Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones found an unlikely ally in liberal comedian Bill Maher on Friday.
Maher defended Jones on his show, HBO's "Real Time," after Jones and his company, InfoWars, were essentially purged from social media. The bans came after CNN pressed social media companies to investigate whether Jones' content violated their terms of service.
What did Maher say?
During a panel discussion, Maher defended Jones' right to speak freely without recourse. Maher explained the protection of free speech is a fundamental value of liberalism.
"If you’re a liberal, you’re supposed to be for free speech. That’s free speech for the speech you hate. That’s what free speech means," Maher said.
"We’re losing the thread of the concepts that are important to this country," he added. "I don’t like Alex Jones, but Alex Jones gets to speak. Everybody gets to speak."
Conservative Charlie Sykes pushed back, telling Maher that Facebook, YouTube, Apple, and other major companies that dropped Jones don't have an "obligation" to provide Jones a platform to host what many believe is hateful and offensive content.
However, that wasn't Maher's point. He agreed that private enterprise is not obligated to host whatever its users want, but said there is a better way to handle Jones.
"I'm just saying, as a concept, that the way to get rid of hateful things is to — the sunlight best disinfect it," Maher explained.