New BET 'The Truth' Show: 'Cross Between Olbermann and Maher'

August 14th, 2008 1:19 AM
Viacom-owned BET on Friday night will launch a weekly half-hour news and interview program hosted by a left-wing political activist, and though it is titled The Truth, the AP's David Bauder reported it is “described as a cross between Keith Olbermann and Bill Maher with a black perspective.” The 11 PM EDT show will be hosted by Jeff Johnson, whom Bauder noted in his Wednesday AP dispatch, was “an activist for the NAACP and People for the American Way.”

Bauder observed that the program's “debut is timed for the Democratic National Convention” and that BET “will also air Barack Obama's speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination on Aug. 28 live, just like its competitor TV One. Neither network, however, is airing John McCain's acceptance speech at the Republican convention the next week.” Amongst “news specials” BET will air during the nights of the Democratic convention: one “focusing on how ex-convicts can't vote” and another on “whether Obama could be considered a manifestation of Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech.”

Johnson's Huffington Post page provides a more complete bio:
Jeff Johnson is a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, social activist and political analyst who has served as senior advisor for media and youth outreach for People for the American Way, national youth director for the NAACP and vice president for the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network.
BET's page for the show trumpets:
THE TRUTH, a weekly show aired in front of a live audience, will take a look at news, trends, pop culture, current events and politics from an honest Black point of view. This show has no barriers, as it is conducted to show others the real view of the Black community by informing and entertaining the viewers all at the same time.

Not only will Johnson give his audience a view of Black culture through news, he will do it in a way that will keep his viewers engaged and excited. The show will include talk, investigating reporting, and one-on-one interviews with leading newsmakers. You won't just get the issues of the day; you'll see the emotional side of some of the most controversial stories through a three-way debate conducted by Johnson and a segment that compiles multiple stories of the Black community.
Viacom's page for BET, Black Entertainment Television.