On Friday's presentation of HBO's Real Time host Bill Maher said while he doesn't agree with Laura Ingraham, a frequent guest on his old ABC show Politically Correct, he doesn't believe she should be a victim of a boycott because she made fun of Parkland shooting survivor-turned-activist David Hogg for being rejected from colleges he wished to attend. Maher noted the jab came after, naturally, Hogg shared the news on social media.
Maher said Hogg and his cohorts have entered the public arena and therefore they are fair game. Maher, however, did note he wishes them success in their push for gun control but said people now have the "right" to argue back if they are going to make themselves the champions of the cause, even if they are in high school.
"Maybe you shouldn't stay that about a 17-year-old, but again, he is in the arena. And then he calls for a boycott of her sponsors. Now, really, is that American?" Maher asked.
"Effectively, it is the modern way of cutting off free speech," Maher said.
The HBO host said while Ingraham is a "deliberately terrible person" who has a history of saying "horrible things," she shouldn't be a victim of a boycott. Maher faced heat from his panel, notably disgraced former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, who said it is free speech for the Parkland teens to call for a boycott. Maher, who has been a victim of boycotts himself, called it a "chilling atmosphere."
Spitzer said the boycott is about the "right to speak back." Maher argued speaking back is different than a boycott.
"You're saying 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," Maher argued.
"It can't be the way that you are your own human shield," he accepted. "I understand that they are in high school. So if they say something people do have the right to answer back."
Maher also brought up that Hogg "whined" about what Ingraham did via a tweet is bullying and noted the irony of his cause.
"He complains about bullying?" an incredulous Maher asked. "That's bullying! I have been the victim of a boycott of sponsors. I lost a job once. It is wrong. You shouldn't do this by team, you should do it by principle."