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S13.E07: Rob Reiner, Aloe Blacc, Bill Nye, Fran Leibowitz, Elahe Izadi

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Bill's anti Islam bs is starting to get to me. I get why the president is trying hard not to tie ISIS to every Muslim in the world. Unfortunately the US needs soft pedal the tie of religion between these thugs and the only ones who can solve this problem which are the surrounding countries in the region which are primarily Muslim. ISIS does take advantage of the poor & undereducated to stay in power, pitting the have nots against the Powers That Be. I know that we prop up a lot of bad regimes, but sometimes it's necessary to keep peace. It's so complicated but Bill just won't get it so he just blames it all on Islam and then fusses because Obama won't say the same thing.

I know that I'm not expressing myself well but I just get a little frustrated with this. I wouldn't give Obama's problems to a monkey on a rock, as David Letterman is fond of saying. He has such a fine line to walk in this regard, not to mention all the other stuff going on besides ISIS.

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Good panel. Rob Reiner tended to dominate the discussions but he was quite succinct about the sectarian war.


I'm not surprised Bill brought up that article in the Atlantic because it supports his position about Islam, but I happened to read that very article myself just a few days ago, and it's very good, very well researched and a real eye opener. For anyone who's interested you can find a link to it on Huffington Post ("What Isis Really Wants").


Unfortunately, it's not really helpful to draw a distinction between radical and moderate Muslims if you're speaking to the religion itself. It's kind of like the difference between fundamentalist and "moderate" Christians. The moderates are just sort of picking and choosing what parts of their holy book they want to follow and ignoring the unpleasant stuff.


Where Bill loses points is saying dumb stuff like the reason these radicals are poor and uneducated is because of their religion. What an idiotic thing to say. I know he was probably referring to the radicals who prevent women from being educated (and I'm being generous in giving him the benefit of the doubt on that), but there are poor and uneducated people in every religion.


I'm glad they brought up the comments made by Guiliani and this "I love America" bullshit. Like anyone who doesn't agree with your political bent hates America. There's a constant war between the left and right over what they want America to actually be, so saying "you don't love America" is really just saying "You don't love my vision for a certain type of society." It's ignorant to think your vision for the ideal America is the universally agreed upon and correct one.

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That discussion reminded me of when Laura Bush said something to Oprah about how much better the 1950's was.  So completely tone deaf and out of touch with reality, especially to say it to an African American woman.  Oprah just said something like, "Well, not for me..."


I really love Fran Leibowitz.  My favorite quote of hers about Bloomberg is, "You don't earn a billionaire dollars, you steal a billionaire dollars."

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I would pay money to sit around Fran's living room, drinking whiskey and hate-watching tv with her.

Did you see when she came out and Bill has his arms opened really wide and she just kinda barely hugged him. I swear it looked like she did an eye roll, although maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part. Lol

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This was the best panel in quite a while. 


I don't live anywhere near NY but it was great to hear the truth about Guiliani.  I've always thought he was such a hypocrite, even when everyone was calling him America's Mayor.

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Let me just dip into the bias pool and answer Fran's question about naming one star who is beautiful AND smart/intelligent:

No lie, I screamed "Daniel Day-Fucking Lewis!!!"



I also enjoyed the panel but wished Fran had been ON the panel instead of the mid-show guest.

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For the most part, I don't give a shit about celebs, but I wouldn't blanket them as all stupid. 


I read the article too, and it's good. Bill misses the point. States can't call it islamic terrorism. That's just realpolitik. It's kind of a strawman argument on his part and he fails to grasp the subtleties of the issue. Force of arms isn't going to win this. Taking away ISIS' self-identifying as 'real muslims' and stuff like that is what world leaders need to do. 


I think Reiner actually pointed out what the real problem is with ISIS. The USA *can't* go and invade the ISIS territory. That's exactly what they want. But the Sunni States won't go in and fight other Sunnis. That's where Bill does have a point. The Saudi government isn't going to behead journalists, but it still endorses honor killings.


Jordan flew a bunch of bombing campaigns because they were outraged. So? Why aren't they cajoling the other states to go in and finish this off. Honestly, it would take a while, but there's no way ISIS can wage a real ground war on like 7 fronts if the states in the region actually waged a legit war. 


Not for nothing, Bill, you have a legit scientist on the panel to address some of the issues that you're always talking about, and you go and crack jokes every 5 seconds while he's actually trying to explain something important. Nye was completely wasted on the panel. 

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Fran Leibowitz kept interrupting Bill Nye along with Bill. I thought she was obnoxious and rude. She was constantly interrupting everyone and didn't seem to allow anyone to finish a thought. 

Edited by canaanite2
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Fwiw, Fran didn't strike me as rude, but I concede she has that New Yorker thing going on that often comes off that way to non NY-ers.


That gift basket thing was odd. $20000 worth of car service sounds like a big deal, but I'm willing to bet that most of it goes unclaimed, what with out-of-towners making up so much of the giftee set. The Nascar side of the bit was super hacky, to boot.


Because I'm an Old, the interview with Aloe Blacc was really interesting to me. I don't use Spotify, so I had no idea how it works. (I am a little familiar with copyright rules, though, and I'm completely on board with the need to update and correct that legislation.) I know there's a musician's union, but it doesn't seem to help with stuff like Blacc was addressing. Maybe expanding on that a possible way forward?

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Fwiw, Fran didn't strike me as rude, but I concede she has that New Yorker thing going on that often comes off that way to non NY-ers.


I from NJ and have a lot of family in NY, so I'm familiar. Constantly interrupting people who clearly are trying to say something that is important to them is rude to everyone from everywhere. 

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Especially, since Nye politely let them interrupt. They weren't interrupting to make a joke and let him make his point. They cracked their jokes and then kept talking about something else and didn't even let him finish. 


I don't watch the show for "news". It's entertainment. As much as the pundits want to pretend they're legit voices of journalism or whatever, they're not. They've got a brand just like Bill does, and that's part of the package. That's fine. I don't even mind when Bill gets fussy with the audience. 


But these last 3 episodes have been borderline deplorable. It's no mystery. There's no entertainment in science. It's ignorance of how science works. What's worse is if Bill watched the actual news that he'd easily get the answers to these questions. Or, have someone on the show that he likes who is also a widely accepted science expert. Like, Bill Nye, for example. Maybe they could have him come on and address this stuff. I'm sure he'd have something to say and they would be interested in hearing what he has to say. 


PBS News has an ongoing series on the streaming music issue that gets into more depth. The streaming services argue that they're giving exposure to bands to reach a wider audience. I don't see how it's much different that listening to songs on the actual radio. People are still buying music and going to shows. I don't listen to enough music to really care. Entertainment has priced me out. I can't afford to go to concerts, movies, buy albums. 

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I did feel bad for Bill Nye.  They didn't let him talk much during the whole show, but at the end Bill specifically asked him a question and then they ignored him.  Definitely rude.  He would have been better as the first interview guest and they could have actually talked about a science subject.  One on one, Bill is pretty good at letting others talk.  I've never liked his format of having that last guest come on, and after they have their love fest about each other, he often ignores part of his original panel. 

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I don't see how it's much different that listening to songs on the actual radio.


It's quite a bit different, money-wise. ASCAP keeps track of radio play, muzak and such; artists/songwriters are compensated according to contract above what they earn with record sales.

Edited by attica
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It would have been interesting if Bill's anti-vac stance was challenged with Nye being there.  The irony of Maher being all gung ho about climate change because all the scientists agree and yet being a skeptic for vaccines was not lost on me.  The whole time Nye was talking about skeptic vs denier was great, but also showed how wrong Maher is on other science-based issues because he uses his feelings and not evidence.

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