Moyers Spanked Again by PBS Ombud

August 24th, 2007 4:51 PM

You know it's bad when your own ombudsman compares you to Richard Nixon, or suggests that you need an ombudsman devoted only to you. But that's exactly what PBS Ombud Michael Getler has been pushed to with the latest Bill Moyers "editorial", which was covered by our own Noel Sheppard.

Set aside for the moment that in a tirade Moyers referred to the Commander in Chief as "an intellectually incurious draft-averse naughty playboy in a flight jacket with chewing tobacco in his back pocket". That's the PBS equivalent of 'fair and balanced'. At question here is whether or not Karl Rove is a religious man. Moyers postulates that he is not, going off various dubious sources (that Moyers referred to as "circulating reports") such as the outright conjecture of bloggers. Church-attending Karl claims Moyers is wrong. Who are you going to believe?

Getler rightly points out that this type of sourcing "is not up to his [Moyer] standards", which apparently are already far below average journalistic standards. He also points out that, again, Moyers has violated PBS's Editorial Standards and Policies which require that when "a program, segment, or other content is devoted to opinion or commentary, the principle of transparency requires that it be clearly labeled as such" and "should identify who is responsible for the views being presented."

Continue reading the ombud report if you like, but I found it a tiring report of the obvious: Bill Moyers is, as Dan Rather would say - a partisan political operative, cloaked in the auspices of a journalist taking tax money from the public against the will of the majority.