Bill Maher defended the decision to have Milo Yiannopoulos as a guest on his HBO show “Real Time” after another planned guest, the co-founder and editor of news site The Intercept, Jeremy Scahill, withdrew from the show in protest and posted a rationale for doing so on his Twitter page.
Scahill said he respected and admired Maher’s show, on which he has worked as a correspondent and continues to be a frequent guest and panelist. He called the booking of Yiannopoulos, an outspoken conservative who was banned from Twitter for his provocative statements, “many bridges too far” and said he didn’t think Maher should give Yiannopoulos a venue for his “hateful agenda.”
Maher responded to Scahill explaining why he thought having Yiannopoulos on the show was the right thing to do.
“Liberals will continue to lose elections as long as they follow the example of people like Mr. Scahill whose views veer into fantasy and away from bedrock liberal principles like equality of women, respect for minorities, separation of religion and state, and free speech,” Maher said, Entertainment Weekly reported. “If Mr. Yiannopoulos is indeed the monster Scahill claims — and he might be — nothing could serve the liberal cause better than having him exposed on Friday night.”
Yiannopoulos was scheduled to appear at the University of California, Berkley on Feb. 1 but the appearance was canceled after hundreds of students staged protests that ultimately turned violent, including smashing windows, throwing rocks at police, and storming into a building.
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