Bill Maher defends racism charge from Allen West

By Roxanne Cooper
Friday, June 29, 2012 23:55 EDT
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Screencap of Bill Maher and Lizz Winstead on Real Time
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On Friday night’s episode of “Real Time,” host Bill Maher –and a panel that included Amy Goodman, Lizz Winstead, Fareed Zakaria and California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsome– discussed backlash from a column Maher wrote recently that compared the modern-day Republican Party to “The Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” In it, Maher said:

But this is why you never see us booking George Will and Peggy Noonan on my show (besides the fact that they wouldn’t do it): Because the same old Washington pundits haven’t said anything interesting since disco. Also because the idea that the blame for our government’s dysfunction is equally shared by the parties just is a giant, steaming mound of horseshit and anyone who has paid attention to politics over the last 20 years knows it. Or as I like to call it, “The Rise of the Party of the Apes.”

Several paragraphs later, Maher made reference to Florida Congressman Allen West:

Or take Allen West. Seriously, take him to the padded cell and give him 20 CCs of the high test. Ornstein and Mann start off their Post op-ed by noting that recently Rep. Allen West said that there are “78 to 81” Democrats in Congress who are members of the Communist Party. And not one Republican said, “Allen, come on. You’re making us look dumb.” Not one of the Republican candidates for president said anything. Because in today’s Republican Party, that’s not even edgy anymore. They probably saw him later on and were like, “Word, Allen. Word.” Because that’s how they think black people talk.

Last week, West’s campaign sent out an fundraising appeal, accusing Maher of racism:

This week, Obama’s million-dollar Super PAC donor and “comedian” Bill Maher leveled racial smears against Allen West and the “Party of the Apes.”

Maher went on to say that when fellow Republican representatives greet Allen in Washington, they probably say, “‘Word, Allen. Word.’ Because that’s how they think black people talk.” …

Of course, this isn’t the first time Bill Maher has made racist and sexist remarks. He has a history of offensive, misogynistic attacks on women as well.

Watch Bill Maher’s response to West’s fundraising letter below, originally uploaded by Mediaite on June, 29, 2012:

Roxanne Cooper
Roxanne Cooper is the publisher of Raw Story. She has 20+ years experience in media management, marketing, and advertising and has held positions with AlterNet, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, LA Weekly, San Francisco Bay Guardian, and Stars & Stripes. From 2004-2008, Roxanne published the popular political blog Rox Populi. She lives in San Francisco and you can follow her on Twitter at @AlterRox.
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