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S17.E33: Ronan Farrow, Dennis Prager, Rick Stengel, Dr. Jay Gordon, and Christina Bellantoni

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Was there a problem with the feed last night night? I tried watching it live, and huge chunks dropped out, and my recording of the replay had the same issue at the same places.

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I think Bill’s question to Ronan Farrow about “ what would your father think?” was so rude and though Farrow handled it with aplomb, I would not be surprised if he didn’t return to this show again - it was a low blow.  Meanwhile, Dennis Prager is quite an asshole.

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And Bill and his deliberate avoidance of the subject of herd immunity.   Immunization is about society as a whole, not just the individual.   
 

Hated the grey haired gut.   Liked the other two.   Would have liked Ronan as the first guest so he could talk more fully about his reporting.  

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4 hours ago, revbfc said:

Was there a problem with the feed last night night? I tried watching it live, and huge chunks dropped out, and my recording of the replay had the same issue at the same places.

Perhaps your equipment couldn't stand the BS just like the rest of us and just said screw it? I wouldn't blame it. You didn't miss much worthwhile. Bill really showed his ass this week.

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Dennis Prager was such a prick! Jesus. Bill can totally be a jerk, but I don’t disagree with him on most of what he said about immunizations and health. I am by no means an anti-vaxxer, but I think he made a good point that the sheer number of vaccines kids receive now, oftentimes many in one day, can’t be good for their bodies and their immune systems. He also made a good point about how dentists used to use mercury for fillings, etc. and we now know how dangerous that is. Same thing with dental x-rays… For years and years they would tell us, “Oh, it’s such a tiny amount of radiation...No reason to worry. “ Now, they are realizing that the neck should be covered during dental X-rays to avoid thyroid cancer. Gee, you think? Every damn time I bring my kids to the dentist they want to take x-rays. I always make them look at the chart and tell me when they last had them, and if it hasn’t been at least a year I’m like, “Nope. Not this time.”

Edited by Liamsmom617
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Whatta surprise Bill would try again to bring up Frank Sinatra as dad with Ronan Farrow as his guest. Farrow handled himself well, and would have been well within his rights to tell Bill to go eat shit and fuck off. And Bill comes off as a hypocrite when questioning Farrow about "his dad's" philandering while uncovering sexual assault stories as he's one of the biggest crybabies of the MeToo movement.

And as far as impeachment proceedings being a loser for Democrats in battleground states, perhaps Bill should take a look at the polling numbers for impeachment in those key states before whining about it.

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A total shitshow throughout.

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He’s questioning medical science as a way to spread his anti-vaccination BS, just the way climate change deniers question scientists.

Prager was there to antagonize the crowd.

Wish they’d get rid of the later guest segment but they’re usually name guests.  They must believe it helps the ratings.

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4 hours ago, Caseysgirl said:

I think Bill’s question to Ronan Farrow about “ what would your father think?” was so rude and though Farrow handled it with aplomb, I would not be surprised if he didn’t return to this show again - it was a low blow.  Meanwhile, Dennis Prager is quite an asshole.

As Farrow said, it was something like the third time he'd done it so he expects it.

1 hour ago, Victor the Crab said:

And as far as impeachment proceedings being a loser for Democrats in battleground states, perhaps Bill should take a look at the polling numbers for impeachment in those key states before whining about it.

Yeah, when he mentioned the statistics in those states I was like...wait, you think it's a loser because it's like 53% against impeachment now before it's even started?

I hate it when he goes on the anti-vaxxer stuff. Even the doctor was like, "Well, I have no proof but I just thought I'd toss out some dark sounding hints linking autism to vaccines." Then Bill vaguely alludes to the many many studies that show no connection, but on the other side we have "these stories" that people have, like that's an equal counterpoint. The point of the studies is that they show that no, vaccines don't affect the number of kids who are autistic at all so it's not happening. Autism presents itself around the same age as kids get vaccines.

It's so frustrating how he pushes this idea that asking questions and not assuming that doctors are never wrong (who on earth is even saying that?) means that whatever illogical theory he has might be right. I've never gotten over the time he said that since antibiotics can stop working because we develop immunity it logically followed that vaccines would also become useless because of immunity. I did laugh when he claimed that on his show there was no one right answer. LOL. Like there aren't a list of right answers he hits practically every week.

But not as frustrating as that blowhard claiming it's hatred of Trump that makes people care about his constant crimes. And of course the sober conservatives will simply refuse to support him if he does something nutty. What is the point of talking to that guy?

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Geez Bill, an anti vaxer and a human embodiment of Republican talking points all on one show? Watching that gave me anxiety. The human talking point was the absolute worst. He would throw out some ridiculous unsupported theory or accusation, get booed, and then say the booing proved his point. No jackass , the audience just wasn’t buying the nonsense. And really... the left’s lying by saying the country is racist? The hell? This is a country in which people have been known the chant “build a wall” and “send her back”.  Yeah... not racist at all. 

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13 minutes ago, angelamh66 said:

And really... the left’s lying by saying the country is racist? The hell? This is a country in which people have been known the chant “build a wall” and “send her back”.  Yeah... not racist at all. 

And what about the bit on Overtime where Prager insists that "the left thinks men menstruate"? I am not familiar with the story myself, but he has to have blown it way out of proportion. 

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20 minutes ago, angelamh66 said:

The human talking point was the absolute worst. He would throw out some ridiculous unsupported theory or accusation, get booed, and then say the booing proved his point. No jackass , the audience just wasn’t buying the nonsense.

And then he would talk over others who tried to shut down his talking points lies.  Even Bill couldn't get him to shut up.  What is the point of bringing these types on when they add nothing to the discussion, and in fact, their goal is to disrupt and take over the discussion?

Bill seems like he doesn't understand how science works.  Yes, Bill, doctors revise their recommendations when new studies and evidence show new data.  As they said, it's called learning.  Science is not static, and scientists question and improve upon each other's findings all the time.  No, scientists don't know everything and they freely admit that - that's why they keep doing more work and more studies. 

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It's a total waste of time to try to have a conversation with someone who insists the sky is green, and that's Prager. He's the kind of person who would make excuses for 45 if he gunned someone down in the street. He can ridicule the prospect all he wants, but he's a cult member.

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2 hours ago, scrb said:

Prager was there to antagonize the crowd.

Yeah he is totally trolling and not interested in any discussion. I can't get all up about it because he's clearly just doing a deal. 

I know Bill is kind of making a bad joke about Sinatra, but it did have some context and Farrow did run with it well. 

I totally agree Hill shouldn't have resigned, but I'm wondering if she's worried worse pics would come out. 

Edited by DoctorAtomic
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15 minutes ago, DoctorAtomic said:

I know Bill is kind of making a bad joke about Sinatra, but it did have some context and Farrow did run with it well. 

Didn't Frank Sinatra try to force Mia Farrow off Rosemary's Baby by threatening to divorce her? She stuck with the movie and got divorced and beat him at the box office. That's a story Ronan Farrow might have countered with--but his answer of "How the hell would I know what he'd think?" was just as good.

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Honestly is you're ranting about tampons in the men's room at Berkeley, that seems like you're the one who has a problem. 

It's always the poor trans people being beaten on. It's not their fault. 

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2 hours ago, DoctorAtomic said:

Honestly is you're ranting about tampons in the men's room at Berkeley, that seems like you're the one who has a problem.

I'm wondering if it was a setup. What kind of odds could you get if you wanted to place a bet on "Bill Maher will defend transgender rights AND Berkeley on this weeks show? I mean this isn't how I figured Bill was going to use Vegas to fund his next big campaign contribution, but it all makes sense now. As Bill's doctor friend would say there's absolutely no evidence, but I can't prove it's not true and it sort of feels right...

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IIRC, Ronan Farrow and his mother (especially his mother) were very coy about the possible Sinatra parentage in the past, but now that Ronan has finally made a name for himself in journalism, he wants to act like that never happened? Sorry, but it did.  Bill might be an asshole, but Ronan has selective memory. 

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31 minutes ago, CynicalGirl said:

IIRC, Ronan Farrow and his mother (especially his mother) were very coy about the possible Sinatra parentage in the past, but now that Ronan has finally made a name for himself in journalism, he wants to act like that never happened? Sorry, but it did.  Bill might be an asshole, but Ronan has selective memory. 

I don't think he was acting like it never happened. I thought it was funny when he told Bill he wasn't going to give him the "Which one?" soundbite Bill wanted when he brought up "his father." He mentioned Bill having brought it up the past 3 times he was on the show. he still probably didn't know the guy well enough to speak for him, but he doesn't seem ashamed of it. Given what he thinks of Woody Allen it seems like he'd rather be connected to Sinatra.

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I understand inviting conservative/right-wing guests from time to time, but Dennis Prager is just a troll who is not interested in any meaningful exchange of ideas. It is such a waste of time that I couldn't take 2 minutes of it when I turned to the channel and I saw his face. Now I read that Maher was spewing some BS about vaccinations as well. 

Maybe this is the show's jump the shark moment. Bill has turned into an insufferable character. The show has become pointless. 

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Bill blathered ten minutes' worth of word salad at that poor Doctor & didn't give him a chance to respond.  I agree with those who say he's insufferable.  Also, I was glad that Ronan mentioned he was 3 for 3 about mentioning Frank Sinatra ... how fucking ignorant!!!

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28 minutes ago, Medicine Crow said:

  Also, I was glad that Ronan mentioned he was 3 for 3 about mentioning Frank Sinatra ... how fucking ignorant!!!

I knew Bill would mention it when I heard Ronan was on the show.  Ronan was on Colbert the other night and Colbert made a joke about it.  That shocked me because I thought Colbert would have more class than to go there.  Bill, not so much.

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It is totally inappropriate that an acclaimed journalist should have his paternity joked about when he’s on a “ news”show. Besides the fact that how would he know how either of those men felt about the subject matter - one is dead and one he hasn’t spoken to in years. It was just a cheap shot on Bill’s part & I’m glad that Farrow didn’t react to it. 

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I already posted this in the media thread, but since it pertains largely to last Friday's show, I hope it's ok to post here.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/bill-mahers-show-has-gone-completely-off-the-rails?ref=scroll

It really was a godawful show. The anti-vaxxing droning (dominated by Bill's whining) was insufferable, Prager sucked all the air out out of the room, and Ronan Farrow's contribution was derailed with Bill's infantile who's-your-daddy obsession. 

Edited by littlecatsfeet · Reason: clarity
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7 hours ago, tvaddict44 said:

Worst show ever!  We turned it off without waiting for next week's guests - is it on next week?

I totally, totally concur. Thankfully, guests like Prager are few and far between these days. Bill used to bring them on far more often. (He actually has Phyllis Schafly on once.) I know to tune out during the annual Ann Coulter appearance and now I can add Prager to that list, as well as that guy who was on a month or so ago. (Buck something?)

It is on next week - the guest list didn't seem too bad from what I remember. I know that Steve Schmidt was listed so if he's the token (not-)Republican, that's not too bad. Bill's season usually ends sometime in mid-November.

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1 hour ago, littlecatsfeet said:

I hope it's ok to post here

Thanks so much for the link. I was wondering if it was just me. This quote says it all about why I dread seeing wingnuts in the guest list: "Far from exposing alt-right and far-right trolls, Maher rarely pushes back against their ludicrous claims and occasionally agrees, thereby legitimizing their pernicious views in the eyes of his more gullible viewers."

That was totally on display this week, both with the doctor and Prager. I couldn't take much of Prager, and totally gave up when Bill started defending Prager's belief that Kavanaugh was treated unfairly by the media. Bill caves to these people just so they keep coming on his show.

Edited by Moxie Cat
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On 11/2/2019 at 3:27 AM, DEL901 said:

And Bill and his deliberate avoidance of the subject of herd immunity.   Immunization is about society as a whole, not just the individual.   
 

Hated the grey haired gut.   Liked the other two.   Would have liked Ronan as the first guest so he could talk more fully about his reporting.  

I agree.  It is OK to discuss various ideas and fears, but this should happen in a balanced way in which opposing views can always be heard.  What was not heard in the discussion is that epidemiological studies do not support any "contribution" by vaccines to the rates of congenital cognitive disorders as these seem to occur in the same frequency in the vaccinated and non vaccinated populations.  Thus, Bill Maher did everybody a great disservice by hyping up fears that have no basis in reality.  He seemed to have decided that his own prejudices are more important than scientific evidence.

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This show is becoming so, so shitty. Every time Neil DeGrasse Tyson comes on he agrees with him that science is true whether you believe it or not, and uses that bolster his concern about climate change. Yet autism and vaccines, which clearly Bill hasn’t read up on or ever vaccinated a kid...he’s somehow an expert because he hears “stories”? It’s the dumbest form of dumbness and it’s going to kill people.  By the time Prager started in I gave up watching and looked up old photos of Sinatra. 

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8 hours ago, ADRz said:

I agree.  It is OK to discuss various ideas and fears, but this should happen in a balanced way in which opposing views can always be heard.  What was not heard in the discussion is that epidemiological studies do not support any "contribution" by vaccines to the rates of congenital cognitive disorders as these seem to occur in the same frequency in the vaccinated and non vaccinated populations.  Thus, Bill Maher did everybody a great disservice by hyping up fears that have no basis in reality.  He seemed to have decided that his own prejudices are more important than scientific evidence.

It's disingenuous for him to question the science while also refusing to talk about the data.  There are studies that have found an increased risk of autism the older the father is.  Scientists are still learning about that, but in the meantime, that's more evidence than has ever been found of a link between autism and vaccinations.  He didn't even try to have a real discussion of this issue.  He has some emotions about it, which is why he talks about it the way he does and is so resistant to facts.  And he welcomes controversy for the ratings.  But it just makes him look uninformed. 

Edited by izabella
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On 11/2/2019 at 2:36 PM, wknt3 said:

I'm wondering if it was a setup. What kind of odds could you get if you wanted to place a bet on "Bill Maher will defend transgender rights AND Berkeley on this weeks show? 

That was my thought as well.  Berkeley bans speakers they don't agree with but makes sure everyone has tampons.  Actually Bill had a good point.  Women's rooms often run out of tampons, so you could get your boyfriend to get you one from the men's room. They are probably free at Berkeley so as not to discriminate against persons with uteri.

Edited by deirdra
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1 hour ago, izabella said:

It's disingenuous for him to question the science while also refusing to talk about the data.  There are studies that have found an increased risk of autism the older the father is.  Scientists are still learning about that, but in the meantime, that's more evidence than has ever been found of a link between autism and vaccinations.  He didn't even try to have a real discussion of this issue.  He has some emotions about it, which is why he talks about it the way he does and is so resistant to facts.  And he welcomes controversy for the ratings.  But it just makes him look uninformed. 

I agree.  Bill seems to ruled mostly by his own feelings and prejudices.  Sometimes, he likes people for some weird reason, possibly some similarity in their experiences.  He seems to enjoy people who are "outside the mainstream" and rejected by the "liberal establishment", thus his fawning over the anti-vaxxer doctor or Milo!!!  I think that his rejection by the Berkeley students is still hurting

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3 hours ago, Paws said:

This show is becoming so, so shitty. Every time Neil DeGrasse Tyson comes on he agrees with him that science is true whether you believe it or not, and uses that bolster his concern about climate change. Yet autism and vaccines, which clearly Bill hasn’t read up on or ever vaccinated a kid...he’s somehow an expert because he hears “stories”? It’s the dumbest form of dumbness and it’s going to kill people.  By the time Prager started in I gave up watching and looked up old photos of Sinatra. 

I understand.  His reply to Prager was so weak, it was pathetic.  Basically, he let Prager take over the show, which was amazing.  It is OK to talk about conservatives living in an alternate facts bubble, but when he encounters one, he does not know what to do.  Thankfully, the other guest tried to help matters somewhat.

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On 11/2/2019 at 10:57 AM, sistermagpie said:

hate it when he goes on the anti-vaxxer stuff. Even the doctor was like, "Well, I have no proof but I just thought I'd toss out some dark sounding hints linking autism to vaccines." Then Bill vaguely alludes to the many many studies that show no connection, but on the other side we have "these stories" that people have, like that's an equal counterpoint. The point of the studies is that they show that no, vaccines don't affect the number of kids who are autistic at all so it's not happening. Autism presents itself around the same age as kids get vaccines

As a pediatrician, I have an anecdote about vaccines and autism. A family has 2 kids, both fully vaccinated and both autistic. They have a third child. Hearing about all the autism caused by vaccines BS they do not vaccinate third child. Not only is third child autistic but also has the most pronounced symptoms.

i also hate the whole mercury in vaccines argument too. There is NO mercury in vaccines! 
 

And boy, do I have stories about vaccine preventable diseases but that’s neither here nor there now. I just wish I understood what anti-vaxxers got out of putting people’s lives in danger.

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Bill hardly took a breath during the Dr. Gordon interview. The guy was like, I'm not anti-vaccine, I just want to talk. I'm like, good luck!

But I forgave Bill when he put Trump's sad boo face on the hospital pain chart. 

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On 11/2/2019 at 10:57 AM, sistermagpie said:

I hate it when he goes on the anti-vaxxer stuff. Even the doctor was like, "Well, I have no proof but I just thought I'd toss out some dark sounding hints linking autism to vaccines." Then Bill vaguely alludes to the many many studies that show no connection, but on the other side we have "these stories" that people have, like that's an equal counterpoint. The point of the studies is that they show that no, vaccines don't affect the number of kids who are autistic at all so it's not happening. Autism presents itself around the same age as kids get vaccines.

Exactly! "Well, we have all of this meaningless anecdotal evidence from people looking for something and someone to blame, so....." 

Guess what, Bill, a lot of people have "these stories" about how they were ill until they found religion and you're the first to shoot them down. 

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6 hours ago, The Mighty Peanut said:

Exactly! "Well, we have all of this meaningless anecdotal evidence from people looking for something and someone to blame, so....." 

Guess what, Bill, a lot of people have "these stories" about how they were ill until they found religion and you're the first to shoot them down. 

Yep - the alternative facts crowd.  The proper response to these is, 'you have a right to your alternative opinion, but you do not have a right to alternative facts' and then move on.

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Seems to me that Bill increasingly sees himself as The Forgotten Man.  At the risk of painting with a broad brush, he is acting more and more like my Boomer relatives, pining for times long gone.  Aligning with anti-vaxxers and Kavanaugh apologists/enablers?  Can he be called even a "limousine liberal" at this point?  Just because he believes in climate change and wants weed for all?  It's like watching what happened to Dennis Miller, just in (very) slow motion.  No more show for me.

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1 hour ago, Duke Silver said:

Seems to me that Bill increasingly sees himself as The Forgotten Man.  At the risk of painting with a broad brush, he is acting more and more like my Boomer relatives, pining for times long gone.  Aligning with anti-vaxxers and Kavanaugh apologists/enablers?  Can he be called even a "limousine liberal" at this point?  Just because he believes in climate change and wants weed for all?  It's like watching what happened to Dennis Miller, just in (very) slow motion.  No more show for me.

You are right, in a way.  If Bill is the "Forgotten Man", it is so by choice.  He does not have to be.  Sometimes it is OK to point out certain weaknesses in your side's arguments.  There is no harm in that.  What is harmful is embracing obvious falsehoods without much evidence. 

Bill has some pet causes and he never lets up, whatever the evidence.  For example, he is convinced of the malevolence of Islam.  He hardly understands what actions generated "militant Islam"; he despises the Palestinians (probably because they are Muslim, although a very high proportion of them are Christian); he fails to understand that it is the choice of the audience who is selected as a speaker.  Sure, audiences should be open to all kinds of ideas, but, at the end, it is their choice who to hear.  He has taken his rejection by UC Berkeley too much to heart, to the degree he felt as sense comradeship with Milo!!! Amazing. 

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10 hours ago, Duke Silver said:

It's like watching what happened to Dennis Miller, just in (very) slow motion.

9 hours ago, ADRz said:

He has taken his rejection by UC Berkeley too much to heart, to the degree he felt as sense comradeship with Milo!!!

My theory --

Berkeley: Bill :: 9/11/01: Dennis. That is, the turning point. 

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What a shit show. By which I mean: Bill, this show was shit. There are always off weeks on live tv — lord knows I have them at MY job — but this was inexcusable. I don’t watch this show for “vaccine skeptics” and definitely not to see Trump apologists. They have their own damn channel where they can scream and throw monkey feces. I turn to HBO for funny political discussion, and the presence of an apologist makes that impossible.

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On 11/3/2019 at 6:42 PM, Paws said:

This show is becoming so, so shitty. Every time Neil DeGrasse Tyson comes on he agrees with him that science is true whether you believe it or not, and uses that bolster his concern about climate change. Yet autism and vaccines, which clearly Bill hasn’t read up on or ever vaccinated a kid...he’s somehow an expert because he hears “stories”? It’s the dumbest form of dumbness and it’s going to kill people.  By the time Prager started in I gave up watching and looked up old photos of Sinatra. 

Prager used to be on local radio in LA, and he became more awful as time went by. I gave him one response on this show and then changed channels. Just really can’t stand him. 

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