Bill Maher interviews American Conservative Union chairman on new Real Time

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 28: TV Host Bill Maher speaks during the HBO portion of the 2011 Summer TCA Tour held at the Beverly Hilton on July 28, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 28: TV Host Bill Maher speaks during the HBO portion of the 2011 Summer TCA Tour held at the Beverly Hilton on July 28, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images) /

This week’s new Real Time with Bill Maher will feature a Conservative lobbyist and former member of George W. Bush’s administration.

We’ve been through yet another intriguing week of political news. But we can’t close the book on first week of March until Bill Maher has his say on an all new episode of Real Time.

Maher has some explaining to do to fans after going without a fresh Real Time last week. Don’t expect the host to come out apologize for the week enough. Instead Maher will make it up to fans in the only way he knows how: bringing his unique voice to the discussion.

The comedian is at his best when he surrounds himself with guests willing to engage on the topics and also who have opposing views to Maher. It is what sets his show apart from others that don’t always allow room for an alternative perspective.

But that will certainly be the case this week. Expect things to get a little heated on the Real Time set Friday night. Here’s our episode preview.


Real Time with Bill Maher will kick things off with an interview of Matt Schlapp. The chairman of the American Conservative Union lobbyist organization will be make his second appearance on the show.

Prior to becoming a lobbyist, Schlapp was the deputy assistant and political director under President George W. Bush. In addition to his role with the ACU, Schlapp can be seen on Fox News.

The ACU organizes the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) which recently held its 2019 event. It made headlines for President Donald Trump’s two-hour long rant that especially caught the attention of late night.

Maher will most certainly ask Schlapp to explain Trump’s behavior during CPAC. The lobbyist may also have to defend his recent support of nationalism or the suggestion that Robert Mueller would be fired. Schlapp may also be asked to comment on the big picture of conservative/Republican support for Trump similar to what he discussed last year.

Mid-show Interview

Next up to talk with Bill Maher will be Noah Rothman. He is an author, editor, and political commentator who will be making his first appearance on Real Time.

Rothman is an associate editor of the magazine Commentary which examines political stories and Jewish affairs. In January he published his book Unjust: Social Justice and the Unmaking of America looking at how identity politics have invaded social justice movements.

A big topic Rothman and Maher will likely discuss is the controversial comments from Representative Ilhan Omar that some called anti-Semitic. Rothman’s journal published an article critical of the Democrats defending Omar. Hopefully Maher has some energy left after the Schlapp interview to engage Rothman head-on.

The Panel

Journalist, author, and filmmaker Jonathan Alter will be on the panel. It will be his third time on Bill Maher’s show.

Alter is known for his liberal political views. He has been particularly critical of President Donald Trump, taking issue lately with Trump’s response to the Omar incident. He should have strong opinions if challenged by Rothman.

Political commentator and journalist Mary Katharine Ham is also on the panel. It marks her third time on Real Time.

Ham writes for conservative and Republican outlets such as Townhall Magazine and The Federalist. She can also be seen on CNN. Ham’s Republican views will no doubt come in conflict with those of Maher and Alter, proving that Real Time is the top place for balanced discussion.

Political commentator and former politician Michael Steele rounds out the panel. It will be an incredible 15th appearance by Steele on the show.

Steele is the former lieutenant governor of Maryland and also served as chair of the Republican National Committee. Despite that, Steele has been very critical of President Donald Trump.

It will be interesting to see how Steele’s knowledge of the Republican Party and his opposition to Trump is met by Ham and Alter. Clearly Steele will be prepared for any debate given his experience on the show.

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Everything suggests this should be an entertaining episode of Real Time with Bill Maher. The conservative viewpoint will be well represented but they may not have a leg to stand on given the week’s news. Real Time is live Friday March 8 at 10:00 PM ET on HBO.