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S19.E18: Neil DeGrasse Tyson; Rob Reiner; Rachel Bitecofer

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Opening the show this week, Bill interviews astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. On the panel, he is joined by filmmaker Rob Reiner and political scientist Rachel Bitecofer.

Original air date 2021.06.11

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Top contender for worst episode ever. Between Bill banging the woke drum and Bitcofer not knowing when to shut the fuck up, I barely made it through. Now I remember why I unfollowed Bitcofer on Twitter. She's fucking obnoxious.

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Tyson isn't nearly as smart as he thinks he is. 

And it's hard to get anything substantive out him too. He tends to chuckle a lot without imparting much in the way of info. I used to really like him until I read about what a jerk he is in real life.

I'd never heard of Rachel Bitcofer before. I think she had the right idea about branding Republicans but she's the wrong vehicle to deliver that idea because she's all over the map and babbles incessantly. It didn't help that Bill just kept talking over her. She right about fighting fire with fire though.

I was dumbfounded by the final New Rule - progressivism phobia?? Really? After endless tirades about progressives and wokeness and cancel culture Bill is really talking out of both sides of his mouth. 

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I spit out my coffee when Tyson said he was an educator. Nah. Try again. 

I did feel bad for Bill. He likes having on his friends is they have a book or something to plug. That's cool. He just wanted to shoot the shit about extraterrestrial life and some physics stuff and Tyson just harumphed the whole time. I don't think what the pilots saw were aliens either, but it's fun to talk about. 

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I've caught Rachel Bitecofer here and there since before the last election. In informative, bite-size doses, she's fine. In fact, Bill had her on about a year ago as the introductory guest, and the appearance was normal and interesting. She was just a mess on the panel. But to be fair, besides the fact that she rambled way too much, she also seemed determined to keep talking when Bill (and sometimes Rob) would talk over her - and it's hard to not get behind that. But it did turn into a cacophony. 

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I could visibly see Bill's annoyance at Bitcofer in the show.  I can see why -- Democrat talking points are getting stale/old/repetitive and Bill's show can't get past it (along with his wokeness issue).  Honestly, to fight fire with fire they need to do some out of the box  stuff -- like start a stealth campaign to get Democrats in red states to register as/run as Republicans and Trojan Horse the GOP so that they  end up electing someone who is secretly a Democrat in Q-Anon clothing.  It won't happen though because the Democrats go for talking points -- the GOP doesn't really talk they act.  I think that is why Bill hates the circle talking now and why it ruins his show -- same stuff different week.

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I have to agree with Bill on that. He asked how can all this voter suppression can be stopped. But no one is saying how. Pass HR/S 1. That's not going to happen. He keeps asking every week and getting the same circular answers from each guest. 

At least Rob's Joe-to-Joe was new, but I don't think it will amount to much. 

I don't agree with the fight fire with fire that she was proposing either. That's where you'll get the 'both sides are terrible' and people won't turn out to vote. 

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4 hours ago, revbfc said:

Bill’s bad takes are too bountiful to keep up with, but I do have an issue with his getting angry at people on the streets still wearing masks.  Some of those people are going in and out of buildings that require masks.  Some may even be waiting for public transportation (which also still requires masks).  The point is that Bill’s observation is from the driver’s seat of his Tesla taking him to his bubbles, and not from the perspective of underinsured people just living their lives.

Seriously, who is that mask hurting? I've consistently followed the science. I also still sometimes have to wear a mask due to rules or out of courtesy for others. Sometimes I have it on my face outdoors so I don't forget it or to keep it clean. 

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4 hours ago, DoctorAtomic said:

I have to agree with Bill on that. He asked how can all this voter suppression can be stopped. But no one is saying how.

This reminded me of Bill's repeated pre-2020 election questions to a string of top Democrats about what they would do when Trump refused to leave the White House after losing an election, but contested the result. I'm not sure what answers Bill was looking for then, but he never really got any. While Trump did "leave" the White House in a physical sense, he never really left in another sense, and that's part of the continuing problems we face today.

How are you going to stop the Republicans' efforts to undermine elections is a similar question, and also a very hard one to answer. Again, I don't know what kind of response Bill was looking for, but neither of the guests had much to offer. "Negotiate better" or "stick to the issues" aren't particularly insightful responses.

I don't have any good answers either, but I think Bill is correct that the real problem isn't really Trump, but the nearly half of the country who voted for him, and how to preserve a functional and unified democratic country with them still in it. I keep hoping that some prominent Republican will come out and just tell the truth and this whole thing would end like a fever dream, as the McCarthy era seemed to end after Joseph Welch questioned whether Joseph McCarthy had "no sense of decency." McCarthy pretty much collapsed after that, and things returned to normal. Here, we've arguably already had some of these types of "decency" statements, from Liz Cheney and a few others. But none of those statements have broken this fever dream. Indeed, all they've done is sap power from those willing to make them while the Republican base rewards the people continuing to feed this fever dream.

It's also disheartening that precious few "reasonable" Republicans willing to speak the truth to their own base get booed and whacked by that base. In a different world where my hopes to win the lottery would come true, I had also hoped that this could be George Bush's moment of glory. Regardless of what many (most?) may think of his presidential performance, he alone may have enough stature to say or do something that could persuade enough of the Republican base to stop going down this road. Unlike Liz Cheney, W has little to lose at this point, and could easily afford to stick his neck out. You know, take one for Team America. Instead, we get only tepid statements disconnected with the gravity of the current situation. 

Edited by ahpny
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Bill is an ignorant ass. 40% in my area aren't vaccinated and a lot of them don't plan on it. They just started vaccinating homebound patients in my city this week and my medically fragile husband is still waiting. They haven't been vaxxing 12-15 year olds long enough for the process to be complete. But sure, let's hang that "Mission Accomplished" banner. 

I think this one may push me over the edge into hate watcher territory. 

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Didn't Bill catch COVID after he was vaccinated?   He could have passed it on to more vulnerable people.  Some people undergoing chemotherapy or immunotherapy have only ~40% protection, and even people who develop 90% immunity have a 1 in 10 chance of catching it and things like asthma would make a mild case much worse.  Just ignore people with masks if they bother you, Bill, don't shame them. 

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After Friday's giant, hot, steaming turdpile of a show, I can see Bill's point from last week about college education being a giant con. More and more, that Cornell graduate keeps showing himself to be a ignorant asswipe that doesn't deserve to be on a network like HBO!

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When I saw who was on the panel, I thought maybe Bill would avoid the fat-shaming this week. No chance. And I winced when Bitcofer had to crow about the weight she lost -- as if that justified her being on the show. 🙄

Also inevitable -- Bill's weekly jab at Gen Z in the final New Rule. 

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But Rachel is right, the Dems do need better messaging.  Defund the police was a terrible message, but the Dems let the GQP use it against them.  
 

And I don’t think Biden has had a serious sit down with Manchin just like he hasn’t had a serious sit down with Garland.  He doesn’t want to be accused of politicizing issues like tfg did.  But again Rachel is right, fight fire with fire and do what has to be done to protect democracy.  How awful is it to lose our democracy because the Dems were “too afraid” to do whatever is needed to defend it.

 

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On 6/12/2021 at 4:05 PM, BrownBear2012 said:

I have an underlying heart condtion. I wear a mask in crowded situations, in stores and while waiting in a line. My grandson has an auto immune disease and I wear one around him since he is too young to be vaxxed. Typical Bill...only thinking of his own selfish needs and has no clue how other people have medical/personal issues and are being safe...we don't don't know how well these vaccines will able to fend off all these new variants and for people with underlying conditions, it is a good idea to still wear a mask in stores, crowds, etc...but Bill doesn't go to stores, wait in lines or socialize outside his Beverly Hills bubble so how would he know how most of us peasants have to live and survive? He is becoming more obnoxious and loathesome...and I didn't think that was possible.

Not only that but if I hear him say one more time that if people just eat better and lose weight they wouldn’t have to worry about Covid… Jesus Christ Bill. Has he not heard of “long haulers”? Maybe misspelling it but it’s that condition where someone has Covid and then even after they test negative they still can’t breathe well and they’re still very weak. There are young athletes in their 20s, in excellent shape, suffering with this. So Bill needs to STF you about how it’s only overweight people who suffer and/or die from it

Edited by Liamsmom617
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On 6/13/2021 at 1:53 PM, Victor the Crab said:

After Friday's giant, hot, steaming turdpile of a show, I can see Bill's point from last week about college education being a giant con. More and more, that Cornell graduate keeps showing himself to be a ignorant asswipe that doesn't deserve to be on a network like HBO!

I'm taking bets on when he'll get his own show on FOX News.

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On 6/13/2021 at 7:26 PM, Liamsmom617 said:

Not only that but if I hear him say one more time that if people just eat better and lose weight they wouldn’t have to worry about Covid… Jesus Christ Bill. Has he not heard of “long haulers”? Maybe misspelling it but it’s that condition where someone has Covid and then even after they test negative they still can’t breathe well and they’re still very weak. There are young athletes and their 20s, in excellent shape, suffering with this. So Bill needs to STF you about how old is overweight people suffer from it

Plenty of healthy thin people caught COVID…some died from it. COVID didn’t  discriminate who it took down…young, old, fat, thin…didn’t matter. When he talks like this he shows his ignorance on matters of health and science. I’m surprised he got a vaccine since he leans in with the anti vaxxers. 

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On 6/13/2021 at 1:26 AM, deirdra said:

Didn't Bill catch COVID after he was vaccinated?   He could have passed it on to more vulnerable people.  Some people undergoing chemotherapy or immunotherapy have only ~40% protection, and even people who develop 90% immunity have a 1 in 10 chance of catching it and things like asthma would make a mild case much worse.  Just ignore people with masks if they bother you, Bill, don't shame them. 

Exactly. I defend Bill to a degree with some of the stuff he says about covid. Do the vast majority of people beat covid? Yes. Is it more dangerous for those who are overweight to get it? Yes again. Where he loses me is he seems dismissive of how dangerous and deadly the virus still is.

I dealt/deal with people like him IRL. I KNOW I am young and healthy and even prior to being vaccinated I was unlikely to die from covid.  I have always taken the virus seriously because I want to be responsible and not get it/spread it. I hate the attitude of "Don't worry. It's just older people. It's just the fatties. Only those who are already sick die from it." I have loved ones who are vulnerable to the virus, and I would never want to risk anyone else's life either. Bill seemed grouchy about not being able to do shows for a couple of weeks and kind of rolled his eyes when he discussed having to quarantine and ruining his perfect attendance record. Did he think just because he felt fine he couldn't spread the virus? I also agree with the posts pointing out that some young, fit people who beat covid do experience horrible long haul symptoms. I have young athletic friends who felt extremely sick. Even though they're totally fine now, it was a scary experience for them. 

I totally get that people are over the isolation and the masks, but let's not trivialize the virus and be anti-mask either.

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17 hours ago, BrownBear2012 said:

Plenty of healthy thin people caught COVID…some died from it. COVID didn’t  discriminate who it took down…young, old, fat, thin…didn’t matter. When he talks like this he shows his ignorance on matters of health and science. I’m surprised he got a vaccine since he leans in with the anti vaxxers

I had two cousins die from Covid and they were both thin people.  I know obesity is a problem and a serious health complication, but people like Bill seem to think people deserve to get sick because they are overweight.  He was also very rude to the woman on the panel and I wondered if it was because of her weight. 

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On 6/12/2021 at 12:00 PM, DoctorAtomic said:

I spit out my coffee when Tyson said he was an educator. Nah. Try again. 

To quote Dr. Leonard McCoy, Tyson "talks a lot, but doesn't really say anything." I've learned more science from watching episodes of the Big Bang Theory with Jim Parsons. Tyson is a pop science fraud IMO.

On 6/15/2021 at 3:06 PM, monakane said:

people like Bill seem to think people deserve to get sick because they are overweight.  He was also very rude to the woman on the panel and I wondered if it was because of her weight. 

He wanted so badly to play the "fatty card" once again and somehow managed to hold back. Bitecofer kind of beat him to the punch by citing her 40 pound weight loss.

Edited by Winston Wolfe
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This is it for me after being a fan way back into the '90s. Bill can make the whole show a monologue if he doesn't want to let anyone else talk. My husband will have to watch without me if he wants to keep taping this dreck.

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8 hours ago, monakane said:

I had two cousins die from Covid and they were both thin people.  I know obesity is a problem and a serious health complication, but people like Bill seem to think people deserve to get sick because they are overweight.  He was also very rude to the woman on the panel and I wondered if it was because of her weight. 

He does seem to enjoy fat shaming people. What a bully. How would he like it if people made fun of his hideous face and nose? He acts like he's the most attractive guy on TV...has he looked in the mirror lately?

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10 hours ago, BrownBear2012 said:

He does seem to enjoy fat shaming people. What a bully. How would he like it if people made fun of his hideous face and nose? He acts like he's the most attractive guy on TV...has he looked in the mirror lately?

I often wonder what would he do if he was told not to smoke pot because it endangered his life.  I haven't watched in many months and turned in this week because the panel seemed interesting.  I think I'm done for good with this show.  Bill sits there with his smug, miserable face and is no fun at all.

Edited by monakane
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3 hours ago, monakane said:

I often wonder what would he do if he was told not to smoke pot because it endangered his life.  I haven't watched in many months and turned in this week because the panel seemed interesting.  I think I'm done for good with this show.  Bill sits there with his smug, miserable face and is no fun at all.

He vapes pot which is extremely bad for the lungs...it creates "popcorn" lungs which can lead to very serious respiratory issues. I quit watching almost two years ago...never missed it but enjoy going on this site to see the commentary on his weekly repetitive rants.

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On 6/12/2021 at 3:17 PM, ahpny said:

I don't have any good answers either, but I think Bill is correct that the real problem isn't really Trump, but the nearly half of the country who voted for him, and how to preserve a functional and unified democratic country with them still in it.

I took a different meaning to what Bill was saying. I thought his meaning was you cannot judge the people who voted for Trump and put them all in a basket of deplorables. Maybe they were voting against the Democrats more than for Trump. Maybe they found the behavior of the Democrats over the past four years sickening.  I think Bill meant that there are many reasons why someone might vote for someone and when it’s half the country, we’ll, it’s half the country.

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Well it’s not half the country, it’s half the voters, and Bill is concerned that the number of voters is being forcibly reduced by a party that knows it can no longer win more than half the voters.

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12 hours ago, Hanahope said:

Well it’s not half the country, it’s half the voters, and Bill is concerned that the number of voters is being forcibly reduced by a party that knows it can no longer win more than half the voters.

Is it even half the voters? I thought Dems regularly get more individual votes and just get less representation out of it. And will be getting even less thanks to these new voting shenanigans, while still being told it's they simply don't represent the real country (because their votes are by definition illegitimate).

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