Maher says 'Free speech' segment on CBS News' not so Free

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The CBS Evening News commentary segment "Free Speech" , which made its debut with Katie Couric this month, was accused last Friday by Bill Maher of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" of being "anything but free speech".

Maher said he was asked by CBS News to appear on the segment. But when he asked if he could talk about religion, "that was a dealbreaker from the start". Instead, he said they would send over a list of "acceptable topics".

CBS News executive producer Rome Hartman has since responded in an e-mail to TVNewser saying that, "Bill Maher was never told that he couldn't discuss religion in a Free Speech segment," and added, "In fact, Free Speech has already addressed religion and we expect others will in the future."

No response from Bill Maher on this statement as of yet.