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Trayvon Martin Murder Case; Interview with Bill Maher
Aired March 27, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go.
Bill Maher is here. He`s got a bit to say about Trayvon Martin, the Supreme Court. We`ll see what he has to say. And he wants all of us, including myself, to please stop apologizing. I`m sorry, Bill, I`m sorry.
But, first, Trayvon Martin`s parents are in Washington, and the man who shot their son is in hiding. He`s suffering apparently from post- traumatic stress disorder.
Let`s get started.
PINSKY: Thank you for joining us.
The parents of Trayvon Martin were in Washington, D.C., today. They addressed the House Judiciary Committee on Racial Profiling and Hate Crimes. Their son has become the face of racial injustice after having been shot (AUDIO GAP) George Zimmerman who claims he fired in self-defense. He`s not been charged and an outraged public wants to know why.
The "Orlando Sentinel" reports that the police have witness statements that corroborate Zimmerman`s story, but there`s another witness who says police have taken her statement incorrectly and that no one at the police department has returned her call to correct the misinformation.
Joining me now: Attorney Lauren Lake, as well as Judge Karen Mills Francis, host of "Judge Karen`s Court," and the family attorney for the Martin family, Natalie Jackson.
Natalie, can you fill us in why Trayvon`s parents are in Washington today?
NATALIE JACKSON, ATTORNEY FOR THE MARTIN FAMILY: They`re in Washington today to testify in front of the judiciary committee. They wanted to know what happened. Is this a hate crime to deal with racial profiling and what are the laws in Florida? What do we need to do? Are they vague? Do they need to be changed?
PINSKY: All right. I want to look at the facts on the night Trayvon Martin was killed. We have a timeline (AUDIO GAP) went down. Throw that up there.
At 6:54, Trayvon answered a call from his girlfriend; 7:09, Zimmerman calls 911. Now, mind you, this is 7:50 in the evening, it`s still probably dusky out, it`s not nighttime, it`s not 3:00 in the morning.
At 7:12, Trayvon`s girlfriend calls him back after their 6:54 call gets disconnected suddenly. Now, between 7:16 and 7:19, neighbors call 911. That`s the infamous call we`ve all heard.
And 7:17, police are there. At 7:30, Trayvon is dead.
Judge Karen, let`s say that race was not a part of this issue. Or let`s reverse it. Let`s say there was a gentleman who did the shooting was African-American descent. Should the police have made an arrest in that case? Or would they have made an arrest had it been reversed?
JUDGE KAREN MILLS-FRANCIS, FORMER MIAMI-DADE COUNTY JUDGE: Well, that`s what this entire issue is about. The argument has been made is that if the races were reversed, then there would have been an arrest made.
But one of the news outlets reported today that the head homicide detective, I believe this name was Sorino (ph), actually filed an affidavit the night of this incident where he stated that he didn`t believe Zimmerman`s account of the story and that it was the state attorney`s office who declined to file these charges. So, now, that`s a new twist on things because that was the first time I had heard that, that there was a lead officer who thought that Zimmerman wasn`t telling the truth.
I think that this case is going to come down to one thing and one thing only: who was crying for help?
The FBI has these tapes now. Once they take them up to Washington, D.C., and they eliminate all those extraneous voices and outside noise and we`re going to hear those cries for help, then that`s going to decide this case. Because if it was really Zimmerman saying, "help, help, help," and then he shot him, then that basically supports his side of the story.
But if it was this 17-year-old child crying for help and we hear this shot, then Zimmerman has a problem.
It`s going to come down to this tape.
PINSKY: I don`t know, Karen. Karen, I feel like this is California speaking to Florida. You`ve been infected by the Florida virus down there.
I don`t think lethal force is justified in who`s yelling for help here. It`s just me. Maybe we`re too loosey-goosey over here in California.
Natalie, are you pursuing any of what Judge Karen brought up here?
JACKSON: Well, this is the problem. We are not the prosecutors. We`ve been doing an investigation because the parents have not been released any information about the death of their son.
That`s why they are doing what they are doing as far as testifying, as far as having these rallies. They want to know what happened to their 17- year-old son when he went to the store to buy some Skittles and was coming home.
PINSKY: And, Lauren, I want to go to you. So --
MILLS-FRANCIS: I`m sorry.
PINSKY: Go ahead, Karen. Go ahead.
MILLS-FRANCIS: I mean, this is a good boy we`re talking about. That`s the problem here. We say we got a good boy here. He goes to an "A" school.
Yes, he`s had some problems in school, but he`s a teenager. We haven`t heard that he was fighting. We haven`t heard that he was violent. We haven`t heard that he had a gun.
He wasn`t doing anything -- he wasn`t running from yard to yard looking into people`s windows and running into a back door. He bought Skittles and a drink and was trying to make it back in time for the game.
So, I think what makes people so incensed about it is that we`ve done everything right with our child and look what happened to him. And if it could happen to him, it could happen to anybody.
PINSKY: Karen, I totally agree with you. That is at the core of this. And not only that, when people say that this kid attacked Zimmerman, he still had his Bluetooth in his ear, he had his candy in his hand. How much damage had this kid -- I don`t care if he`s 6`1" and Zimmerman is 5`9".
And, by the way, how would you feel if a guy with a gun holster comes up to you at dusk and was stalking you in an SUV?
Lauren, I haven`t heard from you yet. What do you think about that?
LAUREN LAKE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Dr. Drew, the young girl has said, she was on the phone with Trayvon and he said, this man -- this man is looking at me crazy, something`s going on. She told Trayvon, Trayvon, run. She was scared for him. He thought that Zimmerman was going to do something to him.
Now, what I don`t understand is how we`re all the way past what I believe is one of the most important points of this case that I don`t want anybody to ever forget. When Zimmerman claims he saw somebody suspicious, he was told to stay in the car. I`m not over that, Dr. Drew. I`m not over that because if he would have followed direction, this would not have happened.
And you know what?
PINSKY: Yes, that`s right.
LAKE: If this was anybody else, anybody else besides a white -- or a Hispanic neighborhood watchman, very well connected with a magistrate judge for a dad, I also read today --
PINSKY: Oh, interesting.
LAKE: -- this person would be arrested. Yes. I read that today. After just what --
LAKE: Go ahead, I`m sorry.
PINSKY: I was going to say, there`s a parenting message here -- which is, teach your kids to follow the cop`s orders. If the cops say stand still, stand still. If the dispatcher says don`t chase them, don`t chase them.
I want you guys to watch this. Earlier tonight, Joe Oliver, Zimmerman`s friend, told Nancy Grace, HLN`s Nancy Grace that Zimmerman is not a racist and he tries to explain Zimmerman`s actions in the 911 call. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE OLIVER, FRIEND OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: On the 911 call, the call to the police dispatcher, two things I`d like to point out. You heard George said, first of all, he`s checking me out. Second of all, when the police dispatcher told them that he didn`t have to follow Trayvon, George responded, OK.
To me, that supports George`s claim that he was heading back toward his vehicle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: A reminder that I`ll have a chance to talk with this gentleman. He`ll be on our show tomorrow.
Lauren, I`ll let you pick back up. Go ahead and respond to that.
LAKE: This to me does not in any way support George Zimmerman`s claim, and you know what? People are trying to come up -- I`m a criminal defense attorney. You know, Dr. Drew, I`m usually on your show trying to give people some type of defense to go off of.
PINSKY: That`s right.
LAKE: The facts here are the facts. This man was in pursuit of this young boy. And this young girl`s account who was on the phone with Trayvon at the time when she`s telling him, run, you know, he`s coming toward you, run.
That is going to be so relevant in a court of law when we get there, because we will, because we will not let this rest until this man is under arrest. I haven`t even gotten to conviction. We`re not talking about conviction.
He needs to at least be arrested, Dr. Drew. And that`s what the outrage is about.
PINSKY: Go ahead, Karen.
MILLS-FRANCIS: The problem with this best friend`s account is that Zimmerman was supposedly in his car when he`s having this conversation with 911, and that same call he says, oh, he took off running. So, you`re still in your car and he took off running, it doesn`t make sense that you were somehow on the way back to your car. Remember, he said he took off running.
LAUREN: But, Judge Karen, Judge Karen, the dispatcher asked him, though, he said, are you going after him? He says, yes. He says, I don`t need you to do that.
So, George Zimmerman already admitted that he wasn`t in his car.
PINSKY: Guys, I got to take a break. My greatest fear in all this is we`re going to get bogged down in the details of this case and lose the increased awareness that I think we`re all coming to as a result of this case about a very subtle operation of racism. And I`m so fearful we`re going to lose our focus on that.
But thank you, Lauren. Thank you, Natalie. And thank you, Judge Karen.
Up next, according to reports, marijuana wasn`t the only suspicious item found in Trayvon Martin`s book bag. We have some new information, so we`ll talk about that.
But, again, I`m fearful -- don`t let us forget the fact, guys, this kid was walking down the street and somebody tailed him. That`s what led to all this. Keep that in mind. And it was profiling and the subtle operation of racism that led to tragedy.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: It sounds like a male.
DISPATCHER: And you don`t know why?
CALLER: I don`t know why. I think they`re yelling help. But I don`t know.
Please send someone quick, please.
DISPATCHER: Does he look hurt?
CALLER: I can`t see him. I don`t want to go out there. I don`t know what`s going on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re calling the cops.
CALLER: They`re sending them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRACY MARTIN, TRAYVON MARTIN`S FATHER: For the Sanford Police Department to feel as though they were going to sweep another young, black minority`s death under the rug is an atrocity. This family is hurt. This family is torn.
And the Sanford Police Department needs to be held accountable. George Michael Zimmerman needs to be arrested.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Trayvon Martin became the face of racial injustice after he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watch captain. Zimmerman yet to be charged, and an outraged public is asking why.
Tonight, the "Miami Herald" reports in addition to apparently traces of marijuana discovered in Trayvon Martin`s book bag, to me, that`s the most bizarre piece of evidence they could look at as having anything to do with this case. But new information, there were 12 pieces of jewelry, including a wedding band, diamond earrings and a screw driver apparently now was found in the same book bag.
Trayvon reportedly told a school official that the jewelry belonged, quote, "to a friend" but declined to give a name.
Joining me, Jen Barringer, former attorney for Casey Anthony.
Jen, if this goes to trial, I mean, I say none of this stuff matters. But to a jury, might it matter?
JEN BARRINGER, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR CASEY ANTHONY: It absolutely might. In fact, if Zimmerman has a really good defense attorney, they will certainly try to distract a jury with, you know, whether or not Trayvon was a good kid, if he`s ever done anything wrong in his life. I mean, obviously, as you said, they already brought up the most minuscule of things to tie in --
PINSKY: Traces of pot -- traces of pot in a bag in a bag.
PINSKY: That`s silly. And, by the way, if we have to pick a drug --
MILLS-FRANCIS: None of that stuff is going to be admissible in evidence in a trial. The fact about the bag, the fact about the jewelry, the fact about the -- that he was suspended three times, none of that is admissible evidence because his character is not an issue. The victim`s character is not an issue here. Whose character is going to be placed an issue in the trial is going to be Zimmerman.
BARRINGER: You`re absolutely right, your honor.
MILLS-FRANCIS: The character usually is not admissible, but if Zimmerman`s attorney tries to put forth evidence that he`s a good character, he`s solid, he doesn`t overreact, then the state`s going to be able to bring in the fact that he`s been arrested for resisting arrest without violence and charged, arrested for battery on a police officer and charged, twice served with domestic violence injunctions.
So I would be more worried if I were Zimmerman`s attorney than I would be if I were a prosecutor.
JACKSON: And I want to make it very, very clear --
PINSKY: Go ahead, Natalie.
JACKSON: Trayvon has never been arrested for anything. I want to make it very, very clear. They are looking at school records. This is -- this is very egregious. It`s a part of the mud slinging campaign to demonize Trayvon.
And I agree with Judge Karen.
PINSKY: I agree with you.
JACKSON: This is not admissible in court. It will never come in.
MILLS-FRANCIS: None of it is.
PINSKY: Natalie, you`re -- Natalie, you`re absolutely right. But it is, unfortunately, going into the court of public opinion. And that`s what really disturbs me here, is that we`re losing a focus. There`s an opportunity here to raise our consciousness rather to get into he said/she said, good kid/bad kid. There`s something happened here and it struck true to people.
JACKSON: I want to make it very, very clear that this was a good kid. This was a kid that was going to college. This is a kid who by all accounts of his teacher was an A/B student. This was a kid who -- e wasn`t a perfect kid. He was a 17-year-old.
MILLS-FRANCIS: H was a teenager. He was a teenager. And I challenge most of us to say, oh, we were great teenagers. We were just little angels and never got in trouble.
His mother wasn`t going down to juvenile detention to pick him up. His mother wasn`t called to the mall because he`s stealing something. All these little innuendoes that ended with his suspension, the police were never called. This boy was never even arrested.
PINSKY: That`s right.
MILLS-FRANCIS: But I want to say one thing, Dr. Drew. You`re talking about the public opinion.
PINSKY: One thing more.
MILLS-FRANCIS: I said I`ve always believed in juries. Juries do the right thing. I am certain whatever jury gets empanelled in this case, if it`s charged, I believe it`s going to be charged -- they`re going to do the right thing.
PINSKY: Well, we`ll be watching and talking about it. I want to throw a little lighter fluid on this conversation. A former chapter leader of the NAACP, Reverend CL Bryant, listen to this, ladies. Karen, I`ll let you start with this.
This gentleman is accusing Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson of exploiting Trayvon Martin`s death to, quote, "racially divide the country". Reverend Bryant also said Sharpton and Jackson are, quote, "acting as buzzards circling around the carcass of a young boy."
Karen, respond to that.
MILLS-FRANCIS: I think it drags down the conversation to make so much of this about race, because it`s -- like I said last night, if Zimmerman had been arrested, most of us wouldn`t know who Trayvon Martin was. It is about the institutional vestiges of racism that are still there -- and, I mean, I heard that the Black Panthers were putting a $10,000 bounty on his head. Where have they been for the last 30 years?
Yes, I believe, I can`t speak for Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, but I think that this thing is turning the wrong way. I think we`re losing focus. The focus should be this boy -- this boy who was a good boy. This boy who was where he was supposed to be.
This boy who was being pursued by somebody he didn`t know in an SUV. This same person was told, don`t get out of your car. Don`t chase him. And then --
PINSKY: Go ahead, Natalie.
JACKSON: The family agrees with you also. The family -- there were 2 million people that signed a petition for justice for Trayvon. These were 2 million people of all different ethnicities, of all different nationalities, of all different races, of all different political affiliations.
This should not be a divisive issue. The parents want justice for their son. They don`t want any other agenda that any other people attesting agendas.
Now, I will say, as far as Reverend Al and Reverend Jackson, without the national dialogue, without people talking about it, the parents would have never -- this case would have died. There would never have been a public prosecutor appointed without the public, social media, without people debating.
PINSKY: And, guys, and, Natalie, there would have been an opportunity missed. An opportunity missed to really elevate this -- let`s not sink this conversation. Let`s elevate this conversation. Let`s not let us divide us. Let it bring us together, Karen.
MILLS-FRANCIS: Exactly. Deal with the diversity we have.
PINSKY: Keep elevating it. I got to go, guys.
JACKSON: That`s what the parents think.
PINSKY: Later on, Bill Maher is going to give us his take on some of these issues.
But next, a police officer`s online comment about the Trayvon Martin case cost him his job. That shocking statement when we come back.
PINSKY: A New Orleans police officer resigns -- this is new breaking news -- he resigned tonight after he posted remarks online about the slain Florida teen, Trayvon Martin. The officer wrote, quote, "Act like a thug, die like one," on the Web site of CNN affiliate WWL in New Orleans.
Judge Karen, he was initially suspended, but actually I say thank goodness that he stepped down because this was, again, more of this divisive stuff we`re talking about.
MILLS-FRANCIS: Right. Right. But, see, that`s why this whole issue of race needs to be discussed in terms that we can all deal with, because his statement is basically a racist statement.
Dr. Drew, I`ve been following this story. I always read the little comments under the stories. You don`t know how many times I have read the "N" word in comments, how many times I`ve seen comments jungle buddy. Read the comments under these stories on CNN, and other stories.
PINSKY: Karen --
PINSKY: Karen, I don`t know who -- I apologize. I feel disgusted that people feel to take this to this level.
Let me -- I want to bring in a caller, Nancy in New Jersey.
You`re actually teacher, a sociology teacher I guess, and you actually taught some lessons on Trayvon Martin`s death. Can tell us what your comment is?
NANCY, CALLER FROM NEW JERSEY: Sure, Dr. Drew. How are you?
PINSKY: I`m good.
NANCY: Actually, I was talking to my students today in class. And I was kind of doing a little discussion about this issue which, of course, has sparked a lot of heated debate.
NANCY: We discussed the topic of race a lot in the class, and, you know, from a sociological standpoint, we believe we`re not born racist. We learn it through various agents of socialization, including, you know, our families and friends and teachers, sometimes teachers, unfortunately.
PINSKY: Let me ask you as a sociology teacher, how do we prevent these divisive comments from ripping us apart? How do we -- a lot of people, as that -- whoever it was said that reverend circling the carcass of this poor dead man, using it to exploit and divide?
NANCY: We, I think we just need to bring it back to a positive -- to a positive place. We can`t get caught up in emotions. I think when get caught up in emotions, then we lose sight of talking about the real issues.
PINSKY: Emotions should be helpful here.
Here`s where you can help, Nancy. Get those students, make them think. That`s really what I think is going to elevate the conversation. Make them think about it. To at least have your classroom leading us into the future.
PINSKY: OK, Nancy?
NANCY: Absolutely. Thanks, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Thank you for the call. I appreciate it.
Karen, don`t you agree with me? Emotions can be good here, can impassion us. But we can`t let it -- we can`t let divide us. We must bring us together on this issue.
MILLS-FRANCIS: Dr. Drew, you have to remember, though, as parents the thing we care about most is protecting our children and I think what`s fueling a lot of this is the fear. Like I told you yesterday, I have two nephews and a niece that go to this school. They wear hoodies. They are honor students. They`re on their way to college.
And it terrifies me to think that this could happen to them. We`ve done everything we can to make sure that they have a future, that they`re on the straight and narrow.
So a lot of this emotion comes from the fear.
PINSKY: But -- right. But, Karen, here`s the deal. Here`s what we`ve learned as a result of this awful tragedy, which is that African- American parents, our colleagues, our friends, our peers, have to fear this about their kids going in the world and we need to get behind them and support them and race awareness about this.
I didn`t know, I didn`t understand, I`m sorry, and we need -- I do know now and we need to be impassioned about it. And let this story raise us, raise our consciousness, not divide us.
Karen, thank you, always, for being here. I appreciate your comments.
MILLS-FRANCIS: I agree. Thank you, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Next up, Bill Maher is here. Bill Maher is here. What else can I say? He`ll have plenty to say, no doubt.
Please stay with us.
PINSKY: All right. Now, welcome back. Tonight, we speak with a man who will say what is on his mind, thank goodness. And he is, finally, thank goodness, agreed to appear on this program. Please welcome, the host of HBO`s "Real Time with Bill Maher," Bill Maher. Thank you for joining us. I really do appreciate it.
BILL MAHER, "REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER": Look at you, all grown up on CNN.
PINSKY: Isn`t that crazy? You`re laughing at me.
MAHER: Look, because I remember some of the questions we used to get when I was on "Loveline" with you.
PINSKY: Yes, and I still do "Loveline," believe it or not. But people don`t know, we mentioned this in the makeup room together, is that we`ve known each other 15 years.
MAHER: At least, yes.
PINSKY: Which is a little freaky when you`ve been --
MAHER: That`s probably the longest relationship I`ve had with a doctor.
PINSKY: Maybe with anybody, frankly.
MAHER: No. Scott Carter, we were just talking about --
PINSKY: Yes, your executive producer.
MAHER: A number of the people from "Politically Incorrect" which started 20 years ago.
PINSKY: It`s unbelievable.
MAHER: They`re still with me. So, that says something about my psychic health, doc, doesn`t it, and stick with me 20 years.
PINSKY: Something good about you or something not so good about them, one or the other. But, what people may not know is I used to do that show a lot with you. And it`s still, other than this show, of course, probably my favorite thing to ever do on television. It was really fun.
MAHER: It was a beautiful train wreck, wasn`t it? I mean, it was sort of a designed train wreck. But that`s what people liked about it. That`s what we were sort of trying to achieve. Television that was not predictable.
PINSKY: Well, it was honest which is something you don`t see that much on television.
MAHER: So honest we got fired.
PINSKY: Well, that`s what I wanted to talk about, which is --
MAHER: Really? We`re still talking about it.
PINSKY: Well, a little bit, because when that happened, I was outraged. I was outraged that you -- I don`t know if you remember. I came up to you and said, I`ll stand behind you on this.
MAHER: Oh, I know. I know you did, and I appreciate that.
PINSKY: But because you were merely making a point. You were making a point, and it was a vivid point. It was to make a point. And because you spoke honestly and spoke your mind, you lost your job. That`s my question is, what are the grounds of honest discourse these days? Have we lost the ability to be honest, to be direct, and to have the First Amendment protect us?
MAHER: It`s funny, because I did an editorial, and actually, they printed it in "The New York Times" last week about let`s stop all apologizing. And it really struck a chord with people. I think it`s something that everyone was starting to think that I`ve been thinking for years, which is, stop this culture of everyone feeling they have to go through life never being uncomfortable for even a single moment.
And that if someone upsets you with something they say, not only do they have to apologize, very often they have to go away, like I had to go away for a while. They wanted to make Rush Limbaugh go away. Now, I don`t agree with hardly anything Rush Limbaugh says, but I defended him.
And then, the liberals attacked me for defending -- and I`m like, no, no, no. This is wrong. The basis of the First Amendment is protect the speech we hate. It`s easy to protect the speech we all agree with.
PINSKY: Right. And you said some very powerful things that people objected to about Sarah Palin and Bachmann, and you had a right to do that the way Rush had a right to say horrible things. And we have a right to attack people for saying those horrible things, too, by the way.
MAHER: Well, first of all, I didn`t say horrible things. I said what they attacked me for was saying something in my standup act, which is very different. I`m in the tradition of Lenny Bruce and George Carlin. I`m a potty mouth. That`s not a misogynist. And, I`m a comedian. People were laughing really hard at what I said. That`s nothing like what Rush Limbaugh did.
He actually attacked a civilian. First of all, Sarah Palin is a politician. She`s called people terrorists and child molester. Called David Letterman a child molester and the president a terrorist. She gives pretty good. So, the idea that it`s horrible that I can`t in my standup act say whatever I want about him, ridiculous, and not equivalent to Rush Limbaugh.
PINSKY: Have we lost our sense of humor?
MAHER: Well, that`s, I think, what the point what I was trying to make last week for the apology was, because it`s gotten to the point where it`s just always a political football. When somebody says anything, I don`t believe anyone really believes anymore that something that is said like what De Niro said is really that bad.
It`s just an opportunity to get at the other team. And that`s part of our problem in America is we have a red team and a blue team, and they attack each other.
PINSKY: I was reading Andrew Jackson`s biography recently. And back in the day, you hired a newspaper to attack the other newspaper, the other side. You had two sides that -- there was no such thing as journalistic integrity. Journalism was a biased, nasty, partisan operation. It was very, very different in those days.
All right. Let me switch gears, and I`m going to challenge you about something. We`ve spent a lot of time talking about the shooting of an unarmed teen in Florida. I`m going to have you watch this tape. And this goes at some of the issues we`re talking about here. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: They will try to make your son a junkie, a thief, an assault, and everything else before this is over.
SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN`S MOTHER: They`ve killed my son, and now, they`re trying to kill his reputation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: OK. Of course, that`s the Trayvon Martin case. We`ve been talking a lot about that. A tragedy. Is this about racism?
MAHER: Of course. I can`t believe we`re even asking that question.
MAHER: How could it not be? If the positions were reversed, if it was a White kid who was shot by a Black guy, you think we`d be in this situation?
PINSKY: I thought about this last night. What if it was two Black men?
MAHER: Probably wouldn`t have heard about it.
PINSKY: Which is, to me, I think you`re right. To me, that strikes deeper in some weird way.
PINSKY: Because it`s uncovering these subtle aspects of racism. It`s raising consciousness that we need to do, right?
MAHER: The new racism is denying racism. That`s --
PINSKY: I was in that camp. I got to tell you. I think I was in that camp. And I spent my week apologizing to all my African-American friends, because when they would complain, I go, oh, come on, it`s not that bad. It can`t be, sort of denying it, denying that -- and now, I see something like this, I go, oh my god, I`m sorry, I didn`t know. This is what I`m apologizing for.
MAHER: Yes. Well, you know, a survey recently of Fox News viewers found that they felt that reverse racism was actually a bigger problem than racism. You know, I don`t know what universe these people live in, I guess, a white one. And, you think after all these years, they would understand just looking around them that that`s not really the case, reverse racism is not worse than racism.
And we see it in so many ways, but I guess, from their point of view, we`ve progressed so much. And that`s true, too. that`s The hard part of this is that America came from slavery, obviously, but then, we went into an era of Jim Crow (ph). And then, we went into an era of segregation. And now, they think, well, those problems are gone. We are no longer segregated officially.
We don`t have Jim Crow (ph) laws. We don`t have slavery, of course. So, the problem is solved. And it`s -- I would say to them, it`s like, if a race started and three quarters of the way around the track, the Black people got to start running, now they`re running, too. You don`t look up and go, hey, we`re all running now.
Yes, but somebody had a giant lead, which is why I would say, you know, affirmative action is still appropriate in some situations.
PINSKY: Thomas Jefferson calculated it would take 200 years to undo slavery in this country. It was his calculation. All right. Let me ask a topic that you like ribbing me about a little bit, the idea of sex addiction. You say it doesn`t exist. Right here -- I share a stage with Piers Morgan right here. You said it doesn`t exist. Tell me what you mean by that.
MAHER: Well, I mean, to me, an addiction is to something that`s bad for you. Isn`t that an important distinction to make between every other addiction? I mean, heroin --
PINSKY: It can hurt you. The heroin is not bad for you. That`s the crazy thing about opiates, they`re not bad for you. They create a horrible disease process where you destroy your life and you eventually start using it ways that are bad for you. But the opiate, the great advance in the opiate was it didn`t hurt the person at all.
It just took away pain. That`s why it was such a marvelous advancement, but it caused this disease, this change in their thinking, the change in their behavior, this thing we call addiction. So, a-ha, so there.
MAHER: Well, tonight, I`m going to have sex and do heroin.
MAHER: This is fantastic. I can`t tell you how happy I am about coming here today.
PINSKY: And then, of course, pot is a favorite of yours. And -- before we get into that (ph), I`ll probably get into that in the next block. Riddle me this. Why do I always get labeled as the buzz kill guy? I don`t want to kill anybody`s buzz. I don`t believe in good drugs and bad drugs. You paint me as that sometimes, the anti-pot guy. I`m not the anti-pot guy.
MAHER: When did I ever paint you as that?
PINSKY: Somebody did.
MAHER: I probably smoked too much pot and I forgot, but I really have no recollection of doing that. I don`t think of you as that guy.
PINSKY: OK, good.
MAHER: I mean, I don`t think of you as one of my smoke-out buddies.
PINSKY: No. But if you want to be that guy, I`m not going to not be your friend. I don`t care.
MAHER: I don`t think of you as a prude at all.
PINSKY: Thank you.
MAHER: And I always defer to you because you`re obviously a doctor, and I`m not. But some day, I`ll get you stoned.
PINSKY: Fair enough.
MAHER: And you know, we will have a whole different sort of discussion.
PINSKY: Yes. We`ll talk about Twinkies and ho-hos, probably. All right.
There is this world inside the mind of Bill Maher. I`m going to dig deeper into that after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: I`m also struck by the depth to which we are shedding new light on how racism affects our relationships. I, myself, feel like I should be apologizing to my African-American friends.
This has raised us to another level of understanding about racism and the sort of the more subtle workings of it. This is awful. I didn`t realize. I`m sorry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Bill, is there anything wrong with apologizing for that?
MAHER: No. I mean, apologies are not in and of themselves bad. In fact, they`re amazing, sometimes. In Rwanda, you know, they have these what they called I can`t remember the word in Africa, but it`s basically an apology court.
I mean, these are people who tried to commit genocide, one on the other, and obviously, these wounds are deeper than anything we could imagine in this country, and yet, the power of an apology, they set up these courts where people just came in and said basically, yes, I`m really sorry for macheting your whole family, and believe it or not, it worked.
You know, it really moves people when you apologize, when it`s sincere and when it`s deserved. Not for when Robert De Niro makes a joke.
PINSKY: OK. So, don`t apologize for joking or having an opinion.
MAHER: Just don`t take it too far. I mean, a little common sense is what we`ve lost in this nation.
PINSKY: Well, in the spirit of things. Yes, you`re right. The spirit in which things are being offered. That gets completely erased.
MAHER: If it`s somebody in the media and you don`t like what they said, change the channel. Right. Move on with your life. You don`t have to put pause, put it on pause and feel like nothing can go on until this person apologizes or this is set right. Just let it, dirt off your shoulder. Remember that?
PINSKY: And you`re a comedian, by the way. You have to remember that. You know what I mean? I mean, that`s your --
MAHER: I remember (ph) it all the time.
PINSKY: All right. I want you to look at another story. Kim Kardashian flour bombed last week. And here`s what Will Smith tweeted about it. "We live in America where a girl that threw flour on Kim Kardashian was arrested on site, but the man who killed Trayvon Martin is still free." Right?
MAHER: Yes. He`s right.
PINSKY: Yes. He`s right. I actually have a caller that wants to bring this up a little bit. Her name is Yuley (ph). Is that right? Is that your name?
YULEY (ph): Yes.
PINSKY: Hi, Yuley (ph). You wanted to comment on a particular story. Go right ahead. You`re here with Bill Maher and myself.
YULEY (ph): Hi. Yes, you know, it`s crazy to me that George Zimmerman can still do as he wants.
YULEY (ph): You know, he`s receiving threats, but the woman who flour bombed Kim Kardashian was arrested almost immediately. What more do they need to put this monster -- what more do they need to arrest him? It blows my mind.
PINSKY: Yes. It blows everyone`s mind. I mean, the story -- the intricacies of the story are, apparently, more complex than we all realize, but still, he walks free.
MAHER: And that is what is on everyone`s mind in America. I mean, and I do think that the pressure is going to become unbearable, even on that police department, which, you know, did not have a great record before this. And of course, the law is what has to change. I mean, that, I think, is what really is getting people upset is that even if we arrest this guy, there`s no guarantee that Florida is going to change this basically anyone who scares you, you can shoot law, which is insane.
And this is something we`re going to talk about on my show this week, the idea that this is what happens in America when one political party, in this case, the Democrats, completely rolls over on an issue, in this case, gun control.
Somewhere along the way, about 10 to 12 years ago, certainly, after Al Gore lost the election and lost his home state of Tennessee and a number of swing states because he was a little too hard on the NRA. He only voted with them 75 percent of the time. The Democrats got it in their head that this gun control was a loser issue for them, and they could never stand up, as they should.
So, what you have here is the NRA getting absolutely everything they want. They got so much of what they want that they had to start inventing stuff that didn`t exist. Like, that`s how we got the stand your ground law. They invented a scenario where what if liberals try to take away our right to shoot someone who comes in our home?
Well, we`re going to have to take it one step farther. You`re going to have to have that right when you`re actually on the street, which is insane. And that`s where we have gotten to, a place of insanity because the Democrats rolled over on gun control.
PINSKY: Your position is should be gun control or we should have more sanity with guns and we shouldn`t have automatic weapons --
MAHER: Of course. Well, I think we`re saying the same thing. I mean, whatever you want to call it.
PINSKY: Well, but you`re not saying people cannot carry guns.
PINSKY: You`re saying more sanity with guns.
MAHER: Well, carry them? I don`t know about carry them. You should be able to have one in your home. I have one in my home. Yes. I think if someone comes into your home, you have every right to blow them away.
PINSKY: I think people would be surprised to hear you say that.
MAHER: Well, I`ve been saying it for years.
PINSKY: I think people would think that you would be someone that was against gun ownership.
MAHER: People think a lot of things, and they`re wrong about me, but I believe, yes, first of all, you`re never going to get all the guns away from people in this country. There are now more guns than there are human beings in America. And, you know, the gun -- one of the gun companies said they got so many orders, and this gets back to our discussion of racism.
You know, this is because there`s a black president, who, by the way, has never said a word about taking away your guns, but the fear out there is so great that they cannot keep up with the orders. They got more than a million orders last month for guns. Virginia had a law. You can only buy one gun a month. Very strict.
Because, you know, we`ve all gotten to the end of the month and run out of gun. Repealed it because that was too restrictive. You need more than one gun a month. Like Christmas when you want to buy for your friends --
PINSKY: Let`s be fair. You`re not asking for gun control. You`re asking for gun sanity.
MAHER: Gun sanity, which is what -- it used to be a bipartisan concept, gun sanity. But as I say, that goes out the window when the right wing gets everything they want.
PINSKY: Well, isn`t so much of what`s underlying -- everything you and I are talking about today is this sort of non-rational partisanship.
MAHER: Yes. Yes, but it`s also wrong to say that it`s equal. You know, this is the fake fairness idea that drives me nuts in America today, because anything one person, one side does, then the media thinking that this makes them look fair and balanced, has to say the other side does it in equal measure. That`s not true.
PINSKY: The law makes us do that.
MAHER: The law?
PINSKY: Law -- with news. When there`s news reporting, you`ve got to give the opposing point of view a certain amount of time.
MAHER: Well, you`re talking about -- that`s campaign. That`s campaigning. One side --
PINSKY: And allegations and things.
MAHER: That`s a different thing than the media saying that, you know, Keith Olbermann is the same thing as Glenn Beck.
PINSKY: Right, right.
MAHER: No. Glenn Beck is a nut. And Keith Olbermann is a liberal. That`s not the same thing.
PINSKY: Are you --do you have any libertarian bend?
MAHER: Of course.
PINSKY: Do you wish the government would get out of our lives?
MAHER: I still get angry messages from libertarians saying I`ve turned my back on them. Actually, the libertarians have changed. I haven`t. Libertarianism, the way I used to interpret it, was, I should be able to do anything that doesn`t hurt another person. You know --
PINSKY: The government should get out of your life, basically.
MAHER: Right. But it didn`t mean that there shouldn`t be, you know, inspections of meat and not that I eat meat --
PINSKY: And air traffic control.
MAHER: And air traffic control and FEMA, you know?
PINSKY: I got to take another quick break. We`ll talk more with Bill Maher when we come back.
PINSKY: We are back with Bill Maher. Now, actress, Alicia Silverstone, apparently, feeds her child like a bird. You`ve got see this to believe it. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): It is from her blog, the kind life. Here she is chewing some of her vegan delight. And then, wait, wait, now she takes it and she feeds it like a bird to her little young boy who, yes, yes, oh, no, there it goes. Bill, I say that young boy will live to hate his mother soon enough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MAHER: I like Alicia, but that`s clueless.
MAHER: If I may.
PINSKY: But you know, you and I have talked about this. What is it about celebrities -- people -- I mean, they don`t have highly specialized training and professional degree, they`re catapult to these positions.
MAHER: Right. And they live in a -- they do live in a bubble.
PINSKY: They live in a bubble.
MAHER: I mean, I will not name names, because it`s not polite to do that, but I have had guests on not so much the show I do now but "Politically Incorrect" where you did not have to be that up on the issues who I could not believe what they did not know.
There was a big musical person, which I won`t say who in the year 2000, and before the show, she said to my producer, Scott Carter, she did not know who Al Gore was. Heard the name. It`s year 2000.
MAHER: I remember in 2007, talking into another big star at an Oscar party and he said, I`m thinking about coming on your show, but don`t be too hard on me, I just found out who Dick Cheney was. You know, people who`ve been vice president, we`re talking about two vice presidents, for years and years, and just -- that`s a bubble.
MAHER: That`s a kind of a bubble that most people just cannot afford to live in.
PINSKY: And yet, I would defend our right to talk about Alicia Silverstone and how goofy that is, and I don`t think that`s a good thing for your son. I think that`s a terrible way of initiating boundaries with a young boy who needs to grow up and be autonomous, horrible idea, psychologically. But I defend her right to do that.
MAHER: Of course.
PINSKY: People can do whatever -- as long as they don`t hurt anybody. She may be hurting that child. There`s a little bit of discussion there. Not really.
MAHER: You know, with White supremacists raise their kids -- you know, you`ve seen a little child, five years old, with a clan outfit on. If we start saying what you can do as a parent, we take a lot of kids away.
PINSKY: No, that`s exactly right. And there are, of course, line to draw. We are more aware of things these days. But I`m with you. I think, fundamentally, I want government out of my life, not telling me what to do, which is why the Supreme Court case today is a big, big deal as it pertains to health care. This is going to test that issue. I know. I know it`s kind of silly on one level trying to create health care --
MAHER: It`s not silly, but all week long now, I have been watching people, Tea Party people, defending this idea that this is unconstitutional, and then, the interviewer gets around to the question, Ok, but what about people who don`t have health insurance --
PINSKY: What do we do?
MAHER: -- who then gets sick? Who pays?
MAHER: And they never have an answer. You know what they say? I don`t know about that, I just know this is wrong.
PINSKY: That`s right.
MAHER: So childish. You know, we spent two years debating this. Two -- we spent a century, but two in a recent time when the bill was actually before the Congress. There is no better way to do it. Yes, it`s not the perfect system, but live in the real world. There is no perfect answer. It`s like the S.A.T. test. Pick the best answer, not the perfect one.
PINSKY: And I would say, we have to come up with something with healthcare. All of us agree on that. That`s the crazy thing. We can`t seem --
MAHER: Well, there`s a reason why all the other modern countries in the world have come up with this basic idea. You got to get everybody in the pool.
MAHER: And everybody is going to get sick.
PINSKY: Bill, I got to go. Thank you for being here. I have to mention that the Will Smith Twitter we put up, apparently, was a fake, I guess. I`m obliged to say that. But I want to thank Bill Maher for being here. I do appreciate you coming --
MAHER: My pleasure. Always great to see you.
PINSKY: Watch Bill on "Real Time" on HBO, what time of night? Friday night?
MAHER: Friday night.
PINSKY: We`ll see you all next time. Thanks for watching.