While the next episode of Bill Maher’s “real time” will air as scheduled, despite the use of an incendiary racial slur the host, it will be without previously scheduled guest Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota. Franken has already been obliged to cancel an event with Kathy Griffin, who brought America together in condemnation thanks to her display for the cameras of what appeared to be the severed head of President Donald Trump. Franken has a book to sell and cannot be associated with such people.

Franken has made some alarming statements in the past

Franken, like Maher and Griffin, used to call himself a comedian before he took his act to the floor of the United States Senate.

In one of his books, entitled “The Truth (With Jokes)” he stated, “Republicans are shameless d----. No, that’s not fair. Republican politicians are shameless d----.” In the same book, he also referred to Norman Coleman, the senator whom he eventually beat to be elected to the Senate, as “one of the administration’s leading b--- boys.”

Feud with Sen. Ted Cruz

In a way, it is a pity that Franken will not be on “Real Time,” a show where the outer bounds of what is acceptable rhetoric are often explored and occasionally, crossed as Maher discovered much to his cost. In his new book, the becomingly immodestly entitled “Giant of the Senate,” Franken goes on at length at how much he hates Sen Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

The ire extends beyond the fact that the two men are on opposite sides of the political spectrum.

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Franken seems to hate Cruz on a personal level, a disdain that the Texas senator has returned. One can only imagine what kind of bon mots, laced with George Carlin’s seven deadly words, Franken would be able to use when describing his fellow senator. He will have to restrict himself to more polite invective with hosts like Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon.

How many other people will pass on appearing with Maher?

Conservatives sometimes with appear on “Real Time” as a kind of real world Kobayashi Maru exercise. The guest appearance is considered a no-win scenario, but one gets points for applying grace under pressure. Ironically, Maher made his ill-considered descent into racist language while interviewing Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, a conservative who was also hawking a book, also ironically about character.

In any case, Maher’s status as a racist pariah will provide a great excuse not to go through the painful exercise of being on his show. Of course, if Al Sharpton (also known for saying horrible things in public where people can hear) has his way, there will be no show to be on in short order.