Overtime: Nick Gillespie on HBO's Real Time w Bill Maher


I was on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher last night, discussing a wide range of topics (the "fast and furious" gunwalking scandal, Obamacare, immigration, genetically modified food, fracking, the drug war, and more). Among the other panelists were MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, actor Mark Ruffalo, and media magnate Mort Zuckerman.

The episode will be rerun on HBO over the weekend and here's the online-only "Overtime" segment, where we talk about latinos vs. Asians and a bunch more:

NEXT: Wheat, Weed and Obamacare: How the Commerce Clause Made Congress All-Powerful

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  1. Gotta love when everyone looks to Zuckerman as an expert on Canadian healthcare and he offers an "informed" opinion on the quality of it... then shortly afterwards shares with us that he hasn't actually lived in Canada in a dog's age.

  2. What was the best segment of the show last night? When I catch a rerun, I want to be able to go straight to this, instead of wading through the dopey shit Mark Ruffalo had to say to Nick.

    1. Start after the Kirk Douglas interview, once they introduce the panel. Stop once he starts his "humor" segment at the end.

    2. Dopey was the first adjective that came to my mind, too. Quick, call up Webster's and have them put a portrait of Ruffalo next to that definition!

    3. Watch the back and forth between Ruffalo and Gillepsie on fraking. Ruffalo was near tears, I think.

      SPOILER ALERT: Gillespie hit Maher and Ruffalo on the fact that the two anti-corporatists work for huge corporations.

      Also, Maddow actually said, "My job is to cover these things, not to tell you how I feel about them." Classic. (She said it to avoid admitting that she's a fan of RomneyCare.)

      1. Yep, and then as I recall Maher basically said "yeah, but they're not THOSE kinds of corporations..."

        The other thing that I noticed during the Ruffalo/Gillespie fracking exchange? Mark's confrontational mannerisms... the subset of people that completely lose their minds any time someone points a finger at them during a discussion must just totally avoid the man.

  3. My face when this whole episode.

  4. Nick came across as the most right wing pompous a-hole since Grover Norquist was on.
    An "independent"?
    Who are you kidding. You are a Republican hack of the highest order and not even clever about it.
    And seriously, lose the black leather jacket, I guess someone suggested it made you "cool".
    You are to the right of Limbaugh pretending to be a "libertarian.

    1. Had trouble condensing this to 140 characters, did you?

      1. He forgot the !!!KOCHTOPUS!!!

        1. Hey, cunt... go back to DU or PigFuckerPond or whatever liberal shit-pit you reside in most of the time.

    2. Thanks for the left wing loonie input.

    3. Needs moar "Fonzie with AIDS," DAN.

      1. Also teabagger, can't forget the teabagger.

        1. And "ratfucker".

    4. Have you ever met a libertarian with fashion sense?

      1. Yes, Nick. You should definitely start dresing more like Maddow.

        1. Tony's mangina must be hurting more than usual today.

    5. Rachel Maddow, however, is completely non-partisan and is in no way a Democratic shill.

    6. You are a Republican hack of the highest order and not even clever about it.

      A Republican hack who says in the above clip that wants to cut the military budget in half then start cutting it more...

      Your claims; they do not stand up to facts.

    7. On matters economic, libertarians **are** to the right of Norquist and Limbaugh.

      1. Nah.

        We just don't make the nonsensical argument that social and economic liberties are different.

    8. You are a Republican hack of the highest order and not even clever about it.

      Well, you, if anyone, should know about a lack of cleverness.

  5. Four simultaneous guests seems like too many. Part of the enjoyment of these shows is when people feel forced to share more of their opinion than they're comfortable with sharing. Especially when you have an active host, two or three guests would have been better.

    Also, it's a little sexist to have no women on the panel, though Chris Hayes' voice is fairly high.

    1. Damn, you should have separated this into two comments so we could appropriately appreciated both of your wonderful points.

      1. In fairness, the Hayes/Maddow schtick is from David Angelo's twitter feed.

  6. I don't know if I could watch an hour of Ruffalo. But, correct me if I'm wrong, did Nick nearly have a Hitchens moment as he waited for the crowd to die down after Ruffalo shoehorned a few bumper stickers into the health care conversation?

    1. I haven't caught the show in a year or so, but fuck, does the audience still do that?

      I remember Maher himself at one point had to chastise the audience.

      1. Yeah, but wasn't that only after Hitchens pointed out in a previous show that his audience had no independent point of view, and only laugh at jokes because they believed it made them look smart, when in fact it made them look like dipshits.

        1. Yeah, we shouldn't take anything away from Hitch. The man had brass balls to call out Maher's audience.

          Here's Hitchens:

          Here's Maher:

          1. Yeah, we shouldn't take anything away from Hitch. The man had brass balls to call out Maher's audience.


            1. I just found out that I've been using the brass balls euphemism incorrectly.

              I think it's not a bad misuse of the term, but some pedantic son of a bitch is going to call me out on it.

              1. It's a simple slang term and not a euphemism as far as I've ever known. Also, you were using it perfectly correctly IMO.

      2. I might consider watching if there was no audience. Otherwise... no.

  7. Maher started doing his Jon Stewart impression at the end by turning it into a comedy show when he was concerned Nick had point about Americans going to the doctor a lot.

    1. Exactly,

      At one point years ago Maher said he was kind of a libertarian. What a joke! Maybe on civil liberties/drugs but that's about it.

      His main tactic is ONLY to make supposedly funny comments during or after someone with a view other than his own speaks. What a f#*$n loser. I've never been able to stand watching Maher.

      1. You know, we can write "fuckin'" here. No need to bastardize a completely fine word.

    2. I was listening to a podcast with comedians Bobby Kelly and Joe DeRosa, and they were talking about Bill Maher. I guess he's pretty well respected by New York comics, since he came up through the stand-up circuit. Jon Stewart kind of came up the same way. It's interesting that they're chosen as talk show hosts, and maybe that dismissive humor is part of it.

      1. Fact. The least funny people in The Aristocrats are:

        Jon Stewart
        Bill Maher
        Writers from The Onion

        1. You left out:

          Kathy Griffin
          Stephen Colbert
          Janeane Garofolo

    3. Exactly!

      Maher wasted so much time there making multiple incredibly similar dumb jokes about Americans "liking" going to the doctor when he knew full well that Nick's point didn't end there. Wonder why he did that?

  8. They should rename the show "Politically Ignorant." Maher just spews one ignorant false statement after another. Two ridiculous assertions stand out -

    1. Obamacare is paid for - he apparently doesn't realize that Obamacare adds huge costs to a federal budget that is already deeply in the red and tries to pay for it with added taxes and a mandate which may not stand or may not yield enough revenue partly due to waivers.

    2. Tort reform would yield only about 1% in savings - He obviously does not understand the added costs from defensive medicine which may be hundreds of billions of dollars every year in unnecessary testing, treatment and documentation.

    And then there's Maddow who pontificates about the wonders of a single-payer program using Canada (while ignoring the problem of long wait times there) and Medicare (while ignoring its unsustainability) as examples.

    1. So how much should we limit people's right to sue in order to save the collective population money?

      1. Tony, who doesn't believe you have a right to refuse to buy health insurance, believes you have a right to bring a lawsuit.

        Weapons grade stupid, no other way to describe it.

      2. according to the single payer crowd $200,000

        Funny how once the government owns it the left jumps at the chance to limit liability.

      3. I'm not in favor of limiting somebody's right to sue but evening the playing field for those who are sued.

        You do believe in fairness, don't you?

        The current system is grossly unfair to those being sued. Once you're sued, you've lost even if you eventuallly "win." You've lost time, usually some money and your peace of mind. You've been injured both financially and psychologically. Under the current system, people are allowed to do this to you with impunity and without restriction or reasonable cause.

        And that's if you're lucky enough to "win." You may lose even if the suit has little or no merit. The standard of proof, "preponderance of the evidence," amounts to a coin flip. Imagine that, a coin flip can determine whether someone deprives of you of your reputation (sometimes even your career) and your hard earned money. And the jury deciding your case typically has no medical expertise and makes a decision on emotional grounds.

        For these reasons, there should be basic tort reform instituting "loser pays" as well as specialized medical courts with expert juries. Awards should also have some rational basis in the type of alleged injury - unlimited awards are tantamount to a civil form of "cruel and unusual punishment."

        The current civil legal system is equivalent to not only giving people the right to own a gun but also the right to fire it freely at anybody and anything without any repercussions.

        1. "For these reasons, there should be basic tort reform instituting... specialized medical courts with expert juries."

          Sort of like a police review board made up of cops and cop sympathizers?

          I get the idea that for some cases to be resolved on a basis other than who is most sympathetic or who has the deepest pockets -- medical and financial ones, in particular -- a level of knowledge that a random group of jurors isn't likely to possess is advantageous. However, unless we're going to pay to train jurors on these issues and turn them into professional medical jurors wouldn't we have to use people who are already in the medical field? If so, I wouldn't be especially confident in their likelihood of going after other medical professionals, no matter how much it could be argued that to do so is actually in their best interest.

          1. You have a valid concern but it would be vastly better than the current essentially random and unjust system where cases are decided by idiots. A rational and just system, not a perfect one, should be the goal. You might feel differently if you were the target of these lawsuits - using my prior analogy, if you were staring down the barrel of the gun.

    2. (while ignoring the problem of long wait times there)

      Not to mention the budget problems in Canada's medical system.

  9. I don't have HBO, so I won't be watching the episode.

    But to those who did: Did Nick bring up the British Medical Professor that says the NHS (universal system) kills 130,000 people a year because they need the beds and caring for them is too expensive? If he didn't, he missed a real chance to watch 4 heads explode in front of him.

    1. He didn't bring that up. But once Ruffalo came on it was definitely 3 on 1, with Zuckerman not really taking a side.

  10. (not a verbatim quote, but pretty close)

    "Its my job to report the news, not to tell you what I think of it" - Rachel Maddow


    1. Maybe she's pulling a Slick Willie Clinton, "depends on what the meaning of 'is' is" moment. Yeah, she said that's what her job is, but she didn't say that she actually did her job.

      I give her a 8.5 for Technical but only a 7.2 for Artistic Impression.

    2. I actually felt sorry for Maddow. I rarely watch her network but I was led to believe she is smarter and quicker on her feet than she showed. Nick had her tongue-tied with the (correct) assertion that her opinion on the Fast and Furious scandal was driven by partisanship. This thing would be 24/7 news if team Red was in office.

      1. Don't be silly. It's just a wingnut conspiracy to convince the public that Obama wants to take away their 2nd amendment rights.

        I'm glad she brought up that angle, because I hadn't heard about it before then.

        1. hahahaha I thought the exact same thing Joe. She insisted that the 2nd Amendment pushback conspiracy was the only thing being talked about with Fast and Furious, and I said, "I haven't heard of that once before watching you tonight."

    3. "Its my job to report the news, not to tell you what I think of it" - Rachel Maddow

      That was the most ridiculous comment of the entire episode.

      1. Actually, she was completely right. She just forgot to add that she doesn't do her job very well.

  11. I guess I hit a nerve here, all you Nick groupies defending this hypocrite. It must be the sideburns.
    Libertarians are just Republicans that like to smoke dope and screw hookers. Pretty much sums up this site and I just looked at it for ten minutes.
    Gillespie was trying so hard to be the smartest guy in the room, I guess being around Maddow brought out the Macho.

    1. Troll harder DAN

    2. Pretty much sums up this site and I just looked at it for ten minutes.

      You know, you're right. Any further exploration of the site is only going to turn up more of the same. I suggest you move along and try to engage a more intelligent group elsewhere, and in the meantime, we'll go back to our echo chamber of pot smoking stories and revelations of whoring.

    3. Why disparage hookers Dan? They work hard for their money unlike many of the deadbeats who just want moar welfare.

      1. Jesus hung around with whores and disparaged government. I'll take his way over bowing and scraping to government masters like DAN advocates any day of the week.

      2. Why disparage hookers Dan?

        His own father repeatedly refused to offer him a family discount.

        1. Dan, are you a liberal or a so-con? It's hard to tell.

    4. "Libertarians are just Republicans that like to smoke dope and screw hookers."

      No, that would be a Democrat, a hypocritical Democrat, like Obama.

      1. If there's any screwing going on between a hooker and Obama, then why does the word "pegging" immediately come to mind?

      2. Actually that's a good description of Maher: A Democrat who likes to do blow and screw hookers.

        But get into mandatory labeling of GM food, or hysteria over fracking, or forcing young people to subsidize older, richer people's healthcare, and he's indistinguishable from Maddow or Ruffalo.

        (Note to those smart enough not to watch: yes those were all topics last night.)

      3. Republicans don't like to smoke dope and screw hookers?

    5. Laces out DAN!!

    6. My dream is an America where the Republican Party platform is so ideologically similar to that of libertarians' that the only difference is the libertarians engage in the legal activities of pot and prostitution. Are you from the future, Dan? And if not, was the ten minute site registration worth it?

    7. There's no way you looked at the site for 10 minutes and thought you could sum up the site without a reference to STEVE SMITH.

    8. "Libertarians are just Republicans that like to smoke dope and screw hookers."

      Not the least bit true. Some of us Libs are Dems who like guns.


  13. So which was better? Nick vs. Maddow, or Matt vs. that union guy on rt?

  14. @Nick .. I emailed you about this ep on your reason address.

    1. Ooooooo, what did you say?

  15. Asking an average Canadian about their health care system is like asking an American about Seal Team 6. Well, you wouldn't necessarily take a bullet for ST6, even if you consider them the epitome of courage, but your typical Canadian would sure as Hell rather die from internal bleeding on the operating table before he admitted there exist a problem with the system.

    1. I moved down here when I was 19. I didn't have much of an idea what the difference was until I had to get an MRI on my foot, and I amazingly found out that down here I could schedule one by the end of the week. Up north it would have taken that long just to get a box of bandaids.

    2. Go rent "The Barbarian Invasions" for a dramatic presentation of what you say.

  16. Nick seemed like an adult speaking to children.

  17. Wow, a lot of "free thinkers" here. The same people who run around the country like moonies following a 76 year old doctor as if he could be president!
    Gillespie came across as every dick you ever knew in school who was always raising his hand asking the teacher for more homework.
    Just a boorish know it all wannabe hipster.

    1. I agree. I much prefer sound bites and empty slogans over in-depth analysis. I also love Maddow and Maher's intense partisanship and hypocrisy over honest criticism and debate.

    2. Why so angry brah?

      1. Because when you don't have any legitimate ideological sensibilities, all you have is anti-other-teamism.

        In his world everything is simple. There are only two ways of viewing our socio-political realities, and only the people he supports are qualified to affect said socio-political realities, and it's those people who should be in charge. If you don't think like he does and let Team BLUE go balls deep in to your ass, you MUST support the other Team, and with the same vigor he supports his, because in his world that's the only other option.

        If you're not Team BLUE, you are necessarily Team RED. Because he's a simpleton.

        1. Indeed. As far as I can see, the liberal standard is that there are two ways to do everything-their way and the wrong way.

          This is why discussions about limiting government always bring about comments about anarchy and Somalia. It's not strawmen. They simply don't understand that there is a 'third' way to do things.

          Government turned to 11 is THE way to do government. Calling for government to turn the dial to even 10.5 truly does equate to calling for no government to some.

          We see the same thing with education. Calling for the end of the US DoEd is tantamount to calling for all education to stop. The ONLY way people can get an education is if the federal government is involved. Discussions like limiting the DoEd's powers, dissolving the DoEd and devolving it's functions to the states, etc. all fall on deaf ears, as those 'ways' aren't separable-they all equal not doing the things the 'right' way.

          Look at any issue being discussed by people on the left and you'll see this binary split.

    3. Looks like Gillipsie hit a nerve with Danny boy here!

      1. When all you can do is feel, hitting a nerve ain't hard.

    4. Gillespie came across as every dick you ever knew in school who was always raising his hand asking the teacher for more homework.

      This comment says much more about you than it does about Nick. And it's not flattering.

    5. Isn't a wannabe hipster the definition of a hipster?

    6. I never voted for him, but I'd take a 76 year old doctor over a 50 year old "community organizer" any day. At least the doctor has to abide by the hippocratic oath.

    7. This website deserves a better class of troll.

      1. This is why I miss MNG. He wasn't cartoonish when he disagreed. At least not more so than anyone else who argues on the internet.

      2. This website deserves a better class of troll.

        Ya gets what ya pay for.

        ... Hobbit

      3. ^ THIS ^ Tony, Orrin, Shrike, this Fetal Alcohol Syndrome victim... it's like having one's ankles relentlessly swarmed by Fraggles.

        1. "This website deserves a better class of troll."

          I'll be more than welcome to play Troll. But I'm going to need to get paid. After all, if you're good at something, why do it for free..

          1. How is your knowledge of the agricultural city state? By "knowledge of", I mean "ability to generate fiction about".

            1. As much as I wanted a word filter on it, I do mind of miss the word 'gambol'

              1. 'kind of miss'

          2. Tell us, which group do libertarians want to murder most?
            a.) Old people
            b.) Children
            c.) Both

          3. A couple of times I've thought that we should take turns trolling. Then we get this shit and I realize that I could never even think enough like that to even Poe.

      4. We scared joe away by being racists.

        And by "being racist" i mean Obama won the election and Joe could no longer hold up against the sheer crushing weight of his being a complete and utter hack for team he called us all racists and left.

  18. Has Matt Welch ever been on Real Time?

    1. Nope. Only Nick and only twice.

  19. Just finished watching this episode on DVR. Jesus what a clusterfuck. My wife and I were proud of Nick for not slapping these poo-butts and walking off set. Fuck Rachel Maddow for asking Nick, "Why are you so angry?" Nick didn't raise his voice, wasn't confrontational, and wasn't even sarcastic. He just tried to steer the Fast-n-Furious story away from partisan politics, and back to the real issues with this news story. These people are completely beyond rational discourse.

    As a side note, this was the first time I've seen the show. Terrible format, bad monologue, weird audience. Does this show always suck this bad? Peeyew!

    1. Yeah, Gillespie has a ton of patience. What's funny is Maddow asked him if he was angry, but she was the one getting all defensive when questioned about her allegiance to Team Blue.

      To answer your question, the show is usually worse. When all the guests are liberals, its just all agreement and calling Republicans racists/idiots (which Maher does non-stop anyways). And yes, the audience cheers for any kind of liberal sentiment.

      1. The audience is just like Jerry Springer's without the two-timing, pregnant trailer trash's boyfriends on stage having to be broken up every 3 minutes.

      2. Like Danny boy the troll here, about all progressives do is call other people names. That's all they've got.

  20. Y'know, DAN... you weren't forced to sign up here, and no one's forcing you to stay.


  21. God DAMN it Nick.
    I just watched (on tivo) that episode (warning it is Sat PM and I am drunk).

    Jesus christ.

    We are letting assholes like Maher and Maddow run the country?

    2 US agents DIED during fast and furious. The arguments are the SAME as the ones the Bush apologists made 4 years ago. God DAMN it man, even Jon Stewart pointed that out!

    I am so pissed off it cannot even be expressed right now. FUCK snark, FUCK ever-so-witty commentary. Why oh why oh why do I watch this shit?

    1. I mean goddammit Nick, you let some dumbass actor get in the way of SCIENCE?
      And Maddow too on GMO? God DAMN it! CITE THE DAMN RESEARCH!

  22. OK man lets hit it dude. Wow.

  23. DAN KARL!!




  24. Nick, You made an idiot of yourself. It's June it's south California you are under TV lights you wore a leather coat? (dumbo!!!). Instead of advocating independent thinking you have nothing to say but abuse for Rahcel. Bad show.

  25. Nick-
    I thought you used considerable restraint and compose especially when MadCow tried to talk over you (and everyone else as she does)and Ruffalo came to a rather animated match of wits, unarmed. Good job.
    The leather jacket is OK with me and inconsequential. It was a talk show ferchristsakes, not a fashion show. Who cares?

  26. Well done Nick -
    It's painfully apparent that even when they stack the panel with nodding dummies, they can't come up with a single, coherent argument w/o relying on half-truths or brainless emotional appeals.

    Ruffalo was painful to watch. Is that the sum of his insight - bumper sticker slogans? Christ.

    Good work in keeping patient and giving smart responses that address the real facts of the problem. Hopefully you're reaching some people out there.

  27. Nick only really lost me on the issue of food labeling (whether or not genetically modified food should be labeled as such). Requiring those disclosures would make the free market more efficient but it would be foolish to think that a corporation would/could/should voluntarily disclose that information on its own (unless all competitors agreed to do the same - simultaneously and uniformly). Corporations should be free to innovate, experiment, and seek profit enhancements wherever they can find it (e.g. "pink slime") and the invisible hand will reward them when they score with consumers. Deliberately withholding information, however, usurps free choice and the invisible hand.

    1. Otherwise, great job. Maddow/Maher/Ruffalo = complete idiots (which is why I cringed over the food issue). No problem with the jacket. It's showbiz after all - makeup and all that - gotta play along.

  28. "...but it would be foolish to think that a corporation would/could/should voluntarily disclose that information on its own (unless all competitors agreed to do the same - simultaneously and uniformly)."

    I think the idea is that the market would reward a corporation that did do this, if that's what consumers wanted. If enough people want labelled products, and buy them based on whether or not they can see what's in them, and other businesses will follow suit in chasing those customers.

    1. ", and other businesses will follow suit in chasing those customers."

      There we go...

      1. I completely appreciate what you're saying and I'm probably being too cynical. I just have a hard time imagining a corporation (today, as I write this) taking the risk of voluntarily disclosing its use of less-than-naturally-produced foods. Despite any proven safety and economic benefits, those foods are generally considered politically incorrect (no pun intended) given the organic fad, the HFCS and trans fat backlash, etc. I think it would be a tough sell to convince my marketing department and board of directors that we should be the first to start labelling our genetically modified products as such. The risk (reputation, profit, stock price) would seem to be greater than any potential upside. I wish it wasn't like that but I'm afraid that's the reality. For better or for worse, there is a lot of shrewd "margin enhancement" going on in the food industry, like any industry, and I think we do have a right to know what's in our food and this is one of the VERY few examples (RARE for me, in fact) where I would support a mandate to force the issue and level the playing field.

        1. BTW the scenario above was meant to be hypothetical. I'm neither a corporate executive nor in the food industry.

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