It had been billed as Bill Maher's apology for his recent remarks about Catholicism in general and the Pope in particular but on Friday's Real Time it was obvious that an apology was the last thing that little scamp Maher had in mind...
And I bring this up because last week I got into some trouble with the Catholic League – not the first time with the Catholic League—[laughter]—how many Catholic League members? Not my biggest fans – because I said in our little essay ending the show, I said, “The Pope” – and I looked at it again; I looked at the words carefully – “used to be a Nazi.”
Okay, now, first of all, it was a joke. [laughter] Okay, we’re in a comedic context. I said he “used to be a Nazi and he wears funny hats, and, ladies, he’s single.” [laughter] So, right away, we’re in the context of a joke. Okay, and “used to.” Now, but, you know what? You got me, okay. The Pope was not a Nazi. When he was a teenager, he was in the Hitler Youth. Which meant that he said the oath directly to Hitler and not to the Nazis. Which is sort of worse. [laughter] Okay. [applause]
But, wait a second. The thing that argues for their side of this is that, you know what, he was coerced into that. He was a teenager. I wouldn’t blame any teen – he was a fourteen-year-old kid in Nazi Germany. Of course he’s going to do what they tell him to do.
So, on that score, you know what, my Catholic friends, I will never make the “Pope is a Nazi” joke again. Because, you’re technically right, okay, and also because it distracts from the main point. And the main point I was making was that if the Pope, instead of a religious figure, was the CEO of a chain of nationwide daycare centers who had thousands of employees who had been caught molesting children and then covering it up, he would have been in jail. [applause]
So – and I notice they didn’t say a word about that.
It really does look like our boy Bill may be just a tad disingenuous here. First off it appears he doesn't want people getting so upset that they cause him any real grief ("...it was a joke.", "...we’re in a comedic context.") but then he launches into yet another attack the sheer viciousness of which can't be disguised by any "comic" masquerade. So what is the deal with Maher, anyway?
Maybe Maher is just so upset about the Church's pedophilia scandals that he's blinded to any other facts? The problem here is that Maher's feelings about pedophiles really hasn't always been quite so unforgiving as can be seen in the following Late Late Show interview he gave in May of 2005:
Bill Maher: "I think that there is no perspective. People have no perspective, especially about crime. You know, zero tolerance. You know, of course, nobody ever wants to see a child, you know, diddled. That’s just plain wrong. But even the people who are testifying against him [Michael Jackson], they’re saying that he serviced them. They didn’t service him."
Craig Ferguson: "You don’t have kids, do you,
Ferguson: "No. I have a son. It makes me crazy, this thing, this Michael Jackson thing. It drives me, the idea of someone touching my kid, I would go, I nearly swore there. I’d go crazy."
"Very wrong. But, you know, I remember when I was a kid. I was savagely beaten once by bullies in the schoolyard. Savagely beaten. If I had a choice between being savagely beaten and being gently masturbated by a pop star. It’s just me."
Ferguson: "The always controversial Bill Maher, everybody."
Maher: "What? That’s it?"
Ferguson: "Bill Maher. We’ll be right back with Rain Pryor."
It sure looks like Maher wasn't exactly lost in a sea of outrage over Jacko inviting all the little kiddies over so he could ply them with "Jesus juice" and have his way with them. So his hyperventilating over the criminal priests looks a bit insincere. Maher really comes up more than a little short as an arbiter of values and what is right and wrong on any issue when one takes into consideration some of his own past activities.
The picture above was taken of Maher at a Halloween part shortly after the accidental death of wildlife expert Steve Irwin, who was killed by a stingray. The faux blood and appendage on Maher's chest is meant to represent Irwin's blood and the barb that killed him. HAHA Funny and yet sensitive stuff that, huh? I'm sure Irwin's wife and children really thought it was a hoot.
Maher has exhibited his moral delicacy at other times as well. In 2002 he said,
"But I've often said that if I had — I have two dogs — if I had two retarded children, I'd be a hero. And yet the dogs, which are pretty much the same thing. What? They're sweet. They're loving. They're kind, but they don't mentally advance at all.... Dogs are like retarded children."
I'll bet the parents of retarded children were edified to learn that their kids aren't really much different than Fido.
And just in case you're wondering if this is all shtick that he turns on for the cameras to help get a little buzz going, it would seem that in his personal life he's exactly the ass his TV appearances make him out to be. According to ex-girlfriend Karrine "Superhead" Steffans,
"Bill wants someone he can put down in an argument, tell you how ghetto you are, how big your butt is, and that you're an idiot. That's why you never see him with a white girl or an intellectual. I might as well have been a Muslim woman with my head wrapped, walking 10 paces behind my man. [But] I couldn't be 'Bill Maher's girlfriend' any more - not when I'm Karrine Steffans . . . best-selling author."Most of us probably know a Bill Maher or two; the guy who is eternally cynical without ever evidencing any beliefs beyond the empty and currently fashionable, the hip and cool, the kind of "beliefs" that buys them entree into all the really chic places. Maher undoubtedly travels in more "sophisticated" circles than the jerk you know. He likes to rub elbows with Hef and hang out at "the Mansion". He dates porn stars. But he possesses the same remarkable glibness-sans-depth that your least favorite pain in the ass possesses. He is the perfect relativist; believing in nothing. This allows him to mock everything. His self esteem is directly proportional to how stupid he believes you to be. And he thinks you are very stupid indeed.
For all the huffing and puffing that has been done over his attack on the Church (and I've done my fair share here and in other posts on this blog) when all is said and done he can't even nick Catholicism and/or the Pope. But it is worthwhile to point out his type of cynical personality style and recognize it for what it is: shallow, self-involved and mean. And the best way to handle people like him, once you see them for who they are is to call them out briefly and move on. They love attention but once it is finally pulled away they're left with nothing but themselves and that has to be the worst punishment of all.