My Love/Hate Relationship with Bill Maher

If people on both the far left and right think you’re unfair, you’re probably doing something right

Thoughts from comedian/author Matt Ruby. Want more? Sign up here to get my newsletter.

Lotta bandwagon hate for Bill Maher this week. I listen or watch him every week and think:

• his monologue and comedy bits suck (newsflash: Chris Christie is fat and Sarah Palin is dumb!) 
• his panels/interviews are some of the most interesting conversations on TV
• he’s a smug, condescending prick
• he books diverse guest lineups (of various race, gender, and political viewpoints)
• his constant attacks on religion are overly simplistic
• he normalized atheism and pot smoking for a lot of Americans

So basically, I love/hate him at the same time — and I think someone who generates that response is a valuable artist. Also, if people on both the far left and the far right think you’re biased and unfair, then you’re probably doing something right…or at the very least, something interesting.

If you don’t like that he let Milo talk, he also lets other right wingers like Ann Coulter, Rick Santorum and Tomi Toni Tone have a platform too — even though he disagrees with them. It’s not an endorsement. It’s a conversation. Dig deeper and you’ll see his real POV is: The best way to defeat someone with really shitty ideas is to let ’em talk.

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