Adam Carolla spent some time discussing and reacting to the very heated Bill Maher-Ben Affleck radical Islam argument on the Monday broadcast of his popular podcast. Carolla took on the issue of radical Islam and being called a racist for pointing out problems within subgroups of populations.
Carolla praised Maher for being an ideologically honest person even though he disagrees with him politically.
"I have tremendous respect for Bill Maher," Carolla said. "What I like about Bill Maher is that I don't agree with him politically on many topics, but, (a) he's good. I feel like we are now living in an era where if you disagree with someone they're fucking horrible or you're just going to go that guy or girl is such an unfunny -- whichever side you're on -- because you disagree politically you then have to go, 'Oh, they're so bad.'"
Co-hosts Alison Rosen and "Bald Bryan" Bishop also critiqued Affleck's "body language" and "physical" response to the argument that took place on Friday's edition of Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO.
"It's intellectually dishonest," Rosen said of Affleck's "it's racist" defense of Islam. "I feel like he's just trying to communicate to everyone, 'Hey, I'm not bigoted, I'm not racist, and I'm going to murder my lips with my fingers.'"
"It was that grandiose, emotional response that I think is what makes him a good director, but not a good debater," Bishop said of Affleck.
Carolla said Affleck's emotional reaction to facts and statistics from Maher and author Sam Harris is due to him not being challenged by any of his friends and staff for 20 years.
"We talk about the guys who haven't been told to fuck off in two decades," Carolla said. "Ben Affleck hangs out in a group where when he pontificates they're all ears. And it's not like then Matt Damon then pushes back. This is a very rare circumstance because he's in a group. Think about the group that he runs with. And think about when he's starring in a film or directing a film and he's holding court during lunch. You think there's some grip that's piping up and shouting him down or laying some stats on him? He's used to just rolling along and the idea that he has to sit there and hear something from a guy who may be more educated on a topic than he and he just has to sort there and eat it, you could see physically he didn't know what to do with himself."
"Ann Coulter goes on that show, people call her a cunt 200 times a day and she sits there and she reboots and she reloads and then she comes back again. And Huffington does the same thing. And everyone does it. Bill Maher does the same thing. Ben Affleck was sitting there like 'I haven't had anyone disagree with me for this long in 20 years." I'm surprised he didn't stand up and yell, "Get off the set, you're fired. You're gone. Go ahead and complain to SAG, you're gone,''" Carolla observed.
"He physically didn't know what to do. And, by the way, when he was being hit with some statistics, and the guy was being respectful and conversational, he just went like, 'Oh God, alright, okay. I can't get up and leave. I can't throw my coffee in your face. I have to weather this storm,'" he added.
Transcript of Monday's Adam Carolla Show:
ADAM CAROLLA: I was watching some Real Time with Bill Maher, and the thing that I love about Bill Maher-- I have tremendous respect for Bill Maher. What I like about Bill Maher is that I don't agree with him politically on many topics, but, (a) he's good. I feel like we are now living in an era where if you disagree with someone they're fucking horrible or you're just going to go that guy or girl is such an unfunny -- whichever side you're on -- because you disagree politically you then have to go, "Oh, they're so bad."
"BALD BRYAN" BISHOP: Yes, and. It's impossible to have a nuanced opinion: "Like, I feel one way about this, I feel one way about the other." I feel like you have to be this is horrible or that's great. You have to be completely on the side of the author.
CAROLLA: Right. There's plenty of comedians, musicians, what have you -- artists, filmmakers, what have you -- that you disagree with. Roman Polanski, maybe Woody Allen. For maybe me, politically, it's Ben Affleck. But I'll still go, "Oh, he makes a nice film." I don't go, "Oh, well, that guy can't make a movie because he disagrees with me about the border, or fracking, or whatever it is." You know what I'm saying? When did we start that? It's weird and it feels disingenuous. Like it feels like it's pretty hard to argue against "The Town." It was a great movie. And I'm into fracking and Ben Affleck is not into fracking, and now I'm watching the town and I got to walk away and say that movie sucked because he wants to extract oil in a different modality than I do? It's weird, right? When did this begin? I feel like this is fairly new.
BISHOP: One example I feel that is Michael Moore, who is extremely polarizing politically, however his movies, whether you agree with them or not, incites some people and really motivates other, they're really well made. They're interesting. They're well made movies whether I agree with them or not.
CAROLLA: Every article that calls me douchebag starts out with "unfunny comedian." Like, why not just say here's the douchebag thing I said this week? But why do you have to establish -- and, by the way, as I always say, when you do that you've already showed your hand. Whatever we read after this has a bias to it because you've made this proclamation. You know? It's just the same way if I was reviewing Ben Affleck's latest movie and I went super lefty head in the clouds, Hollywood director Ben Affleck. And whatever came afterward would land on deaf ears because --
ALISON ROSEN: Elite Hollywood libtard's latest offering.
CAROLLA: Thank you. Thank you...
The thing I love about Bill Maher, (a) he's super smart, (b) he's very funny. I agree with him on many topics and we disagree on others, but that's the other thing too. Why does everything have to be completely across the board? You know what I mean? We disagree on some things politically, but we're atheists, we think pot should be decriminalized everywhere. Why can't we go ahead with the 5 things we do agree upon and leave the two things we disagree on, why does that have to overwhelm the maybe 8 things we agree on?
BISHOP: Have you experienced this with Bill Maher?
CAROLLA: No, because Bill Maher is a genuine guy who goes, "I disagree with you on this, that, and the other, but we do agree on this, that, and the other, and we're both comedians expressing our opinions." And he and I have always gotten along well. I don't have a problem with him.
I also like the idea that he doesn't just tow the company line. Like he is a Democrat and here are the things that the Democrats agree on and you must agree with everything on the menu and that's what he does. And when it comes to extreme Muslims, he does not. And I think he gets a lot of shit from his own friends, colleague and party because he basically calls it like he sees it.
Look, there is trouble going on in the world and it's coming 9 times out of 10 from this group and we've got to start focusing on it and start calling it what it is.
He had a guy, I think it's Sam Harris, but this guy wrote a book on spirituality and he just sort of came in and talked about it and he started to talk about the Muslim religion and Bill Maher was doing what Bill Maher always does which is not all Muslims are terrorists, but there is a group that is larger than you would like within that religion that we need to focus on. And of course everyone's thing is, "Oh, you just called all Muslims terrorists."
When did this become -- like if you say this group is struggling, there is a group within this group that is struggling at a higher rate with this problem.
BISHOP: Than the general population.
CAROLLA: When did that become you saying everyone in that group is that?
BISHOP: I wonder if they would say that off the air? Like if they're doing it for TV for sort of a confrontation.
CAROLLA: This is Sam Harris and Ben Affleck getting into it and so does Bill...
BEN AFFLECK: So, hold on, are you the person who understands the officially codified doctrine of Islam?
SAM HARRIS: I'm actually well educated on this topic.
AFFLECK: I'm asking you. So if you saying that Islamophobia is not a real thing? That if you're critical of something--
BILL MAHER: It's not a real thing when we do it.
Which really isn't!
HARRIS: I'm not saying there aren't people who aren't bigoted against Muslims as people. And that's a problem.
AFFLECK: That's big of you.
HARRIS: But, the --
MAHER: Why are you so hostile?
AFFLECK: It's gross, it's racist.
MAHER: It's not! But it's so not.
AFFLECK: It's like saying, "You shifty Jew."
MAHER: You're not listening to what we are saying.
AFFLECK: You guys are saying that if you want to be liberals, believe in liberal principles.
AFFLECK: Like freedom of speech.
AFFLECK: Like we are endowed by our forefathers--
HARRIS: Ben, we have to be able to criticize bad ideas.
AFFLECK: Of course we do.
HARRIS: Okay, but Islam is the motherlode of bad ideas.
BISHOP: He (Affleck) looks taken aback.
MAHER: These are just the facts.
SAM HARRIS: Let me unpack it.
NICHOLAS KRISTOF, NYT COLUMNIST: ... it's the basic liberal principle of tolerance.
MAHER: But not for intolerance.
KRISTOF: Of course not, but the picture you are painting is to some extent true, but is hugely incomplete. It is certainly true that plenty of fanatics and jihadists are Muslim, but the people who are standing up to them. Malala [Yousafzai], Mohammad Ali Dadkhah in Iran, imprisoned for nine years for speaking up for Christians. A friend I had in Pakistan that was shot this year.
CAROLLA: I like when the guy is making his point-- "You guys don't understand, this is a peaceful religion and many people are standing up to it. The one guy is in jail for nine years for talking, for helping Christians. One guy was just shot for speaking out against these people. You don't get it." I like when the guy makes his point within -- he's making my point within making his point.
Yeah, you just named two guys. One of them is dead. The other guy was imprisoned falsely for nine years for doing what? Speaking out against throwing acid in the face of school girls who are reading. Whoa, hey, there are plenty of voices in the Muslim religion that are standing up. This guy, he got shot, the other guys, he's in the hole. I think you're saying a little something.
What if you were talking about Judaism and went, "Oh, yeah, this guy, he spoke out, he's dead. Anyway."
BISHOP: These aren't the best examples.
CAROLLA: These are the best he has.
BISHOP: That's what I mean.
CAROLLA: Alright, here we go:
BEN AFFLECK: How about more than a billion people who aren't fanatical, who don't punch women, who just want to go to school, have some sandwiches, pray 5 times a day, and don't do any of the things you're saying of all Muslims. It's stereotyping.
BISHOP: That's a bit of a reach.
AFFLECK: Some of them do bad things and you're painting the whole religion with that broad brush...
SAM HARRIS: To give you one point of contact: 78% of British Muslims think that the Danish cartoonist should have been prosecuted. 78%. So, I'm being conservative when I roll this back to 20%. But outside of that circle you have conservative Muslims who can honestly look at ISIS and say that does not represent us, we're horrified by that but they hold views about human rights, and about women, and about homosexuals that are deeply troubling. So, these are not Islamists, they are not jihadists, but they often keep women and homosexuals immiserated in these cultures and we have to empower the true reformers in the Muslim world to change it. And lying about doctrine and this behavior is not going to do that...
CAROLLA: I love Ben Affleck's reaction. Let the guy who knows all about the religion get it all out of his system.
KRISTOF: It's not between Islam and the rest, it's rather between the fundamentalists and the moderates in each faith.
HARRIS: But we're misled to think the fundamentalists are the fringe. We have jihadists, Islamics, and conservatives. There's hundreds of millions of people in that group.
MICHAEL STEELE: You're saying that the strongest voices are coming from those who are jihadists and extremists. And that represents a bigger piece of the pie than we already think is true.
CAROLLA: Ben is upset.
BISHOP: He's chewing on his fingers.
HARRIS: There's no question about that.
STEELE: Then having said that, even if that's true statistically or otherwise, the key thing to recognize that I don't think is part of the argument but I think should be is that there are voices that are often time raised in opposition...
BISHOP: Affleck rubbing his brow. He looks like he is at the World Series of Poker finals table.
STEELE:... But they don't get covered, they don't get exposed. And they are not given the same...
CAROLLA: He looks like George C. Scott in "Hardcore."
BILL MAHER: One reason they don't get exposed is because they're afraid to speak out because it's the only religion that acts like the mafia that will fucking kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book. There
CAROLLA: Thank you, Bill.
There's one more clip where Ben does the thing where it's like saying all black people. And by the way, it's 2014 everyone with a black president. Do we have to keep going back to that?
"That's like saying no black people can..."
It's this weird argument where you go, look, there's a group within this group that is killing a lot of people and they go, "You just said all Muslims are horrible people and need to be execute."
It's like no I did not, that's not what I said. You just said-- you just painted this thing with a huge brush. No. What is -- it's a weird argument. It's just this weird circular argument. First off --
ROSEN: It's intellectually dishonest.
CAROLLA: I know, but it never ends! Alright, Ben, what is your argument then? What shall we do? Because according to you, Bill Maher just has to shut the fuck up. He just should shut up and never say anything. And then, what?
ROSEN: I feel like he's just trying to communicate to everyone, "Hey, I'm not bigoted, I'm not racist, and I'm going to murder my lips with my fingers."
CAROLLA: But all Bill Maher ever says is, "Hey, um, progressive folks on the left, here's a group that's flying in the face of everything you stand for and their treatment of homosexuals and women and everything else. So, let's see if we can focus on that a little bit." And everyone just goes, "that's racist."
It's racist? Turning a blind eye to what they're doing to women and homosexuals and anyone or just reporters or people who don't believe with them or whatever, that's insanity. But also, what's Bill Maher doing? Just making this up?
Like, I used to do Politically Incorrect every 10 minutes. This wasn't an issue. This was pre-9/11. Well, Bill Maher didn't bring it up. It's not like he got into it before they started getting into it. He's just kind of reporting on it. But, anyway, Ben looked like he was going to eat--
BISHOP: He was fuming. He was frustrated.
ROSEN: Like zipping his lips with his fingers.
CAROLLA: But what was his ultimate point?...
ROSEN: I feel like his argument was Muslims aren't bad, shut up.
BISHOP: He's speaking melodrama, like broad strokes, and they're talking specifics.
ROSEN: Not to further the conversation, just to shut the guy up. That's how it struck me.
CAROLLA: Yes, and the other thing, we've talked about this many times recently. Do you ever -- we talk about the guys who haven't been told to fuck off in two decades. Ben Affleck hangs out in a group where when he pontificates they're all ears. And it's not like then Matt Damon then pushes back. This is a very rare circumstance because he's in a group. Think about the group that he runs with. And think about when he's starring in a film or directing a film and he's holding court during lunch. You think there's some grip that's piping up and shouting him down or laying some stats on him? He's used to just rolling along and the idea that he has to sit there and hear something from a guy who may be more educated on a topic than he and he just has to sort there and eat it, you could see physically he didn't know what to do with himself.
Ann Coulter goes on that show, people call her a cunt 200 times a day and she sits there and she reboots and she reloads and then she comes back again. And Huffington does the same thing. And everyone does it. Bill Maher does the same thing. Ben Affleck was sitting there like "I haven't had anyone disagree with me for this long in 20 years." I'm surprised he didn't stand up and yell, "Get off the set, you're fired. You're gone. Go ahead and complain to SAG, you're gone."
He physically didn't know what to do. And, by the way, when he was being hit with some statistics, and the guy was being respectful and conversational, he just went like, "Oh God, alright, okay. I can't get up and leave. I can't throw my coffee in your face. I have to weather this storm." But his body language was like --
ROSEN: I don't think he realized he was on camera.
CAROLLA: It was insane.
HARRIS: You don't understand my argument.
AFFLECK: Your argument is, "You know, black people, they shoot each other" --
MAHER: It's not! No, it's not. It's based on facts. I can show you a Pew poll of Egyptians. They are not outliers in the Muslims world. It's like 90% of them believe death is the appropriate response to leaving the religion. If 90% of Brazilians thought that death was the appropriate response to leaving Catholicism you would think it was a bigger deal.
AFFLECK: I would think it's a big deal no matter what.
MAHER: Okay, well, that's the facts.
CAROLLA: "Eh, you know, it's like saying blacks."
BISHOP: It was that grandiose, emotional response that I think is what makes him a good director, but not a good debater.
CAROLLA: Right, but you do realize what not having anyone argue with you for a very long period of time sort of does to you. (A), you don't formulate very good arguments, and (b), your body language just sort of turns into ugh.