Left-wing comedian Bill Maher is not one to hide his disdain for conservative politicians he disdains, but he really pushed the envelope today with the help of comedian Will Ferrell's Funny or Die website.
HBO host Bill Maher on Thursday became the latest celebrity to take the “Ice Bucket Challenge” in support of ALS, and then issued his own challenge to former Vice President Dick Cheney.
“Hi, Bill Maher, ready to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to knock off ALS,” the comedian explains in a Funny or Die video before pouring a bucket of water on himself.
“And having done so, I like to pass the challenge along now to Mr. Kirk Douglas — not Kirk Douglas — Dick Cheney!” he adds. “But let’s be honest, folks, ALS is a bad disease, but there are diseases that kill more. Malaria has killed more people than all the wars, famines and natural disasters in history. It demands an even greater response.”
“This is a gallon of gasoline, and I challenge other people to take the ‘set yourself on fire challenge’ to wipeout malaria in our lifetime.”
After lighting himself and bursting into virtual flames, Maher again encourages people to take the “douse yourself in gasoline challenge.”
In fairness, Maher is perhaps making light of the absurd "fire challenge" making the rounds on the Internet where young people splash nail-polish remover or some other flammable liquid on their chests to create a flash fire. That said, it stands to reason that if a conservative-leaning comedian dared to make such a "challenge" to an elderly Democratic politician, active or retired, that it would be met with condemnation, and rightfully so. It's the sort of incendiary -- pardon the pun -- rhetoric that coarsens the political debate and doesn't deserve a place in our culture.