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Bill Maher Rounds Up the Usual Suspects in ‘Real Time’ Focus on Phones and Woke

It’s no secret Real time host Bill Maher enjoys a whiff every now and then. He was featured on the cover of LA Magazine’s recent issue 420 and frequently discusses his habit on the show.

But this soft side of him hides the pit bull who has his favorite targets and subjects to attack. This week’s show was a cornucopia of its usual suspects, including kids with phones, the woke agenda and reasons why Joe Biden is floundering.

This week’s panel included CNN host Fareed Zakaria Fareed Zakaria GPS and author of The Age of Revolutions: Progress and Backlash from 1600 to the Presentand Dr. Mark T. Esper, former U.S. Secretary of Defense under President Trump and author of the memoir A Sacred Oath: Memoirs of a Secretary of Defense in Extraordinary Times.

They used NBC’s firing of former Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel as a jumping-off point to discuss the country’s alienation and its role in political division.

Zakaria questioned how much McDaniel should be punished for her previous election denials, views she has since retracted. “Stacey Abrams was an election denier regarding her own election,” he pointed out, and said you can’t “de-platform 85 million Americans.”

Esper agreed and expressed surprise that NBC’s on-air staff seemed to be leading the charge against McDaniel, and wondered aloud who was in charge, the on-air hosts or the company executives ?

The conversation then turned to liberalism. Old-school classical liberals are being stifled by the woke agenda, Maher posited.

Zakaria agreed. “When liberals go overboard with this puritanical zeal, it produces a backlash. You can see it in the French Revolution. The woke wave extends beyond politics and extends to movies, which concern themselves with “how many people of color are there in all of this?” “Can’t we just make a great Hamlet? Liberalism in the classical sense “is about looking at people as individuals,” he said.

The impact of revival on the military was raised by Maher, who asked Esper if its overuse in the armed forces threatened our readiness.

“It’s not as bad as the right would say, but it’s worse than the left would like to acknowledge,” Esper said. The emphasis on this wastes time from more important functions, Esper said, and undermines morale by subdividing units.

All agree that Biden has allowed wokism to flourish because he does not want to fight with that wing of his party.

Maher held Esper to the fire by asking him about a potential second Trump term.

Esper admitted it would be difficult if Trump returned, saying loyalty would be prioritized over competence. When asked who he would support, Esper said that “every day Trump does something crazy, the door to (vote for) Biden opens a little bit more.”

Zakaria suggested a campaign ad for Biden in which former Trump administration staffers explained why they believed he posed a danger to democracy. “Maybe they know something.”

Earlier, Maher interviewed Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at the NYU Stern School of Business and author of The Anxious Generation: How the Great Remake of Childhood is Driving an Epidemic of Mental Illness

Haidt theorizes that something happened between 2010 and 2015 that changed childhood, and he points to the rise of smartphones and broadband connections.

“The metal health of people born after 1996 has collapsed,” Haidt said. “We missed the change.”

The decline of parental authority has been partly blamed. As discipline and structure diminished, it had a detrimental effect on children’s mental health, as there was no longer any balance to the drumbeat of social media.

Haidt proposed a four-part plan that includes banning smartphones before high school, banning social media before age 16, banning phones in schools and emphasizing independence and free play in the real world.

In his New Rules op-ed, Maher denounced the usual political question of whether we were better off four years ago, since that marked the start of the pandemic. He pointed out that many bad ideas have been put forward to avoid the virus and that theories about the origins of the pandemic have been suppressed, with the latter now proving less crazy than initially thought. He suggested this is why we haven’t had a Covid commission to study what went well and what didn’t before the next pandemic.

See the video above for the full preview.

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