Moyers: "We Were Biased, All Right -- In Favor of Uncovering the News"

In an interview with Broadcasting & Cable, Bill Moyers claims that while he was at the helm of PBS's Now, the show was guilty of "aggressive reporting," but not liberal bias. (Hat tip: Romenesko.)Following is the relevant portion of the interview. The questioner is B&C's John Eggerton.

You are the exemplar of liberal PBS bias, according to Ken Tomlinson. Was your show liberally biased? Right-wing partisans like Tomlinson have always attacked aggressive reporting as liberal.We were biased, all right—in favor of uncovering the news that powerful people wanted to keep hidden: conflicts of interest at the Department of Interior, secret meetings between Vice President Cheney and the oil industry, backdoor shenanigans by lobbyists at the FCC, corruption in Congress, neglect of wounded veterans returning from Iraq, Pentagon cost overruns, the manipulation of intelligence leading to the invasion of Iraq. We were way ahead of the news curve on these stories, and the administration turned its hit men loose on us. Tomlinson actually told The Washington Post that he was irate over one of our documentary reports from a small town in Pennsylvania hard-hit by outsourcing. If reporting on what's happening to ordinary people thrown overboard by circumstances beyond their control and betrayed by Washington officials is liberalism, I stand convicted.It is an old canard of right-wing ideologues like Tomlinson to equate tough journalism with liberalism. They hope to distract people from the message by trying to discredit the messenger.

For a greatest-hits look at Moyers' actual liberal bias, click here.

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters