TELEVISION: LET US PRAISE INCIVILITY

SO WHAT IF POLITICALLY INCORRECT OFTEN LENDS ITSELF TO SHOUTING MATCHES? AMERICA IS TUNING IN

Presiding over one of his famously incongruous assemblages of guests on a recent evening, Bill Maher got on the subject of failed second-term presidencies. On the panel that night was Charlton Heston, who casually inserted that Ronald Reagan "won the cold war" during his last years in office. Maher's blood pressure started to mountain-climb. "He won the cold war? Please! This was strictly a Reagan project?...I would say Vietnam was the biggest thing that won the cold war..." The conversation shifted but Maher's mind didn't. Later he cut off one of his other guests, turned back to Heston and intoned, "Vietnam....

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