“You have had quite a year,” Maher beamed. “You got the Pulitzer Prize. Are you 30 yet?”
“I am 30,” Farrow smiled.
“Just 30,” Maher said, wistfully.
“That’s old in TV years,” Farrow remarked.
“Oh, f*ck you,” Maher remarked right back.
Audience gasped and laughed.
That off his chest, Maher complimented Farrow for his book, which is about foreign policy, and which, he said, “has been really well received by very serious people.”
“I notice the president spoke to Congress and really echoed alot of the thoughts in your book,” Maher added. “Unfortunately, it was the president of France.”
The late-night host wondered what Farrow thought of all that hand-holding, hugging, and de-dandruffing that went on between Emmanuel Macron and President Donald Trump last week at the White House
“This is not diplomacy,” pronounced Farrow, stating the obvious.
What is diplomacy, Farrow suggested, is Macron getting up before Congress and talking about Voltaire and Benjamin Franklin in the 1700’s, and everyone in Congress responding “please, more of this.”
“Trump thinks Voltaire is a Harry Potter character,” Maher chimed in, then noted Trump is now hosting Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, who recently said the world can’t depend on United States to be the leader any more.
People trust the U.S. less than Germany these days, Farrow chimed in, citing some Pew survey. Maher wondered why it can’t be Germany’s turn, asking “We’re not still holding the German’s responsible for you-know-what, are we?”
“I’m not going to touch the Holocaust stuff tonight,” Farrow responded. Maher, however, was, adding, “I’m just saying it was a very long time ago. How long do Germans have to say we’re not those people any more?”
The problem is not that Germany is taking the place of the United States. It’s that China is, Farrow insisted. China is spending more and more on diplomats in “places like Sudan,” where they once were a “rapacious interloper, didn’t give a crap about human rights, stole all the oil and got the hell out of there. Now they’ve got a regional envoy doing shuttle diplomacy trying to get political settlements in these difficult spots.”
Maher wondered why we still have 40K troops in places we fought World War II, complaining, “Americans never stop voting more money for the military. We put them on a pedestal.”
Pivoting, Maher noted Farrow’s reporting on Harvey Weinstein was to have appeared on NBC News but “wound up” at New Yorker magazine. Meanwhile, NBC News these days is dealing with its own sexual harassment complaints, against Matt Lauer, and now Tom Brokaw.
“What’s in the water over there?” Maher asked, of NBC. It was a rhetorical question, but Farrow would not have answered anyway, having to date said he wasn’t ready to talk about what happened at NBC, as regards his exit with his Weinstein reporting.
Maher called it “very fitting” Farrow is on his HBO show the day after Bill Cosby was found guilty of drugging and assaulting one woman, though other accusers spoke at his new trial ,and there’s loads more where they came from.
“They were the big fish, the really bad people,” Maher said of the men just named. But, he wondered if #MeToo was going too far and “causing a backlash that’s hurting it,” naming former Sen. Al Franken, Aziz Ansari, and Garrison Keillor.
Of Keillor, Maher said he read that he had a reputation for bullying in the workplace, and, the article continued, “On one occasion –” and I thought, ‘Oh, here it comes: the penis came out at the Christmas party!”
“Everyone had this pent-up desire to show their penis that we just didn’t talk about for years and years,” Farrow joked.
“Not everyone,” Maher joked back, winning that round.
Getting back on topic, Maher wondered if “we’ve gone too far here.”
No, Farrow said in so many words, insisting the culture has been pretty good at “self regulating.” He insisted nobody mistook Ansari for Weinstein.
“But he’s not around any more,” Maher said of Ansari.
Farrow, undeterred, insisted this conversation has been under wraps for decades, which was an understatement by a few hundred years. It has created “so much pent-up anger and heartbreak and lack of accountability, that I do think it’s understandable it’s coming out in torrents right now,” he added, correctly.
The final word on the subject having gone to Farrow, Maher seemed to decide to wrap things up with a win, telling Farrow he is doing “amazing work,” and “obviously” has his mother’s “incredible passion – and your father’s steely ambition, whoever that may be!”
Farrow laughed awkwardly as the audience gasped, then laughed.