Despite histrionics from the left over Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, including woke staffers at the social media company, true proponents of free speech have emphasized the inherent necessity of the First Amendment including HBO’s Bill Maher who decried the overly sensitive culture that led to the demand for “a new sheriff.”
During Friday’s “Real Time” panel, Maher was joined by MSNBC’s Ali Velshi and former Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) where, among other topics, they discussed the billionaire’s recent acquisition. His progressive guests claimed to be in favor of the First Amendment while defending focused censorship on the platform particularly as it pertained to anonymous users, but Maher took a different tact.
“The argument to me is, has Twitter failed in setting themself up in the past as the judge of what can go out there? And I would say yes, you have. You failed when you threw the New York Post off of Twitter for talking about Hunter Biden’s emails. And it turned out that was a real story. You failed when you said we couldn’t read about whether COVID had come from a lab. You failed!” Maher said.
(Warning: Adult Language)
(Video: Real Time with Bill Maher)
Bringing up marks against The Babylon Bee, which Maher claimed to have never heard of and described as the “Christian version of The Onion,” the comedian defended their right to satire as he called out the Twitter censors for lacking self-awareness.
“‘Sensitive content,’ Twitter said. In the video, they were making fun of Twitter for being too sensitive. This is so ‘Through the Looking Glass!'” he said.
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Maher described the video where a Twitter employee seeks counseling after experiencing trauma from Musk’s purchase of the company. “If he buys our free speech platform, people will be able to have free speech on our platform,” she says in the skit.
“This is well within what satire has always been,” Maher continued. “And the fact that they flagged this for being insensitive shows their complete lack of self-awareness about what their own problem is. If that’s where the line is, you have failed Twitter. You do need a new sheriff.”
He later went on to say, “Twitter could be a place where you might see an opinion that you didn’t formerly consider, and we need that desperately in America,” before calling out former President Barack Obama for suggesting Generation Z has the capability to sort out these problems as he pushes efforts to combat “disinformation.”
“I’d much rather have Elon Musk making the rules than a 23-year-old who can’t take the joke on Babylon Beeswax, or whatever the f*ck that is,” Maher expressed. “I mean, this is a generation that doesn’t know what the word ‘violence’ means. They think ‘violence’ means ‘anything I don’t like.’ Their standard of free speech is ‘I’m uncomfortable.’ That’s not where the standard is, right?”
“Civics doesn’t exist anymore,” he expressed, decrying the state of education in America. “They don’t know … ‘Free speech? What the f*ck does that mean? It hurt my feelings.’ That’s what matters to them. That’s what I worry about. I mean, I hear it all the time.”
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