Remember all that talk a few months ago about toning down the violent rhetoric on the airwaves in the wake of the tragic shootings in Tucson?
On HBO's "Real Time" Friday night, Bill Maher actually joked about a wall collapsing on Congressman Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) (video follows with transcript and commentary):
BILL MAHER: But hey, the budget deal that we announced on the show, it happened right on the show last week that they were going to cut almost $40 billion out of the budget. They were voting on it today. Apparently it went through the House. This of course is very bad news for like poor people, health programs for the poor were cut $600 million. The EPA was cut $1.6 billion. The good news: they cut all the money out of repairing federal buildings. So there was a slight chance a wall will collapse on Eric Cantor [Applause] or Michele Bachmann.
Are you kidding me?
In our post-Tucson world, is this really what is considered an acceptible joke from a man that is regularly invited on ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and NBC to offer his political opinions?
What kind of a person sitting in this studio audience or watching on television actually finds funny fellow Americans being killed without a little voice in his or her head wondering why they'd be laughing at the thought of someone's death?
And exactly when is the Huffington Post going to give Maher his walking papers much as it did Andrew Breitbart for saying far less offensive things about Obama's former green czar Van Jones?
When I saw Maher say this hours ago, and listened to his audience voice its approval with laughter, I was sickened. Having reviewed it numerous times since it aired live, I'm even more disgusted.
How did we get here as a nation?
Why are people like Bill Maher getting paid to joke about Americans dying, and why are Americans laughing when he does it?
Shame on you, Bill Maher, and shame on every person that laughed at this vulgar exhibition.
And mostly, shame on HBO for allowing this to continue.