Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith and media:

Respectful conversation is still possible. Bill Maher and Megyn Kelly have both said things I vehemently disagree with but the thing I like about both of them is that they think for themselves and are willing to engage those with different views. We need much more of that in the media.  This recent chat on Maher’s always-interesting HBO show Real Time demonstrates what I mean. The transcript below joins at the 4:11 mark.

Megyn Kelly: The media is completely biased.

Bill Maher: Biased politically?

MG: 100 percent. Yes.

Bill Maher: You worked for Fox News. I think there’s another side to the story.

MG: Of course, Bill. But Fox News was born – and did so well – because it was the only voice offering the other side of the coin. The rest of the media was biased toward the left.

BM: You know what the media is biased toward? Money. It’s biased toward money and conflict because that’s what sells. I was watching the Virginia rally this week. There was a gun rally. It was peaceful – and you could see how disappointed the media was that the Civil War didn’t break out.

MG: Of course.

BM: That’s what I think the media bias is – more than politics.

MG: I think there was a liberal slant in the media even before Trump got in there. Take CNN. He came in there and said “CNN is completely biased to the left. They’re lefties. They’re completely against me.” My take on it in the beginning (was that) he was wrong. CNN wasn’t that way. I used to watch CNN all the time when I was at Fox. When I was getting ready to The Kelly File, I’d have on CNN and I’d watch a lot of their shows and I like a lot of the anchors over there. But, my view is, CNN became the thing Trump said they were and they weren’t – (but) now they are. Now, they’re indistinguishable from MSNBC.

BM: But, you have to admit, it’s very hard to cover a guy like Trump who does awful things.

MG: Yeah.

BM: Oh, you do agree.

MG: I agree. Yes, of course.

BM: Well, then you’re gonna look left wing.

MG: I totally disagree with you. When I was on doing The Kelly File – prime time, 9:00 PM on Fox News – he was attacking me for nine months straight.

BM: I remember.

MG: It took everything in me to go out on the set night after night and not make it personal – and not have a vendetta against him and not be overly harsh on him because of what he was doing to me and my family. But I did it. It’s doable. You just have to remember it’s not about you. It’s about the audience and the truth.

BM: I keep saying all year long “You can hate Trump. You can’t hate the people who like him.”

MG: I heard you say that.

BM: We can disagree and still be friends. We have a lot in common. We were both s–t-canned by major broadcast networks. I was s–t-canned by ABC. You were s–t-canned by NBC. It’s not the worst thing in the world that happens to you. And, I tell you, when that happened to you I was angry – for you, honestly – because (of) this Cancel Culture. It’s so funny. When they do polls they find like eighty to ninety percent of the people in this country hate this s–t. Even liberals hate this s–t. This is one reason why Trump got elected – because people hate political correctness so much that they’ll even take it in the mouth of a werewolf like that when he’s not politically correct.

MG: Because he’s a fighter and they see (that) this is the package that comes in.

BM: Right – but when individual instances come up everybody is so afraid to stand up. I mean you even apologized for something that I didn’t think was that awful. Why can’t you just say “Okay, I was a little inartful about how I expressed that. My bad! I’m sorry. (Let’s) move on with our lives” instead of “No. You have to go away for all time.” Who are these perfect people who have never made any mistakes.

MG: My own take on it is (that) the country’s going through something right now. Marginalized groups are rising up and trying to find positions at the table – equal positions – and that’s a good thing. The difference is in approach. How do we do it? And I understand this fight because, as a woman…I have also felt marginalized at times and like I don’t have an equal footing. But the question is “Do we do it with grace and humanity and understanding that people make mistakes and that we’re all imperfect and we’re gonna screw-up – maybe more than once.

BM: And charity.

MG: Right. And kindness. And an understanding that we’re all only here for a limited time and we can’t expect a perfect score of any person.

BM: What’s galling is that the people who hate bullying are always bullying – like if you even talk about this it’ll only make it worse. That’s bullying. People who love diversity – expect of opinion. There’s only one true opinion.

MG: That’s what the right half of the country is worried about. They wonder where the ideological diversity.

BM: Well, they do it too.

MG: Of course.

BM: And they’re f–en snowflakes too.

MG: They do it but the “Woke People” are like not even left – they’re like far-left. I don’t know what they are. They’re like fringy.

BM: Exactly. They’re not left. They’re gross because all they care about is getting a scalp on the wall. They don’t care if you’re really a racist – which you’re not. They don’t care about a million things. That’s what they care about. And they always want to find the worst version of what any person is. “I just want to believe the worst possible interpretation about this.”

MG: Well, that’s like what President Obama was saying. That’s not activism – when you sit with your thumbs on your phone and pretend that you’ve never committed a sin and never will commit a sin. Right? Like “I’ll just sit in judgment of everyone.”

BM: Right.

MG: One of the great things about this country is the younger generations have typically helped the older generations understand new ways of looking at things. That’s how we’ve evolved. Take gay marriage. That’s one thing – like “Hey, maybe the way you were looking at this wasn’t so cool. Maybe there’s another way we could live and recognize each other’s love.” They never just cancelled the generation that came before them because they didn’t immediately agree or start talking about the issues in the way they wanted. If that were the case, we wouldn’t have had an Obama second term.

BM: Obama wasn’t for gay marriage in his first term. Right, yeah.

MG: Right. And so I feel like somehow we have to get back to talking to each other so there’s buy-in so people feel heard and we allow for disagreement (that is) respectful (and with) kindness.

BM: I don’t have time to get to Trump. I think we would disagree about that a little – and that would be okay.

IMHO: Amen.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11




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