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Bill Maher DESTROYS the Media – Real Time with Bill Maher | Transcript

Bill Maher provides a few rules of thumb for trying to follow the news in our modern age.
Bill Maher DESTROYS the Media | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

Real Time with Bill Maher
Season 22 – Episode 15
Original air date: May 10, 2024

Bill Maher provides a few rules of thumb for trying to follow the news in our modern age.

* * *

And finally, New Rule, now that the campus protesters are finally packing up their tents and delousing their hair…

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)

…it’s time for the media to admit that they blew the whole thing way out of proportion, because as always with media these days, they don’t cover what’s most important, just what’s most fun to watch. There are 15.2 million college students in the U.S. and 2,300 have been arrested. That’s 167th of one percent. And half of the ones in New York weren’t even students. But we were given the false impression that these protesters are the voice of their generation, having found a cause for which they were willing to go to the tents, and to the barricades. Oh, please! These kids are more violent when their team wins a championship.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING, APPLAUDING)

A Harvard youth poll proved it, they asked people 18 to 29 what issues mattered most to them, and out 16 choices Palestine came in 15. The vast majority just wanted to do what they went to college for in the first place: to experiment with being a lesbian.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING, APPLAUDING)

But… (CHUCKLES) But when these kids chant “The whole world is watching,” they’re right! But only because you assholes with the cameras won’t show anything else. Isn’t there a bear in a swimming pool somewhere you should be covering?

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING, APPLAUDING)

So, I thought as a public service, since it’s so hard to find reliable news these days. Tonight, I would provide a few rules of thumb for trying to follow the news in our Modern Age. Starting with, if the headlines in your preferred news outlet routinely feature words like, “shreds”, “destroys”, “pummels”, “bashes”. Your outlet is a partisan piece of shit. Either that, or you’re reading a Batman comic.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING, APPLAUDING)

Ditto with, “obliterates”, “roasts”, “annihilates”, and “owns”. You’re supposed to be a source for information not Nikki Glaser at the Tom Brady roast.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING, APPLAUDING)

Oh, she was good. Two, any news source that quotes, “The internet,” or writes “Twitter says,” are a bunch of hacks too lazy to do real journalism. You can pretend you wrote a piece on the zeitgeist but what you really did was look on your phone, and quote the three angriest people with the most time on their hands.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING, APPLAUDING)

Three, if your news outlet consistently reduces everything that happens in the world to who the president of America is, get rid of it. It’s just thoughtless, reflexive team politics. Trust me, no one lighting a tire fire in Haiti is thinking, “I wouldn’t have done this under Trump, but given the weakness of the Biden Administration, why not?”

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING, APPLAUDING)

Every problem in the world isn’t caused by the president. When that train derailed in East Palestine, it wasn’t because Trump deregulated the brakes, and the container ship didn’t hit the bridge because of Biden’s woke DEI agenda. These aren’t news stories, they’re storylines pumped into your bubble. Four, always be aware that once the news became a profit division of media companies, they stopped being in the news business, and are now in the audience stroking business. The goal is no longer to inform opinions, it’s to reinforce them. Walter Cronkite used to say, “That’s the way it is.” Now it’s, “That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.”

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING, APPLAUDING)

Narrative first, whole story never. On Fox a Venezuelan migrant is always stabbing a White lady, and on NPR, where they stop bashing the rich long enough only to beg for money…

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)

…Jamaica is a paradise and Nebraska is a no-go zone. NewsNation reported this year that the U.S. was on track for nearly a 300 percent increase in measles cases. 300 percent? Wow! That sounds like it could be millions. It was 35. Because they just want to manipulate you into clicking. Look, I have ten fingers, you want to see me suddenly have 80 percent less?

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING, APPLAUDING)

Stop it. Please. Okay, five, never trust the initial reports. The media cares way more about being first than being right. They love a scoop but it’s a scoop of shit, because it always turns out to be wrong. This goes way back to– Remember Columbine? Remember that? The first school shooting, where it was widely reported that the shooters were members of a trench coat mafia? They weren’t. That they were being bullied? Not true. And they targeted jocks? No evidence of that. So they got everything right except for all of it.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING, APPLAUDING)

You know… (CHUCKLES) You have to care about the truth. The media doesn’t care about it because they know you don’t care. That you just want to hear your side. So at some point you need to take a step back, look around and be really honest. Are you actually as fucked as your newsfeed tells you you are? Are you miserable? Some people are, and we should help them. Are you destitute? Some people are, we should help them. But most people who take the subway, get to work alive. Most don’t fall out of a plane with a missing door.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING, APPLAUDING)

Odds are you won’t actually catch bird flu during a school shooting, or be living on the street because a squatter snatched your house. Be honest. Are you really that sad about the present? Sorry about the past and scared shitless about the future? People come up to me a lot these days and they say, “Bill, what are we going to do if he wins?” They didn’t even ever have to say who, I know who they mean. The guy who always looks like he’s jerking off two guys when he dances.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING, APPLAUDING) (CHUCKLES)

Thank you. Thank you. Fan favorite. Well, you know what? I don’t know what we’ll do if he wins, but my guess is we’ll keep on living. Trump could absolutely blow up the world on day one of term two. He’s a dangerous, erratic, insane, awful person. And I’d love to help him get not elected. But he didn’t actually start World War III last time, or nuke a hurricane, or trade Puerto Rico for Greenland. Sure–

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING, APPLAUDING)

(CHUCKLES) Sure the sequel is usually worse, but until he does, I’m going to live my life and not the one the media wants me to live, hating half the country and shitting my pants 24/7. Is the sky really falling? I don’t know, maybe. And maybe it’s just the door from a Boeing airplane.

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