Nov 27, 2011

Former Sen. Specter says he's hosting show for Maryland Public Television, the news website of the conservative Media Research Center, is reporting that former Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) is developing a Sunday morning talk show for Maryland Public Television. The first episode of The Whole Truth is scheduled to be produced Nov. 29 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., according to, and will air in January. “This is a pilot, and we hope to put on many, many additional programs — depends on how well we do and how well it is received,” Specter told the news site. His first guests include former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) and former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) and the topic will be the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission, which held that political spending is a form of protected speech.

Specter said in a letter to a potential guest, obtained by, that the program will be an “interrogation of principal guests, speaking for both sides of the issues, and a diverse and distinguished live audience of scholars, public officials, journalists and students.”

UPDATE: Steven J. Schupak, MPT's s.v.p., content enterprises, confirmed to Current that The Whole Truth pilot has been green-lit and plans are for 13 half-hour episodes. It will premiere on MPT at 8 p.m. Eastern on Jan. 13, 2012. No distributor has yet been set.

To Lubinsky, even castanets matter

T.J. Lubinsky, whose musical pledge specials have brought in some $300 million for the pubcasting system, "is not a trained musician," reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the paper in his adopted hometown. "He doesn't play an instrument and can't sing very well, but he has a keen, almost supernatural ear for music."

One example is a 3 a.m. recording session of Phil Spector's "Be My Baby" and "Da Doo Ron Ron." To Lubinsky, the castanets just did not sound authentic. And he was correct, because the castanets Spector used were made from ebony and used by flamenco dancers. "We found an instructor at Carnegie Mellon who had the real ones for teaching flamenco," recalled producer Paul Brownstein. "To make the sound more authentic, T.J. then paid for another session with the musicians to record the song again with the right castanets. So, it's making it the best he can, as opposed to 'that's about it, we're moving on.' "

Lubinsky's latest special, My Music: '60s Pop Rock and Soul premieres tonight (Nov. 27) on PBS.