Comedian and progressive talk show host Bill Maher defended Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham on Friday, arguing with guests on his HBO show that a boycott led by Parkland, Fla., school shooting survivor David Hogg was un-American.
Maher sparred with "Real Time" panel guests including author Max Boot over whether Hogg's boycott of Ingraham, who Maher admitted is a "deliberately terrible person," should be celebrated.
Hogg called for his Twitter followers to contact Ingraham's top advertisers following her criticism of him last month. Ingraham's Fox News show has since been dropped by multiple companies.
“I want to defend Laura Ingraham,” Maher told the audience. "I know it sounds ridiculous, but it has to do with the Parkland kids and guns and free speech."
"Again, he is in the arena, and then he calls for a boycott of her sponsors," Maher continued, referring to Hogg, a student survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in February.
“Really? Is that American?” Maher asked the crowd, several of whom audibly shouted "yes!" in response.
"He complains about bullying? That’s bullying!" the host continued. "I have been the victim of a boycott ... I've lost a job as a result. It is wrong. You shouldn’t do this by team, you should do it by principle."
"Boycotting is part of free speech," shot back former New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer (D). "Saying, 'I don't want to work with that person.' Saying, 'I will not buy a product from that person.' That's speech."
"Really? All of the things Laura Ingraham has said over the years, and this is the straw that broke the camel's back?" Maher shot back.
It creates a “very chilling atmosphere," Maher added.
The right-leaning Ingraham apologized on social media amid the backlash over her criticism of Hogg's GPA. Hogg has refused her apology.
"Any student should be proud of a 4.2 GPA —incl. @DavidHogg111. On reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland," Ingraham tweeted last month.