Where might you expect to see a so-called distinguished member of Congress on a Friday night? One probably wouldn’t expect to see him attempting to belittle any segment of Americans on television with Bill Maher.
Nonetheless, New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner was on Friday’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” and he along with his fellow panelists were asked by host Bill Maher why it seemed the popularity of Fox News personality Glenn Beck and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin seemed to be in decline.
“There’s been a lot of talk this week about maybe the anti-intellectual forces in this country, and I speak specifically about Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, have peaked,” Maher said. “You know, they seem to be going they seem to be going up for a while and this seemed to be the week when Glenn Beck went off the rails, I mean even when Fox viewers were embarrassed at what he was saying. Sarah Palin seems to have jumped the shark. Do you think the fever has broken on crazy in this country?”
Weiner offered his thought, but in what was probably a failed effort to deride Beck’s audience.
“Well he has less than 300,000 viewers,” Weiner said. “And so that’s about 150,000 shoes in his audience. You know I think that frankly what has happened is that — I could have gone two ways with that – the number of teeth, the number of shoes. I wasn’t sure what kind of audience you had.”
Weiner has a history of trying to capitalize politically by using Beck as a piñata. Last year the New York Democrat went on something of a crusade against Beck’s advertisers, particularly gold company Goldline by holding congressional hearings about the company’s business practices and its association with Beck.
But Weiner then tried to clarify his remarks suggesting that people are too busy now for craziness.
“You know, but there really is — I think there is a limited universe and a limited number of people who are just into crazy right now,” Weiner said. “There are too many important problems to solve.”
Glenn Beck’s Fox News audience has been in a decline. However, Weiner grossly understated the size of Beck’s audience by two million. The American Spectator’s John Fund, author of “Stealing Elections,” corrected Weiner and explained his theory for the decline.
“Glenn Beck’s audience is 2.5 million households a night, not 300,000,” Fund said. “It has gone down. I think the best explanation is the election in November convinced a lot of people, ‘Oh, you know Obama is moving to the center. He signed this deal extending all of the tax cuts. He brought in Bill Daley, Bill Clinton’s Commerce secretary. There’s less angst. There’s less fear of Obama – therefore the fever goes down.”
Surprisingly, Maher agreed with Fund’s explanation.