The latest episode of Bill Maher’s HBO show Real Time performed what was, in effect, an in-studio social experiment.
It sought to establish, in a controlled setting, the answer to this pressing question: How long could Maher and atheist author Sam Harris talk frankly about the illiberalism of much of the Muslim world before actor and director Ben Affleck, also a guest on the show, accused them of racism?
In fact, almost as soon as Maher and Harris began to discuss how liberals are betraying their own convictions if they don’t stand up against social backwardness in the Muslim world, Affleck grew visibly agitated. He could barely contain himself when Harris opined, “We have been sold this meme of Islamophobia, where every criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated with bigotry toward Muslims as people.”
That’s when Affleck interrupted, and soon enough, he was calling Maher and Harris out for their grossness, ugliness, and, yes, racism. How does it feel, guys?
You might be wondering, “Why should I care what the new Batman thinks?” The heated exchange was so notable because all three are men of the Left in good standing. As a walking embodiment of liberal piety, Affleck is emblematic of the movement’s see-no-evil discomfort with frank truths about the Muslim world.