Monday, August 24, 2009

Sam Harris on Bill Maher's Real Time

The noteworthy thing about Bill Maher's recent interview of Sam Harris (below) is not so much what Harris has to say but the audience's reaction to it. I hope my six readers, especially the ones from non-USA nation-states, will appreciate that Bill Maher's live audiences are as left-liberal as any studio audience one can find in American television broadcasting; they typically hoot for any liberal-leftish debating point to such an extent that Maher expends lots of time shushing them.*

Not so much with Sam Harris. Several of his applause lines fall rather conspicuously flat in consideration of the ideological orientation of the audience -- even here at the left-liberal extreme of politics as it plays out on television in the USA, vocal expressions of disbelief are not popular.

I don't mean to say Maher's audience heckles, boos, and chucks rotten fruit at Harris, but by the standards of audience reaction on this particular program, this is a tepid reaction:



(via Sam Harris)

* If I had my druthers about it, Maher would either stop shushing his audiences, take the necessary steps to assemble a more ideologically balanced audience, or not have an audience. I don't see the rationale for inviting a live audience to your panel discussion program only to insist they not react to the discussions they witness. Maher has chosen to borrow the NFL's idea of getting outraged when fans give a shit, and I wish he'd return that rotten idea.

1 comment:

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