Unpacking last night’s mea culpa tour with Bill Maher for his use of the “n” word last week on his HBO series Real Time was both vexing and a relief.
A relief in that the host’s admitting that the usage of the word in his poorly thought out joke was wrong, and it was vexing in that Maher didn’t appear to get to the heart of why that it was so comfortable for his “comedian brain” to use the word in the first place.
Instead, he fell back on his age (born in 1956) and the times he was raised. To his credit, Maher said like most, he was evolving on a daily basis and had made a mistake he regretted.
But the “woodshed” moment continued as mid-show interview Ice Cube was brought onstage. All of the black girlfriends Maher has had in past years and his acceptance in the Hollywood and political African American ranks did not give him a pass according to Ice Cube, who was far harsher on Maher than his top-of-the-show interview, Michael Eric Dyson.
Earlier in the show, Dyson’s biggest admonishment came when he reminded Maher that with great opportunity and gifts come equally great responsibility. Familiarity, it seemed, bred contempt with many African Americans who look to Maher as a liberal voice of reason who draws some of the best in their community to speak their minds on his show.
It felt like Maher was done discussing this topic after Cube said he reminded him of a “truck driver.”
The show progressed into New Rules, where the focus was the entitled mediocrity that is Jared Kushner, the president’s silent son-in-law given great power despite blunder after blunder pointed out in the business world.
The show featured Michael Eric Dyson, David Gregory, Symone Sanders, Rep. David Jolly, and Ice Cube. Next week, loquacious wit Eddie Izzard will be one of Maher’s guests.
The Monologue, POTUS in crosshairs:
Bill discusses former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony and the GOP’s attempts to defend President Trump in his Real Time monologue.
Academic and author Michael Eric Dyson tries to explain why Maher did wrong:
Georgetown professor and author Michael Eric Dyson joins Bill to discuss the N-word and the depth of racism in America.
Ice Cube and Symone Sanders school Bill on what White Privilege means:
Actor, producer and rap icon Ice Cube joins Symone Sanders, David Gregory and former Rep. David Jolly on the Real Time panel for a discussion about race, white privilege, and policing.
Jared Kushner has eased into everything given him, Why? New Rule: Entitlement for the rich must end:
Bill calls out overprivileged schmucks like Jared Kushner who don’t recognize that they’re the product of “rich guy affirmative action.”
Overtime: Deep dives on prison reform, music industry and more:
Real Time will Bill Maher airs Fridays at 10:00pm ET (10:00pm PT, tape delayed) on HBO, with additional replays throughout the week on HBO and HBO 2.