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Bill Maher Books Yiannopoulos, and Another Guest Flees

Intercept co-founder Jeremy Scahill says Maher giving 'racist campaign' a platform
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 16, 2017 7:44 AM CST

(Newser) – Bill Maher's decision to book conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos on his HBO show drew quick condemnation from another guest. Jeremy Scahill, a journalist who's appeared frequently on Real Time with Bill Maher, tweeted that he won't appear as a panelist Friday because of Yiannopoulos and what he represents. "He has ample venues to spew his hateful diatribes. There is no value in 'debating' him," Scahill tweeted. Appearing on Maher's show will give Yiannopoulos a major platform for "his racist, anti-immigrant campaign," wrote Scahill, co-founding editor of the Intercept website. Scahill said he respects Maher's show as an arena for debate and discussion but called Yiannopoulos, a writer for Breitbart News, "many bridges too far." HBO confirmed that Scahill had canceled.

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"If Mr. Yiannopoulos is indeed the monster Scahill claims—and he might be—nothing could serve the liberal cause better than having him exposed on Friday night," Maher said in a statement released late Wednesday. In an email Wednesday to the AP, Yiannopoulos said that "public shaming and grandstanding don't work any more. ... Thanks for proving my point for me, Jeremy Scahill! You can look forward to pulling out of a lot more shows in the next few decades." The Daily Beast reports retired intelligence officer Malcolm Nance will fill the empty seat. Also appearing: Larry Wilmore and former Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston and, for a mid-show interview, Leah Remini. (Read more Milo Yiannopoulos stories.)

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