In the 1960s, an activist group of mothers coined the slogan, “War is not good for children and other living things.” Evidently, that message didn’t sink in to Bill Maher and his guests on Friday’s Real Time panel, as all talked openly about how we need to ramp things up in Ukraine based on some nuclear hypotheticals.
This week’s panel discussion included Michael Smerconish, host of CNN’s Smerconish,” and Neil Degrasse Tyson, the astrophysicist and TV star. After some ritual harrumphing about this week’s conclusion to the Jan. 6 hearings, the talk turned to Ukraine. Maher confessed “I love Ukraine,” and wondered why we can’t pinpoint attack with as much precision as we used to bump an asteroid with a satellilte.
Smerconish agreed that “there’s needs to be a response” in case of the apparent deployment of nuclear weapons, likening inaction to not bombing the railway tracks to the death camps in World War II.
Degrasse Tyson argued that modern nuclear weapons radiation is not the problem that’s touted, and the real concern is the minor inconveniences of “being vaporized or blown to bits by the shockwave.” He added, “There’s a reaction to nukes that’s out of proportion to what they really do.”
Maher pressed, saying that he feared the radiation in the atmosphere could travel around the world. “Now you’re telling me that’s not the case?”
Degrasse Tyson changed up. “Well, if they used fission bombs…”
Maher said he hoped Degrasse Tyson’s downplay of radiation was correct, and mused, “aybe it’s the right thing to die for the Donbas province.”
Despite that agreement, there was one point of contention during the panel discussion on a diferent topic, when Degrasse Tyson seemed to indict Maher’s actions on vaccinations and the pandemic. Degrasse Tyson argued that lower population densities meant other countries didn’t have the same circumstances that caused the lockdowns the US experienced, something Maher argued vigorously against. He claimed there should have been different approaches to the pandemic rather than “one size fits all.”
Degrasse Tyson argued that measures taken were based on the “best available evidence at any given moment.” He also indicated that Maher was “contesting the evidence.”
Maher countered that rather than being totally obiedient in a situation where no one really could be certain, the proper approach should have been “let’s keep discussing.”
In his New Rules editorial, Maher tried to explain why Republicans are still behind Herschel Walker, whose strange remarks and history seem to make him unfit for political office.
Listing Walker’s history of multiple personalities, playing Russian roulette, threatening violence against family members, stalking a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, and claims to be an FBI agent, Maher pivoted to a translation of why Republicans are still backing the man: the worse a candidate appears, the more it indicates that they oppose what the other side stands for.
Maher pivoted to a strange story of a trans man wore enormous breasts while teaching school. “The left never stops them,” he said. So “that’s when Republicans say, ‘Then we will have to. It’s their way of saying how serious we are about blocking this.”