The sole purpose of Bill Maher’s HBO program Real Time is, it seems, to disappoint viewers by proving that the actors, musicians, and comedians they respect hold exceptionally dumb political views. Perhaps it’s the encouragement of the studio audience, who explode into applause when any A-list actor questions any conservative shibboleth. (If any of you actors want to be really punk rock, to really crank up the YouTube hits, this is how you should respond to the trained seals in the Real Time bleachers). While Maher can be entertaining and occasionally let loose a heterodox political opinion, his celebrity guests are almost always working off the same, very predictable script.
So one wonders how Mad Men star Jon Hamm would react to Maher asking about the “violent” nature of Islam—a position he holds, incidentally. Doubtless Hamm would provide a perfectly reasonable answer; one that separated the actions of a very vocal and violent minority from those of the peaceful majority. But what if it’s the knuckle-dragging minority of Tea Partiers we’re talking about, and Maher asks you, a decent and terribly handsome actor, if the Tea Party movement is racist. Not some unfortunate elements from within the (decentralized) movement, mind you, but the movement itself.
This blog post from AOL’s TV Squad website is headlined “Actor Jon Hamm: The Tea Party Is ‘Racist,’” though the actor never actually says it outright. Responding to a silly question from Maher (“Anybody think this Tea Party is racist?”), Hamm answers that race “is what it’s all sort of couched in, that’s the secret agenda.” The Tea Party speaks in code and so does Jon Hamm! But yeah, he thinks they are pretty much racist.
Check out the video (and the whole smug, self-satisfied discussion that follows) here.