On Friday, late night television host Bill Maher took to the air to lambast people who are using the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine to condemn and ostracize Russian people who are not involved in any way with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war.
Fox News reported that Maher asked the panelists on his eponymous talk show “Real Time with Bill Maher,” “Do you think we’re, um, lumping the Russians too much with their government?”
He said, “I feel like in this country what we’re doing now, everything Russian is bad an every Russian is bad.”
“First of all, it’s not fair,” Maher continued, “If they weren’t white, I feel like we’d call that racism, you know. To lump everybody together – not every, I mean a lot of the Russian people don’t know what’s going on.”
One of Maher’s guests, GOP pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, suggested that the anti-Russian sentiment has spilled over and “gone way too far” after mentioning how Alexander Malofeev, the 20-year-old Russian piano prodigy, had his Canadian engagements canceled because of his Russian heritage.
Author Max Brooks, another of Maher’s guest panelists, said that the global ostracization of the Russian people is “unwise.”
He said, “What we were very smart about doing in World War II is, we knew the war was going to come to an end. And we knew that if we punished all Germans the way we did after World War I, we would back them into a corner.”
“So we crafted the narrative that ‘You Germans are led astray by Hitler,’” he continued, “because we knew, even if in some cases it wasn’t true, you know, we said to the average Nazi, you still got to run to the post office.”
Brooks, son of comedic legend Mel Brooks, said, “We have to think, we cannot back the Russians as an entire ethnic group into a corner. If we can separate Putin from the Russians in general, then we don’t only have a victory, we have a post-war plan.”
Maher, an avowed liberal-Democrat, has been considerably outspoken about the American government’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
He criticized both the Democratic and Republican parties for making the conflict into partisan mess.
Maher said, “Don’t make World War III about you. Watching the reactions to war in Ukraine these past few weeks, it’s become obvious that America in this age suffers acutely from a particular disease of the mind, which is: Everything proves what we already believed and everything goes back to thing we already hate.”