Politically Incorrect
MAY 30, 1997 (NBC)

EDITOR'S NOTE: The underlined segments are available in RealAudio. Guests on this program were: Kid, Paul Theroux, Arianna Huffington and Norm.


BILL MAHER: All righty, welcome to the show. Let's meet our panel. First, he is a multitalented actor, singer, songwriter, and he no longer cuts his own hair. Our buddy Kid. [Applause.]

Hey, thank you for doing this, I appreciate you stepping in. He is the highly acclaimed author of "The Mosquito Coast," "Half Moon Street" and "St. Jack." His newest is "Cow Long Tongue," Paul Theroux! [Applause.]

There it is. Maestro.

PAUL: Thank you very much.

BILL: She will appearing with Al Franken June 9th at the Toyota comedy festival. Wonder where they got that idea? In New York, our favorite Republican Party girl, Arianna Huffington. [Applause.]

Hey, I get a royalty. Thank you, baby. And he's the anchor of "Saturday Night Live's" "Weekend Update," Norm McDonald! [Applause.]

Oh, Norm, the Kid's love you, Norm. The Kids love you. Okay. All right. I wanted to talk tonight about President Clinton's education 2000 program and how it would affect our allies. No, I don't, I want to talk about Paula Jones and so do you. [Laughter.]

And we talked about this Tuesday, but some things have happened, and I don't know, I think that he probably did something wrong, I'll be honest with you, but we're at this point now where we're talking about distinguishing marks on the President's genitals. She's talking about bringing forth women, ten or more women who are going to testify to what -- something happened with them, too. I believe we are at the point where the presidency is becoming a laughing stock, and at some point don't we have to say to this woman, "Look, you probably were wronged, take one for the team, we got to start thinking about the country?" I'm just asking. [ Applause ]

PAUL: You mentioned that she's -- you said that she had a distinguishing mark.

BILL: No, he.

PAUL: She said that there was a distinguishing mark on the genitals? How many genitals has she seen. The question is, maybe she hasn't seen that many. [Laughter.]

Maybe what she thinks is a distinguishing mark is like mine or -- you know, Norm's -- [Laughter.]

The idea is that --

NORM: Yeah, everybody could have like -- it could be just one of them giant hairy warts. [Laughter.]

ARIANNA: My problem is that -- [Laughter.]

My problem is that I don't --

PAUL: Maybe we should ask Hillary whether she would recognize --

NORM: Hillary would know.

PAUL: But she might not recognize. She might not recognize.

ARIANNA: She might not remember.

Kid: Aye, ouch.

PAUL: Maybe she hasn't seen the Presidential penis, you know? [Laughter.]

It's possible, possible.

ARIANNA: My problem --

BILL: And he's the author guy. [Laughter.]

You know, I mean, I expect that from you two.

Kid: He's out to box.

ARIANNA: My problem is I don't believe her. I just -- somehow her story doesn't ring true. Because in it, the President is decisive. He knows what he wants. He takes action immediately. [Laughter.]

That's not the man that we know. I mean, I would --

PAUL: Do you think the President is decisive?

ARIANNA: He's decisive.

BILL: Well, in this instance, she's saying in the hotel room. [ Talking at the same time ]

ARIANNA: The President, you know, that we know --

PAUL: You're being facetious of course.

ARIANNA: The President that we know would basically have compromised and settled for a hand job. [Applause.]

BILL: Oh, my God. [Applause.]

Could you two calm down? We have comedians here.

Kid: I know. You know, I think you brought up an important point, though. At this point, in terms of taking one for the team, I think you have to distinguish, this is not a criminal proceeding. It's like a civil proceeding. I mean, so what's in question is money. And I think in terms of that, I think, you know, let the President do what the President is supposed to do -- I mean, the President is like everyone else, but the President isn't like everyone else. The President's not the postman, he's not the garbage man, he's the President. He's got that button, can we let him concentrate on it? [Laughter.]

Okay? Deal with it later, ain't gonna gave any money any ways, so.

PAUL: But one of the questions is whether it's part of the presidential duties, but it is part of the presidential duties, isn't it? To drop your pants. [Laughter.]

He's certainly in a long tradition of Presidents. You're talking about getting a hand job, but --

ARIANNA: His approval rating -- [Laughter.]

PAUL: But I don't know how many --

NORM: How many times have people said that to you?

ARIANNA: I know, I haven't been bleeped, okay. But his approval ratings keep going up, which is further proof that American women love a bad boy. The naughtier Clinton is, the more women love him.

BILL: That's right.

NORM: I think like sexual harassment is a very like -- it's a thing where you have to look at both sides. You know, like to Paula Jones, it's a case of like, you know, he was governor of Arkansas and he used his position, you know, to harass her, and then now he's the President and he's using his position to cover it up. And from Clinton's point of view, Paula Jones is probably just playing really really hard to get. [Laughter.and applause ]

BILL: All right, we ran out of time as usual. We'll be back in a minute.

[Applause.]

BILL: Okay, we were talking about President Clinton's problems. As usual, no one answered the question. And I was asking whether, you know, with this situation are we really crippling this country? Are we going to become a pitiful, pantless giant? [Laughter.]

ARIANNA: It depends on how far this is going to go.

BILL: And people are laughing at him. I mean, he's on this trip, he was laughed and mocked at in different countries, now, he's got three years left or more in office. Can we afford this?

ARIANNA: Maybe, maybe.

PAUL: But it's possible, why is it impossible for someone to be human and also to be making political decisions? No one's laughing at him when he's signing an agreement, you know, NAFTA or he's with Yeltsin. They're only laughing at him when he's pretending not to have a deformed penis, right. [Laughter.]

But no one's -- as a legislator, he's above reproach.

NORM: I enjoyed the Bulls/Heat games. I didn't care if the guy bit some broad's back. [Laughter.and applause ]

PAUL: That's right.

BILL: I see.

>> Yes.

ARIANNA: But it all depends on how far this is going to go. I mean, are we going to have a police artist kind of do a sketch of the President's genitalia? But if he does, if he does, I'd like to know, circumcised or uncircumcised? [Laughter.]

Because, you know, there was a recent study --

PAUL: Could help him in his Israeli, you know, deliberations if he's not --

ARIANNA: Have you heard about the recent study that uncircumcised men have more fun? [ Cheers ]

BILL: No, I haven't.

ARIANNA: And if anybody wants to -- we don't have any former -- here.

PAUL: I think we would -- I think we can enjoy them on both levels which as a, you know, as a stick man, and also as a legislator. And in the way that you can -- [Laughter.]

The fact is -- Marv Albert is not -- he's not less of a newscaster -- of a sportscaster, because he's been accused --

BILL: But he's a sportscaster --

PAUL: Doesn't matter.

BILL: -- This is the President. What do you mean it doesn't matter? You equate a sportscaster with the President?

PAUL: Why not? I mean, they're both looking for airtime and ink, aren't they?

Kid: Personally, I think all of Clinton's opponents have a Ph.D, which is "President Hating Degree."

BILL: Yeah.

Kid: That's what they have. I mean, it's true you have to be able to separate the two, as you said. As a legislator, as a world leader, I think he's well respected, but I think his indiscretions, or whatever, I think that's a separate issue, and I think --

BILL: But Nixon was effective in a lot of the things he does. He was brought down by his scandal in his second term. Reagan was affected.

PAUL: Different kind of scandals.

BILL: Reagan had Iran contra. That's a --

PAUL: But Nixon didn't have a dipstick problem. You know who has a -- [Applause.]

Kid: Bill --

BILL: This guy.

>> Bill --

BILL: I gotta read that dirty thesaurus that you have. [Laughter.]

PAUL: You know, a better example is the royal family. They're being brought down by this kind of thing, but people say, "They're human, they're human."

BILL: But they're not actually governing. They're just figure heads. They're people on a stamp. This man is actually running the world. And people are not paying attention to that, because all they want to hear about is -- "Don't give me another one." But you know -- [Laughter.]

ARIANNA: But what was interesting was that the news came out when he was in Paris, and, of course, in Paris, nobody would have cared, I mean, you had -- you had Francois Mitterrand, before he died, who had an official mistress and illegitimate daughter. And when the press asked him about it, he said -- "Et alors?" Which, vaguely translated, means, "And so what?"

BILL: Right.

ARIANNA: And nobody minded.

PAUL: But I mind if he's hitting on this woman and she doesn't want to be hit on, because that's sexual harassment, and that's, you know, the Anita Hill business. Obviously, Clarence Thomas had something to answer for, we assume. But there's no detail in this. There's no Coke can. You know? There's no Long Dong Silver. [Laughter.]

There's nothing really to get your hands on.

Kid: No smoking -- [Laughter.and applause ]

No smoking penis.

BILL: All right. We're going to take a break, and then we're going to talk about China. [Applause.]

[Applause.]

BILL: All right, let's talk a little bit about China, because -- well, you are an expert. This is your book. As you can see, it looks like many of the menus that you get -- [Laughter.]

-- in restaurants.

PAUL: I said it had to look like a Chinese menu.

BILL: It really does.

PAUL: It must look like one.

BILL: It looks exactly like a menu. But I know you know a lot about it, and I don't. But here's what I think.

PAUL: Don't be silly. I heard you speaking Mandarin backstage. [Laughter.]

BILL: Clinton just re-upped the Most Favored Nation status, which some people have said we shouldn't do. They say we should break off relations with China, because China admittedly has, you know, as bad a human rights record as Don King, I don't know. [Laughter.]

It's just bad.

But China is a very isolationist country, historically, they built a wall. I don't know if you know that. [Laughter.]

And if we --


NORM: That's the Berlin Wall.

BILL: No, no. [Laughter.]

That's a different wall. That's in Egypt. [Laughter.]

And if we break off with them, I think they'll just say, "Well, the hell with you," and go on doing what they're doing anyway. I think the only way to bring them into the family of nations, and I know this is what the President says, but not just this President, many others, is to engage with them. Why is that wrong?

PAUL: It's not wrong. We already owe them so much money, we can't break off with them. We have so many slave laborers and little kiddies earning 10 cents a day to make tennis shoes that we owe them a ton of money, we can't break off. I mean, we're not --

ARIANNA: Of course, we can't break off. Of course we can't break off. First of all, the President himself in 1992 attacked President Bush for coddling the butchers of Beijing. Do you remember that? Now, here we are.

BILL: Well, that was during a campaign.

ARIANNA: He doesn't just want to extend Most Favored Nation status permanently. He wants to toast them, celebrate them, honor them. I mean, can't we just trade with them? Do we have to respect them in the morning?

PAUL: But the whole world -- [Laughter.and applause ]

I agree, I don't know why they're Most Favored Nation, but we do owe them a ton of money. The fact is, they make stuff for the whole world, every Christmas decoration in the whole world --

BILL: Yes.

PAUL: -- is made in China. Forget Nikes. You know --

Kid: They'll let you know that the issue is money, clearly the issue has to be money. I was just recently, I was telling Arianna, I saw a documentary that really detailed the whole events in Tiananmen Square. I mean, this was some -- this was some really deep stuff. And if anyone saw that, you know, they would say, "Well, this is wrong. How can we support any regime or any government that supports this?" It was like two weeks of Kent State, you know, day and night. But when it's not --

PAUL: But this is --

Kid: Clearly the issue is money.

PAUL: -- Approved of Tiananmen Square.

Kid: That doesn't make it right.

ARIANNA: Yeah, so what, I mean -- [ Talking over each other ]

ARIANNA: It's about power.

PAUL: I think it's despicable, I think it's an abomination. I think it's an abomination, I don't think we should give them Most Favored Nation. I agree with you. BILL: But why not? Because if we break off, other people will trade with them and they won't change.

PAUL: Everyone trades with them any --

BILL: Do you also think that we can change China?

PAUL: No.

BILL: Any more than China can change us by making campaign contributions?

ARIANNA: Do you know what the percent is? [Laughter.]

PAUL: Well, no, we're bending -- it's not just that we're not doing anything. We're bending over. The whole world is bending over for them and saying, "Do it to me." [Laughter.]

Kid: On that note, Norm --

PAUL: But it's a fact. It is a fact, it is a fact. Because Clinton has a single-faceted policy, which is just trade, nothing else.

ARIANNA: But also, do you know what percentage of our exports goes to China? Just 2%. So this is a big meat that somehow --

BILL: Our exports?

ARIANNA: Exports, yes. The only -- only 2%, that's not much. And on top of it, please explain to me why we don't give Most Favored Nation status to Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, but we give it to China. It doesn't make any sense.

BILL: Because they've got money. [ Talking over each other ]

BILL: You know, Saudi Arabia, they human rights violations there, but they have oil, we don't even hear a peep out of that. [Laughter.]

Kid: That's where it's uneven. The policy is clearly uneven.

BILL: Right.

Kid: And, I mean, you'd think that, you know, someone should come out and say, "This is what it is."

PAUL: But you know what I find amusing is that no one knows. If people approve and say, "Tiananmen Square, that's all right." But they don't know how many people got killed. They say, "It's all right." You know, might have killed a few. But no one, even Kissinger, brain that he is -- doesn't know how many people got killed, but said, "It's okay." Singapore, they said, "It's okay, you have to disperse the students." No one knows how many got killed.

BILL: Well, how many, Mr. Expert? [Laughter.]

PAUL: Well, I don't know, that's the whole point! If I knew --

NORM: I'll tell you why nobody knows.

BILL: Yeah.

NORM: 'Cause people forget a very important thing -- the Chinese are a lot smarter than us. [Laughter.and applause ]

So it's hard to criticize. But some things we excel at that they don't. You know, I mean --


PAUL: One thing they excel at --

NORM: I have never seen a Chinese guy in a porno. You know what I mean? [Laughter.]

BILL: We've got to take a break, we'll be right back. [Applause.]

[Applause.]

BILL: All right, Monday we're going to have Dennis Miller, Mike Farrell, Ann Coulter and Ann Richards of Texas. And I would never lie to my audience, that is a repeat. After working for five straight months, the "Politically Incorrect" staff gets a well-deserved break next week.

NORM: Yeah!

Kid: Yeah!

BILL: Please. [Laughter.]

So we may be off when the Tim McVeigh verdict comes in, and a lot of people think he's going to be found guilty. And they said they could send him to the gas chamber or the electric chair. I wanted to ask, do you think that's a wise thing to send somebody to his death who has a following out there? To make him a martyr, or not?

PAUL: Yeah, I think make him a martyr. Then when all the people --

BILL: You're a weird guy. You are a weird guy. [Laughter.]

PAUL: And when they come out of the woodwork -- when all these people come out of the woodwork saying, "What did you do to Tim?" machine gun them.

BILL: Oh. [Laughter.and applause ]

Kind of like the Chinese.

PAUL: More or less. Shoot 'em in the back of the neck.

BILL: Oh, okay.

ARIANNA: You can't treat the militia groups rationally and say, "If you execute him, they're going to make him into a martyr." They'll make him into a martyr anyway if they want to make him into a martyr.

NORM: Some militia groups are great, by the way. [Laughter.]

Yeah. [Laughter.]

BILL: You don't want them after you, right? But I mean --

PAUL: Anyway, who is he going to be a martyr to?

Kid: Will it change -- it won't change their doctrines or their mind-set one way or the other, if he's dead or alive, so --

BILL: But I mean, he did what he did because of Waco. Waco was a martyr to him. So it could happen again even worse.


1997 Brillstein-Grey Communications