On last night’s Real Time on HBO, host Bill Maher brought up Rachel Maddow’s much-hyped “reveal” of Donald Trump’s 2005 tax returns this week.
Maher reiterated his respect for Maddow saying she needs to be on the air but called the two pages of Trump taxes a “big nothing-burger,” and that the exposure probably helped Trump.
He said, “This is probably the best tax return he’s ever filed, which makes me think this came from Donald Trump!”
Former Congressman Barney Frank and journalist Andrew Sullivan chimed in with my favorite exchange of the evening:
Andrew Sullivan: “There was a giant cloud of smug above Rachel Maddow when she was doing that. Liberals have to be careful not to sound so fucking condescending and smug… and start actually engaging the other side and persuading people.”
Barney Frank: “Andrew, I think you might want to teach by example on that last part…”
The highlight of the show, though, was Maher’s interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
As I’ve noted several times on The Randy Report, Tapper continues to be my favorite journalist on TV these days as his patience with Donald Trump’s lies grows ever thin.
The subject of Trump comes up as Maher mentions, “You certainly sound different from the many years I’ve watched you.”
Pointing out that “politicians lie. It wasn’t invented on January 20th,” Tapper goes straight to the heart of the matter:
“I’ve never really seen this level of falsehood. Just quantitatively. It’s not just ‘If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor,’ it’s conspiracy theories based on nothing that have members of his own party distancing themselves from him,” said Tapper. “And it’s combined with an attempt to discredit the entire fourth estate, the entire media, we’re all fake news except for Fox And Friends.”
When Maher points out that Trump supporters may see Tapper’s reporting as proving the media is biased against the president, Tapper says, “I don’t buy into that paradigm. The truth of the matter is that there’s no bias when it comes to facts and there’s no bias when it comes to decency. It is empirically indecent to make fun of the disabled. You don’t have to be a Democrat or a Republican or Independent or socialist or libertarian. That is just indecent. My children know better than that.”