Comedians Bill Maher and John Cleese tore into The New York Times for no longer being the “great newspaper” they once read.

On Sunday’s installment of his podcast “Club Random,” Maher cited a focus group The Times had recently published featuring young people “saying the dumbest s—,” telling Cleese “we’re so f—ed.”

“And it’s printed in The New York Times,” Maher said.

“Well, I used to think that was a great newspaper, but I don’t anymore,” Cleese responded.

“I don’t either,” Maher replied. “I mean, it’s sad because it was like on my breakfast table when I was a kid, it was in my parents’ house.”

“It was what they call a newspaper of record,” Cleese said. 

“It was!” Maher exclaimed. 

Maher and Cleese bonded on how The Times once had “great columnists,” with Maher adding how the paper is financially “more successful and ever” while marveling at how they have reporters around the world in places that “nobody else has.”

“What is annoying about it is that it’s not just, just give me the facts,” Maher said. “There’s way too much editorializing on the front page, the way the articles that are just supposed to be the fact kind of articles are slanted one way. And I’m not even necessarily for the other side! I just want someone to tell me the whole truth, not just like your version of it. Because you can lie by what you omit. And both sides do.”

Maher accused The New York Times of “editorializing” the front page and not just sticking to “the facts.” REUTERS

“Both sides do,” the Monty Python cofounder agreed. “And it’s trying to get a really accurate picture of something that’s got harder and harder and harder. When I came to live in America, which, I was here from about 1990 to 2008, I was saying, even in those days, the hard thing now is getting any reliable information.” 

A recurring subject during Maher’s 2-hour-long conversation with the British entertainment icon that led into The Times bashing was going after “woke” activists.

“What makes a great comedy is that it’s also true. And the truth is always shaded. It’s not one-sided,” Maher said. “Why are we so impatient with the woke? Because they don’t see nuance or context. They don’t give any of that kind of s—. It’s all so literally black and white, a lot of it. They didn’t get a good education because the schools collapsed. So they don’t think critically.

“There’s a lot of people in the American universities who are very pro the sort of woke that you and I don’t like,” Cleese said. 

“They’re insane!” Maher shouted. “They’ve got the kids marching for the terrorists!”


"Club Random" host Bill Maher and British comedy legend John Cleese blasted The New York Times for no longer being a "great newspaper."
“Club Random” host Bill Maher and British comedy legend John Cleese blasted The New York Times for no longer being a “great newspaper.” Club Random Podcast/YouTube

“It’s because they think that people are either all good or bad,” Cleese continued. “My mother, who was not a philosopher, said there’s good and bad in everyone. And if you ever forget that, you’re into trouble because the moment that people start thinking they’re better than they really are, then they start doing the denial and projection and seeing all their negative stuff in the people they don’t like. And then you’ve got a paranoid confrontation between the two.”

“The kids haven’t read anything longer than a TikTok,” Maher swatted the younger generation. “They know everything by way of buzzwords. They learn these words like ‘colonizer.’ They don’t know what ‘colonizer’ – as if Israel colonized that place, which is, of course, where the Jews are from. Jerusalem. Hello! The Bible, you know, the one where Jesus was born a Christian,” he joked. 

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