As NewsBusters previously reported, HBO's Real Time this past Friday once again featured some truly disgusting attacks on the Pope, priests, and the Catholic Church. This has led the Catholic League to formally request HBO and Time Warner fire host Bill Maher and cancel the show.
On Tuesday, after Newsmax TV's Steve Malzberg played a clip of Maher and guest Dan Savage from Friday's program to Catholic League president Bill Donohue, Donohue responded (video follows with transcript and commentary):
BILL DONOHUE, PRESIDENT CATHOLIC LEAGUE: Here’s what’s happening. Last Friday, I wrote to Richard Plepler, who’s not a bad guy. I know Richard.
STEVE MALZBERG, HOST: Who is?
DONOHUE: He’s the president of HBO - saying you have to sit down with Maher. It’s gone too far. Bashir is paying a price for what he said on MSNBC, Alec Baldwin, many other people.
MALZBERG: Well, Bashir paid no price, really.
DONOHUE: Well, at least he apologized to Sarah Palin, which is more than you’re going to get from these people. What happened last Friday was just unbelievable, and so what I’ve done now – and I don’t do this on a regular basis, believe me. I’ve only done it once before – I wrote to over 400 bishops in the United States telling them where they can get a copy online of the 54 vicious anti-Catholic statements painting the Pope and priests and cardinals as child rapists that Maher has said since 1998. He does it every single Friday night. There’s no other demographic group in this country that you can get away with this kind of impugnity, and enough is enough.
I do think that once you get all the cardinals, bishops writing to Jeff Bewkes over at Time Warner and the Board of Directors at Time Warner, that hopefully they will try to put the reins on this man. It’s, they don’t need to bring him back to the show. It doesn’t, the season has ended, the next show doesn’t start up until January 17. Hopefully they’ll just cancel the show.
You cannot reform Bill Maher. He’s an inveterate bigot.
MALZBERG: So you’re looking for them to let Bill Maher go.
DONOHUE: They ought to just simply dump the whole show. There’s no defensible argument, they could not come on your show today and make a principled argument as to why Bill Maher deserves to get a pass when other people when they say untoward comments – which are not even half as bad as what he does in a relentless obscene way every single week – they couldn’t make that argument.
Bill Maher, the time has come to let this guy go.
MALZBERG: And your take on Dan Savage?
DONOHUE: Well, Dan Savage would be probably the number two anti-Catholic bigot in popular culture. So, the fact that they picked him to take this stab, again, I mean, you know, most people love the Pope. To paint him again as a child rapist is something that only Bill Maher would do, and only HBO/Time Warner seems to tolerate it.
MALZBERG: Alright, well, listen, you know, good luck with your effort. I mean, I don’t like to call for people to be fired, but all I could tell you is I will not pay any, not a penny to his salary.
DONOHUE: This is not my natural step, but when you have 54 vile comments over all these years, something’s got to be done.
Here were Donohue's published comments Monday:
The board of directors at Time Warner cannot distance themselves from Bill Maher any longer. On Friday night, Maher teed up Dan Savage, another anti-Catholic bigot. What happened was particularly vicious.
Maher commented on gay couples who adopt children, alleging that a Hawaiian bishop said these kids had a greater chance of committing suicide. Here is how Savage responded: “That’s total bulls***. He’s confusing children of gay parents with children who are raped by Catholic priests. Sorry, I am just done being lectured about children and their safety by Catholic-f***ing bishops, priests, cardinals.” Shortly thereafter, Savage again remarked about “kiddie-f***ing Catholic priests.”
We are sending to every member of Time Warner’s board of directors a copy of 54 anti-Catholic statements made by Bill Maher on TV [click here to read the report]. Friday’s show concluded the season. The time has come to close this show once and for all.
Here is the list of the 54 vile anti-Catholic attacks Maher has made since 1998.
For those that can stand it, here's the straw that broke the camel's back Friday: