Bill Maher has apologized for using a racial slur on his Friday night HBO show, and all of a sudden TV critics are trotting out his previous "controversial" remarks. Not one cited his filthy remarks about popes, priests, and the sacraments, though we have listed over 60 such examples.
The problem goes way beyond Maher: it's the phonies in the media who are horrified by some expressions of bigotry, but are perfectly fine with his anti-Catholic material.
Here's an example of the headlines on Maher's apology:
- "Don't Be Shocked, Bill Maher Has a History of Bigoted Comments" (Huffington Post)
- "Five Times Bill Maher Said Something Controversial" (MSN.com)
- "Bill Maher Is No Stranger to Controversial Statements" (New York Daily News)
Here's what upsets these critics: anti-black remarks; anti-Muslim remarks; making light of 9/11; making fun of Hillary Clinton; "legitimizing" Ann Coulter; "normalizing" Milo Yiannopoulus; using the word "retarded"; defending statutory rape; stereotyping St. Patrick's Day; and implying that President Trump and his daughter had an incestuous relationship.
No one beats Wesley Morris of the New York Times. He says what Maher said is inexcusable. "He's a 61-year-old white man who would never get a pass for jesting about slavery or the N-word."
Others, however, can get away with it—Morris cites Louis C.K. and Sarah Silverman. That's because these two foul-mouthed bigots are "white comedians who have really grappled with what it means to flirt with racially inflammatory language and ideas, what it means for the flirtation to fail." In other words, Maher's problem is that he hasn't "really grappled" with his bigotry.
What about Jay Z? He hasn't grappled with his hate speech at all. A few days before the election he was dancing up a storm with Hillary, using the dreaded "N-word" mixed in with misogynistic cracks and a slew of "F-bombs." Hillary thought it was cute. Does Jay Z get a pass too?
Just trying to figure out the logic. One thing is for sure: No entertainer will ever pay a price for his anti-Catholic bigotry. They don't even have to grapple with it to get a pass.
Bill Donohue is President and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of seven books and many articles.