HBO has perhaps made Bill Maher America's nastiest talk show host. He's also America's most prominent, militant atheist. Now he's made himself the most prominent million-dollar donor to Barack Obama's super PAC, Priorities USA. He broke out a big check onstage in San Jose to advertise his magnanimous support.
A few days ago, NBC's resident feminist Andrea Mitchell practically needed smelling salts when Santorum super-PAC backer Foster Friess repeated a very old (and equally innocent) joke about Bayer aspirin being used as birth control. This somehow became the scandal of the day for Rick Santorum.
So why don't Bill Maher's "jokes" now blow back on Barack Obama?
Obama ascended to the White House on an alleged cloud of positive energy and bridge-building (if you forget all his campaign's nasty commercials and just follow his press clips). Bill Maher is the opposite. He is the epitome of self-indulgent Hollywood liberalism, a man who shamelessly denounces the rest of America as a nation full of idiots.
But now they own each other. Maher wrote the check; Obama cashed it. Mitchell and everyone else, shouldn't you be asking some questions in the interest of that lost journalism art -- fairness?
Start with the ancient commentaries. Bill Maher is the man who used the Christopher Reeve riding-accident tragedy to rant against the cruelty of riding horses. This is the man who "joked" in 2000 that he hoped O.J. Simpson had murdered Katherine Harris, Florida's Republican secretary of state. This is the man dropped by ABC in 2001 for calling our fighter pilots "cowards," while the 9/11 terrorists who died flying into a building full of innocent people were "not cowardly."
Shouldn't team Obama send the million dollars back? Reject Maher -- or own him.
There is Maher's arrogant description of George W. Bush as a "retarded child emperor" and a "terrorist's wet dream." There's his description of the Catholic Church as a "child-abusing religious cult" with a pope that "used to be a Nazi." Catholics go to church every Sunday to fund the "Bear Stearns of organized pedophilia." The bigoted rants are endless. He even produced a documentary full of them.
Shouldn't team Obama send the million dollars back? If not, shouldn't he be held accountable?