Leftist Journo Scared to Debate Milo
Scahill's canceled appearance on 'Real Time' smacks of bad manners and aggrieved entitlement
Journalist Jeremy Scahill has pulled out of an appearance on Friday night’s episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher” to protest the fact that conservative commentator and Breitbart senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos will also appear on the show.
In his self-important announcement, Scahill backed out from doing the HBO show after learning the Breitbart editor was also booked as a panelist to appear alongside him. Scahill, a regular guest on the show, tweeted that Milo Yiannopoulos “has ample venues to spew his hateful diatribes. There is no value in debating him … [His] appearance could also be used to incite violence against immigrants, transgender people, and others at a time when the Trump administration is already seeking to formalize a war against some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”
Many on the Left keep trying to peg this individual as something he isn’t.
He added, “I cannot participate in an event that will give a platform to such a person.”
For starters, let’s recall that Milo Yiannopoulos has repeatedly condemned white supremacy — most recently on Jan. 26, during his appearance at the University of Colorado. “White pride, white nationalism, white supremacy isn’t the way to go,” he said. “The way to go is reminding them and yourselves that you should be aspiring to values and to ideas.”
He has repeatedly excoriated identity politics of all varieties — racial, gender, sexuality. Yet many on the Left keep trying to peg this individual as something he isn’t — and multiple news outlets have been forced to retract statements calling him a racist or equivalent. NBC News, USA Today, CNN, CBS, the Los Angeles Times, and Glamour magazine all had to walk back their hateful and libelous comments about him in the past.
So here comes Scahill, who prefers to run for the hills while simultaneously claiming moral high ground. A look at Scahill’s own rants reveals he is projecting his own hatred onto this journalist — to the surprise of probably nobody.
Scahill's most egregious claims are his anti-Israel views. In a July 2013 Huffington Post Live piece, Scahill talked about Israeli war crimes and "disproportionate responses" toward Gaza without ever mentioning the hundreds of unprovoked rocket attacks launched from that territory to kill innocent Israelis. In a 2015 MSNBC appearance, he also falsely accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of killing "scores of Palestinian journalists."
With respect to Gaza, Scahill's rant included the following: "This is a massive massacre and one epic series of war crime after war crime, child after child being killed. Israeli propagandists are largely given carte blanche to say what they want on American television with very little pushback."
Scahill has also demonized Vice President Mike Pence. On an episode of "Democracy Now!" Scahill referred to the vice president as wanting to take "us back to medieval times when it comes to the rights of women, the rights of immigrants, the rights of the poor, the humanhood of all of these sort of vulnerable, targeted groups … what I call a Christian supremacist world," said Scahill.
He added, "And Pence is in good company in the emerging Cabinet in terms of viewing Islam as an ideology that needs to be exterminated, along with its followers." Talk about fear-mongering.
Milo Yiannopoulos likely disagrees with many of the extreme positions that Scahill holds. Yet you don't see him running for the hills. Instead, he is willing to go on a very left-leaning show, "Real Time," in order to open a dialogue with the other side. People like Scahill are not interested in dialogue, however — they seem downright scared of it.
Even "Real Time" host Bill Maher doesn't agree with Scahill's decision. After Scahill condemned some of Maher's anti-Islam views in his statement posted to Twitter, Maher responded in a statement: "My comments on Islam have never veered into vitriol. Liberals will continue to lose elections as long as they follow the example of Mr. Scahill, whose views veer into fantasy and away from bedrock liberal principles like equality of women, respect for minorities, separation of church and state, and free speech. If Mr. Yiannopoulos is indeed the monster Scahill claims — and he might be — nothing could serve the liberal cause better than having him exposed on Friday night."
This is what many leftists do, of course. When confronted with those they disagree with, they refuse to engage. They obfuscate, distort, change the subject, or run away. Extreme leftists don't want actual debate. If Scahill did, then he'd gleefully pick up the gauntlet and take on Milo Yiannopoulos on Friday night. This is his big chance, after all. Instead, Scahill tries to de-legitimize the man by taking his marbles — and going home.