Like a rubbernecker drawn to a train wreck, I am drawn towards that Bill Maher show. He’s one of those people you love to hate, and his show is most interesting when he has someone articulate on his show who opposes his point of view. So I watched when Christopher Hitchens was on recently. And I watched last night when Tony Snow was on.
Tony absolutely ripped Maher up.
He exposed Maher for the clueless fraud he is. And he did it with a smile. It was an amazing performance. If you have HBO, you have to watch it in reruns this week.
The other guests were Billy Connolly and some reporter I never heard of named Nadira Hira. But Snow dominated the show.
I knew Tony was going to be good when, early on, he was explaining that Lyin’ Joe Wilson is not quite the honest hero that everyone on the left seems to think he is. Tony explained that the Senate Intelligence Committee Report had found that Wilson had made a few statements that weren’t quite, you know, true. You could see an unsettled muttering in the audience: could this really be true? And, apparently, someone in the audience yelled: “Bullshit!”
Tony turned toward the audience and said (everything in this post is a paraphrase): You go and read the Senate Intelligence Committee Report before you call bullshit. Then come back and we’ll talk.
Maher didn’t seem to understand what was going on, and had Snow explain. Tony explained again that the Senate Intelligence Committee Report had found that Wilson was not entirely straightforward (to say the least) in his criticism of Bush. Maher had clearly never heard this before. He said: well, I don’t know that that’s true.
Maher has never even heard about the report’s findings on Wilson’s credibility! That’s probably because he gets his news from the newspapers.
Snow ate Maher’s lunch on several other issues as well, such as the profit margins of oil companies relative to those of other industries, the superior test scores of home-schooled children, and many other topics.
There were times when Maher was actually speechless — as if he had suddenly realized that Snow knows more than he does about almost everything.
Of course, the other panelists and the audience were all on Maher’s side. All Snow had was the facts. But to this viewer, it was no contest. The facts won.
And Tony didn’t come off like a prig or a lecturer, either — just a whip-smart guy with a good sense of humor who doesn’t back down.
Great stuff. Try to catch it this week if you can.
UPDATE: The transcript is now available. I can’t vouch for its accuracy. It’s the October 28 episode.