By Duncan Smith
Let’s not kid ourselves here — HBO’s “Real Time” host Bill Maher has not suddenly become ‘conservative.’
He no doubt is repulsed by Republicans as much today as he always has been.
Ditto for President Trump.
But that said, Maher’s way of life is dependent upon the full exercise of the First Amendment.
If there’s no freedom of speech and expression, he’s literally out of a job.
So it makes sense that he would warn about and push back against the rising “cancel culture” that, ironically, is coming from people on his side of the political spectrum.
Breitbart News has the details:
HBO's Real Time host Bill Maher decried 'cancel culture' on Friday's show, telling his guests that 'we need a pushback' on the movement.
Maher held a panel discussion with Bari Weiss, a former New York Times Opinion editor, and Thomas Chatterton Williams, a columnist for Harper's Magazine. The pair discussed the open letter they, along with other progressive personalities — including author J.K. Rowling and feminist Gloria Steinem — signed, which warns that the 'free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted.'
'As a guy who did a show called Politically Incorrect and another called Real Time, thank you, because we need a pushback on cancel culture,' Maher said.
'What strikes me about it is the pushback is coming from liberals and almost everyone who signs this letter … is a liberal!' Maher exclaimed. 'Bari, the fact that you — they call you a centrist or right-winger! I mean, if a hip, millennial, Jewish bisexual girl living in San Francisco is not a liberal … who is these days?'
Weiss, who resigned from the Times last month after accusing the paper of intolerance, explained how cancel culture differs from criticism.
'Criticism is great. What cancel culture is about is not criticism. It is about punishment. It is about making a person radioactive. It is about taking away their job,' Weiss said.
'It's not just about punishing the sinner, it's not just about punishing the person for being insufficiently pure. It's about this sort of secondary boycott of people who would deign to speak to that person or appear on a platform with that person. And we see just very obviously where that kind of politics gets us. If conversation with people that we disagree with becomes impossible, what is the way that we solve conflict?… It's violence,' she added.
Weiss also praised Trader Joe's after the company recently announced that it would not follow the steps of other brands that have changed their names or images in the name of social justice.
'You're right. That's what we need more of,' Maher said. 'Being able to speak freely is the lifeblood not only of democracy, of really just our way of life.'
Now, if only professional sports leagues would get rid of all the political speech and get back to being sports.
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