The full video is here. If you don’t have time to watch, here’s the summary from RealClearPolitics:
Aided by author Sam Harris, Maher contended radical Islamists are essentially a “mafia” that will kill you if you say or draw the wrong thing. Affleck argued that condemning a whole religion based on jihadists that make up a small fraction of Islam isn’t fair.
Affleck’s point about jihadists being a ‘small fraction’ sounds reasonable…until you watch the video and see that Bill Maher and Sam Harris rip to shreds the ‘small fraction’ part.
Affleck then devolves from overconfident Hollywood blowhard to exhausted homeless guy with DTs about to barf up his shoes. (Found out Affleck was the next Batman and felt the same way. But I’m cool with it now, mostly because Jen Garner says he’s gotten totally hunkalicious.)
Affleck’s assault on Bill Maher’s guest, Sam Harris, was aggressive and apparently inappropriate. For context, while RealClearPolitics categorizes Harris as ‘author Sam Harris,’ he is actually ‘evangelizing aetheist Sam Harris.’ So Harris’s critique isn’t coming from the garment-rending netherworld of rightwing theocrats.
Here are several observations I haven’t seen elsewhere:
1. “It’s Not a Real Thing When We Do It.” – Interrupting Harris’s first point, Affleck lashes out: “It’s gross! It’s racist! It’s ickies!” (Yes, I added that third one.) Then he insisted you can’t criticize Muslims because Iraq.
Bill Maher helpfully reminds Ben Affleck that Sam Harris can critique Islam because Islamophobia is “not a real thing when we do it.” (Sort of like the “I can make black jokes because I have a black friend” defense.) The ensuing paradox might be what gave Affleck that ‘I ate my shoe again and it tastes like rotten bananas’ face.
2. Our Founding Fathers Crushed Britain Because They Were Demigods – It’s hard being a famous movie star making the exhausting rounds on talk shows to promote your new movie while you’re also working on your next movie.
Reality gets fuzzy.
Is Matt Damon really smarter than me? Is that asteroid still hurtling towards earth? Can I tell Lois that Clark Kent is Superman?
Around 2:01, Ben Affleck almost reveals the American forefathers’ secret identity. “We were endowed by our cr–forefathers with inalienable rights.” (Shout out to GW, BF, and TJ for hooking us up!)
3. If You Oppose the Way Many Muslims Degrade Women and Minorities, You’re Racist. – You can thank NY Times’ Nicholas Kristof for this gem.
You know how everything tastes like chicken? For some liberals, everything looks like racism.
According to Kristof, criticizing Islam contains “a tinge of how white racists talk about African-Americans and define blacks.”
But don’t worry, Harris doesn’t have full blown highly-contagious-highly-lethal-worldwide-epidemic-Ebola-outbreak racism. He’s partially inoculated by his aetheism. Also, Bill Maher said he’s cool.
Honorable mentions: Kristof: “Pahkistan”, Affleck: “Muslims just want sandwiches”, Steele: “Even if that is true, statistically or otherwise.”
To the audience’s credit, they mostly seemed to side with Maher and Harris when the two condemned Islam’s illiberal ideology as the “mother lode of bad ideas.” So at least they seem to understand that crucifying children, stoning rape victims, and beheading hostages is bad.
Hey, baby steps.