Bill Maher, Elon Musk Insist They're Not Conservative
Twitter and Tesla owner called himself a moderate against the "woke mind virus", HBO host considers himself a liberal, Plus, HBO's "Succession"
If you’re also watching HBO’s “Succession,” read to the end to discuss.
Within 48 hours of telling you that I’ve found Substack Notes to be civil and respectful, I was directly insulted.
It started when I posted the note below summarizing Bill Maher’s interview of Elon Musk on the HBO show Friday night. (You can click it to read the comments.)
I expected a reaction about saying Maher was fawning. Instead, this line got attention: “Maher said the two of them are in a small club of people who are called conservatives but are liberals.”
Not One Shred of Dignity
No one cares that Musk — the owner of Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter — doesn’t align with the right. But the TV comedian Maher’s political affiliation is hotly debated. Conservatives say Maher is not one of them. Liberals state the host of "Real Time with Bill Maher” is not on their side.
Ramona Grigg insisted that Maher “hates liberals.” Then she declared, “I don’t know why anyone with a shred of dignity would go on his show.”
I replied, “I’ve been on his show.”
*I wrote at the end of this newsletter about when I was on Maher’s show and added some videos, so scroll down for that.
sorta/not really apologized, but I took my multiple shreds of dignity and left the debate. So much for Notes being a civil alternative to Twitter!
Still, I’m committed to making Notes my primary social media so that you get exclusive content from me.
The two commiserated over the lack of free speech. Musk calls it the “woke mind virus.” Maher calls it “politically incorrect.” Both consider themselves victims of “cancel culture.”
Then Maher put it in political terms.
“You and I are both like in that little group of people— maybe it's a bigger group now— who are called ‘conservative’ who haven't really changed. I don't think of you as a conservative,” said the HBO host.
“I at least think of myself as a moderate,” replied Musk. “I’ve spent a massive amount of my life energy building sustainable energy, you know electric vehicles and batteries and solar and stuff to help save the environment. That's not exactly far right.” The audience laughed.
Is Maher Conservative?
Maher has been accused by the left of being conservative. “The Nation” says Maher is “focusing on his right-leaning views” to be “relevant in today’s conservative comedy market.” Radio host Peter Rosenberg tweeted, “Bill Maher has always been a phony with a blind spot on many issues but now he is an outright puppet of the right.”
Maher calls himself an “old school liberal” but acknowledged on his show that he is a “hero at Fox these days.”
Is Musk Conservative?
The Atlantic has a story with the headline: “Elon Musk Is a Far-Right Activist.” Axios writes about “The Republicanization of Elon Musk.”
In reality, the billionaire’s politics are all over the place. He voted for Democratic presidents Obama and Biden. Then last May, he tweeted:
In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party. But they have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican.
Before the 2022 election, Musk told people to vote for the GOP but only because it would lead to “shared power.” Then the richest man in the world tweeted that he would support Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis if he ran for the White House in 2024.
Supporting DeSantis for president is not a moderate position. Plus, all of the high-profile people who have left Twitter in protest after Musk took over are liberals. They consider Musk a Trump-loving, MAGA-hat-wearing evil person.
Musk Super Fan
Maher fawned over Musk like a 15-year-old at the Taylor Swift concert. The left-wing “Daily Beast” said Maher “drooled” over Musk.
Maher called Musk a “genius” multiple times. The TV host said Musk is “trying to fix this world” and “dealing with big civilization issues and problems.” Also, Maher said Musk is “a likable guy” and has a great “sense of humor.”
It’s a mutual admiration society because Musk said he is a fan of Maher’s show and years ago was a regular member of the audience.
I recommend you watch the whole 20-minute interview. HBO put it in front of the paywall, so I posted it at the bottom.
*On Bill Maher’s Show
I was on Maher’s show in 2016 as the token conservative. I liked him because he graciously told the audience to be nice when they jeered me. I also thought he was hilarious.
I was much more offended by the supposedly Republican male guests who were condescending and dismissive. The show itself is behind the HBO paywall, but you can watch one segment below plus the “overtime” part that we taped just to put on YouTube.
My expression in this next video was turned into a gif, but I can’t add those in Substack.
Maher - Musk Interview:
I have HBO now because I got a week free trial through Amazon Prime to watch “Succession.” I was curious to see if I’d like the enormously popular show. Six days later, I’ve watched about half of the four seasons and signed up for the monthly subscription.
It’s addictive, but not all in a good way. It’s dark, and the characters are almost too familiar to the worst people I’ve known in my career in politics and media.
Do you like “Succession”? Do you think it’s all about the Murdochs and Fox News or a mix of high-powered people?
This newsletter takes a lot of time and work and is fully funded by readers. If you are able, please consider a paid subscription to support independent journalism.
Great job Ms Miller considering it was you vs all the rest of them. But that’s the way it always is! That’s why - IMHO - Maher is a fraud & a joke & it’s not worthy of going on his “show”. His - & others like it - come across as a hitherto conceived platform set up to ridicule & humiliate any conservative live with accompanying cheering from the seals in the audience. Cheap shots noted. Patel & the guy you were sitting next to need to go out & find a pair. Don’t care if he is a Vet; so is Alex Vindmann.
The lack of masculinity on that panel is disturbing.
And FTR - Elon Musk is not a “far right activist”. I can state that for a fact. How do I know? ‘Cuz I’m one & he’s never @ the meetings ;<)
I found succession entertaining. However I have had to cut back on streaming platforms temporarily due to budget reasons. I expect to reinstate HBO when there are more shows on it that I can appreciate. As for Maher and Musk... I respectfully believe that they choose to align with truth to power, while being able to keep their values on sustainable environment.