Real Time host Bill Maher had little sympathy for NBC News anchor Brian Williams on Friday, chastizing his network for spending just 25 minutes of airtime last year covering climate change despite obsessing over the weather.
“This is journalistic malpractice, and why I never thought of Brian Williams as a reporter to begin with,” Maher said. “Because every night it’s the same thing on the news: a couple of minutes at the top of the big story of the day. Unless God forbid, it’s going to snow. If it’s gonna snow on the east coast — you know, where they live — and then nothing else is happening in the entire world.”
Living in L.A., Maher argued, meant he didn’t have to care whether it was snowing in Buffalo (“it’s always snowing in Buffalo,” he quipped). But he accused all three major networks of wasting their 22-minute runtimes on formulaic medical reports and “human interest segments.”
“Brian Williams shouldn’t have to go away because he lied. He should have to go away because the NBC Nightly News sucks,” he said. “And so does the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley. And the ABC World News Tonight with, I think Ken is the host of that one.”
Viewers like him, Maher said, don’t need to see every time a building is demolished with a controlled explosion, or watch stories about a viral online video.
“It shouldn’t be a race to the bottom, of who can attract more eyeballs with titilation,” he argued. “If it is, let’s just get it over with and show porn in the last segment.”
Watch Maher’s commentary, as posted by HBO on Friday, below.