May 16, 2005

Bill Moyers is Certainly Biased! He's a Damn(ed) Liberal.

The buzz about the attacks on public broadcasting is getting louder, and this is a good development lately. The current administration and the Republican Congress prefer to act in secret, especially on issues that do not have the support of the public. In the past ten years, there has been a strong effort by the radical far right to control if not eliminate public broadcasting. First, they argued that public money shouldn't go into public broadcasting. Then they said, the latter had a "liberal bias." Never mind that the ..public wants to support a free-from-government institution and that the vast majority of Americans don't think there is a bias in news & programming in PBS! The Republican hack, Ken Tomlinson, has been appointed as chairman of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting (CPB) and is hell-bent on carrying the far right's barbarian policy ! So, the hordes have descended on PBS.

Bill Moyers, whose PBS's NOW program was targeted by Tomlinson, came out swinging in his much-anticipated response. "The more compelling our journalism, the angrier the radical right of the Republican Party gets," he explained. "That's because the one thing they loathe more than liberals is the truth. And the quickest way to be damned by them as liberal is to tell the truth." Well, this rings true to me! Of course, the far right doesn't like criticism since it believes it has a total grasp of the truth--by divine revelation no less. Link to Free Press for media clips, including Bill Moyers' speech, from the National Conference on Media Reform that just concluded in St. Louis.

This is the crux of the matter: Do we need a broadcast medium where we can freely debate, learn, and exercise investigative journalism? Or, should we let the market forces decide this, as many conservatives have been arguing? I'm assuming that everyone wants a better-informed public. Or, do they? You see, some political agendas need the cover of darkness to be implemented. There is also a need for a substantial mass of unconscious people who are easily manipulated in order the socio-economic elites to maintain their power and privileges. How else can you win elections by convincing so many poor people to vote against their economic interests?
You need to foster intellectual laziness, to encourage superstition, and exaggerate personal biases. Add an element of fear and wedge-issue politics and you have the recipe for success. Why allow PBS to investigate the rulers, bring facts to light, discuss consumer issues, create a public record of our social discourse, and bring science & the scientific method closer to the public? Only those who are threatened by such activities need worry. PBS has been a thorn to them with its "liberal bias." But, as the top header of this blog suggests, "Democracy is as good as its participants. An informed & engaged citizen is the lifeline of a healthy society. A liberal citizen is vital to our American democracy!"

We can safeguard our democracy by being informed and active in the public affairs of our country. If a "liberal bias"-- as alleged by the far right--means that we want an open and free debate, more facts about the important issues of our times, then, yes, this kind of "bias" is good to have. At least, our bias does not preclude that our opinion is the universal and absolute truth to be imposed on others. We are comfortable with people having varying opinions. Yet, the facts are what they are; everyone is entitled to his opinion, but not to his own facts. We are not scared of the facts, we do not want to be fed partisan rubbish in order to satisfy a lazy brain. We think, and, therefore, we are!
Care to join us? All you need is a critical mind, have a love for the public interest, and, maybe, a few bucks to support PBS. Check out the definition of liberal to see if it's a good "bias" for you to have. Above all, don't surrender your mind--that's what the barbarians at the gate are after!

lib*er*al \Lib"er*al\, Adj. 1. Favoring political and social reforms tending towards democracy and personal freedoms for the individual; advocating reform or progress in education, religion, etc. 2. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; not bigoted. 3. Open to new ideas for progress; tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded. 4. Describing Democratic forms of government.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bill Moyers is an icon of public broadcasting and a journalist of the utmost integrity. He has a bias for the facts and a passion for investigative journalism (something which is not in ..fashion today with the rest of the media).

Of course, the far right wants to cut him down because they don't like the unpleasant truth. They don't care for those democratic values of openess and freedom of the press. Their agenda is what matters.
They're a bunch of power-grabbers and intolerant fundamentalists.

RD, MI

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and YOU think you've got the truth, right? What makes you so sure?
Of course Moyers is biased because he wants to promote his liberal agenda. He's got a specifc view of the world and he shows it. I'm not saying he shouldn't have that, but, come on, he shouldn't be getting on public tv to promote his liberal agenda.

Righteous

Anonymous said...

Oh, by the way, what's wrong with letting the market forces decide if we need to maintain a "public broadcasting" money pit? If people want it, they'll support PBS. Otherwise, goodridance.

R

Anonymous said...

During the Nixon hearings, PBS was the only television medium that broadcasted the proceedings in their entirety. It was very helpful, it created a public record. We needed PBS then as we need it today more than ever.
At least back then, we had Republicans of integrity... First, the Rep. chairman of CPB resigned in objection to the interference by the White House. Second, many Republicans in Congress believed that the country was above Nixon and his attempted coup.
Raymond, NY

Anonymous said...

NOW With Bill Moyers surprised everybody. Not only it attracted a huge audience, but it was the only PBS program increasing its ratings. Of course, this wasn't welcomed by the right-wing ideologs, even though their "stellar" representatives were often invited on the program and given ample time to express their views.
Tomlinson, Carl Rove, and their clan don't want independent media, that goes beyond the tired labels Dems-Rep, Lib-Cons, because it opens up the discussion.
The far right's tactics were to eliminate dissent, to hide their plan of greater corporate media consolidation, and the dumbing down of America.

Anne, NY

Anonymous said...

The market forces cannot dictate how our society is organized. We've been there before, at the dawn of capitalism. Since then, we've moved forward, and we established institutions for the public welfare, to protect the environment, for education and healthcare, and the arts.

Now we know the Bushies and the neo-cons want to turn the country back a couple centuries...

Afraid of the facts? Not really. Afraid are those who don't care for the truth, who want to operate in secret, and keep the public in the dark.

PBS is a great institution worth preserving. Gosh, we know that the mainstream media (increasingly concentrated and controlled by a few huge corporations) has failed by and large to play the very important role in a democracy: to check the rulers and inform the public!

Samantha, MA

Anonymous said...

I listened to Bill Moyers' speech at the Media conference and it was superb! Bill is a national treasure.
Just like he said, knowledge is power!
PBS offers alternative perspectives not available in the mainstream media... and it wants the audience to be engaged.
PBS was established in 1967 to reflect the diversity of the American people.

We all must support PBS, and keep the conversation of democracy going.

Anderson, NY

Anonymous said...

Moyers is a very religious person, but not dogmatic. It shows that there are reasonable religious people. What happened to them? Why have they allowed the worst elements highjack their faith, distort it, and use it for their political gains.
Moyers seems to believe that anyone can be whatever they want, live their lives accordingly and let ..God sort them out later!

K.L.

Anonymous said...

Having two people shouting at each other does not constitute a "fair & balanced" news.
But, the news have turned into entertainment by the big corporations who control the media outlets.
KHI

Anonymous said...

Of course you need gullible, easily manipulated people...it makes promoting a sinister agenda much easier.
I'm disturbed by the apathy of Americans. They complain but they don't actively participate or are aware of the things going on regarding public policy.

At least, we've got to have ways to find out about the important issues of our times. Shutting down PBS curtails our ability to know, and knowledge is power.

Jason V

Daedalus said...

The gop mantra is "facts are stupid things," as their god Reagan said.

We can't fix our country's ignorance until we start focusing on improving our schools rather than invading countries.

What is the liberal "agenda" anyway? I thought that free speech, press, assembly, equality, clean air, and food on everyone's table were all good things for everyone. When did they become bad?