For a guy that has practically made a career out of regularly accusing the Bush administration of lying to get America into a war, comedian Bill Maher clearly isn't opposed to telling fibs if it serves his financial interests.
Such was exposed by CNN Monday when Maher and the director of his new film "Religulous" admitted -- without the slightest hint of remorse -- they had lied to get people -- including political and religious figures -- to appear in the movie.
In fact, one evangelical pastor said that he thought he was participating in a PBS documentary and never would have agreed to the project if he had been told Maher was involved (video embedded right, full transcript follows):
BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Bill Maher's film "Religulous" rails on religion and belittles those who believe. Now some in the film claiming they were tricked into participating, a charge Maher doesn't deny.
BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN: You're a senator, it worries me that people are running my country who believe in a talking thing.
Sen. MARK PRYOR (D-Arkansas): You don't have to pass an I.Q. test to be in the Senate.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas isn't laughing about his appearance in comedian Bill Maher's new film "Religulous."
PRYOR: The concern I have is it's really making fun of all people of faith making them look ridiculous.
ANDERSON: Though Pryor knew Maher was involved he says this e- mail request was misleading.
PRYOR: We really had no idea of what he was up to. We thought that was probably going to be a segment for his show. I don't think he explicitly said that. But he never told that us that he was working on a documentary.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going in the (INAUDIBLE) and I'm going to come back on a white horse.
ANDERSON: The movie directed by Larry Charles who also made "Borat" mocks all major religion. Steven Waldman is editor in chief of the non-denominational Web site, beliefnet.com.
STEVEN WALDMAN, Beliefnet.com: If he had any hopes that this was going to be a kind of persuasive indictment of religion, I think he kind of blew it by caring more about making it a comedy than about making it a real documentary.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this is your only 2000 tour?
ANDERSON: Evangelical pastor Jeremiah Cummings says he was told he was taking part in a PBS documentary and never would have participated had he known Maher was behind the project.
"They never told me that Bill Maher was going to slide in at the last second. I deeply feel sorry for Larry Charles and Bill Maher for this sick movie."
ANDERSON: Cummings says that his career and reputation have suffered.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (sounds like Maher off-camera): Bless me, father, for I have sinned.
ANDERSON: Maher and Charles admitted deceiving the film's subjects.
MAHER: We lied.
LARRY CHARLES, Director: Yes, I don't see an obligation to reveal everything about everything.
ANDERSON: Despite the attacks on faith, Waldman believes something positive can come from the film.
WALDMAN: It kind of makes believers on their toes.
MAHER: Why doesn't he just obliterate the devil and therefore get rid of evil in the world?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He will.
MAHER: He will?
ANDERSON: For his part, Pastor Jeremiah Cummings is considering legal action despite signing a consent form.
In the end, Bill Maher lying really isn't news, is it?
After all, since leaving "Comedy Central" years ago and become a leftwing shill, he's been lying virtually every time he's in front of a camera.
Of course, it is nice to see him admit it, isn't it?
Readers are encouraged to review Brent Bozell's "Mighty Maher Strikes Out."