Bill Maher to give keynote address at December graduation

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david_shankbone/Creative Commons

Television host and author Bill Maher will give the keynote address at UC Berkeley’s graduation ceremony Dec. 20.

The host of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” comedian Maher is known for his political commentary and satire. Maher has garnered a number of Emmy nominations and has also written political criticism books. In 2008, he wrote the film “Religulous,” which examined and lambasted the state of religion.

The graduation ceremony is scheduled to be held at 3 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. Tickets will be available in early November.

Sophie Ho is the executive news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @sophanho.

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  • UC Berkeley continues to impress and inspire us as a CLASS institution. Bill Maher is, and for a very long time has been, doing the things for which we admired the Founding Fathers. For our day, he outdoes even Thomas Paine. Long Live Bill Maher!

    • Sam_Holloway

      Considering that many of the ‘Founding Fathers’ were genocidal white supremacists, your fawning comparison is apt.

      • M2000

        And yet you won’t ridicule Islam for contributing to slavery because that’s “bigoted” and wrong. But any non-Muslim you ridicule. Okay, I see your one-sided world Leftist, Islamo-apologist view.

  • Musah Sidibe

    Best choice

  • Michael

    I love Bill Maher. Been a fan for 20 years. But the last 10 of those years, his poorly reasoned singling-out of Islam has really bothered me. It’s beneath him as an entertainer, beneath us as a culture, and it is something he must publicly atone for. Until then, he should be categorically ineligible for opportunities like this.

    • Sam_Holloway

      Michael, Maher’s anti-Islamic bigotry provides thin cover for his imperialism and Zionism. He may poke fun at Christianity and Judaism, but the focus on Islam is telling. It is an unreconstructed update of the original European settler-colonial projection: to justify our own wholesale brutality and inhumanity, we must discount the humanity of our chosen enemies. So Maher has nothing to say about Israeli atrocities in the Occupied Territories, and cares nothing for the countless thousands of Arabs and Muslims slaughtered and immiserated by our war machine and its proxies (many of whom are the very ‘barbarians’ Maher and his ilk so vociferously criticize). He is a white supremacist imperialist, and a liberal-friendly one at that. In that light, he isn’t an aberration; he is a competent advocate for our racist, exploitative, and genocidal Calvinist settler-colonialist culture.

      • Herodes

        I think your reasoning is flawed big time. Maher is an atheist so he wouldn’t be accepted as an advocate for any religion nor does he wish it. If you speak of Muslim atrocities against Israel you may include how Israel retaliated because it’s an ongoing war. Maher doesn’t necessarily deserve your criticism either because he merely states facts anyone can check.

        • Sam_Holloway

          If you had been thinking deeply enough, you might have understood my reasoning. I don’t suggest, nor do I intend to, that Maher desires to be accepted as an advocate for any religion. What I do suggest is that Maher’s bigotry and laughable double standards vis a vis Islam betray his embrace of U.S. settler-colonialist culture, a culture which has Calvinist roots regardless of whether Maher claims the faith or the faith claims him.
          Furthermore, the presentation of one set of verifiable facts doesn’t absolve one of the failure or refusal to acknowledge another set of related or contingent verifiable facts. Maher expends a good deal of rhetoric blasting the supposed savagery of Islam, but has very little to say about the wholesale savagery of the culture that I described above. As if that weren’t bad enough, Maher fails to highlight that the majority of perpetrators of the atrocities at which he scoffs are funded, trained, supplied, or have otherwise at some point been given crucial assistance from the U.S. or its allies.
          Again, none of this is new or remarkable. Maher is merely a liberal-friendly, bigoted apologist for white supremacist, Eurocentric exceptionalism. It’s a larger cultural trend epitomized by the U.S. and its self-congratulatory blindness to its own atrocious behavior.

          • Herodes

            Your characterisation of Maher as a Calvinist, settler-colonialist, white supremacist, liberal friendly, etc etcetera doesn’t make sense. What you are depicting reresembles the strawman argument. So instead of facing his arguments you attack a completely different creature of your own imagination. You probably use this formula frequently which might make you feel comfortable but actually it describes yourself more than your opponent. Nice try though

          • M2000

            What a freaking race hustler you are.

  • Alex

    I love this guy.

  • Alex

    I love this guy.

  • cramoft

    I plan to watch the speech on HBO….

  • Dan Spitzer

    A truly good choice. Maher is literate, well informed and while I and other moderates sometimes disagree with his “progressive” political perspectives, he is genuinely witty. At UCB, SJP, MSA and the loony left won’t like him, of course, as Maher rightfully sees the religion of Islam as the primary source of the current widespread worldwide attacks upon womens’ rights, gays and dissidents. Moreover, Maher correctly articulated contempt for the aggression of Hamas vs Israel…

    • Herodes

      Christians have the same view on women’s rights, gays .. as all abrahamic religions. And as ISIS wishes to create a caliphate Christians in the US are dreaming of an independent state they name Reagan. The difference being that in the USA , so far, Christians yet haven’t gotten as militant as ISIS.

      • M2000

        I find it strange that when there are real apologists out there that don’t want Maher to visit, you Lefties are never out in force but you ridicule Christianity cause it’s safe and the Christians won’t protest the same way these “moderate” Muslims are protesting Maher with some of your own comrades there.

        • Herodes

          Christians ridicule themselves even more, and nobody should care.? And what’s a moderate Muslim? They all believe in the same God , the same judicial system, sharia laws. Nothing moderate about that! obviously they protest because they believe their religion make them special human beings. That’s ridiculous!

          • M2000

            Oh boy, here we go again with Christianity and Islam worshiping the same God. Christians don’t call God, Allah.

          • Herodes

            I meant the Muslims are all alike.