GLENN: So don’t think about me when you listen to this audio. Think about what this means to you. Here’s Bill Maher.
MAHER: Listening to people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck these days, I cannot figure out whether these right-wingers are more dangerous when they’re in power or when they’re out of power because when they’re out of power, you know, their paranoia goes off the charts. This Glenn Beck guy, I wouldn’t even give him the time of day except he’s a big star now on Fox and a lot of people believe, and he’s talking about FEMA concentration camps.
GLENN: Okay, I just want you to know this isn’t accurate at all. I did mention the Internet conspiracy theory of FEMA concentration camps, particularly in relation to a segment in which we are going to debunk Internet conspiracy theories. I said on the air the day — I snapped. Did anybody hear it? I snapped: "Can we just set the record straight on this. Stop looking at things that are on the Internet." But Bill Maher, isn’t he also talking about FEMA concentration camps? Maybe he’s just paranoid as well. I’m not really sure. Let’s listen in.
MAHER: He says we are headed toward socialism, totalitarianism beyond your wildest imagination but apparently not beyond his wildest.
GLENN: Okay. Apparently I’m incredibly paranoid about being headed toward socialism. I wish you could see the picture of who was on the panel because on the panel, and I kid you not, is a U.S. Senator who is an avowed socialist. Bernie Sanders from Vermont, a socialist, was sitting there on the panel. You know, I don’t mean socialist like "I think his policies lean social." I mean he’s a card-carrying socialist! And just to show you the solid balance of the panel, you have Bill Maher on the panel, you have Keith Olbermann, you have a guy from the New York Times, somebody described as an actress, an activist sitting next to him, and Bernie Sanders, the avowed socialist. So I believe you could make the argument that the admitted socialist is actually the fifth most liberal on the panel out of five, but I’m not really sure. And saying that I am paranoid for warning that we might go down the road to totalitarianism while sitting with Keith Olbermann is particularly funny and here’s why. Because Keith Olbermann is a guy who didn’t warn that we might be on the road to something. He’s been saying that we were already there for years, and nobody in the media even lifted an eyebrow.
VOICE: If you believe in the seamless mutuality of government and big business, come out and say it. There is a dictionary definition, one word that describes that toxic blend. You’re a fascist. Get them to print you a T-shirt with fascist on it. What else is this but fascism?
GLENN: Okay, is he saying this now? Is he saying this about Barack Obama? He was saying that about George Bush! We are mixing these two together. I was saying it when Bush was doing it, he was saying it when Bush was doing it but he’s stopped saying it now that Bush is gone, except I wasn’t saying that we were fascist. We were headed towards fascism. He’s apparently not worried about that anymore. He’s totally fine with that. And let’s also not forget about this little quip.
VOICE: As recently, though, as 2006 we spoke words like these with trepidation, the idea that even the most cynical and untrustworthy of the politicians in our history, George W. Bush, would use the literal form of terrorism against his own people was dangerous territory. It seemed to tempt fate, to heighten fear. We will not fear any longer. We will not fear the international terrorists. We will thwart them. We will not fear the recognition of the manipulation of our yearning for safety. We will call that what it is: Terrorism.
GLENN: Hang on. I just — Stu, am I clear here? He’s not only called George W. Bush a fascist but a terrorist.
STU: Yeah, same monologue, too, pretty efficient.
GLENN: None, getting her done. The segment from Bill Maher this weekend went on with Andrew Ross Sorkin from the New York Times.
VOICE: Did you see what he said about that? He said, I can’t prove these FEMA concentration camps but let me tell you about them anyway. It’s, you’d think it would be the opposite.
GLENN: That’s not what I said. I never talked about trying to prove them. I talked about an Internet conspiracy theory and then we talked about debunking it, if they could be debunked. Well, we started to debunk them and there’s a lot more to it that we wanted to make sure we pinned down. More to come on that and so much more very, very soon. But as I’ve said a million times before, it’s important to catch these things before they spread like some sort of venereal disease. I said it about the 9/11 Truthers: We didn’t blow up the World Trade Center. I said it about Barack Obama’s birth certificate: Get over the birth certificate thing. But can we get to the New York Times guy again?
VOICE: Did you see what he said about that? He said, I can’t prove these FEMA concentration camps but let me tell you about them anyway.
GLENN: Okay. So he’s saying I’m being hypocritical here, like I said one thing and then disagreed with myself just seconds later. Now let’s advance in the interview here to no more than 30 seconds after he said, "He’s saying one thing and then 30 seconds later saying the exact opposite. What a hypocrite." Here’s Bill Maher.
MAHER: You know, look, I would never be the person who says that you have to watch what you say because — no, really. I’m not for that.
GLENN: He’s not for it, but…
MAHER: You can say this because a borderline person might take it and then do this. I’m sorry, that’s the price of living in a free speech country, and I do want to live in one because I make my living at it. Okay. But, you know, I must say Tim McVeigh in 1995, if you recall, this was the same kind of talking that made him blow up that building.
GLENN: Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. "I would never say you can’t say something because a crazy person might take action, but I’m going to talk about the right-wingers and Timothy McVeigh." You’ve got to be kidding me.
What did you say, Stu?
STU: My favorite word I think maybe in this entire thing is that —
GLENN: This is kind of talk that made him.
STU: Made him blow up that building.
GLENN: Yeah, made him. Then Keith Olbermann goes on to blame a spree shooting on Bernie Goldberg. And again I don’t point this out because Bill Maher is criticizing me because I don’t really care. I’m used to it. But look at what these people are doing to you. Look how they’re positioning all of this. They are waiting, literally waiting. If this guy in Oakland, California somehow or another turns out to be a conservative, this whole news on him is going to change and it will quadruple in coverage. If he is a dirt bag that, you know, is, "Yeah, I’m all for Obama," it’s going to disappear. The truth is he’s probably just a dirt bag that doesn’t have anything to do with politics whatsoever, but I guarantee you anybody who grabs a gun, criminal, insane, whatever and starts shooting people, if they’ve even watched Fox News, look out. They’re just waiting for some nut job, that way they can take what you believe and twist it into, well, see, I mean, look at what these people believe. I mean, they’re doing horrible things with it and they’re going to blame it on those beliefs. They are going to blame it on the people who talk about those beliefs, who listen to those beliefs. That is me and that is you. They have been doing it forever with religion. They have been doing it forever with the Second Amendment. It’s not the gun. It’s the people who use the gun. "No, no, no. No, no, you’ve got to get the gun away. Got to get the guns off the…" but if there’s politics involved, then it is the person using the gun. And now the fact that you think the government is spending too much, taxing too much, gathering too much power, now that’s coming under attack. And as if his Timothy McVeigh reference was obvious enough for you, here’s Bill Maher — I’m telling you, this gave me a sleepless night, blaming me, blaming you for another possible potential, might be, if it happens, maybe crime.
MAHER: Do you remember when Obama said that the people out there who are bitter and cling to their guns? Yeah, he was way off about that. It’s those people who I worry about. I do think that this increases the chance for people, you know, to take horrible action. I mean, you know, already Obama has more threats than any president, ever.
GLENN: Okay. Did anybody say that about Michael Moore and George W. Bush? Did anyone say that about Keith Olbermann and George W. Bush? Did anyone worry about that with George W. Bush? It’s only the right that could possibly do something crazy like that, and you might find this a tad ridiculous coming from a guy who said this on the air.
MAHER: I have zero doubt that if Dick Cheney was not in power, people wouldn’t be dying needlessly tomorrow.
[ APPLAUSE ]
MAHER: If somebody on this panel said they wish that Dick Cheney had been blown up and you didn’t say any —
VOICE: I think he did. Did you say it?
MAHER: No, I quoted that. No, I’m just saying that if he didn’t, other people, more people would live.
GLENN: I’m just saying if he did die, more people would live. Just to be clear what he was saying here, Bill Maher wasn’t saying that a crazy person might internalize an then go try to take out Dick Cheney. He was expressing regret that no one had done it yet. By the way, Barney Frank was on the panel that day cracking jokes. He’s so funny. Of course, this is no worse than the comment that actually got him fired from his last job about the 9/11 hijackers. He said — and surprisingly enough there’s no audio to be found on this: Look what they did. First of all, you have a whole bunch of guys who are willing to give their life. None of them backed out. All of them slammed themselves into pieces of concrete. These are warriors. Maher according to the transcript of the show then responded by saying, "We the United States have been cowards, lobbying cruise missiles from 2000 miles away. That’s cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want but that’s not cowardly." First of all, I’m shocked that I didn’t do well with this panel.
GLENN: But do you think you’re going to do well with people like this, you bitter gun-clingers? This story isn’t about me. This story is, prepare yourself, know what you believe, have your arguments. Know the principles in your life. Know the principles of our founding.
Did you see that Amazon.com, 5,000 Year Leap, still number one? Still number one. It is — there is a movement in America and it has nothing to do with Barack Obama. It has nothing to do with Bill Maher. It has nothing to do with anything other than people say, "I think I better learn our own history. I think I better figure out what’s going on here because I’m being lied to all around." Know what you need to know because you’re going to be a leader. You’re going to be the voice in the wilderness because other voices are going to be taken down one at a time and if you don’t think — I mean, understand this: This is coming from the media. The media is circling right now. They are circling. They don’t know exactly what’s going on. They are so far removed from you, they have no idea what you’re doing, what you’re thinking. They’re up to no good, I’ll tell you that. It’s almost too quiet, they think. They don’t understand, and at the same time they’re confused, they are also in collapse. Nobody believes them anymore. Nobody’s purchasing their stupid newspapers anymore and it’s not because, just because we don’t want to get ink all over our hands. We can get that online. It’s also because we don’t believe what they’re telling us. They have so removed themselves from not only reality but the reality of your life that it doesn’t make any difference to you anymore what they say. They don’t understand you. They’re up to no good, I’ll bet. They have not been just ambivalent. They almost assault you every day. So they’ve got to convince you that somehow or another they’re relevant, they’re doing their job. They’re the fourth branch of government. They’re standing up. Look out because they are going to stand up. Look out. And you’re going to need to know what you know. You are going to need to know what principles and you’re going to need to lead because it could get very quiet on the airwaves.