In defense of Bill Maher...And why does he need defending, again? Isn't this America?
On May 13th, Bill Maher, on his HBO show "Real Time With Bill Maher," said this:
"More people joined the Michael Jackson fan club. We've done picked all the low-lying Lyndie England fruit, and now we need warm bodies."
Then, in a blatant effort to get his name splattered all over the national news, Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) said this about Maher's comment: "I think it borders on treason. In treason, one definition is to undermine the effort or national security of our country." He also said, if not treason, it is at least grounds to cancel Bill Maher's show.
You'll note the good Representative from Alabama didn't accuse Bill of libel. With libel you are accused of saying something that is untrue.
Here's something I'd like all of our brave young soldiers out there...a few of whom are actually my friends and relatives whose safe return I pray for every day....here's something I'd like them to do.
Write home to your parents, the American public you are serving, the newspapers they read, and the elected officials who decide where you are going to risk your lives. In those letters I want you to remind them that you are fighting (and possibly dying)in defense of America and the precious freedoms that nation represents. I'd like you to write those folks and tell them that you don't appreciate putting your life on the line to defend things like freedom of speech only to have people back home lobby to eliminate it through legislation or threat of sanction. You're protecting America, not the former Soviet Union.
How dare any elected official demand that an American's livelihood, and the livelihood of all their employees, be taken away because they voiced an opinion the elected official didn't agree with....Or happen to like. I guess Rep. Bachus didn't say he disagreed...Only that it hurt the troops.
Hey, Troops. Does it hurt you to have Americans exercise the freedoms you are defending for them? If it does, then is freedom what you are really defending? I gotta wonder...and so should you.
In the wake of the whole fiasco over the friendly fire death of Pat Tillman and the cover up which followed...recruiting efforts are flagging. Does Representaive Bachus really think they are falling off due to comedians? Maybe the low numbers are due to the fact that nothing anyone has told us about Iraq has been true. Not the threat, not the WMDs, not the cost, not the response of the Iraqi people, not the length of deployments, and not the length of time we'd be in the region, and not the cost in American lives.
Maybe instead of getting mad at Bill Maher for talking about it, and encouraging people to think about it, people in a position to actually do something about it (like Rep. Bachus) ought to be working to create military training and a military culture where Bill Maher couldn't make jokes about the military because they didn't do things like what Lyndie England and the father of her child did.
I'd much rather comedians couldn't make fun of the military because there was nothing to make fun of than because they are afraid people like Bachus are going to get their jobs taken away for exercising their so-called freedom of speech.
What kind of America do you want these kids to die for, Representative Bachus?
I wonder what kind of America they're willing to die for.
Maybe that's a better question to ponder when plotting recruiting and retention strategies than which comedians are on cable television committing treason.
Here's an idea, sir. Why don't you do your job, and stop watching so much HBO? How about that for an idea, sir?
And I mean that with all due respect.
- Lawmaker: Maher treads near treason Chicago Tribune, Published May 24, 2005
- Tillman family criticize Army's friendly-fire probe, Reuters, Mon May 23, 2005 06:18 AM ET