Bill Maher‘s comments Friday night on his “Real Time with Bill Maher” show on HBO, defending Paula Deen, may have surprised some.

Maher called Deen a “hot mess, y’all,” but still came to her defense.

“This may have been a shakedown,” said Maher. “People may have been trying to shake her down. That happens all the time, so I’m not sure what the original charge is. But she did admit to using the n-word, so the Food Network cut her off…”

Maher tried another approach to her defense.

“People shouldn’t have to lose their shows and go away when they do something bad,” said Maher. “It’s just a word. It’s a wrong word. She was wrong to use it. But do we always have to make people go away?”

But his panel guests weren’t buying it.

Meanwhile, according to Journal-isms, The Deen story was a hot topic among black folk on social media. TV One host Roland Martin, said he detected hypocrisy.

“Paula Deen made some stupid, racist comments. But if I’m mad at her using the N-word, I’m mad at you too,” Martin tweeted.

Web sites such as Bossip interpreted Martin’s remarks with headlines such as, “Roland Martin Says He Approves Of Butter-Ball Chef Paula Deen Using The N-Word[. If] ‘Black Folks Can Say It Then She Can Too!’ ”

Martin replied, “To the ignorant folks, I never said it was OK for Paula Deen to use the N-word. But cut the pathetic hypocrisy and fake outrage.” He said in another tweet Thursday, “My logic is real clear: ZERO TOLERANCE for the N-word. Black folks can say brother, sister or friend.”

As previously reported on Friday, Paula Deen was fired by the Food Network as a result of her comment.

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