Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Rome Hartman: Bill Maher Free To Speak


(image via jacneed)

As you know, The Corsair has made it something of a mission to get the incendiary Bill Maher back on network television (And Forrest Whittaker an Oscar for The King of Scotland, more on that later). Since CBS News -- Black Rock to Bill's Black Chicks -- is the epitome of network news prestige, and, of late, willing to take some edgy risks, we thought: What the fuck. Things are looking good, according to the Post:

"Maher claimed on his 'Real Time' HBO show last Friday that CBS asked him to do a 'Free Speech' segment - in which celebrities and everyday folks vent their opinions on a variety of subjects.

"But Maher said he was then told he couldn't discuss religion, his topic of choice.

"'I asked if I could talk about religion, and that was a deal-breaker right from the beginning,' Maher said.

"CBS says that's not true.

"'We didn't say yes and we didn't say no,' 'CBS Evening News' executive producer Rome Hartman told The Post yesterday, pointing out that he didn't deal with Maher directly but through a producer.

"'[Maher] sent word that [religion] is what he wanted to talk about . . . and we sent back two or three ideas for topics we thought might be timely or topical. This was not an attempt to dictate.'

"Maher, in a statement e-mailed to The Post, said, 'If I or my representatives got it wrong about how the 'free speech' segment . . . is, sorry, our bad.'"

Okay, so let's free up that speech, get Maher on the Evening News and, in the fullness of time, have him replace the senile Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes.


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