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« Kuwait Grants Women Right To Vote. | WILLisms.com | Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 49 -- Spam. »

Bill Moyers Compares Self To Christ, Critics To Pharisees.

Journalist and fellow University of Texas alumnus Bill Moyers has been the subject of controversy in recent weeks, after The New York Times reported (via Cao's Blog) that the chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting criticized PBS for being too liberal:

Without the knowledge of his board, the chairman, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, contracted last year with an outside consultant to keep track of the guests’ political leanings on one program, “Now With Bill Moyers.”


On Sunday, Moyers delivered a fiery keynote speech before the left-wing National Conference For Media Reform, in which, among other things, he compared himself to Jesus Christ, and Tomlinson to former President Nixon.

Moyers' major thesis is that the "mainstream media" are "right-wing," a claim he bases on the alleged conservative corporate influence. In response to those calling him out for being liberal, Moyers derides them as "radical right-wingers."

Each additional word out of Moyers' mouth only provided that much more evidence to the case that Moyers is on the far left fringe of the political spectrum. He called the Iraq a "calamitous occupation" and a "debacle," arguing that the media coverage has been systematically biased in the conservative direction.


On the matter of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Moyers asserted:

"What some on its board are now doing today, led by its Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson, is too important, too disturbing, and, yes, even dangerous..."

For far left journalists like Bill Moyers, Tomlinson's assertion that PBS be accountable to the American electorate/taxpayer is "disturbing," his suggestion that PBS balance its liberal slant is "dangerous."

Moyers told the left-wing audience:

"First let me assure you that I take in stride attacks by the radical right-wingers who've not given up demonizing me, although I retired over six months ago. They've been after me for years now, and I suspect they will be stomping on my grave to make sure I don't come back from the dead."

Continuing, here's where Moyers' speech got interesting:

I should point out to them that one of our boys pulled it off some two-thousand years ago. [laughter, cheers, clapping]

After the Pharisees, the Sagisees, and Caesar's surrogates thought they'd shut him up for good. I won't be expecting that kind of miracle, but I should put my detractors on notice. They might just compel me out of the rocking chair and into the anchor chair.

[loud, prolonged cheer]

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 Ahmed Chalabi winds up controlling Iraq's oil. I mean the people who turned faith-based initiatives into Karl Rove's slush fund, who encouraged the pious to look heavenward and pray so as not to see the long arm of privilege and power picking their pockets.

[loud cheer]

I mean 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.

Moyers went on to argue that the current political climate resembles "George Orwell's 1984," quoting from the book at length.

Noting that he was an official official close to the President in the Johnson administration when the the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Moyers asserted that he knew the real purpose of public broadcasting.

What's so odd about Moyer's speech on Sunday truly delved into demagoguery, going after easy applause lines about the evils of corporations and speaking truth to power. His speech affirmed everything Ken Tomlinson ever could have possibly suspected.

What is so interesting is how Moyers has revived his position as left-wing hero in recent years, and over the past few weeks he has been elevated to martyr in the far left's unsuccessful (and thus increasingly bitter) ongoing fight against the Bush administration.

One irony of Moyers' speech is that it was delivered just as the ubiquitous Newsweek fiasco was breaking, a fiasco which essentially renders his arguments, nearly all of them, at best, moot. Lorie Byrd compares it to "Al Gore speaking on global warming on a record breaking cold day, or Al Gore endorsing Howard Dean and his stance on the war just prior to the capture of Saddam Hussein."

Here's a pretty decent rule of thumb:

If someone is complaining about the "right-wing media bias," he or she is likely someone so far removed from reality that you would be wise to politely direct the conversation away from politics.

What is so weird about the left's agitation over Ken Tomlinson is that he specifically does not want to censor any program on PBS in any way. He just wants to provide conservative voices, such as The Wall Street Journal's new The Journal Editorial Report a fair share of taxpayer-funded air time.

You can listen to the entire speech here, or watch the video here.

Gateway Pundit has more great coverage of the entire farce of an event.

Posted by Will Franklin · 17 May 2005 06:35 AM


It would be interesting to see what Moyers' actual viewership #s were. My guess is that NOW was probably not a very popular show, even by PBS standards.

I listened to part of the speech (Pacifica radio news) on the way home last night, and watched another part on Cspan. Guy's getting more coverage than Michael Jackson.

The speech itself was very predictable, very tedious. The 1984 analogy was just over-the-top. Jr. High stuff as far as I'm concerned, which is ironic because the tone of the speech is that Moyers' audience, and the left are the only ones capable of heavy intellectual lifting.

Practically speaking, he got a great reception, and the speech reminded me of Al Gore's a few weeks back, or any of Howard Dean's.
All sound and fury, signifying nothing. Hey, wait, I'm a dumb conservative, I'm not supposed to use literary references. My bad.

Posted by: paul at May 17, 2005 09:57 AM

The main stream media being right wing never occured to me!...That is a new one... What a strange concept. Bill Moyers must really be way out there in left field somewhere over the rainbow, way out where the liberals must appear to be right wingers! WOW, what a concept! I never paid much attention to Bill Moyers political beliefs... As far as I am concerned the best journalism is when jouranlists don't let the public in on their politics! I think it is egotistical for Bill Moyers to actually believe he is that important to even suggest that anyone would be stomping on his grave! If the media is right wing, I sure would hate to see what it would be like otherwise...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at May 17, 2005 11:06 AM


Bill Moyers has the nerve to give speeches, what is this country coming to?

I thought only our fearless leader George W Bush is allowed to give speeches in our great country. Everyone else should get permission before they open their big fat traps.


Posted by: Authur Bush at June 8, 2005 08:15 AM