Aside from the controversy of booked guest Jeremy Scahill refusing to come on Real Time with Bill Maher last night, the appearance of Breitbart’s British enfant terrible Milo Yiannopoulos netted little red meat — and overall was a disappointment.
So much so that Maher jokingly said to his guest, decked out in numerous strands of pearls, that the left had little to worry about over “a little British f***” who he later said reminded him of the late Christopher Hitchens.
Maher opened the interview by saying: “I think you’re colossally wrong on a number of things. But if I banned everyone from my show who I thought was colossally wrong, I would be talking to myself.”
Except that those of us covering television who have followed Maher for well over a decade know that Maher’s frequent guest Hitchens was a towering intellect who never threw bombs unless he could line-by-line back up his precision arguments and was not a cheap shot artist by any means.
On Wednesday scheduled panel guest, Intercept journalist Jeremy Scahill, posted a lengthy statement on his Twitter account saying that he was not going to be part of a show that also had Milo featuring, adding: “There is no value in ‘debating’ him.”
Yiannopoulos let his time on Maher’s show devolve into a sniggering rapid fire barrage assault of insults aimed at female comics like Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer and Sarah Silverman.
It was actually Dunham who got it the worst from him. Milo said that Democrats were “the party of Lena Dunham”.
His point was to underscore how easily gays and especially women were “triggered”, and he noted that free speech was now a conservative cause. Milo told Maher: “All I care about is free speech and free expression, I want people to be able to be, do and say anything. These days, you’re right, that’s a conservative issue.”
The last remarks about Silverman, a friend of Maher’s, pushed Bill to immediately to shut him down.
Despite all the brouhaha over Milo and the violent riot at Berkeley, where his appearance was canceled, Milo’s entire presence on Real Time was a complete let-down with little substance and stereotypical over-the-top queen-like behavior. However, it saw the two agree on a few things: The left needs to stop rising to the bait and get a thicker skin when it comes to policing humor and language. And Islam.
“You’re on the right side of that issue,” said Milo, who said his Catholicism was “the good religion”.
That sent Bill into a fit too:
Trump’s political progression of major scandals, gaffes, and outright lies also continued to make Maher’s head explode on last night’s show.
He said: “There’s the circus that happens every week, the distractions that take us away from knowing what’s really important — which is there is an unprecedented state of crisis in this country
“This is the most serious political scandal we’ve ever had in the United States and now the question turns to how deep was the involvement of President Trump, or as Russia calls him, ‘Agent Orange’.”
The mid-interview with Leah Remini was chilling. She shared how completely cut off Scientologists were from the real world and told how they were spoon fed orders and made to study the cult’s precepts two hours a day:
In a savage New Rules, the magic “R” for republican is attacked by Maher for all their transgressions:
Meanwhile, guests Larry Wilmore, Malcolm Nance and Former Representative Jack Kingston clapped back at Milo Yiannopoulos — and Nance told him to “go f*** yourself”:
Real Time with Bill Maher airs Fridays at 10:00pm ET (10:00pm PT, tape delayed) on HBO, with additional replays throughout the week on HBO and HBO 2.