UPDATE with video Playing someone’s advocate, Real Time’s Bill Maher wondered aloud tonight whether President Donald Trump’s nuke-threatening bluster against North Korea’s Kim Jong-un might, well, work.
“If by working,” answered CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, “you mean North Korea de-nuclearizing, I would give him the Nobel Prize. But I think that is highly, highly, highly unlikely.”
The HBO host didn’t press his original point.
“He’s incentivizing their hawkishness,” said presidential historian Jon Meacham, sharing the Real Time With Bill Maher roundtable with Zakaria and suggesting North Korea has an “elemental primal drive” to have the “same amount of respect on the world stage” as the world’s nine nuclear states. Trump’s threats only reinforce the regime’s desire for nukes, Meacham said.
Zakaria suggested even discussing Trump’s motivations on cable TV could be dangerous, given the president might be watching and thinking “I’m going to show Bill Maher and Fareed Zakaria – I’m going to go to war.”
Quipped Meacham, “We could say the PGA Tournament is on the Golf Channel, and it’s really good, sir!”
Maher later took the Republican Party to task – in his New Rules segment (watch it above) – for becoming the Troll Party. Rather than a party of opposition, he insisted, “They’ve the Democrats’ crazy ex-girlfriend.”
The Big Bang Theory‘s Jim Parsons was Real Time‘s mid-show guest, promoting his Discovery Channel doc series First in Human about the National Institute of Health’s research hospital called Building 10. Parsons, who produces and narrates the series, praised the bravery of patients suffering from incurable illnesses who volunteer for research studies.
Well, said Maher, “they have incurable diseases. That’s not that brave.”
Parsons, executing beautifully timed comic deflation, sighed, “Okay, okay,” before adding, “I don’t like being here, I’ve decided. I’m not watching anymore. Off the DVR.”