“The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” guest Bill Maher is interrupted by Kucinich and impeachment supporters.
Added: January 16, 2008
Impeachment Activists Disrupt Jay Leno’s Tonight Show To Protest Nbc And To Support Pres. Candidate Dennis Kucinich
After Downing Street
L.A. National Impeachment Center (www.bcimpeach.com)
Four political activists were escorted out of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show studio in Burbank, CA on Tuesday, January 15, 2007, after disrupting NBC’s “live-on-tape” recording of the show. The activists were L.A. National Impeachment Center members, fed up with media censorship of popular support for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice-President Cheney, and Kucinich supporters outraged that NBC went to the Nevada Supreme Court to prevent Presidential candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich from appearing on Tuesday’s MSNBC Democratic debate in Las Vegas.
The activists’ comments were heard on the NBC broadcast of The Tonight Show which aired nationally later that evening. The disruption began soon after guest Bill Maher came on, when activist Mark Lipman stood up and shouted: “Let Dennis debate: Stop the censorship! Help save our democracy. Let Dennis debate!” Lipman was escorted out while Lipman and Maher ad-libbed about the disturbance and then resumed their conversation about politics.
Maher criticized “the keep-it-simple press” which has “bought this idea that ‘George Bush, he had this idea of a surge, and it works, and he’s a genius, and we’re winning in Iraq!’ ” Maher then received huge applause for stating: “We’re not winning in Iraq, we lost that war when we invaded Iraq because it was a bad idea to begin with.”
Soon after, Maher joked: “for his next war that he’s planning in Iran, instead of invading Iran, why don’t we just show him footage of one of his other disasters—Katrina, or Iraq—and just tell him: there you go, Godzilla, you did it again.” It was shortly after that when a second activist, Jennifer Epps, jumped up and chanted: “GE, NBC, Put Impeachment on TV” twice. At that point Leno cued the commercial.
GE is NBC’s parent company, and is also the country’s third largest weapons manufacturer.
During the break, two other activists, Marian Galbraith and Carol Barbieri, were discovered and forced out of the audience by security. The activists displayed an ‘”IMPEACH BUSH & CHENEY” banner and threw “IMPEACHMENT IS PATRIOTIC” bumper stickers into the audience while shouting “Free Speech, Impeach” over the band music on their way out.
BILL MAHER AND JAY LENO DISCUSS PROTESTERS:
When The Tonight Show returned from break, Leno alluded to “controversy” as he welcomed viewers back with “we’re talking to Bill Maher.” Maher quipped: “You’re not just talking to me; the whole audience is talking to me.” Leno replied: “That’s right, some people in the audience were protesting”, and then brought up, “You had protesters on your show,” referring to a similar disruption in October 2007 of Maher’s live show, RealTime with Bill Maher. On that occasion, RealTime was disrupted by 911 Truth activists.
The four activists who disrupted The Tonight Show yesterday were not part of the disruption of RealTime, and it was a coincidence that Maher happened to be the guest. The political action in support of impeachment and against MSNBC’s censorship of Kucinich took place that day merely because that was the day of the MSNBC presidential debate and the day that Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL, 19th) was arguing for impeachment hearings in Congress.
The four activists were not arrested on Jan. 15th but were given an advisory warning by NBC security not to return. After the show ended, the group stayed on the street to explain to the audience exiting the studio the reasons for the protest. “This goes way beyond just one candidate,” said Lipman. “This is a question of Freedom of Speech and preserving our democracy. It is horribly ironic how the corporations in this country, in this case NBC, a GE company, are allowed to exclude Dennis Kucinich from the debates under the protection of the First Amendment, when those same rights are being denied to the public at large and to official presidential candidates.”
H.R. 799: KUCINICH’S RESOLUTION TO IMPEACH CHENEY:
The L.A. National Impeachment Center endorses the presidential candidacy of Kucinich because he proposed a resolution to impeach Vice-President Cheney, HR799. The resolution has 25 co-sponsors but is sitting in the House Judiciary Committee. On the same day that Kucinich was being excluded from MSNBC’s debate, Rep. Wexler, a member of the Judiciary Committee who has spoken out strongly in favor of holding hearings on the impeachment of the Vice-President, presented a petition on the House floor with 189,000 signatures in support of hearings: the signatures had been submitted to www.wexlerwantshearings.com.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who declared over a year ago that impeachment is “off the table,” absented herself from the proceedings.
THE L.A. NATIONAL IMPEACHMENT CENTER (www.bcimpeach.com):
The L.A. National Impeachment Center (LANIC) was inaugurated on Independence Day, July 4th, 2007, to work for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney for high crimes and misdemeanors, including: lies intended to deceive Congress and the American public to allow a war on Iraq, similar lies intended to deceive Congress and the American public to allow military force against Iran, failure to authorize federal resources to rescue the victims of Hurricane Katrina, illegal surveillance of untold numbers of American citizens, illegal torture, 800 signing statements by the President refusing to abide by laws passed by Congress, denial of global warming science, obstruction of justice, obstruction of Congress, and other impeachable offences.
LESSONS OF HISTORY:
LANIC was one of the groups in the White Rose Coalition which protested at the Rose Parade in Pasadena on Jan. 1st, managing to get their IMPEACH signs seen during NBC’s coverage of the Parade. The White Rose Coalition is named after the historic White Rose Society in Nazi Germany which protested the Third Reich’s militarism and violations of constitutional rights. They were a band of students who tried to alert their fellow-citizens to the Third Reich’s dismantling of German democracy. Part of the message of the modern-day White Rose Coalition is that the Bush Administration has brought about many changes to American society which are fascistic, totalitarian, and on a similar path as what happened in Germany.
Marian Galbraith: 323-661-8912
Jennifer Epps: 310-683-8288