On Friday night's edition of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," Maher and a panel made up of writer Glenn Greenwald, commentator Joy Reid and National Review writer Charles Cooke discussed whether class issues played a role in the case of the three women who were held prisoner in the house of Ariel Castro in Cleveland, Ohio.
Maher began the discussion by questioning whether the story of the women's rescue is that much of a "feel-good" story.
"I can't tell," he said, "because it ended well, or better than it could have. But it's so awful to think about what went on before. And I get the feeling that it's kind of a 'Two Americas' kind of thing when you look at that neighborhood."
"If they were in a richer neighborhood, would they have spent ten years in that basement?" he asked.
He called to mind the invasion of Afghanistan and the existence of so-called "unincorporated areas" of Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan where lawlessness reigns and no civil authority exists.
"It seems like there are some 'unincorporated areas' of America," he said, "where we just don't go, we don't know, where people disappear very easily and it is kind of a 'Two Americas' thing."
Cooke disagreed, but Greenwald said that he feels that everything, ultimately, is "a by-product of the poor-rich gap" in the U.S., that class dialectics play into every aspect of society. "Virtually every single institution," he said, "has radically different treatment for people based upon your socioeconomic status and especially your race."
Watch the video, embedded via Mediaite, below: