Yes, Ben, it is a problem…
Bill Maher and his guests – Sam Harris, Ben Affleck, Michael Steele and Nicholas Kristof – discuss ISIS and radical Islam during the panel portion of “Real Time.”
The following clip shows the now-infamous debate between Bill Maher and Ben Affleck over Islamic terror and political correctness.
And the following transcript outlines the debate between the two sides.
It’s fair to say–Bill Maher 1, Ben Affleck 0:
And so, yes, we have seen in recent years from liberalism, or at least from some liberals (a crucial distinction, in fact), an unwillingness to criticize the reactionary aspects or expressions of other cultures, expressions that these liberals would have no hesitation whatsover in criticizing if they were exhibited by, say, Southern white Christians.
The most obvious example that comes to mind is that of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Muslim-African-Dutch-and-finally-American feminist intellectual. She of course is famous, now mostly for some of her more incendiary comments, but recall how she first became so: She and her collaborator, Theo van Gogh, had made a film critical of the oppression of women in the Muslim world. He was murdered, and she received death threats. She fled to the United States.
Now, here was a key moment: When she came to America in 2006, where was Hirsi Ali going to plant her flag? As she tells the story in her book Nomad, she met with liberal and conservative outfits. She says the liberal ones were “tentative” in their support for her and her ideas, but the conservative American Enterprise Institute embraced her totally, even though on certain issues (like abortion rights) she’s no conservative.
Hirsi Ali, of course, has subsequently gone on to say, quite controversially, that not just radical Islam but “Islam, period” must be “defeated.” But here’s the question: Before she started talking like that, why was she unable to find a home within American liberalism? It should be, and should have been, a core part of the mission of liberalism to support secular humanists and small-d democrats from all over the world, but from the Muslim world in particular. Most of these people are themselves liberals by Western standards, and they are desperate for the United States to do what it can to oppose the theocracies and autocracies under which they’re forced to live.
Adam Carolla notes that Affleck was unprepared for such a challenge.
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.