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Last Night on Late Night

Bill Maher interviews head of Breitbart on Russia, Julius Caesar play

Maher sat down with editor in chief Alex Marlow

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For better or worse, Bill Maher drew eyes when he featured right-leaning personalities like Tomi Lahren and Milo Yiannopoulos on HBO’s Real Time. On Friday night, he added another polarizing figure to his guest roster: Alex Marlow, the editor in chief of Breitbart News.

Maher, surprisingly, found some common ground with Marlow, especially over the controversial production of Julius Caesar, which gave a Trump-like twist to the Shakespearian tragedy. But the late-night host confronted the head of the right-wing website about his refusal to cover reports of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

Marlow admitted Breitbart does not cover the subject “by design,” explaining, “We don’t cover it because every other outlet in the world, particularly the left-of-center outlets, which are the vast, vast, vast number of news outlets, are obsessed with this story, covering it around the clock for nine months.”

He further claimed “we don’t have any evidence of obstruction of justice,” but when pressed further about reports from government agencies asserting Russian collusion, Marlow said, “Russia was absolutely trying to interfere, according to those agencies. I have no reason to doubt them. I have no extra insight beyond that, but is that something that is news to anyone that is out there?”

The host and guest continued to go back and forth without coming to common ground. “I want to cover the president’s agenda more than I want to cover the Russian collusion that does not exist,” Marlow said.

Maher changed the subject to free speech and the Julius Caesar production from The Public Theater in New York City. He agreed that “if Obama was Julius Caesar and he got stabbed, I think the liberals would be angry about that,” and further stated, “I don’t think they should have Trump playing Julius Caesar and getting stabbed, I don’t — and I hate Trump.”

(For the record, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis put on a Julius Caesar production in 2012 with the lead character made in the likeness of Barack Obama, and there appeared to be little backlash.)

“Oh absolutely,” Marlow replied. “It would be bedlam in the media. The same thing with the Kathy Griffin thing, with holding up President Trump’s head with blood on it, which was not funny.” He called the comedian’s controversial photo holding a bloody decapitated head in the likeness of Trump to be “bizarre performance art.”

Maher and Marlow also agreed on how corporations are getting involved with media and, as Maher put it, “if you do something they don’t like, they pull their funding.”

Marlow called Breitbart a victim of this practice, saying, “a lot of people are boycotting Breitbart” based on “anonymous people, cowardly people” who are “putting out all this misinformation about who we are and who we stand for.” The editor further called his staff “the most wonderful, diverse, influential journalists on the planet, and no one is interested in their real story because they’re so quick to want to call people ‘racist.'”

Yiannopoulos — who, among other inflammatory comments — came under fire for making incendiary and false claims about the transgender community and was later forced to resign from his Breitbart post after comments he made regarding pedophilia. Reporter Katie McHugh said she was fired from the site over her anti-Muslim tweets.

Watch Maher’s full interview with Marlow in the clip above.

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