Bill Maher once again bucked the narrative embraced by his fellow liberals and a lot of his left-leaning audience on his show "Real Time" on Friday by defending Fox News host Laura Ingraham, slamming the David Hogg-orchestrated boycott against her, and declaring that the Parkland student activists can't serve as their own "human shield."
In a panel discussion with his left-leaning guests, including former Democratic New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer, Maher pushed back against the increasingly frequent, usually left-wing tactic of boycotting advertisers in order to silence and "deplatform" political opponents, which is exactly what the boycott campaign against Ingraham is about.
In his criticism of the boycott against Ingraham, whom he described as a "deliberately terrible person," Maher points out that her tweet poking fun at Hogg was rather innocuous. Most of the panelists admitted that they don't think the boycott is really about Ingraham's tweet, rather that she is a Fox News host with right-leaning views who supposedly often says all kinds of "offensive" things.
Maher quickly turned the conversation to Hogg and his fellow Parkland activists, whom he said have put themselves "in the arena" and thus must be willing to take the blows.
"Again, [Hogg] is in the arena, and then he calls for a boycott of her sponsors. Really? Is that American?" said Maher. Though many in his audience made clear that they loved the boycott against Ingraham, he continued, "He complains about bullying? That’s bullying!"
"It can't be the case that you're your own human shield," Maher said later. "I understand they're in high school. So if they say something, people do have the right to answer back."
Maher offered some context for why he has such a strong reaction to the increasingly employed boycott tactic. "I have been the victim of a boycott. ... I've lost a job as a result. It is wrong. You shouldn’t do this by team, you should do it by principle," he said.
Spitzer and the other panelists adamantly defended boycotts as "part of free speech," but Maher maintained that he wasn't trying to argue if they're constitutionally protected, rather that they create a "very chilling atmosphere" in this country that works as an "end around the First Amendment."
During the discussion, Maher mentioned rapper Killer Mike, who was forced to apologize for pushing back against the progressive gun control message. "My friend Killer Mike said something on NRA TV recently and it was perfectly reasonable, and he had to apologize. And he shouldn't have had to apologize. All he said was 'we're a gun-owning family.' That's a perfectly reasonable point of view," said Maher.
"I told my kids on the school walkout: 'I love you. If you walk out that school, walk out my house,'" Killer Mike told Noir in reference to the National Walkout Day for gun control. "We are a gun-owning family. We are a family where my sister farms. We are a family where we'll fish, we'll hunt. But we are not a family that jumps on every single thing an ally of ours does because some stuff we just don't agree with."
Here's Killer Mike's appearance on NRA TV with Colion Noir:
Partial transcript via The Hill.