OPINION

Tim Graham

Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and host of the NewsBusters Podcast. His career at the MRC began in February 1989 as associate editor of MediaWatch, the monthly newsletter of the MRC before the Internet era.

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On Friday night’s Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, the host complained about how the Democrats from Merrick Garland on down “blew it at every turn” on creating legal problems for Trump, so now before the election, “it’s Stormy or bust.” Even there, Maher argued porn star Stormy Daniels is a “bad witness” because she has changed her story in front of this jury, from empowered porn actress to victim.

Maher said: “Let me show you a little video. This is when I had Stormy on in 2018 and first I asked her about why she had sex with Trump. Listen to that, and then listen to what she says after that and we’re going to talk about the trial because it’s quite at variance with what she said to me in 2018.”

First, she said “I have no idea” why she allegedly had sex with Trump. Maher said “you said this is not a #MeToo case,” and she agreed: “I wasn’t attacked or raped or coerced of blackmailed… they tried to shove me in the #MeToo box to further their own agenda. First of all, I didn’t want any part of that because it’s not the truth and I’m not a victim in that regard.”

Maher said “That’s not what she’s saying now. She’s talking about he was bigger and blocking the way. It’s all the #MeToo buzzwords. She said there was a power, an imbalance of power for sure. My hands were shaking so hard. Said she blacked out. Blacked out? She’s a porn star!”

New York Times columnist Frank Bruni tried to joke he might black out with Trump, too. Maher crudely said she has sex with strangers routinely.

New York Post columnist Douglas Murray agreed with Maher: “Everyone who is hanging on the hope of Stormy Daniels being the way to get Trump in prison is going to have another disappointment coming.”

Later, Maher applauded New York Times executive editor Joe Kahn’s comments about not being Pravda for Team Biden. Bruni agreed that reporters shouldn’t “sugar coat” Biden’s flaws or just feed voters “baby bird style.” But Murray said everyone can see through the media, that in 2020 they suppressed the Hunter Biden laptop story “because they wanted to get their guy in.” 

In the end, Bruni came around to the real Times viewpoint, you can’t fail to present Trump as a threat to democracy: 

But here’s a thing we can’t do. We need to be honest about them both, we do not ignore and sugarcoat Biden’s shortcomings. But we also can’t do this ‘Here’s one bad story about Trump, here’s one bad story about Biden.’ We can’t enforce this mathematical equivalence, right?  You’ve got one candidate who has delusions or aspirations to a quasi-fascist state. You have another who is going to mix up the names of world leaders and need a midday nap. It’s not eenie-meanie-miney-mo.

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