Bill Maher and Breitbart editor Alex Marlow agree on free speech and Islam

Maher and the Breitbart editor agree there would have been outrage if Obama was Caesar and got stabbed. But he was

Taylor Link
June 17, 2017 1:19PM (UTC)

Two weeks after using a racial slur on his show, Bill Maher invited Alex Marlow, the editor in chief of Breitbart News, onto "Real Time" Friday not to highlight their difference of opinions, but to find common ground.

The two agreed on just about everything. Maher, who seemed extra protective of his conservative guest Friday, immediately went to the "both sides" argument on the topic of free speech, asserting that liberals would have been just as outraged if former President Barack Obama was stabbed in a rendition of Julius Caesar, as Trump was last week in New York City.


“If Obama was Julius Caesar and he got stabbed, I think liberals would be angry about that,” Maher said.

“Oh, absolutely," Marlow replied. "It would be bedlam in the media. The same thing with the Kathy Griffin thing, with holding up President Trump’s head with blood on it, which was not funny. It was bizarre performance art.”

“I disagree with that too,” Maher agreed with his guest. “I don’t think they should have Trump playing Julius Caesar and getting stabbed, and I hate Trump…So we’re agreeing that there are some places where free speech does pause.”

Except their consensus was based on a falsehood. Obama was depicted as Caesar at the famous Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis in 2012. Obama's death in the play did not cause any uproar on the left. In fact, Delta Airlines, the company that dropped its sponsorship of Shakespeare in the Park, was also a sponsor of Julius Caesar at the Guthrie, but the airline did not pull its brand from the Minneapolis show the in 2012.

Marlow claimed that the boycotting of advertisers started with his website.

"This started in the modern era of Breitbart where a lot of people were boycotting Breitbart and what they're doing is there is a lot of anonymous people online — cowardly people, we do not know who is funding them, we don't know who they are — who are putting out all of this misinformation about who we are and what we stand for," he told Maher.


Marlow lamented how advertisers have stayed away from Breitbart since there has been campaigns to boycott the website.

"What's happened is that corporations are now deciding what's free and fair," Marlow said. "Who can make a living, what opinion you can make a living saying. And now you're seeing the right fight fire with fire and want boycotts when the left takes it too far with their Trump hatred."


"People on the left and the right who are free speech advocates need to come together right now and say that the corporations are not going to define the first amendment and free speech in this country," Marlow added

"Yeah," Maher replied, with zero pushback.

Later in the interview, Maher transitioned to one of his favorite topics: religion. The political satirist noted that on this subject, he and the Breitbart editor were on the same page.


"There is certain things about terrorism that you and I agree on. I think that criticizing a religion, whatever religion it is, is not bigotry in itself," Maher said.

Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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Alex Marlow Bill Maher Breitbart Comedy Late-night Real Time With Bill Maher Right-wing Media

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