May 24, 2005

A bad idea.

Alabama congressman: HBO comedian's remark "borders on treason"


The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — An Alabama congressman says comedian Bill Maher's comment that the U.S. military has already recruited all the "low-lying fruit" is possibly treasonous and at least grounds to cancel the HBO show.

Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus takes issue with remarks on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," first aired May 13, in which Maher points out the Army missed its recruiting goal by 42 percent in April.

"More people joined the Michael Jackson fan club," Maher said in giving a comic twist to his commentary. "We've done picked all the low-lying Lynndie England fruit, and now we need warm bodies." Army Pfc. England was accused of abusing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

"I think it borders on treason," Bachus said. "In treason, one definition is to undermine the effort or national security of our country."

In a statement released Monday, Maher defended his support for the American armed forces.

"Anyone who knows anything about my views and has watched my show knows that I have nothing but the highest regard for the men and women serving this country around the world," Maher said in the statement. [...]

"I don't want him prosecuted," Bachus said. "I want him off the air."

Well, the best way to KEEP him on the air is for a Congressman to start spouting off about treason. I cannot fathom why Bachus wouldn't understand that by giving attention to this silly piece of garbage, he is having the exact opposite effect than what he intended. Maher now gets resurrected from obscurity--an obscurity of his own making due to his own shocking ignorance and glib pseudointellectualism--and now comes back as a cause célèbre amongst the Left. All their silly twaddle about censorship and "speaking truth to power" suddenly seems more plausible.

Yes, Maher is an idiot, and his cloyingly professed love of the American armed forces is equalled in mendaciousness only by the former Iraqi Information Minister, but more to the point, if this particular jibe was treasonous, then where was ol' Spence when Fahrenheit 9/11 was released? There's a lot bigger and more influential voices out there who have said far worse--some of them serving in Bachus' own Congress--shouldn't we go after them first? (Actually, that would be kinda fun.)

Bachus is a smart guy, and not usually one of the wild-eyed sorts, but the best thing he could have done in this instance is to allow Maher to take the heat from the "low-lying [sic] fruit" he has such 'high regard' for, whom he sullied with his ill-tempered little diatribe.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at May 24, 2005 08:53 AM