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PIERS MORGAN LIVE
Latest on LAX Shooting; Interview with Bill Maher
Aired November 1, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN ANCHOR: This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Tonight, breaking news on the deadly shooting at LAX. Chaos at the crowded airport when a gunman opens fire with an assault rifle. The suspect identified as Paul Anthony Ciancia, killing a TSA officer and wounding several others before he was shot and taken into custody. LAX was brought to a virtual standstill for hours. It's now open again. There are a lot of new details tonight emerging. Kyung Lah is at the airport with the latest on the shooting, and Chris Lawrence is outside the suspect's family home in New Jersey, we will begin with Kyung. Kyung what do we know about exactly what happened today?
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT.: Well, what passengers are telling us is that they - it was just a normal day at the airport when suddenly, they heard very, very loud popping. One man, who didn't even know what a weapon is like, what anything about weaponry. He says, it sounded like it must have been from a very large gun. Many of them saw sparks and then they all started running. There was a bit of calm, and then it was absolute chaos, shear terror and people were trying to flee this terminal.
What happened afterwards is that after this gunman was taken down by the police, passengers here were completely stuck and it was grid lock. You can see Piers, there are still people walking up and down the streets trying to figure out how they're going to get their next destination.
MORGAN: And in terms of actually what he did. We now know that he shot dead one TSA officer, we think he wounded a second TSA officer, a 3rd person was also wounded we believe. And others may suffered minor injuries in the stampede to get away. Is that the correct position?
LAH: That is absolutely correct. Because when I went to the hospital at one of the hospitals that the patients were taken, one man was in critical condition shot in the chest apparently, what the other patients were suffering from and they were considered more fair. One had some stray bullet wound, but the other was actually crush wounds from trying to escape that it was a such a chaotic scene that people were trying to flee running over each other, toppling over each other so those were some of the injuries about seven people injured, Piers. But you could imagine the terror when you're stepping over someone just trying to get away. MORGAN: We know the suspect was shot three times in the chest. So he is fairly seriously injured. We also know is a miraculous escape from many people Kyung because, he had an assault rifle. We don't exactly what type of rifle is being describe is an AR-15 light gun but that's not been confirmed yet. But he certainly had three magazines for this weapon and could have killed all people if he wanted to.
LAH: And that's really where the terror comes in if you talk to these passengers about what is it that frightens them the most. First of all it's that sound and even someone who doesn't really know weaponry. I kept hearing it that it's sounded like it must have come from a very large weapon. And then the immediate thought is, how many other magazine clips are there because that's a concern. This is almost -- there's somewhat rage imagine. We know what happens in the mass shooting. People are aware of it, it has got -- taken on the public spotlight. So the question is it's not just that initial shooting, you change, and unloaded again.
MORGAN: What is this situation at the airport in terms of flights in and out and what are they predicting this weekend and what kind of impact has it had or across America, presumably lots of flights canceled in and out of LAX today, one of the busiest airports in the world.
LAH: One of the busiest in the world and just picture these 5.5 hours completely shutdown, nothing landing, nothing taking off. We're talking about some 700 flights diverted or canceled, and then you have 76,000 passengers who had nowhere to go.
So what you're seeing -- see this Piers? All this traffic up and down this way? This isn't typical. You don't normally see this. People are walking in and out the airport trying to figure out what to do, where to go, and these people are going to be looking at 24 hours of this.
MORGAN: Kyung, thank you very much indeed. And now we'll get to Chris Lawrence who's at the shooter's family home in New Jersey. Chris, what do we know about this shooter? We know he's 23 years old. He's called Paul Anthony Ciancia. What else have we learned?
CHRIS LAWRENCE, PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Piers, we're starting to get a better picture him, if not his recent life out in Los Angeles and certainly is what growing up here on the east coast in his background here with his family standing outside of his dad's home near in Pennsville, the police have been here for most of the night now. The police chief is actually inside that house still speaking with the family. We know he grew up in this area, neighbors say it was a very close knit family, the police chief says, they had no problems with this family, whatsoever.
In fact the neighbor says that his dad was a well respected member of the community of business owner that his son Paul work for his father for several years before heading out west to live in Los Angeles. So it seems like a very normal family life from everything that we're learning here. But the police chief also said, and he told some local reporters that he had received indications from Paul Ciancia's father that he might be trying to harm himself and at that point, he contacted his counter parts out in the Los Angeles Police Department.
We're trying to verify some of the details with the police now. But it certainly seems like the police were trying to give a heads up to the LAPD. Piers.
MORGAN: Right. I think we've seen and learned in the last few minutes actually we believe there were text messages possibly sent by this suspect to his brother and his father which were of an angry and rambling nature indicating a very strong antigovernment position and also dissatisfaction in living in Los Angeles. We've not verified, another report were suggested, he'd used the word suicide.
So still on moving fluid situation but and we're trying to confirm more details later on, for now Chris, thanks very much indeed.
Now of the terror felt by those who were there, with me now to witnesses to the shooting. Dana Starfield, on the phone Bill Reiter is also a national columnist of Fox sports. Bill let me start with you if I may, I've been following your tweets from almost the moment this happened. A terrifying thing that had happened. I used that very terminal or maybe three or four times a month. I know it very well, and I can't imagine anything more frightening than what happened today.
BILL REITER, WITNESSED SHOOTING: Yeah, it was certainly the most frightening experience of my life, Piers. And if you know the terminal, you know, there's a part that goes down and I believe A33B is you have three walls in either side and a very narrow hallways that leads down to it. That's where I was and several other people who believe the shooter was close and believe that are life was in danger and it was a very terrifying moment.
MORGAN: And we believe that this guy was intent on harming TSA officials to the extent, he was actually asking people directly, "Are you TSA?"
REITER: You know, that's what, you know, in the holding area where they held all of us. Those from terminal 3 where the shooting occurred and those from terminals 1 and 2 did not. That was what people were saying, I talk to a gentlemen who stood next to the shooter and said that he was three feet from him, he had a large gun with a scope and he thought he heard him say to someone do you work for TSA? And then he turned and run.
So those accounts that I've read online seemed to be true based on the people I visited with today who were actually there.
MORGAN: Bill. Did you get an indication of exactly what weapon he used the police describe as an assault rifle but we don't know yet exactly what type. Did you have any indication from people you talked to?
REITER: I don't know, the only indication I have was from a gentlemen I wrote in the bus with through the holding area who said he saw the shooter from down that hallway and it was a large rifle, it had a scope and this gentlemen that I talked to believe that there was a red dot from that scope that moved across his chest, and the chest of the people around him, other than that one account, your guess or you're reporting and certainly is as good as mine.
MORGAN: And what was going through your mind, Bill? When this started you heard these bullets going off and this guy shooting indiscriminately, what was going through your head?
REITER: Well, I was going to board on flight to Philadelphia. I had been up late doing Halloween with my kids. So I was sort of tired and out of it, and rush of, a riot of people came toward to me screaming, there was a lot of fear, a lot of -- I heard multiple shot up close and then I thought shots began. I dove under basically a bench and frankly, Piers, I thought I was probably going to die that was the mood in the room.
So I called my wife on my cellphone from under that bench to say goodbye and that lasted maybe 20, 30 seconds, I wanted to let her know I love her and I love my children and if I didn't see them again I wanted that to be the last thing that I said her.
MORGAN: Wow, absolutely terrifying. Bill Reiter, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
REITER: Thank you.
MORGAN: We'll turn now to you Dana, you come from the airport, well, here in Los Angeles, everyone's nightmare, this, you were at the top of the escalator and he's down the bottom with his gun. You have no idea what's happening when you hear it? Tell me what you experience.
DANA STARFIELD, WITNESS TO LAX SHOOTING: So we were just getting ready to show our I.D. at the TSA checkpoint we're at the top of the escalator and I wasn't on time for the first time in my life which my husband kept thanking me for because for what God forbid we were a minute later, I don't know what would have happened but we heard a loud boom and it didn't sound like a gunshot and unfortunately I have heard gun shots before and it didn't sound like popping sound it sound just like a boom and so at first, I couldn't tell if there was an accident or explosion, or what it was before we had the chance to turn around, we hear someone scream gun, and security agents were screaming get down, get down, get down. We hear another boom go off.
My husband and I got down on the ground and I wasn't sure because we were on the other side of the security checkpoint. I wasn't sure if they were going to start letting people through but everyone was just crawling. So we crawled through the detectors and, you know, everyone is running through, took a little nasty spill and it almost feels like a dream of how I got there but my husband let us down the hallway.
MORGAN: What was the atmosphere? Just blind panic, everyone. STARFIELD: It was a quiet panic. It was, I don't know, how it was downstairs. I assumed a little bit more mayhem but it was a blind panic people were crawling all over each other and my glasses got knocked off somewhere in between so I couldn't see much I just held hand to my husband's hand. But it was security guards were yelling go, go, go, get down, get down, get down, go, go, go. But other than that people were just trying to find a spot and I think unfortunately this is, you know, this isn't the first time we've heard the story and people have heard on the news what other people have done and so, that's why I think our first instincts was to get into a room. It was, you know, I remember an interview with the teacher from Sandy Hook who said she kept her kids safe by locking herself with them in a bathroom and turning off the lights and pretending no one was in there.
So, a Virgin employee, I think a man who is not normally there, he said he was there for to take some sort of survey for Virgin let us into this room. It's a supply closet, closed the door, locked in us in there, five or six other people in the room with us. And...
MORGAN: Thankfully it passed and it was dealt with. I mean how do you feel finally about what happened today?
STARFIELD: I feel extremely grateful and I feel angry that this feels like Ground Hog Day and, you know, there's -- everyone's always saying it's too soon to have a discussion about Assault Rifles, well I just went through trauma and I think that right now is not too soon.
I think that the agent who lost his life today, I think his family would agree that today, well I don't want to speak for them. My prayers go out to them but today is not too soon.
MORGAN: Dana Starfield, thank you very much indeed. I'm just glad that you and your husband and all the other today survived are all in one piece, it could have been a hell of a lot worse.
STARFIELD: Thank you very much.
MORGAN: Well we've got some breaking news. Federal Law Enforcement -- this is a photograph of the suspect, Paul Anthony Ciancia, continuing with tonight's big story, the shooting at LAX. Ray LaHood served as the Secretary of Transportation under President Obama for four years. He joins me now. Welcome to you Secretary LaHood. Let me ask you the, I suppose the obvious question. Could anything have been done to prevent this? And is there anything that can be done in light of what's happened to improve security at places like LAX?
RAY LAHOOD, (FRM) SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION: Well Piers, as somebody who was in public service for 35 years, our hearts and prayers go out to the loved ones of those who lost loved ones today. Good public servants, people well trained and we're in the line of defense. I think everything really worked as well as it could have worked at LAX today.
Where Law Enforcement People stepped in and saved a lot of lives, did what they were trained to do. Whether it was the TSA, whether it was the police. The system worked pretty well Piers. And I think we should all take a great deal of comfort at knowing that the system that was put in place after 9/11, the system that has kept a lot of Americans safe on aircraft worked well today.
MORGAN: I totally endorse what you're saying. There will be inevitable and already have been polls (ph) from certain sections that the only answer to an incident like this is for the TSA to be armed themselves. What was your reaction to that?
LAHOOD: Well Piers let me just say, that's a silly idea. It's a dumb idea, it would not work, what happened today was the Law Enforcement People at LAX, the LAX Police, the people that are trained at the airport to intervene did that. And they saved a lot of lives, the TSA people did what they were supposed to do which made sure that people were taken to safe haven.
And unfortunately some good public servants were, a good public servant was killed today and some were injured but this is a system that work and I think most Americans would agree with that.
MORGAN: Ray LaHood thank you very much indeed for joining me.
LAHOOD: Thank you Piers.
MORGAN: Coming next. What a long strange week it's been. Bill Maher joins us to talk about the comedy errors in Washington, his stand on pot and guns and why he's taking Ted Cruz more seriously than you might imagine.
MORGAN: Bill Maher is outspoken, outrageous and one of my favorite guest and considering what's been going on in Washington recently he's got plenty of material to work with. The host of HBO's Real Time, Bill Maher joins me now.
MORGAN: Some of the last few weeks, has it been as I said a comedian's dream?
BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN: They say that about everything. It's always a comedian's dream. Actually we have to work very hard, we make everything funny because that's our job but I don't think it's been any crazier than it was a month ago. I mean only a few weeks ago it was the Republicans who were on the hot seat because of the Government shutdown and that was a comedian's dream and, yes Washington is always a comedian's dream. That's why I got into this business.
MORGAN: Is it any worse than it's always been? I mean, you've covered this for so long, what do you think?
MAHER: Well I think the country in general is on a decline. Yes I do. As British you probably understand that, the fall of an empire. Yeah I think, the, I remember 20 years ago when I started on politically incorrect, one of the first issues we ever did was, are people getting stupider?
They were then and they still are so I can imagine how stupid they must have got but it sure is hard if you're a politician not that I'm really that sympathetic to them to try to get information into people's heads. I don't think Obama should have lied to people.
MORGAN: It was a lie, wasn't it? I mean...
MAHER: Well it's, hold on. First of all the insurance companies were always dropping people from their plan. This goes on -- this went on before ObamaCare went on after ObamaCare. We're loosing a lot of perspective here, but yeah he probably should have not been so blatant about saying, you ironclad guarantee.
On the other hand, since he got to Republican votes and no Republican help and since three years after it's a law they're still fighting it. Can you imagine what it would be like if he said, "Yeah, some people, your rates are going to go up." I mean, the thing passed by this much. If they had said that they might have lost the whole thing. And politicians are always making compromises like that.
For crying out loud they've made a compromise on slavery.
MORGAN: But when I see the President of the United States.
MAHER: When this country began.
MORGAN: Right, right. But when I see the President of the United States and repeatedly, including at the State of the Union, assuring the American people. Look you want to keep your doctrine, you want to keep your plan, you will. And he said it again and again and again.
MAHER: Let's look at the perspective again on this. Why did we do this, why did Obama, a lot of people when he got into office said, he made a big mistake, he should have went after the economy first. No this is the economy. We went after these for a couple of reasons. One, upwards of 50,000 people in this country were dying every year, needlessly, dying because they didn't have health coverage. If that many people died from terrorism, we'd probably be using nukes on some country.
The other reason was it was bankrupting this country. We couldn't go on the way that we're going to go, we had to do something. What is the Republican alternative? I get that this is not working out perfectly, I don't think anybody ever thought it would but what is their alternative?
Basically the status quo. If you're poor go to the emergency room, walk it off. Now, beside to the fact that's awfully cruel to ask any people to wait on a health issue until it's an emergency. We know that appendix burst young lady, then we'll go on to the emergency room. It's just counterproductive and for the people who are always about the takers, this is a massive hidden tax. We wind up paying for that. That's one reason why healthcare costs so much. MORGAN: Right I agree with you and I support the principles of ObamaCare but I -- that's why I'm even more frustrated that the system has failed, allowing perhaps the whole thing to collapse. We don't know how it's going to play out but if the very people they need to get enrolled, the young people who are pretty healthy now who may have 30, 40, 50 years they are the ones they have to get.
If they are turned away from this it's a fiasco.
MAHER: First of all, every program of this size was a headache at first. So, was Bush's Medicare Prescription Drug Program for the old folks, remember that, hey free Viagra. I have a boner on George Bush remember me at the polls.
Yeah, they didn't like that at first, now it's very popular. Social Security, Medicare, all these programs have these kind of problems when you start with them. But the reason why it's going to work is women. Yes young men do not want to sign up because they think they're invincible. Women get it, because women are a little more complicated, you know, they want contraception, they want breast exams, they're a little smarter about that too. They don't think they're invincible.
Look it has a lot of problems but, you know, what? Even with all the problems, in four polls last week ObamaCare is more popular than ever. And Republicans like to say statistics that something like 54 percent of the people are against ObamaCare. It's very, very misleading. That includes the 16 percent of people who think it doesn't go far enough.
So, Americans really want coverage, of course it's going to be popular it's about your health, the health of your family. It's a life and death issue, and again it was there, it was created because people were dying and the country was going broke. It's going to be a rocky birth but it's not going to fail.
MORGAN: Should Sebelius go? I mean should somebody carry the can for the fact that the system has started so badly?
MAHER: You know, I'm not a big fan of scapegoating.
MAHER: Well no, well yeah ever if it's actually scapegoating. I mean...
MORGAN: Are you a fan of accountability...
MAHER: Of course.
MORGAN: ... when people, when someone's in charge of it.
MAHER: There's a difference between accountability and scapegoating. If she really is somebody who should have known what you didn't know, yeah I guess so, but right in the middle of it I think it's counterproductive to get rid of the person who's been there all along and probably has more of this than anybody else. Who knows all the details, why get rid of her now to make the situation worse?
MORGAN: When she says we're going to bring you the A Team. I mean, hang on a second, she's the President's great initiative. Where was the A Team before?
MAHER: Well that's absolutely true, there's no defense for that I would never defend him on that. That is so ridiculous and so frustrating for any progressives because again this was his great signature achievement.
MORGAN: Why didn't he know a month before when all these warning signs apparently were there that it wasn't ready, it was failing? Is it really credible what that the President, who's massive legacy may be based around this, didn't know anything about it being problematic?
MAHER: Not credible and not excusable. I thought he was the detail guy. You know, and also as Micah Moore (ph) said on the show, Friday Night. You know, young people, the ones that were trying to sign up, this is a glitch in the world they live in.
MORGAN: This is grand dad not knowing how to use the Internet right?
MAHER: Exactly, you know, well if I use the clicker will I get another, you know. So, it's just, there's just no way to excuse this or to say it's a good thing but again, we'll see where we are in a month.
MORGAN: Let's play a clip, this is actually what Eric Cantor have to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ERIC CANTOR, (R) VIRGINIA: If the President knew that these letters were coming and still indicated that you could keep your healthcare plan if you like to, now that raises some serious questions about the sales job of ObamaCare. And that's why we're all saying that we shouldn't allow the American people to be impacted like these.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I agree with Cantor's criticism of ObamaCare the way it's being sold and rolled out. I think it's being sold on a lot of untruth, misleading statements whatever you want to call it. I also agree with you, but in the end, if the ends game that comes in, you know, five, six months or whatever is that actually it begins to work it's a pretty good plan.
MAHER: And also let's again have a little perspective. Was any program ever, ever sabotaged to the degree this one has been? I mean it's been three years, it's not a bill, it's a law. I know the Tea people think they know the Constitution, I don't think they've even read it.
A bill becomes a law, once it does you don't argue about it. That's not how they've played it. They have, we'll full buster, we will shutdown the Government, we will go to the mat in every possible way. We will vote to repeal it 41 times. Really? That's the patriotic thing to do about a program that is trying to bring healthcare to people in this country who don't' have it?
MORGAN: Now I've warmed you nicely to the top of the pot and the boiling center was coming out of you. I want to mention two words to you to come back after the break. Well you've got three minutes to think about it, Ted Cruz.
MORGAN: Don't say nothing, just ferment for the next three minutes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAHER: I was thinking the other night. He reminds me of Miley Cyrus, Ted Cruz. I guess he is not afraid to incur the wrath of even some of his fans for the greater good of drawing attention to himself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That's Bill Maher's comparison to Ted Cruz to Miley Cyrus.
MAHER: I forgot about that. I remember that saying that his filibustering is the political version of twerking. He was twerking when he did that.
MORGAN: Now I've warmed you up by playing it, Ann Coulter was a guest on the show...
MAHER: ... Ted Cruz ironically.
MORGAN: We'd be twerking our way through this. Let's get to what Ann Coulter told me a couple of weeks about Ted Cruz's chances of becoming President.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANN COULTER, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE SOCIAL AND POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, WRITER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST AND LAWYER: There will be arguments in a party of ideas that is one thing as I point out in this book. Democrats have the advantage, all they want is power. They spend their lives figuring out, how do we get elected so we can run other people's lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Well you might (inaudible), what do you make of her arguments?
MAHER: Oh it's always -- perfect, perfectly wrong, you know, right it's the Democrats who only care about power that's right. I mean look every politician cares about power to a certain degree. But, you know, Democrats, I think in general they're the policy wonks, they're the people who care about actually making government work.
Republicans tell you right up front, we hate government, then why go into it? If you hate government you shouldn't do it. That's why I'm not a priest OK? So, first of all that's a non sensible argument but if you're asking about Ted Cruz being President I think, I don't know what her answer was in that but, I think he's got a shot because I think he's got an absolute shot at the nomination.
He is definitely going to be the favorite of the people who vote in Republican primaries. I mean we saw what it looked like last time and the time before. But the problem with the Republican primaries last time for them is that they didn't have a Ted Cruz in there. That's why they went with Mitt Romney, remember they tried every other person, every other Republican got a shot at being number one. Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain and Rick Perry and...
MORGAN: Michelle Obama.
MAHER: But they were all like even too ridiculous and lame for the Tea Party. But Ted Cruz is a Harvard educated lawyer, he's not a dummy.
MORGAN: ... well would say, he told me, one of the brightest students he'd ever had.
MORGAN: So you can't underestimate him.
MAHER: No you can't underestimate, and he knows exactly how to get those people's vote. He has played it exactly right. He is their hero, he is the guy they think finally stood up to the establishment and did what he said and went to Washington and blah, blah, blah. So, he is going to be very difficult to beat in the primaries.
MORGAN: Could it be him against Chris Christie?
MAHER: It probably will be.
MORGAN: And who will prevail?
MAHER: You know, if it's the primary voters who vote every time, I think it will be Ted Cruz. Chris Christie may already be toast because during Hurricane Sandy he put his armor out and President Blackenstein Piers, I mean he's already got Kenya goodies, he may not be able to run at all. So, yeah, he's suspect, he's from the northeast and he's once in a while said things that makes sense.
So I mean...
MORGAN: That could rule him out.
MAHER: Yeah, he could be ruled out already...
MORGAN: What would you say about America if Ted Cruz was to win the Presidency?
MAHER: You mean overseas what are they saying America?
MORGAN: Well yeah, what it would mean for America and for America's reputation do you think?
MAHER: You know, we don't know until he became President what it would mean. I mean the Republicans are the masters of the, are you kidding me candidate. You know, I mean when Ronald Reagan first ran, people were like are you kidding me? Ronald Reagan the bonzo guy is getting into politics.
I mean Dan Quell (ph) was a are you kidding me? George W. Bush when he first ran, people thought it was his father. Sarah Palin, they have no shame, so I'm not surprised that it's going to be Ted Cruz, better than Rick Santorum -- of that.
MORGAN: Let's take a break. When we come back and told about two things dead to your heart, sex and drugs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAHER: We rule now that a record 58 percent of Americans support he legalization of Marijuana, Federal Government has to hurry up and do something about it. Come on guys I have to decide what I'm handing out for Halloween.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: My special guest Bill Maher. There's some people tweeting, tonight including Mia Fara (ph), you can see Mia (ph), she just tweeted, Bill Maher well said tonight on healthcare.
MAHER: Thank you Mia.
MORGAN: Real time real opinion.
MAHER: Congratulations on your new celebrity son.
MORGAN: Now tell me this, because you're the perfect guy to ask. Why is it that issues like gay rights and marijuana move so fast and so liberally if you like and yet nothing has happened on guns? What does this say about American culture that those two issues, people are very happy to move with times and change but one is culturally, apparently irrevocable?
MAHER: Well because first of all we're the gun (ph) in the country.
MORGAN: Will it ever change?
MAHER: Probably not in my lifetime. You know, although less and less people do have guns. The more guns being sold.
MORGAN: Less people have more guns isn't it?
MAHER: Right but it's the people, it's a fetish at this point you know? And look I'm a gun owner, I'm not just a proud gun owner. I don't like guns, I would never want to have to use a gun. I always say they're like antibiotics. I hope I never have to use them but I don't love my antibiotics. I don't polish my amoxicillin and put Cipro in a glass case and take pictures with it.
But people are like that in America. You know they've tried to pass legislation in a number of states limiting people to one gun a month and that was not acceptable because, I know what about Christmas when you have to buy, you know, guns for everybody, the kids.
MORGAN: The number of children being killed by guns in America is rocketing. Latest figures came out yesterday, just had a huge surge in the system, accidental or otherwise deaths of kids around us.
MAHER: To answer your question why it's not changing is because there is no opposition party. The Democrats love guns too, they just love gun slightly less. And I mean, I would not be inspired by, what the Democrats say about guns either. Joe Biden said this year, you want a gun? Buy a shotgun. Well that guy in Washington at the (inaudible) center, I think he was listening to Joe Biden because he used the shotgun.
I always say the Democrats they're asking for a three second waiting period because that's what it would be if you limited the number of clips. Somebody would have to change clips and then start shooting again. So, unless we got a real political party that was going to go at the 2nd Amendment directly, which they should because the 2nd Amendment was never meant to be what it come down to and what the Supreme Court has said it is now.
Nothing is going to change and that seems to be the way Americans like it.
MORGAN: Bill Clinton told me that the only way it would change would be if American people went to the ballot box and actively voted in favor of people who were in favor of some form of gun control.
MAHER: Yeah, well I doubt if that's going to happen.
MORGAN: Which he didn't think would happen very quickly.
MAHER: No, I mean the Democrats, he would know better than anyone, Al Gore lost Tennessee his home state in the 2000 election and the lesson the Democrats took from that was don't come out against guns too strongly. Now they had to say something about the Sandy Hook episode but you saw how far that went.
And that Mansion Tommy (ph) bill that came out was, you know, it was not something that was going to effect whether anybody was going to live or die in this country probably, maybe a few at the margins. MORGAN: But on a positive note on gay rights and on may even say to positive marijuana as well, much more accepted. Are you surprised at the speed with which both those things have moved in public opinion?
MAHER: No I would hardly call it speedy. When I was in college I remember I was talking about, wow, when we get a little older marijuana, you know, was going to be legal because, you know, we know it's not harmful and we're going to be the ones to take over. Well I'm 57 now and toothpaste (ph) have it legal.
So, it hasn't exactly been a speedy trip. But now that 58 percent of people, that was a shocking poll that we have last week. 58 percent of people said, they want marijuana to be legal. Yeah, we're working on something this week which is basically the idea that the Republicans would be smart to steal this issue. This is an issue they could steal from the Democrats.
Democrats have dropped the ball on this, Democrats are always afraid of the polls that's one thing I'll give to Republicans they're not afraid of the polls, they move polls they don't run from them. Democrats run from the polls. As soon as gay marriage was at 51 percent approval, suddenly a lot of Democrats evolved on that issue. Now that's at 58 percent for pot we'll see but I wouldn't bet on it because marijuana, being against marijuana has always been a little figgly, the Democrats like to use to show America that they're tough on crime and mainstream and all these non sense.
But they should be careful because even John McCain said last week, "Maybe we should legalize it, maybe we should give the people what they want, listen to the will of the people." Rand Paul (ph) is on that page. Republicans can take this issue because unlike so many other issues this does not violate their principles. You know what, they're the people who want less government regulation, more individual freedom, what better then embracing pot.
So, you know, I say that like they're going to do it, they're not but if they're smart they would.
MORGAN: Could you see a time in 30, 40 years in America where issues like gay marriage, marijuana became Federal issues or just a Federal Law encompassing the whole of America?
MAHER: Absolutely, I mean that's what happens when a tipping point is reached with the states, I think that's what will happen with gay marriage and probably some day with marijuana itself. I mean one reason to answer your question why marijuana has moved so slowly is because...
MORGAN: Well I thought it moved quite quickly you don't think it has?
MAHER: No I don't think it has, it's because people always found it so easy to get weed. Even before they had medical marijuana story I don't know anybody in America who ever couldn't get weed like that. That includes kids in high school. So there was never a big motivation, oh we got to make it legal.
MORGAN: Let's take another break. Let's come back and talk about low tea, what you call the feminizator of the country, that's fascinating.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAHER: I would say that the feminine values are now the values of America. Sensitivity is more important than truth. Feelings are important than facts. Commitment is more important than individuality. Children are more people than people. Safety is more important than fun. I always hear women say, you know married man live longer, ah yes and an indoor cat also.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Back with my special guest Bill Maher, do you prefer stand up or TV? Well if I give you one of these for the rest of your life which would you choose?
MAHER: You're asking me to choose between my children?
MAHER: I couldn't. I mean I love standup so much, I mean it's I guess a this point a hobby because it's not really my day job and I -- s sort of a hobby in the sense that I love it like a hobby. I work on all the details, it's kind of like building a ship in a bottle when I'm putting my act together but I wouldn't drag my ass around this country almost every weekend if I didn't love it.
And the other thing is that, you know, I've been lucky enough to be on TV for 20 years but it will end at some point. I mean they put Johnny Carson up the past year when he was 67 and he was the biggest star in America. It's going to happen to all of us. And then I'll still have stand up.
MORGAN: Will you literally you do stand up till the day they carry you out in the box?
MAHER: George Carlin did. He was almost died on stage.
MORGAN: Would that be your dream exit from life?
MAHER: It would be a great way to go.
MORGAN: Because as an atheist it's pretty final at that moment.
MAHER: Yeah. George Burns was booked when he was a 100. He almost made it, he was booked to play the Paladium and he damn near made it.
MORGAN: DO you think you'll live to be a 100? MAHER: Well I'm hoping Ray Kurzweil is correct and I'll live forever. Because, you know, he says that what he calls the singularity is coming in the year 2029 points out that we are already partly machine. People have all kinds of stints and artificial hearts and Dick Cheney, you know, is healthier than he was at 40.
Dick Cheney is such a lucky guy, every time he was about to croak, they came up with some heart.
MORGAN: No I interviewed the surgeon this week.
MORGAN: And asked him, did he think he performed a valuable public service, he didn't really think it was very funny but I want to play you a clip...
MAHER: I've called Dick Cheney home and he refused to go.
MORGAN: Let's play a clip from Dick Cheney talking to Bill O'Reilly this week about the media in America.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DICK CHENEY, (FRM) U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: There are some elements out there like Fox, like your show that I think are seriously objective and reflective of what I think a lot of Americans believe. I do fine that the mainstream media often times is what I consider off base or has a bias.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: So Fox is the voice of reason.
MAHER: See that illegitimate father of Ann Coulter -- I mean that's of course ridiculous. I mean Fox News, one of the main problems as we all know with the Republican Party in this era is where they get their information. You know they get it in this bubble and if you look at Republican polling, and I'm not talking about just the Tea Party, I'm talking about the mainstream Republican Party.
Look at some of the astounding percentage of what they believe, like 44 percent think Benghazi is the worst scandal ever? Really? Worst than Watergate, the Trail of Tears and Slavery and Japanese Internment, giving syphilis deliberately to Guatemalan mental patients. Really Benghazi the worst scandal ever?
I think the same number 44 percent think that Obama is conniving for a way to stay in office past 2017. I mean the, this is because they live in the Fox News bubble. Because in that bubble Benghazi for example is just the worst scandal that ever happened.
MORGAN: (inaudible) now we have Fox News and you got MSNBC, you got CNN you got plenty of choice out there. Does it really matter, does it matter that Fox News does its agenda that Rachel Maddow does hers? I mean you go where you want to come in. My dad came to America the first time last year, listened to Bill O'Reilly every night and absolutely loved every word it said.
And I think why can't we have a Bill O'Reilly in Britain? I said well there are a number of reasons father. I'll explain them to you...
MAHER: Margaret Thatcher is dead that's why.
MORGAN: Right but does it matter?
MAHER: Well it does matter because when we didn't use to have these kind of places where you could retreat to your, you know, ghettoization of thinking, public discourse was the better for it because you had to hear a conflicting idea and now you don't. And that's true on the left too and CNN suffers for that to a degree because it tries to play it down the middle and people generally want to hear what they already believe in.
MAHER: The difference between Fox and MSNBC is you could fact check what they say on MSNBC and they are very wrong -- very rarely wrong. They are not flying in the face of facts. Fact checks what they say on Fox. You will find almost every night Bill O'Reilly says something that is insanely off base and not true. It doesn't matter. What Republicans do is they meet in their lair, they get to their talking point straight all together. They go out on the talk show. They say the exact same talking points things like well ObamaCare is causing people to fire workers and hire them back as part timers. Completely not, they don't care. Facts never get in the way of their talking points. And so for people that only listen to Fox News, they can wake up with Matt Drudge (ph) and have lunch with Rush Limbaugh (ph) and go to bed with Bill O'Reilly and that's all they're going to know is what they hear there and very often this people do not care what the truth is.
MORGAN: Well thank God you're here to pass the exact remark.
MAHER: Yes that's what I think.
MORGAN: We're going to take another break and comeback. I have a picture of you wrestling Jay Leno?
MORGAN: If that doesn't get what I'm saying nothing will.
MAHER: Remember that.
MORGAN: You've actually wrestled Jay Leno on camera?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Two comics one baby pool back in 1994. You couldn't even remember that happening?
MAHER: I was watching the other day, it's really not even coming back to me. you think the guy would remember that but you know...
MAHER: I'm watching here today it's really not even coming back to me but I think I would remember that but, you know, oh look at that. Jay always has to win, so immature man.
MORGAN: What do you make Jay Leno?
MAHER: I love Jay Leno, I'm on a bash with Jay Leno.
MORGAN: Why does he get such a hard wrath from other comedians, is it a jealousy?
MAHER: Well of course a lot of it is that.
MORGAN: Because what I understand I mean incredibly nice, charming?
MAHER: Yes. Believe me, everyone can do a lot better in their personal life by saying what would Jay do and they get to a lot better in that profession. You know it's only held down that joker 20 years.
MAHER: I mean you know we were talking about Johnny Carson and being put out to pasture when it was 67. But Johnny really had gotten a little old hat by that time. Jay is pretty much the same Jay that he was. I understand why networks need to get rid of people but this is twice they're firing them for the crime of being number one. And you know that for any of you young people out there looking to get into Show Business here is a great tip, you need an agent. This is the great lesson of the Jay Leno fiasco. Jay doesn't have an agent.
MORGAN: He does it himself right?
MAHER: He doesn't have someone talking in the ear of the network executive like the other guys do saying, "Get rid if Jay, he's too old." You know if you he had an agent, all the agent, he's number one. He's your cash cow. Don't get rid of the guy who is number one but he doesn't have that...
MORGAN: Do you have an agent?
MAHER: Of course. I'm insane, you have to have someone representing you.
MORGAN: Bill Maher I could talk to you for hours and I hope to do so again very soon and catch Bill at real time of Bill articles on Friday nights, HBO 10 P.M. That would also, I can remind you be appearing the Pearl or Palms in Las Vegas November the 2nd and 3rd and at the Saenger theater in New Orleans on November 16th. Great to see you.
MAHER: Thank you so much I appreciate that. MORGAN: Good to see you.
MAHER: Great pleasure.