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Saturday, May 26, 2007
MRC Still Won't Criticize Imus, Misleadingly Attacks Maher
Topic: Media Research Center

We've previously noted that the Media Research Center has a lot of trouble bringing themselves to criticize the racist remarks that got Don Imus fired.

The MRC keeps up the trend with a May 24 press release delcaring that Bill Maher's remarks about religion make Imus "look like a saint." In addition to the MRC's tacit approval of Imus calling women's basketball players "nappy-headed hos," it eliminates the context in which Maher made his remarks. The press release reprinted only the salacious stuff:

“‘We weren’t having sex, officer, I was performing a very private Mass, here in my car. I was letting my rod and staff comfort him. Take this and eat of it, for this is my roommate Barry. … And for all those who believe there is a special place for you in Kevin.”

But it made no mention of the context. As the clip shows, Maher was criticizing the late Jerry Falwell's hateful rhetoric toward gays:

MAHER: Jerry Falwell found out that you could launder your hate through the cover of God's will. He didn't hate gays; God did. All Jerry Falwell's power came from name-dropping God, and gay people should steal that trick. You know what? Don't say you want something because it's your right as a human being. Say you want it because it's your religion. Gay men have been going at things backward. Forget civil rights and just make gayness a religion. I mean, you're kneeling anyway.

The press release also quotes Robert Knight, director of the MRC’s Culture and Media Institute, as saying: "Maher is entitled to his vile views, but he’s not entitled to an endless ride on the airwaves courtesy of Time-Warner. ... If Don Imus’s offensive racial joke was too much for the public to bear, certainly Maher’s sickening description of the Mass and Communion as graphic homosexual sex acts is beyond the pale." But Maher's show doesn't appear on "the airwaves"; it appears on pay cable late at night. Imus' radio show, by contrast, appeared on public airwaves during the morning hours.

WorldNetDaily, meanwhile, recycled the MRC's press release into a May 25 article that, of course, made no effort to contact Maher or HBO for a response. WND added to its article by noting that "Maher stirred controversy two years ago when he said Christians suffer from a neurological disorder that 'stops people from thinking.' " But the quote of Maher that followed did not single out Christians:

"We are a nation that is unenlightened because of religion. I do believe that. I think that religion stops people from thinking. I think it justifies crazies. I think flying planes into a building was a faith-based initiative. I think religion is a neurological disorder. If you look at it logically, it's something that was drilled into your head when you were a small child. It certainly was drilled into mine at that age. And you really can't be responsible when you are a kid for what adults put into your head."

So, WND: Any Christians "flying planes into a building" lately?

The 2005 WND article from which that quote was taken actually broadened it somewhat, claiming Maher targeted "Christians and others who are religious," but it also stated, "Maher explained that he was not singling out evangelicals, but was targeting all 'religious' people."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:49 AM EDT

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