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S18.E07: Brian Cox, Rachel Bitecofer, Caitlin Flanagan, Ross Douthat, and Anthony Scaramucci

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Airs March 6, 2020

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Brian Cox, Rachel Bitecofer, Caitlin Flanagan, Ross Douthat, and Anthony Scaramucci

 

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WTF is wrong with Bill tonight?  Did he decide to get stoned for another interview with Brian Cox, just for old times' sake? 

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I'm done. I tried with BM. Tonight is bullshit!

Caitlin Flanagan can fuck off!

Edited by Coffeewinewater
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11 minutes ago, Coffeewinewater said:

I'm done. I tried with BM. Tonight is bullshit!

Caitlin Flanagan can fuck off!

What happened? I don't watch his show anymore...Scaramucci again????

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1 minute ago, kicksave said:

What happened? I don't watch his show anymore...Scaramucci again????

You're probably better off looking it up online.  I'm terrible at explaining stuff. But to me it's basically  a lot of telling us how sensitive dems and women are. I'm sure others will see it differently.  It's just tiring being part of a group that clearly truly want better for people and people on the same side saying ...you suck. 

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I notice they didn’t name the guests over the opening credits as usual and when they got to the panel I can see why.   It’s like “Anthony Scaramucci” [oh god]… “Ross Douthat” [ooooohhh god] and “Caitlin Flana [click]
 

Yeah Bill if I wanted to watch Fox News I’d watch Fox News.   I guess Bill actually had a good show last week with some genuinely interesting and productive conversation and felt like he had to wreck it all this week with a complete garbage panel.   It’s getting really hard to stick with the show anymore— there’s so much big news to talk about this week and this is who he gives us?  No thanks.

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1 minute ago, bobbyjoe said:

I notice they didn’t name the guests over the opening credits as usual and when they got to the panel I can see why.   It’s like “Anthony Scaramucci” [oh god]… “Ross Douthat” [ooooohhh god] and “Caitlin Flana [click]
 

Yeah Bill if I wanted to watch Fox News I’d watch Fox News.   I guess Bill actually had a good show last week with some genuinely interesting and productive conversation and felt like he had to wreck it all this week with a complete garbage panel.   It’s getting really hard to stick with the show anymore— there’s so much big news to talk about this week and this is who he gives us?  No thanks.

One of the reasons I stopped watching him was the repetitiveness of the guests. Surprised he hasn't had Bari Weiss on yet...one season he had her on three times! Another reason I had to stop watching him was the repetitive rants about his favorite things to constantly rant about. I really think his show is has gotten stale and boring. And he has said in interviews he doesn't like the live audience format of it but the suits at HBO want it to stay that way. It just seemed to me that a lot of the time he was phoning it in. Also, he steals jokes from SXM Progress channel comics/radio personalities. That must be why he won't have them on his show.

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4 minutes ago, bobbyjoe said:

It’s getting really hard to stick with the show anymore— there’s so much big news to talk about this week and this is who he gives us?

Yes to this! He wasted time on Chris Matthews, who was way past his sell-by date anyway, just because Bill loves his "talk over the guests because I'm much smarter" style and takes his being let go personally.

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To me, he just seemed way too high.  His regular diatribe at the end was written (I assume) when he was in a more stable frame of mind, but during the rest of the show, he couldn't get out a joke without dissolving into giggles at the mid-point and he kept co-signing that idiot Flanagan woman with an eloquent "Yeah!!"   Bill stared at Brian Cox as he was talking about the early geo-political system in Ireland until Bill interrupted him with "You have a BEAUTIFUL ACCENT" and Cox just said TY and shut up.  Completely stupid juvenile stoner behavior.

Oh yes, I forgot, @Broderbits, that passionate defense of Chris Matthews.  FFS

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I could have watched a whole show with Rachel Bitecofer - well informed and quite amusing. Why, oh why, did Bill let Brian Cox ( who I actually like) go on and on. I’m sure what he said may have been interesting had we not had so many other MORE interesting to discuss.  And Chris Matthews needed only a few minutes worth off  discussion not a whole segment.

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8 hours ago, Caseysgirl said:

I could have watched a whole show with Rachel Bitecofer - well informed and quite amusing. Why, oh why, did Bill let Brian Cox ( who I actually like) go on and on. I’m sure what he said may have been interesting had we not had so many other MORE interesting to discuss.  And Chris Matthews needed only a few minutes worth off  discussion not a whole segment.

Same here.  She was a really interesting guest.  Chris Matthews is a terrible interviewer.  He shouts over and interrupts his guests.  I've noticed for years how differently he treats his female guests.  I definitely got a misogynist vibe from him.  

 

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Bill made a big deal about not touching, and not shaking hands with the panel. So I'm thinking, good ... this time he won't be creepily touching the special guest, unless he truly can't control himself on that.  So, he touches his special guest - Brian Cox. At least two times.  It's creepy as Hell and he can't control himself on this.

Edited by Pike Ludwell
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Caitlyn Flanagan needs to check herself. Clearly there are degrees of harassment/inappropriate workplace behavior and the comment made by Mathews to that woman was on the mild side. But the fact remains that women should be able to go to work and not have their attractiveness commented on at all. Why is this a difficult concept to understand? 

Its a sad and weird day when The Mooch is making the most sense. 

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4 minutes ago, angelamh66 said:

Caitlyn Flanagan needs to check herself. Clearly there are degrees of harassment/inappropriate workplace behavior and the comment made by Mathews to that woman was on the mild side. But the fact remains that women should be able to go to work and not have their attractiveness commented on at all. Why is this a difficult concept to understand? 

My two cents: Neither extreme is correct. (Extreme 1: Men should be able to say anything they want. Extreme 2: Women should regard men complimenting their appearance as a traumatic assault.) Clearly Chris Matthews is out of step with the times, which is somewhat surprising because of the kind of business he's in, but there's no denying that he is. A firing offense, however? As opposed to a reprimand followed by a public apology and a demonstrated change in his behavior going forward? That's extreme.

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14 hours ago, Broderbits said:

Yes to this! He wasted time on Chris Matthews, who was way past his sell-by date anyway, just because Bill loves his "talk over the guests because I'm much smarter" style and takes his being let go personally.

He and Matthews were buddies...they had their misogyny in common.

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I keep hoping MSNBC and Chris reach an agreement for him to return. I get the feeling that the decision was hasty and maybe if both sides had used a little diplomacy, things could have been worked out. NO ONE outside of the immediate parties knows how it really went down - we can only speculate right now, but I can envision the producers calling him to talk to him about adjusting some things and he got all offended and decided he didn't need to take it. I didn't watch his show much, but I liked him as a special commentator during elections and special news events. You never knew what sort of far out thing he'd say next - but often on the money, and usually entertaining. And who else corrects republicans who refer to the "Democrat Party".

Edited by Pike Ludwell

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16 minutes ago, Milburn Stone said:

My two cents: Neither extreme is correct. (Extreme 1: Men should be able to say anything they want. Extreme 2: Women should regard men complimenting their appearance as a traumatic assault.) Clearly Chris Matthews is out of step with the times, which is somewhat surprising because of the kind of business he's in, but there's no denying that he is. A firing offense, however? As opposed to a reprimand followed by a public apology and a demonstrated change in his behavior going forward? That's extreme.

It wasn't just the crass and sexual comments he made off the air and on the air...it was also the comment on the air about Bernie and the Nazis. Also...he was losing in the ratings...he was losing a huge audience, both men and women and younger viewers that watch his lead in Ari Melber. As we all know, once your ratings drop and the follow up guy, in this case an enormously popular Chris Hayes, is being affected, it's time to make a change. There was an excellent piece on all the factors that went into this decision. Ratings, the complaints from respected female journalists about Matthews inappropriate behavior in the green room and finally, the Bernie/Nazi comments...that was the final nail in the coffin. Time to move on...his show had lost its audience and was wearing thin. It was the brainchild of Roger Ailes 🤮 who was good friends with Matthews and pitched it to him back in the day. A worn out format that went on past its due date. Don't blame his dismissal all on the women...that was only part of the problem and not the cause.

14 hours ago, candall said:

To me, he just seemed way too high.  His regular diatribe at the end was written (I assume) when he was in a more stable frame of mind, but during the rest of the show, he couldn't get out a joke without dissolving into giggles at the mid-point and he kept co-signing that idiot Flanagan woman with an eloquent "Yeah!!"   Bill stared at Brian Cox as he was talking about the early geo-political system in Ireland until Bill interrupted him with "You have a BEAUTIFUL ACCENT" and Cox just said TY and shut up.  Completely stupid juvenile stoner behavior.

Oh yes, I forgot, @Broderbits, that passionate defense of Chris Matthews.  FFS

When you say "stoner behavior" you do realize we're talking about a guy who is in his mid 60's....LOL!!!

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4 minutes ago, Pike Ludwell said:

I keep hoping MSNBC and Chris reach an agreement for him to return. I get the feeling that the decision was hasty and maybe if both sides had used a little diplomacy, things could have been worked out. NO ONE outside of the immediate parties knows how it really went down - we can only speculate right now, but I can envision the producers calling him to talk to him about adjusting some things and he got all offended and decided he didn't need to take it. I didn't watch his show much, but I liked him as a special commentator during elections and special news events. You never knew what sort of far out thing he'd say next.

Ratings were tanking....his behavior and commentary about Bernie/Nazis was the death knell. Sometimes these old guys don't know when they are past their expiration date and continue to stay on and do things the way they've bring doing them since 19 dickety do. Television and especially cable TV news channels are highly competitive and Hardball wasn't keeping up. The demographic that is giving Ari Melber big ratings turned the TV off when Hardball came on...that affects their advertising revenue as well as the lead in value for All in with Chris Hayes. Matthews is a very wealthy man with a big compound on Nantucket as well as a nice home in Maryland...he's also not a very well man as he has Type 1 diabetes and has been hospitalized several times the last few years. He's 75 and should enjoy the fruits of this labors and relax, write some books, be with his grandkids and reflect. He'll be just fine.

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36 minutes ago, kicksave said:

Ratings were tanking....his behavior and commentary about Bernie/Nazis was the death knell. Sometimes these old guys don't know when they are past their expiration date and continue to stay on and do things the way they've bring doing them since 19 dickety do. Television and especially cable TV news channels are highly competitive and Hardball wasn't keeping up. The demographic that is giving Ari Melber big ratings turned the TV off when Hardball came on...that affects their advertising revenue as well as the lead in value for All in with Chris Hayes. Matthews is a very wealthy man with a big compound on Nantucket as well as a nice home in Maryland...he's also not a very well man as he has Type 1 diabetes and has been hospitalized several times the last few years. He's 75 and should enjoy the fruits of this labors and relax, write some books, be with his grandkids and reflect. He'll be just fine.

Ratings tanking would be the most likely reason. IMO because of his personality - e.g., constantly interrupting people is annoying, and the comments to or about women, over time. So many disagreed with the furor over the Sanders/Nazi thing that I don't think they'd fire him for that. Pretty minor and misinterpreted thing.

Edited by Pike Ludwell
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Bad eps of RT usually fall into one of two categories.  They're either panels that get taken over by overzealous panelists who derail any and all hopes of maintaining any productive discussion (see Buck Sexton, Coulter, Amy Holmes, Erickson, Cornell West, Eric-Dyson, etc) or limp panels like this weeks where Bill isn't seriously challenged for his own questionable takes.  Flanagan was something else!  An apologist for men's bad behavior of the worst kind.  No Caitlin women should not be super grateful to come onto a show where their lechers make comments about their looks in exchange for air time.

Cox is a great actor and seemed to have a lot to say, but this format does not suit him IMO.  Bill needs to get off his aggrieved old white guy cancel culture high horse.  Chris Matthews may well be a wonderful guy, but the times are moving on and he had a nice run.  I've wanted to see someone else in his time slot for years.  

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This show was a great example of the best and worst of Bill Maher. Rachel Bitecofer was a great guest whom I haven't seen on TV before and had really interesting things to say. The rest of the panel ranged from potentially interesting if Bill was willing to actually do his job and keep the conversation on track (Brian Cox) to the worst sort of cable news talking head camera whores who had nothing of value to add (the entire rest of the panel). New Rules was funny and insightful and was something that was worth paying attention to. Maybe the best bit of topical comedy on TV this week (depending on if you count the last episode of Last Week Tonight as this week or not.) The rest of the material ranged from lame (all the other scripted bits) to totally cringeworthy like the Chris Matthews comments that seem to be getting all the attention. I'm glad I have a FF button because if I didn't I would have probably dropped this show by now (and keep thinking of doing so anyways) There are still some diamonds there, but you have to find them among the turds. Some weeks it's worth it and some weeks it more like cubic zirconia amidst the leftovers from a herd of elephants rampaging through a Taco Bell,

I actually could live with his cranky old man spiels that seem to be the biggest sticking point with most of you. I mean saying what is on his mind, no matter how unpopular it is, or how stupid, was always kind of the point. To me the bigger problem is the laziness - the willingness to trot out hacky formulaic bits and settling for having on the same old guests, mostly camera whores who are already on too much, even though the bookers clearly can find different and better POVs, because they can be counted on to generate "debate" and keep the panel going if Bill doesn't feel like engaging that week. I'm OK with him being an asshole, but put some effort into it and be an asshole in new and interesting ways. Don't half-ass(hole) it please. Although it probably wouldn't hurt to just shut up about women's issues or hire some women as writers and producers. Or both.

 

Edited by wknt3 · Reason: revised and extended my remarks
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6 hours ago, Pike Ludwell said:

Ratings tanking would be the most likely reason. IMO because of his personality - e.g., constantly interrupting people is annoying, and the comments to or about women, over time. So many disagreed with the furor over the Sanders/Nazi thing that I don't think they'd fire him for that. Pretty minor and misinterpreted thing.

Most Jews don’t like being compared to Hitler or Nazis...so NOT a “minor” thing.

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6 hours ago, Mr. R0b0t said:

Bad eps of RT usually fall into one of two categories.  They're either panels that get taken over by overzealous panelists who derail any and all hopes of maintaining any productive discussion (see Buck Sexton, Coulter, Amy Holmes, Erickson, Cornell West, Eric-Dyson, etc) or limp panels like this weeks where Bill isn't seriously challenged for his own questionable takes.  Flanagan was something else!  An apologist for men's bad behavior of the worst kind.  No Caitlin women should not be super grateful to come onto a show where their lechers make comments about their looks in exchange for air time.

Cox is a great actor and seemed to have a lot to say, but this format does not suit him IMO.  Bill needs to get off his aggrieved old white guy cancel culture high horse.  Chris Matthews may well be a wonderful guy, but the times are moving on and he had a nice run.  I've wanted to see someone else in his time slot for years.  

THIS! If Matthews was in a different line of work he would have been pushed to retirement 5 or 6 years ago. He’s a multi millionaire with comfy digs and a tolerant wife. He’ll be fine. He wasn’t tossed out on his ass...his family wanted him to step down before he said stuff in the air that could never be walked back. In fact, his family was present when the suits flew down here to talk to Matthews about “retiring”...at the request of his family! I’m thinking maybe there’s something going on with him  neurologically or cognitively. That might explain his family’s urgency in getting him to step down.

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9 hours ago, kicksave said:

Most Jews don’t like being compared to Hitler or Nazis...so NOT a “minor” thing.

I said it's a misinterpreted thing and so I must defend myself and say I don't believe and would not support Jews being compared to Nazis in any sort of bad faith way. Chris explained why it was not bad faith. Many many many people would disagree with your interpretation of those comments and of the reaction that most people, including Jewish people, would have to those comments.  Let's agree to disagree and move on.

Edited by Pike Ludwell
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20 hours ago, wknt3 said:


I actually could live with his cranky old man spiels that seem to be the biggest sticking point with most of you.

Not me. I'm not an old lady, but I'm cranky. I do not have a smart phone or a Facebook, and have disdain for a lot of things about tech, social media and millennial culture. While I strive not to be too rigid, judgemental or dismissive about the new generations' ways, I usually find myself chuckling at Bill. 

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On 3/7/2020 at 1:30 PM, angelamh66 said:

Caitlyn Flanagan needs to check herself. Clearly there are degrees of harassment/inappropriate workplace behavior and the comment made by Mathews to that woman was on the mild side. But the fact remains that women should be able to go to work and not have their attractiveness commented on at all. Why is this a difficult concept to understand? 

Its a sad and weird day when The Mooch is making the most sense. 

Yup. Scaramucci made a very keen observation on the dangerous impact of having monetary policy keeping interest rates soo low for such a long time. This has fuelled as Scaramucci said the rapid rise of assets (over valued stock markets and equally importantly over priced real estate) around the world. We are now in situations in many countries that have over-valued real estate (housing bubbles) that could utterly devastate & destroy the middle class if home prices were too fall. It's been happening already in Australia.  Doesn't matter if rates go back up, a recession and substantial job losses resulting in home owners unable to make their mortgage payments could trigger a bigger economic downturn than the last one over 10 years ago. Instead of having a continued discussion on this very important point, all we got is Ross Douthat making stupid annoying faces.  

Please don't invite Douthat ever again Bill! And that includes as others have mentioned, the equally annoying Bari Weiss.

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The best thing about the show was Brian Cox saying that Americans do not know what the word socialism means....

Edited by Pearson80
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11 hours ago, TVbitch said:

I do not have a smart phone or a Facebook, and have disdain for a lot of things about tech, social media and millennial culture.

Ha! Me either. I've never been on Facebook. Even at the beginning when there were 5 of us on the planet not using it I held firm. If I wanted to be in touch with you we'd be in touch. I got a Twitter account to get pictures of elephants and an Instagram account for the sole purpose of getting Katie Miller to accept my follow request. And I do that by graphically insulting her husband in my user name every time I request it. She still hadn't blocked me.

Bill and his Gran Torino rants really upset me. He used to be so funny. I found him 1000 years ago on Crooks And Liars when they would put up these tiny files of Bill eviscerating George W Bush and the Iraq War. He was brilliant ( or his writers were). And now we have week after week of him having people like Douthat or Bannon on, all in the name of being edgy. He's just a relic now, moaning about the good old days where you could say something about a woman's breasts on air to her face and then never face blowback. I haven't written him off. But I'm close.

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On ‎3‎/‎10‎/‎2020 at 10:04 PM, Tachi Rocinante said:

Not really.  It makes her seem like she didn't even watch the show, considering the source of the fragile comment wasn't Bill.

Bill has had a history of attacking women who have been harassed by other women. So it's good to see someone tell him off for a change. More women should do the same.

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