Real Time host Bill Maher ripped Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker on Friday for a recent piece in which she advised readers to “give up” in the face of diminishing privacy and learn to edit themselves.
“Always editing? I’d rather be a Mormon,” Maher said. “And that’s what we’d all be — Mitt Romney. I would listen to 100 horrific Cliven Bundy rants if that was the price of living in a world where I could also hear interesting and funny people talk without a filter.”
Parker wrote that the furor surrounding Bundy and Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist comments was due to “social media mobs” bent on retribution for their views, even if they were contemptible.
“The Orwellian taint to this advice is not meant to be harsh but is offered in recognition of the world in which we live. We’re not so much a global village as a small town of gossips,” she stated in the column. “On a higher note, such potential exposure forces us to more carefully select our words and edit our thoughts. This isn’t only a matter of survival but is essential to civilization. Speaking one’s mind isn’t really all it’s cracked up to be, as any well-balanced person reading the comments section quickly concludes.”
It was the latter thought that struck Maher as “chilling,” considering that Parker actually makes her living by speak her mind.
“It’s like the mailman telling you letters are stupid,” Maher said.
Even if Sterling’s views on race and relationships were reprehensible, Maher argued on Friday, his right to express them in private — and everyone else’s — is worth protecting. He added that, in his experience, speaking his mind had never disappointed him.
“So many things have let me down in life: the iPod Nano, the Spider-Man musical, Al Gore for president, M. Night Shyamalan movies, the entire ’80s, Lance Armstrong, my scout leader,” Maher explained. “But speaking my mind? Priceless. Does anyone really want there to be no place where we can let our hair down and not worry if the bad angel in our head occasionally grabs the mic?”
Watch Maher’s commentary, as aired on Friday, below.