Bill Maher, who this week took a victory lap after the unraveling of conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, is is under fire for a 1998 episode of his former ABC late-night show, in which he defends a thirtysomething teacher in jail for having had sex with a 12-year-old student with whom she got pregnant.
“As I say, sunlight is the best disinfectant. You’re welcome,” Maher crowed this week in a New York Times interview after Yiannopoulos, who Maher controversially featured on his HBO show last week, lost his CPAC speaking invitation, his Simon & Schuster book contract and, finally, his Breitbart editor gig.
CPAC and Breitbart, however, did not credit Yiannopoulos’ remarks on Real Time with Bill Maher with their subsequent decisions; both orgs said they’d parted company with Yiannopoulos after seeing old video re-posted by conservative Reagan Battalion, showing Yiannopoulos endorsing sex between adult males and 13-year-old boys and remarking on his own underage relations with a Catholic priest.
Yiannapoulos since has apologized for the former and said his seemingly flippant remarks about his own underage sexual encounters were his way of dealing with the abuse.
On Wednesday, a 19-year-old video clip posted to YouTube on Wednesday shows then-Politically Incorrect star Maher defending Mary Kay Letourneau, the teacher convicted of having sex with a then-12-year-old student. At the time of the taping, the Seattle teacher was 35 and the student 14, and she was in jail and pregnant with their second child.
Letourneau, Maher said, “is in jail because she’s in love. That’s how I view it.”
“I admit it’s unorthodox” Maher continued, “She’s 35, the boy is 14. He was younger when they started. But she is pregnant again. … This is the second child by this boy. They are keeping the mother in jail because she won’t conform to what society feels should be the perfect American family.”
When one of his panelists suggests Letourneau raped the boy, Maher shot back, “Raped? Come on. … How do you know, and how can you? How can a woman rape a man?”
The video, posted Thursday, was closing in on 67K views at time of publication: