Another Friday means yet another edition of Real Time with Bill Maher, the late-night program of choice for the likes of Milo Yiannopoulos, Steve Bannon, and other alt-right, fascism-friendly trolls tearing at the fabric of America.
I was curious to see if Maher, who prides himself on being “politically incorrect,” would address former Senate aide Tara Reade’s allegation of sexual assault against Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president—given that the comedy host has made a field day of mocking Trump’s disgusting treatment of women (he once said Trump was “making sexual assault great again”), and that Biden has, after many days of silence, been making the media rounds to address (and deny) the claim—including a stop at MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
But Maher mostly declined—instead opting for a more lighthearted bit on Biden called “24 Things You Don’t Know About Me,” a play on the Us Weekly column. In it, Maher cracked, “I was asked to social distance even before the virus,” beside a creepy photo of Biden massaging a woman’s shoulders from behind, as well as, “My first idea for a campaign slogan was, ‘I’m on Her.’”
He closed the bit with: “You think I’m in cognitive decline? You should see the other guy!”
Over an hour of jokes, including interviews with Matt Taibbi, Eric Holder, Bret Stephens (ugh), and a pair of monologues, Maher—late all of his colleagues in late-night—Maher only addressed the allegation against Biden once in a question to Holder, saying he thought it was “ridiculous and that it would go away and no one would pay any attention to it,” before asking Holder what his thoughts are on it. Maher also questioned how “appropriate” it was to even be discussing the Reade allegation against Biden given the state of America with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Holder claimed that all allegations have to be taken “seriously” and the “what has been described is inconsistent” with the Biden he knows.)
If comedy-pundits on the left are going to rip the Trumps of the world for alleged predatory behavior toward women, they should also take aim at those in their own party, lest they be rank hypocrites.
Then again, Maher has a pretty spotty track record when it comes to #MeToo allegations against those on the left, having recently launched into a wildly misogynistic defense of his pal Chris Matthews, after the MSNBC host resigned following allegations of sexual harassment. And, when a number of women came forward last April to accuse Joe Biden of uncomfortable groping and close contact, Maher went as far as defending the former vice president and attacking his accusers.
“But you know, we’re getting a little nitpicky,” Maher said. “I mean, of course no one likes to be touched unwantingly, and women get a lot more of that than men, but the first person who brought this up said he made her feel ‘gross and uneasy.’ You know what makes me feel ‘gross and uneasy?’ A second Trump term.”
“He’s not Harvey Weinstein or R. Kelly—he’s more like the TSA,” he added. “And it’s getting ridiculous. A woman who came forward today said she was touched by one of his speeches.”