EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 17, 2013

Editorial: Maher, Baldwin, make fools of themselves

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — You have to hand it to anyone who can sit next to the notoriously morally bankrupt Anthony Weiner, and have Weiner seize the moral high ground.

That’s exactly where the sarcastic and sanctimonious Bill Maher found himself last week. Maher has a penchant for making odd observations that show how out of touch he is with mainstream America, and indeed with human compassion. He famously tanked his career in 2001, and is hopefully heading for a second and final tanking.

Just days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attack, when terrorists hijacked planes, murdered crew members and passengers, and flew the jets into buildings full of innocent people, Maher made bizarrely complimentary statements about the terrorists.

“We have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That’s cowardly,” Maher said. “Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, not coward.”

Rightly so, that cost him his career as host of “Politically Incorrect,” and in fact killed off the show.

Last week, his noxious gaze fell upon Boston. He scoffed at the city’s reaction to the terrorists’ Boston Marathon bombing and the Red Sox efforts to show respect for the victims.

“So the parade, they go to the place where the marathon bombing took place, they put the World Series statue there and they sing God Bless America and they say ‘Boston strong’ and they chant ‘USA,’ you know. It was again, a bad day, three people died, that’s terrible. More were maimed, that’s horrible, but unfortunately that happens every day, in car accidents and everything else. I mean, your city was not leveled by Godzilla,” Maher said on his show HBO Real Time with Bill Maher.

Weiner looked surprised, and responded, “What’s wrong with you?”

If Anthony Weiner questions your moral judgment, you’ve got some serious problems.

Weiner’s question also should be asked of HBO, and any other media that thinks Maher is such a got-to-have talent. Time for HBO to let Maher go forth on his own and find some religion.

And speaking of not knowing when to shut up, last week actor Alec Baldwin again got himself in trouble with his mouth.

Baldwin, who also hosts a current affairs program on MSNBC, verbally assaulted reporters and photographers outside a New York courtroom, where a woman was on trial for stalking the actor and his family.

The stalker, Canadian actress Genevieve Sabourin, was found guilty and sentenced to six months in jail.

It was a time when the public might have been inclined to be sympathetic to Baldwin, who in court described the nightmare the stalker inflicted on him and his family. Yet, despite his abundant acting skills, Baldwin has an abrasive and irritating personality in public. According to news reports, Baldwin berated and threaten a reporter and leveled anti-gay slurs at a photographer.

MSNBC suspended his television show, “Up Late”, for two weeks. Baldwin publically apologized.

There’s no excusing boorish behavior. But one would think that these two, who make their livings in front of cameras, would have better public relations skills, if not out of a sense of human decency, then at least out of self-preservation.