by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
“Real Time” host Bill Maher closed his show Friday night by taking aim at American celebrities who he claimed “kowtow” to China.
Maher kicked off the monologue by skewering Eileen Gu, the 18-year-old American-born Olympic gold medal skier who made headlines when she announced she was competing for China, her mother’s homeland.
“Is that cool now, to choose to represent a totalitarian police state over America?” Maher asked. “The Olympics pretends to only be about sports but of course, the games have always been a bit of a proxy war for which country has the best system. And by choosing Team China, Eileen Gu became a living symbol of China’s triumph over the West, which wouldn’t bother me so much if I thought China had triumphed over us in the ways that really matter. But they haven’t.
“Now, we do have human rights issues right here at home, we do, but we’re still at least, for another three years, a democracy based on freedom and they are an authoritarian surveillance state based on ‘How would you like to disappear for a few months?’” Maher said. “Like that tennis player [Peng Shuai] who recently vanished for a while when she said she had been raped by a government official. We do still throw too many Black people in jail, but perspective matters. China has basically jailed an entire ethnic minority, the Uyghurs, a situation that both the Trump and Biden administrations have called a genocide. America is not close to that. And it’s a cynical dodge to pretend China’s sins should be overlooked because we all do it. No.
“The HBO star says “no one” talks about Hong Kong is being crushed by China because “so much money is involved.” …