Free to be the press

April 27, 2007 by barbara
Bill Moyers

by barbara

I learned a lot watching Bill Moyers' exceptional program Wednesday night. Moyers went pica pica with the pathetic state of U.S. journalism since Bush seized control of the country and the press. Do not miss the Moyers video and/or the Moyers transcript. Full disclosure: I am now enrolled in the online Pat Robertson School of Cherry-Picked, Bush-Administration-fed Information-Spewing and French Cooking. Today's mixed load reflects my new-found learning about how to take a fragment of truth and craft a story that is marketable, that is good for the bottom line of one's newspaper, radio or TV employer. Here are my scoops du jour with a half twist: Of course there's more!

' Hugh Grant used a rocket launcher to hurl a 50-pound tub of baked beans at Elizabeth Hurley. The linguistic humor was lost on him.

' The Veeper, Dick Cheney, refused the honorary doctorate of public service conferred on him yesterday at Brigham Young University in the liberal state of Utah. "I am not worthy," said Cheney.

' General David Petraeus concedes that there is little to no progress being made in Iraq. He cites 2003 as the most sensible time for withdrawal of U.S. forces.

' Rep. Henry Waxman, commenting on the Congressional subpoena issued to Condoleeza Rice, said, "A subpoena is not a request; it's a demand for information." Rice's response: "Damn straight. I'll be there."

' Russia's Vladimir Putin is suspending "Russia's obligations under the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, ratcheting up a tense stand-off with NATO over U.S. plans to station a missile defense system in Eastern Europe." President George Bush says, "No worries. Remember, I looked into Vlad's eyes and saw'pupils!"

' New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman says we need only another six 87.37 months to achieve stability in Iraq, thereby recalibrating the benchmark 6-month Friedman Unit.

' Things are really looking up in Iraq. Great progress is being made. We are winning this war and should be out of Iraq in a Friedman or so.

' Today, George W. Bush said he is tormented about the possibility of vetoing the Congressional war spending bill. "I want to do the right thing. I am the people's president. I am the uniter. God bless Amurca."

Hey! This is fun. No wonder so many journalists gave up research, fact-checking and challenging the Bush administration on pretty much everything.

Remember the French cuisine part of my journalism curriculum? For the past six years, much of American journalism has been all about cooking and presentation. Well, that, and the thing Phil Donahue said on the Moyers show.

Reflecting on his network's decision axe his show, presumably because he resisted their requirement that he have two conservatives to every liberal on his show, Donahue pointed out that under the Bush administration, dissent is not good for business. He was referring to the business of fully and truthfully informing the American people. Are you thinking I made this up? If only.

Posted in


perhansa (not verified) | April 27, 2007 - 9:59am

If it's any encouragement, I watched a debate on the BBC last night that was being conducted at Oxford and one of the hotest topics was the war and the US Congress's actions to change course by putting timelines into the funding bill that passed. The response to what Congress is doing was OVERWHELMINGLY favorable! The Brits are as sick of this war (and Tony Blair's version of Bushco) as we are. And they are NOT afraid to speak what's on their mind and do not pull punches. Whew, they took the gloves off. The liberals continually talked about the spin, lies, scandals and corruption of the labor Party under TB and the monstrous debacle in Iraq. They applauded the US Congressional Dems for actually listening to the populace and taking action rather than ignoring it like the current admin here has been doing (and everyone but the Dems back home). Of course, most of the audience was likely Oxford students and dons, but the overwhelming sentiment was palpable. Hostile and angry to say the least. Now, if we could just stimulate that kind of righteous indignation back home...who knows. I have also found the best people to talk politics with are taxi drivers--often foreigners with a lot of reading time on their hands. My taxi driver today was no exception. We had quite the interesting discussion on the trip to the rail station. The war, global climate change, Bush Junior and Senior. It has given me some faith that the entire world is not MAD. And there are still plenty of people who can recognize a naked fool running around touting his glimmering new clothes when they see one. Many of them drive taxi.

I'm sending you a post I wrote last night from the foreign shores). It may be as surreal as your newsreels. Cheers!


Poet (not verified) | April 27, 2007 - 7:43pm

I think the tide has turned for the credibility of the MSM. Unlike Gallup, Harris, or Pew Research, I don't have any statistically valid survey data to present for my proof but merely my own anecdotal field experiment.

I have placed on the back window of the car a 2 page sign in 72 point bold letters which says "They lied to me, They lied to you, they lied to the troops". The other page has "Impeach Gonzalez, then Cheney, Then Bush". I then drove in the slow lane with these signs on the back window through rush hour traffic. Virtually nobody gave me the finger or any signal of disapproval. I got numerous thumbs up and horn honks ("Honk if you hate Bush" might be the next one I try). Parked in the city with numerous people passing by I got a lot of approving nods and a clenched fist salute or two.

Try it yourself don't use a bumper sticker but, rather use an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper, run it through your conmputer printer, and tape it to the inside of your rear window. That way more people will get a better look at what you are saying. You will not block your field of vision for safe driving and (I predict) you will get admiring glances and maybe make a new friend or two. If this can work in Jacksonville FL (and it does!) which is a real stronghold for Bushites, then it can work anywhere.

If your better half is squeemish about having it on the rear window, it can easily be taken down for when they want to drive and reinstalled for when you want to drive. (Mrs Poet is a Bush culture warrior and we have agreed to disagree on this matter and not discuss it)


paul Miller (not verified) | April 28, 2007 - 3:39pm

re: tomorrow's Press the Meat:
to tim:
wow, Joe Biden! You're back, Tim! Sure you were the go to guy for Darth Cheney's lies and you were completely exposed by the Libby hearings and Bill Moyers report but this will bring you back into the realm of real journalism. I mean a Joe Biden interview. That's breaking news, my man!!!!!! You are a blue collar guy alright!


bvancehome (not verified) | April 30, 2007 - 7:02am

Something I sent to someone else about the Moyers' MSM piece:

A couple of things prevented me from seeing Moyers' new project:

First: I refuse to invest in a cable network and its 500 stations that offer 95 per cent schlock, just so I can see the rare broadcast of something worthwhile on PBS or watch Jon Stewart. I can get old movies elsewhere, and I frighten myself with the way I can turn automatically into a channel surfer. There is, however, a nun on the Catholic channel that can be funny for a ten minute channel pause.

I can wait until it comes out on DVD. No ads, no pleas for money that should be coming from taxes that go directly (do not pass Mr. GO do not let him collect 200 dollars)to institutions and services that actually promote the common good, as opposed to going into billionaire war industrialist/services CEO pockets.

I'm not so sure it is really worth my time to see such a public airing of what I and, perhaps most of, the informed global citizenry knew to be true from the get-go. I mean, it might be purging and feel like taking a good and long over due shit to finally see, split and grilled, the medium that aided and abetted, and was a co-conspirator, in this right turn to fascist forever-war, but again.... I'm not so sure it's worth my time or re-igniting the rage that I have managed to quell into something more productive and perhaps should be relegated to the bathrooms of power and politics while we start to invest real time and money into ACTION that begins to patch up the very real and frightening damage that's been done and continues to be done.

We are great talkers, no question about it, but unless we can compel our supposed allies in the government to stop talking and to dig their heels in and get these bozos out of the positions of power where we so glibly and cynically keep them, the MSM has absolutely no reason to play the game any differently than it has. Oh, there may be a few passionately stated olive leaves here and there, ala the Democrats, but nothing of substance, and we will continue this downward spiral as the once and future mondo global destructo machine that used to be the dream of world governing systems.

Nothing against Moyers... but I know it when I see an ax being ground regardless of the try at dispassion and intellect... and a good ax and a worthy reason to grind to boot... still...


susan | April 30, 2007 - 11:09am

Well, I know what you mean. There was no shocking revelation, that's for sure. Same with Slam-dunk Tennet's backwards look to what we all knew. Maybe we should all just cultivate our gardens.