- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 4, 2017

Outspoken liberal comedian Bill Maher says the left needs to rethink its hostility to freedom of speech in the wake of the riot at the University of California, Berkeley this week.

“Believe me, I’ve been a longtime critic of colleges shutting people up,” Mr. Maher said Friday on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” “That is a problem on the left that we need to deal with, very much so. Free speech should be something we own.”

Students at the prestigious public university assaulted people in the streets, lit fires and looted stores on Wednesday night in order to prevent conservative pundit Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking on campus.

Mr. Maher called the Breitbart editor a “provocateur,” but said students had no right to resort to violence and vandalism because they disagree with his views.

He speaks from experience.

In 2014, Berkeley students voted to disinvite Mr. Maher from delivering the school’s fall commencement address because of his criticism of Islam.

But the Berkeley administration refused to rescind the invitation, and Mr. Maher devoted much of his speech to defending the First Amendment.

“If you call yourself a liberal, you have to fight oppression from wherever it comes,” he said at the time. “That’s what makes you a liberal.”

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