So, this was a bit of a shocking remark by Bill Maher. The HBO host of the show Real Time, which usually bashes conservatives, tore into the news media for totally overblowing the Russia collusion story, while adding that Trump supporters might have a point when they decry fake news; a lot of it is, indeed, fake. He noted how various outlets went apoplectic over a simple, harmless photo featuring the cast of Red Sparrow. Actress Jennifer Lawrence was not wearing a coat, while her male co-stars were, thus setting off the great “this photo says everything about gender inequality” tirade, except that it doesn’t.
Maher listed other faux outrages, like people being upset that Justin Timberlake projected Prince on a screen during the Super Bowl halftime show, or Olympic snowboarder Shaun White dragging the U.S. flag after he won the gold medal. No, no one cared, said Maher, adding, comically, that it’s the same three people on Twitter making hay out of nothing and journalists reporting as if this is the issue that’s facing America.
Maher added that he could tweet Good Morning and there will always be some people on Twitter who would find that offensive.
“Good in your privileged world, Bill Maher,” he joked.
“No wonder why fake news resonates so much with Trump fans because so much of it is fake," he added (via RCP):
Just nonsense made to keep you perpetually offended with an endless stream of controversies that aren't controversial. And outrages that aren't outrageous. Because places like The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed and Salon, they make their money by how many clicks they get. Yes. The people who see themselves as morally superior are actually ignoring their sacred job of informing citizens of what's important and instead sowing division for their own selfish ends. Hey, wait, isn't that what Russia was doing to us? Yeah, it is. And we have to stop both of them from using us as the c**ks in their cockfights.
Now, Maher has called the Russian interference in the 2016 election the greatest scandal in American political history. That’s totally wrong, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. Maher, who is not a fan of political correctness, is right on that movement getting out of hand in American politics, and this—the media’s incessant need to be outraged over nothing. Even Jennifer Lawrence rolled her eyes at the photo controversy. Twitter is a great tool for finding and disseminating information. Yes, it’s full of a-holes. Yes, there are trolls and nasty folks, but the trick is to filter out the noise. For some, it’s a no-brainer. For others, as you can see, it’s a bit more of a learning curve. Maher is also right when he criticizes the ideals of Islam and says there is a false equivalence between Muslim and Christian-inspired attacks, which has landed him in hot water with the Left.
The comedian is also a strong proponent of free speech. So, at times, Maher can be sensible, especially when he bashes his own side for feeding into the outrage industry, which he thinks costs Democrats elections. He’s not wrong about that. He’s a liberal, yes—but one who is willing to call out his own side when they go nuts or have an appalling silence on issues, like Islamic extremism.