HBO's Bill Maher's interview with Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex Marlow was expected to be full of fireworks and disagreement, but instead the two bonded over mutual condemnation of recent political rhetoric.
President Trump-defender Marlow ultimately earned a very friendly reception from Maher's liberal-leaning audience, as the two discussed recent incidents in the news including a controversial play that features President Trump as Julius Caesar being stabbed to death.
“If Obama was Julius Caesar and he got stabbed, I think liberals would be angry about that,” Maher remarked.
“Oh, absolutely. It would be bedlam in the media. The same thing with the Kathy Griffin thing, with holding up President Trump’s head with blood on it, which was not funny. It was bizarre performance art,” Marlow replied.
“I disagree with that too,” said Maher in agreement. “I don’t think they should have Trump playing Julius Caesar and getting stabbed, and I hate Trump. So we’re agreeing that there are some places where free speech does pause."
"It's bad strategy certainly to put that out there because they all look like hysterical lunatics," Marlow added.
Time Warner, which owns HBO, is a corporate sponsor of the production "Julius Caesar" currently playing in New York's Central Park. The play was interrupted by protesters shouting "stop leftist violence" on Friday night.
Maher and Marlow also agreed that corporations under threat of organized boycotts should not have so much influence on free speech. Marlow pointed to his own publication in Breitbart and various anonymous campaigns of "misinformation" against the conservative publication that has led to many companies pulling ads from the site.
“What’s happened is that corporations are now deciding what’s free and fair speech, who can make a living, what opinions can make a living saying,” Marlow, 31, said. “Now you’re seeing the right fight fire with fire and want boycotts of when the left takes it too far in their Trump hatred.”
“It’s a very dangerous path we’re on," he added. "People on the left and the right who are free speech advocates need to come together and say that corporations are not going to define the First Amendment and free speech in this country."
Marlow was applauded by Maher's audience for the statement.
The host also addressed the shooting at a Republican congressional baseball practice this week that wounded four, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) who remains in critical condition but is improving.
"Do you think Breitbart with the politicization it is involved in, has any responsibility for the kind of violence that we see in our society, including what happened this week?" Maher asked.
"Absolutely not. As you know, the guy was a big Sanders supporter. I actually happen not to blame Bernie SandersBernie SandersIn Washington, the road almost never taken Don't let partisan politics impede Texas' economic recovery The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble MORE for it," Marlow replied. The shooter reportedly volunteered for Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) presidential campaign.
The appearance marked the first for Marlow, who also hosts "Breitbart News Saturday" on SiriusXM.