Thursday, April 26, 2007

God Bless You, Mr. Moyers

Bill Moyers is back. Two years ago when he announced that he was retiring from television he stated, "Maybe I've finally broken the habit". Forget about it. Bill Moyers is a stone cold junkie of enlightenment. The first rule in overcoming such a devastating habit is to come to terms with some very nasty realities and admit that you have a problem. The man is in deep denial with a serious PBS jones. Apparently he doesn't think he has a problem. Come to think of it, neither do I. The only people on the planet who are going to have a problem with his return to Public Television are the powerful in general and the disgusting administration of George W. Bush in particular.
He placed his toe back in the broadcasting waters a couple of months ago with an excellent documentary called Capital Crimes which documented in riveting detail the evolution of the career of uber lobbyist, Jack Abramoff and the web of theft and corruption of almost everyone in his orbit - in particular, former Texas congressman, Tom DeLay, and Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian (That's right, I said "Christian") Coalition - both of whom are now thoroughly disgraced. It reveals why the 109th Congress will be remembered as the very worst legislative body in modern times. If you missed it, you really should see it. It's available from PBS Video.
Last night's premiere of the newest incarnation of Bill Moyers' Journal was probably the finest piece of broadcast journalism I've ever seen in my life. The program, called Buying The War, was a brilliant expose` on how the Bush administration was able to fool the so-called main stream "liberal" media into signing on to the stupidest foreign policy blunder in American history. If the assassination of President Kennedy was TV and print news' finest hour, the Bush era will hopefully be remembered as its lowest (I say "hopefully" because I can't imagine them sinking any lower - but then again....) The ninety minute program did not waste time mincing words: the fourth estate has utterly failed the American people. What the program didn't mention (it didn't have to) was that this cesspool sea of propaganda and disinformation is a direct result of Ronald Reagan's 1986 gutting of the FCC. When they did away with the Fairness Doctrine, which guaranteed that all sides of any given issued would be given a fair hearing on the people's airwaves, the inevitable rise of half-witted hate radio became a forgone conclusion. We should all demand that the next president correct this dreadful situation.
Whenever you find yourself wanting to throw in the towel with regard to the state of Texas, just remember the fact that, for all its faults, the Lone Star State did, in fact, produce the likes of Molly Ivins, Bob Scheifer, Dan Rather and Bill Moyers. For a man who started his career as a spokesman for Lyndon Baines Johnson, he certainly has come a long way - one of the few people in the country who has actually worked inside the White House (during another unpopular war) and as a reputable journalist. It's not by accident that the man has won over thirty Emmys during his run - nor do I doubt that he will win many more - he's that good. That he has consistently been attacked on the air by Bill O'Riley only endears me to him further. Be honest: wouldn't you love to find yourself on Billo's Enemies List? That's what I call a status symbol!
You'll be able to catch Bill Moyers' Journal every Friday night at 9:00 on your local PBS station. Tomorrow night's show, a comprehensive conversation with Daily Show host Jon Stewart will make the argument that you can sometimes learn more from fake news "than all the Sunday morning talk shows put together".
On C-SPAN this morning, the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol, one of the talking head liars portrayed on Buying The War, was asked if he had seen the program:
"I had better things to do".
Of course he did. The program will be repeated Saturday, April 28 at 1:30 PM EST. It should not be missed.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
To purchase copies of the programs mentioned above, please phone:
Or send $29.95 to:
PBS Video
PO Box 2284
South Burlington, VT 05495


At 7:00 PM, Anonymous Dr. Rick Lippin said...

Thanks Tom-

Moyers - A great moral force

Degan-Another great moral force

I spent a day with Moyers talking about the healing power of the Arts

Rick Lippin

At 11:49 PM, Anonymous Sandy Green said...

Dear Tom,

Thank you for your great piece. I love Bill Moyers as I love your great rants and wait with baited breath each time there is a new post by either of you. I know I will be intrigued, challenged and be left with the need to some how help.

We bought a new DVD recorder for downstairs just so I can watch Bill and record numbers at the same time. I had to miss Medium on Wednesday, which my husband and I really like too.

I have written several times, somehow my comments disappear when I clicked other. If I spent an hour writing, then I spent my words and feel spent for I have tried my best to say something I have thought was important.

Thanks again

At 2:36 AM, Anonymous larkrise said...

Bill Moyers for President! Would that it could happen.....Nevertheless, "Buying the War" was one of the best programs I have ever watched on PBS. There were so many viewers,(Thanks Be to God) that the website couldnt handle all the people who wanted to have an online chat with the two Knight-Ridder journalists. I will post more on my thoughts about the program tomorrow, but I did want to join with you, Tom, in praising it. I intend to buy both programs, the one about lobbysists and this one. I hope the day will come when I can look back on these dreadful years, and say that "the world is better, now." Bill Moyers has kept the flame of ethical journalism shining in the darkness. He is my hero.


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