CNN has censored their transcripts...again. Bill Maher 'outed' RNC Chairmen Ken Melman on Larry King Live last week.
And before we start throwing words like 'slander' around, let's remember that this wasn't the first time Melman had been outed. He was outed in an issue of Esquire magazine last year, and has made public statements that dispute his alleged lifestyle and referenced no less than three stories in six months that drew speculation to his sexuality.
While not a fan of speculation, I'm even less of a fan of censorship. CNN has a history of changing the record. After allegedly making a reference to his own questionable sexuality, CNN supposedly changed the transcript of an Anderson Cooper interview that he conducted with Jerry Falwell. As we've seen with several republicans in the last few months, my position of where there is smoke, there is fire stands on Melman and others.
Here is the original transcript and the complete story below:
Bill Maher: A lot of the chiefs of staff, the people who really run the underpinnings of the Republican Party, are gay. I don’t want to mention names, but I will Friday night...
Larry King: You will Friday night?
BM: Well, there’s a couple of big people who I think everyone in Washington knows who run the Republican...
LK: You will name them?
BM: Well, I wouldn’t be the first. I’d get sued if I was the first. Ken Mehlman. Okay, there’s one I think people have talked about. I don’t think he’s denied it when he’s been, people have suggested, he doesn’t say...r>
LK: I never heard that. I’m walking around in a fog. I never...Ken Mehlman? I never heard that. But the question is...
BM: Maybe you don’t go to the same bathhouse I do, Larry.
November 11, 2006 -- WASHINGTON - Comedian Bill Maher's malicious snipe on the "Larry King Show" that Republican Party boss Ken Mehlman is gay was pulled from CNN when it aired in later time zones and expunged from transcripts.
After telling King Wednesday night that the GOP was secretly run by hypocritical gays, Maher turned his tongue on Mehlman - after a little prodding from King, who asked for the names of the homosexuals to whom Maher was referring. </p>"Ken Mehlman, OK, there's one I think people have talked about. I don't think he's denied it when people have suggested it," Maher said.
Viewers on the East Coast saw Maher's slap, but his comment was edited out when the program aired in later time zones.
And CNN's transcript of the interview wipes out the line, saying: "A portion of this transcript has been removed."
The blogosphere erupted over Maher's smackdown on Mehlman, drawing kudos from liberals and a rebuke from conservatives.
Mehlman, who stepped down as Republican boss yesterday in the wake of his party's landslide defeat on Election Day, could not be reached for comment.
A spokeswoman for King's Los Angeles-based program did not return a call from The Post.
Video clips of Maher's quip were posted on YouTube.
Maher's slap at Mehlman came at the end of a diatribe accusing the GOP of hypocrisy for gay bashing.
"A lot of chiefs of staff, the people who really run the underpinnings of the Republican Party, are gay. I don't want to mention names, but I will on Friday night," Maher said.
"There's a couple of big people who I think everyone in Washington knows who run the Republican Party," Maher said, before King interjected and asked if he'd name them.
"Well, I wouldn't be the first. I'd get sued if I was the first," he said, and then pivoted to Mehlman.
Only the two sentences directly targeting Mehlman were edited out and pulled from the transcript.