I really enjoy watching Real Time with Bill Maher, and after what seemed like a long hiatus, he finally returned to HBO last Friday night January 18, 2013.
Maher is a progressive who welcomes guests that represent every hue on the political spectrum. From extremist right-wingers to the exceedingly liberal, he’s hosted them all, and I admire him for that. There are many guests on Real Time with Bill Maher that I would never want to be in the same room with.
On his first show of the 2013 season he welcomed former Senator Bob Kerrey (D-NE), comedian Martin Short, former Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH), and journalists Michelle Caruso-Cabrera and Rula Jebreal.
Until Rula Jebreal came out to plug her book, the show was good, but lacked the usual fireworks. Rula Jebreal was fantastic and her appearance completely changed the tenor of the show, and ratcheted up the energy by 100 degrees.
I don’t know much about Rula Jebreal, though Wikipedia tells me that she’s been a journalist in Italy for years. She’s a Palestinian who was born in Jerusalem, is very intelligent, and extremely sharp witted. She’s apparently working for Newsweek/The Daily Beast as a foreign affairs journalist, and I would think that after her charismatic appearance on Maher’s show, that US network news organizations would be trying to hire her immediately.
After Maher used the “F” word, she said "you can be as vulgar as you want to be," much to the delight of the audience at home and in the studio. When he tried to start a conversation about Manti Te'o and the Notre Dame football scandal, she wondered why they would discuss something so trivial when there are important things happening in the world.
Jebreal provided an update on Israeli and Palestinian politics, and explained the political and economic challenges facing the middle east. She also touched on the fact that in both Israel and in the United States, "right-wingers use fear" campaigns to gain power and push their extremist agendas.
When she spoke about America and said that we’re “the most entertained and the least informed” people in the world, I applauded the television.
I think there should be New Rules for Real Time with Bill Maher.
Rula Jebreal should be on the show every week.
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