HBO’s “Real Time” host Bill Maher appealed to his liberal panel’s sensibilities Friday night, saying liberals shouldn’t be afraid to condemn Islamic terrorism for fear of being labeled racist.
He didn’t have much luck.
“I think the point we always try to make is that liberals somehow feel worried that they’re going to be called racist if they criticize people of the Muslim faith, which is stupid,” Maher said. “First of all, because it’s not a race, Muslim. It’s a religion. And if I criticize Michael Vick, it’s not because he’s black, it’s because he electrocuted dogs. You know?”
“We need liberal voices to stand up for liberalism. This is the great irony here because we are standing up for liberal principles. Which I am sorry, but a lot of the Muslim world stands against, not just the radicals,” Maher said.
Being liberals, the panel objected.
Christians are just as murderously violent as Islamists, argued Al Sharpton, noting that in the past men claiming to be Christians joined the Ku Klux Klan to terrorize blacks. That’s more or less Sharpton’s go-to argument, though — when the pizza gets delivered, cold it’s the KKK’s fault — and Maher didn’t waste much time on it.
“Yeah, but now there are Christian Dominionists that are just as extreme,” chimed in Valerie Plame, the former CIA agent who has somehow managed to milk a barely remembered Bush-era scandal into C-list celebrity status. (Maybe it has something to do with being able to Google “Christian Dominionists” on set without getting caught by the camera.)
That statement didn’t deserve the time Maher gave it. (Nor does Valerie Plame, actually.)
“I can guarantee to you that right now there are Christians out there tonight that want to kill you and me,” ventured propagandist Michael Moore. And while the statement was undoubtedly true, it wasn’t terrifically relevant, Maher pointed out.
“We have to have special extra security here. We don’t have to have special extra security here when there is a Christian who is pissed off,” Maher said.
Check out the argument here.
Maher’s an insufferable lib himself, but this crowd makes him look brilliant. (Maybe that’s Plame’s secret.)