Bill Maher - documentary
William Maher, Jr. (born January 20, 1956) is an American comedian, television host, political commentator, actor and writer. He presented the TV show Politically Incorrect on Comedy Central and ABC, and now the host of Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO. On June 1, 2006 began a program to present only on the Internet at Amazon.com entitled Amazon Fishbowl.
Maher is known for his satire and political commentary. His comments cover a wide range of topics, from right to left politics, bureaucracy of many kinds, political correctness, Hollywood, media, and people having a high political and social power among others. Supports the legalization of marijuana, gay marriage. It is also critical of organized religion and is a member of the founding director The Reason Project. Maher is ranked 38 in Comedy Central in the top 100 best comedians of all time.
Maher was born in New York City, son of Julie (born Berman), a nurse, and William Maher, Sr. editor of a chain of news. Maher was raised Catholic, the religion of his father, and did not know that his mother was Jewish until he was teenager. He grew up in River Vale, New Jersey and graduated from Pascack Institute in Montvale, New Jersey. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in English and history at Cornell University in 1978.
Maher began his career as a comedian and actor. It was presented in New York comedy club "Catch a Rising Star" in 1979. Thanks to Steve Allen, began appearing on the Johnny Carson's and David Letterman in 1982. He made small appearances on television, including two appearances different in "Murder, She Wrote It" by two different characters. He also appeared in several films, usually a comic role. His debut was in D.C. Cab (1983) and also appeared in Ratboy (1986), Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death (1988), and Pizza Man (1991).
Maher describes himself as a libertarian, liberal and supporter of libertarian thought minarchist school, stating that "the government is there to do the things that people can not by themselves", but some have questioned the validity the self-proclaimed libertarian, describing how a center-liberal
Maher favors a partial privatization of social security, and the legalization of gambling, prostitution and all drugs. (Maher is a board member of NORML, an organization that supports the decriminalization of marijuana.) In addition, Maher describes himself as an environmentalist, and often refers to the global warming issue in his program Real Time.
Maher supported Bob Dole in the U.S. presidential election of 1996 on the basis that Dole was a war hero and the kind of old-fashioned Republican that he liked. Although he told Harry Browne (Libertarian Party candidate) who would give his vote when his program was Politically Incorrect, in the final vote to Ralph Nader in the U.S. presidential election of 2000.
Maher has expressed his displeasure to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry in general, because they generate money by curing the sick people to consume unhealthy foods that society imposes on the public. It also maintains that the massive consumption of corn syrup contributes to the epidemic of obesity in the United States. On August 11, 2005, in an episode of Larry King Live, Maher said there was a vegetarian, adding "but not as much meat."
Prior to the U.S. presidential election of 2004, Maher was fairly straightforward in his opposition to the reelection of George W. Bush and his support for John Kerry as the best candidate to beat Bush, coming to kneel on his show, with director Michael Moore, and beg Ralph Nader to withdraw. Maher often says the word "liberal" has been unfairly demonized, and where elections criticized Kerry for being ashamed of the word. As Maher supports the death penalty, the legality of abortion and euthanasia, often comically states and their position is pro-death. According to the above, believes the size of the human population has led to damage the ecosystem of the earth, so in general is in favor of something that is reduced. Since September 11 many times defended the use of racial profiling at airports.
He was from the beginning against the war in Iraq, but for a short time his comments were less skeptical in the light of the elections in Iraq in 2005. Now Maher of the Iraq war as a failure and said the episode of Real Time on February 24, 2006 that Iraq was better under Saddam's control and that America can not control the sectarian violence like Saddam did. Maher has said the Iraq invasion increased the threat of terrorism. He has also stated its concern about the possibility of a future civil war in Iraq or the possibility that Iraq and is immersed in an early stage of a civil war.
Criticism of conspiracy theories of the 11-S
Maher has frequently criticized conspiracy theories 11-S, stating for example the September 14, 2007 in his program Real Time, "these crazy people who still believe that the government shot down the twin towers in controlled explosion have to stop pretending I am being naive. How lunatic must be a person to see live TV on two commercial aircraft loaded with fuel giants crashing two buildings, sparking a massive inferno that burned for two hours, and then think 'well, if you think that's the cause ... '"?.
On October 19, 2007 Maher had to take their program (off the stage and confronted them) to several conspiracy theorists when interrupted repeatedly shouting the public. This attracted significant attention from the media and even praise from Fox News and a frequent critic John Gibson, who said, "I bet that next week I'm angry or upset about something that Maher says. But this week, I take hats off to Bill for a job well done "
Views on religion
Maher is highly critical of organized religion, once wrote that as a neurological disorder that justifies follies and prevents people think. On two separate occasions atheist comedian George Carlin, in appearances on Real Time, Maher said that with organized religion is the cause of many problems of society and the practices of organized religion are full of hypocrisy. Maher said that Carlin's views were an inspiration to speak out against organized religion.
Maher has said many times that religion works under apparent morality, but in general have nothing to do with the moral, religious expectations are being confused with moral law. Maher believes that just because religion prohibits abortion or despise homosexuality, that does not mean abortion or being homosexual are immoral acts. Instead, Maher argues that an immoral person is one who harms others through actions such as murder or rape.
Maher opposes religious monuments such as that that of the 10 commandments, are placed near the courthouse, saying it would violate the separation of church and state. He has challenged the assertion of conservative Christians who claim that American law is based on arguing that the 10 commandments of the ten, only two (the prohibition against killing and stealing) are applied in U.S. law. The other commandments, he argues, such as not worship any god other than the Judeo-Christian God, sanctifying the holidays, to honor father and mother, are not American laws at all. In response has been the suggestion that a divine moral authority is necessary, he suggested "could not we get together and agree on the few commandments that are laws? Something like 'I will not kill you and not take away my things'." Maher has stated on Politically Incorrect, Real Time and in several appearances on Larry King Live views that reference to some kind of deism, although he never has also held as a deist. In fact it has stated that he believes in God, but that organized religion is nothing more than tradition and superstition. In 2002 he told the Onion AV Club, "I'm not an atheist. There is great difference between an atheist and someone who does not believe in religion. Religion is for me a bureaucracy between man and God that I do not need. But I'm not an atheist , no. I think there's some force. If you want to call it God ... I do not think that God is a single parent who writes books. " He claims that organized religion provides answers to questions that "can not possibly be answered." Questions like "Where do I go when I die?" or "Is there a heaven?" states that are impossible to answer. Affirming that have the answers, Maher said, organized religion is dishonest and "makes people stop thinking."
During his appearance on Larry King Live on August 11, 2005 said he was an agnostic who nevertheless is still open to the idea that God exists. The following occurred during the program:
CALLER: "Hello. Well, my question is, the Lord spoke to me about three years ago, and if the Lord spoke to you [Maher], I wondered if you would become a believer"
MAHER: "No, I would enter the Bellevue (known for his famous hospital psychiatric unit), which is what you should do ..."
Maher then explained that the certainty of one's religious belief is absurd, using the example of Scientology: "You [a Scientologist], like all religious people have a neurological disorder. The only reason people think that is sensible, is why many people believe the same thing. It is folly by consensus. "
On August 15, 2007, on Larry King Live, said it is impossible to know what happens after death. He compared Christian promises of life after death with the promises made by politicians trying to be elected.
Bill Maher and director Larry Charles have teamed up to create the movie Religulous (pun joining the words religion and ridiculous) described by Variety as a documentary "which teases religious extremists around the world" and was released on October 3, 2008.
Accusations of anti-Catholicism
Although Maher admits his aversion to any kind of organized religion, has been particularly criticized for his controversial comments about the Catholic Church. The 2003 report on the Catholic League said that anti-Catholicism, following the sexual abuse scandals of 2002, "No one has insulted Catholics more than Bill Maher." New Rules segment of its program, Maher made a number of observations have been interpreted negatively by some Catholics, in particular, comparing sects and religions ("If you have a few hundred followers and you let some abuse of children, you called the leader of the sect. If you have one billion, will call you Papa .", calling the Catholic Church "the Bear Stearns of organized pedophilia." and calling Pope Benedict XVI a Nazi ("he was a Nazi and uses rare hats! " refers to its obligatory involvement with Hitler Youth.
His comments brought widespread criticism and protests from a wide range of individuals and groups associated with Catholicism, including demands to resign and calls for a boycott of Real Time and Time Warner-HBO or desertion by the conservative American Life League. The Catholic League president William A. Donohue, dismissed the comic nature of their opinions and accused him of "inventing things." Following program, noted that the comments in question were made in a comedy context, without explicitly apologizing, promised not to call Pope Benedict Nazi. He also expressed regret that the controversy distracted people on his main point, the Pope's role in the sexual abuse scandals related to the Church and the Catholic League said it had nothing to rebut her comments on this particular issue.
Views on health
Bill Maher has expressed his view that diseases in general are the result of poor diet and medicine is often not the best way to deal with them. In an episode of the program in 2008 on health plans of presidential candidates, Maher said that poor nutrition is the primary cause of the disease, and continued, "the answer is not another pill."
In an interview with Michael Moore film Sicko, Maher said, "basically people are sick in this country because they are poisoned, the environment is a factor poisonous, but you have to say that is poisoned themselves - eat garbage, people eat trash. "
Maher is known for being the former host of Politically Incorrect, which aired on Comedy Central and later ABC. Currently presents Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO.
ABC decided not to renew Maher's contract for Politically Incorrect program in 2002 after he made a controversial remark on 17 September 2001.27 in which he agreed with his conservative guest Dinesh D'Souza that the 11 terrorist September 2001 were not cowards. I keep saying "we have been cowards using cruise missiles to 2000 miles away. That is cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it crashes into the building, say what you want about it, but it's not cowardly."
In the context of the days after the attacks, such observations were considered too controversial by some of the sponsors. Although some commentators, including conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, supported Maher in pointing out the difference between physical and moral cowardice, companies including FedEx and Sears Roebuck pulled their advertisements of the program, costing the program more than it collects. Ari Fleischer, who was in the press office of the White House at the time, responded to a reporter's question about Maher's comments by saying "... remind Americans that have to be careful what they say, have careful what you do. It is at this point to comments like that ...".
In 2003, Maher began hosting the program Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, having this discussion a format similar to Politically Incorrect, but with fewer guests. Maher told Terry Gross in 2004, guests have enjoyed more serious and better informed in its current program, as opposed to random celebrities that appeared on Politically Incorrect. Since May 2005, has been a contributing blogger for the Huffington Post.
The January 13, 2006 filed Maher Larry King Live on CNN, the program has been a guest frequently.
The program first guests included Dean Koontz and the Dixie Chicks. The program issued a pilot at the beginning of the year from the Sundance Film Festival appeared as guests Stephen King and Rob Thomas. Maher also produced and scripted the show, which aired on August 17, eight days before the start of the program.
In early 2006, Real Time was released as an audio CD with another CD entitled Bill Maher's New Rules (the new rules of Bill Maher) containing fragments, segments and progress of the program. From Episode 67 (2-23-06) Real Time became available on iTunes as a free weekly podcast.
In 1997 during the filming of an episode Pictionary, Erik Estrada accidentally punched Maher in the face at a time exuberance, briefly knocking him out cold.
In November 2004, Maher was sued unsuccessfully by his ex-girlfriend demanding $ 9 million, Coco Johnsen, for breach of contract. Johnsen said that Maher did not fulfill the promises made and abused her physically and verbally. Maher publicly disputed the allegations on Larry King Live on November 23, 2004. His lawyer responded to the demand saying that Maher is a "confirmed bachelor" and never promised to marry or support Johnsen and that "California law does not allow the demand for alimony made with Ms. Johnsen." On May 2, 2005, the superior court dismissed the case.
In May 2005, Congressman Spencer Bachus of Alabama sent a letter to Time Warner's directors demanding that Real Time was canceled by the remarks made by Maher on low military recruitment numbers in the episode of May 13, 2005 to Bachus thought they were degrading and distasteful. Maher's comment was "more people joined the fan club Michael Jackson. [...]". Maher responded by reiterating its support for the troops and asking why the Congressman criticized him instead of doing something about the problem.
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