Missouri station pulls Maher’s show after viewers’ complaints

Associated Press
Tuesday October 02, 2001

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — The talk show “Politically Incorrect” has been temporarily taken off the air in Springfield because of viewer complaints about comments made by host Bill Maher after the terrorist attacks. 

The program has been discontinued on Springfield’s ABC affiliate, KSPR, until further notice after “an overwhelming number of viewers found (Maher’s) comment hateful in tone, and the sentiment was that we were being a conduit for his comments,” said Jim Schuessler, KSPR vice president and general manager. 

Schuessler said the station will decide on a week-by-week basis whether to put the show back on the air. 

Maher’s show has also been pulled in St. Louis, Joplin and several other markets across the country. 

Maher’s comments came Sept. 17, the day the major networks returned to regular nightly programming. Maher was talking with guest Dinesh D’Souza, an author and Reagan administration policy analyst, about whether the terrorists were cowards. 

Maher said: “But also, we should — we have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That’s cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it’s not cowardly.” 

Maher has since apologized, saying the comments were directed at political leaders, not the U.S. military. 

Also on Sept. 27, ABC and Maher’s agent said that most of his national tour had been canceled.