Channel 19

Todd Dills

Who’s your copilot?

| October 07, 2008

Either the producers of Bill Maher’s satirical documentary Religulous have memory/note-taking problems or a GPS unit in their production van led them three hours due southwest of their intended target, a purported “>Truckers Chapel” referenced in their production notes and in the film’s PR as being in Raleigh, N.C. However, Raleigh News-Observer reporter Matt Ehlers says it’s actually in Charlotte. Blogging at the News-Observer site, Ehler writes that “>Maher’s travels brought him to Charlotte, where he met the Rev. Joe Copeland, who helps run a truck stop chapel near the intersection of Interstates 77 and 85. / Copeland says he agreed to the interview after receiving a phone call asking for his help with a documentary. No one told him a famous pop culture skeptic would be asking the questions. ‘I didn’t know who he was until after the interview,’ Copeland says. / Maher’s questions seemed designed to cause friction, Copeland remembers. One example: ‘If God is so good, why are people dying?’ / The preacher says he kept his cool …”>

At the New York Times site, meanwhile, reporters write in “The Caucus” political blog of their visit to the Truckers Chapel in Laramie, Wyo., where they spoke to fill-in minister Mike Regan about politics and religion on the road, both of which, said Regan, are taking a backseat these days to a different pressing issue. I bet you can guess what that is. Here’s a quick sample from the Qamp;A: “>Q: Do people talk politics in here? / Mr. Regan: A little bit. One says Obama’s great and the other says McCain’s great and I can’t quite get a balance on it one way or another. I guess the only consensus I’ve heard is that one is as bad as the other. / Q: What is the main issue for truckers in the campaign? / Mr. Regan: The main one we hear about is fuel prices. I don’t think that’s something that is local. We hear it all the time …”> strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.

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Todd Dills

Todd Dills is Senior Editor of Overdrive magazine and writes from Nashville, Tenn. He frequently covers business, regulatory and lifestyle topics for the magazine and at His work on the “CSA’s Data Trail” series in Overdrive about the federal CSA program was awarded the highest honor in trade journalism – the “Grand Neal” – by American Business Media at the 2014 Jesse H. Neal Awards. Dills’ Channel 19 blog covers a grab bag of on-highway hearsay, owner-operator news and driver views from the roadways the nation over. His work in trucking journalism builds on a background of news feature, fiction and other creative writing and editing. Find him here at the Channel 19 blog and via his Twitter feed, or send tips to or via phone at 205-907-2481.


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