From his days as LBJ's press secretary to his later career as a journalist, Bill Moyers has been a top-notch reporter and writer for decades. He consistently delivers thoughtful, well-researched, and enlightening reports. I taped his latest project, "NOW", a news program on PBS, each week and looked forward to watching it. It never disappoints me, and is literally the only place one can still find accurate and thoughtful long-form reports on things the mainstream corporate media refuses to touch. And the reports often factually and calmly show the devastating effects of Bush policies that are not reported anywhere else.
Moyers left the program some months ago, but it is still airing in this area at 9:00 p.m. every Saturday with a new host, David Brancaccio, and retains it's high quality.
Moyers delivered a moving and powerful speech Sunday in St. Louis to the National Conference for Media Reform in which he addressed the recent criticism of himself and "NOW" by the newly appointed head of CPB, or the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Kenneth Tomlinson. The normally restrained Moyers has had enough of right-wing thugs trying to control the media, and the revelations in his speech are enough get anyone's blood stirring.
The Disaster Monkey has appointed Tomlinson, a right-wing zealot who denigrates the idea that the airwaves belong to the public and a firm believer in corporate media dominance of the airwaves to head the CPB. Like most Bush appointees, this one is devoted to destroying the very institution he is entrusted with.
Addressing these right wing & corporate foes, Moyers said,
Who are they? I mean the people obsessed with control using the government to threaten and intimidate; I mean the people who are hollowing out middle class security even as they enlist the sons and daughters of the working class to make sure Ahmad Chalabi winds up controlling Iraq’s oil; I mean the people who turn faith-based initiatives into Karl Rove’s slush fund; who encourage the pious to look heavenward and pray so as not to see the long arm of privilege and power picking their pockets; I mean the people who squelch free speech in an effort to obliterate dissent and consolidate their orthodoxy into the official view of reality from which any deviation becomes unpatriotic heresy. That’s who I mean. And if that’s editorializing, so be it. A free press is one where it’s okay to state the conclusion you’re led to by the evidence.
Moyers speech is required reading. No kidding. I seriously encourage everyone to watch it live if you can catch it again on C-Span, or go to their site and watch it by streaming video. Failing that, you can download an MP3 file of it, watch it by streaming video, or read and/or download the transcript for later reading at DemocracyNow.org.
Please do. It is informative and will give you a good taste of the truly alarming and radical change being foisted upon our country by corporatist ideologues who are out to do nothing less than silence any independent national media who doesn't toe to party line. Even when it's a service chartered to serve the public free from any sort of ideological interference.
Common Cause has an online petition to send the message to the CPB that we don't want them messing with our PBS. The CPB Board has already recommended moving away from news programing and focusing more on music. Go here to sign on to the petition. They're hoping to get 100,000 signatures.