In his closing monologue Friday night, Maher took aim at the media’s “panic porn” during the pandemic, citing a Dartmouth study showing that “nearly 90 percent” of U.S. national media coverage was negative in comparison to other countries even as conditions were getting better.
Maher also called out politicians who “lie” to “save their own asses.”
“When all of our sources for medical information have an agenda to spin us, yeah, you wind up with a badly misinformed population, including on the left,” Maher told viewers. “Liberals often mock the Republican misinformation bubble … but what about liberals? You know, the high-information, by-the-science people?”
“Liberals often mock the Republican misinformation bubble … but what about liberals? You know, the high-information, behind-the-science people?”
— Bill Maher
Maher then pointed to a Gallup survey that showed the vast majority of Democrats incorrectly overestimate the probability of being hospitalized from COVID, with 41 percent believing it’s at least 50 percent while only 10 percent of Democrats correctly said that the probability is only 1-to-5 percent while 26 percent of Republicans said the same, stressing that Democrats were “wildly off on this key question.”
“[Democrats] also have a greatly exaggerated view of the danger of COVID to and the mortality rate among children, all of which explains why today the states with the highest share of schools that are still closed are all blue states,” Maher lamented. “So if the right-wing media bubble has to own things like climate change denial, shouldn’t liberal media have to answer for ‘How did your audience wind up believing such bunch of crap about COVID?'”
The HBO star blasted The Atlantic magazine for shaming the media’s use of beach photos as a concern of furthering the spread of the virus “even though it’s increasingly looking like the beach is the best place to avoid it.”
“Sunshine is the best disinfectant and Vitamin D is the key to a robust immune system,” Maher exclaimed. “Texas lifted its COVID restrictions recently and their infection rates went down in part because of people getting outside to let the sun and wind do their thing. But to many liberals, ‘That can’t be right because Texas and beach-loving Florida have Republican governors,’ but life is complicated!”
“Texas lifted its COVID restrictions recently and their infection rates went down in part because of people getting outside to let the sun and wind do their thing.”
— Bill Maher
People gather for spring break on the beach in Port Aransas, Texas on, Friday, March 12, 2021.
Maher then praised Republican Florida Gov. ron-desantis”>Ron DeSantis<. “Those are just facts, I know it’s irresponsible of me to say them.”
Florida Gov. DeSantis “protected his most vulnerable population, the elderly, way better than did the governor of New York.”
— Bill Maher
“Look, here’s what I’m saying: I don’t want politics mixed in with my medical decisions! And now that everything is politics, that’s all we do! If their side says ‘COVID is nothing,’ our side has to say it’s everything. Trump said it would ‘go away like a miracle,’ and we said it was World War Z,” Maher complained. “And now, of course, we find out that all that paranoia bout surfaces was bulls— anyway… If you lie to people, even for a very good cause, you lose their trust.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, left, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (Reuters/Associated Press)
“I think a lot of people died because of Trump’s incompetence and I think a lot of people died because talking about obesity became a third rail in America… it is the key piece of the puzzle, by far the most pertinent factor, but you dare not speak its name.
“Imagine how many lives could have been saved if there had been a national campaign ala Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ program with the urgency of the pandemic behind it,” Maher continued. “If the media and the doctors made the point to keep saying, ‘But there’s something you can do,’ but we’ll never know because they never did because the last thing you want to do is say something insensitive. We would literally rather die. Instead, we were told to lock down. Unfortunately, the killer was already inside the house. And her name is Little Debbie.”