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BET News Sits Down With 2008 Presidential Hopefuls for a Series of Specials Entitled 'WHAT'S IN IT FOR US?' Premiering Tuesday, January 8 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT

Premiere Special Features Senator Barack Obama, with the Second Installment 'WHAT'S IN IT FOR US? HILLARY CLINTON AND THE BLACK

NEW YORK, Jan. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of BET Networks' 2008 national election coverage, BET News sits down with the 2008 presidential hopefuls for a series of compelling interviews titled "WHAT'S IN IT FOR US?" For the premiere special, BET speaks with the man on a mission to become the first Black man in the White House, Senator Barack Obama, in the half-hour special WHAT'S IN IT FOR US? BARACK OBAMA AND THE BLACK VOTE, premiering Tuesday, January 8 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. The second special WHAT'S IN IT FOR US? HILLARY CLINTON AND THE BLACK VOTE will air on Tuesday, January 15 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

(Logo: )

In the premiere special, BET News correspondent Jeff Johnson sits with Senator Obama in a revealing interview that provides a rare glimpse into the Illinois Senator's life, his family and his political aspirations as he embarks on an impressive quest to change the complexion of politics forever. Through this enlightening BET News special, viewers will hear Senator Obama's thoughts on topics ranging from the U.S. education system, the criminal justice system and immigration. It also explores what being "Black enough" really means, the African American electorate and even the Senator's personal thoughts on hip hop and what is playing on his iPod.

In the second special, Johnson sits down with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the woman who once stood before America in the East Wing and is now looking to lead America in the West Wing and become the first female Commander-in-Chief. Viewers will get a glimpse into Senator Clinton's thoughts on her rivals, her passions, and what sets her apart. Also, Senator Clinton's campaign ace has been husband Bill Clinton, and his presidency endeared them both to African Americans. Will her husband's influence and connection with the Black community be enough to earn her the Black vote and give her a win?

From the Specials:

When asked about the questions if he is "Black enough," Obama said, "As we've progressed over time, and people become more familiar with my track record, then they feel like this is the guy I'm going to vote for not because he's Black, but because he's got a track record and is working on racial profiling, and giving health care to kids, and dealing with wrongful convictions ... The other thing I've got to always say when people say, 'Are you Black enough?' is, 'Well, compared to whom?'"

Obama also expressed his taste in hip hop, both old school and new, as well as the challenges the genre faces. "The thing about hip hop today is it's smart, it's insightful, and the way that they can communicate a complex message in a very short space is remarkable ... I understand people want to be rooted in the community, they want to be down, but what I always say is that hip hop is not just a mirror of what is. It should also be a reflection of what can be."

These BET News specials are only one aspect of BET Networks' integrated, non-partisan national election coverage. BET News will be running a branded series of weekly and daily news briefs, and will have special coverage of the Democratic and Republican conventions. In addition, BET will air special public service announcements emphasizing the importance of voting and key election issues impacting its audiences, and will include election/issue updates on BET shows, such as 106 & PARK.

Online, is developing a special election microsite with features including blogs, polls, people on the street interviews and a link to a voter registration site. recently named Barack Obama its Person of the Year in the Politics category, and in his interview, this is what he had to say:

"I did not run for the presidency to fulfill some long-held ambition or because I believed it was somehow owed to me. I chose to run in this election -- at this moment -- because of what Dr. King called 'the fierce urgency of now.' Because we are at a defining moment in our history. Our time is now. I believe it's time for this generation to make its own mark -- to write our own chapter in the American story. After all, those who came before us did not strike a blow against injustice only so that we would allow injustice to fester in our time."

In the community, BET will hold a series of grassroots events to encourage local voter registration and awareness. BET Networks is partnering with a number of organizations, including Rock the Vote, the CBC Foundation, Urban League, Black Youth Vote, Urban Radio Network, National Coalition for Black Civic Participation, Hip Hop Action Network, Pan-Hell, Joint Center for Political Studies, NAACP and National Urban League on these community events.

The Obama and Clinton WHAT'S IN IT FOR US? specials are the first in a series of BET News specials that will explore how life in Black America would change if a particular candidate wins in 2008. Pamela Gentry of BET serves as executive producer of WHAT'S IN IT FOR US?. Tiffany Tate and Andre Showell are producers. Keith Brown is Vice President of News & Public Affairs, BET.

For up-to-the-minute and archival press information including releases and photographs, visit BET's press-only Web site at

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. , is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 87 million households according to Nielsen Media Research, and can be seen in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions:, a leading internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET Digital Networks - BET J, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Mobile, a service venture into the lucrative world of ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, an extension of BET network programming for global distribution.

BET Networks

CONTACT: Marcy Polanco, +1-212-975-3327, [email protected], or
Bernadette Simpao, +1-212-846-6722, [email protected], both of BET

Web site:

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