Sunday, October 5, 2014
As a political activist, Affleck makes a fine actor
Ben Affleck dug his own grave, and Bill Maher buried him - in prime time, no less.
The weekend dust-up between the pair on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher was a continuation of Maher's supposedly Islamophobic diatribe the previous Friday, when he challenged liberals to stop giving Muslim fundamentalists a free pass on religion-based extremism. When the subject came up again on Maher's show this past week, a visibly agitated Affleck accused Maher and fellow guest Sam Harris of racism.
In Affleck's world, pointing out that beheading infidels and apostates, stoning homosexuals and adulteresses to death and severely curtailing women's rights are all widely practiced in the Muslim world makes you the bigot. His refusal to acknowledge or even entertain the distinctions and nuances presented by Maher and Harris made Affleck guilty of painting with the same broad brush that he claimed they were using. He also damaged his own credibility when he confused Ted Bundy with Jeffrey Dahmer in a clumsy analogy about one isolated serial killer versus entire nations that practice radical Islam.
Ben Affleck is naturally entitled to his opinion, but he might want be better prepared when he steps into the ring with someone as informed, intelligent and fast on his feet as Bill Maher. It might have been Affleck's worst performance in front of a camera, and that's saying something.