I don’t like Bill Maher. I don’t mean I don’t like him as a person, although I’m sure we wouldn’t get along great. I mean I don’t like him as a comedian/late night host/talking head. He’s never said anything that’s really impressed me, but he does look like the kind of dude who would talk about the “pussification” of American and that’s gross. So needless to say, I’m not big fan.
However, I have always agreed with Maher’s regular citing of Louis Brandeis’ idea that sunlight is the best disinfectant for societal ills. When people insist on speaking vile yet unsubstantiated ideas, I feel it’s best to let them speak, and then systematically destroy their arguments, like when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave his famous and totally not crazy speech at Colombia University. I say, within a safe context, give the offending speaker enough rope to hang themselves.
Maher seems to believe in the same idea, and claims that was his master plan all along when booking Milo Yiannopoulos on Real Time. Moreover, Maher explains in a NY Times interview why he should be given credit for Yiannopoulos’ recent downfall.
Well, let’s recap. About a week ago, I went on Van Jones’s show, and somebody asked me about the booking. I hadn’t really gotten into the details of Milo yet. He was just getting on my radar. I said, specifically, sunlight is the best disinfectant. Then we had Milo on, despite the fact that many people said, ‘Oh, how dare you give a platform to this man.’ What I think people saw was an emotionally needy Ann Coulter wannabe, trying to make a buck off of the left’s propensity for outrage. And by the end of the weekend, by dinnertime Monday, he’s dropped as a speaker at CPAC. Then he’s dropped by Breitbart, and his book deal falls through. As I say, sunlight is the best disinfectant. You’re welcome.
I don’t believe any good can come from giving Milo Yiannopoulos a larger stage. But given that Maher challenged Milo on his beliefs, statements and actions, I can only agree that Maher did the liberal party and society in general a great service. Oh wait, that was Larry Wilmore who challenged Milo. Maher stuck his lips firmly inside Milo’s asshole, and left them there for the entirety of the show.
As it turns out, it’s not Maher’s job to hold his interviewees to any level of truth. He just invites them on a widely viewed show, and, because of time constraints, has to let them spew whatever bullshit they want without the slightest bit of push back.
It’s not my job to hold him accountable to everything he’s ever said or done. I had eight minutes with him, on the show itself. Sorry I don’t have time to go over everything everybody else would want to do. We just had time to, sort of, start a discussion of the broad view of who he is. I don’t think he frankly knows what he’s going to say half the time, or knows what his philosophy is. But to see him as this monster is a little crazy. You know what he is? He’s the little impish, bratty kid brother. And the liberals are his older teenager sisters who are having a sleepover and he puts a spider in their sleeping bag so he can watch them scream.
Yeah, guys, come on! He’s just a bratty little kid who, because he poses no immediate threat to Maher, can’t possibly be a substantial threat to anyone else. Leslie Jones getting upset about the targeted and violent harassment she was facing was just playing into Milo’s hands. She should have just ignored all the sexist and racist insults hurled at her because she wanted to be in a movie that some dudes loved when they were kids, right? Just the price you pay. And speaking of prices you pay:
Can he do damage? I suppose he can. To a degree. Not a great degree, I don’t think. Could he offend people? Could he even inspire a borderline person to do something violent? I guess so. But nothing is free in life. People seem to want to live in this world where everything is a win-win. That’s not how life works.
You guess so, Bill? I’m guessing the fact that you’re unlikely to be the target of that “borderline person” isn’t the reason you’re so dismissive of the possible threat that Milo’s hate speech encourages. Right?
Here’s the big take away from this interview: Maher is more than willing to allow any asshole to say whatever shit he wants to, provided it reinforces Maher’s idea of himself as a “tough liberal.” Milo lied about what got him kicked off of Twitter, he lied about why he misgendered the student at the college he was speaking at, and he lied about transgender people committing the majority of sexual assaults.
This isn’t an issue of Maher inviting someone I don’t like onto his show; it’s an issue of Maher being willing to shit away any scrap of credibility he might have had, and then pretend this was his plan the whole time. What the sunlight shone on in this instance isn’t that Yiannopolous is ideologically bankrupt, but that Maher is.
Source: NY Times