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Moyers on Murdoch

Watch the videoIf Rupert Murdoch were the Angel Gabriel, you still wouldn’t want him owning the sun, the moon, and the stars. That’s too much prime real estate for even the pure in heart.

But Rupert Murdoch is no saint; he is to propriety what the Marquis de Sade was to chastity. When it comes to money and power he’s carnivorous: all appetite and no taste. He’ll eat anything in his path. Politicians become little clay pigeons to be picked off with flattering headlines, generous air time, a book contract or the old-fashioned black jack that never misses: campaign cash. He hires lobbyists the way Imelda Marcos bought shoes, and stacks them in his cavernous closet, along with his conscience; this is the man, remember, who famously kowtowed to the Communist overlords of China, oppressors of their own people, to protect his investments there.

The ambitious can’t resist his blandishments, nor his power to get or keep them in office where they can return his favors. Mae West would be green with envy at his little black book of conquests: Tory Margaret Thatcher, Labor’s Tony Blair, George Bush. Even Jimmy Carter couldn’t say no. Now, Bill and Hillary Clinton, who know which side of their bread is buttered, like having it slathered by their new buddy Rupert. Our media and political system has turned into a mutual protection racket.

You will not be surprised to learn that Murdoch’s company paid little or no federal income tax over the past four years. His powerful portfolio positions him to claim a big stake in Yahoo and his takeover of The Wall Street Journal, now owned by the Bancroft family, which, like Adam and Eve, the parents of us all, are tempted to sell their birthright for a wormy apple.

Murdoch and THE JOURNAL’s editorial page are made for each other. They’ve both pursued the right's corporate and political agenda of the past quarter century. Both venerate what THE JOURNAL editorials call the “animal spirits” of business. But THE JOURNAL’s newsroom is another matter – there facts are sacred and independence revered. Rupert Murdoch has told the Bancrofts he’ll not meddle with the reporting. But he’s accustomed to using journalism as a personal spittoon. In the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq, he turned the dogs of war loose in the newsrooms of his empire and they howled for blood. Murdoch himself said the greatest thing to come out of the war would be “$20 a barrel for oil.”

Of course he wasn’t the only media mogul to clamor for war. And he’s not the first to use journalism to promote his own interests. His worst offense with FOX News is not even its baldly partisan agenda. Far worse is the travesty he’s made of its journalism. FOX News huffs and puffs, pontificates and proclaims, but does little serious original reporting. His tabloids sell babes and breasts, gossip and celebrities. Now he’s about to bring under the same thumb one of the few national newsrooms remaining in the country.

But the problem isn’t just Rupert Murdoch. His pursuit of The Wall Street Journal is the latest in a cascading series of mergers, buy-outs, and other financial legerdemain that are making a shipwreck of journalism. Public minded newspapers are being dumped by their owners for wads of cash or crippled by cost cutting while their broadcasting cousins race to the bottom. Murdoch is just the predator of the hour. The modern maestro of a financial marketplace ruled by money and moguls. Instead of checking the excesses of private and public power, these 21st century barons of the First Amendment revel in them; the public be damned.


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Where is this public trough (give Mapquest directions) because I'm thirsty as Hell for the truth? The problem is that the Murdoch's have privatised the water of civic life. At least Bill is carrying it one dixie cup at a time, and sharing all he can.

Even though mainstream journalism is in the pocket of big corporation (right next to our government), journalism is NOT dead yet. This is journalism. With the internet and blogs and independent media, there is so much information right at your fingertips. You have to find it, it won't find you. Read between the lies and don't rely on one source for information.

News Corp pays no taxes? Thats insane. I would love to hear more about that!

Mr. Moyers,
I had to read this once again, and post it on my blog. I was so proud of you and your words, the night you spoke this, that I had to cheer and clap...and I was all alone, too! As ALWAYS...well done!

Nice post Mr. Moyer.

In reference to PBS being egregriously liberal. Let's say it is. Why not have a news source that is intellegent, non gimmicky and detailed in PBS' manner, that is egregiously conservative? Rupert Murdoch owns a lotta conservative leaning media (UK Times excluded apparently).
What about CBS News? Bernard Goldstien's Book "Bias" blew the lid on that operation.

The big problem here is that they're OVERLY CORPORATE. Most media in this country is, that's the problem. We didn't have a strong BBC, CBC, ABC, ORTF, or NHK from the outset. No dominating regulation from the government on "Broadcasting in the Public Interest" like Europe or East asia.

Unfortunetly, the primarily commercial media market place and FCC deregulations have harmed news aims greatly. Weither Left or Right, the news is getting worse, more infotainment driven. Prmarily the television news. That's why i see more and more jaded elderly viewers look to other sources. (I'm 19)

People on BOTH ideoligical sides have admitted this. As long as ratings, sales and ads are the PRIMARY or even SIGNIFIGANCT drive for operating a news organization, it'll never be the best it can be. We can't be perfect, not even the BBC is, but the news media can do a LOT better.

Those who think “liberal types” are dangerous to this country need to be aware that our president considers the Constitution to be “a (crude expletive) piece of paper.” During a meeting about The Patriot Act an aide told the president, “There is a valid case that some of the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.” According to witnesses Bush screamed, “Stop throwing the Constitution in my face, it’s just a (geedee) piece of paper!” Don’t believe me? Put that phrase in Google and see what happens. There is documentation out the wazoo.
Google up PNAC while you’re at it. PNAC, a neo-con think-tank, released a report titled Rebuilding America's Defenses (September 2000). Check out the part that says they will need a “new Pearl Harbor” to get the political capital for their dreams of empire. You want to catch some evildoers? Look at the signatories on that puppy and go get ‘em! Godspeed!
Have you noticed all the vehicles for sale by the side of the road? People can’t afford them now. The DOW is up but that don’t put one biscuit on a poor man’s table. Our wages have shrunk by about 22% thanks to rising fuel and food costs. Remember inflation? It’s back. We’re headed for some economic times the likes of which our generation has not seen.
The right speaks of returning the nation to a morality? Well that one is true if you eliminate the space between the “a” and the “morality”. Is torture moral? How about war-in-Iraq-for-kicks, elimination of Habeus Corpus, roll back of civil liberties, illegal wire-tapping? Come on folks are we going to have to catch them eating a baby to realize they’re bad guys?
Well they’ve kept us safe, right? Wrong! Experts agree Bush’s quagmire-of-choice is the best recruiting tool Al Qaeda ever had. Also Bush let bin Ladin go at Tora Bora. Don’t believe me? Look it up.
This is the first faith-based presidency. Never mind about the facts, if we pretend real hard, and repeat ourselves endlessly (thank you FOXNEWS) everything will be like we wish it was. Enjoy the dream while it lasts because your falling butt is about to have a rendezvous with the ground!

I wanted to respond back to A. Whitten about how much I enjoyed the first-hand insight about Australian media, Murdoch-style. One of the great points you hit on that I agree with 100% is that Murdoch's paid henchpeople spend a huge amount of their air/print time furiously labeling certain people, news agencies, politicians, legislation, etc. as being "liberal," without bothering to go into a deep argument as to why they find their opponents leftist and why they find their leftist ideas obejectionable. Their strategy is to treat the term liberal as though it is a dirty word, and not let one moment go by where they don't remind the audience this. After they establish "liberal" as a stigma, they then believe that by simply labeling something, it becomes what it was labeled. I.e., describing a columnist they disagree with as "extremist," without going so far as to explain why they find the writer extremist (usually because facts and logic can't substantiate their ad-hominem attacks). They just emphasize that this person is crazy and horrible (usually only because this person--gasp!--dissents from them), and assume that everyone should accept and share their disdain. In Murdochworld, saying so makes it so, even if it isn't so in reality.

The biggest problem with their strategy is that the viewership parrots it in everyday dialogue with family, acquaintances, local news editorials, etc. Which is exactly what the Murdoch corps. are going for. The programs they watch are little more than schoolyard taunts and name-calling interspersed with sycophantic guests who believe in the Fox version of events, but are packaged to appear like real talk shows...and so the viewer thinks of them as a source of information. And the unfortunate results is that they've been programmed to associate the "liberal = bad" equation with so many topics that they have knee-jerk negative opinions on books they have never read, politicians whose platform they have never looked into, movies they have never seen, activists they have never listened to, journalists they have never watched, etc. And as A. Whitten pointed out, this means that people have re-defined the continuum to the point where they think a network like PBS is somehow fanatical and "out of touch with the average American," that Clinton was a hugely left-wing president when he was really a moderate with many conservative policies, or that labor unions hurt workers when they in actuality help them. This problem will continue to persist until both media and viewers demand for programming that explains what something is instead of just calling it a word.

The "saying makes it so" tactic is re-defining perceptions in a way that does not match reality. Common sense about the environment or lost American jobs is often being spun as "fanatical left-wing hate," while not questioning the government or corporations is positively packaged as being "patriotic and market-friendly."

Murdoch's "victory" has been convincing the common person that policy that favors the plutocracy but hurts him/her is actually something he/she should support.

Another aspect I have noticed about Murdoch's viewership is that they are experts on sordid local-news-disguised-as-national-issue stories like Lacy Peterson, JonBenet Ramsey, etc. These topics are promoted because there is no controversy in them (we are all against abusive men who kill their innocent wives or child rape). Yet the way people are so fluent in them (knowing all the theories, listening to "legal commentators," reading tell-all books by the family members, etc.), makes me think of how educated our populace would be if they took the same interest in hearing analysts talk about Supreme Court trends, trade laws, global warming stats, lobbying, or the health insurance crisis. Imagine what could happen if those were the national fascination....

Australian Defence Minister, Brendan Nelson: “The defence update we're releasing today sets out many priorities for Australia's defence and security, and resource security is one of them, and obviously the Middle East itself, not only Iraq but the entire region, is an important supplier of energy, oil in particular, to the rest of the world, and Australians and all of us need to think well what would happen if there were a premature withdrawal from Iraq.”

My personal thought is...

Any person who has more than he or she needs, which is a decent place to live, food and clothes, with some few things in life to enjoy, already has more than enough, look in the mirrior at yourelf, if you can, then take a good look at those who do not,would it not be enjoyable to see others enjoy their life, then think about the trillions of dollars spent on weapons of killing and mass murder for war, cannot we as a nation among nations have been total failures. mankind has failed as a whole. But this is the way it must be, and will be, It is the supreme lesson being taught to us by the God of the Universe, and the earth is the school and life is a lesson of how it is to live without God's presence, when the teacher is away the children will play, and we are doing just that in ignorance...

Really Bill, and all else who think...and I try?

The only person who has the right to tax is the owner, and just who is the owner of it all? It is sure not the so-called Govenment, why do we tax ourselves out of existence,Americans so called stole it all from the Indians and they didn't own it either, but they did take car of it all. God, is the real owner and He will sell none of it, man approiates it and taxes it for himself out of existence,or at least the selfish do. Those who claim to be "gods" and demand our fealty. But, that's alright Momma, for now! The evil day will soon be over...

A comment for Bill Moyer’s site

I was not born yesterday, and I don't think I am really ignorant, a little but, not, to much. I do understand that mankind cannot stop the madness or insanity of the world and its ways of destruction, ...any fool can see that one...It will take A HIGHER POWER, A Supreme sovereign Power, and it is called what most of mankind are not truly aware of, in a real true sense, (Deity and only the personal intervention of "(God)" Deity can stop the madness of humanity, Man has no remedy, humanity is totally impotent in the matter, But, of course the wise of this world will not admit it, why? because humanities wise-ones are on an ego-trip, and think and act as if they are miniture deities, many say they believe in "(God)" but, in truth thats a big myth. Nations of humanity as a whole only believe in themselves, and that they can or are able to save themselves which is a foolish notion. The insane run this world and its governments, and lock the sane up behind closed doors, and that is THE REST OF THE STORY as Paul Harvey would say!
And I would say!
Sumner Morrill Koch
age 69



My Name is Sumner Koch and I am a liberal conservative, and hate no one I am not a patriot of any nation, although I was born in America almost 69 years ago August 12, 1938

Read your Bible Jesus Christ was the most liberal man who has ever lived, He was not a Republican nor was He a Democrat, but a rich fat elephant was not his ride, but a poor jackass was for what its worth...

And in this world's system of thought that's not much!

My Name is Sumner Koch and I am a liberal conservative, and hate no one I am not a patriot of any nation, although I was born in America almost 69 years ago August 12, 1938

Read your Bible Jesus Christ was the most liberal man who has ever lived, He was not a Republican nor was He a Democrat, but a rich fat elephant was not his ride, but a poor jackass was for what its worth...

And in this world's system of thought that's not much!

Dear Uga6

My response was to your initial message on July 4, 2007 12:28 PM. Otherwise I would NOT get tangential. I tried to remind you of the roots of antagonism towards US foreign policy.

This young lady and many more are victims of US foreign policiy and aggression:

With best regards
Peace to all

You might want to consider riding you bike and free yourself of gasoline dependence which was the main reason for US invasion of Iraq.

This is my last note.

Dear Uga6

My response was to your initial message on July 4, 2007 12:28 PM. Otherwise I would get tangential. I tried to remind you of the roots of antagonism towards US foreign policy.

This young lady and many more are victims of US foreign policiy and aggression:

With best regards
Peace to all

You might want to consider riding you bike and free yourself of gasoline dependence which was the main reason for US invasion of Iraq.

This is my last note.

I was not born yesterday, and I don't think I am really ignorant, a little but, not, to much. I do understand that mankind cannot stop the maddness or insanity of the world and its ways of destruction, ...any fool can see that one...It will take A HIGHER POWER, A Supreme sovereign Power, and it is called what most of mankind are not truly aware of, in a real true sense, (Deity and only the personal intervention of "(God)" Deity can stop the madness of humanity, Man has no remedy, humanity is totally impotent in the matter, But, of course the wise of this world will not admit it, why? because humanities wise-ones are on an ego-trip, and think and act as if they are miniture deities, many say they believe in "(God)" but, in truth thats a big myth. Nations of humanity as a whole only believe in themselves, and that they can or are able to save themselves which is a foolish notion. The insane run this world and its governments, and lock the sane up behind closed doors, and that is THE REST OF THE STORY as Paul Harvey would say!
And I would say!
Sumner Morrill Koch
age 69



Later while driving I
considered that I may have indeed misunderstood your
vantage point on the word fundamentalism.
At any rate, my point about
Sweden is that because the
American soldier and allies did the heavy lifting and bleeding in fighting the Nazis, the Swedes had the luxury of "neutrality". Remaining neutral in the face of evil on the march, such as Jihadism, is a luxury America will not be allowed by the Jihadists to enjoy. How did we get on this with an article about
Rupert Murdoch?

another sad story in a country
you call most free

Ritcheson, a Mexican-American, was beaten unconscious and sodomized with a plastic pole by another teen shouting "White Power!" in April 2006 at a suburban Houston home.

to uga
- the first sentence is to clarify that I am not defending fundamentalism.

- You need to read my friend, it does not matter if you have a masters degrees. we have tons of educated fools. forgive me for being blunt. Sweden remained neutral during World War 2.

- remember Bush is a C student from Yale and has MBA from Harvard : )

-have you read Kurt Vonnegut's books? if not I highly recommend them.



I started my sentence with that to make it clear that I am not defending the fundamentalist. sorry for confusion.

Your view about Sweden was the best joke I heard today : ) thank you

To anon, thanks for the point, however, I am an
American, not a fundamentalist, and suspect
that that word may imply
ignorance, lack of education
etc. The viewpoint you despise is held by the vast majority of Americans and especially by those who actually defend your right
to despise. Many of us hold
graduate and post graduate
degrees. Sweden is a democratic nation today because we helped them not
become a Nazi nation in WW2.

to uga6,
I despise fundamentalism. If you read a bit you will find the root of the problem. May I recommend some sites that I have found in my search:

Sweden is a progressive country with highest level of freedom and greatest respect for human rights. Yet, the fundamentalist would not target Sweden. Sweden's foreign policy is not based on exploitation of other nations and double standards.

Bill, I agree that it'll be a sad day if Rupert Murdoch takes over the Wall Street Journal, but I find it disingenuous to single out Murdoch's empire for selling "babes and breasts, gossip and celebrities." Take a look at the sorry state of affairs at CBS, NBC and ABC and other "home-grown" media. Walter Lippmann and Eric Sevareid would roll over in their graves!

Happy Birthday, America!
As we celebrate the freeest
nation on earth today, let us remember those soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and
coast guardsmen who loyally
defend our way of life against the attack of the Jihadists who wish to destroy it. God bless America!

I lived in Australia for five years, a country dominated by media controlled by its native son, Rupert Murdoch, where two-thirds of the newspapers read are owned by his company, News Corp. Many parts of the country have no other newspaper other than one owned by Murdoch. I feel like I have seen the future in news media and it stinks to high heaven.

Look up any one of Murdoch's papers, the one in Sydney, the Daily Telegraph, for example, for many vivid examples [ ]. Especially, read Piers Ackerman's columns, that make the shock jockeys here look like kindergarten grads. Murdoch's presence is relatively small in the U.S. but that is about to change. As it does, U.S. media will become what corporate media in Australia looks like. The only other mainstream newspaper chain there, Fairfax Corp., steadily emulates its more successful competition as will happen here.

A previous commentator, Peter Price, noted that "posts defending Murdoch can't provide a detailed argument, but rely on the same tired 'talking point' fed by Fox News: that ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, etc. are liberal." This is what Murdoch commentators espouse. They spend more time labelling and attacking the so-called "far left liberal" media, such as PBS, as well as organisations, personages, etc., that hardly fit this description. In addition to avoiding addressing issues substantively, this is a device to shift perceptions of what is liberal and what is conservative. If PBS is far left, then what is The Nation? Or what is a really left publication like Tariq Ali's New Left Review? They would be perceived as the lunatic fringe, which they hardly are, and which is the purpose of the strategy. It is practiced relentlessly by Murdoch's hench-persons, as well as by their supporters, no matter what the topic of conversation is.

In Australia, bloggers who defend Murdoch in this fashion are assumed to be anonymous Murdoch journos earning points with their employer. Some of the longer comments in this blog seem to have been written by a "wordsmith". It is equally believable the commenters are merely consumers of the Murdoch product who don't know enough to write about anything other than accusations of left bias, as their "handlers" have programmed them to do. From my experience, talking to them in person about any issue finds them drying up after the first rebuttal, left with nothing to say.

Bill, your last two programs have been wonderful! Not far left, but far, far logical. Thank-you for introducing me to some wonderful people who are rarely allowed in the public spotlight. I read widely and thought I knew most of the people on the planet who write and talk cogently with a logical, humanist outlook. By example, you are illustrating the limited outlook our media habitually serves up. In the end, this may be your most important contribution to journalism. I look forward to future, mind-expanding experiences from the Moyers Journal.

Dear Bill: I’ve been reading your essay on Murdoch for three days and can’t figure out which paragraph is the best. Friends of mine have called your essay “awesome.” The opening line is amazing. The whole thing is poetry and is about so much more than just an unashamed robber baron.

It reminds me that about twenty years ago on an earlier incarnation of your Journal you did a show called “TV Or Not TV” featuring Dr. George Gerbner of the Annenberg School in Philadelphia looking at the influence of television on American life. It’s been in my mind for two decades. The show was actually produced by someone else. You said at the time that one’s best journal entries are often purloined from others.

Is there any chance that you can replay that show?

God bless you for your talent and heart.

Peter Weiss

Denial of the truth for corporate self-interest harms in many ways. The following is yet another.

During the 90s, while Rupert Murdoch owned the New York Post AND sat on the board of Philip Morris, the Post's editorials and columnists railed incessantly against smoking bans, cigarette taxes, youth access laws, etc.

Worse, the Post refused to report basic health information on smoking. Many important studies went unnoticed by the Post. In fact, even though the Post had a "Health" section which addressed medical conditions that have a strong tobacco connection, I never saw smoking even mentioned as a factor.

I saw only 2 articles on the health effects of smoking--and these were both on the _benefits_ of smoking.

Thus, New York Post readers were denied important knowledge of major developments in cancer, heart disease, COPD, SIDS, secondhand smoke, and much more. It's not hard to imagine scenarios in which this promulgation of ignorance cost people their health, even lives.

In sum: during Murdoch's dual involvement, I never saw the New York Post publish anything--news or opinion-- that would harm the business interests of Philip Morris.

All the libs. who are tired of working for a living end up on PBS. Moyer’s has made an indecent living sponging off of the largess that is PBS, but he is not the only one to retire to the womb that is Public Broadcasting. Judy Woodruff, Gwen Ifill, Margaret Warner, Terernce Smith, all had day jobs before they
semi-retired to PBS (I’M sure I’m leaving someone out).
It is Moyers who is the most offensive; an apostate evangelical.
This “anger” at Murdoch springs from a deep well of hostility, which, in a more important individual, would call for, psychological intervention. As long he is in the care of PBS we cut him slack.

I find it interesting that most of the posts defending Murdoch can't provide a detailed argument, but rely on the same tired "talking point" fed by Fox News: that ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, etc. are liberal. These networks (and many newspapers and newsmagazines) are corporate owned and generally reflect this dynamic. The result of this ownership (via the media consolidation Moyers eloquently speaks of) is newsrooms neutered out of fear of offending the powers that be that sign their paycheck, or outright pressure from the network to slant coverage, distort, editorialize, give half-truths, etc. And corporations prejudice their "news" in favor of policy beneficial to their bottom-line and to the politicians they can pay off to cast their vote for them, not to policy that benefits the average citizen/consumer.

Sometimes, pundits confuse the presence of liberal celebrity journalists/anchors or producers as evidence an entire commercial news broadcast is liberal. But what is aired is a complex interplay of ownership, journalists afraid to report straightforwardly due to the public vitriol that can ensue, and staffs pandering to whatever they believe the audience wants to hear at that moment on that topic. I.e., I've seen many networks shift their coverage from conservative to liberal or vice-versa when they see a shift in general public opinion, which is not journalism so much as it is a marketing strategy for Nielsen ratings.

Generally speaking, I find mainstream television and print media as "Stepford News," with the occassional bold or accurate reporting but an overall bland, ineffectual mediocrity that is the aftermath of a calculated effort to be business-friendly.

Murdoch's purchases remind me of the line in the film "The Insider": "a free press for anyone who owns one." Is that the story now? That your opinion will be the one that matters and predominately influences if you can throw enough money to drown out any other voice? I thought the point of free speech is that it IS free--no dollar signs attached for my speech to carry more weight than anyone else's.

One poster accused Mr. Moyers of being stuck in the 70s, and I think we need more people who embody the 70s sensibility of questioning the dominant powers to ask what is fair and what benefits the many instead of the few.

Own country is indebted to you Mr. Moyers and PBS for speaking the truth. BUT just agreeing with you does NOT change the danger we face. IF we the people do NOT revolt we will collapes like all past greedy societies. How bad does it have to get to awaken the pesents????

Mr. Moyers, I was so impressed with last Friday's Journal, I've been talking about it ever since. I posted the following on a debate forum I participate in:

[b]Man! He left nobody standing! This guy has the brains and balls and the exquisite command of the language to match Edward R. Murrow.

His closing editorial was on Rupert Murdoch. First, he shredded Murdoch into chip confetti. Then he began a litany of the people and institutions Murdoch has bought and corrupted including a long list of politicians--Republican and Democrat (and Hillary and Bill.) He was heading to the Bancroft family and the Wall Street Journal, but he cut a searing swath along the way.

Someone took him off the air once, when he was doing NOW. He turned the program over to someone else then a few months later came back with Bill Moyers Journal. I hope they can't shut him down again. (PBS)[/b]

Thank you!

Whatever the truth is or isn't on Murdoch, and how could we know that we know,
the bottom line upfront is
that in a world of obviously
biased "news" from the networks (biased in favor of
fawning adoration of secularism and biased against conservativism in any form), Murdoch and Newscorp gave voice to the
conservative viewpoint through Fox News Channel.
Refreshing and a lighthouse
of an alternative viewpoint
in the midst of the predictable network news bias against conservatism.

Mr. Moyers, thank you for bringing Mr. Gold's book to light. Knowledge of the centuries of church dominated politics in Europe should give us all pause as we seem to rush to our own form of Theocracy. What we so easily slide into to may not be so easy to get out of.

Mr. Moyers,

I just wanted to say thank you for you comments this past week and for you reporting in general. You are a hero and give this social studies teacher hope. Keep up the excellent work!

Gee, I sure hope none of my tax dollars went to pay for that extended diatribe of sanctimonious hate.

Your mind is still stuck in the 70s.

As a journalist for 18 years, I have followed the death spiral that the news media has been in. Murdoch is a hideous symptom of a much larger disease, he is still just a symptom. If anything, this disease shows how capitalism doesn't necessarily reflect the public good in all cases.

Journalism is too important to the future of this republic, on all levels- From inside the Beltway to the small village of Maytown in Pennsylvania - to be left to the vagaries and greed of the marketplace.

Tax laws in the United States should be changed. Newspapers and other news organizations should be allowed, if not encouraged, to become non-profits. That way they are less inclined to be held under the sway of interests.

After all, where has the best journalism in radio and television been these last two decades - Cable news, the broadcast networks, or PBS and NPR?

What kind of house slaves are these Republican trolls? How is it that people who claim to be so patriotic and American, have not read a word of the framers warnings about concentrations of power in the hands of the monied few. They are defending a news channel that literally makes people less informed the more they watch it. You can literally predict that the more Fox a person watches the more inaccurate their conclusions Conversely the more public broadcasting one watches the more informed.

Forget the political arguments and the philosophy. Murdoch is pure evil and should be killed to prevent the poisoning of all the people on this sad, stupid planet.

Dear Mr. Moyers:

Much of the earlier contributed commentary lauds your ongoing work and attempts at balanced reportage and unsullied journalism. There should be no doubt that your contribution to modern journalism has been a sturdy one and I would like to take this opportunity to again thank you for those efforts. Relative to Mr. Murdock and the plight of the electronically privileged, it should be said that the influences of the likes of the Murdocks of the world will certainly be the death knell of any semblance of equity, democracy or "fairness" as we currently understand those terms. Once in conversation with Professor Herbert Marcuse, I cornered him on two comments made during a lecture. At one point, he made it clear to his audience that there was little chance of retrieving the American democracy without public control of and access to the mass media. Later in conversation he acknowledged that there existed both no such control or access and the diminishing probablity that the American people would regain that control. The year was approximately 1968 and six years earlier I had been an idealistic youngster fortunate to have spoken with and shaken the hand of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. A young turk, I literally cornered Marcuse and interogated him relative to this blatant inconsistency. His response was that he was aware of the contradiction but he was also aware that if we acquiesced to the blossoming reality of little or no public control of media, then there was absolutely no hope for the future. Your continued efforts mirror his resolve and as an African-American writer/journalist whose ideals and willingness to express them have clearly placed me outside the halls of media influence, I salute you in appreciation of your continued resolve to make media safe for the practice of integrity and honest reporting. Thank you from all of us who, were the playing fields truly evened, might offer a slightly different perspective than those purveyors of the party line.

We can thank Michael Powell and the Bush/Cheney FCC commission for the media oligopoly that has formed in the US.

Rules prohibiting market concentration, as we are now seeing, were put in place in the 20th century to ensure that the news reporting was not dominated by a handfull of self-serving corporations. Powell and company undid this protection at the behest of lobbyists for Murdoch and a small cadre of media barons and corporations.

The first amendment protection of free speach is the guiding principle applied to the journalism because of the importance of the public's need to know the facts for the protection of our life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness. The founding fathers realized this as did our grandparents that dissasembled the previous news oligopolies.

The neo-conservatives conducting their trademark shout down of alternative views should be just as concerned as we that the view of our world will soon be served up by essentially four organizations. Murdoch, GE, Disney, and (i forget). How can we expect diversity of thought.

The anti-thought crowd, who seem to claim to be representing conservatives, I am sure were making their stand in the South some 30 years ago. Their solution: murder Martin King.

A masterful editorial closer, Mr. Moyers.

We need only look to the blatant tabloidization of the Murdoch press in England to see our own future.

While the WSJ op-ed POV has been clearly of the conservative bent, news was news. You might say that's "fair and balanced."

The right-wing vitriol in response to your editorial commentary is amazing. And alarming. For a movement so closely tied to theocratic creationism, there is certainly a Darwinian approach to the notion of a venerable American news source becoming a weapon in one man's war against progressives in general and the NYT in particular.

Survival of the fittest is suddenly an admirable theory--and the "fittest", in this case, is the guy with the most money. Sounds like a revamping of the old "Might makes right" dogma. In more ways than one.

A response to Erick Blair and to all "conservatives" whom are commenting on this blog.

If Bill Moyer had a "liberal biased" then why would he have Victor Gold on his show tonight or have a show on PBS when he can just as easily be on MSNBC alongside keith olbermann.

This left/right dichotomy is an illusion that our current media has created.

Men like Bill Moyers are realists who base their opinions on facts.

Oh, and by the way, Happyman, it is called "projection." Conservatives do it all the time without realizing it...

Thank you, Mr. Moyers, for telling it bluntly like it is. Mr. Murdoch is the Hearst of his time, ready to jingo us all into oblivion for the sake of the almighty dollar. I hope that journalism survives and that the wheel eventually turns back to balance and integrity.

I banged mjy fist (wish I'd had a drum) at the Murdoch comments. Long since time! I know journalism from the inside. Truly, Murdoch has used it as his "personal spitoon" (couldn't have said it better). I'm so glad that Bill Moyers is BACK!

All these trolls for Murdoch need to actually WATCH the show - especially the Vic Gold segment. They prove his doubt unwittingly...

For Bill Moyers to whine about the "bias" of Fox News is beyond preposterous. Moyers is a far left profiteer who has made millions feeding at the public trough. PBS is a left wing propaganda house. That's simply a fact not an opinion. And Bill Moyers seems to like his own far left bias just fine.

Remarks or outright knifing by some shocked and infuriated neocons on Bill's program reveal how narrow and self-serving they have been for many years. No more glum silence or substituting "Support Our Troops" for a genuine discussion of how to cope with fundamentalists. Their words betray their understanding that the public is snapping to and standing up. Will any of those spitting venom tonight take a cue from Bill's own admission that he eventually realized who his boss L.B.Johnson was? At best, a few. The winds are shifting; new sails accent the horizon dated 2008. Go on,Bill, SMILE!

Mr. Moyers:

I have not contacted any broadcaster before, am I past my 70th birthday.

I break silence to say how important I think is your message in tonight's broadcast.

Your points about our Presidency and what has happened to it, and your editorial regarding Mr. Murdoch and those like him who have so taken over so much of our national press is on point and the message you deliver is terribly important.

I hope that you on this aspect of our world, Mr. Gore on the environment, and Mr. Obama for the importance of common sense and common decency, will find ways in the coming months to make your points more widely noted across our spectrum of thought and reflection, and brought to the people overall. Perhaps there is an opportunity here for a combination of talents?
Thank you again for tonight's program. It is outstanding.


Earl Cilley

Great show tonight and a great ending piece. To the point and entertaining as well! Keep telling the fact based truth as you see it and never worry about the the shrieking pundits on either side that want "balanced" news. "Balanced" news only leads both sides in an ever escalating arms race of half truths and spin.

There are three places on TV I look for honest "news" - CSPAN, Daily Show & Colbert Report and here. Keep being a partisan for justice.

Best show yet -- so much energy and insight from every guest! And this delightfully written piece was the icing on the cake. Bravo, You, and many thanks.

Glad to have you back on the air, Bill. Few people like you can tell it like it is anymore. Thank you for your journalism and for your opinions. We value what you do and look forward to your program every week. Great show and editorial on Murdoch this week. Wow!

I love you, Moyers. Thanks for remaining one of the truest journalists ou there.

We liberals if that is what you want to call us, don't HATE conservatives we HATE what the neo and theo conservatives have done across the board to this country.True conservatives would never sell out there own country for there own
selfish ideology.

I'm not really sure what planet Scotty boy lives on. Sad that Scotty hasn't a clue... about journalism, what Fascism is, that FOX news zombies are the most misinformed sector of our populace. I'm sure Scotty knows when Paris has a pimple on her butt and can spew RNC talking points without any clue as to their meaning.

Look at Murdoch's modus operandi; tabloid journalism, hard right political and economic viewpoints, opinion morphed into "fact", demonization of opponents. Murdoch's WSJ would look like the NY Post, (a brain dead rag for brain dead readers) only with better writers.

Viewer/listener ship? Scotty needs to do a little research, News Corp vs PBS and NPR. Hint, it's not even close

I'm not really sure what Moyers is bloviating about...let's face it. Murdoch's Newscorp is a better alternative to ownership by government. PBS is one of many wasteful taxpayer-funded endeavors out there, like any of the entitlement bureaucracies. Be serious. Fox News is at least an alternative to the leftist mainstream media, filled with frustrated socialist drones turned out by the thousands from universities over the past 40 years. Moyers simply doesn't like that there is another media source that features news and opinion which seems to run contrary to his own views. Hey, the Wall Street Journal is a right wing newspaper (at least the editorial staff), so again, I'm not clear why Moyers is waxing poetic about the good old days when the WSJ was "independent". Moyers isn't an unbiased news guy, nor is any other so-called reporter out there. Billy ought to give Murdoch a break. He has a first amendment right too. Just because his news outlets reach millions more ears and eyes than Billy does doesn't make him evil. It makes him more successful in a free market economy. And that is really Bill's problem with Newscorp's acquisition of the WSJ.

I'd guess Billy really wants a Hugo Chavez-style government siezure of right wing opposition media, so people like him can silence Rupert Murdoch and any other conservative voice. Who's the fascist now?

Pure poetry. This is what journalism is about.

I featured this at News Corpse with an addendum:

Murdoch is actually well represented as Mephistopheles, the demon to whom Faust sold his soul for knowledge. Knowledge, in this respect, is the information that comprises the news. The role of Faust is currently being played by the Bancroft family as they contemplate selling Dow Jones, and their souls, to Murdoch.

Keep up the good work.

my post is above my name,not below our friend

Hey Ricky, mike, frank, Kevin, et al. Can I come live in your world where the media is all liberal and conservatives are marginalized and corporations are all altruistic and stuff? Sounds wonderful! Do I just go through the magic wardrobe or what?

Thank God you're back on the telly Bill. I wish you'd rerun your Bible discussion show. Most of it was preempted and I really liked seeing the disagreeing experts be so civil to each other as they explained their thoughts and perspectives. Civil discourse: what a concept. And Grace Lee Boggs was great to watch the other day too!

Our friend kingsweasil should look up the word hate, as well as intolerance and then do some work in determining whether he fits the bill--but, he too, is probably another blind hypocrite leading the other blind hypocrites.

Are you kidding me? Moyers and his lecturing about how "foxs and its partisan".........

This guy is a hypocrite and a myopic minded (purposely too) goon who blows the trumpet at all others who don't agree with his idealogy.

To him, CNN is the measuring stick for "real" journalism--to me it is nothing more than a left-leaning, bigot machine blinded by its own hypocrisy.

who would believe this many people would try to defend,and protect the owner of one sided as they come...go bill!

Whoa, get a load of all the ugly and hateful little trolls here!!!

What, do you guys own stock in Murdoch's Media Empire?

Yes, yes. That infamous liberal bias of the MSM. Like when those damn peaceniks skewed public opinion about the lack of Saddam’s WMDs and Iraq’s irrelevance to 9/11, which kept us from invading…oh right, we’ve been mired there for 4 years and still no WMDs or 9/11 connection found. Well, there’s the over-representation of leftist pundits on cable news and talk radio…wait, I guess its actually the other way around (even on PBS). Ok, what about all those 'video news releases' aired across the country on local stations that slam free enterprise…oops, those are actually product promotions disguised as news (on top of the regular advertising). Fine, at least we can point out the MSM’s constant fawning over leftist leaders like Chavez and Chomsky……no? You say that Chavez is a media pariah and you never heard of Chomsky? Huh.

OK, so I'm having a hard time thinking of examples right now. But certainly we can point to the fact that all the major media outlets are owned by militant Marxists, who subtly pressure their employees on what they can and can’t report – especially in areas where they have other financial interests…hold on a minute. ‘Employees’? ‘Other financial interests’? Oh that’s right, the media is actually almost entirely owned by multi-national corporations and billionaires. Well, at least rest assured that these are selfless socially-conscious entities that would never dream of exploiting their media resources to enhance their profit margin and further their own political interests…

Two words:


Besides NOW and Bill Moyers Journal, it's the only hope the American people have left to find stories that matter to them.

So let's see---on the right there's Fox News, and a handful of radio personalites.

On the left there's ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, Airless America (sic), The New York Times, (plus countless other liberal newspapers in the US), all of academia, plus all of Hollywood.

You know Bill, we really don't feel sorry for you at all.

A bit more diversity on PBS wouldn't hurt. Does Murdoch have more power or worse taste than George Soros or Ted Turner? Give me a break. By the way... how's that war on poverty coming along Bill? Any end in sight?

Um, guys, we're missing the forest for the trees. How many of us want someone to tell us what to think..or to force us to only see something from one point of view? Probably not many. We intuitively know something's wrong with that scenario.

It seems to me that diversity might be the end, and respect is the means. Instead of attacking Bill or attacking those who are standing up for or tearing Bill down, how about we discuss the topic at hand?

If you read in one newspaper article that you would get all your vitamins and minerals from eating only tomatoes, would you believe it?

Would you believe it if you read it and heard it everywhere, in all of your news sources?

At what point are we unwilling to think for ourselves?

I'm not sure I care about what you may think of Bill, but you bet I care that you and I get a healthy variety of voices in the news media. No one person and no one company should be able to decide what news items you talk about with your friends over coffee or a beer.

And, come one, tomatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner...and a midnight snack? Pretty boring stuff.

Bring back the Fairness Doctrine. Put Limbaugh and VDHanson across the PBS table with Moyers and Donahue.

Who owns the rights to Moyers' telly shows?

From our FAQ:

Is BILL MOYERS JOURNAL funded by taxpayer money?

Bill Moyers raised all the money to produce "Buying the War" and BILL MOYERS JOURNAL from the funders listed in the opening and close of the broadcasts. Neither CPB nor PBS contributed to these productions.

Moyers is irrelevant and belongs to another time...a time when all we were allowed to hear was the liberal drone from the MSM. His article sounds more like he's talking about people like Clinton friend and supporter George Soros and the crowd who truly wish to control everyone and everything. Aren't they the ones who say they now own the Democrat Party..bought and paid for? What drivel Moyers spews.

Unlike editorialism, good journalism must be an objective reflection of the facts. Mr. Moyers engages in both editorialism and journalism. While his editorialism maintains a certain point of view, his journalism is an accurate representation of the facts.

The conservative media exchanges punditry for journalism because it is a cheap alternative which is easy to manipulate.

Facts are valuable and beyond dispute, while punditry is cheap, useless and rarely accurate.

bill moyers has to explain all the stuff he did in the johnson administration.
the vietnam war( now its his turn)
mlk spying. telling the fbi to spy on republicans. this man simply doesn't believe in free speech. only his matters.
all sides should be examined so we can all judge. everyone should watch all news channels.

At the end of your recent comments about Mr. Murdoch, I am sure you meant to say thank you to me, and all the other taxpayers whose money is taken from them to help underwite PBS so you could tell us how evil you think Mr. Murdoch is.

Come on Bill, be a man, have enough courage and take the risk like Mr. Murdoch and buy your own news network and newspaper and use your own paycheck, and stop relying on private contributions and public funds to pontificate with.

Hardly UNVARNISHED facts! That ended 3o years ago. ALL news has a 'slant' any more. Liberals are just upset that their slant is not the most popular one because it has a basis in fantasy and shortsightedness. For instance--liberals are all on the ethonol bandwagon. Question: where is all that corn coming from? Grows on land right? Do you know how many MILLIONS of acres of the Amason forest Brazil is cutting down to grow corn/soybeans? Can that ever be replaced? NO! Get off that bandwagon and get on with solar, wind and other sources of energy. And don't whine when corn flakes cost $6 per box.

Gee, let me guess. This post was linked linked by conservative blog? I hope you trolls are getting some kind of kickback from Murdoch (if your doing it for free then you're even dumber than you sound).

How eager you all are to be toadys to the new robber barons! Simply replace 'free market' with 'divine right', and one would be hard put to distinguish your positions from that of the Loyalists during the American Revolution. Long live King George (and Rupert)!

Hmm...wait a minute, if you're going to accuse someone of being hateful, might try not being hateful yourselves...

just an idea...

Perhaps Mr. Moyers biggest transgression against conservatism is that he tells unvarnished facts.

I'm afraid that from the vantage point of a conservative, reality and fact have a liberal bias.

Whether you like or not Billy boy, Murdoch will own Dow Jones. All of the rants of the irrelevant such as you won't change it. For years there were four networks (CBS, ABC, NBC, and of course the Flagship PBS) that spewed American liberal propaganda to have a democratic majority in the congress for 40 years. The spawning of cable T.V. and the Internet is eroding leftist propaganda outlets posing as legitimate news sources. Continue to play the fiddle as "news sources" such as you continue to burn!

'...not the first to use journalism to promote his own interests.' Neither are you Mr. Moyers, but you are more guilty because you call yourself a journalist.

I don't think Mr. Moyers hates anything. What was being described in this piece is the abjectly hateful behavior of modern media barons.

The consolidation of media power under the umbrella of large corporate interests had a negative effect on this country during the first half of the 20th century (see W.R. Hearst). With K.R. Murdoch, we are allowing it to happen again.

It's one thing to make a mistake, but to repeat that mistake is the mark of stupidity. The citizenry and congress of this country should not allow this to happen again.

Bill can't make it in the marketplace anymore. He's simply jealous because he is irrelevent. FOX NEWS, Rush, et al can get and keep an audience.Bill- go join "Air America"- Oh, sorry...

ah, rants from bill moyer. a legend in his own mind! He works for a company that pays no taxes at all, but simply feeds off the public trough, all the while spewing liberal and radical liberal talking points, him being the chief spekesman), and he actually complains about the small amount of taxes murdoch pays? You are the connsumate hypocrite mr're just too enomored with yourself to realize it!

suggestion; Carly Simon, "You're so vain" probably WOULDN'T think that song is about you. How wrong you'd be...again!

You know, you liberal types need to get over your HATE for anything conservative. You can't THINK if all you can do is HATE.

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