CityBeat’s Living Out Loud – Cincinnati Blog

{September 20, 2006}   The Idea of Free Speech

katie.jpgfreespeechsept5.jpgbill-maher.jpgI was watching Real Time with Bill Maher last Friday, and he brought up his appearance on the CBS Evening News’s new segment called “Free Speech.”

He asked if he could talk about religion.



As a matter of fact, they sent him a list of acceptable topics for his moment of “free speech” on the evening news.

Acceptable topics?

For free speech?

He also said that Katie referred to free speech as a privilege in this country, when it is, in fact, an inalienable right (or it’s supposed to be, anyway).

Bill said something like, “If the people at CBS don’t understand what free speech is, what am I to expect from FOX?”

So now we know what Katie Couric’s idea of free speech is. It’s a list of acceptable topics.

What’s your idea of free speech?

Heather Annastasia Siladi


Larry Gross says:

Over the past day or two, there has been some debate on this. The people over at CBS news are stating that they didn’t tell Maher he couldn’t talk about religion. Maher, trying to take the high road, issued a statement that said if his people misunderstood the CBS people – then “we bad.” Maher has again offered to give his free speech on religion.

I wouldn’t count on this happening. Maher is out there, says exactly what he thinks and I don’t think that’s going to fit into a Katic Couric broadcast that airs at six-thirty in the evening. I think the hot shots over at CBS now know that too.

Tim Graves says:

I’m no fan of Bill Maher or Larry Gross who like to get in your face with their opinions, but that’s the great thing about this country. You can say what you want. Couric blew it when she said free speech is a privilege. It’s a RIGHT, Katie, and I haven’t watched your show since. You lost me the first night.

Kelly says:

Free speech is just that. It it our right to say what’s on our minds. I like Katie, just had a poor choice of words on this topic.

Rick says:

I knew about Bill Maher being on this part of the show and was looking forward to it. I should have known that CBS would not let on a man with so much courage to say what’s on his mind.

Jacob Hicks says:

I don’t need someone like Bill Maher on an evening broadcast of the news giving his opinion. I watch the news for news. If I wanted to get angry, I would watch his over the top HBO show. Thank goodness I don’t have cable.

Jacob Hicks

Erin says:

Free speech is, of course, a RIGHT we have in this country. That is what is so great about us and why I don’t like president Bush. He doesn’t believe in free speech unless you agree with him.

Well, on Kelly’s point that Katie’s comment was a “poor choice of words”:

See, if you’re in a conversation, or blogging, or what not, then you might use a word that you didn’t mean, or you might not get your point across the way you meant. But when you’re writing out what you’re going to say on a news broadcast, and it has to be edited and approved by other people, you have the time to choose the precise words you’re going to say. I don’t think Katie flubbed here, I think she said what she meant.

On Jacob’s comment: You could definitely argue the point that they should be presenting news and not opinions; but then they shouldn’t have a segment called “free speech” where they pretend they’re going to let people give their opinions.

Karen says:

Free speech is Bill Maher, Larry, Heather, CityBeat and all the rest of us being able to say exactly what we think. Katie Couric has disappointed me here.

Heather says:

Ooh… let’s throw a monkey wrench into the system here.

What about free speech at a KKK rally?

What about people who do not commit acts of violence, but whose words directly incite others to violence?

Where do we draw the line? Should we draw a line?

Beaver Head says:

Speaking of free speech…

It’s approaching noon and CityBeat STILL HAS NOT UPDATED THIER WEB SITE. With all the complaints that were made last week about this (just one of many about the publication), it seems our complaining means nothing to the web master or his bosses. It is business as usual. BAD BUSINESS.

S.A. says:

Members of the KKK are fools. So is Bill Maher. Freedom of speech belongs to everybody. You can’t pick and choose.

Heather says:

Absolutely, S.A. I think freedom of speech means that every idiot in this country has a right to say any damn fool thing he wants.

But what if you have a person preaching to a young, impressionable band of followers that they should kill black people or gay people. What if one of those young followers finally does? Is the preacher responsible? Should the preacher have been stopped before someone was killed?

S.A. says:

“Should the preacher have been stopped before someone was killed?”

No. With free speech you take the good with the bad. Killing is bad, of course. That’s why we have laws.

When it comes to people who are different from us – black, gay what have you, we need leaders in this country who can provide education on those that are differnt than “normal” citizens. When people are educated, they wise up.

The sad thing is we don’t have educated leaders in our country. We are sheep.

Bill says:

Bill Maher is not a fool. He speaks the truth. Maher rocks.

Heather says:

Bill Maher is my hero. And Olbermann has been on fire lately.

Beaver Head says:

It’s now NOON and CityBeat’s website is STILL on last week’s issue. I’m tracking this today, since I’m off.

Karen @ the hood says:

Beaver Head

Must be nice to have so much time on your hands.

Heather says:

Beaver Head: this is a discussion about free speech. Would you like me to send you a list of acceptable topics?


Seriously though, CityBeat needs someone to tend to their site better, but maybe they can’t afford it.

Matt says:

You have to hand it to the beaver. When he gets on something that bugs him, he doesn’t let go. I’m enjoying his FREE SPEECH!

Heather says:

Come on, isn’t anyone going to argue that you can’t use free speech to incite others to violence?

Okay then, should we able to say fuck on prime time television? Surely that’s nothing compared to hate speech, but we can’t fuck on tv OR the radio. There are federal regulations against the word fuck.

What about free speech?

Heather says:

Oh, I meant “we can’t SAY fuck on tv or the radio”


Beaver Head says:

It’s 12:30 and CityBeat’s website is still stuck on their cool issue. How cool is that?

Susan says:

Of course you can say fuck on radio and television. Your hero Bill Maher does it all the time – and look at Howard Stern.

On regular network televison you can’t say the bad words. I think that’s probably because older people get offended or probably even more so young kids might be watching. It should be a parents job to oversee what their kids watch, but that’s a whole other disucssion: bad parenting.

Sally says:

Some of us have kids to protect.

Heather says:

I have kids to protect. They’re not allowed to say “fuck” because it offends people, but I don’t see how hearing the word is going to damage their brains or make them grow up to be depraved sex addicts.

I don’t say the word very often at all, just because it rarely fits into what I’m trying to say, but they hear it on tv and at the beach etc. I don’t see what the big deal is.

Matt says:

Beaver Head

Where you at? The web site is now updated.

Beaver Head says:

Yes, it’s up, better than mid or late afternoon which it usually is.

I don’t even know why I bother anymore with this paper. I think old habits die hard. I remember when the paper was really good. Now, I don’t know what it is. Going through the motions maybe?

Peter says:

Bill Maher is this jerky guy who thinks he knows everything. Whenever I see him on a television show, I turn the channel. I’d do the same if he showed up on the evening news giving one of his outrageous opinions.

Heather says:

Sorry, no Maher-bashing allowed.

Larry Gross says:

Free speech, Heather, free speech.

But I happen to agree. Bill Maher is one witty, funny guy. “Real Time” is probably the best televison show going right now. Even beats out “According to Jim.” (joke)

Tate says:

Of course you would like Bill Maher. You’re just like him. Full of yourself.

Jeff- or-ly says:


Is your first name Larry, as in Larry Tate? Ha!

You’re wrong. Maher is funny and so is Larry – Gross – not Tate.

Heather says:

Alas, there is no one a person can be full of except their self.

Jeff- or-ly says:

What she said.

C.A. MacConnell says:

Larry just ran into me in front of an automatic door, and I tried to find out what he was having for dinner so I could post it, but he’s way too smart. He said, “None of your business!” Damn.

But I did see a stack of CityBeats a mile high, overflowing all the stands, so Beaver Head, go on & use your free speech and complain, but the way I see it, the paper’s rockin. Speakin of rockin, I just updated my site, and I will shamelessly take this free opportunity to promote it, because I, too, am full of myself. So check it out.

Bill says:

Hey! Bill Maher has been all over the tube lately, Scarborough Country and Hardball on MSNBC and last night was on Hannity & Colmes on FOX. I think asshole Hannity knows better than to try and stand up to Bill. It was a good interview. Check out YouTube for the clips.

C.A., you have got to help me out. Your site is so much cooler than mine! I’m fumbling through building my site & it’s so hard.

Are you and HTML wiz, or does someone do it for you? How do you do the flash?

Larry Gross says:


Why am I always running into you lately? Stop following me around!

Just visited your site. I like the guitar at the beginning, but what’s up with the mikes? I felt like I was visiting Larry King’s web site.


C.A. MacConnell says:

hahahahah. yeah, i know. still workin on it. heather, i’ve sent you an email to your site…check your site email.

numb says:

heather and c.a.
a love fest.

Karen says:


Quit being so, so………………………numb.
You’re boring.

Karen @ the hood says:

numb is like a pissant, ya know? like a kid in high school.

Jake says:

The interview on Hardball with Maher is really excellent. Chris was his usual self (too bad), but he asked Maher good questions.

C.A. MacConnell says:

I think I’m the only one who sickly thinks Numb is funny.

Karen @ the hood says:

I went to the web and did a little research on mr. Bill Maher. Everywhere I see, it says he likes black chicks.

Come on, Bill, i’m willing and able!!!!!!!!!!

Bill says:

Maher is a “player” – everyone in Hollywood knows that. Is Larry a player in Porkopolis?

Jackie says:

Why did you bring this up, Bill?

Is Larry the editor on this blog? Of course he is. I’m sure this will get deleted.

Larry is not a player at all. He knows me. He knows I’m interested. I love that long hair, those blue eyes and that intense face and sense of humor. I love his book, I love his writing. He knows this. He’s older, but who gives a fuck?

Come clean, Mr. Larry. Why do you look at someone who – as Karen in the hood says – is willing and able and do nothing? Do you have the nerve to answer this?

Don’t get angry. I just want to know.

hard as nails says:

wow. i’m in for the eveing and this is getting interestin’

Jeff- or-ly says:

man larry man, call her and X@X^ her brains out.

Matt says:

Go for it, Mr. Living Out Loud.

Larry Gross says:

All right, closing down the blog for the evening. A busy blog day to say the least.

Jackie: I didn’t delete your e-mail. Give me some credit for that. I consider you a good person.

But, consider this: I am old enough to be your father. I have a daughter who is 25-years-old. You are even younger than that. Do the math. It wouldn’t work. The reality is it wouldn’t make sense. Think about that.

I’m not a player. I’m a person living my life who wants to be alone right now. No doubt, that will change at some point, but not now. As far as sex goes, I’ll give it my favorite line – “I’m just waiting for a bus.”

Thanks to all for all the activity today. On Thursday, a new post – words from William Johnson. And it’s good.

Joanie says:

Can somebody tell me – does larry live in clifton?

Karen says:


Read Larry’s columns! He makes no secret of the fact that he lives in Clifton.

Jeff- or-ly says:

No Jackie and Larry today. Are they busy doing it? HA HA!!!

X-Y-Z says:

Just found this really cool blog. I mean anyone who is putting up Bill Maher is gonna be cool with me. I mean, I live for Real Time every Friday night and get really pissed off when it takes breaks from HBO. He says exactly what he thinks and it doesn’t surprise me at all that CBS and sexy but stupid Katie wouldn’t let him say what’s on his mind.

How come Maher doesn’t write for City Beat? I mean, he writes for other publications. You guys should get on it. He’s a good fit.

Tim says:

I like Maher’s comedy, but it doesn’t belong on a news show. He and Katie are not a good fit.

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