Watch: Bill Maher Launches Surprise Defense of Alex Jones - 'Everybody Gets To Speak'
Remember when the far left was a bastion of free speech? What in the world happened?
I remember when liberals would proudly proclaim, “I disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
Now you’re more likely to hear that from a staunch conservative than a far-left liberal.
And for what it’s worth, HBO pundit and television host Bill Maher is most certainly a far-left liberal.
But at least he seems to have his principles straight, which is more than you can say for many of his peers. Groups like antifa are most definitely not for free speech.
Case in point, despite the ideological chasm between Maher and Infowars host Alex Jones, the former came to the defense of the embattled Jones on the matter of free speech.
(Warning: There is some offensive language in the video.)
“If you’re a liberal, you’re supposed to be for free speech,” Maher said Friday night on his show, “Real Time with Bill Maher.”
He elaborated that regulating speech that you dislike is no free speech at all.
“That’s free speech for the speech you hate. That’s what free speech means. We’re losing the thread of the concepts that are important to this country,” he said.
Now, I disagree with Maher far more often than not, but he is 100 percent correct here. Free speech, whether you’re on the left or right, must include speech with which you disagree.
“If you care about the real American s— or you don’t. And if you do, it goes for every side. I don’t like Alex Jones, but Alex Jones gets to speak. Everybody gets to speak,” Maher said.
Maher did, however, agree that it was well within the rights of YouTube and Facebook to ban Jones.
Again, to be fair, YouTube and Facebook are businesses that can run their operations as they see fit. The First Amendment applies to government influence on speech, after all.
But that doesn’t mean Twitter and Facebook are doing the right thing. At all.
“I’m just saying, as a concept, we have to understand that the way to get rid of hateful things is to, that sunlight is the best disinfectant,” Maher said.
Even though Jones typically peddles completely unsubstantiated nonsense, true free speech dictates that he be allowed to do so. His critics and opponents then have the task of using their own free speech, not censorship, to rebuke him.
On this issue, I couldn’t agree more with Maher. He may be wrong on 90 percent of other societal issues, but on the merits of free speech, he’s dead right. I, too, am no fan of Alex Jones. But he has the right to speak. To say anything otherwise would be antithetical to free speech.
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