Bill Maher sucks. He's aggressively ignorant, hypocritical, and (most offensively) incredibly unfunny - in short, he's one of the worst media pundits around these days. In an ideal world, we would never have to hear his name or see his face again for any reason - here's just a small sample of why Bill Maher sucks so, so bad:
1. Getting mad at The Onion for stealing his joke...that they made six months before he did.
I see The Onion stole my placenta joke that I did in Feb 2010 HBO special-- Bill Maher (@billmaher) April 28, 2011
One of the most sacrosanct rules in comedy is that you do not steal other comedians' jokes. Comedians will circle the wagons when they believe someone's original work as been plagiarized, and it has ended the careers of more comedians than you may realize (although notably Carlos Mencia, who suffered a devastating outing by Joe Rogan). So when Bill Maher accuses The Onion - one of the internet's foremost authorities on satire - of stealing his joke, it's no small matter.
...except they didn't steal his joke. They made the same joke he did, except 6 months earlier. Giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, it was parallel thinking...but a case could definitely be made that Bill Maher stole The Onion's joke. Regardless, he is unquestionably in the wrong here - but what did Maher do? He never apologized for the accusation or rescinded it (the tweet is somehow STILL UP), but just tried to quietly move on and hope no one would call him out on his bullshit. Well, Bill Maher, we're calling you out.
2. The time he made a shallow ratings grab and took all the credit for an unrelated thing that happened after
Much was made about Bill Maher welcoming onetime alt-right figurehead Milo Yiannopoulos onto his show, Real Time with Bill Maher, as a guest - particularly about Maher giving Yiannopoulos a platform for his bigoted, inflammatory speech and normalizing his views. In short, everyone thought Maher was crudely profiting off of Yiannopoulos' reputation as a ratings grab. To the shock of no one, Maher lobbed a few softball questions at Yiannopoulos, but didn't really hold his feet to the fire about any of his views. And things looked even worse in retrospect when (very shortly after airing), Yiannopoulos came under fire for an old video clip surfacing where he appears to endorse pedophilia in some cases. The controversy blew up enough that Yiannopolous lost his job at Breitbart, his book deal, and his speaker slot at CPAC - and what did Maher do?
Took credit for Milo's downfall.
Yep, Maher - who did nothing but expose Milo to a large audience and not actively challenge him about anything - somehow felt he was responsible for Milo's sudden falling out with the alt-right movement, saying in an interview with the New York Times:
I said, specifically, sunlight is the best disinfectant. 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.
...except for the obvious fact that NONE OF THIS HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH HIS APPEARANCE ON YOUR SHITTY SHOW, BILL. It had EVERYTHING to do with an unrelated resurfacing of the video where he says he's cool with pedophilia in certain cases. That's it.
3. Oh, right, and Bill Maher is totally chill with pedophila, as long as it's a young boy and a hottie lady teacher
if bill maher thinks sunlight is the best disinfectant then here's him saying the same shit as milo, that it's ok for adults to fuck kids pic.twitter.com/tqPAzbGY3J-- warrior cop (@wyatt_privilege) February 22, 2017
Yep, in the least surprising turn possible, Bill Maher thinks it's totally fine that a 35 year old teacher manipulated her way into a relationship with a 14 year old student (and had - at the time of airing - gotten pregnant with her 2nd child from the...child). In other words, he's endorsing LITERALLY THE SAME SHIT MILO DID, EXCEPT HETEROSEXUAL. That's it - there's no real substantive difference between Bill Maher's position and Milo's. The main difference is the consequences - Milo lost everything, while Bill Maher continues to be the smirking dipshit with a crummy show that he's always been.
Far be it from me to defend Milo Yiannopoulos - but the fact that he suffered a multitude of consequences for his (gross) beliefs while Maher suffered none for HIS tells you a lot about the way the world works.
4. He's on the board of PETA
You would assume PETA is a pretty decent organization - after all, they just stand up for animal rights....right? Well, not exactly - if you've kept up with the news surrounding the group over the past few years, you're probably already aware of some of the controversies they've become embroiled in, including:
- Stealing a pet chihuahua from the front porch of a family's home, then returning two days later to tell them they had killed the dog. Also, they brought a fruit basket.
- Murdering a bunch of dogs in the back of a van, wrapping their corpses in garbage bags, and dumping them behind a Piggly Wiggly.
- Just generally killing upwards of 95% of all animals they take in and finding new homes for a small handful.
Making matters worse is PETA's habit of picking publicity-filled fights with entertainment outlets that feel particularly devoid of having an actual point - like getting mad at Ubisoft for including whaling segments in Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag (to which Ubisoft responded that they did not condone whaling, nor being a pirate - that was just what the game was) or their years-long campaign against Pokemon.
The point being - while at their outset they did a lot to bring awareness to animal rights - PETA, as of late, has been hypocritical, dumb, and desperately seeking media attention, while not really fulfilling their primary goal of "making sure animals don't get horribly mistreated and killed." In other words, of course Bill Maher sits on their board.
5. He's a vaccine skeptic
Here's the thing - Bill Maher is not a scientist, nor is he a doctor. He holds no expertise in any field related to medicine or biology, yet is constantly acting as though he somehow has some authority when it comes to topics of disease and medicine (even telling actual doctors that he knows better than them when it comes to flu shots). While the specifics remain murky and vague about his feelings about modern medicine/actual science (he will often say something and then backtrack soon after), Maher has let his doubts about the effectiveness and wisdom of vaccines in general on multiple occasions:
If u get a swine flu shot ur an idiot.-- Bill Maher (@billmaher) September 26, 2009
The New York Times wrote up a detailed explanation of the dumb things Maher had been saying about the swine flu vaccine and why it was dangerous, including:
- Questioned whether flu shots made sense, since you were letting someone stick "a disease into your arm" (wrongly implying flu shots contained weakened live versions of the disease - they generally do not)
- Told people not to get the H1N1 vaccine, because it wasn't a "serious flu" and people who were healthy were not in danger of dying from it (even though many people had died of the disease, including many with no other underlying health issues). He also warned pregnant women should not get the vaccine, even though they were even more susceptible to it.
And Maher responded in his usual way - acting condescending and doubling down on the dumb things he said:
This was nothing new for Maher, who's been espousing anti-vaxx rhetoric for years - at least going back as far as 2005 during a Larry King interview:
MAHER: I'm not into western medicine. That to me is a complete scare tactic. It just shows you, you can...
KING: You mean you don't get a -- you don't get a flu shot?
MAHER: A flu shot is the worst thing you can do.
MAHER: Because it's got -- it's got mercury.
KING: It prevents flu.
MAHER: It doesn't prevent. First of all, that's...
KING: I haven't had the flu in 25 years since I've been taking a flu shot.
MAHER: Well, I hate to tell you, Larry, but if you have a flu shot for more than five years in a row, there's ten times the likelihood that you'll get Alzheimer's disease. I would stop getting your...
KING: What did you say?
MAHER: That went better in rehearsal but it was still good. Absolutely, no the defense against disease is to have a strong immune system. A flu shot just compromises your immune system.
Maher is literally just repeating nothing but constantly debunked myths about vaccines - and these anti-vaxx talking points have grave consequences: measles is making a comeback, as is the whooping cough. People - primarily children - die every year from preventable diseases that could have been dealt with if more people were getting vaccinated. Instead, morons like Maher spread misinformation based on pseudoscience and straight-up lies that enough people believe to cause lasting damage.
Oh, also he's racist and sexist as hell, but that was probably obvious.