She said that in 1999. I don't know when the dabbling itself took place. It bugs me more that she says "dabbled into" than that she actually did it (or claimed to). It's "dabbled in." Here's the clip, from Bill Maher's show:
1. Maher obviously knows her well and likes her. "She's nice," he says. She was on his show a lot, and he's just exploiting the clips he has, which, he tells us, he's going to keep doing until she comes on his show. He's blackmailing her and giggling about what he's doing to this nice person he likes.
2. It's a good attention-getting ploy by Maher. He's got the video and he's taking clips out of context for the maximum shock/comic effect. It's perfectly okay to do that with video, right? Remember when Andrew Breitbart did something like that to Shirley Sherrod, and all the liberals got all righteous about taking things out of context?
3. Did O'Donnell ever practice witchcraft? I doubt it. Even in the out-of-context clip, I'm seeing a young woman trying to get the hipper kids to believe she isn't really a complete square. In the story she tells, she went out with someone who, she thought, was into Satanism, and they had a picnic. A picnic! Even when she's straining to sound cool, she's square.
4. But she "dabbled into" witchcraft — doesn't that mean she did some witchcraft things? Frankly, I don't think she knows what "dabbled" means. The use of the wrong preposition is a hint. I think she means something more like she stumbled into witchcraft. She knew some people who did such things, and I'll bet the point she was making was that she was able to be friends with them, that she hasn't spent her whole life cocooned in squeaky clean conservative religion and she's able to relate to a wide variety of people.
5. Even if she had participated in some witchcraft, she'd only be like thousands of other young people who dabble in such nonsense. Do you want to string them all up? It's typical pop culture junk these days.