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Panel Discussion
Politically Incorrect w/ Bill Maher, 12/22-23/99

Bill: Okay. Let us meet our panel. He is the president of judicial watch and the editor of "Opinionings." Mr. Tom Fitton, our friend. Right over here. Tom.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Glad to see you.
You're looking dashing.
Tom: Thank you.

Bill: The host of this naked punk pop invitation. Her new CD is "I Bificus." This is terrific -- and she is Bif Naked. Yeah.

[ Cheers and applause ]
Hey. That's a good record.

Bif: Thank you.

Bill: Thank you for coming on. He is a very funny comedian. Very talented host of E! Entertainment's "Talk Soup." Mr. Hal Sparks, right over here.

[ Cheers and applause ]
Hey, Congratulations on you job. She has her own syndicated talk show and the new special, "The Thinning of Hollywood" airs this Sunday on E!, Leeza Gibbons, ladies and gentlemen.
[ Applause ]

Leeza: Happy holidays.

Bill: Thank you very much. Okay. Well, one of the big stories this week, aside from the fact that the world is ending in ten days, and we'll be just nothing more than a nation of surface-dwelling zombies -- is Vermont. Vermont of all places has pretty much okayed gay marriage. Now we saw this in Hawaii, but they turned it down, I guess. Never happened in Hawaii. But the Vermont Supreme Court, the other day decreed, they said, "The state must provide gay couples with the benefits and protections that flow from marriage." Which was hailed by gay advocates as fabulous. [ Laughter ]
Because we've never heard the phrase, "This is my husband Pete," before and now we can.

Hal: There's actually no real argument that people can have on a social level I think anymore, because it so legal now. It is so about mathematics.

Tom: The 13 states.

Bill: It's not legal because Congress fought this from the defense of marriage act they passed, which was the defense against this, saying that you can't define marriage as anything but the union of a man and an unhappy woman.

[ Laughter ]
I kid. I kid.

Bif: Because she wanted to be with another woman, probably.

Bill: What happened?

Bif: Unhappy woman probably because she wants to be with another woman.

Leeza: Oh, Bif.

Bill: Continue your thought.

[ Laughter ]

Hal: Yeah. Withdrawn.

Bif: Just so you know.

Leeza: You're not married, right?

Tom: For fear of being alone here --

Bill: You're not alone. You're not alone.

Tom: Alone philosophically here. Marriage other than a man and woman isn't a marriage. Marriage can't be defined any other way. And when you define it this way, you are virtually saying there is no definition of marriage. Because if this becomes the definition, then anything could go. What about a man who wants to marry his overage daughter or a mother wanting to marry her sister.

Bif: It happened. It happened in New York, didn't it?

Tom: The point is that --

Bill: You talking about Woody Allen?

Bif: I don't know.

Hal: Very funny.

Tom: But the fact is that marriage is there to protect children, it's the best way to raise children, heterosexual couples. The biological parents.

Bif: That's not what he's talking about, though.

Tom: That's the way to do it, and this is what marriage is about.

Bill: The family --

Tom: It's about families and about children. This could be a disaster for the American family.

Hal: You're saying that people who let's say, a couple, two people are sterile, they can't get married?

Tom: No, I didn't say that.

Hal: Well, you're saying if it's about children and it's about -- there are two reasons why you get married. Reproduction, right?

Tom: Well, presumably two men can't have babies biologically. Maybe you know something that I don't know.

Bill: Lots of men and women can't have babies biologically. That didn't stop them. They go to Pfizer, get a shot and have seven.

Hal: Yeah.

[ Laughter ]
Leeza: But I don't know why people think that it's a slap in the face to marriage. It doesn't take anything away to those of us who are married, to my mind.

Bill: What is the threat to the other people who are not engaging in this? Why -- I thought Republicans were sort of about get the government out of people's lives and let them lead their lives the way they want to.

Tom: Well, this is actually, the people that have defined marriage over thousands of years, being between a man and a woman. These are judges who are unelected. They're appointed. Who, because of their own personal philosophies, told the Vermont legislature they have to do something now. And that's wrong. If you want to try to advocate to get this done, try to do it. But they did it in Hawaii, interestingly, the Supreme Court made a similar ruling. And what happened was the people said, "No, we aren't going to do this," and they changed the Constitution.

Bill: Yeah, okay. But marriage, you're trying to say that marriage has this great history.

Tom: It does have a great history.

Bill: It does. But not in the way you're talking about. It was originally to pass property along and to keep primogeniture as a system. Okay? So it wasn't about men and women. It was about property.

Tom: Obviously, there's economic aspects to this. This is what this is about, it seems to me, is that people want money that they think married couples get that they don't get.

Leeza: It's about fairness. It's about equity. It is also about -- believe me, I'm a big proponent of marriage. It just so happens that heterosexual couples haven't done a great job of protecting the sanctity of this institution.

[ Applause ]
Tom: Well, Bill Clinton's a fine --

Leeza: Billy Crystal had the first gay character on "Soap" 20-something years ago. Now we've got 30-plus gay and lesbian couples. Maybe this state was just recognizing that, you know, we're changing. We're transforming our society. And there should be equity.

Hal: Actually, with a court that decided this, they said that -- Tom: And they're talking about defining it as an intimate relationship. And I'm very interested in how this is going to work.

Bill: Very intimate.

[ Laughter ]

Tom: How this is going to work practically? Are you going to have to fill out forms showing how often you have sex with somebody in order to gain government benefits?

Hal: Once and again, why does it have to be about actual active sex life?

Tom: That's what they're talking about. An intimate relationship. How is it you define an intimate relationship?

Hal: You define intimacy as sex, though, as only sex?

Tom: Why not let children to get married, why not let teenagers get married and have incestuous relationships blessed. There are definitions that are beneficial to us. Marriage between a man and woman has been beneficial to us. I think so. Bill Clinton thinks so. And I guess the majority of the American people think so.

Bill: Well, if you and Bill Clinton are for it, I don't know a better endorsement of marriage than that.
,br> Leeza: You know what? I think it's -- it's not saying we're legalizing same sex marriage. And I know you say it's the same principle.

Bill: It works out the same.

Leeza: Same net effect.

Tom: It does. It undermines marriage. If you think marriage is good, this is a disaster.

Bill: All right. I have to take a break or it will be a disaster for my job.

Bill: All right, I want to mention again we have all new shows next week. When the other shows are off, we'll be new!

[ Laughter ]
Good ratings. Okay. Now, Leeza, when is your show on? It's called "The Thinning of Hollywood."

Leeza: The day after Christmas.

Bill: Caught my eye. The day after Christmas. So that's Sunday?

Leeza: Sunday.

Bill: Okay, on E!

Leeza: At 8:00.

Bill: Sunday at 8:00 on E!. Now I've done this issue before, "The Thinning of Hollywood." And I must say, I never understand it. You mention -- it's always the same three or four people. Laura Flynn Boyle is skinny, we know that. Calista Flockhart is too skinny -- get a hot dog in that chick.

[ Laughter ]
Courtney Cox -- I mean for every one of them, there's a hundred Camryn Manheims out there. I don't understand this obsession with the ten chicks who won't eat, when this nation is eating itself to death.

Leeza: But you know what, it's not about who has a problem. You can't tell by looking at somebody if they have a problem or if they're not eating. It could just be those women that you mentioned are -- there's like nothing going on. We don't know. You can't tell. But the suspicion is that the standard for women has become like this mission impossible of skinny. Size zero is now the norm. There isn't this -- there is like --

Bif: There's a zero?

Leeza: There's a zero.

Bif: I'm like, "There's a zero?"

Leeza: Real-size women don't come in that size.

[ Laughter ]
Bill: Of course, the piercings add a lot of weight when you hop on the scale.

Bif: Oh, you don't even want to know. I used to have these really big balls on the end of it.

Bill: Me, too.

[ Laughter ]
Bif: And it weighed down my lip.

Bill: Hey, you, me and Donald Trump.

Bif: Because we live in Canada, I assume that North American culture is always the same. It's always one culture. And when we tour down here, I got to tell you, there is so much food in the grocery store.

Hal: Yes.

Bif: I'm not even kidding.

Bill: And people are eating it.

Hal: They're huge.

Bif: We eat it down here. There are fritos, there are poppy tarts. There are all these different things. I'm jingling. All these different things, and it's so exciting -- overwhelming to see.

Hal: And it does have a lot to do with -- America is an obese culture. Especially compared to --

Bif: Well, there's so much food here.

Bill: It's as bad a problem as smoking.

Hal: Yeah, absolutely. And the amount of toxins that people take in and then just hold for the length of their limited little lives, you know, is amazing. Is amazing. They've actually changed the sizes of clothing larger so a medium is actually -- a large is now a medium. And a medium is now a -- yeah. I mean. I have to shop for kids clothes.

Bill: Your problem may vary.

Tom: The problem is, is that this interest in other people's health. You're talking about sex lives, and interest -- this interest in other people's health, you know, with obesity, about nonsmoking and smoking, they're going to do the same thing to fat what they've done to nonsmoking people. The people who smoke. They're going to have to be forced to eat lunches because it's unhealthful. They'll pay special taxes on fat, high-content fat food. They're talking about taxing snack foods to deal with the problem of obesity.

Leeza: Oh, that's ridiculous. It has nothing to do with that.

Tom: Can't everyone just mind their own business whether someone's heavy or too light.

Bill: What do you mean it has nothing to do with that?

Tom: It's a personal problem that they should deal with personally.

Leeza: But you know what? It's not about -- it's control. These eating disorders are about control. It's not about "Well, why don't you just eat for goodness sakes?"

Hal: People are marketed to eat and in mass and in volume. We're force fed mounds of cheap food. Everywhere you go, it's like --

Bif: Even in advertising.

Hal: You live in the world of the 29-cent taco. It's amazing.

Bill: I never understand why Hollywood focuses on this one little problem, when the massive problem is the other side of the spectrum.

Hal: No pun intended.

Leeza: People being too fat, you're saying?

Bill: Yeah. It reminds me -- I always say this -- the movie "Disclosure." Remember the movie "Disclosure"? Hollywood made a movie about sexual harassment. They made it about the woman, Demi Moore, harassing the man. Yeah, that's the usual problem with sexual harassment.

[ Laughter ]
Hal: A functional metaphor.

Leeza: You don't know. Men don't come forward. It's not like smoking, though, you can just say no to that. With food, you just can't say no to food.

Hal: Sure, you can.

Tom: You can say yes to self-control. It's not a cultural thing. A psychological thing. Hal: There's another element to it, though. Misrepresentation, too, in the packaging of foods, for example. Like the amount of bovine growth hormone that's in food that affects the human body and makes it balloon up.

[ Laughter ] Seriously, though. If I'm eating a normal amount. I'm eating like a healthy human being.

Bill: You're turning her on.

[ Laughter ] [ Applause ]
Bif: I know that you know the truth, you know the answer to this one.

Bill: That's the word, bovine.

Bif: The USDA and FDA are separate. The USDA does meat, poultry and dairy, am I right? And that has nothing to do with the FDA. Right, I'm a Canadian. I know that it's not my country. I don't know what goes on.

Hal: And they have their own kind of set of rules.

Bif: However, it's a little frightening.

Hal: Yeah, very frightening.

Bif: The way the food is down here.

Hal: And it affects people's bodies differently. You can eat what you consider a normal amount of food and gain more than you normally would eating the same thing because of the amount of stuff we put into it. And then --

Tom: That's not true. That's simply not true. Growth hormones in cows don't make you fatter. That's not scientifically true. You shouldn't tell people things like that that's not true. Eat all the steak you want. Eat it in moderate amounts. It's good for you. Red meat won't kill you.

Bif: No, no, no, no.

Bill: We've got to take a break.

Announcer: Join us tomorrow, when our guests will be "Just Shoot Me's" Enrico Colintoni, MacKenzie Phillips, Lisa Ann Walter and representative Dana Rohrabacher.

[ Applause ]

Bill: We were talking about eating. You left off saying steak is good for you. I don't think that's true. I don't think anything from a cow is good for you.

Bif: The colonics.

Bill: Colonics?

Bif: I can recommend someone in Washington. You let me know. I know some people there.

Bill: Colonics?

Bif: Just let me know.

Hal: The damage that he's done from the --

Bill: You should never have anybody put something up you that way. Not even sexually.

Bif: La, la, la, la, la, la. Can't even deal with where that was going.

Hal: It's for your own good.

Bill: I never understood why milk has to -- milk has a fantastic publicist because they make it sound like it's a good thing for you. And it's actually milk from another mammal that is not you. Speaking of which -- listen to this. A couple of weeks ago in Maryland, a woman was arrested because she went into a day care center and saw another baby, not hers, crying, with nobody around it. And she whipped out her breast, it would shut me up.

[ Laughter ]

Leeza: She breast-fed a strange child?

Bill: And breast-fed a strange child out of the goodness of her heart, but the wrong breast. Okay, and the woman -- the real mother came in, saw this, called the cops. Who came in and made a bust -- I kid. [ Laughter ] Okay. [ Applause ]

Leeza: Now, I would have a problem. I would have a problem with that.

Bill: You don't have a problem with a stranger --

Leeza: No, I would have a problem with -- I would freak out if someone was breast-feeding my child.

Bill: Why?

Bif: People should charge for it. That sounds like something people should charge for.

Hal: Yeah, it's called a wet nurse. I wasn't that uncommon a long time ago, and in a tribal society that was very normal.

Bill: It takes a village.

Hal: Like to hypercivilize yourself just because it should be awful, is a little odd.

Tom: With permission contractually.

Hal: She so had to be so alone with that child for that to even begin. The kid was obviously alone and screaming.

Tom: Come on. What person in today's society -- I mean, we should send that person to a doctor, who would go in and take another woman's child and breast-feed her?

[ Talking at the same time ]
Bill: She did it out of the goodness of her heart.

Tom: I think it's extremely strange. But who knows maybe that child for some reason is allergic to breast milk?

Leeza: What if the mother was HIV and could pass that along that through the breast milk -- there's all of that.

Bill: But wait a sec.

Leeza: That was more to me about that mother's need, than the baby's needs, because a crying baby, you know, was probably not starving, probably could be assuaged some other way if the kid was in day care. And what is it about that mother that she had to go in and nurture that child on the spot?

Bill: But my point is -- they object to another human doing it, but you give it the milk from a cow.

[ Talking at the same time ]

Leeza: There's something about the bonding. Something about the intimate bonding.

Tom: You should drink milk.

Hal: It's crap. Vitamin A and vitamin D added, it would be --

Tom: You're depriving yourself of nutrients by not drinking milk.

Hal: I don't drink milk, I'm not lacking in nutrients.

Tom: You are. You and me.

[ Talking at the same time ]

Hal: You and I will jog a marathon next week. The milk man versus me.

Tom: Anti-science is one thing. Now we're anti-nature.

Bill: It's natural only for the infants. It's only natural for the infants. You talk about nature. No other mammal suckles and drinks milk after infancy.

Tom: You do. We drink milk because it's healthy.

Hal: We're a huge fat society with gigantic heart disease and cancer. How come nobody makes that correlation?

Tom: Actually we're an extraordinary healthy society. We're living longer than ever. And cancer is a --

Hal: Thanks to the medicine, not because of milk.

Tom: -- Read meat or cancer.

Leeza: Cancer is now, almost turned a long-term illness now, a manageable thing. I can't believe I'm almost agreeing with you on something, Tom. It's weird.

Bill: It means the millennium is ending and the apocalypse at hand. We have to take a commercial. In that case.

Bill: All right. Tomorrow from "Just Shoot Me," Enrico Colintoni, MacKenzie Phillips, Lisa Ann Walter and Congressman Dana Rohrabacher.