On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher defended Fox News host Laura Ingraham, and stated the boycott of her sponsors over her comments about Parkland survivor David Hogg is wrong and boycotts are “the modern way of cutting off free speech.”
Maher said, “I want to defend Laura Ingraham. … Now, I think those kids did a great thing, they put this issue in a place we’ve never had it before, and I wish them success. But, you know, if you’re going to be out there in the arena, and make yourselves the champions of this cause, people are going to have the right, I think, to argue back.”
He continued that Ingraham “has become a deliberately terrible person, I think, you know, just saying horrible things.” Maher then said of her comments on Hogg, “OK, maybe you shouldn’t say that about a 17-year-old, but again, he is in the arena. And then he calls for a boycott of her sponsors.”
After members of the audience applauded the call for a boycott, Maher wondered, “Is that American?” He continued, “And he complains about bullying? That’s bullying. I have been the victim of a boycott. I lost a job once. It is wrong.”
Maher further stated that responding back is different from a boycott, and boycotting is “effectively…the modern way of cutting off free speech.”
He later said that while people have every legal right to boycott, it isn’t right to do so.
Maher also argued, “It can’t be the case that you are your own human shield. I understand they’re in high school. So, if they say something, people do have the right to answer back.”