Bill Maher Rips How Media Covered Student Gaza Protests: ‘They Blew the Whole Thing Way Out of Proportion’ | Video

The HBO host dings the media for focusing on narratives and trivia instead of actually informing viewers

Bill Maher hasn’t exactly been in alignment with the protests against Israel’s conduct in Gaza during the war against Hamas, but on Friday’s episode of “Real Time,” Maher took the side of the protesters, after a fashion, by laying into how the media has covered those protests and declaring “they blew the whole thing way out of proportion.”

“Because as always with media these days,” Maher said during the “New Rules” segment at the end of the episode, “they don’t cover what’s most important, just what’s most fun to watch. There are 15.2 million college students in the US and 2300 have been arrested. That’s 167th of 1%. And half of the ones in New York weren’t even students.”

However, Maher said, “we were given the false impression that these protesters are the voice of their generation, having found a cause for which they were willing to go to the tents and to the barricades. Oh please, these kids are more violent when their team wins a championship.” At this, he displayed a photo of a sports-related riot that really was vastly more violent than anything exhibited by protesters (though not by police or people who have attacked the protesters unprovoked).

Maher cited a recent Harvard youth poll that showed the issue of Gaza is one of the less important issues among young voters. “The vast majority just want to do what they went to college for in the first place: To experiment with being a lesbian.”

Maher then poked fun at a frequent slogan about the protests — “the whole world is watching” — but not because of the slogan. “Only because you assholes with the cameras won’t show anything else. Isn’t there a bear in a swimming pool you have somewhere you should be covering?”

“So I thought as a public service, since it’s so hard to find reliable news these days tonight, I would provide a few rules of thumb for trying to follow the news in our modern age, starting with if the headlines in your preferred news outlet routinely feature words like ‘treads,’ ‘destroys,’ ‘pummels,’ ‘bashes,’ your outlet is a partisan piece of s—. Either that or you’re reading a Batman comic,” Maher said.

“Ditto with ‘obliterates, ‘roasts, ‘annihilates’ and ‘owns,’” Maher said, arguing news “is supposed to be a source for information, not Nikki Glaser at the Tom Brady roast.”

Maher continued along these lines for a while, eventually arguing that “every problem in the world isn’t caused by the President. When that train derailed in East Palestine, it wasn’t because Trump deregulated the brakes and the containership didn’t hit the bridge because of Biden’s woke DEI agenda. These aren’t news stories. They’re storylines pumped into your bubble.”

“Once the news became a profit division of media companies, they stopped being in the news business and are now in the audience stroking business,” Maher continued. “The goal is no longer to inform opinions. It’s to reinforce them.”

The HBO host pointed out that “Narrative first” is the way Fox News does things, then dinged NPR because “they stop bashing the rich long enough only to beg for money. Jamaica is a paradise and Nebraska is a no go zone. NewsNation reported this year that the US was on track for nearly a 300% increase in measles cases. 300% wow. That sounds like it could be millions. It was 35 because they just want to manipulate you into clicking.”

“You have to care about the truth. The media doesn’t care about it, because they know you don’t care, but you just want to hear your side. So at some point, you need to take a step back, look around and be really honest. Are you actually as f—ed as your newsfeed tells you? You are? Are you miserable? Some people are and we should help them,” Maher said later.

“Are you destitute? Some people are, we should help them. But most people who talk this way get to work alive. Most don’t fall out of a plane with a missing door,” Maher said.

Noting that people often tell him they’re worried about Trump winning, Mager said, “Trump could absolutely blow up the world on day one of term two. He’s a dangerous, erratic, insane, awful person and I’d love to help him get not elected. But he didn’t actually start world war three last time… Sure, the sequel is usually worse, but until he does, I’m gonna live my life and not the one the media wants me to live, hating half the country and s—ting my pants 24/7. Is the sky really falling? I don’t know. Maybe. And maybe it’s just the door from a Boeing airplane.”

Watch the whole monologue above.

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