Bill Maher came back on the air yesterday, and none too soon for the times. Bill’s long been an outspoken critic of religion, a veritable fifth horseman in the pantheon of atheists. The first being St. Christopher Hitchens (blessings be upon him). But among all of the religions that Bill so roundly criticizes, he reserves a special disgust for a name that others bless: Mohammed. From arguing with Ben Afleck to making movies on the subject, Bill’s been called an Islamophobe and a bigot time and again. While it’s unlikely Bill’s feeling anything so sweet as vindication after the recent mass murders in France, particularly the Charlie Hebdoe Massacre, there’s no doubt he’s earned the right to lead off this season with a scathing monologue on it.
Actually, this isn’t the first time Bill’s opined on the subject. The day after the shooting he was invited as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live, which you can find lower down on this page. By Bill’s standards, the appearance on Jimmy Kimmel was a bit softball — but on his own show, Bill spared no balls in the kicking of Muslim terrorists, free speech deniers and his own long-time critics.
“I tell you something, if there was a theme in the time we were off, it would be: ‘No joking. No joking.’ There are people in the world who just don’t like you joking about them. North Korea, they don’t like it. There assholes in Paris who shot cartoonists this week, they don’t like it. And as a jokester, I just have to say that the and, to quote the immortal Dick Cheney, say ‘Go fuck yourself.’
Bill then lauded the remaining staff of Charlie Hebdoe for doing exactly that, and threw a flaming bottle through the window of another company that didn’t:
“[Charlie Hebdoe] said that loud and clear this week. Because they announced yesterday that not only are they going to put out the next edition on time, but with a million extra copies. I mean yeah — my heroes. Compare that to Sony, who pulled the interview after one online threat. Congratulations, Sony; you’ve put up less resistance than the French.”
And of course, Bill couldn’t resist a bit of social commentary on certain strangely changing attitudes about France — that place where James Madison and Ben Franklin went to learn about things like democracy, and the Separation of Powers first posited by Montesquieu and later drafted into the Constitution by Madison himself. Yes, France, the country that fought alongside America in the Revolutionary War, and incurred so much debt in doing so that it wound up triggering its own revolutionary war a few years later. In fact, it’s generally accepted that America all but owes its entire existence to the French — and finally, the Frogs are getting their due. Maher:
“Don’t you love it that everyone in America is finally loving France again? Yes! Viva la France! Even conservatives, Senate Republicans, are considering changing Freedom Fries back to French Fries! And all the politicians are getting in the act. Chris Christie today pledged that he would eat a whole tray of chocolate eclairs. And Bill Clinton said he would proudly take part in a ménage à trois!”
Also, just for the record…
Signed, Yours Truly…RR