PBS Helps Bill Moyers, Dan Rather Team Up to Denounce Right's 'Slime Machine'

PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers is winding up for another series of left-wing propaganda broadcasts on our taxpayer-supported PBS stations. On April 25, we're subjected to the film "Buying the War," which quite typically argues that the liberal media weren't liberal enough, that they were weak-kneed pawns for the Bush war machine. Moyers gave an interview to Eric Bates of Rolling Stone magazine, which posted some audio on its "Rock and Roll Daily" blog explaining how Moyers "gets ill talking about how the Big Red Hype Machine, i.e. Fox News and its conservative bedfellows, makes headlines by criticizing unbiased news reporters."

Moyers declares that one special presence in the new film is disgraced CBS anchor Dan Rather. He says the program begins with footage of Rather crying on the David Letterman show a week after 9/11 proclaiming he would go "wherever the president tells me to line up." But in this film, Rather and Moyers are denouncing a right-wing "slime machine." That's a rich characterization coming from someone who tried to use bogus National Guard documents to ruin President Bush's reputation. Here's how Moyers promised he would denounce conservatives from coast to coast:

For the first time in our history, we had this wall-to-wall ideological right-wing press that not only – the Fox News, the talk radio, the Weekly Standard – that not only mongered for war along with the administration, not only embraced the administration’s policies because they were quote, "conservative" including going to war, but also mounted a slime machine to discredit any journalist who dared to stand against the official view of reality. Rather himself says on my show, "They have a slime machine and we know it."

So that’s a new phenomenon that people don’t fully understand. How, if a journalist tried to tell the truth about the intelligence, the Hannitys and the O’Reillys and the Limbaughs and the Mike Savages would come down on them, slander them, discredit them, so good reporting lost its power to break through because of this avalanche of opposition and venom directed at them. What’s happening to the media, it’s all over the place, I mean, Bill O’Reilly’s in the media, Eric Bates [of Rolling Stone] is in the media, so am I. There are more media sources today than there ever was, as a result we’re losing our ability to, we’re losing the common knowledge that helps us act a society in response to certain crises.

This sounds a lot like the discussion Lesley Stahl had with Chris Matthews back in 2005 that has the flavor of "why can't everyone just let CBS run the country like they used to?" The old media whines that the new media showed up -- and argues laughably that the Old Media has much higher standards of evidence -- and brought way too much democracy to the public discussion in America.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis