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Bill Maher Defends Inviting Milo Yiannopoulos to Real Time After Panelist Backs Out in Protest

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Bill Maher is standing by his decision to interview Milo Yiannopoulos this week on Real Time, even though one of Maher’s other guests that evening chose to cancel their appearance on the show as a result.

Jeremy Scahill, co-founder and editor of The Intercept, said that he wouldn’t appear tomorrow if Maher was going to give Yiannopoulos a platform to “spew his hateful diatribes.” The Breitbart provocateur’s appearance on the show comes shortly after his scheduled speech at UC Berkeley was shut down when protests against him descended into riots and chaos.

In a responding statement, Maher said that Scahill’s attitude was part of the reason why Maher reached out to Yiannopoulos, and why liberals have to engage other viewpoints if they ever want to win elections again. Maher also took issue with Scahill for describing some of the Real Time hosts talking points about Islam and Muslims as vitriolic. In a statement provided to EW, Maher said:

My comments on Islam have never veered into vitriol. Liberals will continue to lose elections as long as they follow the example of people like Mr. Scahill whose views veer into fantasy and away from bedrock liberal principles like equality of women, respect for minorities, separation of religion and state, and free speech. If Mr. Yiannopoulos is indeed the monster Scahill claims — and he might be — nothing could serve the liberal cause better than having him exposed on Friday night.

[image via screengrab]

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