Tuesday, May 24, 2005

freedom of speech...just watch what you say

these days, it seems like you can judge how true bill maher's statements are by how many people demand that his show be taken off the year.

a couple years ago, shortly after 9/11, maher lost his cushy job on abc's politically incorrect (which abc had snatched away from comedy central) for making a comment that was too true for some people to handle. when someone made a comment that the 9/11 hijackers were "cowards", maher put them in their place by saying "We have been the cowards lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it's not cowardly."

some americans (generally right-wingers) did not like bill pointing out that their war machine is bullshit, and the show was quickly canceled.

now, three years later, people are again calling for bill maher to be pulled off the air, so clearly he must've said something a little too "correct" for right-wingers to handle.

Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., takes issue with remarks on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, first aired May 13, in which Maher points out the Army missed its recruiting goal by 42 percent in April.

"More people joined the Michael Jackson fan club," Maher said. "We've done picked all the low-lying Lynndie England fruit, and now we need warm bodies."

Army Reserve Pfc. England was accused of abusing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

"I think it borders on treason," Bachus said. "In treason, one definition is to undermine the effort or national security of our country."

so bill maher, who is a tv comedian made a smart, informed comment, pointing out that recruitment is in shambles and that our military needs qualified people, not the kinds of "bad apples" that have been responsible for torturing people in places like abu ghraib, afghanistan, guantanamo, or anyplace else we keep prisoners in the "war on terror" (because wherever we put 'em, we end up torturin' 'em). it's hard to argue with that.

and then rep. bachus, a congressman who's named after the roman god of getting drunk and acting stupid, takes a page from ann coulter's book (literally; he could practically be reading aloud from her book treason) and demands for maher to be pulled off the air. which is more than a little ironic, considering that maher and coulter are supposedly close friends.

i'm sure that if/when bill goes back to cheerleading for bush's "war on terra", the calls for his cancelation will subside.

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