U.S. Rep. W.J. "Billy" Tauzin (R-La.), whose House Commerce Committee oversees commercial broadcasting, has defended comedian Bill Maher's First Amendment rights in the wake of criticism surrounding Maher's comments about the U.S. military, reported Variety last week.
On his program Politically Incorrect, Maher called the U.S. military "cowardly" for lobbing cruise missiles from a remote site, contrasting such action with the bravery of a suicide terrorist "staying in the airplane when it hits the building." Maher has apologized for the remarks.
Tauzin aide Ken Johnson told Variety: "While we don't agree with what he said originally, we will continue to defend his First Amendment right to stick his foot in his mouth. ... It's an emotional time, and all of us to some extent are struggling to express ourselves."
Johnson added that Tauzin has previously been a guest on Politically Incorrect.