Speed Reads

Charlie Hebdo

Bill Maher ties France's Charlie Hebdo attack to North Korea's Interview hit job

On Wednesday night's Jimmy Kimmel Live, hours after two gunmen stormed the offices of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and shot 12 people dead, HBO host Bill Maher had a pointed message for his fellow liberals. Kimmel noted that the attack affected "our business in particular," but Maher quickly turned the discussion to the suspected perpetrators: "Muslim terrorists."

The Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, who "had the balls of the Eiffel Tower," were gunned down for drawing cartoons, Maher said. "This has to stop, and unfortunately, a lot of liberals who are my tribe" — when the audience cheered his identification as a "proud liberal," Kimmel quipped: "He's about to turn on you" — need to do a better job of embracing liberal values, Maher said. Liberal have to embrace the right to tell a joke, be it against Muslim prophets or North Korean leader Kim Jong Un:

We have to stop saying, "Well, we should not insult a great religion." First of all, there are no great religions — they're all stupid and dangerous. And we should insult them, and we should be able to insult whatever we want. That is what free speech is like. There are certain people in the world who want waivers on free speech. Kim Jong Un, in Korea, says, "You cannot make jokes about our country." [Maher]

Maher went on to argue that "hundred of millions" of Muslims cheer attacks like the Charlie Hebdo massacre, even if they wouldn't carry them out themselves: "That is mainstream in the Muslim world, that when you make fun of the Prophet, all bets are off, you get what's coming to you." In other words, classic Maher: Something for everyone to love and hate. Still, his point about beheadings at the Vatican seems unassailable. Watch Maher's sermon below. --Peter Weber