Bill Maher hosts Rather, Huckabee and Rock

The theme of Friday night’s live HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher”, seemed to be a call to journalists and democrats to find their spines once again, and do their jobs competently.

One of Maher’s panel guests, veteran Texan journalist Dan Rather made comments regarding the “chummy” trap that so many reporters have fallen into with regards to high ranking politicians, sacrificing the sacred journalistic objectivity for inclusiveness and power-struck camaraderie.

Rather had left CBS in a messy professional divorce.  The scrappy anchor had worked there for 44 years when things went sour over an incorrect story about President Bush’s military service.

Dan Rather was picked up by Mark Cuban for the “Dan Rather Reports,” premiering on HDNet in October.

“Dan Rather Reports” features edgy field reports, interviews and investigative pieces. It is one-hour in length and completely uncensored.

Rather declared to Maher that “comedians, such as yourself, Jon Stewart and others, are a valuable supplement” to the mainstream news media since “good journalism…speaks truth to power,” but, referring to himself and his peers, “we’ve lost our guts. We need a spine transplant. What’s happened is comedians, in their own way, speak truth to power and fill that vacuum that we in journalism have too often left, particularly post 9/11.”

ABC’s Martha Raddatz sat next to Rather and had insightful contributions to the discussion that included Maher’s call to Americans to wake up regarding our Bill of Rights and civil liberties that have been chipped away by the current administration.

Comic actors Chris Rock and Jason Alexander rounded out the show.

Senator Mike Huckabee (R), another Presidential hopeful from Hope, Arkansas, home of Bill Clinton, held his own with Maher, and joked that VP Dick Cheney told him he would like to take Maher “hunting.”



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