Interview:1998/10/02 Politically Incorrect

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Politically Incorrect
Interview with Marilyn Manson
Date October 2, 1998

Guests: Cyndi Mosteller, Robert Reich, Marilyn Manson, Pamela Anderson Lee.

Panel Discussion[edit]

Bill Maher: All righty, thank you very much. Let us meet our panel -- oh! And I love this record, too. She used to work for Phil Graham, now she's the driving force behind parents against Clinton, Cyndi Mosteller. Cyndi. [ Applause ]

Bill Maher: Nice to see you again, Cyndi.

Cyndi Mosteller: Oh, of course.

Bill Maher: His book is "Locked in the Cabinet," now available in paperback at prices you can afford, the 22nd Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich. [ Applause ]

Robert Reich: I love that.

Bill Maher: Mr. Secretary, always a pleasure. Thank you. He is on the cover of -- this is an album I just dropped on the floor and I shouldn't, 'cause you know, when I was a kid they called these "records." However you put it out, this is a great one. He's on the cover of "Rolling Stone," this is the bomb. "Mechanical Animals," Marilyn Manson right over there. [ Cheers and applause ]

Bill Maher: And she's an actress, model and cultural icon. Her new syndicated action show is "V.I.P." -- I was on it. Pamela Anderson Lee, right over here. [ Cheers and applause ] Hello.

Pamela Anderson Lee: I'm all right. How you doing?

Bill Maher: Okay. Well, I want to get -- we have some crazy people here today, obviously.

Pamela Anderson Lee: Can I -- ?

Bill Maher: Yeah, take your shoes off.

Marilyn Manson: That's like on "The Jerry Springer Show." You gotta watch she's gonna throw those.

Pamela Anderson Lee: I can't --

Bill Maher: Anything else that feels good for you to take off, just go right ahead. [ Laughter ] I want everyone to be comfortable. I want to talk about this Ross Perot. He was on "Larry King" the other night, and he was talking about Clinton, and thank God Ross Perot finally came out on Clinton. [ Laughter ] And he came back and back and back to the subject of drugs. Let me quote, he said -- talking about Clinton -- he said "We have got erratic behavior by the President. Either he's got mental troubles or he does something like take drugs to spin him out from time to time."

Cyndi Mosteller: Viagra. Viagra.

Bill Maher: Viagra.

Cyndi Mosteller: That's the problem. Clinton has been on Viagra all these years, yes.

Bill Maher: I get it. You're saying because he's got an erection -- [ Laughter ]

Robert Reich: You know, Ross Perot is -- he is a kook. He's a certified kook. He's a pleasant kook but he's too short. [ Laughter ]

Marilyn Manson: His boots may be --

Bill Maher: You're right. You know, Mr. Secretary, those boots on you, I think -- [ Laughter ] [ All talking at once ]

Marilyn Manson: What's the question? Is it about drugs?

Robert Reich: What planet are you from? [ Laughter ]

Bill Maher: Ohhh.

Robert Reich: No, that's not -- that's not --

Bill Maher: Oh, come on.

Marilyn Manson: California. [ Cheers and applause ]

Bill Maher: But it just sounds like somebody's mom, you know? Like, "Hey, he's acting weird. It must be drugs."

Pamela Anderson Lee: My parents used to say that about me all the time.

Bill Maher: That you're on drugs?

Marilyn Manson: My parents say that about me, but it's absolutely true. [ Laughter ] Actually, when I was in high school I used to steal my mom's diuretic pills. It was like speed. You know, and I would sell 'em. I'd sell them at Christian school and I got --

Pamela Anderson Lee: Oh, my God.

Robert Reich: But what is a drug? Seriously, how do we define -- how do we define drugs?

Bill Maher: Exactly.

Marilyn Manson: It's a loose term.

Robert Reich: Hmm?

Marilyn Manson: It's a loose term.

Bill Maher: That's part of my point. Isn't everybody on drugs, on a drug of some kind?

Cyndi Mosteller: No.

Bill Maher: No?

Cyndi Mosteller: No.

Bill Maher: You don't do caffeine? You don't have a cup of coffee?

Cyndi Mosteller: I generally drink decaf coffee. But I mean, I don't know if you'd call that a drug. You'd call that some type of stimulant.

Robert Reich: If people get buzzed, I would.

Cyndi Mosteller: Sugar, I mean, fruit -- take fruit.

Robert Reich: In our society we no longer know. Any stimulant, any drug, I mean, the line between it is very, very blurred, isn't it?

Marilyn Manson: Also it's a popular opinion, you know, something that was illegal years ago is legal now. Everyone believed the planet was flat, you know,. And know it's -- you know, we have a different --

Bill Maher: Cocaine used to be in Coca-Cola.

Marilyn Manson: Yeah.

Bill Maher: You know?

Robert Reich: That was the secret formula that was revealed?

Bill Maher: That's called Classic Coke.

Marilyn Manson: That had something to do with why Michael -- that's why Michael Jackson's hair caught on fire because he went against the drug Gods of -- [ Laughter ] I stand by Coke, you know. In fact, my outfit is a homage to Coca-Cola.

Pamela Anderson Lee: It is great.

Marilyn Manson: And cocaine as well.

Bill Maher: That is a -- that is a --

Pamela Anderson Lee: Combo.

Cyndi Mosteller: So do you think drugs caused Clinton's behavior? Do you think drugs caused Clinton's behavior?

Bill Maher: Of course not. I'm saying, Ross Perot is saying these things. Is there anyone who is more nuts than Ross Perot? And he's not on drugs. Doesn't that tell you --

Robert Reich: Wait a minute, wait a minute. Do you know he's not on drugs?

Bill Maher: No, I don't. But from the way he spoke, he wanted Clinton to take an oath. And he said he would take the same oath and risk 20 years of jail, which is probably not a good idea. He said, "You ought to take responsibility for your own actions in a free society." Now, if it was truly a free society, shouldn't we be able to do whatever as adults we want to do in our minds?

Cyndi Mosteller: No, because the reason --

Bill Maher: No?

Cyndi Mosteller: No, because we don't live on an island. You were talking about Libertarianism, and I think that would be great if you lived on an island. But the fact is that we live in a society and choices that I make can impact you.

Bill Maher: Can.

Cyndi Mosteller: Yes, can.

Robert Reich: But if they don't. In other words, if it's really only you, if you are an adult and you are not in any way affecting anybody else by your decisions, shouldn't you be permitted to do what you want to do?

Cyndi Mosteller: It depends on what it is.

Bill Maher: I thought that was going to be your line.

Marilyn Manson: Well, I think drugs --

Bill Maher: Go, Mr. Secretary.

Marilyn Manson: I think drugs can also work as a bit of social darwinism. It kind of weeds out the -- you know, a lot of people that abuse drugs make the people that use them look bad. [ Laughter ]

Bill Maher: Absolutely. I've been saying --

Robert Reich: You know -- [ Applause ]

Marilyn Manson: And I try to look my best.

Robert Reich: You know, you want to be in a public service commercial making that point.

Pamela Anderson Lee: That's good.

Bill Maher: What is it that your mother thought you were on drugs for?

Pamela Anderson Lee: Oh, they just always used to think I was on drugs. Anything I ever did, "She's on drugs, I know she's on drugs. I know she's on drugs." Just -- I don't know why.

Bill Maher: But you never were.

Pamela Anderson Lee: No. Not at that point. [ Laughter ] Not at that time. [ Laughter ]

Bill Maher: Go on.

Pamela Anderson Lee: No. I mean, well --

Marilyn Manson: Anything can control you, you know, that -- drugs, that's the easiest thing. But television, the Internet. Religion, obviously.

Cyndi Mosteller: But those things don't lower your resistances to doing bad things.

Marilyn Manson: Sure they do.

Cyndi Mosteller: I had friends that sat on the parole board --

Bill Maher: Are you kidding? The Internet?

Marilyn Manson: Religion.

Cyndi Mosteller: Well, no, no.

Marilyn Manson: Other people that threaten me over religion.

Cyndi Mosteller: Unless you move into porn on the internet and things like that. But I'm saying, a drug --

Bill Maher: Porn doesn't hurt you.

Cyndi Mosteller: A drug could lower -- now there's a real -- I would really take issue with that.

Robert Reich: How do you define drugs? How do you define drugs?

Cyndi Mosteller: Well, I mean, I would kind of look to the law to give me some type of legal definition. But, and I think this whole thing's gonna continue. And you take enough aspirin and you might be -- and you take enough Tylenol it's gonna impact you.

Cyndi Mosteller: I think we made decisions that there are certain substances that do have a significant enough impact on us to impact our behavior in negative ways.

Marilyn Manson: But you know why it won't work? Because, as a simple example. Sea monkeys, for example, they're not against the law.

Cyndi Mosteller: Sea monkeys?

Marilyn Manson: And I've taken those and I've given 'em to people as drugs. And it's messed them up. [ Laughter ]

Cyndi Mosteller: They eat them? What do they do with them?

Marilyn Manson: They snorted 'em! They snorted the sea monkeys.

Cyndi Mosteller: Wait a minute, wait a minute. Do the animal rights people know about this?

Marilyn Manson: Well, they weren't alive.

Cyndi Mosteller: Oh.

Marilyn Manson: It's a little dust and you put it in the water and they grow. But I mean --

Cyndi Mosteller: They grow?

Marilyn Manson: I said, "Look, it's gonna grow inside your brain, you're gonna experience it," and they said, "Sure." It's not illegal, but I think it's wrong. I'll be punished for it. [ Laughter ]

Bill Maher: All right, we'll take a break. We'll come back.

Bill Maher: All right. The other big news story that was front page news, certainly out here, because Pete Wilson, our governor, signed it into law today, they are calling it the stalkerazzi law. And it has been -- I know you're probably for it.

Pamela Anderson Lee: I'm very happy about that.

Bill Maher: Right. Well, let me just quote it. It's to curb celebrities from being chased -- or rather photographers from chasing celebrities, from "Engaging -- if they're engaging in a personal or family activity in circumstances where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy," that's what the law says you can no longer get into their private life. And what do you think?

Cyndi Mosteller: Through the use of high technology, the lens. Is that what you're talking about?

Bill Maher: That's a lot of it, yes. You can't have Brad Pitt's penis anymore.

Cyndi Mosteller: Listen, I -- excuse me -- don't repeat that. I think if you're standing on legal ground that you should be able to use any legitimate technology to look a distance. I do.

Robert Reich: No, no, no. No, no. If somebody is in their house or they're in a place where they have any assumption of privacy, they ought to be private. Everybody is entitled to some privacy. If they go into a hotel or they go into a restaurant, that's different. Then they've given away their right to privacy.

Bill Maher: But not in the hotel room.

Robert Reich: Not in a hotel room.

Bill Maher: Well, that's where they got Frank Gifford. [ Laughter ] In the hotel room.

Robert Reich: And that's not right, but they --

Cyndi Mosteller: Or the oval office.

Bill Maher: The oval office.

Cyndi Mosteller: Right.

Bill Maher: Ah.

Pamela Anderson Lee: It always comes back to the oval office. Everything.

Marilyn Manson: The word "oval" is so important.

Cyndi Mosteller: Is that right?

Bill Maher: What do you mean?

Marilyn Manson: What do you think I mean?

Bill Maher: I don't know, but you're looking at me with those red eyes, I feel like I'm suddenly under your spell.

Marilyn Manson: You've done something wrong. [ Laughter ] You know what, I've had so much of that myself that I'm used to it and I don't really expect people to leave me alone. So when I'm at home, taking a bath, I make sure I'm wearing like a pink gorilla costume with a big penis or something. [ Laughter ] Try and entertain 'em, you know. You can't really get rid of 'em. I got some kids come to my door yesterday. And you know, we told them that Lionel Richie lived there, so I thought that was kind of distracting. [ Laughter ]

Bill Maher: But that -- that's a very big attitude you have about it. But other members of our panel may have had their privacy invaded. [ Laughter ]

Pamela Anderson Lee: Like who? Yeah. I mean, it's crazy when they run you off the road, all sorts of things when I was pregnant, and with my two kids. And they've almost run over other children to try and get to me. I mean, it's really dangerous.

Cyndi Mosteller: You had a video stolen. I mean, what was done to her, I think is a crime. I certainly think it's wrong what was done to her.

Bill Maher: And you don't think it would be a crime if someone is in the privacy of their own home and someone has a telephotic lens and they get you in your home?

Robert Reich: Absolutely.

Cyndi Mosteller: I think if you're out in your yard, if you're outside. I don't think --

Robert Reich: Peeping Tom laws. I mean, how can you say --

Cyndi Mosteller: No, I'm not saying inside your house, I'm saying if you're out in the yard having a barbecue or by a pool and somebody can stand on a public street and use --

Marilyn Manson: What if you have an outhouse and you're takin' a crap?

Bill Maher: What?

Marilyn Manson: What if you have an outhouse in your backyard, some people do. [ Laughter ]

Cyndi Mosteller: Not in South Carolina anymore.

Bill Maher: So you're saying celebrities have to be under house arrest. In other words, they can stay inside and then they're okay.

Cyndi Mosteller: No, listen. Here's a celebrity who seems to be able to handle that.

Bill Maher: Well, he's lucky. And he's also a bit of an exhibitionist. [ Laughter ] [ Applause ] So -- but, I mean, what principle are we upholding by allowing this? Why is that something we should stick by, that we allow --

Pamela Anderson Lee: Well, as a woman, I've been in a lot of fearful situations where people jump out of bushes, you know, I've been trying to get in my car, and if the guy didn't have a camera hanging around his neck, then it would be, you know, he'd be a stalker. But since he has a camera, he's allowed to do these things and chase me around. And it's been really scary. I've been --

Marilyn Manson: You know what it really is? It's George orwell. And it's not big brother, it's little brother. It's lots of little brothers. And it's with that, with the Internet. And you know, it started with like, Rodney King. Everybody around you is contributing to, you know, the watching of yourselves.

Robert Reich: And it's not just celebrities. It's privacy. Privacy in general is under assault in this country. And if people can get your credit card numbers, they can go into your Internet. There have to be very strict privacy laws.

Bill Maher: And that is certainly the situation you have with your ex-boss. I mean, the basics -- the basic argument comes down to, okay, he may have lied. He seems to be a little bit slippery, and he definitely had sex, but is that more of a threat to the Republic than the invasion of privacy which has produced --

Cyndi Mosteller: I'll tell you what's a threat to the Republic, is a President who -- I think he should resign 'cause of what he did sexually in the oval office.

Bill Maher: I know you do. Thank you so much.

Cyndi Mosteller: But I think he should go through the impeachment process because of the high disregard for the law that he has displayed in how he's gone through this process.

Bill Maher: What law? There's no law against oral sex.

Cyndi Mosteller: No, I'm talking about --

Bill Maher: I know that upsets you. [ Laughter ]

Marilyn Manson: In my -- if can insert -- in fact, when it comes to oral sex --

Cyndi Mosteller: It leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Marilyn Manson: -- And I know, 'cause I'm an expert on the oral sex department. [ Laughter ] I have a chapter in my book and it clearly states -- and I wish Clinton would have held it up when he was on TV -- it said that oral sex is like handshakes and autographs. When you're a celebrity, it's part of your job. [ Laughter ] [ Applause ]

Bill Maher: All right. We'll take a commercial. We'll be right back.

Bill Maher: All right. Well, whenever we have our former Secretary of Labor here, we like to do a labor issue. There is one in the news this week. It is about a department store Santa -- Actually, she was working at a Wal-Mart. I didn't know Wal-Mart had Santas, but they have everything else.

Robert Reich: Right.

Bill Maher: But, a female, okay? A female working as Santa Claus, and they let her go because basically they said, "Look, Santa is a guy. He's married to Mrs. Claus and the elves like it that way."

Cyndi Mosteller: That's right. That's right.

Bill Maher: And she sued because she said, "It's wrong and discriminating to disqualify me just because I am a female Santa." And --

Cyndi Mosteller: Listen, I think if you're Benji's lawyers you don't have a right to sue Walt Disney 'cause he didn't get the lead in "That Darn Cat." That's just kind of how I see it. [ Laughter ]

Marilyn Manson: I think it's more not a woman issue but a breast issue. Because Wal-Mart won't carry my CDs because I have breasts.

Bill Maher: Right.

Marilyn Manson: And I think Santa deserves to have breasts. If Santa can give toys to kids, Santa can have breasts.

Robert Reich: It depends on the purpose of Santa. I mean --

Marilyn Manson: Well, if I want to sit on Santa's lap, I want to squeeze some breasts. [ Laughter ]

Cyndi Mosteller: What did you used to get for Christmas?

Marilyn Manson: Coal in my stocking.

Robert Reich: Wal-Mart -- if anybody has a deep voice and can dress up like Santa, if it is a woman or if it is a man, it doesn't matter, they ought to be permitted to be Santa.

Marilyn Manson: And if a woman has a beard, she should be able to have these things. [ All talking at once ]

Bill Maher: Or if a woman is with a beard. You know.

Cyndi Mosteller: But you know what? I think an employee should have the freedom to say, "Listen, Santa is generally a man, and I should have that freedom to have" -- an employer, excuse me, an employer.

Bill Maher: I agree with you. I really do. I don't know why in this day and age everybody has to do everything.

Cyndi Mosteller: Right.

Bill Maher: That's -- you know?

Cyndi Mosteller: that's right.

Bill Maher: Short people can't be basketball players, I'm sorry.

Cyndi Mosteller: White men can't jump.

Robert Reich: You know, you're -- that's very close. I think there ought to be a separate league. And also it may be that a department store wants to have a female Santa. And it may be that people sit on her lap.

Bill Maher: But Santa --

Robert Reich: And that's perfectly okay.

Marilyn Manson: And then also -- then they're gonna start, you know if he's a Jewish Santa, he has to be circumcised. It's gonna get very complicated. [ Laughter ]

Bill Maher: But Santa doesn't have breasts, you know? And I think it would confuse --

Marilyn Manson: Why not, he's kinda fat. [ Laughter ] You know, think about it. Like, what about men, if men's breasts get to a certain size, should that be considered sexual? Like if a big fat guy has big breasts? [ Laughter ]

Pamela Anderson Lee: I have seen men with breasts.

Marilyn Manson: What about the guy that got breast implants? I bet he can't walk around topless.

Robert Reich: You're a provocative person. [ Laughter ] You could be Santa. He could be Santa, see?

Pamela Anderson Lee: But he could be Santa even though he had implants.

Marilyn Manson: Maybe you have to have male genitalia to be Santa. The breasts are irrelevant. But maybe you have to have a penis to be Santa.

Cyndi Mosteller: Oh, my gosh.

Pamela Anderson Lee: Yeah.

Marilyn Manson: That's fair. 'Cause otherwise --

Robert Reich: That is not a bona fide occupational qualification.

Pamela Anderson Lee: What?

Robert Reich: Would you like to be Santa?

Pamela Anderson Lee: No. Mr. Claus. I'll be Mrs. Claus.

Robert Reich: I'll be Santa.

Bill Maher: Yeah. [ Laughter ] All right. We'll take a break. We'll be right back. Announcer: Join us Monday when our guests will be Charles Shaughnessy, Cheryl Lee Ralph and Laura Ingraham. [ Applause ]

Bill Maher: All right. Since, again, we have one of the Clinton cabinet members here, let me ask you, let me go back to Ross Perot for a second. Let me read one of his other quotes. He said, "I think it's totally disgusting that you'd take advantage of a vulnerable young woman and just manipulate her and use her like a toy." That's his estimation of what Clinton and Monica Lewinsky -- I see you nodding.

Cyndi Mosteller: Yeah, that's true.

Bill Maher: Why did he manipulate her? She showed him her butt thong.

Cyndi Mosteller: Yeah, she showed him, which is wrong of her. He goes, "Hell, you got on thong underwear? Meet me in my office at 10:00. By the way, what's your name?" That's the kind of man we've got as the President of the United States.

Robert Reich: Oh, come on, come on.

Marilyn Manson: If a girl wants to be Santa or she wants to be a humidor, a girl should be able to do what she wants to do. [ Laughter ]

Robert Reich: Wait, wait, wait, wait. This is a time -- this is a time in American history when we have India and Pakistan have the bomb, Russia's imploding, Japan is going down the tubes, one in five American kids are in poverty and we as a nation are obsessing about Presidential -- [ Talking at once ] [ Applause ]

Bill Maher: Most of the nation -- most of the nation wants it to go away. Isn't that true? 70% of Americans want him to continue in office and this to end.

Robert Reich: But it's not ending.

Cyndi Mosteller: It's not going to end, either.

Bill Maher: It's because of people like you it's not going to end.

Cyndi Mosteller: No, it's because of the illegalities he's committed. It's because of the illegalities -- [ Wild cheers and applause ]

Marilyn Manson: Everybody take drugs and we'll be fine. Let's all take drugs and we'll be fine.