Every once in a while, think blue moons and such, a late night host breaks rank with the Left.
“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” is the most likely host to do so. Noah is aggressively partisan, but occasionally he’ll step outside his ideological bubble to shoot straight on an issue.
Bill Maher does it almost every week.
Maher entered the political arena as a self-described Libertarian, but since then he’s clung to Democratic causes. Said causes once included Freedom of Speech, a position that no longer matters to too many progressives.
Maher never let that go, though, nor has he fallen victim to some of the Left’s new passions. Think Woke 101, Cancel Culture and the “speech is violence” mantra.
It’s why he hammers his own side week after week on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” Each new broadside is more blistering than the last. The most recent “Real Time” episode found the host scorching progressives for not accepting reality.
“If you think America is more racist now than ever, more sexist than before women could vote and more homophobic than when blow jobs were a felony, you have Progressophobia and you should adjust your mask because its covering your eyes.”
He cited Steven Pinker’s term, Progressophobia, to double down on his point.
“It’s like situational blindness, only what you can’t see is that your dorm in 2021 is better than the South before the Civil War.”
The previous week, Maher compared higher education to a grift a la “Scientology.”
These aren’t aberrations. The host is a nonstop attack machine on beloved progressive principles. And, yes, Maher excoriated President Donald Trump for four-plus years and regularly attacks conservatives. He still targets folks on the Left with the same vigor he applies to right-leaning targets.
If anything, he’s growing bolder in his attacks on his own party. Which makes one wonder why his fellow progressives aren’t actively trying to cancel him.
They canceled J.K. Rowling, an openly liberal author, for daring to disagree with the trans community on select issues. The Left roasted Tina Fey so thoroughly she now sounds like a Social Justice Warrior in every third interview.
Why hasn’t Maher been taken down yet? The answer is likely complex, and it’s not for lack of material.
Maher previously got in trouble for using the N-word on his HBO platform. He’s been highly critical of Islam, a position that nearly derailed a university speaking gig years before Cancel Culture engulfed Hollywood. He’s been brutally mean to those with Down syndrome, in connection to his Sarah Palin broadsides.
Yet the Left may grit its collective teeth over Maher but there’s no overt attempt to cancel him.
It’s party the Adam Carolla Syndrome. Maher rarely apologizes for his jokes (he made an exception for the aforementioned n-word usage). He writes ’em, tells ’em and moves on to the next monologue. He also has a history of saying politically incorrect things — it’s literally the name of his old ABC show.
Now, it’s officially part of his brand despite Hollywood’s liberal nature. There’s something else, though.
The Left may, on some primitive level, understand that Maher is making a point with his broadsides. You don’t have to be a conservative to see where he’s going in bashing woke insanities. They may realize he’s trying to save his own party from itself.
For all those reasons Maher remains uncancelled. If he keeps up his current pace, though, the status quo may not hold.