Bill Maher is taking credit for the swift downfall of Milo Yiannopoulos. In a New York Times interview posted online this morning, Maher suggests that Yiannopoulos’ appearance on last Friday’s Real Time With Bill Maher was the “disinfectant” needed to expose the now-ex Breitbart News provocateur.
Maher’s decision to book the right-wing loudmouth came under considerable fire last week, most notably when scheduled fellow guest Jeremy Scahill refused to appear on the same episode.
“I said, specifically, sunlight is the best disinfectant,” Maher tells The Times, appropriating the brilliant phrase from the great Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis. “Then we had Milo on, despite the fact that many people said, ‘Oh, how dare you give a platform to this man.’ 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.
“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.”
While the Real Time exposure certainly gave much of America its first look at Yiannopoulos, the conservative speech-maker’s profile was no doubt boosted pre-Maher by the anti-Milo riot earlier this month at the University of California, Berkeley, and his subsequent booking at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Yiannopoulos’ downward spiral on Monday – he lost the CPAC gig, a Simon & Schuster book deal and his job at Breitbart News – came after a conservative group called the Reagan Battalion unleashed footage from a 2016 interview showing Yiannopoulos smugly endorsing sex with 13-year-old boys and joking about his own under-age relations with a Catholic priest.
Pushed by The Times on whether he went too easy on Yiannopoulos during the HBO episode, specifically regarding his guest’s insults against transgender people, Maher (correctly) pointed out that the issue “dominated the entire [online] segment.”
“You know what he is?,” Maher says of Yiannopoulos. “He’s the little impish, bratty kid brother. And the liberals are his older teenager sisters who are having a sleepover and he puts a spider in their sleeping bag so he can watch them scream.”