Former Sen. Arlen Specter Developing Pilot for Sunday Morning Show on Public Television

By Melanie Arter | November 22, 2011 | 5:36pm EST

Then-Sen. Arlen Specter with President Barack Obama at a Sept. 2009 fundraiser in Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

( – Former Sen. Arlen Specter will serve as moderator and host of a new Sunday morning television program that is being developed as a pilot for government-funded public broadcasting.

“The Whole Truth” is scheduled to be filmed for Maryland Public Television on Nov. 29 at The Newseum and will be focused on the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United, which revolved around the question of whether Congress could prohibit a corporation from mentioning the name of a presidential candidate in broadcast during campaign season.

Specter said the show is scheduled to air some time 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

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Sen. Evan Bayh has been confirmed as a guest and will be speaking in opposition to the Citizens United decision, while Sen. Fred Thompson will present the counterpoint position, Specter said. He sent a letter to Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips, asking him to serve as a guest on the show as well.

However, Levi Russell, a spokesperson for Americans for Prosperity, said that Philips declined to be a guest on the show.

“It is a little different approach. It is going to be interactive with Senator Thompson and Senator Bayh being the principals with Thompson in favor of the Supreme Court opinion in Citizens United and Bayh being opposed,” Specter told

The show will involve Specter’s “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,” Specter wrote in the letter to Phillips.

“And we’re going to have people who are going to participate intermittently with the principals. David Bossie, the president of Citizens United, Bob Edgar, former congressman and CEO of Common Cause, Jeffrey Caton who writes for The New Yorker, Jeffrey Rosen, a law professor who writes for The New York Times magazine section, and a fair number of other people,” Specter told

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