Should Bill Maher give incendiary provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos a “platform” on his HBO show on Friday? Or should he banish Yiannopoulis the way Mika Brzezinski has said she won’t book Kellyanne Conway? The stakes heated up when scheduled guest Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept backed out of appearing on Maher’s show with Yiannopoulos, characterizing Maher as an enabler who will allow Yiannopoulos to “spew his hateful diatribes.” It’s a free speech dilemma — and its territory Maher relishes. Maher reponded to Scahill’s actions with a typically contrarian view.
“If Mr. Yiannopoulos is indeed the monster Scahill claims — and he might be — nothing could serve the liberal cause better than having him exposed on Friday night,” said Maher according to EW.
This is the great liberal hope in a nutshell: that the best, most tolerant ideas will rise to the top of the free market of ideas, and that hateful ideology — duly exposed as such — will fall victim to its own mendacity. It’s what many thought would happen to candidate Trump after the birther lies and the pussy grabbing comments. It didn’t. The marketplace wasn’t bothered by those things. But Maher indicates that he will argue forcefully if confronted with a hateful ideology from Yiannopoulos, admitting that a “monster” he “might be.” If so, Maher promises that his platform will be where the monster is exposed. But if will Yiannopoulos’s followers feel beaten or emboldened? Can a hater really be exposed as a hater to other haters who applaud the venom? Tune in Friday for Real Time with Bill Maher.