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Bill Maher has a message for his critics: You’re welcome.
After facing backlash over booking Milo Yiannopoulos on his HBO show last week, the Real Time host told The New York Times he feels the appearance helped to contribute to the controversial figure’s swift downfall.
“What I think people saw was an emotionally needy Ann Coulter wannabe, trying to make a buck off of the left’s propensity for outrage,” Maher said of Yiannopoulos‘ Real Time visit Friday night. “And by the end of the weekend, by dinnertime Monday, he’s dropped as a speaker at CPAC. Then he’s dropped by Breitbart, and his book deal falls through. As I say, sunlight is the best disinfectant. You’re welcome.”
Maher’s booking of Yiannopoulos prompted plenty of outrage, with Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of The Intercept, canceling his appearance to debate the right-wing Breitbart News editor.
After the episode, the usually combative Maher was criticized for going too easy on Yiannopoulos. THR critic Frank Scheck said Yiannopoulos “came across like a teddy bear.”
During the interview, Yiannopoulos criticized Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman and again Leslie Jones, before getting into a shouting match with former Nightly Show host Larry Wilmore. Yiannopoulos was famously banned from Twitter last year after harassing the Ghostbusters and Saturday Night Live star on the platform.
“No matter what I did,” Maher told the Times, “it was never going to be enough for that slice of liberalism that would much rather judge a friend than engage an enemy, because it’s easier.”
He added, “And by the way, I wasn’t trying to get him removed from society.”
The exposure of the visit, however, did launch the timeline of events recounted by Maher.
After a resurfaced video over the weekend showed Yiannopoulos appearing to not condemn pedophilia, he was dropped as the keynote speaker at this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC.
“Due to the revelation of an offensive video in the past 24 hours condoning pedophilia, the American Conservative Union has decided to rescind the invitation of Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference,” read a statement from ACU chairman Matt Schlapp on Monday.
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