Steve Coogan, a producer and screenplay writer of “Philomena,” was a guest of Bill Maher on Friday night’s show. Maher said there were 60,000 Philomenas in Ireland, women who had children out-of-wedlock and gave their children up for adoption. Coogan claimed they were “maltreated and eventually their babies were sold to Americans.”
Maher said that Philomena Lee “looks like a slave in the movie,” stating she worked long hours in the laundries. Coogan went further contending that the women “were victims of actual slavery,” and were “incarcerated against their will.”
But no one—not a single woman—was ever incarcerated against her will in any of the laundries: every last one of them came to the nuns—the nuns did not fetch the troubled women. Moreover, they were not mistreated, never mind enslaved, and no babies were sold. How do we know this? One year ago, the Irish government released the McAleese Report on the Magdalene Laundries: it definitively debunks these myths, and many more, yet people like Maher and Coogan continue to promote them.
To read my account on this subject, click here. Copies of my analysis were sent all over the U.S., England, and Ireland, and no one has disputed the accuracy of my work.
Maher also said that “every time I do something on the Catholic Church, the head of the Catholic Church, William Donohue, wants to fight me, actually fight me (he puts his fists up). A 58-year-old guy and a 65-year-old guy—it’s gonna be a really good match.”
I didn’t know I was “the head of the Catholic Church,” but in any event, I am now a year older. I did offer to box him a few years ago when I was on with Megyn Kelly; he told Larry King I threatened him with violence! The offer still stands—get the Everlast ready.