Bill Maher may have made a careless error when talking to CNN’s Jake Tapper this week. The Real Time host admitted that his producers “weeded out” audience members who weren’t happy with the show’s content.
This will surprise those who have kept up with Maher’s pro-free speech message over the years, a hill he practically resides on.
Maher first told Tapper he was confused when first noticing audience members booing and grunting at his comments on Real Time many years ago.
“Five years ago we did – I don’t know what they did with the audience but they – they got rid of the groaners, and it made my life so much better,” Maher told Tapper.
It’s almost remarkable that Maher would ever reveal something like this to the public. In almost every appearance Maher makes on television, the 67-year-old consistently spouts his awe for a transparent and open place of political discourse. Even his podcast studio now amusingly displays the words: “Say what you want”.
Mr Free Speech hates Free Speech: Why is Bill Maher kicking out guests?
Sure, it makes sense that Maher wants some kind of order when taping Real Time. Though it seems the host, following his latest comments, is somewhat relieved to have any form of rebuttal wiped out.
The HBO star went on to tell Tapper he no longer enjoys debating the audience.
“I was never one of those comics, who could just pretend, “Oh, I’m sorry. I must’ve made a mistake there,” he said.
Of course, many online have already highlighted Bill’s obvious hypocrisy in chasing some form of safe space to present his monologue every week. Maher seems to have forgotten his weekly political panel show must work far differently from how he presents standup.
Not only should Bill pride himself on a panel diverse in political opinion, but the HBO host should also actively seek to create an audience of all sides. Otherwise, it seems the man who keeps it so “real” may want more comfort than we realise.
Has Bill dug himself a grave with his latest comments to Tapper? Give us your thoughts below!