On Friday night, Bill Maher dedicated his latest “New Rule” to the Democratic Party, who he urged to “grow a pair.”
The Real Time host was riffing on the news that the Democratic National Committee had rejected Fox News as host of a 2020 primary debate, owing to a bombshell New Yorker investigation by Jane Mayer that revealed the uncomfortably (and unprecedentedly) close ties between the Trump White House and Fox News, which one expert said is “the closest we’ve come to having state TV,” as well as how candidate Trump was fed questions by a source at Fox prior to a debate.
“Last week, the Democrats made a terrible decision when they announced that they had turned down Fox News’ offer to host one of their 2020 primary debates, saying Fox was nothing more than propaganda,” said Maher. “OK, so why not go on Fox News and tell them that! You want to be in the big leagues but you refuse to ever play an away game? You don’t like the questions that Fox News might ask, so you’re deciding to not take any questions at all? How very Trump of you!”
“This is a fundamental problem with the Democratic Party: they look weak, running from a fight when they should be throwing punches,” he continued. “Republicans never shy away from coming on this show, and they come with a smile on their face despite knowing that the only people in the crowd cheering them on are the three campaign aides they brought with them.”
Maher, of course, neglected to mention that Trump being fed debate questions—as well as his administration’s close ties to Fox News—puts the trustworthiness of a Fox News-hosted debate in serious doubt, or that the Republican National Committee rejected left-leaning MSNBC as a debate host in 2016 not because of any suspected foul play, but because they simply didn’t like the questions their candidates were being asked. He also seemed to forget his whole spiel just last week, where he claimed that Fox News “is basically running our government.”
Nevertheless, the comedian persisted: “You call yourselves The Resistance? Then fight behind enemy lines—that’s what a resistance does. That’s the difference between blowing up a tank and tweeting about it. Get out of your echo chamber and infiltrate theirs.”
Then, the famously anti-religion Maher puzzlingly used Mormon missionary work, wherein Mormons impose their religion on the philosophically or economically vulnerable, as a good example of a group converting others to their way of thinking.
“Jesus, Democrats, they’re like Mormons if Mormons only proselytized in Utah,” cracked Maher. “But Mormons for a hundred years have gone all over the world with one goal: to spread their faith to people who don’t want it…that’s how you build a brand. Look at Samoa. Fifteen percent of it is Mormon. Do they look Mormon?” (It’s actually about 17 percent.)
Wild logical fallacies aside, Maher’s argument that the Democrats were cowards for turning down Fox News as debate host failed to mention any of the legitimate-sounding reasons why the DNC made the decision, or the fact that the Republicans were guilty of the same thing in 2016 (though even worse, given that there weren’t similar allegations of collusion trailing MSNBC at the time). Heck, candidate Trump even turned down attending a Fox News-hosted GOP debate in 2016. So you know what they did? Canceled the whole damn thing.