The arrogance of Bill Maher, as well as his ability to revise history, knows no bounds.
On MSNBC's "The Last Word" Tuesday, the "Real Time" host told Lawrence O'Donnell the reason he invited conservatives like Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, and Grover Norquist on his hit show "Politically Incorrect" years ago was to act as his "foils" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
BILL MAHER: Yes, well yes, I will take credit for, or blame really, for Grover Norquist. He was one of the many conservatives – Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, lots of people who we introduced to the American public back in the ’90s on “Politically Incorrect” when we needed foils for me. And I guess, I guess they’re getting the last laugh since they’re actually controlling America now.
For those not completely familiar with the term, in literature a foil is the typically bumbling and often less attractive sidekick of the story's protagonist designed to contrast and bring out his positive attributes while making him more understandable and appealing to the reader.
Classic examples are Sancho Panza to Don Quixote and Dr. Watson to Sherlock Holmes.
In modern day political parlance, though, it is typically defamatory; that's why O'Donnell was laughing.
For Maher to consider any of these three his intellectual inferior is, although not surprising given his super-sized ego, the height of arrogance.
Although I have no recollection of Ingraham ever being on Maher's HBO program, I quite imagine he'd be no match for her either.
As for "Politically Incorrect," Maher is once again demonstrating his now world-renowned historical revisionism.
For those unfamiliar with the show, particularly when it was on "Comedy Central," Maher's political leaning was completely unknown.
He was almost the perfectly neutral, equal opportunity offending host that would spar with guests on both sides of the aisle while joking with them.
Neither political Party or ideology was favored or debased more than the other, and the idea that conservatives were brought on as his foils - implying that he at the time was a liberal needing inferior right-wing sidekicks to either build him up or be the butt of his jokes - is total nonsense.
Maybe this is somehow necessary for Maher to be happy with his transformation to far-left ideologue, for the host people see on HBO most Fridays bears almost no resemblance to the charming, witty, centrist comedian that used to have one of the most popular political talk shows in the nation.
Now he's just another liberal shill getting paid a lot of money to bash Republicans while praising the current White House resident.
When you think about it, Maher has become his own foil.