In case you missed it (I sure did), Bill Maher tried to let MSNBC down easily…by breaking up on Valentine’s Day:
It’s Valentine’s Day, and I cannot go on any longer living a lie. MSNBC…we need to talk.
Whatever we had is not working any more. You’re obviously interested in another man: Chris Christie. You’re obsessed with him. So I wanted you to hear it from me first. I’m going to start seeing other news organizations.
He’s tired of hearing about this guy Christie all the time. “But now we never talk about any of the things we used to talk about: global warming, gun control, poverty… “, he pouts. I think he’s just missing the good old days when they both joyfully obsessed over Obamacare and Sarah Palin. He minimizes and is dismissive of this new interest: “Look, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little lanes of traffic don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.”
Yes, yes, he did it for dramatic effect. Valentine’s Day, Casablanca reference. Cute. (Side note: breaking up on Valentine’s Day is really not a good idea, Bill. If the two of you had truly been an item, it would have invited some kind of scorned-lover vengeance.)
One could imagine MSNBC’s response: “Go ahead, Bill. Go have your flings, go see other news organizations, see if you can find one that fits your interests. You’ll be sorry someday. You’ll see. Someday, you’ll lean forward again.”
But Bill has had post-breakup remorse. We can’t call it a change of heart, but he has backed away from the idea of breaking up with MSNBC. He still thinks the attention to “Bridgegate” is overblown, though: “But is it really that bad? If it was a Democratic governor not close to New York City, the media capital, would we be covering this?”
Yes, we would. Yes, we should. On this issue Bill Maher just doesn’t get it.
It’s not about three lanes of traffic. Increasingly, it’s not only about Chris Christie. The bigger story that is being painstakingly unearthed in the email data mines (data minefields) is one of deep, ingrained, persistent and systemic corruption. If we fail to shine a light on that, if we fail to address that larger picture in our politics, talking about global warming, gun control, and poverty won’t amount to a hill of beans.