Idol Chatter

In addition to a L’il Kim reality show–chronicling the rapper’s last two weeks before going behind bars–BET, the cable station aimed at African-American viewers, is hoping to liven up its lineup with a weekly show called “Meet the Faith.” The concept is modeled on NBC’s venerable Sunday political chat show, “Meet the Press,” with CNN political analyst Carlos Watson playing host to religious leaders discussing current affairs. But BET’s religion panel won’t feature insiders bantering about culture-wars topics, promises BET pres Reginald Hudlin. Instead, notables from the religion world will talk about “what is right and wrong, what makes better human beings, what connects to our spirituality,” Hudlin says.

Any meaningful religion blab on broadcast TV wouldn’t have a chance to keep its head above the right-left fray. Can BET? Certainly, “Meet the Faith” will benefit from the open dialogue African-American churches have historically maintained between religion and society. But that easy dialogue has in part depended on a consensus affliation with the Democratic Party. With African-American ministers increasingly lining up with Republicans (see last Sunday’s “Justice Sunday” in Philly), the new show may showcase the growing diversification of the African-American church’s voice. “Meet the Faith” premieres March 19.

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