Larry Wilmore Lowers Himself To Troll’s Level 1 comment


Larry Wilmore on Real Time With Bill Maher

Before I discuss Larry Wilmore’s appearance last night on Real Time with Bill Maher, I should warn you in case you’re watching at work. There’s quite a bit of profanity in the Overtime clip below. There will also be profanity in this post as I extract quotes. If you’re easily offended, you won’t hurt my feelings if you stop reading now. Perhaps I’ll see you in another post.

Let me begin by stating a firm belief. If at any time during a debate or discussion you resort to swearing at the other party, you lose. I don’t care how intelligent you are or how well you debate, you lose. If you can’t articulate your point in a clear, rational manner, you lose. If all you have left is a personal attack against your opponent, you lose. When Larry Wilmore told Milo Yiannopoulos “You can go fuck yourself”, he lost. He also won. Confused? Let’s deconstruct.

In the court of public opinion, the populace will only remember that Wilmore had no intellectual recourse but to attack Yiannopoulos. Don’t believe me? Read the comments section on YouTube or any clickbait site. What they miss, though, is the fact that Yiannopoulos insulted both Wilmore and Malcolm Nance first when he told Maher, “…you always invite such awful people on your show” and doubled down with “…you need to start inviting higher IQ guests.” Yiannopoulos admits he’s a troll and he proved it in that moment. Still, when Wilmore said “You can go fuck yourself”, he lowered himself to Yiannopoulos’ level. Then Wilmore doubled down with another “Go fuck yourself” while defending Leslie Jones. Welcome to Troll Town, Larry Wilmore.

So how did he also win? He stood up to Yiannopoulos’ digs and defended not only Jones and Nance, but also gays and transgender people. There were points where it seemed Wilmore was more in tune with those communities than Yiannopoulos. He also said something that I wish more talking panel guests would say. “Well, let me finish my thought, please.” That simple, respectful phrase shocked Maher and Yiannopoulos and elicited cheers from the audience. Of course, that only works when others honor the request, which Yiannopoulos did. See? He’s not a total monster.

I don’t watch Real Time or Overtime very often, because Maher can be obnoxious at times. Overall, though, I was very pleased with the show. It had plenty of laughs and insightful commentary. My biggest takeaway from the show is that I want an invite when Jack Kingston and the (R)’s take that group out for a beer. Your thoughts?

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One thought on “Larry Wilmore Lowers Himself To Troll’s Level

  • TōB

    I disagree with your prudish assertion that profanity signals a losing position. Sometimes the best tactic is to dismiss an idiot out of hand. Sometimes that means inviting them to perform acts of an auto-erotic nature. You don’t bring “intellectual recourse” to a shit-show, you try to stop the shit. Milo wasn’t there to have a discussion with the panel, and in “Overtime,” he didn’t do anything but stir up shit while acting like a manic pixie-child. The only *useful* tactic was to tell him to shut up. He made maybe one tangible assertion from which he was quick to deflect criticism and shut down any discussion (“This is not a controversial statistic,” I think he said, in defense of a completely batshit statement).

    I think Maher was too eager to find common ground with this guy, and he came off as deferential during their one-on-one. I agree with Maher on a lot of his “politically incorrect” stuff, but I wish he’d done a better job of defending “the Left” from Milo’s attempt at painting the entire liberal side of the aisle with the Lena Dunham brush instead of just defending her as a fellow HBO star.

    If you want a real example of losing the argument by over-playing pathos, go a week (or two? I don’t know) earlier to when Jim Jeffries confronts Piers Morgan with the same language as well as fulfilling Godwin’s Law. Sure, lots of people who already have opinions on Morgan’s status as a moron and starfucker celebrated Jeffries’s shutdown but the difference is Morgan was trying to say stuff.

    In the end, it’s moot. We’ve not likely seen the end of Milo, but after the last couple of days we’ve seen that troll retreat back into his lair — unpublished, unheard, and unemployed. I just hope he didn’t get to keep the $250k advance on that book deal that was yanked.