The ‘Real Time’ host celebrated the firing of Trump’s chief strategist, but two months ago helped normalize Breitbart, which Bannon called “the platform for the alt-right.”
Bill Maher was in a good mood.
On Friday night’s edition of Real Time, the political satirist stepped out into the spotlight and, in customary fashion, bathed in the adulation of his adoring crowd.
“I think I know why you’re happy,” offered the host, sporting a self-satisfied grin.
After delivering a little spiel on the horrifying events of Charlottesville, where a group of Polo-wearing, tiki torch-having neo-Nazis paraded their moral bankruptcy—and one of these vile hatemongers plowed his vehicle into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing activist Heather Heyer—Maher addressed the news of the day: the firing of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.
“Speaking of getting rid of racist eyesores, Steve Bannon is out. Oh yeah. That was the big news today. Trump told him: This bunker is not big enough for the both of us!” cracked Maher. “Bannon never got along with Jared Kushner, who will probably take over some of his duties. So again, to the people chanting, ‘Jews will not replace us,’ yeah, they kind of did it again.”
“Boy, I’ll tell ya, the bodies are piling up outside the White House,” continued Maher. “General Flynn, Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, The Mooch, Steve Bannon. I mean, this is going to sound a little racist, but why can’t lazy white people keep a job?”
Bannon, the former chief executive of Breitbart—a “news” site he once dubbed “the platform for the alt-right”—is already back at the Trump propaganda factory (although the question remains as to whether he ever really left in the first place), where he’ll no doubt wield the outlet as a weapon against his “globalist” foes. And while many on the left have kicked him on his way out the door, any Bannon mockery feels wildly hypocritical coming from Maher.
Back in February, Maher welcomed then Breitbart Technology Editor Milo Yiannopoulos onto his HBO show. However, instead of grilling Yiannopoulos on his history of racism, transphobia, misogyny, neo-Nazi flirtation (he used to go by Milo Andreas Wagner and sport an Iron Cross necklace), and embrace of the Pepe-worshipping alt-right, the comedian ended up agreeing with his performance artist-guest on a variety of topics ranging from the perceived tyranny of political correctness to their mutual disgust for Islam. “Let’s talk about your humor,” said an extraordinarily accommodating Maher, “because I think a lot of people do miss your humor.”
During the Overtime segment, the two also found themselves on the same side of the trans bathroom debate, with Yiannopolous stating, “I think women and girls should be protected from having men who are confused about their sexual identities from their bathrooms,” and Maher responding with, “That’s not unreasonable.” Later on, Maher repulsively characterized the trans bathroom debate as “weirdos peeing.”
Days later, Yiannopoulos was banished from CPAC and fired from Breitbart after an old clip emerged of him promoting hebephilia.
The Breitbart love-in didn’t stop there. In mid-June, just one week after Ice Cube went in on the comic for his use of the N-word, Maher had Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex Marlow on Real Time—a man who, after firing Yiannopoulos, reportedly helped him with his new startup venture. And again, what transpired was a bizarre back-slapping session between M&M.
As I wrote at the time, “Maher didn’t ask Marlow why the site turned a blind eye to—or rather, wholeheartedly embraced—Yiannopoulos’ transmisogyny and racism for so long, or why Breitbart’s site traffic has cratered since Trump was elected, or why former honcho Steve Bannon branded it a ‘platform for the alt-right,’ or why ex-employee Ben Shapiro labeled it ‘Pravda for Trump.’ He failed to bring up writer Katie McHugh, who was recently fired for her Islamophobic and racist remarks following the London Bridge attack or whether owners the Mercers steer editorial coverage to be favorable to President Trump.”
Instead, Maher lobbed some softball questions about how Breitbart has failed to cover the ongoing Justice Department probe into Trump-Russia collusion, before agreeing with the Breitbart EIC that the Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar depicting Trump shouldn’t have happened.
“If Obama was Julius Caesar and he got stabbed, I think liberals would be angry about that,” Maher remarked. (Spoiler alert: He was, and they weren’t.) They also found common ground on corporate backing, decrying how companies can pull their funding if you do something they don’t like (an argument which sounds strangely anti-capitalist), and jointly mocked an Amazon ad wherein an imam and priest gift each other kneepads to pray.
“The Breitbart editors are the most wonderful, diverse, influential journalists on the planet, and no one is interested in their real story because they’re so quick to want to call people ‘racist,’” Marlow lamented.
Maher didn’t utter a word.