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Bill Maher Interview in Salon
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Bill Maher is interviewed in Salon. It's a premium article, but if you click through a couple of Mercedes ads to get the premium pass, it only takes a few seconds.

I like Bill Maher, even though I don't agree with a lot of what he says. For example, he's far too pro-drugs for my tastes. I think what he said after 9/11 was horseshit. Anyone who takes over an airplane by cutting the throats of unarmed flight attendants and then ramming that plane into a building of unsuspecting people is a cowardly sack of shit. And committing suicide while doing so isn't courageous; it's fanatical.

Despite the disagreements, I admire Maher for his indepedence of thought (extremely rare these days) and his balls. He's a celebrity who is able to think across arbitrary political lines and actually voice his opinion. For that reason alone, I think he's worth watching and listening to.

Here are some excerpts:

You'll be starting your new weekly HBO series in February. What will it be like?

I know it will be an hour at the end of the week, kind of a "That Was the Week That Was" wrap-up about what happened. There will be a round-table element, with more of a permanent group, as opposed to four different faces every night like we did on "Politically Incorrect." I'm just thrilled to be finally at a place where I think I'll be appreciated and not in any way have my style cramped.

He's going to have a new show. Good. It's going to be on HBO. Bad. I may have to eventually break down and get extended cable, at least so I can watch The Daily Show.

Did you vote last November?

Nope. I'm not a big champion of voting. I think too many people vote. I'm starting to think what we need to shake up the system is to have really low turnout. I don't think it's low enough.

Well, at least Bill Maher agrees with me that a non-vote can be as meaningful as a cast one.

On how comedy aimed at Bush is all about him being stupid:

Don't you see any comedians doing that kind of humor? What about Jon Stewart?

He does the same thing Jay Leno does. And that's OK. Please don't make it sound like I'm criticizing Jay and Jon -- they're my friends, and they're not advertising themselves or purporting to be social commentators. The point is that George Bush gets an amazing pass from this country -- from right, left and center. One thing I've heard as I've traveled this country is "We'd like to see you back on TV because no one is holding Bush's feet to the fire." The media are star-fuckers; especially now that he won the midterm elections. You'd think he was Julius Caesar.

I've heard the media called a lot of things. Liberal. Biased. But never "star-fuckers". I have to admit that one made me laugh.

Anyway, read the interview if you get the chance. He's right about our complacency, our reliance on oil, our dysfunctional relationship with Saudi Arabia, even if he's wrong on plenty else.

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