BILL MAHER IS OUT OF CONTROL: ABC OFFICIALS ASKED TO INTERVENE

Catalyst April Issue 2002

Within the space of 48 hours, Bill Maher attacked Catholic priests in a way the Ku Klux Klan couldn’t match.

On March 6, on “Politically Correct with Bill Maher,” comedian Jimmy Kimmel mocked the Immaculate Conception by saying, “God has a penis.” When the audience reacted with nervous laughter, Kimmel offered, “Oh, like He doesn’t? How do you think we got Jesus?”

Then Kirk Franklin chimed in with, “See, that’s why we gotta move people away from religion. I think religion is one of the worst things that ever happened to America.” Franklin, a black musician, then attacked the Eucharist by complaining “gotta take the cracker.” To which Maher replied, “Gotta take the cracker from a cracker.”

Things got worse on March 8. Maher led the attack on Catholicism and some of his guests participated as well. He exploited the problem of priest pedophilia in the Church in an extended segment. Here is a sample of what he said:

  • “Before puberty, I would say nobody caused me more pain than the Catholics.”
  • “I apparently was not attractive enough to be hit on [by priests].”

The lone guest who challenged Maher was Jason Jones of Human Life International. When he commented that this problem was not prevalent in Europe or South America, Maher shot back, “You’re right. In African countries they rape the nuns.”

In our news release, we said the following:

“Bill Maher has been attacking Catholicism for years, and this explains why the Catholic League is now at a breaking point with him. It seems ‘the Catholics’ (a telling use of words) are always causing him pain. It was also revealing to note that when challenged, he moved from blaming all priests for molesting young boys to raping nuns. Perhaps this is what he means by diversity.”

On March 8, William Donohue personally wrote to Olivia Cohen-Cutler, vice president of Broadcast Standards and Practices, to see if someone at ABC is willing to intervene. He told her, “Maher is out of control. This isn’t humor—it’s anti-Catholicism of the most vicious kind. If ABC does nothing to tone him down, we will make public our next move. And nothing will deter us from pressing this issue until Maher knocks it off.”

Donohue told Cohen-Cutler that he would be glad to meet her in New York next time comes east. In the meantime, please write to her at ABC, Inc., Broadcast Standards and Practices, 500 S. Buena Vista Street, Burbank, CA 91521-4536.


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Written by Bill