It isn’t really surprising that when Real Time with Bill Maher included Milo Yiannopoulos among its guests on Friday night, lots of people got upset. What may surprise you, however, is that while many of the things he said on air drew the ire of many, it was actually Maher’s reaction, or the lack therof, that has drawn the most criticism. The attacks began before Yiannopoulos ever appeared, with many saying that Maher was giving him a platform for offensive views that didn’t need to be encouraged. USA Today quotes Maher as saying that, although he does think that the Breitbart editor is way off base on many things, “if I banned everyone from my show who I thought was colossally wrong, I would be talking to myself.” Be that as it may, the fact that Milo was invited to the show resulted in panelist Jeremy Scahill withdrawing from Friday’s show.
“Milo Yiannopoulos is many bridges too far. He has ample venues to spew his hateful diatribes. There is no value in ‘debating’ him. Appearing on Real Time will provide Yiannopoulos with a large, important platform to openly advocate his racist, anti-immigrant campaign.”
The gripe that most people have with Milo Yiannopoulos’s appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher is that Maher didn’t challenge him much. The tone of the appearance was generally light, and if not for the panelists on the show, many of the things that Yiannopoulos said that were clearly contrary to the views of many of Maher’s viewers would have gone unchallenged.
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Bill did chide Milo for attacking specific people, but his reaction to Yiannopoulos doing so on his show was mixed. Maher specifically asked about the attacks on Leslie Jones. Here is Milo’s response.
“I wrote a bad review of a movie. Am I not entitled to do that? I said she looked like a dude. She does. I said that she was barely literate, which she is. And I simply don’t accept that an A-list Hollywood celebrity is sitting at home crying over mean words on the internet.”
The HBO talk show host didn’t have much to say about that, but it resulted in the first of two times that comedian Larry Wilmore said to Yiannapoulos, that he could go “f*** yourself.” One of the most heated discussions of the night happened in the “Overtime” segment online following the show. It was on the subject of transgender rights, but the heat wasn’t between Maher and Yiannapoulos, but rather between Larry Wilmore and the blogger. As reported by CNN, things began escalating when Milo made a claim that has been debunked previously — that a disproportionate number of sex crimes are committed by transgender individuals.
Maher said nothing about the fact that this was not true, but Larry Wilmore did. Yiannapoulos said that transgender people suffer from a psychiatric disorder, and Bill remained silent, but Wilmore did not. The two argued until Wilmore drew audience applause when he repeated his four-letter-word advice to Milo.
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Yiannopoulos, who is openly gay, has a history of numerous attacks on homosexuals. He returned to this on Real Time with Bill Maher when he explained why he doesn’t hire gay people.
“You can’t trust them to show up to work on time. Too much sex, too many drugs, always have excuses. They’re not as bad as women, but no, I don’t hire gays.”
Maher did mention to his guest that there are many who would say that Yiannopoulos’s words incite violence, such as the protests at University of California at Berkley upon the announcement that he would speaking there. Milo asked how he incites violence, and Bill responded that some people would say he does. He responded with, “Well, they would be idiots.”
[Featured Image by HBO]