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You can’t watch as much offensive television as Catholic League president Bill Donahue does without becoming a bit of a connoisseur. But a TV critic? Faced with the latest provocation from Larry David–in Sunday’s episode of the “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” the show’s star, writer and director accidentally splashed urine on a portrait of Christ hung in a bathroom, which was then mistaken for a miraculous “weeping” Jesus–the self-appointed Catholic media watchdog simply asked, “Was Larry David always this crude?
The answer, for the record, is yes: David, who co-masterminded “Seinfeld” in the 1990s, broke new ground on broadcast television back then with ingenious extended jokes about masturbation and proctological mix-ups. His cable show has only afforded David more leeway. The real question is, was Bill Donahue always this mellow?
It’s not that Donahue doesn’t see the occasional wayward whiz as a problem. The last time Christ and urine were mentioned in the same breath, Donahue went ballistic. Yesterday, Donahue left the parallels to offensive portraits of the prophet Muhammad to other irate conservatives, and instead meekly suggested that David’s “best years are behind him”–a defense of the faith no sharper than what the episode elicited from the guys who merely defend the standards of comedy.
This isn’t the first time that Donahue has showed an appreciation for those who devil him. Maybe Donahue is playing a smarter game these days–when everyone on TV is angry, playing it cool might break more news–or perhaps he’s simply, and understandably, tired of fulminating. What’s nearly unimaginable is that he’s a disappointed fan.

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