Real Time with Bill Maher often brings some spirited debate that we don’t see often on television these days. Most cable news shows are tailored to an audience. So, having credible opposing viewpoints on them often is a disservice to a cable news show trying to push a narrative. Maher’s program doesn’t rely solely on the minute to minute ratings scramble that cable news does, and debate is still a cornerstone of the weekly series on HBO. Love or hate Bill Maher, for anyone who actually wants to see credible debate happen in these polarizing times, it can be a breath of fresh air.

This week, MSNBC’s Ari Melber and ABC’s Sarah Isgur sat on Maher’s panel. At first glance, one might not think that this would be as oppositional as some of Maher’s panel. But, the subject at hand was the Dominion v Fox lawsuit making headlines this week. Isgur began her initial comments by “disclosing” that her husband was an attorney involved with the lawsuit. What she didn’t disclose is who her husband is representing in that suit — Fox News.

Isgur’s husband is attorney Scott Keller. Fox retained him back in 2021 to fight on their behalf against Dominion.

So, of course, Isgur’s comments would favor Fox, right? The short answer is yes, but she tried to do it in a tricky way. Her trick, however, would be immediately shut down by Melber, who is also an attorney. Melber would also do it in a way that didn’t embarrass her by revealing that she was essentially representing her husband’s interests in defending Fox. He is always a gentleman like that.

Isgur tried to paint “the problem” as cable news being so compartmentalized, which it is (and we stated as much in the opening paragraph). But that isn’t the problem here. The problem is, according to the Dominion lawsuit, is Fox knowingly lying through their teeth. The issue isn’t anyone’s ideology or political leanings. The issue is truth vs lies. In this case, “The Big Lie” that Donald Trump and his allies, some of whom are at Fox News, literally making things up to try to overturn a legitimate, verified, and certified election.

The takedown went like this:

Sarah Isgur: (after her partial disclosure) … This gets to something we don’t like to talk about in the media. These media organizations are private corporations. Their business model, for a lot of them has changed a lot in the digital era. So that, yeah, they’re very concerned about, for instance, their subscribers, in a way that it used to be about — ad revenue, for instance. And we’ve seen that shift away from ad revenue where you’re trying to get, you know, I don’t know, GM to have their car on your show.  To now, its all about the individual subscribers and that’s why you see fracturing of news organizations catering to ideological niches within the ecosystem.

Ari Melber: I’ll say, respectfully, that’s like a structural analysis of stuff in media. But I think this story is about the people at Fox lying — they know they are lying. They’re busted only because they got dragged into court, as you said, Bill. And so, its actually really important cause it shows that the 1st amendment should protect all kinds of ideas, opinions, and everything. It doesn’t protect the right to lie us into an insurrection and that’s what they are in trouble for.

Bill Maher: Yes, this is … let’s not make false equivalencies. This is a level above. This is just different. … he also gives the motive, “the stock price is going down.”

Ari Melber: Sean Hannity, in a deposition admitted that he never believed any of Trump’s lies for a second. So its very different than just saying that this is tailored or are you overly concerned about an audience, a live audience, an audience on television — no. They were in on it. And for everyone afterwards who said (Hannity and Tucker) believe his lies … not this one.

Melber is correct. This isn’t about bias or ideologies. This is about a news organization lying through their teeth. And in this case, those lies, at least in part, are believed by many to have led to the carnage and attempted coup of America’s democracy on January 6th, 2021.

Melber managed to take down the Fox insider, which Isgur really was (vs just being an ABC analyst, as she was introduced) as she shamelessly tried to divert the issue and rewrite the narrative around the Dominion lawsuit into something it wasn’t. Time will tell if, in the actual courtroom, Dominion’s lawyers will do the same vs Fox News.

Check out the full segment from HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher below:

Below, we have included a couple of examples of how Fox knew what was really going on and that there was no fraud. Their only concern was retaining viewers and keeping the stock price up, and no lie was too big to accomplish that goal.

Yahoo news reports:

In a message purportedly sent to a group chat including Ms. Ingraham and Mr. Hannity on 12 November, Mr. Carlson pointed out a tweet from the network’s White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich in which she fact-checked a post by Mr. Trump alleging voter fraud, pointing out that “top election infrastructure officials” had declared: “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes or was in any way compromised.”

Mr. Carlson reacted by saying: “Please get her fired. Seriously… What the f***? I’m actually shocked… It needs to stop tonight immediately, like tonight. It’s immeasurably hurting the company. The stock price is down. Not a joke.”

The actual filing showed that a Trump lawyer, Sydney Powell, got her “evidence” from some version of self described “time travel.” Fox found it fitting to put her on the air to “report” her “evidence” without any pushback whatsoever:

But behind the scenes, Fox knew that Powell was a few sandwiches shy of a picnic. Again, from Yahoo:

Sidney Powell, AKA The Kraken, forwarded an email she had received from an anonymous tipster to Fox Business Network anchor Maria Bartiromo, which she herself admitted was “pretty wackadoodle”, alleging that Dominion’s machines were the “one common thread” tying together “voting irregularities in a number of states.”

The sender also apparently believed that the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia had been “purposefully killed at the annual Bohemian Grove camp… during a weeklong human hunting expedition” and wrote: “Who am I? And how do I know all of this?… I’ve had the strangest dreams since I was a little girl… I was internally decapitated, and yet, I live… The Wind tells me I’m a ghost, but I don’t believe it.”

Elsewhere, Mr Carlson accused Ms Powell of lying and called her a “f***ing b****” and Ms Ingraham said of her: “Sidney is a complete nut. No one will work with her. Ditto Rudy.”

It will be interesting indeed to see how this one plays out. Many believe that if truth and justice still have a home in America’s legal system, that Fox is in huge trouble.