I just finished watching Bill Moyers attack Fox News, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and the rest of the so-called Republican noise machine. (Hannity, in particular, appears to have enraged the old liberal warhorse). Moyers and his chief vehicle for the report, David Brock, are outraged that publicly licensed media outlets are providing conservatives with a “megaphone.” Moyers seemed oblivious to the fact that the megaphone through which he attacks conservatives is publicly funded.
Moyers did allow that, because he’s human, it’s possible that bias may occasionally creep into his journalism. But this is a far cry, he insisted, from the systematic lying of the conservative media. Yet with all of their huffing and puffing, Moyers and Brock managed to identify only one factual statement presented by the “noise machine” that (if Brock is to be believed) is inaccurate — a statement in the Washington Times, repeated on Fox, that John Kerry supported the concept of preemptive war duirng a 1997 appearance on Crossfire. Moyers and Brock repeatedly asserted that the statements of the SwiftVets reported by conservative media outlets were untrue (Brock, a reasonable fellow, did admit that the SwiftVet’s dislike of Kerry was genuine). But neither identified a single Swiftie allegation that was shown to be false, much less demonstrated that, on the whole, the allegations were false, misleading, or otherwise not worthy of being reported. Moyers also rehearsed the usual liberal song-and-dance to the effect that the conservative media lied about Saddam’s connection with terorism (you know, the one where true and arguably true statements about a connection between Saddam and al Qaeda are construed as false statements about a connection between Saddam and 9/11). Moyers concluded this portion of his show with a false statement of his own — that the 9/11 commission found no connection between Saddam and al Qaeda.
Moyers’ conceit that he’s an honest but perhaps imperfect journalist requires no comment. But it’s all the excuse I need to treat you to this piece about Moyers by Rocket Man. Or this one by the Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes.
PBS has run Bill Moyers up the flag pole for decades. Imagine how galling it must be for Moyers, at the end of his career, to see Sean Hannity receiving the salutes.
HINDROCKET adds: Deacon, you really gave it up for the team tonight. There is no way I could have watched those two twits–talk about strange bedfellows, by the way–without heaving a brick through the TV set.
DEACON responds: Somehow, I actually found the show rather amusing. Maybe it was Moyers’ utter dejection, coupled with the sense that, in a very small way, I’m now part of the “noise machine” that’s driving him over the edge.
ONE MORE THING: Scrappleface actually posted this a week ago, but it’s worth quoting for those who missed it:
Bill Moyers, whose journalistic reports on PBS have been missed by most Americans for 30 years, retires this month but fails to leave the customary void, according to a journalism expert.
“Normally when a veteran newsman leaves, there is that sense of loss,” said an unnamed professor at the Columbia School of Journalism, “but all of our metrics indicate that Americans are unlikely to note the absence of Bill Moyers, let alone struggle to reach emotional closure.”
A spokesman for Mr. Moyers suggested that, during his three decades of low visibility, “Americans may have done sufficient pre-mourning to assuage the grief of final separation.”
Known, among those who knew him, for his ruggedly independent, objective approach to news, Mr. Moyers final program will demonstrate how “right-wing media has become a partisan propaganda arm of the Republican National Committee.”
“When I’m gone,” said Mr. Moyers in a voice choked with emotion, “where will people find this kind of even-handed, fair, balanced coverage?”