On Friday’s Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, during a discussion of Mitt Romney’s recent altercation with rapper Sky Blu on an airplane, host Maher seemed to suggest that Romney might have been motivated by anti-black racism in confronting the rapper as the Real Time host brought up racially tinged quotes from former Mormon church president Joseph Fielding Smith – who died in 1972 at the age of 95 after serving two years as president – as if the words were relevant to Romney’s scuffle. Maher: "I just couldn't help but think maybe this has something to do with the fact that the Mormons traditionally have not had a great relation with the black people."
After reading a quote from Smith that came from a 1963 article in Look magazine, in which Smith contended that "I would not want you to believe that we bear any animosity toward the Negro. Darkies are wonderful people," Maher claimed that the words were only 20 or 30 years old. Maher: "I'm just saying if you're a Mormon and this is the ‘pope’ of your church and he says things like this about Negro and darkies – and this is only like, I don't know how long ago this was, 20, 30 years ago." The HBO host then read a quote from the book, The Way to Perfection, published by Smith in the 1930s, without divulging the date.