For the biggest portion of “New Rules” on Friday’s “Real Time,” Bill Maher talked at length about the recent drama at the Washington Post, which he saw as yet another example of (in his opinion) Millennial immaturity, and a problem with journalism as well.
“If someone knows of a story that more effective captures what’s wrong with today’s journalism, that the sad saga of what happened last week at the Washington Post, they need to keep it to themselves because it would be too depressing,” Maher said.
What he was talking about, in case you aren’t familiar, is a bit hard to sum up, but basically, last week Washington Post political reporter David Weigel retweeted a joke by YouTuber Cam Harless that read “Every girl is bi. You just have to figure out if it’s polar or sexual.”
Fellow political reporter Felicia Somnez publicly called Weigel out for that. (Weigel, to be clear, didn’t write the joke, he just retweeted it.) Weigel later removed the retweet and apologized, and then for reasons that remain unclear, he was suspended for a month without pay, something that a lot of people felt was disproportional. Including some other WaPo employees. Many colleagues voiced support for Sonmez on Twitter, while others publicly disagreed, including one reporter even going so far as to accuse her of bullying.
In the end, Somnez was fired for “misconduct that includes insubordination, maligning your co-workers online and violating The Post’s standards on workplace collegiality and inclusivity.” You can read more about it here.
Anyway, Maher recapped that situation. Naturally he thought the joke was at worst a throw-away gag, easily forgotten and an example of the huge amount of jokes that have been told about the differences between men and women.
He described the Washington Post as an “unlicensed day care center” that “went apes—” over this — and he argued that Somnez behaved unfairly and in bad faith. He also castigated bosses at the Washington Post, saying they “folded like a Miami condo” by suspending Weigel.
He said this continued “until the bell rang and they all went to 7th period,” at which point he began talking about this as a generational issue. “Note that I haven’t told you what age Felicia Somnez and her quarreling coworkers are. Why? ‘Cause I didn’t have to. Because you can’t imagine someone my age, acting like this in an office.”
From here you can likely fill in the blanks as far as Maher’s criticisms of Millennials goes, as he references many common complaints Boomers in particular make. He argued that the reason America’s many industries are still dominated by increasingly old Boomers is because “you kids are too f—ed up to manage it.”
Maher then compared the Washington Post of the Watergate era to what he sees as the deficiencies of the current era, referring to the current younger generations as “emotional hemophiliacs.”
In the end, Maher argued that people need to get thicker skins and a sense of humor, moving the lines they believe shouldn’t be crossed “much closer to sanity, and find it much sooner, because democracy dies in dumbess.” That of course was a reference to the Post’s motto, “Democracy dies in darkness.”
Watch the whole clip above.