Welcome to an HBO podcast from the HBO series Real Time with Bill Maher. Thank you very much. Wow, we have we got a shot of this going on. There's actually people there's no pick up, thank you, thank you, Jesus. People, OK, people, people I live audience, are we making history, are we the first ones to do this, are doing it and doing it very safely here. Everybody has been tested socially, distance and compensated for their time, like like the women at the bar at Nobu.
Oh, this is interesting.
You can hear people laugh individually at this. Oh, I see that guy like that joke. That lady didn't.
That's an interesting experiment. Anyway, I'm so thankful you're here. I'd say you're very brave, but there's, like, no fucking chance you could get it looked at. Look at you. You're getting mild. I mean, you've been tested your mask, your spread way apart. What we in the business call ideal for comedy.
But at least, hey, there's people, there's people. And boy, I picked a good good week to get back to the studio with people because the forecast on my phone today, I'm not joking. It said smoke.
Tomorrow's forecast. Blade Runner. Are you from Los Angeles? You're all local, right? Of course. OK. All right. Well, I mean, Jesus Christ, the air in Los Angeles, it was like a cross between Shanghai and my dressing room.
I'm saying there was a lot of money, nothing, but I'm sniffly because, yeah, it's good shit out there. I, I went to I went for a checkup yesterday to my doctor.
He grabbed my balls and said, turn your head and stop coughing. Here's your problem. It's looks like fucking Mars out there today. Elon Musk looked out the window and said, finally, I'm home.
Elon Musk, you know, OK, you know, there is so much smoke in Oregon right now, you can barely see the tear gas from the riots.
It's crazy out there. The ash is falling.
You're seen this. It's like it's snowing ash. It's like the 80s all over again. My nose is running and there's white powder in my car.
And this pissed me off, I'm sure it did you to write one of the fires you saw this was because so many parents were having a gender reveal party in the park and the parents set off a smoke bomb that we would see if it would turn pink, if it was a girl in blue, if it was a boy proving once again something I've always said, the wrong people are reproducing.
And of course, you might even have electricity, we have rolling blackouts now out here, you know, in L.A., in California. I mean, yesterday, Nancy Pelosi had to get her hair done by candlelight.
And and President Trump has been monitoring the fires very closely. He said his heart goes out to the insurance companies.
Oh, he's full of empathy. This guy. I tell you, it was it's not its 9/11 anniversary today. And Trump said he will never forget the moment when he learned that he had the tallest building in Manhattan.
Trump said that, you know, just because he's an asshole, this see, there you go. There you go. There you go. You sometimes you have to think twice on that. You know, the modern audiences don't get that fucking thing. But I tell you, two thousand and one. Were you even alive, some of your people for that or you were kids? I'll tell you, it's such a different time. I mean, back then, Trump was a punch line with no interest in governing.
Oh, yeah, he hasn't changed.
No, I mean, 19 years, everything is just so different, I mean, back then, if you ate on the sidewalk, you were either homeless or French and if you stayed six feet away from someone because they smelled like axe body spray, that's, you know.
Now, it's because the virus is. But yeah, the virus is apparently not going away. Dr. Foushee said we're going to have to hunker down because the fall is coming and it could get even worse. And L.A. County took him to heart boy today. They announced L.A. County did canceled Halloween.
They have no trick or treating, no party. Shit. I had a great costume this year. Slutty Dr. Deborah Burks.
Jesus. Now, I don't get to wear it now, but it's so interesting.
Dr. Fauci is in Bob Woodward's new book. He has got a new book about Trump called Rage. And apparently, Dr. Drew said Trump's attention span is, quote, like a minus number.
And when Trump heard that, he was furious for about a second and then somebody right over the back and he forgot all about it.
But Trump said he had one of his super spreader rallies.
He's the president and he has soopers spreader rallies there in Michigan. And he compared his handling of the virus to FDR. The only thing that he has in common with FDR is they both had difficulty walking.
All right. We've got a great show. Thank you. Thank you so much for coming and doing this. We're back. Peter Hamby and Jessica Yellin are here in person. We have real people here to actually be. And a little later, we'll be speaking with the very talented Ewan McGregor by Ewan McGregor is here. And a big movie star on this show. And first up, he is the former FBI deputy assistant director of counterintelligence. My old job and author of the new book Compromise Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J.
Peter Struck, Peter Brock, thank you so much. OK, Peter, are you there on my zom? I am, Bill, it's great to be here. Great to have you. Thank you, Larry. Let's hope the Xoom holds up. Sometimes it doesn't. The first thing I want to ask you is, you know, you're a man your whole life and they're known to be apolitical. Does it amuse you? Does it infuriate you? What does it do to you that it used to be only a few years ago that it was the liberals who were suspicious of law enforcement and now that's completely switched?
You're the good guy with the liberals and it's the Republicans who are who think you're the bad guy.
What does that do to you know, it's crazy and it's hard to imagine how fast that happened. And it makes you wonder how long it's going to last. And some of that you can expand from that. You know, the people cozying up with the Russians are not the pinko communist liberals anymore. You've got it turned upside down. So the question is, in this topsy turvy world, how long is it going to take back to revert and whether or not that happens at all in some bizarre new world of domestic political alliances and beliefs?
Right. Well, listen, obviously, Trump put you in a completely impossible position. Know, when I say you you guys in the FBI, you certainly were high up there at the time because he was outrageous in his behavior. He was saying things publicly, like Russia, if you're listening, you know, it was ridiculous.
You had to look into him. That's my view that, you know, this CROSSFIRE hurricane, which was looking into whether Trump was a mensch or you had to do it, but it's interesting that once it was done, you know, we have to be open minded here. It seems to me your view was that there was not something that happened there. You said in a private text, so we know it was real. You said, my gut sense and concern is that there's no big they're there.
You said we have not seen The New York Times had a big story in twenty seventeen right after Trump was inaugurated and Trump campaign aides had reported contacts with the Russian intelligence was the headline. And you said, we have not seen evidence of any of that. He said, we are unaware of any Trump advisors engaging in conversations with Russian intelligence officials. That confuses me, the Don Junior. I can understand that Manafort, we found out, was was giving polling data to this Konsta, Dean Kalanchoe, who has been called a Russian agent.
Why did you say there was no there there? Well, so you have to read that last document like a legal document we were trying to figure out when that New York Times article came out. Who the hell was talking to The Times? Because they got a lot of things wrong, but some of the things were accurate. And so we were trying to figure out, OK, who were those sources? And when you see when I say no intelligence officers, you got to think about that like a counterintelligence person.
I spent 20 years chasing spies and recruiting people. And when I say that, I'm talking about like a full fledged foreign intelligence officer, not somebody who might be working with them. And that's the kind of person we saw all over the Trump campaign. We had him in contact with a foreign policy adviser. We had him in contact with the incoming attorney general. We had him in contact with the incoming national security adviser. And person after person after person in the Trump campaign had these undisclosed contacts with the Russians that they started and continued not telling the truth about.
So when I sit there and look at it, the worst thing could be it's some big conspiracy kind of run from the top by the president, but it doesn't have to be that to be really bad. It's like if you walk outside the entire block, has every car, has its windows knocked out, you could say, well, you know, we don't think one person did this. Well, every window still knocked out. It's still bad.
And so when I looked at that, when I made that comment, I was simply saying, I don't think Trump is sitting like a mastermind on top of all these contacts, controlling and coordinating what's going on, what I thought was a bunch of grifters, opportunists, people trying to make money, all sort of individually pursuing their agendas in a way that made them vulnerable to the Russian intelligence.
I think you're right. He's definitely not a mastermind. Really? Honestly. Finally, it sounds like a full crowd right now, I mean, but I can only think people give him too much credit for that. And I think you're right, it wasn't like that. I think it's just the way you described it. In fact, Dan Coats, who was the director of National Intelligence for a while, he said he thinks Putin has something on Trump.
Well, that may be true, but I think what he has on Trump is the knowledge that Trump is a giant narcissist, or at least that's what I have on Trump. I don't think you need to have something on Trump. I learned this a couple of weeks ago when he went on, you know, the total nutcases who think that the world is run by this secret cabal of of the pizza eating pedophiles who eat babies.
You know, I mean, they're really out there. And Trump, when he was asked about him, yeah, I think they're good people. And I take their support. Whoever says they like him, he likes them. If it's white supremacists and they say they like him, he likes them. If it's Vladimir Putin. And he says, I think Trump is brilliant. Trump is like, I love this guy.
I don't think it's much more complicated than that, right? It's about the narcissism. I think that's one thing. Look, if you're if you're trying to deal with somebody, that might be enough, but put yourself in the shoes of the SVR or any Russian intelligence service just because something works, you're not going to stop with that. So, sure, Putin he's got a team of psychologists who have looked at Trump. They probably know him better than most Americans do and they know how to push these buttons and play them.
But that's not going to stop them from finding other things to hold this leverage over some of that's coming on the public like we had to the Mueller report. The example of Trump is on the campaign trail in 2016 and he tells a crowd, I think down in North Carolina, I have no financial dealings in Russia whatsoever, not at the exact same instant Michael Cohen and others are trying to get a deal at Trump Tower in Moscow.
Well, Trump knows he just didn't tell the truth. You know, he lied. Putin knows he lied. And so to maintain that, because if Putin turns around and says, hey, look, I'm going to tell the truth and you're every one of your campaign or the people at that rally, you're going to know you lied.
That gives him leverage. So if you're an intelligence service, you don't stop just because you have one avenue in. You keep looking for all these different ways to impact somebody's behavior.
Right. Hmm. All right.
Listen, I've heard you say there are things right now I and others know from 2016 that would damage his candidacy today. What are they?
Next week, I want you to get the attorney general and the director of national intelligence out of your show and ask them that. And when they say, well, we're not going to say ask them why they have declassified so much information, which shockingly all seems to support the line and Trump that they're putting forth. I can't tell you because it's classified or it relates to ongoing investigations or maybe even some stuff panned out. Didn't mean anything.
But that question is something that ought to be asked of the administration, particularly given the way that they're just releasing things willy nilly that are really, really damaging our national security when they do it.
So you're you're out of there. And I know you'd love to have Bill Barr on your show. Yeah, that's going to happen.
Have you ever seen this show? So. So so you're out of the FBI?
No. Right, yes. Can you still talk to the old gang? I do, I do, and this is what they're telling you now. But you can't tell me no, look, I mean, I can't, you know, in terms of but those things, so, eh, the stuff that's gone on after I left, they don't talk about because that I don't have the need to know that.
And like, the bureau is really, really good at keeping secrets. I mean, things that shouldn't be talked about don't get talked about outside. So again, that goes into the whole area of like, you know, I'm going to maintain my security, the things I'm obligated not to disclose because my clearance and they do the same thing with me. So now I can't I'm not quite sure what happened after I left.
All right. I want to ask you one last question about Hillary. Somebody said to you during the campaign, because it's always interesting to me that, you know, the FBI goes back and forth now between the champion of the liberals. Are they a champion of the conservatives when really I mean, it was the FBI and Comey who kind of tipped the election to Donald Trump, which is weird, because I heard during the campaign I was worried that Trump is going to win and then the FBI, which they were calling Trump Landesa.
And I think of law enforcement as pretty Republican to begin with. I thought, oh, as soon as this guy wins, I'm in Guantanamo Bay. Really? I thought Giuliani was going to be head of the CIA.
But you still have time. Thanks, Pete.
But who was it who said to you about Hillary? You've got to get that bitch. So that was somebody who had retired at the time and look, you're your. Yeah, bureau is a conservative place.
I was born and raised a Republican. Most agents are law and order, strong national defense type people.
Right. But having said that, I'm telling you, day in, day out, for 20 years, I never saw an instance where somebody said, hey, we got to we have to do this investigative thing. Either ignore this fact or make this up or leave that out of the write up. Just didn't happen. That's not the way the FBI works. So every FBI agent has an opinion, a personal opinion, but it doesn't truly it doesn't hit the you know, you don't have to convince me.
I have no seriously. I mean, I'm known as a liberal, but I've always been a fan of the people who defend our country.
I like squares. I mean that in the best way. It's the anniversary of 9/11, so I'm sure you were involved in that, and I thank you for your service and thank you for everything, OK? Peter Strock. Wow. That's where actual people think.
All right, you can find her on Instagram and Jessica Yellin, where she's the founder of News, Not Noise from Far Away, Jessica Yellin, but closer than I've had in a long time.
Great to see you from a distance. Yes. And he's the host of Snapshots Political show, Good Luck America and contributing writer for Vanity Fair closer to me than other guests have been.
Peter Hamby is there. All right. OK, I want to follow up on something we were talking about there. I was going to talk to Peter about this, but I'll ask you about this. I think they're playing by two different rules, because when George Stephanopoulos asked Trump and what was that, about a year ago, it was in the Oval Office, I remember.
And he was like, if you got information from a foreign government. Would you use it no, no other president would have ever said, yeah, sure, and Trump said, yeah, I'd look at it. The rules have changed. The Ukraine impeachment went nowhere. It's like when they put the designated hitter rule in baseball, they changed the rules, nobody did anything about Ukraine. Nobody said anything after he told that to Stephanopoulos. Foreign help is now OK in elections, if Democrats don't get that the deck is already stacked up against them, they're going to keep losing elections Drew.
Maybe, but maybe not this election. I do think this election is probably a little more baked than people are willing to acknowledge. But yeah, I think I think baked baked in favor of it. Oh, not that kind of set me. I'm done closer to done.
I think the fundamentals of this election strongly favor Joe Biden and a lot of people, regardless of interference in the election.
Well, when he said I will say to your point, I was talking to a friend today about these very things that Trump just continues to push the boundaries. And he said he reminds me of a little kid testing his parents to see what he can get away with. And he he's finding he can get away with pretty much anything. Right. And what's scary about that is imagine if you have someone with a brain larger than Donald Trump who comes into office later.
Right. They're going to understand they can get away with whatever they want and that he's here. Right. He's kind of an innocent. And he didn't understand that. You can't take help from a foreign country because we never did that.
But that's what you would do in business. So he just did it and nobody stopped him. And I'm telling you now, that's the rule. And if you don't get that, you're just going to be a loser.
I actually think it'll change when you have a different kind of personality in that office. The media and the public will adjust to their behavior. I think Trump gets away with this because he is so shameless about it, because he is conflicted, isn't he? The Republican Party now he is going to say to him, not to the party. I do think so.
They're going to revert the Republican Party.
Let's revert back to let's see what happens in this election. Let's see how much loss they suffer. OK, so it's seven weeks from the election. I want to I want to talk about what Nate Silver said this week, because he's the guy who cracks the numbers, we think better than anybody. Now, we know the Republicans have an advantage in the Electoral College, despite what Trump says. This is really frightening to me. Nate Silver says if Joe Biden wins, the popular vote by less than one percent, wins, wins the election that's winning the election.
You only have to win by one vote. But if he wins by less than one percent of the popular vote, he only has a six percent chance. I've become president, if he wins by one to two percent, he's got a twenty two percent chance of being president if he wins by two to three percent. Forty six percent. So we could win by three percent. And he still has less than half a chance of winning the election. You've got to get up to five to six percent before he has ninety eight percent chance of winning the election.
That's a fucked up country. Our system is bizarre.
The Electoral College is bizarre and there is a good argument to change it. I will say, though, that there's a lot of panic in among Democratic supporters that this is a danger zone. If you look at the numbers, Biden's numbers have been unbelievably steady since March. He is up consistently, six points better. And so a lot of the panic is this worst case scenario catastrophizing, given what happened in 2016. But the numbers don't really bear it out right now.
If you subtracted Trump and Biden's name from the top line horse race polls and even under the hood, we would all be saying there's no way Donald Trump can win. He's losing independents by 20 points. He's losing women, which make up half the country by over 20 points, like the chances of these fundamental shifting in the next two months would take something overwhelmingly dramatic. And the whole what about 2016 thing? It's just not 2016. People have had four years of Donald Trump.
A verdict has more or less been rendered since he took office, given his approval ratings. And Joe Biden is just not Hillary Clinton. He's not. I know.
But what was put what Nate Silver is saying, it doesn't matter, because if he doesn't, I mean. Five to six percent is a lot, but in this country, that's a big, big, big victory. And if he doesn't get that and races tighten at the end, it's not like the panels I used to have on right before the election.
I was like, you guys are you guys are whistling past the graveyard.
It's very hard to see the case that Trump is going to make between now and then. That is going to swing all the undecideds into his corner. If you take, for example, this argument of no one. Yeah, go ahead. No, you go ahead.
He's going to this argument he has around law and order. Right. Democrats are most afraid that that's his winning hand. That actually is not a net plus for him. No, it's not. If you go far. Well, if you look right now, you think it's going to shift. It could. I mean, anything could happen. I mean, these are crazy times. Well, yes, but people generally don't like violence in the streets.
I mean, yes, you're right. When he says I'm the one who's going to protect you. They're not getting that. They're not buying that. What they're saying is Joe Biden is a healer and we need healing.
Now, this is but this this could change. But there's also a lot of craziness out there, you know, there's a book out there now called In Defense of Looting, which is being taken seriously. There's a lot of articles in the press. There's a there's a fringe. And you have to understand, you know, we live in these binary times. So anything anybody on the right does, Trump has to own and anything anybody does on the left where this is the country of you are the party of you know, you're the candidate of whatever the crazy on the left does.
And I think looting is crazy. And defending it as some sort of justifiable protest is crazy. But Biden has to wear that on his back into the election.
But he's I think he's done a pretty good job of not putting on his back. For example, when the protests after George Floyd first started, it was popular on Twitter and in certain corners of left to actually defend looting, to support defend the police, both of which are actually strongly minority opinions. But there's a lot of pressure from the left on the Democratic nominee. Biden immediately came out, give the guy credit. He trusts his judgment and has a North star.
He was just like, I don't want to defund the police. He's done a pretty good job of shrugging that stuff off.
And the chaos problem actually doesn't. It hurts Donald Trump. If you look at this law and order message and his claims on this, it actually consolidate support for him among non college Republicans, his base, because it's a message about white grievance. But if you hear what it's doing with non college Republicans, it's driving away swing voters because the swing voters who are non who are college educated Republicans, think Donald Trump is fostering the chaos. They see him as both the arsonist and the firefighter, and they're not buying.
And there's also I think the media has also. After the Republican convention, I think the media for a week or two around Kenosha ran with the idea that this was going to help Trump when there was actually no polling data to bear that out at all. Even ABC News had a poll last week, 13 percent of non college whites like that is the purest distillation of Trump's base.
Thought Trump would do, thinks he's helping the protests like he's that like Republicans don't like the property job on the property destruction destruction issue because there's a there's a lot of talk.
Now, I saw in the news today Lululemon had a workshop where they said resist capitalism while they sell one hundred and fifty dollar leggings.
Wow. When Lululemon is saying, is this capitalism and there's a book called In Defense of, you know, and then we had a primary where there was a candidate, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, we're talking a lot about, you know, a wealth tax and a lot of wealth confiscation. And there's just there's just a feeling out there now. Again, it's on the far left, but things tend to migrate. But that property, you know, it's different than life and it is different than life, you know, and they kind of like compare them like the like they're comparable.
It's like, well, you know, if you take somebody's life, that's permanent. But if if you if you wreck their business, that can be replaced. And this is a sort of a justifiable way of protesting and it's a form of reparations and, you know, taking I'm not down with this property's on the table as something we can just take because things are not right. That's to me, that's not the way to redress our problems by throwing a brick through the window.
Where is this mass destruction of property happening right now? Think if you look if you watch the news, if you look at Portland, it's two square blocks. The cameras also Kenosha. There's also briefly for a moment, we've had we had it here in L.A. I mean, there are stories I've been to that I saw on the news wiped out.
And those were moments of protest we have throughout our history. And we don't know everybody who was involved in the protest. You know, the people who are activating for racial justice change are not necessarily the people who are breaking windows and causing.
No, but there is a there is a most of them are not. Right. But there is a there is a view and it's in the media.
Please, I know you've seen it. Don't look at me like I'm making this up, that somehow this is a justifiable approach.
Well, is it just part of protest? I mean, isn't that what your part of this you believe? I'm asking?
I believe that because I think if you're a regular guy, there was I saw this guy, you had a Papa John's franchise and he was yelling through his broken glass, you're going to elect Trump. And I'm just trying to feed my family. I don't think his view was just like, say, Szalavitz, it's just property.
I do think you're right that there has been a drift of the sort of this goes back to like twenty fourteen when there were protests at right after BLM and their protests at the University of Missouri, like that sort of campus thinking has drifted into the national press. It has drifted into Democratic politics, where you have these very academic debates about, you know, Trump sort of ridicules them as critical race theory. That stuff percolates on the Internet. Absolutely. And certain Democratic candidates in the primary ran with it.
But again, lots of fluff. Joe Biden again, but the guy has his has his North Star is that regular guy in Scranton or Rochester or wherever he understands. I think that, you know, America's political values are not derived from the Internet. They are. He is. He just doesn't live in the.
Why are so many columnists then saying he needs to have a Sister Souljah moment? You know, Sister Soldier was the one and I poor sister soldier. I don't think she deserved, you know, getting the reputation and the kids for the same reasons that the journalist ran with the idea that Canossa would help Trump.
It's just because we in the press always think there needs to be something new, some event that changes things. What's next this week? What's happening the week after that? And to what just kind of just been saying? I think the race has been fairly steady this whole time and like, that's kind of a boring story.
OK, yeah. The protests should be made more complex because there is a piece of the protests that are the people who are actually asking for policy changes. And that piece of this discussion gets ignored.
We don't talk enough about how we end up having this conversation about looting and about windows being broken, just like the media puts the camera on that. But there is another piece of this conversation to be had. That conversation is being had, Bradley. Really, I don't.
Do you do people understand? What do you from the police means? Bradley People are so confused about what that means.
OK, but but, you know, the people who you're talking about very often are data free. I mean, I saw them screaming last week at Rand Paul, not my favorite politician, but saying say her name. And Rand Paul had written a bill with Brianna Taylor's name in it, Rand Paul. He's the one guy you shouldn't be screaming about this for because he's Mr. Libertarian. He was always for things like, let's not have these no knock police.
And there was no justice for Brianna Taylor, Bill, that he introduced. And they're screaming at him. They heard it. And there was a there learned something.
Before you do that, there was another video in Washington began for learning something. You're learning something about learning something.
Another video that went viral last week in Washington, D.C. A woman was just sitting outside of the restaurant and a herd of white protesters and told her to raise her.
It turned out she had marched and given money to a variety of BLM causes, a Democrat that I know who you fought for, Obama works and and she just wanted to finish your dinner.
Correct. And by the way, if you're even if she hadn't done that, you're allowed to eat dinner. I don't have to do it 24/7 because you do. But I can eat dinner and still be down with the call.
And she she made the point in a follow up op ed in The Washington Post saying this is not how persuasion works in politics.
It was pretty smart. But a Democrat who works in Democratic circles texted me last week about a video in Pittsburgh going viral, showing young. Yeah. And he was pulling his hair out because these things get so much attention on the Internet. And he says he was suggesting that this is the perfect charm for Russian trolls and Chinese people or Chinese trolls on the Internet like they're not making fake news anymore. I disagree, really.
I think this is what the Twitter body obsesses over. But the Twitter body is the media. But I think it is.
Thank you. I talk to shouldn't be what it is. I talk to swing women voters all day long.
I talk to swing women voters all day long. Right on Instagram. That's what I do. And they do not bring this up. This does not register on their transom. What they care about is about the Lululemon thing.
But maybe the Lululemon, if it closes, I think we're saying the same thing. I think the media and the Twitter elites and people in the appellate court quarter talk about these things and the folks you're talking to up to don't.
I think we both agree on that. Yeah.
Let me let me interrupt here, because I know a great breaking news. Jessica Krook is in the news. I didn't know who the fuck that was either.
Jessica Cruz is a respected black activist, author and history professor at George Washington University who is a white Jewish girl.
She admitted this week in a bombshell essay that she has not been black. After all, all along, she's white and Jewish. Remember Rachel Dolezal here? We're having it again. So we found out that there are some things about Jessica crew that were really telltale signs that she was actually white.
And would you like to hear some of them?
Yeah, I'm sure you would. For example, for example, she like tweets the crown, OK, right there. I mean, she she can tell the property brothers apart. OK, this is. Yeah, she's been to Utah on purpose. I see I'm seeing the pattern here, her favorite rapper is William Shatner. He put out a rap record is that word that she celebrates her birthday for six weeks?
I don't like girls who do that.
She follows Jewel on Instagram. Her purse is full of tiny dog. She can tell the difference between country songs and she sings along with the music in the supermarket.
OK, so let me ask you this question about Jessica, Grug, this. I'm a white person, but I get to say I'm black. That Rachel Dolezal pioneered, first of all, I think there's going to be more of this. No, why? Because I think it's hipper. Tend to be black eye color.
And, you know, I mean, first of all, I know it's like the worst thing in the world to mark that we've made a lot of progress, which is stupid, because you can say, yes, we still have a lot of work to do, which we do to vital issue racism. But we have made a lot of progress because like 50 years ago, would any white person, like, want to say, oh, I'm a black person?
That wouldn't happen in 1920 or 1930 or even 1960? Probably.
But my question is, like, you can say you're a different gender. Why is that OK? But you can't just say, well, I identify as a different race. Well, I do think she is the worst embodiment of the performative white liberal Jessica.
Oh, Jessica. Yeah, like she is. She is like her again.
Yeah, the one I just heard about two hours ago.
She's like the Sacha Baron Cohen caricature of the like a white male who apologize for being racist and all that come to life. Right. But I don't know.
I do think that you you have a point that it is cool to perform your virtue on the Internet in an era where identity politics is a currency, for better or worse, on the Internet. And this happened five years after Rachel Dolezal.
So like Rachel Dolezal happened, she saw it and she was like, I'm going to double down for like five years. Man, I really hope we don't see more of this, though.
That would be. And what should what should the attitude of of right.
Thinking people be about, oh, dear, what's happening? Oh, I like this is ridiculous. People make choices in life. This is a bad choice. Right.
It's like a mental health problem, which she said she wrote about this isn't it is. I agree.
But isn't it partly a mental problem, health problem with a lot of white people who have like this ridiculous level of white loathing about themselves?
I mean, I don't hear stories like this, really. You haven't seen the video of people watching black people's feet. No, no, I don't believe. I do think that there's a lot of that now, not a lot, but there is like, you know, we're holier than you and watch my feet.
I think that's a pivot back. I keep going back to the presidential race, but throughout the Democratic primaries, white, college educated liberals like voted for, you know, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, like black folks, voted for Joe Biden. Black folks in poll after poll oppose defunding the police. They sort of oppose a lot of these current political issues that surface on Twitter and favor moderate Democratic candidates. I mean, I just I do think that a lot of these opinions seem like they're mainstream because they're on the Internet when in reality they're not.
No, no, I don't think they're mainstream. I mean, I don't think there are a lot of this stuff. I think there's a black silent majority that there has been throughout throughout this year that this is so boring. All the media, the two kinds of swing voters, the most important voters through this whole election have been over 40 black people and over 40 suburban white people who wear khaki pants like those are not sexy people to rely on the press.
They're not young attorney types. They're not, you know, entertaining, but they are the ones turning out election.
After all, those black people want more policing or at least the amount of policing they have. I mean, they the Democrats thought, oh, good, you know, the radicals were like, we have it. We have a primary with all these radical candidates. And the black folks were like, no, let's let's go with Joe Biden. Let's be practical or the governor of Virginia. Remember that. Yeah. So let's get rid of the governor of Virginia.
And the black folks were like, no, you know what? He made a mistake. We get it. He's a good guy. He's going to help us. And he did. He won re-election. He got all the progressive things that everybody wanted passed.
And they're extraordinarily motivated to get rid of Donald Trump. And that's why this race has been so steady for months, unlike the Hillary Trump back and forth. Remember this time then everyone was talking about how we have two candidates no one likes. We can't stand our choices. You don't hear that conversation this time, like the Democrats aren't complaining. They are focused. And it's because the majority of the party, especially the black community, is single minded about doing what they can to get rid of Donald Trump.
And all of this conversation is the equivalent of focusing on looting like it's the sideshow where the momentum is about focusing on November 3rd and getting rid of.
And there's any to be a sideshow, unless it's your business that got that guy got wiped out. You know, I mean, if it's your business, then it's not a sideshow.
Focus groups have borne this out. Academic research has borne this out. Black voters are skeptical of big promises. They're skeptical of ideologues. They're skeptical of, you know, radical change.
They have been fucked over for so long that they just want they want to trust somebody who can just make government work. Can that make sense? Right. Right. Brick throwers.
Barack Obama. I'm not saying that that's we are government nerds who know how to actually make change. They're the people who improve people's lives. Not even change is incremental change. Right. Government makes. Yes. Me and my family every day not.
And by the way, all the all the people who were chanting at that lady at the. They were all white. Yeah.
All the people who were so rude. Right. Yeah. Look, we're going to run out of time. 9/11 anniversary. We have a minute. Any thoughts. It's been nineteen years. Where are we with.
I saw a picture today of Joe Biden going up to Mike Pence and today and doing the little elbow bump thing. Yes. And off to the side, you saw like Jerry Nadler and Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, all these New York luminaries. Again, a picture doesn't tell the whole story, but they were kind of looking this way. And to me, that sort of embodied a little bit of the Joe Biden and like his, whether that's realistic or not, but like he's OK, right.
Trying to, like, talk to somebody from the you have to even if the Democrats win the election, half the country and all the Republicans are not going to self deport.
We have to work together. All right. Let's bring you in. He is the Golden Globe. Bring him out. Well, I presume the Golden Globe winning actor whose latest motorcycle docu series, Long Way Up premieres September 18th on Apple TV. Plus, Ewan McGregor is with us.
How are you, sir, and how are you OK? You and I must tell you, I've been watching you in the movies and enjoying you greatly for so many years. And I realized this week, as I was doing all the research, I know nothing about you.
We never met. And yet I feel like I hardly know you. I learned so much I had no idea you were such an adventurer. You're like the European Sean Penn. I mean, the list of countries where you have gone and done heroic work, Congo and Iraq and Honduras for HIV and landmines and child poverty and malnutrition. These are what our president calls the shithole countries. You must have a high. Do you have a high threshold for danger?
Not really, I've got a big appetite for adventure, I think is the difference, you know, I love going out into the world and finding myself in places that you wouldn't normally travel. And I've done that with my mate Charlie on our motorcycle since 2004. And in 2004, we rode from London to New York. So we went east across Europe and then into the Ukraine and Russia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia, Far East and Russia. And then we flew to Alaska and we rode all the way around to New York.
And then in 2007, we rode down through the African continent. So we left the top of Scotland and we rode to Cape Town and. We just did them for, you know, we did them for a sense of adventure, Charlie and I have done we met twenty five years ago. We've been best mates and we've always loved motorcycles. And we just wanted to go for an adventure. We decided to shoot them as these documentaries called Long Waits, a long way around, a long, long way up.
And this one, you go from the tip of South America and you come up back here to L.A. And I understand that these bikes you're on this time was electric. Now, don't you need a charging station or there charging stations when you're going through rural South America?
No, there are there are there are places where electricity exists, you know, and occasionally we would have to, you know, we would plug into people's houses or we plug in and a hostel or a hotel or a bar or restaurant or wherever we were. We just ask people if they minded, if we plugged into bikes and across the board, everyone was happy to do it. And then and then occasionally we would have we would we would get stuck and then we would have to find somewhere that had a generator.
And that's how a lot of people make their electricity down there anyway. But it was pretty it was pretty daunting. And through Patagonia and the Atacama Desert and things like that, where you have to climb to very high altitudes and we had to learn a lot. We didn't have time. Harley-Davidson made this electric bike called The Livewire, which is a beautiful motorcycle. But it wasn't it wasn't for sale yet. When we did the trip, we left last September and we arrived just before Christmas and we asked them to make a version of their live wire bike that was more of an adventure bike.
And it was it was just an amazing it was an amazing experience to do electric. It was it was a different a different experience from doing the other two trips for sure.
Wow. I mean, I have a Tesla which is electric. It's got a 300 mile range. I won't go to Pacoima.
But that's just, you know, I'm not. But somewhere beyond this range, like, have you gone somewhere and had to charge on the way somewhere or no. From my car, yeah, I have a driver. No, I'm kidding. Yeah, I mean, I charge it in my garage and I never go anywhere. I mean, we're locked down, you know, where the fuck am I going to go? But but so you're in these out of the way places, shall we say, is part of the attraction there because no one knows who you are or did they were there indigenous peoples in the Andes who knew who you were?
No, no, there was people in the cities who knew who I was, and then generally speaking, when we're open to cuts in the middle of the countryside, no, but it's not a reason to do it.
I mean, I don't people ask, is that sort of a reason? Is that the reason why you do it? And it's not you know, I don't have a life that I feel like I have to escape from at all. So it's just the adventure of it, really. But it is nice. Isn't it nice to travel like that anonymously? Yeah, for sure.
So I know about you. I've known forever. I can hear it in your voice. You're Scottish. Where are you on Scottish independence? Because I don't know if people even know the history. I don't know. I think people have a feeling. I don't know if, you know, if they even know that the United Kingdom is really an empire. There's England at the centre of it. But but my people, the Irish and your people, the Scottish people are Concord people.
We're Celtic people. We're not Anglo-Saxon, which are really Germans. We're Celtic people. I mean, the people in Ireland didn't even speak English when when the English conquered them. So but but the Scottish are voted against their own independence in the past. Where are you on that? Well, I never I never I was always I was always for keeping the union, I think it worked. It works. And then after the Brexit vote, I think it for sure I've changed my tune about it, I think I think Scotland have been voting for a government that they haven't been given for years with very left voting country, Scotland.
And we've been under conservative rule all throughout my childhood. And and so I think probably enough's enough. And I think after the Brexit vote, when I was shooting in Scotland, we were shooting the follow on film to Trainspotting the night of the Brexit vote.
And I couldn't the next day they showed the sort of people who voted for to stay in Europe or on the map in yellow. And the people who voted to leave are in blue. And the map was split in half. Scotland was yellow and England blew apart from a little bit round London. And I just thought that, you know, again, we're not the Scottish people want to stay in Europe, in the European Union and the English don't. So I just think we're living in different we're going in different directions.
So I think probably it's time. I just think probably it's time. I think once Boris became prime minister of Scotland was like, right. That said, we're fucking out of here.
It's great to meet you. I know I I took my mother to see the movie Down with Love. Remember that one you're in? Oh yeah, one of my like it. I fucking loved it. I don't know if people at the time remembered Rock Hudson and Doris Day, but it's one of my favorites and he saved me a lot. And I thank you for coming on. Thank you. Ewan McGregor. All right, time for new rules, everybody.
You're all the only thing gender reveal parties reveal is that the baby's parents are morons.
And if you start a massive wildfire with your gender reveal party, you have to go live someplace. It's not hot and dry. Have all the babies you want in Saskatoon, but quit burning down California.
Because I don't know if you've heard, but babies are born here with a gender anyway.
No rule now that Canada's top doctor is advising people hooking up for the first time to avoid kissing and face to face contact and to wear a mask during sex, PornHub has to introduce the new category. Step mom doesn't know she's fucking stepson.
I've heard how was it for you after sex? I've never heard. Sorry, I thought you were someone else. There are the veterinarians at a polar zoo who say they've been conducting a study of the stress relieving effects of marijuana on elephants, I have to admit what really happened.
You were high and someone said, let's get the elephant stoned. And you did. And by the way, we just makes elephants paranoid, they spend the whole night thinking, did I leave my trunk open?
Never before in the NFL season starts for real. Dr. Fauci has to tell us if it's safe for Brose to just bump each other after a touchdown while screaming. That's what I'm fucking talking about.
And I was just we knew it was OK to have coffee mugs that say things like caution, I haven't had my coffee yet, then addicts of other drugs can have the same like a cocaine vial that says I'll start working on my cocaine does.
A syringe that says ask me after my heroin. OK, and finally, new, someone must tell all the parents who now say that the recent home schooling has left them with a new appreciation for teachers, it's about time.
This week, parents across America face the harsh reality that after a spring with the kids home all the time in a summer, with the kids home all the time, we may have a fall in winter with the kids home all the time, which is not only nerve wracking, it's destroying Mom's relationship with the gardener.
Yeah, summer is ending, but for parents, summer was never the vacation when the kids go back to school.
That's the vacation. Why do you think summer camp was invented, it wasn't to teach you survival skills, it was to get you out of the house.
They're calling online classrooms, distance learning distance for hope. The kids are right there at the kitchen table.
All damn day distance is what schools were for to.
To provide a five day a week break from having to deal with those little shits on your Christmas card, no wonder. Sixty nine percent of parents now say that being a teacher is a harder job than their own, and 80 percent say they have a newfound respect for teachers.
Great. OK, but how about we go beyond giving teachers newfound respect? How about we also give them the benefit of the doubt? Ask any teacher what their number one complaint is and its helicopter parents sticking their noses in.
Doing their kids work for them, trying to adjust grades and undermining discipline, you have two kids and you want to strangle them. Can you imagine having to deal with an entire classroom full of tiny, sticky strangers?
It used to be the teacher would send home a report card about the behavior of the child. Now it's the behavior of the teacher that gets judged. I've heard it from teachers many times, parents saying things like, but my daughter studied really hard for this test. Yeah, but she got all the answers wrong. That's what matters in life results, not just trying, not just participating when everybody gets a trophy. The only people who win are the people who make trophies.
If children don't learn that life can be full of disappointments, they won't be ready for marriage or Democratic primaries.
If your kid gets a D. don't blame the teacher, tell your child you should have worked harder, you should have buckled down more. Now go to your room and do whatever it is you do there on your webcam.
And the next time that there is a classroom disagreement where a teacher says one thing and your kid says another side with the teacher, I marked the onset of American decline to the moment parents started siding with their children instead of with the teachers.
Kids may be cute, but they're also relentlessly manipulative little weasels who can only be contained with a united front mom, dad and the teacher used to form an iron triangle, a tight threesome like Jerry Falwell, his wife, and the poor boy.
Kids couldn't get away with shit, and they were so much healthier for it. Helicopter parenting or bulldozer parenting, whatever you want to call it, it isn't good for anybody. Not the teachers, not the parents, not the kids. And the idea that kids have too little self-esteem, it's antiquated, antiquated, they have too much now and it's turning them into angry, screaming grievance collectors. And all of that childhood tolerance is resulting in grown up tyrants.
It's no wonder by the time they get to college, just having to listen to an opinion they don't agree with is considered an act of violence. Oh, yeah, it doesn't even end when the kids leave the house. Parents go on job interviews with their kids. Now, a study a few years ago found that 30 percent of employers had gotten resumes written by the applicant's parents. 15 percent reported fielding complaints from a parent when they didn't hire the kid.
And yet somehow our economy is falling behind. China's weird, huh? So if in the future a teacher takes your kid's phone, just tell that teacher, thank you, thank you for doing something I lack the balls to do years ago.
That's our show back here. Thank you so much. Thank you. I want to thank Jessica Yellin, Peter Hamby, Ewan McGregor and Peter Struck. I'll be back next week from the studio, I hope. Thank you very much.
Catch all new episodes of Real Time with Bill Maher every Friday night or watch them any time on HBO. On demand for more information, log on to HBO Dotcom.