Maher knocks media's defense of looting, rioting: 'I'm not down' with that
Portland demonstrators gather near police precinct, set fires
Portland surpasses 100 days of protests; Mike Tobin reports.
"Real Time" host Bill Maher blasted the media Friday night, claiming they offer various justifications for looting and rioting amid the civil unrest that has taken place in cities across the country.
During the show's panel segment, Maher began with a warning about the "craziness out there," pointing to the controversial book "In Defense of Looting" that was given a spotlight by NPR and "a lot of articles in the press" echoing a similar sentiment.
Maher explained that in "binary times," the "fringe" will always be associated with one party or the other, later insisting that this time around, Democrat Joe Biden will have to wear looting "on his back into the election" because it is being done by the left.
His panelists disagreed, arguing that Biden had been handling the issue of the unrest very well and that the issue has actually been hurting President Trump.
But none of that passed Maher's smell test.
"What about the property destruction issue?" Maher asked. He went on to assert that some defenders of looting justified the destruction because it wasn't assault or murder, and that property was "replaceble."
"I'm not down with this 'property's on the table' as something that we can just take because things are not right. To me, that's not the way to address our problems — by throwing a brick through the window."
"But where is this massive destruction of property happening right now?" author Jessica Yellin, a former CNN correspondent, asked in an attempt to downplay the violence.
"Where is this massive destruction of property happening right now?"
"Do you watch the news?" Maher replied.
"If you look at Portland, it's two square blocks!" Yellin doubled down, calling other examoples, like Kenosha, Wis., "moments of protest which we have throughout our history."
"Do you watch the news?"
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Maher pushed back, telling Yellin, "There is a view in the media — please, I know you've seen it — Don't look at me like I'm making this up, that this is somehow a justifiable approach."
"Well isn't it part of protest?" Yellin asked.
"So you're part of this. You believe this," Maher told her. "I saw this guy at a Papa John's franchise who was yelling through his broken glass, 'You're going to elect Trump and I'm just trying to feed my family!' I don't think his view is just like 'C'est la vie! It's just property!'"
Another panelist, Vanity Fair columnist Peter Hamby, acknowledged that "campus thinking" has "drifted into the "national press" and "Democratic politics."
Maher later defended Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who was harassed by protesters outside the White House despite his efforts to pass his police reform bill named after Breonna Taylor, as well as diners who have been accosted by demonstrators.
"You're allowed to eat dinner!" Maher exclaimed. "I can eat dinner and still be down with the cause!"
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Yellin later referred to the subject of looting as a "sideshow" in the election, a remark that appeared to strike a nerve with the "Real Time" host.
"It may be a sideshow unless it's your business that got wiped out," Maher shot back. "I mean, if it's your business, then it's not a sideshow."
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