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BILL MOYERS JOURNAL RETURNS TO PBS LINE-UP IN APRIL
Pasadena, CA, January 13, 2007 – Veteran journalist Bill Moyers returns to PBS in April with a weekly public affairs series entitled BILL MOYERS JOURNAL – the name of his first important series on public television 35 years ago. Moyers is re-inventing the broadcast for the 21st century, as viewers will see when they tune in for the premiere on Wednesday, April 25 at 9 p.m. for his documentary report: “Buying the War” about the role of the press in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. The series will then air in its regular timeslot: Fridays at 9 p.m. (check local listings) on PBS.
Moyers, who recently received the Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award, said in a statement, “When I retired from NOW WITH BILL MOYERS two years ago, I said that I wasn’t retiring from television. Sure enough, we produced two gratifying series in 2006 – FAITH & REASON and MOYERS ON AMERICA – and the response to those broadcasts, and the work itself, simply whetted my appetite for more. People keep writing or stopping me on the street to suggest stories that are not being reported and voices that are not being heard. A lot of Americans long for more than conventional wisdom, celebrity pundits, predictable opinions and safe analysis of the obvious. There’s a vacuum across the media spectrum, and several funders have stepped forward to say they would support us in our effort to fill it with independent journalism on the arts and letters, science, religion, business, foreign policy and the media. I’m as eager and charged as I was over 30 years ago when I entered this game. Ponce de Leon would still be around today if he had given up his search for the fountain of youth and just entered journalism.”
“We are excited to have Bill’s voice back in the public affairs line-up,” says PBS Chief Content Officer John Boland. “As I have traveled the country in recent months, I have heard friends of public television everywhere acclaiming his two series of 2006. We are proud to be bringing his journalistic instincts to our audience each week.”
The premiere of BILL MOYERS JOURNAL, “Buying the War,” explores the role of the press in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq, including how the government’s claims about weapons of mass destruction and terrorist ties to Saddam Hussein were largely accepted at face value by the mainstream media and cheer-leaded by the “partisan press.” The marketing of the war has been much examined, but BILL MOYERS JOURNAL looks at how key elements of the media bought into the propaganda. “Buying the War” features interviews with Dan Rather, formerly of CBS; Tim Russert of “Meet the Press”; Bob Simon of “60 Minutes”; Walter Pincus of the Washington Post; Walter Isaacson, then president of CNN; editor at large of The New Republic and author Peter Beinart; talk show host Phil Donahue; and James Wolcott, Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel of Knight Ridder, which was acquired by the McClatchy Company in 2006. Virtually alone, Knight Ridder asked for the hard evidence to back up the president’s justification of the war.
“We’re sending young men and women, and nowadays not so young men and women, to risk their lives. And everyone wants to be behind them. And everyone should be behind them,” says James Walcott, Washington bureau chief of Knight Ridder. “The question for us in journalism is, are we really behind them when we fail to do our jobs?”
BILL MOYERS JOURNAL is supported by an extensive companion Web site at pbs.org/moyers where visitors can interact, give feedback and sign up for the Moyers podcast, which was listed in iTunes Best of 2006 People’s Choice top 100 new podcasts. After the broadcast, each episode will be available in its entirety for viewing online.
BILL MOYERS JOURNAL is funded by the Partridge Foundation, the Park Foundation, The Herb Alpert Foundation and sole corporate funder Mutual of America Life Insurance Company.
BILL MOYERS JOURNAL is a production of Public Affairs Television, Inc. and a national presentation of Thirteen/WNET New York.
Screeners and transcripts available upon request.
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Rick Byrne, Public Affairs Television, 212/560-8406; firstname.lastname@example.org
Diane Domondon, Public Affairs Television, 212/560-8530; email@example.com