Bill Moyers Announces Latest Retirement, Here’s Hoping It’s His Last

Bill Moyers, the former LBJ press secretary who has made a career of producing partisan Democratic television shows at taxpayers’ expense, announced Wednesday that his latest program, Moyers & Company will end in early 2014.

While Moyers has never openly admitted to his obvious partisanship, his announcement of the show’s cancellation reeks of left-wing identity politics masquerading as news:

“Two years ago, thanks to the generosity of some unexpected funders and the loyalty of long-time funders, I came out of retirement with a new weekly series, Moyers & Company. Since then our team has kept a steady focus on some of the vital nerve centers of democracy: Money and politics. Economics and inequality. The world’s endangered ecology. Citizen participation in democracy. The power to inform and inspire.”

While not everything in the list sounds like liberal talking points on the surface, a quick glance through the NewsBusters archive shows that when it comes to “citizen participation in democracy,” Moyers & Company did not want anyone to participate who supported gun rights:

[W]e have become so gun loving, so blasé about home-grown violence that in my lifetime alone, far more Americans have been casualties of domestic gunfire than have died in all our wars combined. In Arizona last year, just days after the Gabby Giffords shooting, sales of the weapon used in the slaughter - a 9 millimeter Glock semi-automatic pistol - doubled.

We are fooling ourselves. That the law could allow even an inflamed lunatic to easily acquire murderous weapons and not expect murderous consequences. Fooling ourselves that the Second Amendment’s guarantee of a "well-regulated militia" be construed as a God-given right to purchase and own just about any weapon of destruction you like. That's a license for murder and mayhem and it's a great fraud that has entered our history.

Moyers went beyond merely ranting against gun rights supporters, however. He posted a "take action" item on his show's website urging followers to call in to an anti-gun hotline to be fed talking points that they could then regurgitate in a free call to their congressional representatives.

Besides being offended by the Second Amendment, Moyers also attacked the Pledge of Allegiance on his soon-to-be-cancelled program, calling it “a whopper of a lie.”

Speaking of “great frauds,” it’s worth noting that when Moyers & Company was first announced, a local PBS programming director was quoted as saying he was sick and tired of Moyers and his repeated “retirements” as the website Current.org (not affiliated with the former Current TV) reported in 2012:

“One pubTV programmer, who requested anonymity because he admires Moyers, said all those stops and restarts are ‘frustrating’ to stations and continually raise viewer concerns that political pressures are influencing program decisions. ‘I have nothing but respect for him,’ the programmer said, ‘but the on-again, off-again nature of his relationship with PBS is not good for stations or for the system. Dealing with viewer phone calls when he “retires” is a pain for stations in terms of volume, but more importantly because it’s once again seen as some kind of political pressure or bias.’”

But pulling off multiple fake retirements in the hopes of getting more millions rolling into his personal bank account isn’t the worst thing Bill Moyers has done journalistically in recent years. Even more awful that that is the fact that Moyers has repeatedly featured multiple left-wing advocacy groups on his program without informing viewers that a foundation he controls, the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, has given millions of dollars to these groups.

Besides being an abuse of journalistic integrity, Moyers’s disgraceful failure to disclose his foundation’s contributions is also extremely hypocritical since the groups he’s funded are supposedly dedicated to ridding the political system of what they believe to be “dirty money.” Of course in Bill Moyers’s hyper-partisan worldview, any money that supports causes with which he disagrees is dirty.

Television will be just a little bit cleaner once Moyers is off the air again.

(Hat tip: NB reader Thomas Stewart)

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013