Bill Maher, true to form on his "Real Time" program on HBO on Friday, went on a tirade against Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church, only days before the Pope’s visit to the U.S.. He stated that the Pope "used to be a Nazi" and compared him to a cult leader. He then went on to call the Church a "child-abusing religious cult" and "the Bear Stearns of organized pedophilia." "And that’s the Church’s attitude: 'We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it,' which is fine, far be it from me to criticize religion."

Following a profanity-tinged one-liner concerning the raid on the Texas compound of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Maher quipped, "In fact, whenever a cult leader sets himself up as God’s infallible wingman here on Earth, lock away the kids. Which is why I’d like to tip off law enforcement to an even larger child-abusing religious cult. Its leader also has a compound, and this guy not only operates outside the bounds of the law, but he used to be a Nazi and he wears funny hats. That’s right, the Pope is coming to America this week and ladies, he’s single!" At the "funny hat" line, Maher displayed a picture of Pope Benedict wearing a wide-brimmed hat called a saturno

Can you feel the love already? Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News magazine reports that the flagrantly liberal Bryant Gumbel will have a chance to celebrate the life and times of president-in-waiting Barack Obama, specifically his Hoop Dreams era:

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) will talk hoops on the upcoming edition of Home Box Office's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

On Monday, the Drudge Report released a picture of Barack Obama dressed as a Somali elder claiming it had been circulated by "stressed Clinton staffers."

Four days later, on HBO's "Real Time," host Bill Maher strongly implied that the picture had been leaked by conservatives.

Although Obama and his campaign representatives strongly lashed out at Hillary Clinton and her supporters for "shameful offensive fear-mongering," Maher, during his "New Rules" segment Friday, never once mentioned the picture's apparent connection to the former first lady:

The hatred from supposedly compassionate and open-minded Hollywoodans is something to behold, isn't it?

After all, just imagine despising a radio talk show host so much that you would suggest, on national television, that he should die of a drug overdose.

Alas, such was the case Friday evening when HBO's Bill Maher actually asked guest P.J. O'Rourke, who was talking about Rush Limbaugh's use of the prescription drug OxyContin (disgusting question after the jump):

Video/audio: Click image to play Flash video. MP3 audio. (Video also available here courtesy our friend Ms Underestimated.)

People that watch HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" are infinitely aware that the host is not only an atheist, but is also an antitheist, meaning that he hates religion.

No finer example of Maher's disdain for theism and Judeo-Christian principles occurred on Friday's installment of "Real Time" when he actually declared, "At least half of the [Ten] Commandments are stupid!"

This came moments after Maher proudly stated, "If I had a child, the last book I would ever give to teach morality would be the Bible, especially the Old Testament." This led one of his guests to say that Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, and John McCain should be stoned for committing adultery.

I kid you not.

Here's the first astounding exchange on the subject of religion (video available here courtesy our friend Ms Underestimated):

A truly extraordinary event happened on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" Friday evening: the host, in the first show of the new season delayed as a result of the Hollywood writers' strike, began the program bashing Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) for faking a teary moment in a New Hampshire diner Monday.

Maybe even more astounding, Hillary's charade was a central focus of Maher's monologue, as well as the entire program during which he questioned the sanity of voters who bought into her crying game hook, line and sinker.

Readers are cautioned to hold on tightly to their seats, for this was how Friday's show began (video available here courtesy our friend Ms Underestimated):

How quiet is it Chez Finkelstein on Christmas morning? Quiet enough that I actually resorted to my HBO on Demand re-run channel and decided to check out a two-minute Def Comedy short. I wasn't looking for trouble, let alone grist for the NB mill. But here's what turned up. A comedian named Patrice O'Neal. And these were the very first words out of his mouth:

View video here.

It appears the good folks at HBO must have been extremely concerned that "Real Time" host Bill Maher was going to lose many of his viewers as a result of his tossing 9/11 truthers from the audience two weeks ago.

After all, Maher even admitted at the opening of the discussion segment of Friday's program, albeit almost apologetically, "I'm not going to pretend that we have ideological balance on this panel."

Ideological balance? Are you kidding?

Here were Maher's attendees this fine Friday evening in no specific order:

Something truly shocking happened on Friday's "Real Time" on HBO.

Host Bill Maher called 9/11 truthers "lunatics," and demanded they stop requesting him "raise this ridiculous topic on this show and start asking [their] doctor if Paxil is right for [them]."

I kid you not.

During Maher's "New Rules" segment, he actually stated (video available here, relevant section begins at 1:46):

As the new season of HBO's "Real Time" began Friday night, I watched with great trepidation, especially given host Bill Maher's disgraceful special on that network back in July wherein he spent virtually two-thirds of the program bashing President Bush and anyone with an "R" next to his/her name.

With that in mind, my stomach started turning during his opening monologue as he made joke after joke about our president. I was put in further unease as he introduced his first guest, New York Times correspondent Damien Cave, currently in Baghdad, who seemed likely invited on to speak the liberal party line about how the surge is failing, and how things are much worse in Iraq than the Administration wants to admit.

Miraculously, my concerns were all for naught, for Cave, much like the Times' Baghdad bureau chief John Burns, sees good things happening in Iraq, which appeared to catch Maher off guard. For instance, when Maher asked, "What is the morale of our troops, because I know President Bush always says that the troops are steadfastly all behind him - uh, I have my doubts. What is your view?"

Cave's response was clearly not what Maher was expecting (video available here courtesy of our friend Ms. Underestimated):