Left-wing "comedian" Bill Maher is setting the news agenda for CNN.
Literally. With "Motivated by Race?" on screen, CNN anchor Don Lemon
previewed his 7 PM hour Saturday night by citing Joe Wilson, "town
hallers yelling at lawmakers" and those "refusing to let kids hear the
commander in chief. And on and on and on. What's behind it? Is it racial?"
In the subsequent segment, Lemon revealed his motivation was Maher, who Friday night on his HBO show charged racism drove Wilson's "you lie" shout and those concerned about Obama's address to school children (BiasAlert item ). Lemon announced: "I was watching Real Talk, Real Time with Bill Maher and I was like 'finally someone's talking about this, finally someone is talking about this.'"
Lemon made his exultation to guest Tim Wise, author of 'Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama .' Wise accused Rush Limbaugh of "trying to stoke white racial resentment." Lemon at the top of the 7 PM EDT Newsroom on September 12:
A Member of Congress calling the President a liar, town hallers yelling at lawmakers, carrying guns to rallies, refusing to let kids hear the commander in chief. And on and on and on. What's behind it? Is it racial? Yeah, I said it. And we're going to talk about it. Tim Wise joins us with some wise words.
About 52 minutes later, Wise alleged:
Rush Limbaugh yesterday on the air saying first that community service is the first step towards fascism, which is bizarre even for him. And then almost immediately after that saying one of the problems with America is too much multi-culturism. You wouldn't say that unless you were trying to stoke white racial resentment. So when you say those things, I want to know when are Republican leaders going to condemn that kind of rhetoric because that's where race is being interjected. It's not interjected by us, it's interjected by the leading talk show hosts in this country.
Lemon soon read a Twitter comment as he divulged what prompted his topic choice:
"I'm with Ron Reagan and Bill Maher. If Obama's skin color was closer to his mom's," talking about Joe Wilson, "he would not have shouted out." And I have to tell you, for the first time last night I was watching Real Talk, Real Time with Bill Maher and I was like "finally someone's talking about this, finally someone is talking about this." Do you think that Joe Wilson would have done that to a President who was of another color?
- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center