Tag Archives: HBO

Maher and Guests Battle Over Whether Obama Governs ‘Out of Fear of Assassination’


During the “Overtime” online edition of HBO’s Real Time, host Bill Maher posited that PresidentObama moderates his political positions out of fear of being assassinated, leading to a panel-wide battle over whether Americans are “subconsciously racist” against the president.

While lamenting with Oliver Stone about the short political career of John F. Kennedy, Maher suggested that bold leaders like JFK “always seem to, at the end of the day, get cut out of the picture, violently or otherwise. And maybe that is why Barack Obama is more of a centrist than we want him to be?”

“You think that?” Chris Matthews interrupted with a baffled expression. “Just curious that you really think that.”

The president knows, explained Maher, that if he strays “too far to the left,” he would stoke enough anger to be assassinated.

“That’s an extraordinary statement,” Matthews replied. “I’m amazed, I’m impressed you think that his policies are driven by fear of assassination.”

Maher initially denied having said it “in those words,” but ultimately agreed: “I’m sure it’s something he probably thinks about at night.” He added: “I don’t think it’s an insult to say that he might modulate his policies because he’s afraid of all the hate.”

That last remark started the panel down the road of discussing whether Obama is the “great mediator of the country,” and whether Americans have a latent racism towards the president despite his policies mirroring previous white liberal presidents.

Watch here, via HBO


Filed under Bill Maher

RIP James Gandolfini aka “Tony Soprano”

TODAY Entertainment

Image: James Gandolfini

James Gandolfini is most famous for his role as Tony Soprano, head of the New Jersey crime family portrayed in HBO’s “The Sopranos.”

Actor James Gandolfini, who rose to fame as mob boss Tony Soprano on the hit HBO drama “The Sopranos,” died Wednesday of a possible heart attack, the network has confirmed to NBC News. He was 51.

“We’re all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family,” the network said in a statement. “He was a special man, a great talent, but more importantly a gentle and loving person who treated everyone no matter their title or position with equal respect. He touched so many of us over the years with his humor, his warmth and his humility. Our hearts go out to his wife and children during this terrible time. He will be deeply missed by all of us.”

The actor’s managers also released a statement. “It is with immense sorrow that we report our client James Gandolfini passed away today while on holiday in Rome, Italy,” it read. “Our hearts are shattered and we will miss him deeply. He and his family were part of our family for many years and we are all grieving

Gandolfini had appeared in numerous films before landing the role of Soprano, but it was the panic attack-stricken mob boss who would forever define him. He won critical acclaim and three Emmy Awards and three Screen Actors Guild awards for the role, which he played from 1999-2007 on the groundbreaking show.

“I dabbled a little bit in acting in high school, and then I forgot about it completely,” Gandolfini told Vanity Fair in 2012. “And then at about 25 I went to a class. I don’t think anybody in my family thought it was an intelligent choice.”


James Gandolfini retrospective slide show (Yahoo News)



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“The American Taliban” – HBO’s ‘The Newsroom’

In my opinion HBO’s The Newsroom rates right up there with The West Wing.

(So that  there’s no confusion, play the Newsroom clip in it’s entirety and  start the West Wing clip at 2:20)

Here’s why…

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Filed under Tea Party Agenda

Catholic League Wants Time Warner To Have ‘A Serious Talk’ With Bill Maher

‘Nuff said…

TPM LiveWire

The Catholic League has had enough of Bill Maher’s shtick.

Maher on Friday closed his weekly HBO program, “Real Time,” with a monologue that was sharply critical of the Catholic Church and the newly elected Pope Francis. It was a pretty typical rant from the anti-religion satirist but William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, believes Maher went too far.

In a letter sent Tuesday to Glenn A. Britt, chairman of HBO’s parent company Time Warner, Donohue said that “Maher’s bigotry” must not go unpunished. Donohue attached a report titled “Bill Maher’s History of Anti-Catholicism, 1998-2013,” which documents 39 jokes made by the comedian that were directed at the Church.

“From the enclosed report, it is evident that Maher’s bigotry is not merely visceral, it is relentless,” Donohue wrote. “The time has come for someone in a position of responsibility to sit down and have a serious talk with this man.”

A self-described agnostic, Maher has long lampooned all religions, as evidenced by his 2008 documentary, “Religulous.”

Read Donohue’s letter here. Watch Maher’s editorial on Catholics and Pope Francis from last Friday, which begins around the :25 mark:

Ed: Warning Bill Maher’s remarks are EXPLICIT.  That’s Bill Maher’s “schtick”…


Filed under U.S. Politics

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 3 for Dummies

I’ve watched bits and pieces of this series but I was never able to understand much of the plot because it was the second year of the series.  Now, I’ll be able to sort it all out.

Thank you Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast

HBO’s fantasy series Game of Thrones returns Sunday for a third season. Can’t remember the difference between a wight and a white walker? Jace Lacob’s glossary explains all! Plus, read our advance review of Season 3.

In its riveting second season, Game of Thrones—based on George R.R. Martin’s behemoth A Song of Ice and Fire series and adapted by executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss—brought the war for the Iron Throne to a staggering climax with the amazing Battle of the Blackwater, a hugely dramatic set piece that found the naval forces of Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) attacking King’s Landing, only to be cast back into the sea, thanks to some ingenuity from Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage).


The highly anticipated third season of HBO’s Game of Thrones begins on Sunday at 9 p.m., kicking off another season of treachery, romance, conspiracies, dragons and, um, snowy blue-eyed zombie creatures. If you haven’t read Martin’s hefty novels, the world that the show inhabits can be an intimidating place without the maps, family trees and lineages contained within the novels’ vast appendices. And Season 3 of Game of Thrones is no exception, introducing a slew of new characters, settings and plots, each requiring a whole new knowledge base.

As we did for Season 1 and Season 2, The Daily Beast delves deep into the first four episodes of Game of Thrones Season 3, Martin’s third novel (A Storm of Swords) and beyond to bring you up to speed on everything you need to know, from Astapor to Winterfell. Consider it both a refresher on events from the second season and a constant source of information and background to come back to as you watch the third season.

Continue reading…

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New Rules for the New Year

HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher is on hiatus right now, so running across this New York Times op-ed by Maher was like finding an oasis in a desert.   I admit that not all of the following “new rules” are politically correct, but neither is Bill Maher…

The New York Times 

2012: I call it the year in “meh.” Not the worst we’ve ever experienced, but nothing particularly great to say about it either. Like being a socialite, but in Tampa.

I am looking forward to 2013, however, because I love the odd-numbered years — they’re the ones without congressional elections, Olympics, World Cups or weird extra days tacked onto the calendar by so-called scientists. Odd-numbered years are chill. They’re the 3 p.m. of years — that small sliver of time when lunch is digested and it’s too early to think about dinner and you stand at least a fighting chance of getting something done.

In that spirit, here are the New Rules for the new year:

NEW RULE Now that their end-of-the-world prophecy has proved to be complete baloney, the Mayans must be given a job predicting election results for Fox News.

NEW RULE Sometime during the 2013 awards show season, “Gangnam Style” must be given an award for the shortest amount of time between my finding out what something is to my being completely sick of it. Besting the time of 7 hours, 12 minutes, set by “The Macarena” in 1996.

NEW RULE Congress must make it a tradition to drive off the fiscal cliff every year. And I mean really off the cliff, like Toonces the cat drove that car. This way Republicans can learn that lower military spending won’t lead to China invading. And Democrats can learn that no one cares what the Commerce Department does anyway.

NEW RULE No more mixing politics with pizza. The filthy rich founder of Papa John’s, John Schnatter, said he’d cut his employees’ hours to avoid the costs of Obamacare. This is where I’d normally suggest boycotting Papa John’s, but that’s like telling people to boycott sadness. Nobody eats Papa John’s because they like it. They eat it because Domino’s won’t deliver to crack houses.

NEW RULE The winners of next month’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show must later compete against the winners of “Toddlers & Tiaras” — so we can get their handlers in one place, lock the doors and let the kids and dogs run for their lives.

NEW RULE The New Year’s Eve ball drop must be moved to one of the two states that recently legalized pot, so we can hear the crowd sing in unison, “Should old acquaintance be… what are the words again?”

NEW RULE Second-term Obama must have a few laughs by acting out the Tea Party’s worst fears. He must order Air Force One to fly everywhere upside-down like Denzel and replace Bo the White House dog with two pit bulls named “Malcolm” and “X.”

NEW RULE Drugstores, supermarkets, department stores and all other retail establishments must stop asking me to join their “club.” A club is a place to have a few drinks. What you’re offering me is two dollars off a bottle of NyQuil. And that’s nothing like being in a club. Unless I drink the whole bottle at once.

NEW RULE You can’t run for president if you don’t know how old the world is. Quizzed recently, Marco Rubio answered, “I’m not a scientist, man.” As if you have to be Galileo to Google, “How old is the earth?” And when asked his thoughts on evolution, Chris Christie said, “None of your business!” Which is what you say when someone asks you if you made a baby with the maid. Fellas, if you and your party want to be taken seriously, you don’t have to recite the collected works of Stephen Hawking — just stop regurgitating the Facebook page of Sarah Palin.

NEW RULE If we must sit through a 30-second ad to see your Web site, you have to take down all of those banner ads, which no one has clicked on since 1997. Please — I’m trying to watch a video of a nipple slip from last night’s episode of “Real Housewives of Atlanta.” Let’s not cheapen it.

Bill Maher is the host of “Real Time With Bill Maher” on HBO.

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What We Already Knew About The Tea Party And ‘The Newsroom’ Finally Said Out Loud


Newsroom is the best show on TV, bar none.  When The West Wing was on, in my opinion, it was the best show on TV.

Aaron Sorkin produced both shows.


EDITOR’S NOTE: While they have way too much in common, the actual Taliban uses political violence to achieve its ends and the Tea Party doesn’t — and that’s an important distinction.



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Filed under Tea Party, Tea Party Agenda

‘A Game of Thrones’ Author Rips on Republicans


PHOTO: George R. R. Martin speaks at the HBO Winter 2011 TCA Panel held at the Langham Hotel, Jan. 7, 2011 in Pasadena, Calif.

George R. R. Martin – “Game Of Thrones” author…

ABC News

George R.R. Martin, author of the novels on which the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones” is based, cyber ranted about “Republicans and their Teabagger allies” in a blog post on his website. Martin begins his blog post by clarifying that he is “way too busy these days for long political rants” but continues typing away about recent voter purges in certain battleground states. Martin says, “I would be remiss if I do not at least make passing mention of how depressed, disgusted, and, yes, angry I’ve become as I watch the ongoing attempts at voter suppression in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Iowa, and other states where Republicans and their Teabagger allies control key seats of power.”

Martin, an avid Obama supporter, continues his blog rant, saying, “The people behind these efforts at disenfranchising large groups of voters (the young, the old, the black, the brown) are not Republicans, since clearly they have scant regard for our republic or its values. They are oligarchs and racists clad in the skins of dead elephants.”


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Bill Maher: I Am So Unhappy With Obama ( New Rules )

Bill Maher finally got around to Ted Nugent in his final New Rule of the night, but used the rocker’s recent tirade against President Obama to ask the larger question about conservative outrage over the president.

The best part starts at 1:06.


Filed under U.S. Politics

Sarah Palin versus Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore is an excellent actress.  More clips from Game Change.  I have a pretty good feeling that she’ll get an Emmy for this role…

You Tube

A scene for scene comparison of Sarah Palin’s actual media appearances and Julianne Moore’s reenactments of them from the movie Game Change.

This is for the purposes of revealing the similarities and differences between the reality and the performance.


Filed under Julianne Moore, Sarah Palin