Ben Affleck angry nostril sniffWhen it was announced the Ben Affleck would be the Dark Knight in 2015’s ‘Superman vs. Batman: Dawn of Justice,’ I said that if director Zack Snyder were smart, then he would tell his new hire to stick to movie-talk. I said Mr. Affleck lives in a Hollywood bubble, where everyone thinks along the same lines and tells each other how smart they are at cocktail parties, and that he generally has a hard time discussing politics without alienating fans (e.g., When he sees a Republican actor on screen he thinks, “I probably wouldn’t like this person…”). His near-meltdown on Bill Maher’s Real Time on Oct. 3 proves nicely that Mr. Affleck doesn’t know how to deal with smart people who disagree with him.

Ben Affleck Bill MaherConsider this discussion between next summer’s Bruce Wayne, Bill Maher and author Sam Harris.

Sam Harris: Liberals have really failed on the topic of theocracy. They’ll criticize white theocracy. They’ll criticize Christians. They’ll still get agitated over the abortion clinic bombing that happened in 1984, but when you want to talk about the treatment of women and homosexuals and free thinkers and public intellectuals in the Muslim world, I would argue that liberals have failed us.

Ben Affleck: Thank God you’re here.

Sam Affleck: The crucial point of confusion is that we have been sold this meme of Islamophobia, where every criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated with bigotry towards Muslims as people, and that’s intellectually ridiculous.

Ben Affleck: Are you the person who understands the officially codified doctrine of Islam? You’re the interpreter of that?

Same Harris: I’m actually well-educated on this topic.

Ben Affleck: I’m asking you. So you’re saying that Islamophobia is not a real thing?

Sam Harris: I’m not denying that certain people are bigoted against Muslims as people.

Ben Affleck: “That’s big of you.”

Bill Maher: “Why are you so hostile about this concept?”

Ben Affleck: “Because it’s gross! It’s racist! It’s like saying ‘you shifty Jew.’”

Bill Maher: You’re not listening to what we are saying.”

For almost ten minutes, Ben Affleck responded to a serious discussion about Islam by giving angry little sniffs of his nostrils, fidgeting in his chair, making sarcastic little side-comments, interrupting, waving his hands around and slamming them down on the desk in front of him. He generally gave off body language that said, “I’m Batman! I should be beating these ‘racists’ up, but I can’t because I’m in my Bruce Wayne clothes on live television…”

In short, Ben Affleck was a petulant man-boy.

Ben Affleck finger face Bill MaherFaced with actual statistics about female genital mutilation in the Middle East and Africa, the percentages of Muslims who believe a man should be killed for leaving the religion, and troublesome data regarding opinions on free speech — in Western countries — Ben Affleck’s response was to call Bill Maher a “racist,” to say he “doesn’t understand idiots,” and that “we’ve killed more Muslims than they killed us by an awful lot,” (as if George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all just have a thing for militarily engaging Muslim countries for no other reason than to kill Muslims). Ben Affleck says that the Islamic State group couldn’t fill a “AA ballpark in West Virgina,” while ignoring the fact that it only took 19 al Qaeda terrorists to bring down the World Trade Center Towers on Sept. 11, 2011. Shall I go on?

In less than 10 minutes, the man who will play Batman next summer makes it close to impossible for millions of moviegoers to see Zack Snyder’s film with an open mind. The so-called defender of Gotham is, in real life, a man who can’t even defend his own political position without looking like he might cry on national television. He had no problem mocking Catholicism in Dogma, but yet he and his buddy Kevin Smith would probably consider it “racist” to appear in a similar film titled “Fatwa.” Telling.

Next summer I will see Superman vs. Batman, but I won’t be able to stop thinking, “Clark can end this right now. All he has to do is start talking about Islam.”

Related: Egyptian Muslims in Pew poll: We support religious freedom, but we also support killing you

Editor’s note: Hat tip KMT

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

32 comments

  1. I already couldn’t stand Ben Affleck, but this is terrible. It’s like when “Mr. Definitely” went up against Christopher Hitchens and Salman Rushdie.

    1. I’m not surprised that a hardcore liberal such as Ben Affleck would accuse critics of radical Islam (even ostensibly liberal atheists such as Bill Maher and Sam Harris) of “racism.” People like Affleck live in a fantasy world where radical Islamists are “misunderstood” and that all the problems of the world are caused by Bush, Republicans and America in general. Anyone who dares disagree with him are labelled “racist.”

    2. I saw an interview not too long ago where Jennifer Garner said that Ben may want to get into politics somewhere down the line. How could he run on a national level? His skin isn’t think enough to deal with Bill Maher without acting like a big baby in front of millions of people. What would he do if he was in a debate and actually had to discuss radical Islam? Any cogent points would get lost in his childlike delivery.

    3. “I saw an interview not too long ago where Jennifer Garner said that Ben may want to get into politics somewhere down the line. How could he run on a national level? His skin isn’t think enough to deal with Bill Maher without acting like a big baby in front of millions of people. What would he do if he was in a debate and actually had to discuss radical Islam? Any cogent points would get lost in his childlike delivery.”

      If that’s the way he acts, I would hope that people would laugh him right out of the room. I really hope he doesn’t run for office, because there are already too many liberal clowns like him.

    4. My guess is that there’s a part of him that thinks he could be the “liberal Reagan” if he wants it… He probably looks in the mirror on some days and thinks, “I’m good looking, I’m smart, I’m articulate, I have the friends and the money and the connections to the Democratic Party elite, my wife is beautiful… I could be president if I play my cards right in the years ahead. I know it!”

      The problem is that he’s not nearly as smart and articulate as he seems to think he is.

  2. I just can’t understand how one can’t even sit and have a civil conversation about the issue. Had Mr. Harris said Christians can do no wrong and everyone else can do no right- then I’d understand; but clearly that wasn’t the case.

    I’m Catholic and have heard the priest jokes, heard all the times the Vatican failed to live up to expectations, and was even told on this blog Catholicism is derived from a Mideast cult; somehow I never accused those saying these things of being racist or banged my hands on the table; grow up Batman!

    1. A “Patrick vs. Boston Liberal Batman” would be pretty epic. Ben would start acting outlandish and immature and then you just look at him and start laughing…

    1. Quite predictably, the media has come to Affleck’s defense. Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian (who is pretty clueless when it comes to pretty much everything) praised Affleck’s statement and “says it’s something that doesn’t get discussed.” I kid you not. Progressives truly live in a fantasy world.

  3. “We’ve killed more Muslims than they killed us by an awful lot.”

    The Luftwaffe suffered heavier casualties than the RAF in the Battle of Britain. The bombing of Hiroshima killed more people (over 100,000) than the Japanese air raid on Hawaii (about 2,400). The fact remains that Nazi Germany and the Japanese Empire were the aggressors in that war.

    (Similarly, I’ve heard complaints that more people have been killed in Gaza than in Israel. That may be true as far as it goes, but it’s only because the Israelis use their Iron Dome ABM system to shield their civilian population from missile attacks, while Hamas uses civilians to shield its missiles.)

    And, of course, Affleck screams “racism” when anyone criticizes extremist Muslims. (Never mind that Islam is a religious and political ideology, not a race.) If he had been around in the 1930’s, maybe he would have called you a racist, and accused you of “Germanophobia,” if you criticized Hitler. (And he would have said that the SS couldn’t fill a ballpark in West Virginia. And Obama would have laughed off the Nazi Party as a junior varsity team.)

    Years ago, when an abortion doctor was murdered, Rush Limbaugh said that conservatives should unequivocally condemn the crime. Is Limbaugh “anti-Christian” or “Christian-phobic”? The murderer surely considered himself a Christian.

    That tough and outspoken Democrat, Harry Truman, said, “If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.” Affleck’s hysterical whining shows that he can’t take the heat.

    1. Guys like Ben Affleck have a hard time putting things within proper historical context, and their moral realtivsm warps their mind so much that they say incredibly weird things with a straight face. He’ll bring up Iraq, but neglect to mention Saddam’s rape rooms and torture rooms, the years of giving the international community the run around and the middle finger on resolutions meant to make Iraq come clean, etc. In a post 9/11 world, Bush went to Congress and went to the U.N. He got Congress to give him the green light on Iraq and he got the U.N. to give him Resolution 1441. He did everything liberals always say they want a president to do. And yet, Bush is the bad guy while Clinton gets to drop bombs without U.N. approval and Obama gets to do the same in Libya and Syria without large-scale anti-war protests.

      It’s fascinating to see how mute the world goes when a Democratic president drops bombs on foreign countries…

  4. Gosh, I couldn’t agree more. I guess he thinks if he talks loudly and with the cadence of a machine gun, that it will make up for his lack of real intellect. I happen to be a Christian, but couldn’t help agreeing with the atheist. Sam Harris’ arguments were rational, reasonable, sound, and based in fact. Affleck on the other hand was simply hysterical. He looked foolish and desperate to be taken seriously. He swims in the shallow end among actors. Maybe he wants out. But, he’s got more work to do if he wants to be taken seriously.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Naomi. I appreciate it. It’s always fun to watch guys who think that raising their voice gives their argument more credibility. 🙂

      My guess is that Mr. Harris and I would probably have a spirited debate on the existence of God, but I’d be a bit ashamed of myself if I behaved like Mr. Affleck.

    2. You’re welcome. I see you’re an Army guy? Retired officer? (I’m making assumptions based on your education). My ex-husband is a retired Lt.Colonel in the Air Force. Although I don’t like him very much, I *do* love our military and I’m a passionate supporter.

      I also love (well, sort of) politics and history. Do you write full time or as a hobby?

      I also blog – professionally – though I write under a pseudonym.

      And P.S. My real name is not Naomi either. 🙂

    3. Nope. Not an officer. I went to school after I got out. I served in the late 90s.

      I generally find national security stories for The Washington Times, write this blog whenever I get free time, and I’ve been slowly working on a book for the last year. Since you’ve acknoledged that you’re a Christian, I’ll just say that my book may be right up your alley when it comes out. In fact, I owe my regular readers and update on that… Some of the research I’ve been doing has taken longer than expected. I think it will be worth it, though…

      If you’re able to plug your blog, feel free to do so in this thread. If not, I totally understand.

  5. Oh, okay, so you write for The Washington Times?

    I write a women’s health blog – specifically perimenopause – so I don’t think your readers would really be that interested in my promoting it here. But, thanks anyway.

    I’m also a master’s student in health communication – but, I love political debates (which is how I found your blog) and have a really hard time staying away from them. God help me if I ever lived in D.C. I would likely become a real wonk. And Lord knows, D.C. doesn’t need any more of those.

    Now that I’ve found you, I’ll definitely check back. I’m interested to hear about your book. Yes, I’m a Christian……though I don’t align myself with any particular denomination. I consider myself a serious student of the bible, but NOT a religious person at all. I prefer spiritual.

    I respect good ideas and sound reasoning, which is why I said I actually agreed with the atheist, Sam Harris in his debate with Ben Affleck. He definitely appeared to be the most reasonable in the conversation.

    Anyway….thanks for the chat. I’ll definitely check back.

    1. Nice. You never know what subject might come up around here, but hopefully we’ll see more of you in the comments section – especially if the post relates to women’s issues.

  6. I found this while looking up more info on Batman vs. Superman. Some anonymous clown on TV Tropes thinks Ben Affleck is a hero for “calling out Bill Maher and Sam Harris on their blatant Islamophobia.” http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Awesome/BenAffleck

    Yeesh. Yet another liberal idiot who equates criticizing radical Islam and the PC left’s decision to downplay it as “Islamophobia.” it never ends.

    1. It’s a double standard. If someone “called out” Maher on his anti-Christian attitude (and Maher has been critical of religion in general, not just Islam), then that same anonymous clown on TV Tropes would have sided with Maher, and would have complained about “right-wing religious fanaticism.”

    2. Exactly. It’s funny how criticizing Christians gets you a pass in today’s world, but criticizing Islam is a big no-no that gets you called “bigoted” and “Islamophbic” (an invented term designed to shut down any criticism of Islam). It’s a pathetic an disgusting

      I’m no fan of Bill Maher. I’m not fond of Sam Harris, either.. I think the stuff Maher has said about Christians and conservative women and conservatives in general is disgusting. But he and Harris are spot-on about how the left ignores the problem of radical Islam due to political correctness.

    3. Exactly. It’s funny how criticizing Christians gets you a pass in today’s world, but criticizing Islam is a big no-no that gets you called “bigoted” and “Islamophbic” (an invented term designed to shut down any criticism of Islam). It’s a pathetic and disgusting double standard.

      I’m no fan of Bill Maher. I’m not fond of Sam Harris, either.. I think the stuff Maher has said about Christians and conservative women and conservatives in general is disgusting. But he and Harris are spot-on about how the left ignores the problem of radical Islam due to political correctness.

    1. Yeah, not surprisingly the Huffington Post has come to Affleck’s defense while calling fellow liberals Bill Maher and Sam Harris “bigots” and “Islamophobes.”

  7. You know it’s bad for Ben when even PolitiFact is taking him to task.

    In September, the CIA more than doubled the group’s estimated size to between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters. In a statement to PunditFact, the CIA public affairs office explained the figure is based on intelligence reports collected from May to August. The CIA attributes the growth to “stronger recruitment since June following battlefield successes and the declaration of a caliphate, greater battlefield activity, and additional intelligence.”

    At least 2,000 of the fighters reportedly have Western passports, too. …

    The Power plays at Appalachian Power Park, which has a maximum seating capacity of 4,500 for baseball games, said Adam Marco, the team’s radio broadcaster and marketing director. The park could hold up to 11,000 people for charity events and concerts that would allow people onto the field, he said.

    So, assuming Affleck meant stadium seats, even the lowest estimate of Islamic State fighters would be way too much for the stadium.

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