A friend writes: "I saw
today. Guess who gets off scot free? Yup. All the Muslim and Protestant Evangelicals are evil. The Catholics come off pretty good. The Mormons
are insane. But which Jew does he ridicule: the lunatic anti-Zionist
ones in Monsey. And his whole point is that they don't understand 'Never Again.'
"Oh yeah, he also ridicules guys who sell Sabbath clocks and stuff. But no balance. He shows Muslim terrorists but doesn't go near Hebron. The one Jewish Zionist fanatic he talks to has one line: 'he says that Muhammad never was on the .'
"In other words, like Michael Moore
he's very brave except in taking on the people related to the people
who bankroll movies. Funny? Not really. Moore did that whole 9/11
Bush movie without mentioning the Israel
factor (although his views are well-known and came out in his General
Motors movie). I'm told Maher once had on Bibi and introduced him as the guy who best understands what needs to be done.
"So Maher is half Jew and half Catholic. The best people in the film are Catholics and Jews. The worst: Protestants and Muslims."
A couple addenda. Maher is a hawk on Israel, loves Bush's policy. In that puffball Bibi appearance, he says that the "Christian right" supporters of Israel are the scary ones and allows Netanyahu to call Islam "a pathological creed" and state "we're fighting the same war"– the U.S. and Israel. (Though to Maher's credit, he briefly sounds the realist and says, Why can't you deter Iran's nukes?)
I'm not a religious person; and this blog is devoted to the idea that if mainstream media are going to shame Islam for jihad and Christian fundamentalists over stem-cell research (which is fine with me), they really have to go after Jewish fundamentalists who have fostered a cycle of violence in the Middle East for eons, at least since the Stern gang knocked on Times columnist C.L. Sulzberger's door in 1948 and announced they were going to kill U.N. negotiator Folke Bernadotte. They were good for their word. The west is still behind on this reality. But Maher's double-standard is utterly consistent with Sam Harris's double standard in his books that attack Islam and Christianity and give Jewish fundamentalists a pass. And with NPR's handwringing over the Christian right, even as they ignore the Religious Left, as I sometimes call the Is Lob.
(One bright spot: NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty did a fabulous report on NPR on the maturation of the Christian right, to the point where abortion is not the bright-line litmus test that it used to be.)