"Real Time" host Bill Maher stunned his liberal guests Friday night after a racial quote they thought was uttered by Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan was actually said by First Lady Michelle Obama.
Mr. Maher started off the segment with Mr. Ryan's recent comments about inner city poverty and the cultural dynamics that perpetuate such cycles. The HBO host then asked if Mr. Ryan was simply making an honest observation or something motivated by racial ill will.
Comedian W. Kamau Bell intimated that some sort of racial malice was involved.
"You can't blame the people living in the inner cities, blacks and latinos, for not having jobs where there are no jobs in the inner cities. You can't blame them when the schools suck, the hospital sucks, there's no grocery store, all of their fathers are in jail," Mediaite reported. The panel's fellow left-leaning guest agreed.
Then the "Real Time" host tricked his guests, saying: "Let me read something else. Here's something else Paul Ryan said. He said: 'When it comes to getting an education, too many of our young people just can't be bothered. They're sitting on couches for hours playing video games, watching TV instead of dreaming of being a teacher or a lawyer or a business leader — they're fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper.' Oh wait, that wasn't him. That was Michelle Obama. Michelle Obama said that."
The camera showed Mr. Bell stunned, at which point Mr. Maher turned to the audience and said: "Hushed silence! [...] Is something less true if a white person says it about black people?"
"We talk to each other differently than when we talk to [white people]," Mr. Bell responded.
During the segment, former Republican congressman Rick Lazio of New York defended Rep. Ryan, saying that most cities with high poverty have been controlled by Democrats for decades.
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