Certain segments of the internet were delighted with the fall of Milo Yiannopoulos, the bigot idiots think are smart because he has a British accent, after he lost his book deal and resigned from his position at Breitbart just a day after old comments he made saying that pedophilia was no big deal resurfaced. Even that joy though, has to be tempered by the fact that despite not having anything at all to do with Yiannopoulos's downfall, smugness given human form Bill Maher is out here telling the world "You're welcome." He literally said that.

Despite the fact that Maher didn't challenge Yiannopoulos on any of his statements, accepted his flattery without a moment's hesitation and would surely have booked him again if given the chance, Maher told the Times that he sure as hell was going to take some credit for Yiannopoulos's getting disinvited from CPAC and becoming a persona non grata to his publisher.

[B]y the end of the weekend, by dinnertime Monday, he’s dropped as a speaker at CPAC. Then he’s dropped by Breitbart, and his book deal falls through. As I say, sunlight is the best disinfectant. You’re welcome.

Keep in mind that the actual sequence of events were that Yiannopoulos had his segment on Real Time, and then a conservative blog republished an old tape of him suggesting gay men having sex with teenage boys was okay. You'll notice that Bill Maher had nothing to do with the blog. Nor did he have anything to do with conservatives turning on Yiannopolous, since other racists in vests were questioning his commitment to

Sparkle Motion

racism already.

What Bill Maher did, according to Bill Maher, was bring on an Ann Coulter wannabe, an "impish, bratty kid brother" who's putting spiders in sleeping bags when his older sister has a sleepover, to have a chat. It's not up to Maher to hold Yiannopoulos accountable for anything, which is fortunate since, again, he didn't. Maher's Coulter comparison is also interesting, given that Coulter is also one of those "provocateurs" whose provocative work includes calling people "faggots" and "snarling Muslims" and generally luring us to debate the humanity of non-white people.

In Maher's telling of it, things that Yiannopoulos says about Muslims being incompatible with American life and transgender individuals having mental disorders are just speech, and can't have any real world consequences beyond maybe inspiring "a borderline person to do something violent." To Maher, and people who see Yiannopoulos as nothing more than a free speech warrior, all of this exists in the kind of philosophical vacuum that doesn't reflect the real world at all. In the real world, there are consequences to making people like Milo Yiannopoulos and Pamela Geller acceptable in polite society. Witness the emboldenment of hate groups in America since the election, witness a Kansas town whose mosque was targeted by a white supremacist militia, witness the Trump administration talking about repealing the rule allowing transgender students to use the bathroom corresponding with their chosen gender identity.

The government doesn't have to take away Yiannopoulos's right to say the things he does, but there's also no Constitutional right to enjoying a huge platform like HBO so you can dehumanize some of the most vulnerable members of society for laughs. Who cares if Yiannopolous is gone and won't be remembered next week? The poisonous attitude he promoted will persist in the goddamn White House, and Tomi Lahren will continue to get invited on to the Daily Show to make the ludicrous, ahistorical and racist declaration that Black Lives Matter is as bad the Klu Klux Klan.

By having Yiannopolous on his show for a chat where he talked with him like he's an equal, Bill Maher failed at doing anything more than accidentally showing just how broken our society's value system is. You can turn trans people, Muslims, non-whites and women into punchlines and targets, get a book deal and be accepted into polite society as an important voice in conservative thought. But once you turn to talk of justifying pedophilia that's a step too far. Or, maybe it's not?