From Raw Story -- Maher panel responds to footage of Mississippi voters:
Filmmaker (and daughter of former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi) Alexandra Pelosi traveled to Mississippi at the behest of Real Time with Bill Maher to film voters and get their opinions of the 2012 Republican primary. Before showing the footage, Maher explained to the audience and his panel of guests that the people in the video were not “cherry-picked” and that the intent of the video was not to make fun of anyone.
However, it becomes clear fairly quickly that some of these people are not going to be shortlisted for MacArthur “Genius Grants” any time soon. After the clip, panelists John Hamm from AMC’s series Mad Men and former RNC Chairman Michael Steele joked about the number of teeth the interviewees possessed, but otherwise refrained from poking too much fun.
The Pelosi segment is above and the panel segment is below the fold and I'll give them credit for actually having a pretty substantive conversation about what leads to the sort of prejudices shown in the video by Pelosi, whether anyone thinks that the people she interviewed are representative of most of the people in that state or not, I've never spent any time in Mississippi, so I don't consider myself qualified to say one way or the other what most of the population there is like, although I do know they've got abysmal records when it comes to education and poverty. I found it strange that the coverage by Pelosi did not include any black people from that state, but they weren't specific about what area she dropped off in and what the ethnic breakdown there is compared to the general population of the state.
I'm sure there are a lot of people who will find the footage insulting, but I think the larger arguments about addressing the prejudices of the people interviewed is a good one to have for all of us and how to not dismiss them, but attempt to address them and understand what the underlying causes are, which I think the panel here at least tried to do in the limited time they had to discuss it.