According to this post at Politico, Bill Maher said to Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell, after showing a embarrassing video clip:
"You need to come on this show. If you don't come on this show, I'm going to show a clip every week. I'm the only one who has them. I hoarded them.
"I'm just saying Christine, it's like a hostage crisis. Every week you don't show up, I'm going to throw another body out."Mr. Maher may wish to seek counsel regarding 18 U.S.C. § 875(d), which provides:
Are services (appearing on a television show) a "thing of value"? Maybe. Services have been held a "thing of value" under other federal criminal statutes. See, e.g., United States v. Croft, 750 F.2d 1354, 1361 (CA7 1984). I have not yet found any authority specifically on this statute.
Whoever, with intent to extort from any person, firm, association, or corporation, any money or other thing of value, transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to injure the property or reputation of the addressee or of another or the reputation of a deceased person or any threat to accuse the addressee or any other person of a crime, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.