Bill Maher Defends Sterling and Privacy

The outspoken left-leaning host of Real Time Bill Maher has recently come out in defense of Donald Sterling, not pertaining to his racist remarks but his right to privacy. Instead of railing against Sterling and the outrageous remarks that got him banned from the NBA for life, Bill Maher decided to take the opportunity to address the first and fourth amendments.

The amendments in question protect free speech and prohibit unlawful search and seizure, respectively. Maher seems to believe Sterling’s rights were violated, since his infamous statements were recorded using a hidden microphone. Bill Maher spoke about the issue during the New Rules segment of his show.

Last week, when President Obama was asked about the Sterling episode, he said, ‘When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, just let them talk.’ But Sterling didn’t advertise, he was bugged. And while he may not be worth defending, the Fourth Amendment is. That’s the one that says we have the right to be secure in our person, in our homes, in our property.

You can view a video of Maher’s segment here:

As the Huffington Post reported, Maher’s audience did not seem to be on board with his sentiments at first. There was a major backlash to Sterling’s remarks, so it’s understandable that few people would side with anyone who wants to defend him. But Bill Maher was not looking to absolve Sterling of any guilt, rather he was using the incident as a chance to further the conversation about American privacy.

After the recent interview with Edward Snowden and the exposure of the NSA’s ability to track and scrutinize the activity of American citizens, many pundits and TV personalities like Bill Maher have been taking every chance they get to expose privacy violations.

Bill Maher recently appeared on MSNBC and explained his concerns to host Chris Hayes.

[T]he creepy part is when you get taped in your own house and then that goes to the world. Again, no one here is defending Don Sterling. But that’s what’s creepy to me is that we can’t even speak in our own house anymore. I don’t know how the tape gets out there. I don’t know why it’s legal. But I am much more concerned about things like that than I am the NSA, which I am concerned about, too.

What do you think? Is Maher right about privacy issues, or is Sterling’s racism unforgivable in any context?