House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-La.) doesn't think anything further needs to be done about comments made on Monday by Bill Mahrer, host of ABC's Politically Incorrect, says Tauzin spokesman Ken Johnson.
"Chairman Tauzin has been on Politically Incorrect several times and we certainly accept [Mahrer's] explanation. While we don't agree with what he said originally, we'll continue to defend his First Amendment right to stick his foot in his mouth."
Maher caused some controversy Monday night, when he said Americans "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 was discussing with panelist Dinesh D'Souza comments by President George W. Bush that hijackers who flew commercial jetliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were "cowards."
Since then, Maher has apologized while Federal Express and Sears have pulled their advertising from the show. Johnson said Tauzin has received some calls from complaining constituents, who feel Maher's comments were "anti-American." - Paige Albiniak