Bill Maher Defends Chris Matthews and Slams Coronavirus ‘Overreactions’

Bill Maher made some controversial comments defending the abruptly retired “Hardball” host Chris Matthews and slamming overreactions to the coronavirus spread.

“A friend of mine lost his job this week — Chris Matthews. Wanted to give him a shoutout because I will miss him and a lot of other people will, too,” the “Real Time” host said Friday. “MSNBC used to run this thing, ‘This is who we are.’ Well, I didn’t like who you were this week and I don’t think a lot of people who work there like this either. I think this cancel culture is a cancer on progressivism.”

Matthews announced his retirement on air Monday and apologized for making inappropriate comments to women on his show. A week earlier, a female journalist wrote an op-ed revealing that Matthews said things that made her uncomfortable in a 2016 encounter on his show and cited numerous other examples of women with similar experiences.

Maher acknowledged that Matthews said “kind of creepy” things to women over the years, but defended him by saying, “Guys are married for a million years” and they “want to flirt for two seconds.”

He then turned his focus to Laura Bassett, the journalist behind the op-ed, saying, “Thank you, Rosa Parks.” He added, “Is she a compliment victim or a compliment survivor?”

Segueing to the spread of the coronavirus, Maher said, “Speaking of overreactions, I’m over this virus. I haven’t had it. What I’m saying is, I’m sick. I don’t mean that, either. I’m sick of the virus — but not from the virus. At this point, I just f—ing want to get it so we don’t have to talk about it or worry about touching my face anymore.”

This comes after film festival South by Southwest was canceled over fears of the coronavirus spreading and other events, like Miami’s Ultra Music Festival and the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award Gala, have been postponed.

“The way they talk about it on the news…They make it sound like if you’re within six feet of anyone who has it, just get your affairs in order,” Maher said.

As of Saturday, more than 3,000 people have died from the pandemic worldwide, including 17 people in the United States, according to the Washington Post. Maher listed off statistics of “the regular flu” and claimed that 517 people have died from it “this season” in California and 61,000 died from it last year.

“If that was on TV every day, I’d assume we’d be freaking out,” he said. “People die. That’s what happens in life…Y2K was going to end the world and the fires in Kuwait were going to end the world and the BP oil spill was going to end the world, and every other f—ing flu we’ve ever had. And it didn’t.”

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