Bill Maher’s Easy Gamble

Think back to nearly four years ago when under-dog presidential candidate Barack Obama was steadily rising in the poll numbers, hoping to overtake establishment favorite Hillary Clinton and other candidates in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Imagine if during that time, right-leaning comedian Dennis Miller, in one of his HBO stand-up comedy specials, made the following comments:

“The Democratic establishment is freaking out because their token black guy is in the league now. They never expec-, it’s like an episode of Star Trek where the black guy beams down to the planet and lives.”

“A million to one, I will give you a million dollars. If you think that the Democrats are going to have an election with a woman and a black guy against each other, that they don’t have a choice to vote for a white man in the primary elections, that will never happen.”

How do you think the media would react to that? How do you think HBO would react to that?

Now I don’t believe Dennis Miller would make such comments, even in the context of a comedy routine. It’s not who he is.

Bill Maher, on the other hand, would… and did… on his HBO show last Friday. Except, instead referencing the Democratic party, he was talking about the Republicans. And instead of talking about Barack Obama, he was talking about Herman Cain.

I recently wrote a column on this website describing how many liberals are condescending to African Americans. Maher epitomizes the point I was making. When he looks at a man like Herman Cain, he doesn’t see a charismatic individual with an impressive resume. He sees a black man – A black man who couldn’t possibly be admired by white people based on his character and achievements. That’s why Maher is willing to bet a million dollars against Cain winning the nomination. It’s not because he thinks voters will decide that another candidate is more qualified… It’s because he identifies Herman Cain solely by the color of his skin, and assumes everyone else does as well. Thus, his dense view of white conservatives won’t let him draw any other conclusion.

But let’s not go any further back down that road right now. The point of this column is how the mainstream media would react to such rhetoric.

If it was Dennis Miller who made those comments about candidate Obama, you can be assured the offensive video clips would have been repeatedly aired on every major news network. Commentators would have been outraged and called for Miller’s firing. Activist organizations would have pressured HBO to sever their relationship with Miller. Camera crews would have been racing to Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson for reaction.

There’s no way the liberal media would have let a public figure get away with referring to their darling, Barack Obama, as a “token black guy”.

In the spirit of Bill Maher’s wager, does anyone want to bet that the lamestream media will get even slightly worked up over Maher’s comments? Yeah, me neither.

Author Bio:

John Daly couldn't have cared less about world events and politics until the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks changed his perspective. Since then, he's been deeply engaged in the news of the day with a particular interest in how that news is presented. Realizing the importance of the media in a free, democratic society, John has long felt compelled to identify media injustices when he sees them. With a B.S. in Business Administration (Computer Information Systems), and a 16 year background in software and web development, John has found that his real passion is for writing. He is the author of the Sean Coleman Thriller series, which is available through all major retailers. John lives in Northern Colorado with his wife and two children. Like John on Facebook. Follow John on Twitter.
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  • Melanie

    Bill Maher hates women. He is obsessed with Obama being black (he makes a point of it on every show), and he is completly, mortally afraid of being gay. And he’s just not funny.

  • Tom

    I’m a white guy who supports Cain because I like his ideas. How do the Mahers of the world label that?

  • Mike Jackson

    I’ll put up $1. Should Me. Cain happen to win the GOP nomination, I’d like to see if Mr. Maher actually pays up.

  • EddieD_Boston

    I wonder what goes on in Maher’s little world where he’s smarter than everyone else. I remember him saying that the Founding Fathers would have laughed at the religious right.
    I don’t agree b/c from what I know most of the Founders were deeply religious men.
    Maher majored in history at Columbia. He should have known better than to say that. Maybe he slept through that class.
    Beyond that, check out his bit about translating rap music for white people. Funny!!!

  • CCNV

    I’m waiting for Maher to come out of the closet.

    • Larry C.

      Even if he was a homosexual he would never come out of the closet as it is called. He is some kind of an “IDIOT”, and that is what really propels him through life. But you might be hitting on something here. Why I say it, is he is always, and for a day having trouble with women–(DO NOT KNOW WHY ANY WOMEN WOULD REALLY WANT TO BE SEEN WITH HIM THOUGH)–That this guy is even on cable Tv is a joke, and it shows how “IDIOTIC” HBO is to there audience.

      Larry C.

  • Dave Koffer

    Screw Bill Marred!!

    • Larry C.

      LOVED your comment here Dave.

  • Brendan Horn

    Bill Maher is someone who gets away with his offensive and abusive diatribes under the guise of being a so-called comedian. He is not a comedian and should not get away with his disgusting commentary. Basically, the rule is that liberals can say whatever they like while conservatives are supposed to anticipate how their words will be misinterpreted. Hopefully there will be a day when liberals have high standards for other liberals similar to the impossibly high standards that liberals have for conservatives. We have not reached that day yet.

  • chuck.tatum

    I know Bill Maher is a comedian because he tells us so every week on his show. Like every time he gets caught saying something wrong or stupid he plays the comedian card, “I’m a COMEDIAN!” In other words, ‘comedic license’ means noone can hold him to any standards of truth or fairness.

    Nevertheless, I still doubt his comedian bona fides since he always laughs at his own jokes. Sometimes he will start laughing before he gets the whole joke out because he fears his audience needs help knowing when the next funny his coming. Usually, that’s concidered poor form for a comedian. Add in a laugh track and an APPLAUSE sign and he might as well have a rubber hammer automatically hit any audience member who is not laughing on cue.

    I think it is his mom who is Jewish. Yes, he was raised Catholic and is now an atheist. As said in a Seinfeld episode, I think he claims Judaism so he can get away with telling Jewish jokes. Much the same way that young mascaraed “electrician” Occupy Wall Streeter angrily shouted at a Jewish man who dared dissagree with him.
    Incidentally, why didn’t any media check out the young OWS anti-semite to see if he really was Jewish? Seems to me that is pretty important.

  • GlowingSpark

    Actually, what Bill Maher was saying is that too many Republicans are racist and therefore will not vote for a black person when instead they can vote for a white person. You can disagree with that if you want to but that is what he was saying.

  • Gaspare Ingoglia

    When Bill Maher thinks he said somthing funny he waits for a laugh, and all he gets is a little applause. I don’t think the man is funny at all.

  • Mike

    It’s amazing what Bill Maher get’s away with! If we have such large conservative numbers in this country, where’s the outrage?
    Bill Maher should be fired immediately. HBO used to be an ok place to catch a few movies – I’m canceling today.


  • Ken Besig, Israel

    I am ashamed of Bill Maher as a tasteless and vulgar person who trades in the so called humor of personal humiliation and personal ridicule.
    Since I am Jewish like Maher, I find him, like far too many Jewish comedians, to be offensive and coarse, and almost always depressingly predictable.
    And that is what really annoys me. Not that Maher is foul mouthed and childishly anally fixated, but that he is so boringly repetitious.
    All the best, and thanks for a chance to shoot my mouth off!

    • joe from louisiana

      Don’t feel too bad, I think he was raised Catholic by his mother.

  • Nicholas King

    In all fairness to Mr. Herman Cain and to Bill Maher, Fox News and conservative pundits have spent the better of three years trying to convince people that Obama wasn’t even an American citizen and demanding a birth certificate. I ask you this simple question: If it had been a white candidate with white African parents (there are white people on that continent, just so you all know), would the fervor have been as great among conservatives and Tea Party people? I think not.

    • John Daly


      As someone who watches FOX News regularly, I can tell you that your claim is absolutely false. If you’d have actually watched it rather than getting this info second-hand from lefty smear sites, you’d know that. They absolutely did not support the notion that he wasn’t an American. And the tea-party movement never had anything to do with birthers.

    • Vince Ricardo

      There are caucasians in Africa? Thank God for condescending Liberals (I know, I know, that’s redundant), or else I would’ve never known!

      Nicholas, I’ll make this simple (not because you’re not smart; you’re certainly very smart): Some birthers might very well be Tea Party Members, but not all Tea Party Members are birthers.

      Now, what I’ve always found amusing is how the Left (that’s you, Nicholas) have always wanted to know EVERY SINGLE THING about Republican candidates/politicians, “give us full disclosure,” but when anyone ever tries to look into the background of someone that’s Left, they’re made to feel like it’s some kind of capital crime or “none of their business” (in this case, of course, the easy “racist” card gets tossed into the ring). Let me ask you this, Nicholas: When the mainstream media starts to dig into Herman Cain’s past, and he tries to shut them down (IF he does, that is), will they be “racist” if they persist in their endeavours? Be honest.

      • Nicholas King

        1. Vince, I’m not a liberal. I’m not a conservative either. I prefer to take each issue on its own merits based on evidence and research, rather than cling to a single ideological stance.

        2. Full disclosure works both ways, in my opinion. If there is any candidate running for any public office, their life should be an open book for scrutiny regardless of what side of the aisle they stand on. The only way to effectively judge a candidate is know about their perks and their flaws.

        3. If Herman Cain’s past comes up in the course of his run for the presidency, I’d be interested to learn more about him. The role of the media, ideally, is to dig for the truth of a given situation. This is not an ideal world we live in. If someone in a prominent position such as Mr. Cain tries to hide something, one becomes curious as to the reasons why something is being obfuscated.

        4. The racist card is not easy to use nor do I use it flippantly. I’ve seen first-hand how that can damage a person’s reputation. Having said that, I think that if the birthers were honest with themselves, they would have to admit to some level of racial motivation for their actions.

        5. You still did not answer my question: Would the call for proof of citizenship been different if it was a white man with an African parent? I doubt it very much. In all fairness, until the provision made by Congress during 2008, Senator McCain would not have been eligible to take the office of the President due to his birth on a military base.

        6. I know my remarks were condescending. Sometimes, when faced with unimaginable levels of ignorance, I can’t help myself.

        • Vince Ricardo

          I cannot speak for all of my fellow conservatives, but I, for one, do wish that Senator McCain had not been eligible to take the office of the President … for whatever reason! LOL!

          It’s obvious that the mainstream media has and continues to care very little about President Obama’s past or anything that President Obama has kept quiet about (and, as said, he hasn’t really had to try too hard to do that). I’ve found that to be disturbing, and I don’t give a darn WHAT color the man’s skin is when it comes to that (or anything about him). Even Bill Clinton wasn’t given as big a “pass” as this guy has been. The exact opposite can be seen in their “coverage” of Sarah Palin. Disgusting. Whether you love, like (I’d be in this category … like her, but glad she’s not runnin’ for POTUS) or hate her, it HAS to be disturbing at how the media has treated her. Imagine that treatment for Obama. Would it be racism then or just thorough investigation?

          I applaud your #6. I feel the same way sometimes.

          • Nicholas King

            Palin’s public persona is a caricature. While I won’t say she’s not intelligent, she’s not really that smart, if you catch my meaning. When someone like her stands up and makes broad statements about how others should live their lives and it’s clear that her family doesn’t follow those same restrictions, one becomes the target of ridicule.

            As for Obama’s past, I would ask what specific instances are you referring to?

          • Vince Ricardo

            Really? What “specific” instances about Obama’s past? What “specific” instances did the media look for when they dug into every little single bit of info they could get about Sarah Palin? And I mean diggin’ into her past from the second she was named as McCain’s running mate. They didn’t look for anything specific, they dug up EVERYthing they could about ANYthing.

            If you want “specific” parts of Obama’s past, how about we start simple: school records. I mean, thanks to the media we know how George W. and even Al Gore did in college, er, university (and now we know Rick Perry’s record as well), so how about Barack O? What is there to hide? Nothin’, right? How about we start with that.

          • King

            Why does this have to be the ONLY riaelble source? Oh well, gj!

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  • Jeff

    Yeah and Kissinger’s southern strategy was just a plot cooked up by the lamestream media. St Ronnie in Philadelphia Mississippi? The GOP needed their token black guy and Alan Keyes is retired. The problem with Cain isn’t that he’s black, its that he is totally unqualified to be POTUS. But hey, that never stopped you guys before. But its your primary, so if he loses, its on you, if he wins, enjoy the show. BTW Cain doesn’t want to be president, he just wants some national exposure, sell some books and get a gig on Faux news. I say well done sir and Mission Accomplished, now where the hell is that pie I ordered?

    • John Daly


      Was Barack Obama qualified to be the POTUS?

  • Ray

    This is truly a dumb column. Bill Maher isn’t betting that “A black man who couldn’t possibly be admired by white people based on his character and achievements”! He’s betting white conservatives are too racist to ever vote for a black guy, and he’s right. Conservatives will never vote for a black man because a lot of them are secretly or not so secretly racist.

    • John Daly

      So Ray,

      Being that Cain is leading in many Republican polls, how does your racist claim make any sense?

    • Vince Ricardo

      I’ve just become RAYcist. If this is the level of ridiculous rhetoric coming out of people named “Ray,” then I now dislike them forever.

      To be honest, though, Ray, you’re partially correct. You’re partially correct in that I know people, conservative people, who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 strictly because he was black. That is, of course, racist.

  • Vince Ricardo

    Will the mainstream media ignore Maher’s comments because of a double standard, or simply because no one cares what he says anyway? Tough call.

    Every time I see Maher’s smirkin’ face I think, “Man, even pacifists have to want to smack that!”

    • John Daly


    • Neal Angel

      And you know this how? Because Bill Maher told you so?

      • Vince Ricardo

        I think you hit the wrong “reply” link, Neal. 😉

  • robin in fl

    the far left as in bill maher AKA “BM” ,are far more obsessed with race it seems.which actually makes them the ‘racists’. BM has turned into such a tool to spout off anything at this point.I just can’t believe i actually at one time found him to be a funny guy…what was wrong with me??..thankfully I woke up.:)

    great post john

  • therealguyfaux

    If one knows anything about Bill Maher’s private life, one would know where his hidden contemptuous feeling towards African-Americans comes from. Nuff said, say no more.

  • Pundit Pete

    You’d be smart to take that bet with Bill (not the one you pose about the media), because, despite what most pundits are saying, Cain’s inauguration (not just GOP nomination) is pretty much a done deal. That is according to Pundit Pete, who predicted a Cain victory (and a Palin decision not to run) before Cain’s candidacy really started to surge. Check out Pete’s September 27 blog post for more details.
    There’s at least one pundit who knows what’s going on, and who is not afraid to stick his neck out with a prediction. And if someone wants to loan me the money, I’d being willing to bet on Cain winning the election, or the media trying to ignore it right up until the end.

    • John Daly

      Win or lose, Cain’s fate with the electorate will have nothing to do with race.

      • Pundit Pete

        John –
        It is amazing how surprised the laimstream media claims to be with the surge of Cain in the polls. But had they diverted their attention from always trying to ignore, denounce and diminish the Tea Party, and payed attention to what was really going on, they might have noticed that Cain has been winning the straw polls taken at nearly every conservative or Tea Party convention/event since at least the start of this year, even when other candidates have spoken at the same event. The Tea Party has not faded away or gone to sleep, and their voice is now being heard. And surprise, surprise, they’re not a bunch of racists.

        John, if you click on this blog post from the day after MLK Day this year, you’ll see what one Tea Party person (my wife) created as a response to the racism charges.
        Thanks for all of your blog posts.