On HBO, Jesse Ventura Said Catholic Church Should Be Prosecuted Like Mobsters

(Updated with anti-Catholic "New Rules" jokes below.) Liberals complained this week when Rep. Michele Bachmann complained about "gangster government." But do they mind if the Catholic Church is compared to (and prosecuted like) the Mafia? So said former Gov. Jesse Ventura on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday.

MAHER: You did a movie called Predator. Let's talk about the Vatican. VENTURA: That's a predator, too. Never got me, though, the Vatican. An alien did.MAHER: My crazy radical friends Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins say that if the Pope travels to England, as he is scheduled to in September, he should be arrested when he hits the tarmac. Now do you think that's going too far?VENTURA: ...I have another alternative, a question I've asked here in the United States. Why hasn't the Catholic Church been prosecuted under the RICO laws of organized crime? It was set up to get the Mafia. They were an organization that was involved in felony [sic], of covering it up, all the molestation, and all that, those are felonies, and this is an organization involved in those felonies. That's what the RICO laws were written for.MAHER: It is pretty amazing that in any other office in this country, if you just made a joke about f---ing kids, they'd come and put the cuffs on you.

Maher also joked in his monologue abou the priests and Bingo, joking about how they wanted "B-11."In talking about independents running for office, Maher asked this question:

When you look at the polls, God. The number of people who claim they're Republican is hovering at 20 percent or below, not that much higher for Democrats. Independents look like it's the biggest party, but no Independent can ever get elected.

Ventura said people should stop voting for Republicans or Democrats. He argued for a ballot line for "None of the Above," but Maher thought that was stupid, an exercise in incoherent anger like the Tea Parties. UPDATE: In the show-ending "New Rules" segment, Maher joked about his deep hatred for shaggy-haired teen idol Justin Bieber, as the screen showed his picture and the title "Minor Annoyance":

New rule: I will take back all my criticisms of the Catholic Church if some priest somewhere would just molest Justin Bieber.

Maher also joked that the mom who sent her badly-behaved adopted son back to Russia should be seen as a hero, since the kid was so bad, "even the Pope said I wouldn't go near that kid."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis