After calling former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin the “c” word Sunday in Dallas and the backlash that has ensued from it, HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher doesn’t see that he has done anything wrong, at least if you base his remarks on what he views to be the community standard.
On Tuesday “Hardball” on MSNBC, Maher explained he has no regret for what he said in the past and this sort of controversy happens to him frequently.
“Well, you know, I’ve been through this so many times,” Maher said. “I mean there’s a lot of people in America who have, of course, nothing to do except look for something to get mad at and I’ve been a frequent target and I’m happy to provide that service. So, you know, I always say, as I’ve said many times in these kind of situations, if I hurt somebody’s feelings, I’m always sorry about that. I’m not trying to hurt somebody’s feelings, but if you want me to say, ‘I’m sorry what I said was wrong.’ No, sorry, I can’t go there.”
And as for his use of the so-called “c” word, he explained that was the community standard, at least based on a favorable review he received from a local Dallas publication.
“I know they were upset about – I was in Dallas Sunday night doing my stand-up comedy show and apparently I was so off color,” he said. “In Dallas, you know, the bastion of liberalism – here’s the headline from the review: ‘Nothing but love from Maher.’ And on the next page, ‘Maher a hit in Dallas’ is the other headline. So I go by the community standard-standard. You know, people have won cases about pornography based on this. They say, ‘Well, you know, if the community says it’s OK and apparently the community.’ And apparently the community — I mean you hear the laughter. If the audience likes it, I think that’s where the community standard is.”
And explained – that’s his usual shtick – crossing boundaries that other guys won’t.
“Am I a little more out there than the rest of the guys?” Maher said. “Yeah. And I want to stay out there. That’s what i do. That’s why people watch it. But I don’t really think I’m beyond where the community is.”