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« Sacrificing To Serve | Main | Reclaiming Civil Discourse »

Poll: Has The Press Scrutinized The Candidates Equally?

In this week’s JOURNAL, Bill Moyers spoke with journalists Les Payne and Brooke Gladstone about the media and the upcoming elections.

Gladstone said that press coverage revolves around sensationalism:

“This [election coverage] isn’t about relative importance. This is about celebrity. This is about putting your finger in the air and following the public mood. Is it news? No. Is it an audience generator? Yes.”

We invite you to discuss in the space below.


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Comments

Debate w/Brokaw: McCain's (Denny Crane) (r)age.....
It appears his noggin is 8 months pregnant with cancer, he's stiff as a kewpie doll, my franz.
(Leave the lid down so Sarah don't bruise her behind while flushing the environment. And I want some of them books she's banning from the Library of Congress.)

Obama's friends at Morgan Stanley and Excelon Energy were licking their lips.

What a country! What a debacle!

Debate w/Brokaw: McCain's (Denny Crane) (r)age.....
It appears his noggin is 8 months pregnant with cancer, he's stiff as a kewpie doll, my franz.
(Leave the lid down so Sarah don't bruise her behind while flushing the environment. And I want some of them books she's banning from the Library of Congress.)

Obama's friends at Morgan Stanley and Excelon Energy were licking their lips.

What a country! What a debacle!

obama passed the test when he won the party's nomination.

palin didn't.

thanks to bill moyers for his excellent works.

For the first time in my adult life, I am voting Republican. I am stunned that you can even think that the media is remotely fair. Sometimes, it what you leave out as what you report that is more important. I have NEVER heard anyone ask Obama about all the corrupt pols he endorsed. And just WHAT is his GPA from Columbia? What about his house he bought from Resko? All this stuff is glossed over. Reverand Wright and associates? Obama gives a ridiculous answer, and the press says "ok, next question. Obama has NEVER answered why he voted over 133 "present" votes. There is so much more it's nauseating. All the press does is play "gotcha questions" for Sarah Palin. (who, in my opinion has shown courage that empty suit, Machivallian Obama has never come close to displaying). But I am betting Americans are smarter than than that. If not, God help us all. Why would we want to be Communists? We KNOW that doesn't work. Just look at China and Russia!

The program featuring Gladstone and Payne was far too biased, since both are liberal Obama supporters. You should have balanced one (but not both) of them with a McCain supporter. (Like Shields & Brooks on Lehrer). Gladstone self-righteously claims that Palin is distorting the facts (i.e. "lying") because she gave a speech claiming her son and other US troops currently headed for Iraq are going to fight "the enemy that caused devastation here on 9/11" and, Gladstone claims, we know that "that didn't have anything to do with 9/11". Gladstone incorrectly assumes Palin is referring to Saddam Hussein's Iraq, rather than the Iraq of today, where, yes, intelligence claims that there are terrorist groups (including "al-Qaeda in Iraq") with links to those behind 9/11. That Palin was referring in that speech to "al Qaeda in Iraq" targeting America, not to Saddam Hussein-- who has been dead for a long time now!--was pointed out by the McCain campaign but Gladstone ignores this because she's so eager to make Palin out to be the one distorting the facts when in this case it is she hersefl (Gladstone) who is the distorting the facts).

As for Payne's suggestion that they "need to go and dig into not just tax records....we need to know everything there is to know about every iota of information bearing on her ability to be VP": that would be a fair approach to Palin if this approach had also been taken to Obama in January when the primary season started. The mainstream media did not, and still has not, covered Obama's record as "community organizer" and state legislator with the sort of scrutiny Palin has gotten, even of her stint as Wasilla mayor, let alone as Alaska governor. As a consequence, most Democratic primary voters only heard about Rev. Wright's speeches, the William Ayers association etc. only AFTER it was too late to stop Obama (rather than Clinton) being chosen by the DNC. Even now, where is the MSM asking about Obama's fundamental failure to demonstrably improve Chicago's political corruption, and his district's living conditions, when he was an organizer and legislator representing South Side residents? Why has the MSM not asked why the Annenberg Challenge grant, which paid Obama quite a bit of money to "improve" Chicago public schools, was such a manifest failure? Doesn't Obama's failure with a generous grant to improve Chicago public education, (in addition to the fact that he himself has never attended or sent his own children to an American public school or college)--have some "bearing" on his claim to be better for American public education than McCain and Palin, who, at least, have actually attended public schools and/or colleges?

Sensationalism!
Period the end.
I haven't heard one person compare the record and history of Joe Biden, a seasoned and well respected, knowledeable candidate to the record of, and I will be kind and skip the descriptive thoughts I have, Sarah Palin.

Honestly, if people cannot see the ridiculousness of putting a woman of her minimal background and rigid views in the White House, then I guess we deserve the tragedies it can produce.

It seems we may have truly been 'dumbed down'.

Sensationalism!
Period the end.
I haven't heard one person compare the record and history of Joe Biden, a seasoned and well respected, knowledeable candidate to the record of, and I will be kind and skip the descriptive thoughts I have, Sarah Palin.

Honestly, if people cannot see the ridiculousness of putting a woman of her minimal background and rigid views in the White House, then I guess we deserve the tragedies it can produce.

It seems we may have truly been 'dumbed down'.

The press is so pre-occupied with trivia and peripheral connections that it doesn't ask the obvious questions, such as where are you getting the money to continue the Iraq war?
(to McCain who claims no new taxes but doesn't say he will stop the deficit spending) They think the election is a horse race and the polls are the way of tracking it. They scarsely begin to touch on all the issues.

Billy Bob of Florida suggested before the great unveiling of the financial implosion and bailout that the Ahmeerikan electorate was only about half ready for a Black President. It didn't bother me because Barack Obama is about one half Black. Considering the present financial conditions I'd say anything in the black is greatly preferrable to being "in the red." (Is Florida still a red state? I suspect not.)

How many times? did I post a comment.

I am in complete agreement with those who believe the candidates outside the two major parties need to be covered as viable alternatives to a current system that is unresponsive to the needs and interests of the majority of Americans. I was very disappointed in Bill Moyers last night when he did not include Nader and McKinney in his questions to Kevin Phillips. If Moyers, whom I consider one of this Country's most important journalists, won't equally recognize these independent candidates, who will? Phillips obviously expressed little confidence in either McCain's or Obama's ability to address the current financial crisis. I believe Moyers missed the perfect opportunity to explore political resources existing outside the Democratic/Republican box. Phillips quite clearly demonstrated that both major parties have ill-served most Americans' interests for decades. I would have been very interested in his thoughts on alternatives to the status quo.

Where is Ralph Nader in that poll? Why is it that the candidates who really represent what the majority of Americans think are cut out of the discussion by the media? Some will answer that it is because Nader and McKinney have no chance of being elected. But it is precisely because they are ignored that independent candidates stand no chance, and will not ever stand a chance as long as these practices are allowed to continue. Anyone who is able to get on the ballot in most stares should be allowed to take part in the debates. But the major parties are afraid of letting them debate, because they offer the possibility of Real change, which terrifies the powers that be (Big Business). So they collude to keep them out of the discussion. Obama's run to the right after the primaries has left the progressives disheartened, because now it is dawning on them that they face Four More Years of the same, regardless of who wins. Although it won't really be four more years of the same, because the so-called bailout of our financial institutions is sounding the death knell of our economic system. The only question now is how long this move postpones a total meltdown, when foreign investors realize that the dollar isn't worth the paper it is printed on. And this is also the fault of our media, for not covering people like Nader and Kucinich who had the guts to propose the kind of legislation which this country direly needs.

Yes the Press has given the Parties equal scrutiney, Damn Little.

Both parties have gotten away with lies and mistruths, shown a lack of knowledge of the underlieing sources of failure in our economy.
The fourth estate is supposed to ask hard hitting questions and demand truthful answers not lob softballs and then explain the reasons why the answers, which avoid the questions are really "good ones".

The question is missing something. Why is Libertarian Bob Barr not being scrutinized, or Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party?
When 85% of the public thinks this country is headed in the wrong direction, why is the media still fixated on the old direction?
Let's get some new blood in the game. The Republican and Democrat policies are proven failures.

I'm bored with the constant complaining by both sides about the media and their bias and how they don't do their jobs. I don't deny that the way our media goes about its business leaves much to be desired but on the other hand it is a reflection of our own lack as citizens to delve below the surface of issues and figure things out for ourselves. By reading this blog there are obviously those people who do check things out for themselves but the majority of us don't. When we watch news and listen to talk radio we are doing so with our own biases. We are ready and willing to take offense at anything we think isn't being fair to our side, even if what is being said is basically true.

Barack Obama is not the most experienced candidate we have. Even though I am voting for him I find this to be a valid criticism of his candidacy. I do think Obama over the last 18 months has been asked hard questions. He has done well at times he has been awful at times but he has taken questions from the press and he has been scrutinized regarding his qualifications by all sorts of media including FOX news. Now we have Sarah Palin and granted, she is not running for president, but has the potential to become president. There is not as much time for her to be vetted by the press but the McCain/Palin campaign is making very little effort to have her go through the media vetting process by exposing her to reporters questions. Other than the Charlie Gibson interview she not been put to the fire and that just isn't right. The media owes her nor any other candidate any deference as they have stated. If she wants to hold public office then she needs to answer questions regarding what she thinks about the domestic and foreign policy issues of the day and she is not doing that. I understand that all the candidates tightly control media access but the other 3 pres. and vp candidates have been well vetted over the past months. If Sarah Palin wants to be treated with respect then she needs to step up and be accountable to the people through the press.

The other thing that is tiring is both sides whining and crying like two siblings fighting over a toy. The "yes that was bad but they do it too" argument isn't acceptable to most parents when they hear it from their kids but is the fallback for those in both parties. I don't deny that people on the left say hateful things. Maybe Bill should have tried to find examples of this in his segment but that isn't really the point. The point is that these individuals and what they are saying is despicable and that is the case whether they represent the right or the left or anything in between. It makes your bias argument a lot more valid when you at least admit that what was being said is wrong. There are respectable conservative commentators out there that many are willing to listen to because of the manner in which they present their ideas. Many of them are on Bill's show. That type of talk is wrong regardless of which side of the aisle it represents. Let's start from there.

I would say the media has too much deference for the financial privacy of the candidates and their families and close associates, and also too much reticence to recall their past political shames.
The etiquette we put upon the political process may be excessive because of wealthy prerogatives in the ongoing class warfare. With the general poverty and panic in the populace we leave it to the politicians alone to demonstrate the efficacy of trickle down theory. Why not let us see how they've been evaluated and rewarded by their otherwise invisible masters.

Why is Biden's son attorney general of Delaware? (Merit or connections?) How did Michelle Robinson Obama get her big hospital salary and benefits? (From helping the sick?) How did Sarah Palin afford her $300,000 float plane on a $90,000 family income? (By shooting polar bears and serving on energy commissions?) How much goddamn filthy lucre does John McCain have access to through his wife and friends? How will he work to protect them? Will he do better in the present banking debacle with help from Phil and Wendy Graham than he did in the Savings and Loan scandal during Reagan's reign? These questions and many more, locally and nationally, should be used to bring transparency to interests and corruptions in our potential democracy.

Was your intent to provide valuable insight with regard to the issue? If so, this is a very poorly phrased question and one that is impossible for Joe Citizen to answer without serious effort. In fact, it's as shallow as much of the current "debate" in media. What a wasted opportunity!

Many citizen want the fair question asked: Will Obama and/or McCain end and repudiate the Bush policy of not allowing retuning U.S. soldier's flag-draped coffins to be shown?
The "Change candidate" and the "straight talk express" candidate should have it no other way wouldn't you think?

Bill, Your obvious bias towards Sen. Obama is very troubling. You along with other journalists continue to describe Gov. Palin as "inexperienced" despite the fact that her experience in government exceed Obama's in length and quality. I think you are referring to experience in its most parochial sense - in Washington. Her experience has been as an executive dealing with municipalities, state and federal regulations, legislators, major corporations, and neighboring governments (Canada). If you will take your blinders off, you will see that It is broadly-based experience, and quite amazing.

The WSJ had a recent article about the continuing use of this canard of experience against Gov. Palin. But focusing on her allows you and other liberals to avoid a serious discussion and questions about Obama's experience.

Your excerpt about the interview of tucker bounds as hard hitting journalism was ridiculous. Why would anyone outside executive offices have an information about security decisions? You did not show any journalist challenging Obama or his surrogates. I would guess no one has done any such interviewing.

BB: It is so rewarding to see that your actual political face is more horrifying than the mask you have presented previously on these blog pages. You may yet find that a candid presentation will win you more sympathy than deceit. Now that I understand better where you stand, my resentment at you is greatly diminished and I propose a truce of friendship. As abnormal creatures you and I have much in common. Advocate openly for McCain -Palin my friend, as shall I for Obama-Biden, and our countenances may become more sunny, possibly more wizened. This election is not that important, even considering the crises of nitrogen (fertilizer poisoning) and carbon dioxide (unstable climate) this planet faces. You are my friend because we understand one another, not because we agree. We both like to eat good food and breathe clean air, and that , my friend Billy Bob, is enough. Our interests overlap.

G L Howard, 9-15, 11:28AM
Let's see, you suggest Palin's Christian beliefs are end-times and magic based. Does that align her with many modern scientist that suggest Global Warming will end life as we know it, and that we are here because of a magical "Big Bang"?

Clearly the earth's climate has been warming for centuries;so, maybe the scientific minds can protect us, as they surely will when that roge planet closes intent on crashing into our Earth!

Maybe scientist can build a time machine so we can go back and remove those Christian Values our early fore fathers wasted time on.

Hey! There may be hope!

Billy Bob, Florida where hope springs eternal

Sadly, shows that are this partisan are the reason why PBS and NPR will eventually be defunded.

were the mainstream media actually doing it's job of asking relevant questions of candidates. Like what is their position on this ongoing formation of a North American Union through the(back door) Constitutional amendments brought forward by the Security & Prosperity Partnership??

Re: a statement made by Brooke Gladstone--Ms. Gladstone said that you can't use emails as sources for accurate info and gave as an example an email about Palin that she thought was from a reputable source, but found that it contained a clearly false list of books Palin was supposed to have attempted to ban from the Wasilla library when Palin was mayor, and now Ms. Gladstone does not believe there is any credibility to the censorship reports. IF she is referring to the Kilkenney email, Ms. Gladstone must have received a copy that had been tampered with, and her BS detector was off. Kilkenney's email, while mentioning the attempted censorship, names no specific titles. I checked numerous places posting the email online, and they are all the same, with none of them showing any such list. Anne Kilkenney was vetted and interviewed by numerous reporters including one from the NYT, and none of them uncovered any such blatant error with the information she provided. Rather than jumping to the conclusion that all those other reporters are idiots, and the further conclusion that the Palin censorship story "has nothing to it", she should have suspected her copy, and double-checked it. With such a poor sense of who to believe, I find Ms. Gladstone an unreliable source. Many people have corroborated the Palin censorship fiasco. It DID happen.

Cut to the chase: What we are discussing is Sarah Palin. You don't usually see evangelicals like her running for high office. There are contradictions in her very presence. Investigation leads me to believe she has endtimes beliefs and denies scientific conclusions. Without the veneer of Christian conventions these ideas and practices amount to magic. (False faiths have disastrous outcomes.)

There may be enough voters who believe in magic or crave the end of time to elect her Vice President. John McCain is elderly beyond his years, like Reagan at the end.

I guess you have to ask yourself, "How lucky do I feel?" Obama and Biden on the other hand are "business as usual" in unusual circumstances.

I opened a Bible to Matthew 24:28 from the sermon on the mount:
"For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles (vultures) be gathered together." Palin's salvage lifestyle and politics, along with her history of scavenging for meat in a wasteland make her look like a buzzard to me. Obama "who's" like an owl, but then most of us are mice.

It's like choosing between the gas chamber and the noose. Biden is a hack, but I prefer him as executioner. "I swear to execute the Constitution!"
Isn't that what Presidents do? Right hand on the magic book, please....

Bill, your "journalist" guest may be highly credentialed, but they are clearly biased.

Journalism showed up at the end of your show as Obama and McCain were comapired side by side. There has been little comparison of apples vs apples and oranges vs oranges. Why was the DNP so for Obama no matter what, and against Hillary, any body but? Not even worth a question?

Obama speaks in front a large screen of JFK & yet JFK had his ship shot out from under him, he was in the water with injuries that stayed with him the rest of his life--that's not Obama. Not worth a question?

Ninety-five plus % of blacks voted for Obama, yet this is not a race issue. Not worth a question?

Obama's black African father abandoned him to be raised by his white 1\2 of his family in Hawaii, and Jesse wanted to alter his manhood. Not worth a question?

Why are we stuck with these four candidates when there are many qualified, vetted, Americans to choose from? Not even worth asking what happened to Ralph Nader or Clinton?

The DNP denied Florida participation in selecting a candidate because Fla. Republicans changed the date to vote in the nomination-election. Not even worth a question?

Senators Kennedy, Kerry, McGovern, Biden, Edwards, all failed presidential hopefulls, joined to support a junior senator vs Hillary, who at least, earned her stripes. Not worth a question?

When asked if she felt ready to be president from day one why didn't Sarah say she would appoint a very, very, experienced senator as VP? Is what is fair for one side fair for the other--guess it depends on your bias.

Is it not worth a question as to why Ralph Nader's warnings for decades have been pushed to the back ground?

Like several other people posting comments here, i noticed your show focused entirely on the right wing while ignoring the left's bias. NPR is an overtly left wing, democratic party outlet. Mainstream media has adopted Obama as their new darling while ignoring McCain. It's only fair the the right respond in kind.
I think this country needs a more nuetral and balanced media to help combat this divisiveness, but that would never get ratings.

OMG - Many of the comments I have read here have nothing to do with what I watched on Friday night. Bill, you have been invaded by idiots that have been listening to those same radio shows you talked about!! What this tells me is that you are having an effect. Otherwise, they wouldn't be wasting so much time trying to trash you.

They could spend time actually informing themselves instead of listening to hate mongers who practice distraction-by-design from the real issues affecting all of us.

They could start with grain.org and the April 2008 article and learn how their morally exalted elected servants have been assisting the richest 1% of the people on our planet to make massive profits by trading in food and starving millions of people in the process and that they may be the next to be hungry. It won’t matter what color they are or what country they are from. Bet their shock jocks didn’t mention that, along many other things they really need to know.

Hate hurts all of us, but the ones holding on to it are hurt the most. As you said, don’t feed that wolf. Thank you Bill for another one of your excellent shows. You’re a haven in a world of insanity.

You do realize there are more than 2 candidates right? You do realize that both parties are exactly the same right? You do realize that both parties believe in the same FALSE paradigm of 9/11 right. You do realize the media has no interest in informing people but in maintaining the charade right?

Ralph Nader
Cynthia McKinney
Chuck Baldwin
Bob Barr

Investigate 9/11. Expose the true terrorists.

Your program on Sept.12 reminded me of a Liberal Rush Limbaugh program. Except, Rush is honest enough to admit he is a conservative. But I will say you are on the wrong track in attacking Sarah Palin and for denigrating those you describe as her " tribe." First of all, Sarah is not running for President. Obama is, yet Sarah is clearly a superior intellectual talent,a more balanced temperment,can face a hostile interregator without blowing up and she has had acutal experience in governing. As for her lack of foreign relations experience, so what! Not even a sitting President goes into the oval office to decide an important matter of state without the aid of a staff and the presidental Cabinet. And as for her social and political conservativism, that is what we love about her. Is that justification for casting stones?

Bill, having read everything here, and taking notes during your show, and replaying it 3 times (I don't want to miss anything), I think it's time to stake a claim here.

I am an Independent, senior, and an American. I voted for Sen. Clinton, after a lot of research; the support surrounding her encouraged me, as well as her ability to confront, and function independent of gossip, etc.

Now, I am an avowed Independent, once again! My mind is not made up; however, 2 things bear public statement. 1) All seniors are not voting for the McCain ticket. We love and care about America, but also about our children, grandchildren, relatives, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and seriously care about those in harm's way, and many of us are dedicated to "the least of those..." We have worked hard for years for this nation. We are a highly diverse group. But, "we" include the upper middle class and the wealthy; in fact, in spite of what many people think, the latter groups are often very generous to others - and "the least of those."

2) There is no way that I will vote for anyone who lies, by ommission, manipulating the truth, indirectly, by actions, or directly ... there is no forgiveness by this mortal at this point in a campaign. If I have to vote for the ticket I believe is honest, and they lose, so be it. The real truth is that with all these candidates promise ...such as, "I'm going to change..." this and that, "I will see to it that ...", such vacuuous promises are only uttered by people who don't know our goverment: Bills have to get through both Houses -- and I'll be "there," too.

Lastly, last year, as planned by Bush #43, America suffered a tragic loss of journalistic truth due to his appointee, the FCC chairman ... That chairman played games with our rights to free speech, and permitted "media groups" that have no business being in journalism per se, to form congomerates - THEREFORE we have diminished information -- such as happened even prior to Hilter - and helped the Nazi regimen grow - it's happening again here, and in other parts of the world...

Therefore, right now, our journalists must be the ONLY ones who interview the candidates from here on in, and Americans must put aside their favorisms to seek the truth -- and learn to listen, read, and check out the facts, as your show so well advised us.

The interviews must be stopped the second a candidate (or their reporesentatives) avoid answering a question, respond with cunning personal addresses, and/or will not answer but bring in general views on "the topic of ..." Please get the interviewers to demand answers, and confront these people.

There are far too many people in America who are 1) struggling daily to survive so cannot pay much attention to this campaign;; 2) are so brainwashed they are not reading or thinking, they're determined to vote how they feel whomever fits into their psyches. That is not American; it's irreponsible - so, we must do everything as repsonsible citizens to work on the candidates to get them to be truthful.

One serious lie has been avoided each time it was brought up in an interview, and it must stop. If such a person wins the election, they should be impeached as soon as their lies are proven.

We own America, not the candidates -- they owe us.

Thank you everyone, for reading this, too.

Great post and statements by Cheryl and Gregg. Gregg is right about the truth. Moyers and PBS bring the truth to us when almost no other source is available. The public has to work and read and spend time to locate the best information out there. I think one reason the hate monger jocks are so successful is their audience mostly want a 90 second sound bite that is easy to repeat and remember. How true and factful it is dosen't really matter. American Idol will be on in 5 minutes and they don't have time to listen to PBS. Those conversations take to long and require effort.

Thank-you Bill Moyers! Finally! a voice of reason and integrity and intelligence in this new world of media of screechers and name callers who do NO investigation! My donation is in the mail!

Thanks for the excellent show. To those who have commented that Bill Moyers and the show being biased I'd like to say: Of course it was biased. Biased towards CIVIL DISCOURSE and biased against HATRED. There is nothing wrong with journalists bringing a bias to their work as long as the work is not false. The ultimate end of journalism is truth. I understand that one's persons truth may be considered garbage by another, but as long as that truth cannot be found to be false the journalist is doing society a favor.

Clearly, we in in serious trouble.

Given that, what remedies are there? How can we be legal, and yet reduce the power of hate?

In other words, maintain the freedom of expression while taking into account the tremendous differences which now exist, e.g. the massive reach of one person on such a medium as radio or TV, and the realities of our late-stage capitalism, in which profit trumps all else?

What possibilities are there besides marshalling tremendous resources behind education, or is that the primary preventative?

These conversations are crucial.

The show Friday night was top-notch. Reading over this blog is disappointing in the extreme.
I was glad Moyers started with talk show host Savage. His comments on Autism, elevates the uniformed and narrow-minded to a new level. I worked with Autistic children from 1978 to 1982. It is a difficult and heart-breaking job. Back then we had a lot less information than we have now and so comments like Savage's fill me with disspair. These radio host/entertainers, that so many bloggers have come here to defend have never done a real day's work in their lives and get paid big, big salaries. They have never done aa 10- hour shift with a four year old who is locked inside themselves and felt the pain of wanting to build a bridge to that child and not know how. They make more money than our best firefighters, doctors, teachers, nurses and just about anyone else deserving of our respect and attention.
I have heard Limbaugh donates a fair amount of money but that drug-addict, two faced dog has never worked hard in his life, certainly not as hard as the women he regularly disparages on his show.
The people who listen to these shock jocks, say they are God-fearing, USA-loving people. But I cannot imagine Jesus being pleased with the hate these people allow into their everyday lives, as well as the lack of compassion for their fellow man.

I've been a fairly regular viewer since before your series with Joseph Campbell.
I wonder how he'd view this archetypally rich presidential race.
The Fisher King (Bill Clinton) sidelined with all kinds of mixed metaphors, his Hera still barely on civil terms, accused by Adonis (or Icarus if you like) of masquerading as Annie Oakley, a latter day Artemis, who after being spurned in the arena is later displaced by a younger Annie Oakley from another team bringing along her "First Dude" as consort and advisor (Lancelot?) to her inner court. She's also being presented subliminally (Trojan Horse) as a new generation's "First Mom" (the ultimate archetype), compelled and sponsored by a long scarred, now apparently doddering Herakles, who still thunders like Lear, with carefully planned moments of lucidity and Zeus like renewal just in time for his Money Shot at the convention, while also laying in wait to show up in full throated splendor and prime disposition to deliver his lightning onto the upstart Ulysses - looking to send him packing off to some mysteriously deceptive bridge to nowhere - which the younger Apollo sees instead as a bridge perhaps over the river Styx, burdened on this endless sojourn by his persistent inner call (Muse) to lead us to the promised land - and out of the wasteland we've been lost and threatened in for too long.
There must be a few anthropologists or mythologists, historians even, (Campbell teammates) able to untangle and decipher these knotted incongruities before we wake up some November morning to learn we have a "First Mom" who turns out to be more like Medusa than Athena, more like Oral Roberts in drag than Martha Washington...

Bill: Watched your program for first time tonight and found it rather interesting, but also somewhat biased. My concern is that when you played an excerpt from the CNN program with Campbell Brown, you did not play enough of the exchange she had with the Republican pundit to show that she didn't really understand how our country's National Guard 'works'. (Believe a good grasp of the facts is advisable when you're talking down - and taking down - your News guest) The way I understand it: is that each State is responsible for its own National Guard - and, as Commander and Chief, each State Governor does make important decisions regarding their budget, structure and deployment (which I thought "Tucker" was attempting to address with her). Furthermore, at the end of the interview, Campbell Brown called the Republican pundit "baby"! (What was that all about?) All in all, I didnt think the CNN interview was conducted in a very professional manner. (Note: I am a retired AF Veteran.)

Great job Bill Moyers. I've been upset with the corporate coverage of the campaign because its all about fluff. I find it amazing that so many people appear to be disturbed by their perceived "one-sided" approach of this episode. If the lens you use to view the world is conservative or liberal it still boils down to a very narrow perspective. I don't constraint myself to viewing the world from any ideological perspective, I seek the truth, but we have to want it to find it. I've listened to Air America and I'll admit that some host distort the truth and even call people names, but I think people missed one of major points of the segment. Some of the radio host that were mentioned in this show are speaking about shooting people, that is definitely pushing it.

As far as the election goes, all of the Presidential and VP candidates are just playing the game we allow them to play. I used to respect Mccain because he still had an ounce of integrity, at one point I believed he was fighting the good fight. Palin is a joke, she is a good communicator but I don't believe she has enough policy making expertise.

Barack is also standing close the joke line. The "change" slogan is very empty and when he starts to fill it, only 20% of people will actually understand it, so he keeps it simple when our problems are complex. I think he has enough policy experience under his belt to get things done but I fear that both he and Mccain are alright bought and sold.

I just finished serving jury duty and I'm wondering about our society. I began picking the brains of some of my fellow jurors about current events, politics, and the world. Pretty scary stuff, the lack of information or any desire for truth scares me. The truth rarely presents itself, we all have to work to find it.


I only saw the frist part of the program in regards to the "shock jocks" of talk radio. Some of the thoughts that are shared can come across hateful but you can hardly blame the shooting that took place in the church on talk radio. Obviously the man was mentally unbalanced. Mr Moyers one thing you neglected to cover in this program is why all these conservative radio talk shows exist? Could it possibly be for the reason main stream media reaches far left/liberalism. The liberals tried to make a go of it with Air America, using already well known personalities. It failed miserably. If the mainstream journalists, including yourself did a more balanced job of presenting information objectively, perhaps the talk shows would not get the support they receive from listeners and advertisers. Their popularity tells me there is a hunger to know all parts of the story, not just the selected parts the main stream journalists want to bring out. Sarah Palin is the latest example. She is being scrutinized from every angle but I have not seen the same type of questions asked of Obama in how he would take on the Presidency. He is definitely inexperienced and he is running for the lead position, not number 2. There was a lot of noise when McCain said he did not know the number of houses he owned but nothing said when Obama made the comment the US was comprised of 57 states. Just yesterday Obama said he was Muslim and the reporter had to correct him and say don't you mean Christian. Mr. Moyers, if you want to see the airwaves cleaned up, please start with yourself. I have watched your program on different occassions and you are very obvious by your guests and your view points on what political party you favor. From my point of view, a journalist needsto be OBJECTIVE and should not let their favortism for a political party show!

Bill Moyers you should be ashamed. First of all let me say, I’m just an every day average blue collar worker who has never posted to a blog before. But things are getting so deep, I had to put my rubber boots on and jump in.

I do agree, there are many very far right extremist who I disagree with. But the format in which you presented your recent program was un-nerving. You used the far right to build a crescendo, and then you and your two guests were like wolves slipping into a sheep costume.

As far as I am concerned you appear to be just as much of a problem as the many of the right are.

Ms. Gladstone and you continually hit the experience button about Gov. Palin. What about Sen. Obama? She after all is a Governor, and has been running in an executive position for longer than Sen. Obama has been in office. Question: What has Sen. Obama done in the field of national defense? Oh, and by the way, the real race should be between Sen. Obama, and Sen. McCain and where they stand. Please get back on track.

By the way Mr. Moyers, can you please address the running mates as they should be. Governor Palin and Senator McCain. I spent 21 years in the USN, and I kind of take offence when people don’t address government officials by the designation, it’s just down right rude.

It’s too bad that the right and left can’t shake hands once again. It’s working folks like me that get hurt and left out in the end. I do agree on one thing that Ms. Gladstone said, and I am now in search of a fair and balanced web site to find out the facts. So much fecal matter has been thrown around from both sides, I’m ready to burn all of my televisions.

No, I do not think the press has been even handed in their scrutiny. John Mc Cain has made many many trips to Iraq and no coverage, yet all three news anchors on the three networks went over and covered Barack Obama when he visited the country and it was only his second trip there. During the primary, the three networks were constantly scrutinizing and casting in a negative light Hillary Clinton and giving Barack Obama very positive coverage. And now look at how Charlie Gibson condescendingly interviewed Sarah Palin, trying very hard to trip her up. I don't recall the same treatment of Barack Obama and doubt he would treat Joe Biden that way. Most Americans want fair coverage, to hear both sides present their positions, and to make up their own minds, not have the media elites who are biased on the left or right trying to make our minds up for us by distorting the coverage.

Great show. I really think the neo-conservtive movement totally depends on these hate mongers to spread their idea of a great nation. Windbaugh, Scabage, O-bully, Ham-ity and the like are self-rightoues, self serving bigots. A friend of mine offered me an astute obversvation the other day. He says the current neo-con adminstration is the second worst thing to ever happen to this country. When I ask him his idea of the worst thing to happen to the country, with out missing a beat he replied, why Danny, the peple who still support them. I wouldn't rate them above the 1860-1865 Civil War, Pearl Harbor or September 11, 2001, but they have ushered in a idea of a country that is less than the country they had when they gained office in 2000. There is more to being a great country than flag waving and having manisons on the hill. This surface deep patiotism that really started with Reagen in the 1980s must stop in 2008. More leadership even similar to them will be castostpic. Please America, reach out and vote for different possibilites.

No more support for PBS...after watching this totally biased Bill Moyers show about radio hate speech...thank God for the radio talk shows!!!...This form of "Urinalism" won't be tolerated by those of us with common sense...and there are many.. his show proves the librals are getting desperate!

"Is it news? No. Is it an audience generator? Yes.”

All of you are guilty of this. Is it any wonder that some of us regular citizens (as the question came up) are turned off? I started to do my own investigative reporting based on issues based on congressional libraries, records, and the candidates own mouths. There was a time when viewers couldn't tell how the journalist is leaning. That's gone. You are all an embarrassment. Newspaper readership has declined, television is next. I'm zoing out with Animal Planet....

The whole show for this week makes a rather disturbing thought start to appear. There seems to be a segment of America that wants to elect its king and queen. We have a battle-proven gladiator and a highly popular woman personality on the Republican ticket. Regardless, the process of electing our national leadership is being confounded by the premises of electing a high-school prom royalty. Are people really this stupid, or are we merely being distracted by a master of mass hypnosis, such as Karl Rove?

It is a verified fact Karl Rove is an advisor to the McCain/Palin campaign, but the everyday details and the extent of his involvement are generally hidden from public knowledge. Only someone like Rove would identify and exploit such vulnerability within the American psyche, and incorporate it into the design of various political sledge hammers. This parasitic Rasputin behind the curtains skillfully hijacks viable candidates to be the lead singer of his music. Irrespective of anything we hear from the campaign speeches and interviews, a vote for a Karl Rove backed candidate is ultimately a vote for an American Dictatorship.

I read through every comment and began to wonder if I watched a different show than most of these people.
Whichever candidate you favor for President, did you HEAR that language? Does that language EVER have a place in public discourse? Does such language possibly substitute for IDEAS?
I am a member of the church where the shooting happened, and I would suggest that hate language is hate language. We've had enough of it. It hurts. It kills.
Think, people.

Where is the perspective on coverage of Obama?

Geez Bill.... You are guilty of the same thing your segment is on!

Cover both sides of the storey for a change, or at least give someone from the 'right' a chance to rebutt the people from the 'unbiased' left that you have on.

Just wondering who is really running for president on the republican//mCcAIN OR HIS RUNNING MATE

Just wondering who is really running for president on the rep;ican ticket??

THANK YOU BROOK!
This segment was the only - the only - substantive analysis of the terrible press coverage of both the Democratic and Republican presidential tickets. The "personality coverage" of the DNC and RNC focused on what the campaigns 'should do.' I don't care what John King, David Brooks, or who ever thinks how the campaign "should" be managed or what McCain or Obama "need to do." It's all opinion! Tell the American people what McCain, Palin, Obama, and Biden have accomplished, how they took calculated and unnecessary risks, and if they can run a coalition. The media coverage is so disappointing I am considering instead of convassing for one of the campaigns, I should offer my research skills for free to CNN, the NewsHour, MSNBC, some broadcaster! I’m serious.

EXCESSIVE MEDIA FOCUS ON ‘NARRATIVE’ AND MANUFACTURED CONFLICT
This need for a “narrative” in news is inimical to informing the public. For example, weeks – weeks - leading up to the DNC, the commentary was “what will Hillary say, what will Bill say – Obama had to acquiesce to let them speak.” The press didn’t badger McCain about who would speak. Indeed, the RNC had all of the primary front-runners: Romney, Huckabee, and even Giuliani who ran a terrible campaign and– who skips Iowa and NH? Where was Cnn’s ‘best political team on television’ or PBS’ Shields and Brooks asking– did Giuliani support McCain enough as everyone asked after Hillary Clinton’s speech? What metrics does one even use to answer this question?

LACK OF MEDIA RESEARCH ON ACTUAL POLICY EXPERIENCE
On the front page of Washington Post today, Morton Abramowitz essentially defended – not investigated - Palin’s lack of knowledge of “Bush Doctrine” regarding Charlie Gibson’s lone press interview with the unknown. The article lacks any investigation. He asked Dem and Repub partisans – not scholars - of what the doctrine is. Further, Abramowitz did not cover Palin’s actual record related to international relations. This world is so globalized and governors need to understand how supply chains in their state depend on global stability, economic competitiveness, and common environmental standards.. What has she done with national security – how are the oil rigs secure against (foreign) terrorist attacks? http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/12/AR2008091203324.html

JOURNALISM 101 FOR REPORTERS
Brook was spot on journalists’ need to investigate – not conjecture:
1. the veracity of candidates' and surrogates' statements,
2. the candidates' leadership throughout the policy process (bill introduction, appropriation, implementation, investigation, and evaluation), and
3. follow-up when the candidate doesn't answer.

For example, here’s a story to cover. How has McCain been a legislative leader? He has voted with the Republicans 90-95 percent of the time, yet he has failed utterly in that 5 percent on his initiatives during the Bush Administration:
- no climate change (was Lieberman-McCain, now Lieberman-Warner),
- no immigration bill
- no anti-torture bill when he was a torture victim! How has his log-rolling accomplished anything?! If he can’t run a coalition with 99 senators, how can he run the huge and gangly bureaucracy and negotiate with congress?

Also, McCain-Fiengold (2000) has been an utter failure to rid politics of money. As soon as the next presidential election in 2004, both candidates raised historic amounts money. The 527s were a new and ugly era for campaigns. Online fundraising is exciting and it remains to be seen if it can compete with persistent lies that the majority– not all – of the broadcast media propagate.

With Biden’s legislative leadership - NPR quickly reported his role in the bankruptcy bill (that “NOW with Bill Moyers” reported Clinton opposed as first lady and supported as the NY senator.) But that was it for the coverage. Obama talks about a new politics, yet Biden provides a haven for the credit card industry, and for foreign subsidiaries. Nearly all foreign subsidiaries are incorporated in Delaware for the tax breaks. (I don't know exactly what the preferential tax rates are.) Granted Biden’s Violence Against Women Act (1994) has been hugely successful and has expanded to include victims of trafficking (2000).

With Obama, how many bills did he pass in IL; what kind of bipartisan support did he amass with the ethics reform in the US Senate?

So let’s hear it – what has everyone accomplished or fought to kill which is the majority of legislative politics.

NEED TO INVESTIGATE PALIN + ASSESS THE ROLE OF THE VP
The press is stepping up on Palin - but her appointment is still such a freakin’ insult to this country. I'm sure everyone here knows, but let's just repeat: the VP candidate was mayor of a town of 6-7K for 10 years and a governor of an isolated state smaller than a congressional district (670,000)! I grew up in a town of 20K and until 15 years ago, the job was part-time! The broadcast 'reporters' said, "Obama’s pick for the VP” is his first executive decision – well, what is it for McCain?

Given the complexity of the presidency and for better or for worse, Cheney and to some extent Gore, show that the VP should have an influence and a portfolio. She lacks any moderate policy preferences or experience to full a meaningful VP role – let alone run the country if McCain does die in office. Her lack of interviews proves this. For Palin to slam the media is fine if she defines what a healthy media system is – not just to knock it completely, especially in this crisis time for investigative media. The ‘earned media’ the McCain campaign has benefited from their web ads shows how much they value the media.

THE CAMPAIGN IS A PREQUEL TO HOW CANDIDATE GOVERNS
Paul Krugman said it right in today’s NYT – the manner in which a candidate runs a campaign indicates how they govern. Krugman didn’t note this, but Bush actually sued Zach Exley for creating a Bush parody website, GWBush.com, during the 2000 campaign – hmm sound like the rest of his administration closed off to criticism? Palin’s refusal to press interviews, request for ‘deference’, and consistent bold face lies takes advantage of the fragmented media system – like this won’t continue in a McCain-Palin administration?

In his acceptance speech, Obama, conversely, indulged in convenient nuance with 95 percent tax break instead of 81 percent according to factcheck.org. Either way, the vast majority of the public will benefit. Obama also said McCain voted against climate change – well, Obama missed that McCain voted against his own bill.

PS - Your talk radio segment should have included quality journalists. Diane Rehm and her 5 producers provide a stellar 2-hours, 5 days week balanced debate with callers and emailers. Alas, Diane only reaches 1.6 million unlike the millions commericial shock jocks attract. http://www.wamu.org/programs/dr/


I thought your show was biased to make all radio talk show hosts look evil.I listen to some of it and never heard of some of these guys. You lumped all of them in the same pit.I have never heard the few I listen to spew hate.They tell us about some important things that we don't hear or see on 'main stream media'.... We are smart enough to sort out the good from the bad on our own without your're help.
I think you missed the real culprits in the hate mongering and divisive atmosphere in america today. That is some of the far left "representitives" in Congress and other elected offices. The have succeeded in dividing this country so as to pit the 'conservitives' against the 'liberals'. Maby you should do a show on that....Pbs member. Lila B.

To Michael | September 13, 2008 8:51 AM

“The wife of Obama bundler Mark Johnson is a vice president of Fannie Mae; Mark is a principal at the Carlyle Group” (which has connections to Freddie Mac).
http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/08/so-whos-up-in-those-skyboxes.html

How anyone could have a strong-enough stomach to digest the shock-jock comments is a real puzzle.Are they the ravings of madmen or what?

I agree that it is highly unlikely that there aren't shock jocks from the ultra-liberal viewpoint whose exposure would provide for some a sense of fairness in reporting. Did you seek them out?

I'd give credit to Suggs and DiAnn, despite their name-calling, for raising this issue.

How anyone could have a strong-enough stomach to digest the shock-jock comments is a real puzzle.Are they the ravings of madmen or what?

I agree that it is highly unlikely that there aren't shock jocks from the ultra-liberal viewpoint whose exposure would provide for some a sense of fairness in reporting. Did you seek them out?

I'd give credit to Suggs and DiAnn, despite their name-calling, for raising this issue.

I don't think any one network is free from bias, but if we view several, we can get a pretty good cross-view. I thought Obama was perfect until I saw CNN's bio on his Chicago days. On the other hand, if it hadn't been for Bill's interviews with Bacevich and Herbert/Baker, i would have had no clue how entrenched the special interests are in the Bush administration, and yes I firmly believe McCain is "more of the same" if not worse.

I got frustrated with CNN's equal opportunity gotcha games and self-promotion and swithched to C-SPAN for the conventions. Found it refreshing to leave the spin behind and became aware of how much CNN and others ramp up the pitch to keep folks viewing. Didn't get that with the PBS team.

If conservative viewers are disgusted with Bill, imagine how we progressives feel about O'Reilly and company. Nonetheless I tune in to them occasionally just to see what they're up to. (yuk)

Here is a thought that jumped out upon reading ALL of the blog entries regarding media responsibility, media bias, and the “truth.” When I was a child, all the science coming out of the Soviet Union was castigated as being ideologically determined “truth” (what promoted the Marxist based economy). Much of it was. Reading these blog entries, the association of money with “truth” in our own consumer based economy becomes glaringly apparent. If we don’t like what we are hearing, we will withdraw our funding. If it really is true, then it will make some money. Good thing our “truth” is not ideologically grounded. Thank Cod we are free of that!

LDW, I had in fact never (or barely) heard of bundlers and bundling in this context. And I'm not by nature a cynic (which is one reason Bill occasionally makes me roll my eyes). My employer's a largish non-profit and can't support political candidates, and no one at work (in nearly a decade) has ever approached me for a donation to anything other than ourselves, the United Way, and the Girl Scouts (and there, there's the bonus of cookies :-) ). So if Bill wants to read anything sinister to be read into the volume of anyone's donations from employees of a given employer, I think he needs to explained all that to naifs like me (although maybe his regulars would have heard him say this in past shows), because I doubt I'm the only one out there who thought, "hold on there!" I still resist the notion that it's probative of anything: even employees at companies where this is allowed can still make donations on their own.

Your segment last night on the "shock jocks" really drives home why there is so much divisiveness in America. Where are we going?

It is very suspicious that so many of the comments here are from people who watch and support PBS. They sound more like those folks on the radio promoting hate. Hm......

"Perhaps it is because Barrack Obama is trying to help the people, not fool the people." ...Giorgio Falconi

I couldn't help but chuckle a bit when I read this. Obama most certainly has fooled a lot of people, including Mr. Falconi. Obama's lack of any real executive experience, of even actually *running* anything, a state, a city, a factory, a store, has been ignored.

He's never mentioned his passing of the Global Poverty Act, the HR-800 bill (if you don't know what those are, I encourage you to research them on your own), his associations with radicals (we all know who they are by now, no need to list them all), his VERY short term in the senate before he decided to run for President, his seeking out Marxist/Socialist professors during his college days, etc.

The biggest person being fooled by Obama, however, is Obama himself. This man, while I have no doubt has the best intentions in his drive to "help" everyone and "make a difference", is not really seeing the consenquences of his actions, or beliefs. Obama has stars in his eyes, and sees himself as "America's Savior", something that has both earned him praise as "God's gift" from some, and ridiculed as "The Messiah" by others.

You have to look past all the elequent speeches and dashing good looks, and actually research the truth for yourselves. Then again, this is true of McCain as well, not that I'm accusing him of being either an elequent speaker, OR having dashing good looks...

After last night's episode on Journalism, I was surprised to see that you're doing a poll, asking us if the press has scrutinized the candidates equally.

You are the journalists. The results of the poll will be opinions, not facts. You're supposed to be an independent source that tells us the facts. So I pose the question back to you. Has the press scrutinized the candidates equally? I sure would like for a real journalist to tell me the answer.

There are more than two candidates though you and the msm seem to have ignored that fact: why aren't Nader and McKinney and Paul and others included in interviews? in polls? in general? they are much more issue oriented and seem, to me, to better represent the needs and wants of the people.

lets face it--liberals have CNN, conservatives have Fox.I missed the first few minutes but maybe Bill covered real hate speech as seen on FSTV and Air America? I am the evil conservative but I listen to both sides and must say we are nicer about it. I figured real journalism would complain about Palin and Obamas inexperience.

Jeff G (September 13, 2008 1:28 AM) Accusing Obama of being willing to “lose a war to win an election” is straight out of a Nazi playbook? I think you need to ratchet down the rhetoric a few notches. And I think Obama’s public statements about pulling out the troops immediately and being willing to meet with leaders of rogue states without preconditions (yes, I know he later revised his remarks) which pandered to the leftist constituents that it was important for him to get at the beginning of his nomination campaign, could leave him open to McCain’s charge. Obama later threw the leftist constituents and all his lefty policies under the bus, of course, but the leftist contingent still continues to believe he’s on their side.

The biggest political rift of this campaign is not between Obama and McCain – that’s a well-established divide that can be crossed with bi-partisan agreements. The biggest political rift was between the Obama organization and the political centrist elements of the Democratic Party, including eighteen million Hillary Clinton supporters, who Obama derided as ignorant racists. The wounds Obama created have yet to heal, and the Democratic Party is still torn asunder, despite Obama Dubya-like promise to be a uniter, not a divider.

Your show tonight did not go deep enough. I listen to NPR all day, every day. I have for many years. It is my main source for news and entertainment. Reporters on NPR are just as guilty of over emphasizing the Palin drivel as the network stations. We need responsible journalism. We need journalists to not only DIG for the truth but to have the guts to REPORT the truth. Bill Moyers delivers every time. He is sanity in the midst of the media insanity. I cancelled my local newspaper because it does not report the truth. I stopped watching the network and cable news because it's all about celebrity and what sells. And, as long as there is a market, there will be a product. And on that note I will add--the Obama campaign-- Joe Biden deserves an hour of prime time TV!

To: Michael September 13, 2008 12:33 AM, who thinks it proves nothing that Obama got money from “EMPLOYEES of those companies” and further said, “My employer has no influence whatsoever over what causes and candidates I support; I can think for myself, thank you, and to insinuate that my support for anyone somehow indicates that my employer supports that person is both patently illogical and misleading AND insulting towards me insofar as it denies my capacity to make up my own mind. Really! I'm surprised at you

Let me introduce you some terms you don’t seem to be familiar with: bundlers and bundling. Briefly, “Bundling is the practice of one donor gathering donations from many different individuals in an organization or community and presenting the sum to a campaign…During the 2008 campaign the six leading primary candidates (three Democratic, three Republican) had listed a total of nearly two thousand bundlers…Campaigns then elevate and publicise these bundlers to an elite level. Bundlers became especially important after the 2002 revision to campaign finance law made unrestricted soft money more difficult to get through corporations and other big organizations.” - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campaign_finance_in_the_United_States

Sometimes, as a way to get around the law, corporations give employees bonuses which the employees then turn over to the bundler. This is definitely not kosher, and far be it from me to even think Obama’s campaign would employ such tactics.

LDW. . .

Every election has bitterness. . .and every election has some things that may be s "stretch" of the truth. . .I think we are numb to that and actually almost expect it. . .but when a man accuses another man of being willing to "lose a war to win an election". . .that is striaght out of the Nazi political party playbook. . .DEMONIZE YOUR OPPONENT AS A SUPPORTER OF THE ENEMY. . .Joeseph Goebbels preached these tactics in the 30's. The McCain campaign seems to think (and they may be right) that they can just say whatever they want to . . .and as long as SOME people hear it. . .no matter if it is FALSE or not. . .then it is OK. I don't know about you. . .but where I grew up. . .we called those kinds of people LIARS AND OPPORTUNISTS! When a man has nothing to run on other than lies about his opponent. . .RED FLAGS START TO GO UP! NO?

Such twadle. Now I remember who I would not give PBS one thin dime. All that time spent on McCain/Palin and not one unbiased observation that Obama has zero - that's none' executive experience or as the man said what is Palin's "management style". What is Obama's. Nor were his qualifications to deal with terrorism questioned. Celebrity - crowds in Berlin for goodness sake, a Greek temple for his great announcement!! Polls that ask questions about something "we've not told them about" - 'scuse me - would you mind giving me the facts - both sides or does a chill run up your leg when you hear Obama speak. My BS meter was over the top. Not one clearly impartial comment about Obama's lack of experience. When Bill O'Reilly doesn't let someone get away with spin, he is vilified. Campbell Brown - well, she is a great reporter. What sends chills up my leg is that Mrs. Obama is his closest advisor. She swallowed the Reverend Wright hatred hook, line and sinker. I really resent my public dollars being used for such twadle. Babe

Has it occurred to anyone besides me the eery similarity between the hate-mongering going on in America in 2008 and what was going on in Germany in the late 1930s? If I remember right from high school history, Germany's economy was tanking and unemployment was rising at an alarming rate, which many historians say laid the groundwork for Hitler to take people's fears and insecurity and turn it into murderous hate against Jews. I never thought I would see this happen in America, our beloved country that gave me, a 7-year-old orphan from Vietnam, a chance to live the "American Dream." I fear now that it was just a dream and after this election, the ugly reality will hit not just me but millions of Americans who really believed "change" was possible. I pray for the soul of America and its people.

The whole issue over "liberal media" and "Conservative Bias" is a loaded arguement. People see what they are pre-programed to see. . .and when they have become so pre-programmed that they cannot or WILL NOT listen to the other side . . .OR EVEN THE TRUTH. . .then there will never be anyway to reach these people.

This election is going to hinge on the 5-10% of the population who have not already made their mind up before even looking at the other candidate! This type of division and ignorance on the part of both the public AND THE MEDIA is the reason why this nation will continue to have a hard time effecting any real change. . .

I don't care who is elected, real change is going to be hard to come by! We as Americans are going to have to REALLY MAKE SOME TOUGH CHOICES - And we will be ill informed on those choices if we have a media that is looking for ratings. . .and not substance!

I for one know that I WANT THE MEDIA TO DIG AND DIG AND DIG into the questions. . .There are too many issues to let this election be about "personality" - The last time we elected a president with "personality over substance" we got George Bush - Our media needs to do its job. . .I NEVER WANT TO SEE OUR NATION END UP IN A WAR BECAUSE OUR MEDIA (WHICH IS THE POLICE OF DEMOCRACY) DID NOT DO ITS JOB!

I consider myslef an "INFORMED VOTER" - Which is not an easy task with all the crap out there - there is literally so much venom and garbage floating around. . .and while the Democrats & Obama do not have clean hands in th e mudslinging. . .their tactics are MILD and realatively acceptable compared to the FILTH, distortions and lies that I have seen coming from the GOP and its surrogates! The internet is full of nothing but racsit hysterics. . .meant to do nothing but polarize and scare an already suspect people into voting one way or another! Even though I voted for Bob Dole in 96, and Bush in 2000. . .This year. . .I am probably voting for Obama - Forget experience, race, or "celebrity" the main reason is because I see how the inspiration he has given to the younger generations to get involved! For me. . .this is the mark of a great leader. . .Anyone can tell someone what to do . . .but a leader makes us want to do it! I DO NOT SEE THAT IN McCain or Palin!

OH NO. . .NOW I SOUND LIKE ONE OF THOSE LIBERALS WHO HATES AMERICA. . .BETTER WATCH OUT!!!!

I listened in amusement as the guests wrung their collective hands about poor little Obama now having to fight back against that mean old dirty fighter McCain, and wondering how Obama would be able to cope, since that's not his kind of campaign. Huh? Have we shifted to a different time-space continuum?

Back here in the real world, I am struggling to think of any campaign that Obama has ever fought 'cleanly'. Maybe you're thinking of the contest against Alice Palmer et al...no, wait, that's when he had all his opponents struck off the ballot. Or the two contests where mysteriously private embarrassing details of messy divorces were leaked to the press - were those clean fights on the issues? Or when Obama allowed his name to be put as head sponsor on 26 pieces of legislation he had done little or no work on to pad his record for a Senate run - is that the sort of honesty you were referring to? Or when his operatives repeatedly labelled both Bill and Hillary Clinton as racists? Or maybe you're referring to the bully tactics and outright cheating in the nomination caucuses? Or how the Obama campaign threatened various Black politicians that if they didn't support him, Obama would direct the full force of his war chest money to unseat them in their districts in the next go round?

Enlighten me. When exactly has Barack Obama fought 'clean'? You guys are the 'pundits', so I must be missing something....right?

I just am watching this truth in advertising and who ever this woman is
watch her eyes shift and say that before Palin, John McCain only had "200" people at a rally.it is that one or all.
Brook did you just mention factcheck,try it out it may work even for you.
or do subscribe to the who do you believe me or your lying eyes
Here goes another donation down the drain !!

What I gathered from this show tonight is that there is a lot of resentment on the part of certain media types because they can no longer control the publics perception of the stories that they report. Reporting the news used to be an honorable trade, but these days everyone wants to be a stuffed suit behind a camera who treats the news as though their opinion is more important than the actual story. When I heard Bill and Brooke lament about not being able to get answers to "tough questions" I could only laugh. Much of
what you call "tough questions" are little more than attempts by the media to create a news event through "gotcha" journalism. Too often what we get when we tune in to a news show isn't really news. It might pass for entertainment and it might pass as a media circus, but by nature it is no less biased than the content you get from your average shock jock or blogger and is therefore not to be taken any more seriously.

I've become a big fan of your show in recent months, but I have to take strong exception to something Bill said in his concluding commentary: in talking about the candidates' relationships with FannieMae and FreddieMac, he remarked that Barack Obama got more money from EMPLOYEES of those companies than all but one other Senator? Hold on a minute! That proves absolutely nothing! Hillary Clinton said something about oil company employees donating to Obama in a commercial during the Pennsylvania primary campaign and I was beside myself. My employer has no influence whatsoever over what causes and candidates I support; I can think for myself, thank you, and to insinuate that my support for anyone somehow indicates that my employer supports that person is both patently illogical and misleading AND insulting towards me insofar as it denies my capacity to make up my own mind. Really! I'm surprised at you.

If the truth will set you free, why are people so defensive when it's spoken? Bill Moyers segment tonight was a breath of fresh air. It takes real guts to expose the foibles of the media and the candidates. I think it was a fair, logical, and enlightning discussion. If some of your viewers thought it was bias, perhaps it's because McCain is fighting a dirty campaign. Perhaps it is because Palin is not qualified to be V.P. Perhaps it is because Barrack Obama is trying to help the people, not fool the people.

Fabulous show. Thank you for bringing things back to issues and not attacks and just frivolous topics, and all the candidates should be open to questions and scrutiny.
My family does not fit any traditional mode. The only thing that is traditional is that we are Hispanic Christians, My mother, who is 89 years old, college educated, an Army officer's widow, has been a life time Republican is now an Obama supporter. I supported Hilary and will not be going to the McCain/Palin camp either. I just wish we could stay on issues, especially the economy, the war, education, etc., and not have people polarize us into one camp or another.

Fabulous show. Thank you for bringing things back to issues and not attacks and just frivolous topics, and all the candidates should be open to questions and scrutiny.
My family does not fit any traditional mode. The only thing that is traditional is that we are Hispanic Christians, My mother, who is 89 years old, college educated, an Army officer's widow, has been a life time Republican is now an Obama supporter. I supported Hilary and will not be going to the McCain/Palin camp either. I just wish we could stay on issues, especially the economy, the war, education, etc., and not polarize us into one camp or another.

Look, one of the most profound statements in this evening's show was the parable of the old man telling his grandson of a battle he faced with two wolves. The wolf that won is the one he fed. Certainly, one could argue that when the "liberal media" is fed that the liberal wolf wins. But to keep the equation equal the same must be said of the "right-wing" version of the press. So which is it, America?? Moyer's point, the moral of the story, which wolf do you want to feed?? The one that is fattened by greed?? Or the one that is sustained by truth??

I am just amazed that nobody is talking about the hatred on the airwaves. Does anybody have any concern about anybody but themselves? Did we listen to the same show where actual commentary was played which make extremely belittling and hatred-full comments about Women, Muslims, immigrants, etc. Am I the only one that listened to this. Forget about the presidential candidates, if this country thinks that this type of talk is OK, then we are in big trouble. This is much worse than what foreign powers can do to us.

To all who insist that Bill was leaning left...better listen again. He stated he was in favor of truth-telling in reporting the news vs media spin...and since when has telling the truth become a liberal left viewpoint? As far as charges of political bias...he summarized the program by stating that both candidates were fabricating the truth. I would hardly call that a statement of bias!

I rarely watch Moyers' programs. I think the last time I tuned in years ago he, Kevin Phillips and Mara Liasson were conducting an assessment of the Bush Administration. Very objective. Tonight I watched part of the series on the Palin coverage. Typical Moyers. For instance, he threw out the question whether the media was being too harsh on Palin, and Gladstone answers back well, this is just a fringe element that is actually diluting the substantive discourse with unfounded allegations, and she then proceeded to characterize this in terms of crackpot emails. No mention of FRONT PAGE New York Times claims that Palin was a member of the Alaska Independence Party, a total fabrication. So, you have the mainest of the mainstream media in on the attacks. Another example of Moyers' bias was his criticism of coverage of Palin's speech in Fairbank, AK, noting it was understandable (in his worldview) that Fox News would be there to boost a Republican. But Moyers was in disbelief that CNN covered it. He neglected to mention coverage by MSNBC. I'm sure none of that would have been at issue had Barack Obama been speaking in whatever venue. Moyers is so biased, so devoid of perspective, he is unable to fathom that some people would actually be interested in hearing what Sarah Palin has to say.

I take issue with many of Bill Moyers' positions. I do not think that shock jocks are the problem. They provide a service that consumers seek out.

Nonetheless, I give credit to the show for offering a civil, thoughtful discussion. I am not afraid to hear ideas I disagree with. And I appreciate when the ideas are offered in a respectful way.

After viewing tonight’s program, I found myself in agreement with many of the issues raised. Yet as is so often the case with Bill and his guests, they fail to see how their personal biases are impacting their commentary. It amazes me how blistering their attack of Governor Palin's experience was while Senator Obama's lack of experience was ignored. BOTH are legitimate concerns. I and many other thoughtful listeners are tiring of talkers passing themselves off as journalists while providing substantially distorted and biased information. I resent that my tax money funds such blatantly manipulative programming. If you are wondering why so many people listen to talk radio look no farther than your own program. At least Glenn Beck tells his listeners he is a conservative and an entertainer, not a journalist. Seems like you need some truth in advertising as well.

Feel free to disregard this opinion as you always do, and simply continue with your agenda and I will continue to listen to talk radio. Oh, I’ll check in once and while to see if anything changes like I did tonight, but I won’t hold my breath. Walt B

Bill Moyers is guilty of having an opinion! Seems a bit like stating the obvious. (By the way, the show is called Bill Moyers JOURNAL)

I think the discussions on his show contribute more to public discourse than most of the fare on televisions.

Would you disparage all of the work of PBS, just because you disagree with one Bill Moyers show?

-Keith

How Bill Moyers can keep his job after tonights horribly biased show is amazing--- oh, that's right, PBS wrote the script!!!

On your show this evening Brooke Gladstone reminded viewers that as people become more and more accustomed to gathering information from new media sources, such as widely circulated emails and blogs, they need to be aware of the importance of fact-checking stories for themselves before simply accepting them as patly true. She offered as an example that the rumor of Palin supposedly banning books and firing the Wasilla librarian was not true.

My husband and I were surprised to hear that this had been a complete fabrication. We had heard it from more than one source, and we had believed it. So we took her advice and went to the site Ms. Gladstone had recommended as one of several reliable fact checking sites - Factcheck.org. We immediately saw the bullet pointed summary statement which Gladstone had referred to and thought, "wow, none of that was true?..." Then we scrolled down to read the complete article on the subject.

There, in the detailed account, it became clear that while some aspects of the accusation were totally fabricated (such as the list of books to be banned), there were enough reasons left in the fact supported true details to warrant concern about Palin's motives and methods as an elected official as regards censorship and abuse of power. So reading (or paraphrasing on television) the headline alone and not the full article, can lead as well to misinformation and misunderstanding. Glad we checked in detail for ourselves.

See "Sliming Palin" at factcheck.org

Great 'reality' segment with Payne and Galdstone. This question of scrutiny is getting at fair and balanced, and you have not been fair and balanced.

This week there was an historic compromise of third party candidates. Candidates from opposite ends of the spectrum have agreed on 4 broad issues crucial to todays climate. At least three of them have enough ballot access to win the election and are going to be factors in key states regardless.

Society and democracy deserve coverage of diverse views. Please make an effort to pick up the slack as you do with so many other topics.

And by the way-- next time, have at least one conservative reporter on the show to balance things out-- Oh, I forgot, there aren't any!!! No wonder you had two liberal clones on tonight!

I'd just like to thank you for your completely balanced, unbiased coverage of not only exposing Sarah Palin's lack of experience, but Barack Obama's as well when it came to making any tough or executive decisions. Oh... wait... that's right, you *didn't* cover Barack Obama's lack of experience at all, did you?

You had no problems airing the interview where the CNN reporter grilled the McCain representative for "one, just one decision Palin made for the Alaska National Guard" (fair enough), but absolutely NO mention of "one, just ONE, whether national or international, real decision that Obama has ever made."

Next time, how about doing an actual fair job, and cover the hypocracy on BOTH sides... or are you really as unbiased as you claim to be?

Even your "poll title" is completely ridiculous!-- the press has NEVER covered anything equally. It's always like tonights program- far left!!

People sure don't like to hear the truth. That is one reason why media spin exists. People like to be entertained. That is a second reason why media spin exists.
The media is owned by certain indivduals who prefer to tailor the news for their own interests and profit. That is the third reason for filtered reporting.
Bill Moyer once again sums up the media hype surrounding the potential candidates by speakimg the truth: if McCain or Obama want to shake things up (read: "change") in Washington they better begin with their own inner circles.
The truth from Ruth is this: what a disappointment and embarrassement that these four individuals are considered the best candidates for the highest positions of leadership in this country. I am bewildered. Please: Someone Else for President!

The problem with most so called journalists is they use a story to present their opinion instead of reporting the facts in an objective manner.
Thankfully your show is one which is more concerned with presenting facts.

You can tell the GOP made the right move-- this is the most bias BS I've ever witnessed, all one sided, negatively against McCain and his VP. If it had been about Obama, it would have been ALL "peaches & cream"!!!

Thank you for Now and Bill Moyers. As an active Obama campaigner, I feel so queasy all week. It's so nice to tune in and know I will get a balanced reportage.
I was disappointed during the piece about the shooter in the UU church. I am a UU and our congregation discussed this at our service the Sunday after it happened. I had read that the man's ex-girlfriend had gone to that church. I never heard that mentioned in the piece. I think that's an important point when discussing the shooter's motivation.
I was unaware of the visciousness of the right wing hosts esp. when speaking of the autistic and the Muslims. So many of these people claim to be Christians. Christ would never say such terrible things. They are divisives who worship at the altar of $, ego, and power.

Yes, I give to PBS. around $250.00 every year, its not much, though I like the programs on PBS, accept one and if Moyers keeps up with this partisan hatemongering bias crap, then I will cease to give my hard earned monies to PBS and will encourage others to do the same. I also will head up a campaign to go after the corporate sponsership, aka Mutual of America.

Are we out of our collective minds? What happened to President Bush's terrible public opinion ratings? What happened to the American people wanting change? All of a sudden it doesn't seem to matter. Americans are falling all over again for the same old divisive, untruthful, rhetoric driven message. Do we really believe that we can embrace someone who uses the same Bush tactics: lies, lack of transparency, no policy reform, etc. and get different results? This is one of the definitions of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. How is this happening and what are we going to do about it?

Well, since I know some people at People, I can tell you that the cover certainly had nothing to do with this and everything to do with $$. And I take exception to the whole tenor of this segment, which since it only criticized the Republican party, I'd consider to be biased, even if it it wasn't so clearly so in substance, particularly in Gladstone's comments. Actually I think the "facts" are in fact unimportant since they are usually trivial nonsense.

Your Guests were blatently WRONG That the Republican Party's Candidate McCain's refusal to appear on Larry King did not terrorize News outlets!

The result: THE ONLY ***SANE** TAKE, as a majority sees it ON THE 2 Conventions and one that was gaining viewers has now been shut down!

MSNBC/GE-TV became terrorized by the Republican Propaganda Machine.

Keith Oberman (who for the first time has been gaining viewers over O'Rielly, as well as former Giuliani supporter Chris Mathews will now not be allowed to cover the Elections in November.

THIS IS AN OUTRAGE BEYOND OUTREAGES. Goebbles all over again!

And it is how and why the GOP (Gas & Oil Party) which represents the finacial interests of about 7 million people have managed to brainwash the rest of us into voting against our own standard of living interests.

As for your insistance on smack Democrats in 85% of your shows since 2006 -- to make yourself appear "objective"
-- This is transparent to many those of us who see -In particular Since the only job the Republicans gave themselves to achieve since November of 2006 was to make the Democrats look bad no matter what it took.

I was thinking about making a pledge to PBS, but after watching this one-sided bias show with an arrogant host and obviously liberal hacks, I am not interested in supporting this kind of so called "journalism". I'd rather give my money to breast cancer research or my local humane society.

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