. So is it is it really that hugging? And is it that person or is it not? And of course, the answer is both.
It is and it isn't. And that's what you do in a novel. You are Jim Carrey. Right. But I am a character named Jim Carrey.
Your character resents me making fun of my own ego, my own very much reality and my own everything and my my hunger for four specialists. And at the same time, it also makes fun of the perceptions people have about Hollywood that, you know, that this is what fame is like. Well, you know, fame is a very bizarre thing. You can't understand unless you get it. You know, you can you can want to walk on the moon all you want when you're a little kid.
But then when you walk, when you go there, you got to have a suit and you've got to have your in anything like that. It's no place to live. And that's what Elon Musk is trying to prove. It struck me that this is a book, find other places that are no place to live.
Well, yeah. I mean, I love him, but I'm against going to Mars. To me, it's like Vegas. I can go to Mars like Vegas, man. They're going to shoot in a room and control the climate. I can't tell you already. I'm out. It's like Vegas these days. But Jim, once again, let me plug your book. Let me take one more one more step, because it strikes me as a book that could only have been written by a Canadian because, you know, you Canadians, you know, you look at America and it's like you want to be part of it and you don't you know, you want to be at the party, but you're very ambivalent about it.
And, you know, you're a fountain of talent. All the people have come out of Canada.
So I want to be in the party. At the party. You know, I'm watching the door. I'm making sure there's an exit for everybody. I'm trying everything I can to let people know that it's not normal to sit and watch. A president of the United States obsessively spew out purulent discharges on Twitter all day long. You know, you have your back to Trump, your you're or not if he loses, but you're obsessed. I asked you a question about your book.
We're talking about Trump. And the Trump really isn't a big part of the book. No. Now, OK, OK. But tyranny is a tyranny.
Yes. Yes. That's a great other side of celebrity. It's a great, great theme. And also, you have a lot of other celebrities by their real names who you put words in their mouth. I'm sure some of them are mad at you. And I just have to read. No, I have no idea. But but I can tell you this. So far I've you know, Nick Cage loves it. He's out of his mind over it.
He thought it was awesome. He's like a forward, you know, immediately he was honored by the whole process. Joan Dangerfield sent me lovely emails about how much she loved it and how much Rodney Dangerfield would have loved it and and how I dealt with that that character and kind of the the fear of the future, loss of the and all that stuff. And then we're actually going to be talking to dead people and stuff soon, having relationships with them.
I just want to read one little quote here, because I thought it was so funny, pointing to the fact that it's so hard nowadays to actually do parody. You cannot stay ahead of how weird shit is. And at the end, I don't want to give too much away. But during the alien invasion, Kanye West says you need not be afraid. They speak to me in supernatural verses. I am one with their jam and I'm not so sure he didn't say that this week.
Yeah, I know. And it's a very strange thing where parody becomes very parallel with with reality. But we got to mark these things. You know, he's one of the great characters of our Zica at this moment, and I wanted him to have a place in it no matter what he's doing. I can't figure it out. Well, for me, it. Is a real gift in this time, I wish I was home. You know, we had a month off the last month and to have this book really gave me a few days.
I read it very fast. Great pleasure. I recommend it. Oh, great man. Love to see you. Hear that from you. I admire you so much. And your opinions. Finish your thought. I love that. And. All right. Very, very lucky.
Yeah. Yeah, we both are. All right. Let's hope we have luck in person soon. And I will see you soon. Jim Carrey. Absolutely. All right. Great to see you.
Thank you. OK, time for new rules, new rules for the Discworld Xeroform.
This just saw the woodland creatures are the rules.
OK, new rules. Someone has to pull Trump aside and explain to him that when you brag about acing your dimentia test, you're also admitting that it was recommended you take a dimentia test. It's embarrassing. You had to do it in the first place. It's like boasting that you change your own diapers.
New rule. If in February you tweet Keep America great. And then in July you tweet, Make America Great again. You have to admit that between February and July, you ruined America.
Someone has to remind the check engine light what country this is, who there's something wrong. And if we don't deal with it now, it's going to grow even bigger. Problem. Come on, check engine like this is America. Call us when the car's a fireball.
There were all the woman in a Piñera who protested wearing a mask by yelling, you fart out your ass, you can smell it out of your ass. You'd think that a mask is going to protect you. Has to admit one thing. If someone farted on you, wouldn't you rather they were wearing pants?
No rule, don't be stupider than your spouse. Here's a real quote on Facebook from a woman in South Carolina who hates wearing a mask. Quote, My husband had to wear a mask on a business trip and now he has chlamydia. And she believed him that he got chlamydia from a mask. And it was a strange coincidence because while he was away, her underwear gave her herpes. And finally, new rule, America's top health officials have to find the courage to do what the health officials in Huntington, New York, did, they told the entire town of two hundred thousand to go on a diet because as the head of the program put it with covid-19, you're twice as likely to have a poor outcome if you're obese.
Actually, it's worse than that public health England found that people with a body mass index of 35 to 40 have a 40 percent greater risk of dying from covid and over 40, it's a 90 percent greater risk. Even being mildly obese makes it five times more likely that catching the virus will land you in the ICU and now people are gaining even more weight. They call it the quarantine, 15 GS. I remember when plague's had a slimming effect on people.
I don't think it's a coincidence that the countries with the lowest rates of obesity have had the fewest covid deaths, maybe China isn't hiding all their covid deaths. Maybe their secret is that their obesity rate is six percent and ours is 40 to. And pointing all this out, does it make me a dick? In fact, the shame is on everyone in media and government who is too cowardly to emphasize how important an issue this is. Because the virus made it an issue, obesity was already killing us slowly, but you mix it with covid and it kills you fast, you can scream all you wanted me for saying that, but it won't change the scientific truth of it.
Look, no one deserves to die. Because of their weight and we should spare no expense protecting vulnerable people, no matter why they're vulnerable, we make no mistake, America fighting covid is like a boxer who went into the ring out of shape and is taking a beating for it. Every day we hear the same warnings about fighting the virus, wear a mask, wash your hands, have sex through a gloryhole. But the people in charge of health during a health crisis, Dr.
Fauci, Dr. Burke's surgeon general Adams, head of the CDC, Dr. Redfield National Institutes of Health director, Dr. Francis Collins, they never really mentioned the one major thing most people could do to ensure a better outcome should they get it? To me, it's such a scandal. These doctors won't look straight in the camera and say the number one thing you can do to improve your chances is to be in better general health. And the number one route to that is an improved diet.
To be a doctor right now and not discuss diet. It's like being a clown and won't do balloon animals. Why not an all out campaign to educate the public on the dangers of a diet of sugary chemical laden crap? Krispy Kreme honored. Our front line doctors and nurses in April by giving them 18 million doughnuts, which is like honoring firemen with napalm, and why not a campaign to make it a priority to get decent food into poor neighborhoods? Why not for every PSA about a mask, a PSA with a recipe for a healthy meal?
I think so many lives could have been saved if at the very beginning of this crisis, the medical establishment had made a more concerted effort to tell Americans, while you're in lockdown, getting free money for not working, you need to do something to. Even the poorest person could switch out soda at meals for water, it'll save your money to. The national campaign to get in shape would have dramatically improved our chances against this disease and made us feel better about ourselves to boot, but it was never even mentioned, even in a country that loves challenges, the ice bucket challenge, planking, all of this will make you puke challenges.
Condoms up your nose. The mannequin challenge, quite a challenge, that one. Why couldn't they have gotten behind a real challenge like, oh, I don't know, getting healthy or the virus doesn't kill you challenge? But as Michelle Obama found out, just trying to give sound nutritional advice gets you vilified in America, you're a health nut.
Yeah, that's what they say about people who just eat. Right. They're nuts into weird hippie shit like vegetables. No, no, we need to stop glamorizing gluttony, diabetes isn't just a theory, and with this virus now enablers and glorifies. You're playing with people's lives if you're always on about how this is a life and death issue and it is, we can have body positivity, be a third rail any more political correctness can kill. I've seen it before.
This issue is too fundamental to who lives and who dies and to how successful America is going to be in getting out of this crisis. All right. That's our show. I want to thank my guest, Kerry Washington, Sir Thomas Chatterton Williams, Barry Weiss and Jim Carey. We'll be back next week, probably in my backyard. Catch all new episodes of Real Time with Bill Maher every Friday night at 10:00. We'll watch him any time on HBO.
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