Monday, May 16, 2005

Bill Moyers fights back

Robert McChesney at Free Press applauded Bill Moyers' speech defending PBS:

In an historic speech on Sunday, legendary television journalist Bill Moyers blasted Kenneth Tomlinson of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting (CPB) for launching a partisan witch hunt at PBS and called for a series of town hall meetings across the country.

"I simply never imagined that any CPB chairman, Democrat or Republican, would cross the line from resisting White House pressure to carrying it out for the White House," Moyers told a packed room at the National Conference for Media Reform. "And that's what Kenneth Tomlinson has been doing."

Free Press has a petition asking Tomlinson to resign.

Moyers' speech can be seen, heard, or read (once completed) on the Free Press web site.

I'm still waiting for the Moyers transcript, but in the meantime The Nation's John Nichols has more in the The Online Beat:
Moyers was even blunter about why he thought Tomlinson and other allies of the Administration were so determined to knock his groundbreaking news program off the air and to replace it with more conservative fare such as a weekly roundtable discussion featuring Wall Street Journal editorial page staffers, joking that "I thought public television was supposed to be an alternative to commercial media, not a funder of it." Speaking of the investigative reporting NOW did on everything from the war in Iraq to offshore tax havens and ownership of the media, Moyers said, "Our reporting was giving the radical right fits because it wasn't the party line."

"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."

"An unconscious people, an indoctrinated people, a people fed only partisan information and opinion that confirm their own bias, a people made morbidly obese in mind and spirit by the junk food of propaganda, is less inclined to put up a fight, ask questions and be skeptical," Moyers said. "And just as a democracy can die of too many lies, that kind of orthodoxy can kill us, too."

Previous posts on this topic:

Republicans censor PBS

Ken Tomlinson doesn't want you to know

PBS under attack

Who is this guy?


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