HBO Host Bill Maher and Homeland Sec. Napolitano Have Something Just Short of a Love Fest

Janet Napolitano on Bill Maher Show
Janet Napolitano on Bill Maher Show

By Allan Lengel

HBO tv host Bill Maher can be downright tough as an interviewer.

But Friday night was just short of a love fest when Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano appeared via satellite on his 11 p.m. show “Real Time With Bill Maher”. She must have the right touch.

After several questions — mostly softballs — Maher ended the the brief interview by saying : “Well again, I thank you so much for being here and I thank what you’re doing for our country.”

One of the tougher points Maher tried to make went like this: “GAO investigators recently smuggled bomb making materials, well, as a test into 10 high-security federal buildings including a Homeland Security Building, the Justice Department, the State Department and they got in everywhere and they said it cost them $150 to buy the materials off the Internet and they assembled them in four minutes.”

Napolitano responded: “What it tells me is what we’re doing to protect some of these federal buildings is not adequate and we’re busy at work now looking at what’s been done in the past and reforming that entire system.”

Maher was downright playful at times, complaining at one point about having to check in luggage because of airport bans on liquids.

“Between arriving two hours early and having to check baggage and having to put the pot in my deo…” He stopped. Laughter erupted in the audience.

“Boy did I say that to the wrong person. Ok, forget that quote,” he said.

Napolitano took it all good naturedly and responded: ” “What we find is Americans overall are understanding of why these restrictions are on.”

If she appears on the show two years from now and still gets the same warm and fuzzy reception, it’s probably because she’s done a darn good job as chief of Homeland Security.

Time — and possibly Bill Maher — will tell.

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