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Maher Outs Republican National Committee Chair

Q: When is Larry King Live not live?
A: When CNN chooses to edit the show for later broadcasts.
Such was the case Nov. 8 when Bill Maher ’outed’ Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman on King’s nightly telecast. Mehlman has announced he will resign when his term expires in January. The incident occurred when Maher explained how he plans on ’outing’ Republican figures with anti-gay agendas Nov. 10 on his HBO show. Pressed by King to name names, he said that it’s an open secret in Washington that Mehlman is gay and that he has "never denied it." When King said that he’d had never heard that rumor, Maher quipped "Maybe you don’t go to the same bathhouse I do, Larry." Maher felt confident that there wouldn’t be any legal action against him because he wasn’t the first to publicly suggest that Mehlman is gay. Rumors circulated last year in GQ Magazine, which were denied by the RNC. "Ken Mehlman is not gay," said then-RNC official Steve Schmidt. Mehlman has dodged the question when directly asked this past year.

The story didn’t end there. When the King/Maher interview was rebroadcast later that night any mention of Mehlman was deleted and the official transcript was scrubbed. (Both are available to be seen and read on the Huffington Post.) Also YouTube sent a "cease and desist" letter to the AmericaBlog web site instructing them to take the video off the site. On this week’s Real Time, his HBO show broadcast live on Friday nights (11 p.m. on the East Coast), Maher plans on outing at least three gay Republicans who have supported anti-gay marriage amendments. He also joked that GOP voters on Election Day wanted to vote a straight Republican ticket but "nobody could find a straight Republican." And when King wondered why someone who was gay would take anti-gay positions, Maher replied "Because, Larry, hating yourself is the greatest love of all."

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