In 2002, ABC decided to not renew Bill Maher’s contract after he made some disgraceful comments on his program “Politically Incorrect” concerning America’s military response to 9/11. After what transpired on “Real Time” Friday, the heads of HBO should be equally outraged, if not more.
As the discussion moved to the attempted assassination of Vice President Cheney last week, Maher asked his panel why it was necessary for the Huffington Post to remove comments by readers concerning their disappointment that the attempt failed. As the conversation ensued, Maher said one of the most disgraceful and irresponsible things uttered on a major television program since Bush was elected.
In a nutshell, the host said the world would be a safer place if the assassination attempt succeeded. And, he even had the nerve to reiterate it.***
Wake up, HBO: one of your hosts said the world would be a safer place if the Vice President of the United States of America had been assassinated.
I watched Bill Maher last night because Barney Frank was one of the guests, and I am always interested in what he is going to say. Say what you will about him, he speaks his mind and is honest, and I respect that. At any rate, Maher never said he wished the assassination attempt was successful, and what makes this lame smear so silly is that newsbusters posted the actual transcript and a link to the video (bonus fun fact- Msunderestimated is livid with Maher, but has an approving link to the video of Ann Coulter at CPAC immediately preceding the Maher clip), proving that Maher did not in fact say he wished the assassination had been successful:
Maher: But I have zero doubt that if Dick Cheney was not in power, people wouldn’t be dying needlessly tomorrow. (applause)
Scarborough: If someone on this panel said that they wished that Dick Cheney had been blown up, and you didn’t say…
Frank: I think he did.
Scarborough: Okay. Did you say…
Maher: No, no. I quoted that.
Frank: You don’t believe that?
Maher: I’m just saying if he did die, other people, more people would live. That’s a fact.
Saying that X would happen if Y had happened is not the same thing as saying Y should have happened or you wished Y had happened. There is no way around that, even when you selectively quote and remove the jocular context from the program.
I understand now why Politically Incorrect ended. It was replaced with what appears to be the wildly more popular Politically Correct v. 2.0, run by the right wing.
BTW- Frank did not disappoint. He had one of the best reasoned responses to why saying lives had been wasted in Iraq, although true, should be avoided. His reasoning is that yes, while the administration has squandered a bunch of lives, and that saying lives had been wasted is not an attack on the noble sacrifice of our soldiers, but an attack on this administration, it is unnecessary to bring additional pain and suffering to those who have lost loved ones by using the term “wasted.” I tend to agree, and I will try to post the transcript of that portion if I can find it.