Bill Maher's Race Problem

Missed in the hubbub over Elizabeth Hasselbeck's deft putdown of HBO star Bill Maher on Tuesday's The View were Maher's comments about presidential candidate Herman Cain.

Asked to comment on Cain, Maher glibly volunteered, "He is an idiot." Maher elaborated, "I misjudged the Republicans. They will vote for a black man if he is a complete imbecile."

Earlier this year, however, Maher strongly suggested that those who challenge the intelligence of a black man do so almost assuredly for racist reasons.  I remember this particularly because I was one of the people to whom Maher imputed racism.

The occasion was the appearance of conservative media mogul Andrew Breitbart on Maher's HBO show. After a series of false accusations against Breitbart by another panelist, Maher turned Tawana Brawley on Breitbart.  "Let's get on to the racism of today," Maher smirked. "You do not believe Obama wrote his own book."

Maher cited not my book on this subject, Deconstructing Obama, but a single tweet by Breitbart that he found my argument "compelling." That one tweet was evidence enough for Maher to ask Breitbart accusingly, "Do you think you can be a racist and not know it?"  I would accuse Maher of McCarthyism, but Joe McCarthy never did anything that slimy or gratuitous.

For the record, I did not suggest Obama was less than intelligent, let alone an "idiot" or an "imbecile."  Had I done so, no one would have published my book.  Although not as smart as Cain, with his masters in computer science student from Purdue, Obama strikes me as being a little above average in intelligence. What Obama is not, however, is a writer.  Left to his own devices, he could not get an A in a freshman composition class and maybe not a B.  This much is easily proven.

Where Maher earned the right to serve as racial Torquemada, I do not know.  He grew up in River Vale, New Jersey, which, when last I checked, was 0.58 percent black, perhaps the least diverse city in America. The New Jersey town I grew up in, by contrast, is now 16 percent white. It is the fourth-poorest in America and has often topped the charts as the nation's most dangerous. It is called "Newark."

After a stint at his happy little homogenous high school, Maher was off to the Ivy League, Cornell to be precise, which suggests rejection letters from Harvard and Princeton.

I have read Maher's bio in vain looking for the Freedom Rides he took down south or the lunch counters he helped integrate, but without success.  I do know that Maher hit a speed bump on the road to the Nobel Peace Prize when a few years back, his live-in gal pal, Playboy Cyber Girl Coco Johnsen, sued him for pain and suffering caused by his "insulting, humiliating and degrading racial comments."

"Somebody has to be out on the edge to know where the edge is," Maher explained to Elizabeth Hasselbeck in defense of his rape jokes about the CBS correspondent nearly killed in Egypt.  But if Maher were half as smart as he thinks he is, he would know that a progressive suck-up like his sanctimonious little self never has to fear falling over it.

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