Far from exposing alt-right and far-right trolls, Maher rarely pushes back against their ludicrous claims and occasionally agrees, thereby legitimizing their pernicious views in the eyes of his more gullible viewers. Yiannopoulos was followed by Ben Shapiro, who found common ground with the comedian on campus liberals (naturally); Steve Bannon, who spouted a whole mess of uncontested nonsense about team Trump; and most recently, The Federalist publisher Ben Domenech, whose idiotic takes on impeachment (“you can impeach [Trump] because you don’t like his hair”) went unchallenged. This is purely a matter of spectacle—a more urbane version of one of those zany Jerry Springer episodes pitting a Klansman against a civil-rights leader.
Which brings us to Friday night. The latest edition of Real Time featured the “edgy” funnyman jousting with Dennis Prager, the right-wing propagandist behind PragerU (a conservative, fact-averse YouTube-video factory posing as a university whose greatest hits include an anti-immigrant manifesto by Japanese internment-defender Michelle Malkin; a spiel about how police actually don’t discriminate against black men; and a whole lot of “War on Christmas” content), and Dr. Jay N. Gordon, one of the leaders of the anti-vaxx movement who once defended not administering the measles vaccine to his patients by calling it “a benign childhood illness.”
First up was Dr. Gordon, and lo and behold, Maher not only declined to challenge the controversial pediatrician’s anti-vaxx views, but agreed with them.
The quotes at the link are embarrassing. Well, at least the show is also not funny.