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Everybody is saying outrageous things these days.

Bill Maher wishes the terrorist bomb had actually got Dick Cheney. Ann Coulter uses the "f" word about John Edwards. We're talking about the anti-gay slur word. And Kenneth Eng says he hates blacks and whites and I think he even said he hates Asians, and he is Asian.

You have to be artful if you're going to be in the outrageous remark game.

Ann Coulter probably really doesn't like John Edwards, but I don't think she thinks he is gay. I think she wanted to express her dislike for him, and she wanted to express her dislike for the fact that liberals like Edwards evidently believe a person who uses the "f" word — the gay slur — should go to rehab.

She didn't just make that up. That's precisely what happened when a Hollywood actor called one of his colleagues — a gay man — that same name. He got packed off to rehab.

Bill Maher has been in the bomb-throwing game for quite a while, and I don't suppose either he or Ann Coulter would like people knowing they are pals, after a fashion. His remark about Cheney was about as close as you can come to saying I wish this person were dead without actually saying it. He did say millions of people wouldn't die if Cheney were dead, so one can logically conclude he wishes Cheney were dead, because he could not possibly wish that millions of other people would die.

But Kenneth Eng is a novice at this stuff. He says he hates blacks and whites and Asians. I don't know whether he does or not, but in the outrageous remark game he had virtually nothing to rationalize the outrageous statement. Young Mr. Eng may get better at the outrage game, or he may just disappear. We shall see.

But you haven't seen the end of either Ann Coulter or Bill Maher. They are practiced old pros at ticking you off with something completely over the top. To put it bluntly: It's their job.

Who's worse? Well, it's way worse to wish a person dead than to call a person a name. Plus, liberals do think you have to go to rehab if you say the "f" word, and Maher has nothing to back up the claim that millions of people die because Cheney is alive.

That's My Word.

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