During the Friday broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” comedian and progressive host Maher defended Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham, contending that an advertiser boycott initiated by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor David Hogg was un-American.

Maher asked panel guests whether Hogg’s boycott of Ingraham, who Maher called a “deliberately terrible person,” should be celebrated.

Following a March tweet posted by Ingraham that was critical of Hogg, he called for his Twitter followers to contact “The Ingraham Angle” advertisers and participate in boycotting them. Subsequently, 17 advertisers have withdrawn their ads from Ingraham’s cable news program on Fox News, The Hill reported.

“I want to defend Laura Ingraham,” Maher said on his show Friday. “I know it sounds ridiculous, but it has to do with the Parkland kids and guns and free speech.”

“Again, he is in the arena, and then he calls for a boycott of her sponsors,” Maher said, referring to Hogg. “Really? Is that American?” Maher asked the audience, several of whom responded “yes!”

“He complains about bullying? That’s bullying!” Maher contended. “I have been the victim of a boycott…I’ve lost a job as a result. It is wrong. You shouldn’t do this by team, you should do it by principle.”

Former New York Democratic Gov. Elliot Spitzer, a panelist, said, “Boycotting is part of free speech. Saying ‘I don’t want to work with that person. Saying I will not buy a product from that person. That’s speech.'”

“Really?” Maher asked. “All of the things Laura Ingraham has said over the years, and this is the straw that broke the camel’s back? It creates a “very chilling atmosphere.”

In March, Ingraham posted a tweet in which she apologized to Hogg, who refused to accept her overture.

“Any student should be proud of a 4.2 GPA —incl. @DavidHogg111. On reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland,” Ingraham tweeted.

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