Bill Maher and Milo Yiannopoulos on “Real Time.’ (Photo: Janet Van Ham, AP)
Was Milo Yiannopoulos’ appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher the tipping point in his career downfall? Maher thinks so.
Yiannopoulos lost his book deal and resigned from his post at Breitbart News in quick succession this week after a video surfaced on Sunday in which the inflammatory commentator appeared to condone sex between men and underage boys as young as 13.
The Friday before, Yiannopoulos appeared on Real Time. Regular contributor Jeremy Scahill canceled his appearance in protest of Yiannopoulos’ booking, with some critics claiming afterward that Maher didn’t go far enough interrogating his guest. (Meanwhile, his fellow panelist, former Nightly Show host Larry Wilmore, told Yiannopoulos to “go (expletive) yourself” in a web-exclusive clip).
(Warning: explicit language)
In an interview with the New York Times, Maher took credit for Yiannopoulos’ crumbling public image, saying his Real Time appearance exposed him as an “emotionally needy Ann Coulter wannabe.”
“And by the end of the weekend, by dinnertime Monday, he’s dropped as a speaker at CPAC,” he said. “Then he’s dropped by Breitbart, and his book deal falls through. As I say, sunlight is the best disinfectant. You’re welcome.”
Maher also pushed back against criticism that he didn’t question some of Yiannopoulos’ claims on the show, including his statement that transgender people have a “psychiatric disorder.”
“It’s not my job to hold him accountable to everything he’s ever said or done,” he said. “I had eight minutes with him, on the show itself. Sorry I don’t have time to go over everything everybody else would want to do. We just had time to, sort of, start a discussion of the broad view of who he is. I don’t think he frankly knows what he’s going to say half the time, or knows what his philosophy is. But to see him as this monster is a little crazy.”
(Warning: explicit language)
Even while claiming Yiannopoulos’ career as a casualty of his show, Maher refused to claim that Milo is dangerous, instead calling him “a little cuckoo” and blaming the outrage on the left.
“You know what he is? He’s the little impish, bratty kid brother. And the liberals are his older teenager sisters who are having a sleepover and he puts a spider in their sleeping bag so he can watch them scream.”
One of the loudest voices speaking out against Yiannopoulos this week was Leslie Jones. Without naming him Monday night, the Saturday Night Live actress tweeted, “You guys are giving him to (sic) much energy. I was done the day I blocked him & got his (expletive) banned. Been done and moved on. He has no space here!”
Last year, Yiannopoulos helped drive abusive attacks of Jones on social media, eventually leading Twitter to ban him from the service.
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