But yes, I totally agree that when you actually hear his arguments, that shit is word salad. "[Insert political figure here] is [buzzword] by people who [buzzword EXPLOSION]." But is Bill Maher, with his constant sarcasm and a show that's primarily based around entertainment with a light sprinkling of insight, really the best guy to tackle that exposure?
Aaron: OK, but as we learned in this last election from things like Blue Feed, Red Feed, being well-known on one corner of social media doesn't necessarily translate to being well-known to the other. His views are popular with his following, where the echo chamber of the internet lets them go into resonance and become truly insane. But that doesn't mean they'll be swallowed by people who haven't gradually upped their dose of crazy.
I have family members that would probably agree with some things he says -- like that feminism and progressivism have gotten out of control -- and he can't be allowed to use those things to gradually make the rest of his positions more mainstream. Bringing him on a prime-time debate show gives him less wiggle room. He doesn't get to play the reasonable moderate to an audience of reasonable moderates, because Maher will call him on his shit. Holy shit. I just realized I'm rooting for a traditional media dinosaur to triumph over a slime monster grown in the depths of the internet.
Daniel: I know! It's like the end of Jurassic World, where the T-Rex and the raptors team up to take on Freakasaur.
However, I don't know if what he says even matters as much as the reaction to what he says. No matter what, his supporters are going to call it a victory. This is a guy who was literally kicked off Twitter because he harassed a black woman who HAD THE GALL to be popular. And his supporters saw nothing wrong with it. Or if they did, there were plenty more supporters left to pick up the slack. If he gets ripped apart, it's by "old-ass liberal cuck Maher who doesn't understand," and if he dropkicks Maher right in the debate balls, it's the triumph of the underdog.
Aaron: You're totally right that Maher isn't going to convert any of his core supporters. But the fungus doesn't spread by merely hanging on to the hosts it's already claimed: it needs fresh bodies. We've got to keep in mind the lessons from the election. The more we live our lives online, the more we live in separate, ad-targeted universes. Things like TV shows are increasingly rare opportunities for groups of people with wildly different views to come together and say, "Wow, we all hate this for completely different reasons. I guess it does take all kinds."
There are a lot of people who aren't yet at one ideological extreme or the other. They aren't Milo-supporting hateturds, but they also aren't the kind of people with seven different NPR tote bags. The point of inviting Milo on your show is to lay out the intellectual battlefield as it stands today. On one side are the spore people and on the other side are virtue-signaling cucks. (For those who don't know, "virtue-signaling" is an insult the alt-right uses that means "being nice to people.")
Daniel: But there is no intellectual battlefield with trolls. There is one person laying out facts and reasonable arguments, and one person who is there to fart all over the place. And when you have that kind of arena, what extraordinary insight is Maher going to provide, aside from "Look at this idiot"?