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‘How Did Your Audience Wind Up Believing Such A Lot Of Crap?’: Bill Maher Rips Liberal Media For COVID ‘Panic Porn’

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Comedian and HBO host Bill Maher lashed out at media during his Friday monologue, arguing that coronavirus “panic porn” has resulted in a badly misinformed public.

Maher said that it wasn’t fair to claim that only Republicans are surrounded by a “misinformation bubble” when Democrats, according to a Gallup survey, believe so much false information when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic. (RELATED: ‘A Bulwark Against You’: Bill Maher Says Democrats Have Made Themselves Toxic To Half The Country)

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“Over the past year, the COVID pandemic has prompted the medical establishment, the media and the government to take a ‘scared straight’ approach to getting the public to comply with their recommendations,” Maher began. “Well, I’m from a different school: Give it to me straight, Doc. Because in the long run that always works better than ‘You can’t handle the truth.’”

Maher said he understands why doctors might not always be straightforward with their patients, adding, “And media? Well, I think we all know if it bleeds, it leads. The more they can get you to stay inside and watch their panic porn, the higher their ratings.”

The U.S. media, Maher said, has consistently painted a more negative picture of the pandemic than other outlets around the world. While the coverage in other countries has mixed the positive news in with the negative, he noted that American media coverage has remained nearly 90% negative.

“When all of our sources for medical information have an agenda to spin us, yeah, you wind up with a badly misinformed population, including on the left,” Maher continued. “Liberals often mock the Republican misinformation bubble, which of course is very real … but what about liberals? You know, the high-information, by-the-science people?”

Maher then noted that, according to a Gallup survey on coronavirus, Democrats have been “wildly off” on the question asking how likely it was for someone who had COVID-19 to require hospitalization. Just 10% of Democrats gave the correct answer — 1 to 5% — while 41% of Democrats believed more than 50% of those infected would need to be hospitalized.

According to that same survey, Maher said that Democrats greatly exaggerated views of how dangerous COVID-19 was to children — which he said could be the reason that the majority of schools that have remained closed are in blue states.

“So if the right-wing media bubble has to own things like climate change denial, shouldn’t liberal media have to answer for ‘How did your audience wind up believing such bunch of crap about COVID?’” Maher asked.

Maher even praised Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, adding, “And maybe that’s why he protected his most vulnerable population, the elderly, way better than did the governor of New York. Those are just facts, I know it’s irresponsible of me to say them.”

“Look, here’s what I’m saying: I don’t want politics mixed in with my medical decisions!” Maher concluded. “If you lie to people, even for a very good cause, you lose their trust.”