It’s that time of year – schools aren’t open, people are on vacation, the weather is kind of humid and downright terrible in some locations. It’s almost the end of the so-called “dog days of summer,” a sleepy moment on the calendar, which is why Bill Maher can be forgiven for a somewhat meandering Real Time last night.
Actor-director-author David Duchovny came on early to talk about his writing process in his new book, The Reservoir: A Novella. He admitted the book is a thinly-disguised version of his life. More interesting was the former “X Files” star’s take on UFOs, which was then topped by Maher.
Duchovny likened UFOs to the old “Ship of Fools” strategy, wherein a society would cast off its criminals and other unwanted on ships set to sea.
Because most of earth’s alien encounters involve teeth drilling and anal probing, Duchovny posited that maybe, “Some alien civilization was fed up with their sex offenders and their dentists, and put them on an intergalactic ship, and sometimes they come around us.”
Maher had a more ominous take. He was disturbed that a lot of UFOs are most often seen by trained Navy pilots. His theory? “Because that’s who they are casing to attack. They are seeing what they can do.”
The panel discussion featured Matt Taibbi, author of TK News on Substack and host of the podcast, “Useful Idiots with Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper,” and Lis Smith, political strategist and author of the new book, Any Given Tuesday: A Political Love Story.
The talk turned to the recent ads California Gov. Gavin Newsom ran in Florida, pointing out the threats to freedom posed by the state’s conservative policies.
Maher asked which political party wins the battle of freedom now.
“I don’t think either party has a stranglehold on freedom,” Taibbi said.
Smith kept blaming the GOP as the source of restrictions. She claimed Democrats were standing up for women, decisions on who to marry, and the freedom to send kids to school without being shot up. That, she said, would lead to an upset by Democrats in the upcoming midterms.
Maher pushed back. He pointed out the administration’s dictates to get vaccinated during the pandemic, which cost many people their jobs. “I don’t want to be dictated to,” Maher said. “I must insist they don’t insist how I handle my health.”
Taibbi agreed, noting that Democrats are “really, really weak” on freedom of speech. “There are a lot of people who associate Democrats with being taken off the internet.” He added, “It’s the complete opposite of what I remember liberalism being about.”
Smith, a former advisor to Pete Buttigieg, talked about alleged GOP activism to keep transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports. She said that the GOP was “finding a problem and trying to do this to divide people. There is no big threat of men taking over women’s sports.”
Maher scoffed.”Men have won in women’s sports. There are many examples of this.”
Dave Chappelle’s recent problems with a venue in Minneapolis were next on the agenda.
Maher claimed “Democrats have lost their sense of humor,” and said “Dave Chapelle getting kicked out pissed me off. Then people say cancel culture isn’t a real thing?”
Smith claimed to be on Chappelle’s side, but then added that he was punching down by taking on the transgender community. “There’s no one more powerless than the transgender community,” she claimed.
Maher was blunt. “I reject (that),” he said, but noted, “You’re allowed to have that point of view and Dave is still allowed to appear in Minneapolis.”