Despite a brief flare-up of controversy that preceded it, a conversation between Milo Yiannopoulos, the incendiary right-wing author and lecturer, and Bill Maher, the comedian and host of HBO’s “Real Time,” on that program Friday night was a largely docile, chummy affair. There was little conflict or cross-examination, as both men chided the political left for avoiding or drowning out Mr. Yiannopoulos’s views rather than engaging with them.
People do engage Yiannopoulos. It’s just that being told to shut the fuck up and hop on the 9:15 shuttle to hell isn’t what he wants to hear. Neo-cons want to live in the world where The Enemy are pre-demonized people of color in exotic places like Baltimore, who can be described as rioters whenever they protest in groups larger than one, and cry-baby liberals who whine a bit but don’t really do anything. Thanks in large part to tRump’s win, neo-cons and their fellow travelers being ushered into a world where people are so pissed and frightened they’re kind of scary. Unfair! as their new leader would Tweet.
Bill Maher, hyper-privileged prick that he is, sees this as a moment to yawn Ycantcha take a joke, libs? for probably the 253 zillionth time in his over-long career.
Describing himself as “a virtuous troll,” Mr. Yiannopolous said, “I hurt people for a reason.”
And that reason is he’s a mendacious piece of shit. Maher, who various people keep insisting is a wit who Challenges the B.S. of Bothsides, can’t bestir himself to ask his guest to elaborate on his reasons for hurting people.
He said people “want to police humor” because “they can’t control it.”
“Because the one thing that authoritarians hate is the sound of laughter,” Mr. Yiannopolous said.
Mr. Maher added, “And also, because when people laugh, they know it’s true.”
Which would mean that when people don’t laugh, they know it’s not true. But perhaps I’m overthinking the unoriginal noises coming the Maher2000 ClicheBot.
Speaking to his audience, Mr. Maher said, “Stop taking the bait, liberals,” and asked how they could be afraid of someone he described as “little, British, impish” and a slur for gay people. The two men shook hands, and Mr. Maher moved on to his panel discussion.
I wonder how much HBO pays for Maher to wrestle with poorly constructed straw men?
But in an online-only segment that ran after the HBO broadcast, Mr. Yiannopoulos said that transgender people were “vastly disproportionately involved in sex crime,” drawing jeers, boos and a shout of “liar” from Mr. Maher’s audience.
I wouldn’t be surprised if transgender people are vastly disproportionately the victims of all sorts of violent crimes. But that’s due in part to scamps and imps and whippersnappers like Yiannopolous who spew transphobic sewage all over the place. And of course, because cruds who have been dismissive of transgender rights in the past are happy to give him a platform to do so.