On HBO, Maher Panel Slams Scalia, Jokes About His Death

On Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher, left-wing HBO comedian Bill Maher and his all-liberal panel went after deceased conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, as Maher not only joked about the possibility that he died while watching his show, but ended up imagining him "murdering" birds and looking like Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series the evening before his passing.

Maher recalled that on his show two weeks ago, he had just been critical of Justice Scalia the night before his death was reported, and imitated what it might have been like if Scalia had died after seeing the HBO host criticizing him on his show:

Something spooky happened exactly two weeks ago. I was talking right at this hour right on this show, and we were talking about the fact that the Supreme Court had just scuttled the EPA's clean power plan, okay, and I said, "How can anything get done in America when you have to run it by Antonin Scalia first?" Apparently, at that very hour, he died. He could have been watching this show thinking, "I like Bill Maher so much. Ahhh!"



Smiling, the liberal comedian fell backward in his chair as if he were Justice Scalia dying, inspiring laughter from the audience. After siting back up, he continued:

Okay, but, so, look, you're not supposed to speak ill of the dead, so let me not name call. But let me fact call because I have listened for two weeks about he was a brilliant jurist and he was a great intellectual. Excuse me, Antonin Scalia was put on Earth to remind poor people that the law is not your friend.

Moments later, far-left panel member Michael Eric Dyson, a Georgetown University professor who used to be an MSNBC political analyst and guest host, brought up Scalia's recent comments about the possibility that it is better for some black students to go to less prestigious schools rather than be placed by race-based admissions, as he introduced the word "evil" and claimed that the conservative justice applied some of his views in a "vicious and condemnatory fashion toward vulnerable and poor people." Dyson:

And I think this figure right here was an excellent jurist in the sense of the mechanics of interpretation, but he applied them in such vicious and condemnatory fashion toward vulnerable and poor people. and the statement he made not soon before his death that black people ought to go to second-tier schools and so on and so forth is one of the most ridiculous repudiations of common sense, and God bless his soul, but it was an evil examination of a practice that should have been dismissed along with his outdated way of thinking.

After Joanna Coles, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, complained about Justice Scalia's views on gay rights, Maher started complaining about the conservative justice being "just another old white Republican guy living in the bubble" as he took exception with his fondness for the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, and Bill Bennett's radio show, and theorized that he listened to "Rush Limbaugh and a bunch of other insane people." Maher:

He's just another, this idea that he was a brilliant mind, he was just another old white Republican guy living in the bubble. ... They asked him a few years ago what news sources he listened to. He said, "get the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Times." That's the Moonie paper. "I get most of my news probably driving back and forth to work on the radio." So that's Rush Limbaugh and a bunch of other insane people. "You know who my favorite is? My good friend, Bill Bennett." Another d***. (audience laughter)

Maher ended his discussion of Justice Scalia by mocking his love for hunting as "murdering birds" and imagined that he looked like the character Dumbledore hunting the evening before his death. Maher:

You know where he was when he died, though? ... an all-male (hunting resort), yes, with some secret order of St. Hubertis where they wear green robes with big crosses on them, and then they murder birds that are released not into the wild like right in front of them. And he was actually too sick that day to do the hunting, but he was in the car because that's great too, to just be around people murdering birds. So to, you know, the idea that this brilliant mind stumbling in the woods like Dumbledore in his-

After the audience laughed, he sarcastically added: "Like I said, I would not speak ill of the dead."

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Friday, February 26, Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO:

10:22 p.m. ET
BILL MAHER: Something spooky happened exactly two weeks ago. I was talking right at this hour right on this show, and we were talking about the fact that the Supreme Court had just scuttled the EPA's clean power plan, okay, and I said, "How can anything get done in America when you have to run it by Antonin Scalia first?" Apparently, at that very hour, he died. He could have been watching this show thinking, "I like Bill Maher so much. Ahhh!"

(Maher falls back in his chair smiling as the audience laughs, then sits back up)

Okay, but, so, look, you're not supposed to speak ill of the dead, so let me not name call. But let me fact call because I have listened for two weeks about he was a brilliant jurist and he was a great intellectual. Excuse me, Antonin Scalia was put on Earth to remind poor people that the law is not your friend.

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, FORMER MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah.

MAHER: You mentioned Bush Vs. Gore. He gave us President George Bush. He also found an individual right to bear arms that is so not in the Constitution.

FRAN LEBOWITZ, VANITY FAIR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: He also believed in the Devil.

MAHER: The Devil, yes.

LEBOWITZ: My feeling is, this is America, it's a free country, you can believe in the Devil. But if you do, you can't be on the Supreme Court. One or the other.

(...)

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON: And I think this figure right here was an excellent jurist in the sense of the mechanics of interpretation, but he applied them in such vicious and condemnatory fashion toward vulnerable and poor people. and the statement he made not soon before his death that black people ought to go to second-tier schools and so on and so forth is one of the most ridiculous repudiations of common sense, and God bless his soul, but it was an evil examination of a practice that should have been dismissed along with his outdated way of thinking.

(...)

JOANNA COLES, EDITOR IN CHIEF OF COSMOPOLITAN: His comments against the gay community, too, I mean, it's only 13 years ago that, you know, he was making comments saying people don't want to live next door to gay people, they don't want gay colleagues.

MAHER: He's just another, this idea that he was a brilliant mind, he was just another old white Republican guy living in the bubble. He even said-

COLES: He was the longest serving juror, right? He was there for 30 years.

DYSON: But they can be smart and bad.

COLES: But it's a long time to hold a job, right?

MAHER: They asked him a few years ago what news sources he listened to. He said, "get the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Times." That's the Moonie paper. "I get most of my news probably driving back and forth to work on the radio." So that's Rush Limbaugh and a bunch of other insane people. "You know who my favorite is? My good friend, Bill Bennett." Another d***. (audience laughter)

(...)

MAHER: You know where he was when he died, though? I mean, he was on an-

LEBOWITZ: A private hunting resort.

MAHER: On a what?

LEBOWITZ: Some sort of private hunting resort.

MAHER: Yes, an all-male, yes, with some secret order of St. Hubertis where they wear green robes with big crosses on them, and then they murder birds that are released not into the wild like right in front of them. And he was actually too sick that day to do the hunting, but he was in the car because that's great too, to just be around people murdering birds. So to, you know, the idea that this brilliant mind stumbling in the woods like Dumbledore in his-

(pauses as audience laughs)

Like I said, I would not speak ill of the dead.

LEBOWITZ: I don't want to contradict you, but you can also be bad and stupid.

DYSON: You can.

LEBOWITZ: Hence the Republican debates.

DYSON: You can be stupid, bad and smart and brilliant at the same time.

LEBOWITZ: But not if you're a Republican.

Brad Wilmouth
Brad Wilmouth is a contributing blogger to NewsBusters