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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Rule for Bill Maher

Bill Maher should stop inviting Ashton Kutcher as a guest on his discussion panel for Real Time. He gobbles data and anecdotes and opinions, possibly from newspapers or podcasts or may be they're even his own and then regurgitates them. He stacks his words as if to ensure he doesn't miss any that he had studied for the show. That's not how a discussion evolves. You contribute, contradict or complement a point made by the previous speaker in an interesting, insightful or a funny remark. But he often digresses and tries hard to impress. To go on driving in your own track is not fun to follow. You can say a mundane truism, if that's all you have to offer. You can say "I didn't know that". The pressure to impress and get the audience to applaud when on TV is understandable. But when flanked by smart people, not diluting the standard is important.
I sometimes wonder what I'd be saying if were a part of a discussion that I'm watching or listening to. Some podcasts are by stalwarts - they're razor sharp in their observations. I'd just sit on the sidelines and listen, and if allowed I'd ask them to elaborate on a few points they've made.

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