Bill Maher appears to be the last remaining liberal with an ounce of logic, perspective, and intellectual honesty. He's used his platform on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" over the past several months to throw the cold water of truth on his rabid, woke audience and guests.
His latest commentary from this past weekend pointed out the obvious reality that the natural result of critical race theory/anti-racist dogma permeating college campuses and corporate HR suites will be a fully segregated society in the contradictory name of tolerance and inclusion.
Taking on “woke” demands. @BillMaher says it reminds him of Hollywood’s “blacklists” where now “people go to parties” and “don’t want to talk, they are like ‘can I talk? I don’t know your girlfriend, she might be woke.’” It’s “so Soviet” and “Stalinist.” #RealTime pic.twitter.com/zdHxOEqzdN— Brent Baker (@BrentHBaker) March 20, 2021
“We seem to be entering an era of re-segregation that’s coming from the Left,” Maher said. “I mean, on many college campuses, there are separate dorms, separate black dorms, graduation ceremonies, stuff like that. How will that affect elections in the future?”
It was only allowed to be uttered because Maher has a long track record of appealing to the usual cavalcade of liberal heroes and icons on his panel while reserving his nastiest, most insulting "comedic" attacks for religious conservatives.
That demonstration of "goodwill" with Hollywood liberals allows him some level of leeway when making such bold statements. If Tucker Carlson said the same thing, it would inspire a three-day series at Media Matters and the cowardly exodus of yet another pharmaceutical company's advertisements... for a couple of weeks... Then they quietly return with another remedy for incontinence of eczema.
In another segment, Maher compared the recent intolerance for divergent, "problematic" ideas in Hollywood with the blacklist era in the entertainment industry during the Cold War (via Tim Graham, NewsBusters):
BILL MAHER: I never thought I would live in an era, I remember watching movies about the 50s and the blacklist era when people would whisper that you were you're a communist and all it took was someone informing on you and us saying they saw you at a rally or a peace march and you are branded, and your career was over or you were on the blacklist -- people go to parties now and they don't want to talk, they are like "Can I talk? I don't know your girlfriend. She might be woke." Really, I'm not making this up. This informant thing, it's not just what you do, it's what you don't report. That's another way the goalpost moved.
I was reading about this guy Winston Marshall, the banjo player in Mumford & Sons. Okay. [Laughter] I remember when they were a thing for about the time it took to take a piss. This guy tweeted out that he liked a book, it's a book called Unmasked. I never heard of it, you've never heard of it, It's apparently not favorable to antifa because it's criticizing antifa for, okay, people write books. He tweeted out "Finally had the time to read your important book, you're a brave man" to the author. Now he has to step away, everyone is always stepping away, from the band. Oh, my god.
This is his apology, so Soviet. "'Over the past few days, I have come to better understand the pain I caused by the book I endorsed." What? Did you hit someone over the head with it? "I have offended not only a lot of people I don't know but also those closest to me, including my bandmates.' What a bunch of pussies they must be. 'And for that, I am truly sorry.' It's so Stalinesque. You know what, how about, I can read what I want! I'm a musician! Don't worry, it won't happen again!
As the radical and extreme "mainstream" Left in America lurches, voices like Maher's will be more and more critical. I respect the fact that he behaves as though he has "screw you" money and recognizes that if the HBO overlords try to "Gina Carano" him, he'll have a brand new life through a streaming service where he'll have lower overhead, higher profits and will be free to appeal to his original, independent-minded libertarian audience that made him a star on the original "Politically Incorrect" program. A much more ideologically balanced version of his current, lefty fun-fest.
Maybe that's why Maher is pushing the boundaries of the "acceptable" devil's advocacy he's always postured. Maybe he's done pretending and wants to expose what he obviously sees as the totalitarian instincts of his fellow travelers on the Left. Maybe he's finally ready to say out loud what I imagine he's always believed but was too protective of his career to use his platform to outwardly proclaim.
Maybe he's sick and tired of their crap, like the rest of us are.
Frankly, I don't think that's the case. Maher is who he is. It's the extremists on the Left who have now decided to fully reveal their nature and their divisive ideas. The Left has gone so far outside the boundaries of classically liberal freedoms and liberties they now make Bill Maher look like a right-of-center voice of reason.
That's how scary things are in America today.
Larry O'Connor hosts a 2-hour radio program on KABC in Los Angeles and a separate, 3-hour radio program on WMAL in Washington DC. Both shows are heard daily, Monday through Friday and the podcasts can be found here.