Thursday, March 03, 2005

Bill Moyers on the State of the Media

Interesting interview by Nick Welsh with the respected, and now unfortunately retired, journalist here. This will get you started:

Spend five minutes on the phone with Bill Moyers, dubbed by some “the conscience” of American journalism, and it’s abundantly obvious that the man is troubled, and profoundly pissed off; though it’s doubtful someone so imbued with good Southern manners would use such talk. Now 70, Moyers has spent most of the past 55 years hunting the truth behind his craft, a working journalist tracing the twisted paths of power for both newspapers and television. Embodying that rare combination of graciousness, dignity, and passion, Moyers has been audacious enough to tell “the truth behind the news,” rather than to report the “he-said-she-said” ping-pong that often passes for news. And the truth about the news business — and democracy — as Moyers sees, could not be more grim. The mainstream news media, Moyers laments, has taken a dive at a time when the power of the Republican Party has never been more absolute and more morally bankrupt. As a result, public discourse has been reduced to a scream-fest dominated by such unabashedly conservative media giants as Fox, Clear Channel, and Sinclair, who’ve become “echo chambers” for the Bush administration, if not outright propagandists. And when it comes to the realities of bare-knuckle politics, Moyers is hardly some pious sissy.


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