Since its debut in 1993, Politically Incorrect has consistently been the top-rated show on the Comedy Central cable channel. This January, the unconventional talk show that pairs celebrities and policy wonks moves to ABC, where it will air after Nightline. Senior Editor Nick Gillespie and Assistant Editor Brian Doherty talked with PI's host and creator, Bill Maher.
Q: How do you define political incorrectness?
A: Basically, just honesty. It is like saying your kid is ugly, if he's ugly. It doesn't mean conservative or liberal. It means saying things that are true, that people are thinking but no one is saying.
Q: What's your most politically incorrect belief?
A: I'm for drug legalization. To me, there is no greater contradiction to the traditional doctrine about liberty than that. How can you be for personal liberty and then tell me what mood I can be in? There certainly shouldn't be any restrictions on what people do as long as they are not hurting somebody else–especially what they do with their own mind.
Q: What is your one belief people least want to hear?
A: My favorite cause is animals. When Christopher Reeve had his accident, we did a show that was respectful and tasteful. I certainly in no way tried to suggest that I was glad it happened. But I took it as animal abuse, you know. Most people go, "Are you kidding? Horseback riding is horseback riding." Well, you know, at one point, people said the same thing about slavery: "What do you mean, it's slavery? Of course we own them." If you try to make a horse jump over something that it doesn't want to jump over, I think it really should throw you off its back. You wouldn't want to go around with a monkey or something on your back all the time.
Start your day with Reason. Get a daily brief of the most important stories and trends every weekday morning when you subscribe to Reason Roundup.