Elizabeth Jensen at the New York Times reports "Bill Moyers says he is returning to public television in January, but he won’t be found on the PBS lineup." This is a distinction without much difference -- if, as expected, most PBS stations snap it up.
By "un-retiring" again, Moyers is beginning to look like the Brett Favre of PBS. His latest retirement from the latest installment of "Bill Moyers Journal" was in 2010. He alsoretired in 2004 after PBS president Pat Mitchell insisted he had to return to liberal PBS after 9/11.
But what does it mean, to replace capitalism with democracy? He sighs and tries to explain. In the old Soviet bloc, he says, communism was the political system and socialism the economic. But with capitalism, he complains, you get political and economic rolled in to one. Big business buys votes in Congress. Lobbyists write laws. The result is that the US political system is awash in capitalist money that has stripped the system of much of its democratic accountability.
On Friday night’s Bill Moyers Journal on PBS, Moyers ran anti-Obama clips from conservative talk show hosts and marveled that anyone would believe them, when they were responsible for what he called the "Decade of Conservative Failure." Moyers’ guest, leftist Wall Street Journal columnist Thomas Frank, cracked wise: "That is America for you. That is the demented logic of our politics."
Frank suggested (and not in a good way) that America is "pretty much unique" in having such a strong belief in free markets, or as Frank put it, half a political system "dedicated to the destruction of the government." Frank bizarrely claimed Democrats never stick up for the government, and need to explain that the present health-care bills are "a way of growing our freedom."
Moyers ran a montage of talk show hosts he can’t stand at the beginning, which was the closest the one-sided PBS showcase came to an opposing viewpoint:
MOYERS: How is it that the people who are responsible for the mess Obama inherited are getting away with demonizing him when he’s only had less than a year to clean it up? Let me show you just a sample of right-wing commentators railing against the president.
That's the advice PBS host Bill Moyers had for President Barack Obama in an appearance on HBO's August 28 "Real Time with Bill Maher." According to the former press secretary for President Lyndon B. Johnson, a defeat on health care/health insurance reform would do the left more good than crafting some sort of compromise.
"I mean, I would rather see Barack Obama go down fighting for vigorous, strong principled public insurance, than to lose with a bill - look, BusinessWeek had a cover story last week, ‘The Insurers are Winning,'" Moyers said.
PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers unleashed his anger at Rush Limbaugh and other conservative talk radio hosts on Friday night’s Bill Moyers Journal, suggesting they "scream like martyrs being stretched on the rack" about the alleged Fairness Doctrine and they "earn millions inciting riots in the public mind." Limbaugh played a clip and responded that it was laughable that Moyers would pose as a "paragon of virtue on fairness."
MOYERS: Ronald Reagan abolished the [Fairness] doctrine in 1987, but mention it today and the Rush Limbaughs of the world still scream like martyrs being stretched on the rack. These people earn millions inciting riots in the public mind. If they were required to be fair, they would soon be penniless, out on the street, cup in hand. So when we first telecast our report on the killings in Knoxville last year, some of them threw a tantrum, as if our criticism of their malicious rhetoric was a call for government censorship.
Struggling to sell a "public option" of socialized medicine on America, the left needs demons. So here comes, right on time, the focus on all the "lies" that free-market "front groups" are pushing on the failures of nationalized health care in countries like Canada and Great Britain.
These leftists are shameless. Their intellectual dishonesty is boundless. One wonders if socialized medicine might include treatment for this condition.
A man named Wendell Potter was the star of the hour on PBS’s "Bill Moyers Journal" on July 10. Potter used to be a spokesman for the insurance giant Cigna. He painted a picture of gilded excess. "I was served my lunch by a flight attendant who brought my lunch on a gold-rimmed plate. And she handed me gold-plated silverware to eat it with." Sitting in a spacious corporate jet, he said he was overcome by guilt at the gap between his creature comforts and the health struggles of the poor and uninsured.
In addition to disparaging Brian Williams for offering a "candygram" to Barack Obama in prime time, PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers organized another one-sided left-wing discussion on the alleged conservative bias of the news media last Friday, picking up on Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne’s complaint that the media are giving too much time and weight to Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich on the Sotomayor nomination. Former NPR correspondent Brooke Gladstone, who now hosts the weekly show On The Media for WNYC radio (distributed nationally by NPR), denounced the "canard" of liberal media bias and how it causes "overbalance":
On Friday night, PBS star Bill Moyers took up the question of the media’s coverage of President Obama. It was not a liberal vs. conservative debate. His panel was two left-wing bloggers: Glenn Greenwald of Salon and Jay Rosen of PressThink. Unsurprisingly, they felt the media weren’t "progressive" enough.
But Greenwald went far beyond that, making claims that "establishment media venues" forged a political "partnership" with the Republican Party and "the right wing" during the Lewinsky affair that continued and "translated into the media being blindly supportive and reverent of the Bush administration." He also claimed – against all evidence – that massive demonstrations against the Iraq war in 2003 were almost ignored: "the media virtually excluded those demonstrations from the narrative."
These strange theories erupted without Moyers really demanding an attack on the media elite:
MOYERS: The Rasmussen Poll this week shows an eight point drop in support for the stimulus plan, what do you make of that?
GREENWALD: You know, I think if you go back to the 1990s, what you saw is essentially a partnership between the Republican Party, the right wing, and establishment media venues. And this partnership was formed when they were essentially engaged in their lynch mob over the Lewinsky affair.
On The Situation Room today, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer made a surprising admission to, of all people, real estate entrepreneur Donald Trump:
BLITZER: What do you think of his (Obama's) decision to pick Joe Biden as his running mate?
TRUMP: I really don't know Senator Biden but I know one thing. He's run a number of times for president. He's gotten less than 1 percent of the vote each time. And that's a pretty tough thing. You know, he's also been involved in pretty big controversy like plagiarism in college and various other things. That's a pretty big statement. So perhaps you change over a period of time. But when you plagiarize, that's a very bad statement. That hasn't been brought up yet, but I'm sure at some point it will. I'm sure that Sarah Palin will bring it up in a debate or somebody's going to bring it up.
BLITZER: Are you talking about plagiarism when he was running for president?
TRUMP: No, I'm talking about when he was a college student as I understand it, and this was a big issue originally but he supposedly plagiarized as a college student. That's a pretty serious charge.
BLITZER: I don't remember that. We'll check it out. But maybe you obviously have a better memory about that.
On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia. Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:
CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.
In America, you need to show identification to buy alcohol, get into a bar, or apply for a job. Yet, for some reason, liberal media members think that Republicans who advocate voter ID laws do so exclusively to prevent Democrats from going to polling booths.
Such was clearly evident Friday evening when Bill Moyers discussed some recent Supreme Court rulings with CNN and New Yorker magazine's legal affairs analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
Better strap yourself in tightly, for the following from "Bill Moyers Journal" on PBS is guaranteed to offend all that actually believe voter identification should be required in every state (video embedded right):
PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers appeared on Tuesday’s edition of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, and delivered a long-winded defense of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who he said was "assassinated by soundbites." Moyers regurgitated the original, discredited Obama line, that out of 200,000 minutes from the pulpit, "His whole life, his whole ministry, his whole career was being summed up in sound bites that added up to no more than 20 seconds endlessly played through the media grinder of our national press." Wright was just making a few errors, like most of us do, he argued: "All of us have made absurd statements. I know that Rev. Wright, whom I had never met before this, was no doubt, had misspoken and made some erratic statements and all that. Most of us do." [audio available here]
PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers was interviewed on the radical taxpayer-subsidized Pacifica Radio network's Democracy Now program on Wednesday, and declared that Hillary Clinton wishes the worst on Barack Obama -- "she keeps hoping for every day, is that lightning will strike him" and insisted "She can only win in a way that would leave the Democratic Party in shambles." Even so, Moyers complained that all three candidates are failing to correct a "dysfunctional" capitalist system.
Moyers also made excuses for Jeremiah Wright's wild sermons about 9/11 and AIDS, and brushed off suggestions that his interview could have been tougher. "I’m not a very adversarial fellow. I’m not a gotcha kind of journalist," he claimed. "I knew that they were going to be asking all of these questions. I leave that to those people whose job it is for the commercial media." He decried the ABC debate questions to Obama as "a great exercise in irrelevance."
“Mainstream media coverage of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright has drawn a round of barking from some of their own in-house watchdogs,” FNC's Brit Hume noted in his Monday night “Grapevine” segment. Hume started by highlighting how PBS ombudsman Michael Getler criticized the soft approach of Bill Moyers in his interview with Wright: “Inflammatory, and inaccurate, statements that Moyers himself laid out at the top of the program went largely unchallenged” and “there were not enough questions asked and some that were asked came across as too reserved and too soft.”
Hume next turned to New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt's disappointment in the paper for putting a review of Wright's performance in appearances ahead of checking what Wright contended against the reality, scolding his employer: “It was a performance strangely lacking in energy at a potential turning point in the election.”
Do my tax dollars really have to support the anti-American vitriol that comes out of the mouth of PBS's Bill Moyers every week?
Before you answer, consider that the host of "Bill Moyers Journal" followed up last week's much publicized sycophantic lovefest with Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama's America-hating pastor by going on a six minute defense of the junior senator from Illinois and the reverend this Friday which was filled with Democrat talking points.
Readers are warned to proceed with caution before either reviewing the highly-offensive transcript that follows, or clicking on the embedded video in the upper-right (h/t TVNewser):
The Bill Moyers PBS interview of Barack Obama’s long-time minister, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, underlined once again that our tax dollars don’t fund programs championing racial harmony. They fund programs that celebrate black radicals, militants, and kooks. Moyers came to Rev. Wright’s side not to condemn him or even challenge him, but to praise him and defend him. As he implored Wright to explain his "God damn America" sermon, Wright at least said he was free in America to denounce America. To which Moyers replied: "Well, you can be almost crucified for saying what you've said here in this country."
Bill Moyers wants us to see Jeremiah Wright as the Jesus Christ of our time?
How bad was Reverend Wright's appearance before the National Press Club this morning? Bad enough that even CNN contributor Roland Martin—who yesterday enthused about Wright's address to the Detroit NAACP, who gave Wright's chat with Bill Moyers an 'A'—flunked it with an 'F.' Bad enough that David Gergen condemned it as "narcissistic almost beyond belief." Bad enough that, introducing a panel discussion of the speech, the palpably distressed CNN Newsroom host Tony Harris let out an audible groan of "ah, boy," and later wondered how much damage had been done.
Interviewed by Bill Moyers for a PBS show to be aired on the night of April 25, 2008, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. accused people of trying to paint him as "un-American" or "some sort of fanatic" for purposes of harming the candidacy of Barack Obama. (AP Photo/PBS, Robin Holland, HO)
It is NBC Green Week, after all, so who can blame Andrea Mitchell for recycling two dilapidated defenses of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright?
Mitchell's heart didn't seem wholly in it, but like a burned-out public defender going through the motions, Andrea apparently felt constrained to mount some kind of defense of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's controversial remarks. And so she trotted out two hoary chestnuts:
that's the way it's done in African-American churches, and
The next time someone claims PBS is an oasis of fairness and balance, suggest they notice that Bill Moyers writes fundraising letters for hard-left political efforts. Arriving in the mail at liberal households over the holidays is a direct-mail fundraiser from Jim Hightower, the former agriculture commissioner of Texas and washed-up talk show host. He has a new, cheap newsletter ($10 annual subscription), and included is a testimonial with the Moyers mug on it. Moyers wrote that Hightower's work is better than Heaven, and the she-God learned immensely from it:
Dear fellow citizen,
I am told the first thing the late people's pundit Molly Ivins did upon reaching that Great Valhalla of Scribes in the Sky was to whip out the latest edition of The Hightower Lowdown and read it aloud to the multitude of saints, angels, and cherubs gathered to greet her.
You may have heard of "Hentish," the dog in The New York Times that was shot and killed by a Blackwater security guard earlier this week. However in the media's over zealous attempt to crucify Blackwater USA they left out a surprisingly telling piece about some of the dogs that were harbored at the Times compound in Baghdad.
The New York Post reported yesterday that these dogs had already attacked people before, including Eason Jordan who runs the blog IraqSlogger.com, and is a former CNN chief news executive.
"Eason's encounter, revealed on his blog yesterday, involved a dog named Scratch and left him with ‘three deep gashes in my right hand, sending blood spewing in all directions,'" the Post story said.
Eason's blog post also revealed other canine nightmares:
Call it a meeting of the Bush-bashing minds. Longtime PBS host Bill Moyers invited on MSNBC host Keith Olbermann for Friday’s edition of Bill Moyers Journal. The strangest moment came as Moyers suggested that in a polarized country, it might be distasteful for journalists to favor one side. Moyers must be playing devil’s advocate, because he’s been every bit as vituperative against Bush as Olbermann.
The worries about polarization and contributing to "a nation of screechers" came up twice.
BILL MOYERS: It seems to me that this country has become two choirs, each side listening to, only to its own preachers. If -- should journalists take sides when everybody else is polarized?
It certainly won't come as a surprise to NewsBusters readers that MSNBC's Keith Olbermann is more separated from reality than virtually any member of the media.
Still, the idea this former sportscaster and current liberal commentator actually considers what he does as "really journalism" should shock and disgust any member of said profession, even Bill Moyers who had Olbermann as a guest on Friday's "Journal."
Wonderfully, referring to himself as a journalist wasn't the only hysterical utterance from Olbermann during this interview, as he also had the unmitigated audacity to criticize conservative radio host Michael Savage for "basically just spattering invective on people he didn't like."
Hey, Keith, have you ever actually watched your program or read a transcript?
We have a new Special Report posted on the main MRC Web site on the ideological sandbox we call PBS. In previous years with Democratic control of Congress, PBS has played a more activist role within the media, dragging the rest of the national media further to the left and spurring more aggression and ill will against conservative and Republican leaders. Just as 2007 has been a year for a "surge" of troops in Iraq, it's also been a year of "surging" activism within PBS.
At the same time, Democratic congressional leaders now in the majority have been entertaining the idea of reviving a federal "Fairness Doctrine" which would require private broadcasters to comply with notions of balancing out each station's daily schedule of news, talk, and public-affairs programming. These same Democrats have been highly offended at the idea that anyone outside or inside taxpayer-funded broadcasting would monitor PBS content for fairness or balance.
Has Bill Moyers become PBS's Jack Cafferty, Bill Maher, Rosie O'Donnell, and Keith Olbermann all rolled into one crusading, Bush-hating, anti-war propagandist funded by American tax dollars?
After all, on Friday, he followed up last week's disgraceful rant about Karl Rove with an eight-minute segment on how "The Bush White House has launched a massive new P.R. campaign with the message: the surge in Iraq is working. Let's stay the course!"
In it, Moyers offered not one shred of balance to this completely anti-war report by totally ignoring recent statements from liberal think tank members, leading Democrats, and military officials indicating that conditions in Iraq are indeed improving.
Instead, Moyers: disgracefully suggested that the White House is misleading Americans about the surge in much the same way it did weapons of mass destruction; mocked military recruiting ads and techniques, and; cited a British newspaper claiming our army is crippled by fatigue. A full transcript of this abomination follows with video available here for those that can stomach it:
As NewsBusters reported last Saturday, PBS's Bill Moyers went on an absolutely disgraceful rant about Karl Rove, George W. Bush, and religion during the August 17 installment of "Bill Moyers Journal."
Two days later, Rove was Chris Wallace's guest on "Fox News Sunday," and took issue with Moyers's comments: "Mr. Moyers ought to do a little bit better research before he does another drive-by slander."
Moyers followed this up with a letter to Wallace posted at his blog Wednesday suggesting that Wallace didn't do his homework concerning Rove, and that Wallace shouldn't "take his every word as gospel."
There are times when I hate being a media analyst, for I am often forced to view and review television reports and newspaper articles that literally make me nauseated while undermining my faith in journalists as a whole as well as my fellow citizens.
The following video is a perfect example, a virtual piece of detritus that unfortunately is likely to offend so many viewers on so many levels that it's almost unimaginable a highly-regarded American journalist was responsible for its content.
Alas, Bill Moyers was at it again Friday evening closing out his Bill Moyers Journal program on PBS with a monologue about President George W. Bush and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove that is guaranteed to sicken you as much as it did me.
In fact, my disgust over this abomination is so great that I care not to excerpt or highlight any of its contents in fear of ruining my weekend. As such, what follows is a partial transcript of this disgraceful refuse for your reading displeasure (video available here, h/t NBer mattm):