Maher appeared on Chris Cuomo’s show to talk about the need for “an honest history of racism,” only to then use right-wing terms to denounce “critical race theory,” manufacturing a nonexistent conflict between the two ideas.
To be fair, Maher has hosted people from across the political spectrum for years: from Cornel West and Ann Coulter to Andrew Yang and Barbara Lee. Maher, and his guests, may not fit in one particular ideological box, and some use that as evidence of Maher’s independence. After all, though espousing some culturally conservative and simply problematic stances, Maher has also earned favor with different factions of the left. Liberals may support him for his general anti-Trump stances; progressives may find appreciation in his endorsing Medicare for All and marijuana legalization or platforming people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
But Maher isn’t unique; millions of people have complicated and cross-ideological views. And if someone peddles baseless conspiracy or dehumanizes (or gives permission for others to dehumanize) entire groups of people, there’s no need to pay them to lead your network’s expansion. Even if CNN wanted to expand into comedy, and wanted a charismatic host who can roll with wherever punches may come, it’s not as if Maher was their only option.