Hours after several media publications were barred from an informal briefing with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, comedian Bill Maher discussed the state of the press on his HBO program.
Maher has had his own contentious relationship with the media and was criticized by many outlets for giving a platform to former Breitbart News senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos. On Friday’s edition of “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Maher pulled out a recent Fox News survey that showed that more people trusted President Donald Trump, who regularly rails against the media for printing negative stories about him, than the media itself.
“Can you imagine how this must make a reporter feel? To be losing a truthfulness contest to Donald Trump?” Maher joked. “It’s like losing a rap battle to Mitt Romney.”
Maher implored the press to go hard against Trump and to lose some of the lighter stories that receive coverage.
“You have to win your respect back so Trump can’t say, ‘The people don’t believe you; you’re a joke,’” Maher said.
Maher also criticized members of the press for giving Trump such a platform during the 2016 presidential election.
“You can be mad at me for 'giving a platform' to Milo, but Donald Trump is the apotheosis of the alt-right, and the media gave him the biggest platform ever,” Maher said. “They covered every rally like we put a game show on the moon. They made him look like he was president before he was.”
Though he was critical of some coverage, Maher took time to praise several journalists, including Scott Pelley, Chuck Todd and George Stephanopoulos.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.