Bill Maher turned the tables on his fellow liberals last night.
The comedian and Real Time with Ball Maher talk show host on HBO host usually spends a lot of time caricaturing conservatives as repressed, bible-thumping, racist rubes while cheerleading for and defending his hero Barack Obama.
When it comes to opposition to National Security Agency warrentless spying on ordinary Americans, however, Maher -- who gave one million bucks to Obama's reelection effort -- seems to have more in common with privacy advocates such as U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican and possible presidential candidate.
NSA contractor Edward Snowden was the whistleblower who leaked the details of the massive and previously secret Internet surveillance. Snowden fled to Hong Kong and then obtained asylum in Russia about a year ago, where he has just filed documents to extend his stay.
On Friday night's telecast, Maher had this to say about the NSA and those on the left who have kept silent about civil liberties violations under Obama:
There was a study done that found out online conversations that were intercepted and stored by the NSA -- nine out of ten were not from foreigners, they are from ordinary citizens, and I want to read this: Many files, it says, described as useless by the analysts had a startlingly intimate, even voyeuristic quality. Stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental health crises and disappointed hopes... This is exactly what they said they weren't going to do. Just, you know, be nosy and look into the lives of private people for their own sh*ts and giggles. And I just want to say, if this were happening under Bush, liberals would be apoplectic. I'm sorry, but liberals are just sometimes useless Obama hacks without a shred of intellectual honesty."
Maher has departed from liberal orthodoxy on a few other occasions. In an April 2013 episode, when discussing the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, Maher called out a terrorism expert who tried to minimize the suspects' alleged ties to radical Islam for his "liberal bullsh*t." On another occasion, he expressed doubts about California's high tax rate.
Maher is an outspoken advocate of gun control and has scolded "gun nuts" on his show frequently, even going so far as referring to the Second Amendment, the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, as bullsh*t. However, Maher in the past also admitted that he is a gun owner which could call his own intellectual honesty into question. "As long as we live in the gun country, I ain't giving up my gun … there have been 12 home invasions in my neighborhood in the last year … I have two guns, one upstairs and one down," Bill Maher said on his TV show.