On Monday night CNN's Don Lemon hosted a panel focusing on comedian Bill Maher's racially-tinged remark on the previous Friday's Real Time.
"White Like Me" author Tim Wise, Bush 43 political appointee W. Scott Jennings, and South Carolina Democratic Party official Bakari Sellers all were appalled at Maher's "house nigg_ remark."
Unlike the other two, Jennings took a partisan tack, arguing that the comedian should have been fired by HBO and commenting
I agreed with HBO. They called what he did "inexcusable.: But HBO PR department, hear me. They said it's inexcusable but now he's going back on the air Friday night. He's not suspended. There apparently is no punishment for this. That's the exact opposite of inexcusable. I wholeheartedly agree this is inexusable. Apparently, the liberal iluminati has decided Bill Maher is too important to the resistance so he gets to escape punishment here. I think it's terrible, it's inexcusable, and I can't believe they're putting him back on the air Friday.
Recognizing that Jennings lamented the relative lack of attention paid by the media to the remark, Lemon pivoted from him and asked "Do you think it's that, Bakari, or do you think because of the terror attack that it received less coverage and that people just became distracted by the coverage?"
Sellers cannily ignored the question, instead responding to Jennings by pointing out "no, I think it's shallow to say that this is a partisan argument, because it's not..."
The answer to Don Lemon's question is simple and nearly undeniable. It is "yes."
Ask yourselves and your friends and relatives if they remember a statement issued jointly last autumn by the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security which read in part
The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow—the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.
The answer to that also is simple and undeniable. It is "no" or more likely "what statement?"
Not only does almost nobody remember this critical release but very few remembered it within a few hours after it was made.
That was because the date of the matter was October 7, 2016. You might recall something else from that date:
On Friday afternoon, the Washington Post published a clip of Trump on a hot mic before an interview with Access Hollywood. In chatting with then-host Billy Bush, who is now co-host of NBC's Today show, Trump talked about kissing women and grabbing them between their legs (using far cruder language) without permission, because he's "attracted" to them like a "magnet."
"[W]hen you're a star," he said, "they let you do it. You can do anything."
The interview occurred before Trump was set to film a cameo on the soap opera Days of Our Lives, and he said, laughing, that he needed "some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her."
In talking about kissing women, Trump boasted: "I'm automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything."
"Grab them by the p****. You can do anything," the Republican nominee continued, using vulgar slang for the female anatomy.
Additionally, October 7 included the first release by Wikileaks, at 4:32 p.m., of DNC emails. However, of the Access Hollywood recording, The Washington Post accurately reported "by 4 p.m., his story was causing shock waves."
Only the literally incredible Julian Assange knows for sure whether the email dump was timed (unsuccessfully) to divert attention from the horrendous remarks by Julian Assange's preferred major-party candidate, Donald Trump.
Clearly, however, the DNI/DHS statement was forgotten because of the Access Hollywood revelation. Similarly, a major terrorist attack as occurred in London, England would virtually obliterate all attention to anything Bill Maher might say, other than to announce that he had joined a monastery. Don Lemon understands that concept and was unafraid to bring a little common sense to an incident in which very little has been.