Update With New Video In some odd conversational and attitudinal twists, Bill Maher sided with Megyn Kelly in the same hour he criticized New York’s Public Theater production that features a Trump-like Julius Caesar.
And that was all before one guest demanded an apology from another for allegedly inspiring a campaign of death threats.
In his top-of-show interview with Breitbart News editor Alex Marlow, Maher said that freedom of speech sometimes should take a “pause,” and that “I don’t think they should have Trump playing Julius Caesar getting stabbed, and I hate Trump.”
Maher and Marlow were discussing “corporate” attacks on freedom of speech in the wake of Delta Airlines and Bank of America pulling funding from the Shakespeare in the Park Julius Caesar production.
“If Obama was playing Julius Caesar and he got stabbed, I think liberals would be angry about that,” Maher said. (Maher should have done some research here: In fact, there certainly have been productions of Julius Caesar that went the Obama route, and whatever anger or discomfort liberals did or didn’t feel did not interfere with the shows or their funding. Contemporaneous stand-ins for Caesar are nearly as old as the 417-year-old play itself.)
Maher was more politically incorrect with regard to Kelly, though, whose upcoming interview with Infowars’ conspiracy-monger Alex Jones has taken lots of heat. Maher defended Kelly’s interview, saying “We have to learn how to deal with these people.”
“The Huffington Post wouldn’t even cover Donald Trump, and look how well that turned out,” Maher said.
Political scientist Ian Bremmer disagreed, at one point making a comparison between giving Jones a national network platform to doing the same for alt-right mascot Pepe the Frog.
But temperatures really soared during the web-only Overtime segment (watch it above) when guest Malcolm Nance, the Retired U.S. Navy officer turned bestselling counter-terrorism expert, demanded a public apology from the Breitbart editor over what Nance said was a Breitbart article that falsely accused him of favoring an attack on Trump Tower.
“I got 31 death threats and that came from your website,” an angry Nance said. “You going to apologize to me? I’m sorry to say I spent decades hunting terrorists, so that’s fake as hell. Your followers threatened my family, my children, my wife…You can apologize to me now.”
A defensive Marlow responded, “Are you really suggesting that Breitbart doesn’t get death threats?” He then offered to apologize if Nance would show him the article in question.
And then Marlow called Nance “a hysterical person.”
“That’s not hysterical,” said fellow guest and voice of calm reason Eddie Izzard. “That’s just him being angry at 31 death threats.”
From there the conversation went to the appropriateness of using Hitler comparisons in arguments. Maher kinda-sorta defended it, Marlow accused Nance of calling a Trump Administration official “Goebbels,” and Nance denied the charge.
“I called him Baby Goebbels.”
Watch the entire Overtime segment above, and here is Maher’s less heated discussion with Marlow about, among other things, Julius Caesar: