Marc Maron knows how to run an interview.
I’ve been listening to his podcast for a while now; I call it cultural anthropology, much in the same way that those who monitor MSNBC and other outlets justify their forays into the gutters of mainstream media. I may not agree with him politically, but listening to Maron draw out the celebrities and entertainment types whose voices populate the podcasts downloaded to my phone every week is an exercise in appreciation for the human element of a terrible and transparent industry. Rarely does he spend much time talking politics; the ‘cast is not a hospitable environment for talking points, and more often than not, guests who go into it with an agenda end up derailing into the gorge of their own humanity. Sex, drugs, rock n’ roll, frustrations, failures, emotions…that’s Maron’s goal.
Unless, of course, you’re the President of the United States. If you’re the president, you get to use your mic time to stump about the obstructionist Congress and preach about gun violence.
I’m not going to pretend I clicked “play” on this week’s episode of “WTF with Marc Maron” expecting to hear about Barack Obama’s secret pain; the same rules don’t apply when you’re President, and I didn’t imagine that Maron would push Obama away from politics.
I also didn’t imagine that, nestled in at about the 46 minute mark, I would hear POTUS lob an N-bomb.
The President of the United States said the N-word. Via Politico [emphasis mine]:
“The legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination in almost every institution of our lives, you know, that casts a long shadow, and that’s still part of our DNA that’s passed on. We’re not cured of it,” Obama said in the interview, posted in full on Monday. “And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say ‘n——-’ in public. That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination. … Societies don’t overnight completely erase everything that happened 2-300 years prior.”
The internet has officially shot off the rails over this, and I think that the reaction is justified. Obviously, there’s a difference between saying the N-word in the context it was used in the podcast, and saying it from a place of anger or malice. That being said, I don’t think it’s out of line to be upset over it. Personally, I felt nauseated, as I do when I hear that word in any context.
I really enjoyed Deneen Borelli’s take on it. Watch, via Fox News:
I don’t think anyone uses that word, even in a sterilized, talking-point context, without knowing that it’s going to cause a major media meltdown. If you’re the president, you’re particularly aware of this.
I’m interested in what you all think about this: is it pointless to criticize a black president for using an abhorrent racial slur to make what he believes is a point about race relations? Or, is it fair for people of all colors to stand up and say “no” to a word that they believe has no place in modern discourse?
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