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Leave it to Bill Maher to bring the most disparate group of panelists together on “Real Time With Bill Maher” and emerge with a thoughtful discussion. Friday night’s guests on the HBO talker represented a rainbow coalition of political ideologies: There was uber-conservative commentator Ann Coulter, the Nation’s D.C. editor Chris Hayes, royal historian Amanda Foreman and transgender advocate Chaz Bono.

Mr. Maher focused much of the discussion on himself, including a nod to Dr. Keith Ablow who diagnosed Mr. Maher as insane and hostile toward women on Fox News, and said Mr. Bono was “delusional” for thinking he was a man.

This led to Ms. Coulter’s declaration that she would never go to a psychiatrist because “like Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin and everyone else [Mr. Maher] despise*, I do believe in God.” To which Mr. Bono calmly replied, “Believing in God and psychiatry, how are those two things opposed to each other?”

Mr. Bono continued, “I’ve gotten great use of therapy and I also believe in God. I don’t look at them as two mutually exclusive things. I need all the help I could get.”

The panel also talked about the News of the World phone-hacking scandal, Rebekah Brooks’ now-tenuous position in the Murdoch media empire and the American justice system as seen through the rubric of the Casey Anthony trial.

Compiled from Web and wire reports

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