Brasilmagic\’s Weblog

Venting to the World

Atheists on TV

It is very easy to see who is a liberal and who is a conservative, left wing or right wing on TV. Newscasters, commentators and interviewers clearly state their political preferences. When it comes to religion, however, that is less clear.

Journalists learn in school that they have to be impartial. They are news-casters, not news makers. But even though they are outspoken when it comes to politics, they are timid about expressing their lack of religious beliefs. Blatantly advertising your lack of religion hasn’t been popular in this country. 

But this is changing. Since discussing and questioning religion in this country has become more and more acceptable (think Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris who all helped disseminate this debate), journalists have been more openly taking sides. The most outspoken one is Bill Maher. Bill makes no qualms in declaring religion a fantasy. He even made a documentary about it.

Others are less obvious, but they skillfully manage to defend the separation of Church and State (so abused during the Bush administration) and to show that believing in God is optional, and it is ok to be an atheist. These TV personalities are Larry King,  Keith Olberman, Barbara Walters, Jon Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, amongst others. I applaud them for slowly coming out of their closets 🙂

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September 10, 2008 - Posted by | Atheism

6 Comments »

  1. I, for one, long for the day that a politician can declare their atheism and move beyond city dog-catcher in East BFE.

    But I am glad, especially as a former journalist, of these baby-steps. A baby-step is better than no step.

    Comment by Postman | September 10, 2008 | Reply

  2. Postman, we need more atheist politicians. We need more atheists running for office. Start small, like my husband who is running for city council in a small locality.

    Comment by Grace Farrell | September 10, 2008 | Reply

  3. If by “small locality” you mean “New York City”, then – Hooray! I can vote for him. Obviously, I’ll expect special favors in return. A new subway line running directly from my living room to Grand Central Station should do nicely.
    In any case, good luck to him.

    Comment by Postman | September 10, 2008 | Reply

  4. Ha ha, no, it’s really a small town.

    Comment by Grace Farrell | September 10, 2008 | Reply

  5. None of those people are really journalists. They’re mostly talk show hosts. If they’re coming out, that’s a good thing and I applaud it.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | September 14, 2008 | Reply

  6. True, I doubt they have a degree in Journalism, but they still have to follow the rules pertinent to working for a media group. They have boundaries. Remember when Bill Maher got kicked out of an open broadcast channel for making a comment considered too controversial?

    Comment by Grace Farrell | September 14, 2008 | Reply


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