Far be it from me to defend the outspoken comedian whenever it's called for, but this recent scuffle he's found himself in is over a whole bunch of nothing. Apparently Republican Congressman Spencer Bachus from Alabama had problems with Bill Maher's comments he made on his HBO show, Real Time, on May 13 about the Army missing its recruiting goal by 42 percent in April.
"More people joined the Michael Jackson fan club," Maher said. "We've done picked all the low-lying Lynndie England fruit, and now we need warm bodies."
Bachus wasn't impressed after watching the taped segment upon returning from Germany. "I think it borders on treason," he said. "In treason, one definition is to undermine the effort or national security of our country."
In no way did Maher "undermine" the effort of national security, or anything else for that matter. He was just making a joke to his liberal lovers in the audience and at home who needed their progressive humor fixes between The Daily Show and reruns of The West Wing.
To be sure, Maher deserved to lose his Politically Incorrect program after calling the 9-11 hijackers "brave" shortly after the tragedy, despite apology. Apparently to anti-American apologists such as Maher who uses his show as a platform for U.S. critics such as Ward Churchill, a surprise ambush claiming the lives of unsuspecting women and children can be justified and should not be judged as cowardly.
Maher's May 13 comments on the other hand do not warrant a national scene or hue and cry for yet another one of his shows to be cancelled, despite his tendency to stir up controversy. One could only image what Ann Coulter would have to say about him if they weren't such good friends.
The comedian responded to his Republican critic and other potential elected detractors using a soapbox provided by "The Huffington Post" with some scathing remarks of his own:
First, I had never heard of Congressman Bachus before this. Now lots of people have heard of him. You're welcome, Congressman, glad I could help get your Q rating up.
Technically, it is possible for a comedian or anyone with national influence or the power to sway public opinion to do harm to the troops, but certainly Maher never risked crossing the line or even came close to it.
By the way, are we sure he's really a Congressman? Maybe he's just a guy with a fax machine. You know how fact checking goes these days.
I could go on and on, but this is too ridiculous, so I'll just say this: I'm not a congressman, I'm a comedian. There's nothing I can really do to help or hurt our troops.
But a congressman, there's someone who can actually DO SOMETHING to help our troops. In fact, a case could be made that it's a lot more treasonous for someone in his position to be wasting his time yelling at a comedian. Shouldn't he be training his outrage at such problems as troops not having enough armor? Wouldn't that ACTUALLY support our troops more? And citizens of this country who claim to support our troops should write this man and tell him GET BACK TO WORK! DO SOMETHING THAT ACTUALLY COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO SOLDIERS IN IRAQ!
And by the way, these "comments" were part of a longer, scripted comedy piece in the modest proposal tradition. I can see why administration supporters would want to deflect attention away from the gist of the piece, which was this: now that we can't meet our recruiting goals, maybe it's the people who were so gung ho for this war to begin with who should step up and go fight it.
Want to debate this issue and make your own aggressive voice heard? Head over to my blog, Aggressive-Voice Daily, and join in on the discussion.