Maher Takes Another Jab at Reagan

July 7, 2008 - 7:02 PM

( -A joke by the host of a national television show about former President Ronald Reagan's bout with Alzheimer's Disease has an Alzheimer's Association chapter and the former president's oldest son angry. This is now the second time the host has made a joke about Reagan's condition and has outraged the former president's family and Alzheimer's activists.

According to a transcript of Wednesday's broadcast of the "Politically Incorrect" program broadcast by ABC television, host Bill Maher said, "President Clinton's approval rating, 57 percent, one of the highest ever for a second-termer. That just came out today. People made big news of this because it was higher than Ronald Reagan's approval rating in his second term. It was only 52 percent, so Clinton, higher than Reagan. Another big difference between Reagan and Clinton, Clinton wets other people's clothing."

The Alzheimer's Association, Greater Washington Chapter found the joke to be in poor taste. Karen Lubieniecki, a spokesperson for the Association chapter told, "Alzheimer's is a serious disease that takes a terrible toll on the person with the disease and the people who care for them."

Lubieniecki went on to say, "There are more than 4 million people with Alzheimer's disease in the United States and to make fun of the struggle that someone such as President Reagan is going through is unfortunate."

The former president announced he was suffering from Alzheimer's in 1994 in a letter he released to the public.

Reagan's son, Michael, was livid at Maher's remark. It was the second time that Maher had joked about the former President's Alzheimer's disease. Maher last year called Reagan "nuts," prompting an apology from Maher to Michael Reagan.

"Last year, he called my dad nuts, now he's making fun of his bodily functions," said the younger Reagan, in an interview with Reagan went to say, Maher's apology "didn't do didly squat."

"I wouldn't even accept an apology by Maher," said Reagan. I'm just done with it."

The off-and-on dispute between Maher and Reagan also resulted in a new policy by the president's son regarding the booking of guest's on his own program. Reagan vowed to not allow anyone on his nationally syndicated radio talk if they have also been a guest on Maher's late night program after the November 3rd broadcast of "Politically Incorrect," when he first called his father "nuts."

"It's just stupid for any conservative to do Maher's show," said Reagan. " I don't care who it is, they won't be on my show."

ABC had no comment on Maher's remark when contacted by

When asked if Maher plans to apologize for the latest Reagan remark, Maher's publicist Jeff Abraham told, "I guess that's an issue between Michael (Reagan) and Bill (Maher). As far as I know, I haven't been contacted by Reagan Junior about any type of apology. It's up to Michael. I'm not aware of this. This is the first I've heard of it."