Aired February 26th 1998

Guests on this program were:
Louie Anderson
Larry Klayman
Giselle Fernandez
Steve Lawrence
Bill's Monologue

[ Cheers and Applause ]

Bill: Thank you.
Thank you very much.
Thank you so much.
You're very kind.

[ Applause ]

Well, thank you, folks.
I certainly hope we can keep this good mood, but I have to tell you the agreement with Iraq that we made is apparently not holding water in Congress.
Trent Lott, the majority leader, is against it.
Jesse Helms -- fans?
I think we all are.
But he, you know, he may have a point here.
He said, talking about Saddam Hussein, he said, it is insane to negotiate with a man who is bent on using chemicals to decimate human life.
Then he ran off to vote on tobacco subsidies.
So --

[ Laughter ]

[ Applause ]

Well, speaking of Saddam Hussein, "The New York Times" reported today that the CIA has under way a covert operation to get rid of him, to topple him.
They are trying to destabilize the Hussein regime, listen to this, by sabotaging utilities, hurting the economy, broadcasting propaganda.
And if that doesn't work, what they're going to do is indict everyone who works for him and ask about his sex life.

[ Laughter ]

[ Applause ]

Well, that situation in Washington, we're trying not to beat it to death here.
But it just gets tawdrier every day.
Now they have indicted -- she testified yesterday -- the personnel officer at the White House, Patsy Thomasson is her name.
And she said the reason why Monica Lewinsky was sent over to the Pentagon was because too often she was loitering near the west wing.

[ Laughter ]

In fact, they say it got so bad, they had to put a sign outside the Oval Office -- "Please do not tease the President."

[ Laughter ]

[ Applause ]

Now, the President yesterday was in San Francisco.
Anybody from up north here from San Francisco?
Of course.
He was there to inspect damage from El Nino, which has been very bad up there.
A lot of people up there in San Francisco are without power and water.
In fact, some residents had to use public bathhouses to actually bathe.

[ Light laughter ]

[ Applause ]

Please, please.
Don't applaud when what you really want is an explanation.
Now --

[ Laughter ]

San Francisco, gay, bathhouses, they're in there and -- I'm saying --

[ Laughter and applause ]

There you go.
Thank you very much.
That's all right.
Moving to another city --

[ Laughter ]

-- New York.
Anybody from New York?
Big news.

[ Cheers ]

I thought this was the great story of the day.
Mayor Giuliani of New York is starting a huge campaign against rudeness.

[ Laughter ]

In New York.
I'm not kidding.
He wants them to be more civil.
Among the things in the plan, teaching cab drivers civility.

[ Laughter ]

Sensitivity training for civil employees, and also stiff penalties for anyone found to be concealing a middle finger.

[ Laughter ]

All right.
Thanks for coming.
It's all been satirized for your protection.
Thank you, folks.

[ Applause ]

Panel Discussion

Bill: All righty.
Let's meet our panel.
Last count he's brought 16 major lawsuits against the Clinton administration.
What a credit.
The chairman of Judicial Watch, Larry Klayman.

[ Applause ]

Hey, Larry.

Larry: 17.

Bill: 17.
I'm so sorry.
She is the Emmy-award winning host of "Access Hollywood," Giselle Fernandez.

[ Applause ]

Giselle: Hi, Bill.

Bill: Hello, young lady.
Very nice to meet you.
Thank you.
You can see him in cartoon form in "Life with Louie" and live in person at Bally's in Las Vegas March 5th through March 18th.
Louie Anderson.

[ Cheers and applause ]

How are you, buddy?
Good to see you.
And he's back in "Blues Brothers 2000" and continues to tour to sold-out audiences with the lovely Eydie Gorme.
The lovely Steve Lawrence.

[ Applause ]

Steve, how are you?

Steve: Thank you.

Bill: All right.
Well, there are important things to talk about.
But the first thing I want to get to is something I saw all over the media today, and it made me very angry because if you watched the Grammys last night it was interrupted twice.
Bob Dylan's song was interrupted by a guy -- I don't know what he was on, but I'd like to get some of it.

Giselle: Soy bomb.

Bill: And then there was another guy who rushed up on stage.
He was from the Wu-tang Clan.
I like their record but --

[ Audience member shouts ]

Thank you.

Steve: He's here tonight, too.

Bill: He goes by the name "Old Dirty Bastard."

[ Laughter ]

Louie: Hey, that's my dad.

Steve: Hey, everybody's doing his act.

Bill: Anyway.
He ran up on stage and people today in the media, I heard, many people at the Grammys said, yeah, it's about time somebody rebelled and put some life into the Grammys.
This guy got up there and bitched that he didn't win.
That's not rebellion.

Steve: You're right.
That's not rebelling.

Louie: That's American, though.

Bill: What?

Louie: That's American, though.
I mean, it's an American -- and also, the Grammys were pretty boring, didn't you think?

Bill: Very boring.

Louie: Oh, my God.

Giselle: Oh, I think this was a more exciting year than most.

Louie: Oh, you did?
Oh, sorry.

Giselle: Listen, it wasn't the streaker in the '70s, but I think it was a pretty good show.
I think the only problem with it is it distracted you from watching Bob Dylan who deserved that long-overdue recognition.

Bill: No.
That's a different guy.
This guy ran up when somebody else was about to accept their --

Giselle: Shawn Colvin.

Bill: Shawn Colvin's about to get her award.
She's worked in the business, like, 15, 20 years.
Now she finally gets an award.
And this guy runs up and says, "Hi, you know what?
Puff Daddy didn't deserve it.
I do."
And people applaud this as rebellion?
This is narcissism.

Steve: I didn't see the whole show.
I came home late.
Eydie and I were out for dinner.
But I do think --

[ Laughter ]

But I do think that Aretha Franklin was brilliant in what she did.
She sat in at the last minute and did the aria instead of Luciano Pavarotti.
What was the guy's name that ran up on stage?

Bill: Old Dirty Bastard.

[ Laughter ]

Louie: You know what's interesting is -- isn't it interesting that that gets the most -- I think that's what you're saying, gets the most coverage.
That's the thing.

Bill: Right.
It worked.

Steve: Don't you guys remember years ago --

Louie: I bought the album today.

Steve: During the Oscar telecast?
The guy that ran up naked when David Niven -- if you recall, David Niven --

Bill: That was streaking.

Steve: The guy streaked completely naked.
And absolutely nothing on.
And David said, "Well, he showed us his shortcomings," which was a great line.

[ Laughter ]

Larry: So, Bill, is this a segue into Monica Lewinsky?
Is that how we're moving into this topic?

Louie: Well, I heard that Kenneth Starr was investigating the whole thing.

Larry: Streaking.
Streaking naked.
Is that why you raised this during this period of time?

Steve: Is that a segue?

Giselle: I think we can look at the media coverage of that today and scrutinize it.
But I think it really, you know, asks the question of whether or not there was enough security.
We couldn't get Giuliani on that program and you can get the Soy Bomber.
I think that's --

Bill: But if you run up on stage and say something I can sort of understand it if you have a message.
You know, "Stop the war."
"They're being mean to the negroes."
Whatever he wanted to say.

[ Laughter ]

But to run up on stage and say, "I got an expensive outfit.
And I should have won."
They shouldn't have even photographed this guy.

Giselle: But it's live television.
Those are the perils of live television.

Bill: No, they do it at baseball games.
People run on the field, they won't show them.

Steve: That's right.
They don't show if you go on a -- they just take you out of the shot.

Louie: And they didn't show the hecklers for Madeleine Albright, also.
Did they?

Bill: That's what reminded me.

Larry: What's the point here?

Bill: Larry, the point --

[ Laughter ]

The point with you is always Clinton is a bastard.

[ Laughter ]

Is that the only thing you live for?

[ Laughter ]

We'll take a commercial and we'll get to -- why don't we take a commercial, and we'll get to that.
Then you'll be happy.

[ Applause ]

Bill: All right.
I have to make one correction or I will get sued.
In the monologue I said Patsy Thomasson was indicted.
She was subpoenaed.
I'm so sorry.
Such a litigious society, Larry.
And I know you're chomping at the bit to get to the President.
So let me just ask this one very basic question.
People keep saying, well, the President is not above the law.
As well he should not be.
But it seems to me with everything that happens every day, he is actually below the law.
It seems like we are doing things to him that the lowliest of citizens would not have to put up with.

Larry: What's that?

Steve: Well, he's scrutinized a lot more than anybody else would be.
I mean, everything -- magnifying glass.

Larry: He's the President of the United States.
He has to set the example for the rest of the country.
He's the Chief --

Steve: That's a pretty good example.

[ Laughter ]

Larry: And in fact 70% like that example.
And that shows what a sorry state we're in.
Exactly, Steve, you're right.

Louie: Well, I think that 70% really reflects how people feel about him being badgered.
Because I'll tell you, I think what's killing this country is the fact that we're taking a look at his life and the way we are and the country, the people, are feeling -- and I am feeling this way -- there isn't anybody who we really have to turn to as a leader.
And I think it's a really big risk.
I mean, I don't know about other people, but I feel anxious that we're doing this to a person who's leading us.
When I understand -- I understand -- I don't think the public, obviously, cares what he does.

Larry: What are you doing to him?
You're trying to hold him accountable.

Louie: For what?

Larry: For telling the truth.

Louie: For what, though?

Bill: Telling the truth about his sex life.
That's a real different thing, Larry.

Larry: You might not like it, but Paula Corbin Jones has right to her lawsuit.

Bill: Nobody tells the truth about their sex life.

Larry: She has the right to have someone come in front of that deposition testimony and give honest testimony.
Now, if you were in that deposition, you would want that, too, right?

Louie: No.

Larry: You wouldn't want that?

Louie: I would want that, but not against the President when the President has more important issues that I think are more important right now.

Bill: Let me answer your question about why he is --

[ Applause ]

Let me answer about why he is below the law.
It is the law of this country that if you are in the armed forces you do not have to answer civil suits.
The lowliest sort of private who is directing traffic and banging bar chicks at Subic Bay --

Larry: If you're in the armed forces.

Bill: -- Does not have to answer a civil lawsuit which he did to Paula Jones.

Larry: Well, what you get is a criminal lawsuit because in the military adultery is a criminal violation.
So if you want to hold him accountable to that, he's out of there.

Bill: Well, we don't know he committed adultery, Larry.

Giselle: But you know what, Larry, this has gone so way out of whack that he's being investigated supposedly for Whitewater.
All this other stuff has nothing to do with this.
My personal opinion as a layperson, we've spent $40 million.

Larry: Bad choice of words.

[ Laughter ]

Giselle: I'm not an intern, thank you very much.
We've spent $40 million on this investigation.
Taxpayer dollars.
And what has Kenneth Starr been able to come up with in four years?
If that is not unfair scrutiny I don't know what is.

Larry: Let's be candid here.

Giselle: Even though he's the President of the United States, he is innocent before proven guilty.
Look at the grand jury process.
When have you seen, when have you seen anybody pass through the grand jury in front of microphones, reporters, answering questions, saying what they were asked and what he said.
I don't even think that's astonishing.
It's illegal.

Larry: Giselle, I agree with you.
I think this thing has to be brought to a head quickly.
The quickest way to do it.
Bad choice of words, Bill.

[ Laughter ]

There's something in the air tonight.
I don't know what it is.

Bill: Hopefully with a layperson.

[ Laughter ]

Larry: The President ought to be brought before the grand jury immediately.

Bill: The President should be brought before the grand jury.

Louie: Come on.

Larry: Why not?
Let him tell --

Louie: I'm so sick of this [ bleep ].

[ Laughter ]

Larry: Louie, We'll bring you before the grand jury.

Bill: All right.
We got to take a commercial again.
We'll come back.

[ Applause ]

Bill: All right.
We were talking about whether the President is actually below the law.
And let me tell you another reason why I think he is.
It's because he cannot even talk to his closest advisers now.
They have all been subpoenaed.
And Sidney Blumenthal, who is one of his advisers, said to the press the other day, he said, "You know, I think Ken Starr is subpoenaing too many people."
And Ken Starr subpoenaed him for saying that.

Larry: But, you know, that's not the issue.

Bill: That is an issue.

Larry: One of the things that we're looking into, and one of those 17 lawsuits, is Filegate.
I'm sure you agree that that's a serious matter looking into people's FBI files.
And George Stephanopoulos, on "This Week" a couple weeks ago on ABC, said that they were using the "Ellen Roma Strategy."
That is to look into the files.
This is what Hoover did of Kennedy over his affair with an East German spy.
Now, I think you can agree to look into somebody's FBI file that has the most sensitive, confidential information is a serious matter.
And if that's how they're disparaging Ken Starr and the others, then he deserves the right to look into that to see if his privacy rights are being violated.

Bill: Larry, don't you think you want to get Clinton first, like Ken Starr, and then you look at how to do it.
Isn't -- don't you have the premise before the answer?
Isn't it, let's bring him down like he's public enemy?
Like he's a mafia don.
And then you figure out how you're going to do it.

Larry: But you've got --

Bill: It's not like he's done --

Larry: You've got 39 scandals here.
We're not talking about Monica Lewinsky.

Bill: 39?

Larry: 39.

Giselle: Yeah, but we should be talking about Whitewater --

Bill: The 39 scandals.

Larry: We're 21 short.

Giselle: -- And that's what this whole thing is about.
And besides that, don't you find this a little bit ironic that here's this guy who wants to investigate the White House for manipulation of the press and all these leaks when the guy could actually teach a few lessons in that very tactic?
I mean, that's -- any tidbit of information anybody's gotten on --

Larry: Giselle, I'm not here to be --

[ Applause ]

Giselle: -- Monica Lewinsky and the alleged scandal has come from that office.

Larry: I'm not here to be an apologist for Ken Starr or anybody else.
If somebody violates the law, they should be held accountable.
The problem is there's too much "Everybody does it" in this country.
There's not enough acceptance of responsibility.

Giselle: Yeah, but we're talking about accepting responsibility for taxpayer dollars that are spent in an investigation which is supposed to delve right into Whitewater and hasn't. It's gone way out of control.
Out of whack.
Listen, if I go -- listen, if I go to the mechanic to get my brakes checked --

Larry: I'm listening.

Giselle: Okay?

Larry: Okay.

Giselle: I'm not going to expect to get a pap smear.
I mean, it's just, like, not what I wanted.

[ Applause ]

Whitewater, didn't find anything.
Now you don't go over to other things.
It's over.

Larry: I have never maintained that the President should get a pap smear.

Steve: Young lady, I sure would like to see the garage you go to, I'll tell you that.

[ Laughter and applause ]

Get her up on the hoister there.
That's it.

[ Laughter ]

We'll just rotate your tires.
This won't take long.

Bill: I got a lube job, I once went there.

[ Laughter ]

But I'm also interested in the fact that a lot of people who always said, "You know what?
We have such faith in the American people.
The American people, if only the government was as good as the American people."
Well, suddenly, the American people are not on this side of the fence.
That you're at.
Are they wrong?
Are the American people all wrong?
Because they're overwhelmingly thinking we should leave him alone.

Larry: I don't want to be pelted by tomatoes here, but if I'm going to do that, guys, if you want to hit me with tomatoes, fine.
The country's in serious trouble.
It's ethically and morally bankrupt.

Bill: You did not even come close to answering my question, Larry.

Larry: I'm telling you.

Bill: The question is, are the people wrong?
Are the people wrong?

Larry: The people are wrong.

Bill: The people are wrong.

Larry: And the reason the people are wrong is because it's the minority in any society that has made change.
It's the minority who believes in certain things and really takes a course of action to make things happen.
That's what we did in 1776.
And that's what we've got to do again.
We're not asking other people to follow us, but we want to bring back ethics and morality to this country.

Bill: If you had lived in 1776 -- if you had looked into in that year Thomas Jefferson's sex life, you would be having the same problem you are having now.

[ Applause ]

Larry: Are you saying that --

Bill: Isn't that true?

Larry: Are you saying that Thomas Jefferson --

Bill: Ken Starr would be subpoenaing the person who oversaw the slaves.
The question is who was Thomas Jefferson having sex with?

Larry: But Thomas Jefferson is not in power.
President Clinton is.

Louie: He's dead.

Larry: We have come a long way --

[ Laughter ]

Bill: That doesn't stop him.

Larry: Good point.
Good point.
Good one.

Bill: Larry, you're continuing these --

[ All talking at once ]

Larry: You don't always do what the majority thinks is right.
The majority is not always right.

Giselle: Larry, what are you talking about?
What are you saying?
The American people have proven they don't care.
They don't not only care if he slept with Monica Lewinsky, they don't care if he lied about it.
The polls show that.

Larry: I am saying the American people, most of them, need to understand that an ethical and moral course necessary for society's continuing, and the fact that 70% don't care right now, that's immaterial.
The fact is it's not right to lie.
It's not right to cheat.
It's not right to take bribes in exchange for government policy.

[ Applause ]

Giselle: We don't know if he did any of those things.

Larry: And I started Judicial Watch to try to clean that up.
I'm not proud of my profession.
I'm not proud of it.

Louie: But don't you think that the public feels completely betrayed by the government, by lawyers, by schools, by churches, by all the authorities that we've had?
We feel -- and that's why people --

Larry: Louie, you are a charter member of Judicial Watch.
Shake my hand.
You have just joined.

Louie: Oh.

[ Laughter ]

Larry: Because that is exactly what we're trying to do.

Bill: Louie, I got a handkerchief.
You can wipe your hand off.
No, I'm just kidding.
All right.
We've got to take a commercial.
We'll be right back.

[ Applause ]

Announcer: Join us tomorrow when our guests will be, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Rob Lowe, Arthur Kent and Lakita Garth.

[ Applause ]

Bill: All right.
First of all, Larry, I commend you for going very well toe- to-toe, four to one, that's not an easy thing to do.
Now I'm going to bring up an issue where I'm going to be with you, I think, against everybody else.
Which is motor-voter.
Mississippi just said they are the last state in the nation to go with that, motor-voter.
You can just walk into the DMV and sign up and be a voter that way.
I think that's ridiculous.

Steve: I agree with you.
It's wrong.

Giselle: Oh, no, I think it's great.

Steve: No, I think it's wrong.

Larry: I don't think there's anything wrong with it as long as you can verify that the people who are voting are actually citizens.
That's the problem.

Steve: Well, but you have a lot of illegals that are -- getting a driver's license is very easy.
Now you have a lot of people that are illegally voting.

Larry: Well, I agree with you.
If they're illegal, it shouldn't be permitted.
But if you can verify it --

Steve: There are a lot of people driving I don't want them voting.

Larry: Fine.

[ Laughter ]

In some countries of the world, you have to vote.
It's a crime, for instance, in Italy if you don't vote.
I think it's a public responsibility.

Giselle: I do, too.

Larry: I think people should be forced to vote.

Bill: Not make it accessible.
Make it a test.
Not an actual test, but I mean, in other countries they take it seriously.
They don't just walk up.

Giselle: If you do make it easier, and perhaps more people will have the impetus to go out and vote.
And I do think that is important.
But I think the lines are going to be so long, this is a moot discussion.

Steve: When you stop to figure, what is it, about half of the people that are eligible to vote actually turn out and vote.

Bill: Yes.

Steve: But, and also, I think that one thing that might help, instead of like that Tuesday in November, I really think they should vote on a Saturday and Sunday, over the weekend.
I think you'd get a bigger turnout.

Bill: Yep.

Larry: That's an excellent idea.
An excellent idea.

Bill: But if you made it such that people understood that this is a privilege, that they are lucky to be voting - -

Steve: Bill, I think it's a privilege and a right.

Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher

Executive Producers
Scott Carter
Bill Maher
Nancy Geller

Senior Producer
Douglas M. Wilson

Supervising Producer
Kevin E. Hamburger

Created By
Bill Maher

Directed By
Michael Dimich

Writing Supervised By
Chris Kelly

K.P. Anderson
Bill Kelley
Bill Maher
Billy Martin
Ned Rice
Cliff Schoenberg
Danny Vermont
Scott Carter

Executive in Charge of Production
John Fisher

Executive Producers
Brad Grey
Bernie Brillstein
Marc Gurvitz

©1997 Brillstein-Grey Communications

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