Larry Wilmore (Comedy Central)

Larry Wilmore shuts down media’s "n-word" frenzy: “You honestly think Obama was the first president" to say that word?

Wilmore said that POTUS used the word to beautifully illustrate our country's systemic problems

Colin Gorenstein
June 23, 2015 5:25PM (UTC)

People had a lot of questions leading up to President Obama's appearance on Marc Maron's "WTF podcast." How candid would he be? Who approached who? Would he meet Maron's cats? When the episode was finally released Monday, though, it seemed there was only one question any media outlet was asking: Did Obama really use the "n-word"?

Here's the quote:


"Racism: We are not cured of of. Clearly. And it's not just a matter of -- it not being polite to say n*gger in public. That's not the measure of whether racism still exists or not."

Larry Wilmore addressed the media frenzy around POTUS' use of the word on Monday night's "Nightly Show," explaining, first, that he'd "used ’n*gger’ to beautifully illustrate that it takes more than cosmetic changes to fix the systemic problem we have with race in this country."

Then, the "Nightly Show" host asked the inevitable question: So, what was Fox News saying?

Turns out, really disparaging things! In one clip Wilmore played, Conservative Review Chief Political Correspondent Deneen Borelli explained that Obama "has really dragged in the gutter-speak of rap music." She added: "So now he's the first president of rap, or street?"

"So you think rappers started the 'n-word'?" Wilmore fired back. "You honestly believe Obama is the first president to use the 'n-word'?"

Watch the clip courtesy of Comedy Central below:

Colin Gorenstein

Colin Gorenstein is Salon's assistant editor of internet and viral content. Follow @colingorenstein or email

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Larry Wilmore Marc Maron Potus The Nightly Show Video

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