Laura Ingraham has been at the center of a firestorm over a tweet that mocked Parkland student David Hogg. After the pro-gun-control teen waged an ad boycott campaign against her, more than 16 companies pulled their ads from Ingraham’s shows. It is uncertain if by the time she returns from vacation on Monday if the dust will have settled.
In the meantime, she has found an unlikely ally: Bill Maher.
On Friday night, the outspoken liberal TV host came to Ingraham’s defense. While he squeezed in a few jabs at her and said she shouldn’t have tweeted what she tweeted, he acknowledged that Hogg had entered the public arena and even lashed out at his audience for supporting Hogg’s boycott efforts.
“Really? Is that American?” Maher angrily asked. “And he complains about bullying? That’s bullying! I have been the victim of a boycott… I lost a job once. It is wrong. You shouldn’t do this by team, you should do it by principle.”
Maher received pushback from his panel, which argued that boycotts are part of “free speech,” but he insisted that ad boycotts have become the “modern way of cutting off free speech.”
“It’s a very chilling atmosphere when this happens because it could happen to any of you, by the way,” Maher warned the panel. “You’re saying that the First Amendment has certain limitations. You cannot yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theater and you cannot say that David Hogg doesn’t test well.”
Despite his far-left views, Maher is still one of the most consistent free speech advocates, certainly among liberals. He defended Jeffrey Lord after he was fired from CNN over a politically incorrect tweet. He defended Kathy Griffin after she was exiled from society because of her distasteful photo shoot with President Trump’s severed head.
He defended New York Times columnist Bari Weiss for an article that made a bunch of her fellow liberals angry. He defended Ann Coulter after her speech at the University of California at Berkeley was cancelled due to Antifa threats, and even stuck his neck out for Milo Yiannopoulos after riots prevented the latter from speaking.
You may think that Maher is one of the biggest jerks on television, but whether you’re liberal or conservative, he will defend your right to free speech. It’s a shame that not enough people on the Left would do the same.