“Welcome to another edition of: Who pulled their dick out this week?” cracked Bill Maher, putting his head in his hands. “It’s so ironic that Trump is in China, because here in America, this is clearly the Year of the Dog.”
The comedian began the latest edition of his HBO program Real Time by addressing the charges of pedophilia against Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama.
A thoroughly investigated story in The Washington Post (citing “interviews with more than 30 people”) alleges that Moore, a far-right figure heavily backed by Breitbart News and the alt-right, initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32. The alleged incident happened in 1979, when Moore was an assistant district attorney. If that weren’t enough, “three other women interviewed by The Washington Post in recent weeks say Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s” though “none of the three women say that Moore forced them into any sort of relationship or sexual contact.”
So what did many right-wing figures do? “Top Republicans are now speaking out—against the women,” said Maher during his opening monologue. “No, really. Sean Hannity had to apologize for saying it was ‘consensual,’ and then had to explain to the other guys at Fox News what ‘consensual’ means. Alabama State Representative Ed Henry said that he wants to prosecute the women. He said that you can’t be a victim forty years later.”
If that weren’t enough, Moore has been fundraising off the pedophilia exposé, and which Maher joked is “like hearing about disaster relief on TV and sending money to the hurricane.” Then Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler, a top state Republican, attempted to defend Moore’s alleged actions by saying, “Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”
Maher was beside himself. “I mean, using Jesus to justify child molestation? Even the Catholics went: Tried it, doesn’t work,” offered Maher, adding, “To my recollection, slight difference: Joseph and Mary didn’t fuck. Isn’t that the whole point of that story?!”
The political satirist then pointed out the right-wing hypocrisy when it comes to matters of sexual predation. When liberal figures like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Louis C.K. are accused of serial sexual harassment and/or assault, they’re immediately cast out. When it’s a conservative figure, well, not so much. Donald Trump defended disgraced Fox News chief Roger Ailes in the wake of the sexual harassment allegations against him, while casting doubt on his accusers (ditto Bill O’Reilly); many influential right-wing figures have rushed to the defense of Roy Moore, who stands accused of pedophilia; and the entire party got behind candidate Trump, despite the fact that over a dozen women have accused him of sexual harassment or assault.
“I have to say, I gotta defend my tribe here a little bit—liberals versus conservatives—because certainly sexual harassment is absolutely the one thing we see now is totally, truly bipartisan (maybe the last thing that is),” said Maher. “But no liberal defended Harvey Weinstein or Kevin Spacey, who might be going to jail. Anthony Weiner is in jail. Louis C.K., we hear this week, did horrific things. Compare that to Trump and Roy Moore. We arrest our alleged rapists—they elect them. I mean, there’s a pig in the White House.”
Last year, top Republicans even defended Dennis Hastert—the former GOP House speaker who pleaded guilty to paying off boys he molested while serving as a high school teacher and wrestling coach—in letters to the court, commending his “great integrity.”