Bill Maher: If Murdoch buys HBO, he’ll make my show ‘Paste-Eating Time With Steve Doocy’
“Real Time” host Bill Maher penned a column for the Hollywood Reporter on Thursday in which he imagined what would happen to his career and HBO show if Australian billionaire Rupert Murdoch were to succeed in his plan to buy Time Warner, Inc.
“To no one’s surprise, I’m against Fox taking over Henhouse. I mean, Time Warner,” Maher began. “And, I must admit, I never saw it coming. So many ways for a guy like me to lose his job, but I never dreamed these two would marry.”
Time Warner rejected an initial $80 billion offer from Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, but the mogul has now raised the possibility of liquidating some overseas assets in order to bring more money to the table. The resulting entertainment company behemoth would be the largest in the world, an idea that Maher doesn’t find particularly appealing.
“I should know by now, in American business, nothing is ever too big. Increasing size is a sickness that possesses us — every quarter must show growth. Doing well, and then repeating doing well, is never enough. We must always beat where we are,” he wrote.
Maher predicted that if Murdoch takes over HBO, there will be a “terrible price to pay for this. (I mean besides the terrible price I personally will pay when Rupert takes over HBO and my show becomes Paste-Eating Time With Steve Doocy.)”
He pointed readers to the Comcast customer service call that went viral, in which a Comcast representative and a customer argued in endless circles because the customer wanted to disconnect his service. Under the Murdoch agreement, Comcast would buy Time Warner Cable, becoming the nation’s largest Internet provider.
Comcast has consistently scored among the lowest-rated U.S. companies for customer service and was named, along with Time Warner Cable, as one of the two “most hated companies in America.”
“Naturally, they too want to merge, not just for the money but to try to set new lows,” wrote Maher. “Probably they will merge. When was the last time a merger didn’t go through?”
“Americans should get it through their heads that dealing with business is the new dealing with government,” he concluded, “only far, far worse. Waiting for stamps at the post office or my license at the DMV? Piece of cake next to trying to get something I didn’t buy and don’t want off a bill.”