Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's Tavis Smiley show on PBS, far-left journalist Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept argued that he is opposed to giving "fascists" a forum in which to debate people like himself. Then, after defining "fascists" as people who "want the extermination" of blacks and Jews, he hyperbolically claimed that fascists are "being normalized" by President Donald Trump.
The over the top assertion came after host Tavis Smiley asked Scahill about his decision to cancel an appearance on HBO's Real Time show a couple of months ago after host Bill Maher planned to have then-Breitbart editor and Trump supporter Milo Yiannopoulos as a guest on the same show. Scahill explained his decision:
As a fundamental principle, I don't believe that we should be debating fascists -- people that are openly advocating violence against undocumented immigrants or shaming -- publicly shaming private citizens who are transgender. I'll debate anyone anywhere, but I won't debate a fascist. I will resist a fascist -- I will protest a fascist. But that's not like where there's some exchange of ideas where the First Amendment necessitates we engage in.
He then tied in President Trump as he continued:
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These are people who -- when we're talking about fascists -- want the extermination of black people. They want the extermination of Jews. They are openly advocating a form of hatred that is vilified in history and is somehow being normalized now by the President of the United States. I won't participate in any platform where someone is acting as though. "Well, there's the fascist point of view, and then there's Jeremy's point of view."
He then added:
That's not a debate to me. That's not like debating a conservative Republican in Congress. There are certain people that I think -- everyone has a right to free speech. I certainly agree with that. But they don't have a right to speak on television. They don't have a right to be invited onto programs and -- you know -- I support Real Time doing whatever they believe is right. I'm just not going to participate in it.