HBO’s “Real Time” host Bill Maher criticized protesters against his commencement speech, and defended Rush Limbaugh in a monologue denouncing anti-free speech leftists on Friday.
“Now that it’s been a month since I gave the commencement address at Berkeley, someone has to check in with the people who tried to have my speech canceled and make sure they made it through OK. Also, since they were protesting me for once saying that Islam is ‘the only religion that acts like the mafia (and will) kill you if you say the wrong thing or draw the wrong picture,’ and then two jihadists gunned down 12 people in Paris for saying the wrong thing and drawing the wrong picture, you have to tell me, where do I go to protest you?” he stated.
Maher then praised the pro-free speech marches in Paris, but added “unfortunately not everyone got the memo. Like the pope, and his American vigilante, Bill Donohue. Bill’s the head of the Catholic League, and as such, he’s called me an anti-Catholic bigot so many times it’s now my ringtone.” And “last week Mr. Donohue wrote that it was too bad that Charlie Hebdo’s publisher ‘didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death,’ which is like saying the rape victim didn’t understand that her clothes were too provocative.”
He then turned his criticism to Glenn Greenwald, arguing “Glenn Greenwald says anti-Muslim speech, like the cartoons in Charlie, are ‘a vital driver’ in bombing and occupying Muslim countries and killing the innocent. Really? Newspaper cartoons did all that? Wait till they get to the horoscopes and the crossword. It reminds me of one of the protest signs I saw up at Berkeley last month, it said ‘Islamophobia kills.’ Does it? The phobia kills? Or maybe more it’s the AK-47s, and the beheadings, and the planes into buildings.”
Maher concluded, “I thought we hated bullying now. When it happens in high school these days, people go nuts. When I was a kid, adults just shrugged and went, ‘eh, kids are a**holes, what are you going to do?’ Yeah, liberals hate bullying all right, but they’re not opposed to using it. When they casually throw out words like ‘bigot’ and ‘racist,’ it does cow people into avoiding this debate. And if you’re doing that, you don’t get to wear the ‘Je Suis Charlie’ button, the button you should wear says, ‘Je Suis Part of the Problem.’ And that goes for everybody. This may surprise you, but I am not a big fan of Rush Limbaugh. However, if you’re one of the people with a website devoted to making him go away, you are part of the problem. And ironically, you’re not even a proper liberal, because you don’t get free speech, you’re just a baby who can’t stand to live in a world where you hear things that upset you.” He also blasted anti-hate speech laws in Europe and declared that “opinions shouldn’t be illegal. Everyone can always come up with a reason why the thing that bugs you should get a waiver. But free speech only works if there are no waivers…including for religion.” And “I like it that jokes can hurt.”
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