On Friday’s edition of Real Time with Bill Maher, host Bill Maher took conservative politicians to task for their refusal to label the murder of nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina as racist.
“Jeb Bush: ‘I don’t know what was on his mind.’ [Donald] Trump: ‘The tragedy was incomprehensible.’ [South Carolina governor] Nikki Haley: ‘We will never understand what motivates anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the lives of another,” Maher said on the show. “They hate being called racist, conservative people. But isn’t denying racism itself a form of racism?”
The accused killer, Dylann Roof, was arrested on Thursday and charged with nine counts of murder. He allegedly told a friend he wanted to star a “race war.”
During his monologue on Friday, Maher mocked politicians who ignored Roof’s own words. “When a guy like this talks about, ‘The South will rise again,’ he’s not talking about IQ levels,” Maher said. “This guy openly said he was trying to ‘start a race war,’ which is delusional, because if Donald Trump’s speech didn’t do it the day before, nothing will.”
Maher also took right-wing media to task, specifically calling out The Daily Caller and Fox News, for its coverage of America in 2015.
“Well, we can never tell why someone snaps, but I bet you I can tell you where he got his news,” Maher said. “I looked at [The Daily Caller] the last week, it was a lot of stories about black people. Same with Matt Drudge. I think they present a really twisted view. I’m not surprised this guy thought they’re ‘taking over the country.’ Obviously, he has a warped mind, that’s going into it, but I don’t think it was video games. And I do think the media is responsible to a degree. I wouldn’t say we should be droning Fox News, but we did drone Anwar al-Awlaki because he inspired people. He didn’t do terrorist acts, he just inspired them.”
On Saturday, a website first registered to Roof earlier this year was unearthed. The site includes numerous photos of the accused murderer alongside the Confederate flag, as well as a racist manifesto that is not attributed specifically to Roof.