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‘Real Time’: Bill Maher Slams ‘Bait’-Taking Liberals & Huggy, Panda-Loving TV Journalists

Deadline logo Deadline 2/25/2017 Greg Evans
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Updated with New Rules video After praising recent instances of journalists like George Stephanopoulos and Chuck Todd standing their ground against White House falsehoods, Bill Maher didn’t stay nice for long.

Showing clips of network news segments on unicorns, hugs and pet goats, Maher’s New Rules segment of tonight’s Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO excoriated the softies. Scott Pelley of CBS News got two swats, first for introducing a news item with “From time to time everyone needs a hug” and then for wishing a panda farewell with “bye-bye to Bao Bao.”

“You have to win your respect back,” Maher blasted, citing a recent Fox News poll that showed more Americans trust Donald Trump over the press to deliver the truth. (Maher didn’t mention that other polls reach decidedly different conclusions).

Why the outrage this week? Maybe Maher was still smarting a bit from the criticism he got last week for having the now-really-disgraced Milo Yiannopoulos as a Real Time guest. “You can be mad at me for giving a platform to Milo,” Maher said during the end-of-show New Rules riff, “but Donald Trump is the apotheosis of the alt-right and the media gave him the biggest platform ever.”

The pedophilia-joking Yiannopoulos, who lost a spot at CPAC, a book deal and his Breitbart News job after a not-funny video surfaced last weekend (after the Real Time appearance), was discussed several times during tonight’s episode and the YouTube-only post-show Overtime segment.

“This poor guy lost more jobs than Ohio during the recession,” Maher snarked, conceding to guest and author Fran Lebowitz that Yiannopoulos “crossed the line.”

Maher then turned surlier, repeating his charge that Yiannopoulos is little more than a bratty provocateur and that “taking the bait” is “why liberals lose elections.”

Lebowitz out-witted her host, though.

“I’ve never been for not letting people speak,” she said, “especially idiots.”

Take a look at the New Rules segment above.

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