Noel Sheppard of the media watchdog site Newsbusters says the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights' grassroots campaign to get comedian Bill Maher axed by HBO for years of Catholic-bashing comments is one to watch closely.
"There is no other demographic group that can be so abused by people such as Maher and [gay activist] Dan Savage and others in the media as Catholics and Catholic priests and cardinals, etc.," Sheppard, Newsbusters' associate editor, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV on Wednesday.
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"Although probably white conservative men are close and white conservative women, if their name begins with Sarah and ends with Palin."
This week, Catholic League President Bill Donohue revealed he has written to over 400 bishops about "54 vicious anti-Catholic statements painting the pope and priests and cardinals as child rapists that Maher has said since 1998."
He said he wants pressure to be applied to HBO and cable giant Time Warner to drop Maher's long-running HBO show "Real Time with Bill Maher."
The straw that broke the camel's back was an obscenity-filled rant between Maher and Savage last week about priests, children, and rape.
"It is really quite extraordinary what Maher routinely does and says about, in particular the Catholic Church," Sheppard said.
"You're intentionally bringing on this guy Dan Savage and setting him up to just tear the church apart and what he said about the pope … what he said about priests and cardinals was astonishingly offensive.
"As soon as I saw it, I knew we were going to jump on it. I referred it to one of the people that does more writing on this issue and loves to write about Savage. I don't like writing about Savage. I find him to be actually more reprehensible than Maher."
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