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Reclaiming Civil Discourse

This week, THE JOURNAL examined the provocative and often hostile language used by some ‘shock jock’ talk radio hosts to criticize liberals and liberalism.

Unitarian pastor Chris Buice, whose congregation was attacked by a gunman with an expressed aversion to liberalism and Christianity, said:

“A man came in here [and] dehumanized us. Members of our church were not human to him. Where did he get that? Where did he get that sense that we’re not human? ... When you hear in talk radio that liberals are evil, that they are traitors, that they are godless, that they are on the side of the terrorists – that’s hate language.”

With Americans’ interest in – and feelings about – the Presidential election reaching a fever pitch, commentators have been parsing the nation’s political discourse to analyze how Americans view one another.

ATLANTIC MONTHLY editor Clive Crook wrote in a recent column that many liberals themselves have a basic disrespect for those with whom they disagree:

“[Democrats’] concern is real and admirable. The trouble is, they lack respect for the objects of their solicitude. Their sympathy comes mixed with disdain, and even contempt. Democrats regard their policies as self-evidently in the interests of the US working and middle classes. Yet those wide segments of US society keep helping to elect Republican presidents. How is one to account for this? Are those people idiots? Frankly, yes – or so many liberals are driven to conclude. Either that or bigots, clinging to guns, God, and white supremacy; or else pathetic dupes, ever at the disposal of Republican strategists... Voters in small towns and suburbs, forever mocked and condescended to by metropolitan liberals, are attuned to this disdain. Every four years, many take their revenge.”

What do you think?

  • Has American political discourse become so toxic as to be counterproductive? Do you expect it to get better, stay the same, or become worse?

  • How consistently is your own political expression tolerant, even-handed and fair?

  • What are your ideas for restoring civility to America’s political discourse?


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    Comments

    When the Arkansas State Democratic chairman was murdered, a motive was never offered to my knowledge. Why? Since he was highly polictical could his murder have been inspired by shock jocks?

    On a different subject, Is John McCain the Manchurian Canidate?

    Thank you

    Jack Martin
    A gathering of 10 million certainly would make an impact. Is there a serious move toward this or is it merely an idea at this point? From what I can tell the last significant protest gatherings took place in 2003.

    I am encouraged by the recent statement of agreement by Ron Paul/Baldwin/McKinney/Barr/Nader. I feel more consensus building of this type must take place. We must learn to work together. Anti-War/9/11 Truth/Impeachment groups have sadly generally not worked well together.

    Beecham: Since we have arrived at the consensus, through much careful but probably unnecessary clarification on my part, that wealthy individuals should be accorded equal free speech (equal opportunity, not just equal abstract rights) with the common citizen, and have also agreed that corporations have no rights of free speech (especially of false advertising and political speech ie: no commentary on politics or public policy allowed, no corporate contributions)then we have no problem with individual free speech as virtually uncurbable except when it causes immediate danger to others (the screaming "Fire" in a theatre thing).
    So I guess you're asking me how to stop the special free speech rights given to the elites and corporations.

    Since it seems that the elite have control of most of media except that residual part found in the Internet we could use for organizing, and since it appears that our government values these legally and morally non-existent rights above our own we must get their attention by chanting really, Really, REALLY loud at the Inauguration in January. This will require about 10 million of us in person and about 50 million more supporting us at home. I'm willing to walk 500 miles to Washington (I'm old and arthritic with chronic job injuries.) from here starting Jan. 1, and others should start from other states to gather support. The majority should arrive on buses, trains and Metro to save their time and effort. If this could happen we could form a consensus as we organize and travel, and then proceed to change the current rules of free speech along with many others. In short, we can change rules by demonstrating; by demonstrating our rights for freedom of movement, of free speech, and freedom of assembly for redress. (I look forward to talking with others like you on the road.)

    Jack Martin
    My concern about the idea of restriction of free speech is that elites will use that to manipulate the masses into restricting their own free speech, not to stop the advantages given to elites and corporations.

    When I say I believe all speech must be protected I mean all individual, Constitutionally protected speech. I do not mean mass corporate propaganda facilitated by government. That is not freedom of speech. By giving special privilege to someone you effectively take it away from someone else.

    I agree that it will take more than speech to overcome the obstacles we face. I am curious what you believe is the best approach to combat this terrorism and financial propaganda.

    I don't fear what the corporations could do. They've already done it and are doing it now. They murder. They steal. They lie. I'm more worried about what the American people will let them get away with. How many rights are the American people willing to give up? Is there any point will they will say STOP! ENOUGH!

    No, I am not satisfied with blogs like this, but I do believe the internet has been and continues to be a valuable weapon against the fascism of our times. The effect may be hard to see of course, because the mass media is not interested in actual reality but in projecting an image conducive to that same fascism.

    beecham: My contention is that I can support universal free speech under "normal" conditions. You seem to agree with my objection to Supreme Court decisions giving enhanced free speech rights to the wealthy and their employees and to corporations and their spokespeople. You can't have it both ways. Either we have the authority to curb enhanced mercenary dissemination of propaganda by wealthy interests and corporate elites or we don't: Which is it? The current law sanctions what is unfair and irresistible, extending such inordinate advantage to the virtually unlimited provision of money to politicians competing for office. If the people who control the economy and the people who make the law exude toxic and false speech, and their power to do so exceeds that of the populace by several magnitudes then your defense of universal free speech is underlain by a mad hatter's reasoning.
    beecham, You have a fine mind and you have exhibited courage regarding especially the 9/11 truth issue. Now comes the even greater terrorism of 10-19-08, in which financial propaganda drowns the truth. They have all the guns, and we are dodging behind bushes, but you call it a fair fight when the terrain is free speech. Just as free speech was lost in the 1917 Russian Revolution, or in the 1932 (ostensibly legal) Nazi Revolution, it has been lost, by us, here. As this financial terrorist attack and robbery of the people came upon us unawares (due to disparity of means), and we are unable to effectively resist by rhetoric, our right of free speech is now a fiction until we reclaim it. It will not be reclaimed until the unjust laws and disparity of power that negated it are overturned. It will take something beyond our most inspired and persuasive speech to do so. Let's hope it can yet be reclaimed by nonviolent means and the necessary milieu for universal free speech soon be recovered.
    (I can't believe a lordly mind like your own would settle for a miniscule pretension to free speech on a seldom read blog when you could answer anyone as an equal face to face in normal times. It smacks of lost fortitude to accept crumbs.) You criticize me saying you fear how those with unbridled power might react. Too late, for their brash action has already negated your objection. It is like saying that the attacker who has shot my wife in the heart might also rape her should I interfere. You have entered Moyers confinement and you too are a hostage should you persist in this mistaken line of reasoning. As I stated earlier, maybe your formal education has stunted your comprehension of free speech and other human rights. Is fear planted: Does it now sprout to spite your allies.

    Jack Martin
    Any talk of restriction of speech will most likely be used by elites and governments to control the populations, not the other way around.

    But free speech applies only to individual human beings. Corporations do not have rights.

    The airwaves and bandwith belong to all of society, in the same way the air does, without which we cannot speak.

    You are of course right about the unfair advantages given to corporations and elites, but I'm not sure the issue there is one of free speech, but a structural issue as you say. The economic system guarantees extreme wealth for few and poverty for the many. With a just economic system, I doubt the disparities in wealth and influence we see today would even be possible.

    Restoring Civility to America's Political Discourse
    The freedom of speech is essential to the welfare of the state. With this freedom comes the responsibility to speak the truth. "The truth will make you free".
    Distotion of the truth will undermine the ability to deal with reality. We need as much information as possible to make good decisions from accurate information.
    When it comes to technical information; it is necessary to make decisions that are pragmatic. When it is social information it is necessary to make decisons based on emotional and moral considerations.
    Often, it is not what we say but how we say it.
    Rove type distortion of the meaning of language causes wrong conclusions that can create hell on earth. Statements like, "Weapons of Mass Destruction" creates fear that overrides common sense. That is especially true when the statement "They have Weapons of Mass Destruction" is a Lie.

    Moyers,

    You really are the unrepentant liar. You know Rush's "Operation Chaos" was about extending the Dem Primary as long as possible. (and it worked) It was not about violence in Denver.

    Ever hear of the group "Recreate 68"? All left of center.

    Moyers, are you going to do any fair reporting on the violence from the left during the Republican convention? No? All the seized Molotov cocktail, and other weapons? No?

    I wonder why?

    In response to Clive Crook's article: So what’s a poor Democrat to do then, Clive? We are all for people practicing whatever religion they choose, but NOT OK with being told we must all practice the “only true one”…Isn’t that something our founding fathers fought against? We recognize the importance of wanting to express love/pride of country, but bristle at the hypocrisy of this patriotic philosophy: “We don't like anyone who thinks they're better than us, and we really don't like people telling us what to do. The irony, of course, is that we think we're better than everyone else, and we love to tell them what to do. Maddening, but true.” (from Chris Yeh’s comment to your piece). Are we “elitist” to point out this base hypocrisy? We’re all for people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, we just realize they first need bootstraps to pull up, because we believe a strong (and educated) middle class is important to a democracy. This is another cornerstone of the formation of our country, not lockstep thinking. We knew a Dubya prezdincy would swiftboat us down the river, and how fast and furious those rapids were, leaving us and the world in a wake of devastation. How can we “respect” that, and the fact that there are (many) folks out there who will turn around and vote for him in a skirt? This is the main grievance against Palin, but how could we not be outraged at the hypocrisy of her party’s two-faced attitudes about “sexism,” and “motherhood.” So, if these realizations are indicative of the demonized liberal elitist beliefs, what’s a poor Democrat to do, Clive?

    beecham: Normally I would be the idealist and you the realist. You are wrong about protecting institutionalized hate speech. There are problems of scale, technological access, power and implied violence that negate idealizations and beg for practical controls.

    Power: It is the vested interest of those possessing inordinate wealth, with its concomitant exercise of political power via money to disseminate flawed ideologies to maintain the status quo. A fair analysis reveals very little upward mobility in our society and the current trend is generally downward for the majority. Naturally a barage of propaganda by hired mercenaries is necessary to maintain control under conditions that indicate by common sense something is greatly amiss, as compared to prevalent theory and ideology.

    Access: The airwaves, bandwidths and even the general access to compiled knowledge are key to public perception. If a monied minority has leverage over broadcast and educational institutions they can pretty much manufacture all the wrong-headed people needed to maintain and enhance their position. But, not being satisfied with their standing they now insist upon the ownership and metering of formerly common media and knowledge, even going so far as to copyright common elements of language. In a world of manufactured scarcity they have begun to purchase aquifers of our water and devise ways of metering solar light as it produces electrical energy. (Beech: Your education may have stunted your conception of free speech.)

    Implied (and potential) violence: "Free" speech is not characterized by standing organized militias of thugs or by paid mercenary spokespeople arguing with skill and fervor against what even they know to be the truth. The publicly franchised police, the military (ostensibly established for homeland defense), the covert intelligence agencies under their indirect political control through well trained and bought hacks don't seem to be enough for them either, for they call upon these longstanding militias (once held in reserve to thwart unions and cow minorities) to intimidate the spontaneous movement for dissent and redress. Everyone of us has visualized their hidden snipers ready to narrow our political product choice with a shot to the head. (Recalling a defective product, so to speak.) Resort to the mercenary mouthpiece positioned for mass speech production before a broadcast apparatus amounts to much the same thing. Using their economic power they have transcended what was once conceived as free speech and are now amplified and replicated to the point where all else is drowned out. And they have invaded religion with the same sort of "tongue-slingers."
    (Pat Robertson is model example. He commands hurricanes along with the assassination of Bolivarian heads of state.)

    Even more tragic, our once serviceable state with its checks and balances has failed to reign in this positive reinforcement of illegitimate power. Our Supreme Court has gone so far as to rule that great wealth is synonymous with free speech and unlimited political speech. The magnified rights awarded to corporate interests under perversion of the 14th Amendment have exacerbated this ludicrous miscarriage of collective justice.

    I would argue that the rise in mercenary armies like Blackwater and CACI are more a self-defense mechanism of corporate edifice than an ancillary to our armed forces. Again the impatience of our overlords' greed manifests itself in rash action. (This may indicate a crisis afoot as wolves are about to devour one another.)

    So, beecham, this is another structural problem for awakened humanity. Your and my free speech are almost an illusion now. Sure, we write our graffiti on blogs and discuss amongst ourselves, but it would take the elephant Horton to hear our pleas and carry this dust speck to safety amod the din and winds of those who claim to own us. (Normal etiquitte is out the window my man. Reserve your idealism for normal times.)

    All speech must be protected. If any speech can be restricted then all speech can be restricted.

    How do you define hate speech?

    Who gets to determine what is restricted?

    Where does it end?

    Restriction of speech will be and indeed already is used as a tool by government and elites to limit debate and dissent.

    Fortunately the internet allows discussion of many topics that are essentially banned elsewhere.

    9/11 false flag attack.
    Federal Reserve Scam
    The Two Party dictatorship of America

    Free speech is one of our greatest freedoms. It must be preserved.

    Talk shows reduced to too much jock, not enough shock, and surely not enough thoughtful deliberation. Most is all intimidation by persons who feel they can use the airwaves for arrogant intimidation.

    This is symptomatic of society as a whole in my opinion. There is a complete lack of respect for self and for others. Combine that with a nasty form of arrogance that does not allow for diversity and you have a recipe for hate. Sadly hatred sells be it political candidates or religious beliefs.

    I try to remind others when political discussion goes over the line that they must remember that all parties have a genuine desire for the same thing....a safe, prosperous, free and growing society. They differ in HOW to achieve this, in the priorities for building and maintaining this ....but the GOAL is that same. We can disagree but respect the others right to their view.

    The same is true of religion. My strongly held beliefs cannot be forced upon others who have their own beliefs as well. To demand one over another is to find yourself with a society much like that of the Taliban and this is true of ANY religion. In a pluralist society this cannot be allowed. We need the freedom to believe as we choose but not to impose on our neighbor.


    Simple respect of others would go a long way towards bringing civility into such debates.

    Mr Moyers:

    I left a previous post, but I forgot to add the following.

    You know, Mr Moyers, I recall another program you had not too long ago on the Rev Wright (?), Obama's past minister. You didn't seem to mind the profanity emanating from his pulpit, Ie, "God Damn America". Yet you seem very at-odds with "all" talk radio shows & exhibit clip-its out-of-context.

    Dont get me wrong. I am a white conservative (some-what Republican) supporting Obama this year, but no-thanks to your show on the reverend. The reason is I can sort out & disregard associations & claims which are meaningless. Whether the ridiculous comes from the pulpit or from a radio station (or from a court of law for that matter), I can exclude or include what I believe to be right. And that ability is something that you dont give credit to the public at large.

    Where you portrayed the talk-shows as being totally evil, you would squash their warnings regarding illegal entry into this country, a subject that would have gone completely unnoticed & unaddressed were it not for the talk-shows. I doubt very seriously that you would have addressed this serious issue,instead choosing to be a gentleman & turn a blind eye.

    I have been reading through many of these comments and I am dismayed at the number of folks who don't get it!

    "Hate speech is a right?"

    How in the world does your beliefs come to such a conclusion?

    Perhaps this individual calls themselves a Christian.. perhaps not.. but still... Why would you seek to defend the concept of HATE speech. Free SPEECH is a right.. but is hatred a right? WOW.. need to do some reflection on that one.

    I also notice that there are a lot of people under the misperception that folks are going to be rounded up and jailed for what they say on the radio. Yet.. don't have a problem when the shock jocks they are defending say that it is ok to kill others who disagree with them.. Hmmm.. so some folks have a unfounded fear about being jailed for Hate Speech yet defend hate speech when it calls for rounding up Liberals or Immigrants.... RIIIGGHHHT.

    Good use of logic there!

    Sigh.

    Here is what I think…

    • Has American political discourse become so toxic as to be counterproductive? Do you expect it to get better, stay the same, or become worse?

    Yes, American political discourse has become so toxic it is counterproductive. If one takes the high road and attempts a civil discussion, one will only be drowned out by the uncivil types with their intolerant, scorched earth, take no prisoners political tactics. I do not expect it to get better, it will stay the same or get worse.


    • How consistently is your own political expression tolerant, even-handed and fair?

    I am a consumer of public television and public radio. I frequently find bias in many of the programs, but overall, I find many programs try to present a balanced and fair view on issues. When I encounter biased programming on public radio or television, I do write in and complain, pointing out the bias, even if the bias is in favor of my own political views. I want fair and balanced reporting of all points of view, not just people telling me what I want to hear.


    • What are your ideas for restoring civility to America’s political discourse?

    No idea. Just look at the viewer commentary on this blog thread alone – you can see it is not possible to have a rational, civil discussion of these issues.

    Unfortunately, the message (i.e. the rational, civil discussion) is getting lost among the method and style of communication. Somehow when the question is posed as to how do we get back to civility, this gets totally corrupted by some into a liberal agenda to deprive the right wing conservatives their rights to free speech, including hate speech. Civility is civility, it is not a partisan issue. Why are the right wing zealots incapable of understanding this and unwilling or unable to have a civil discussion?

    It seems to be because this discussion is a part of the larger left vs. right “culture war”, and as we know, all things are fair in war, including some very uncivil tactics and methods. To restore civility, we need to consider how to end the larger “culture war”. I don’t know if this is possible. In some ways, our modern “culture war” issue is as corrosive and damaging to our country as the Civil War was. That war did not end until one side was totally defeated and surrendered. I do not want to think about how our current “Uncivil War” will end.

    Has anyone here ever listened to Air America? Read the Daily Kos? Hate is on both sides of the aisle and typical of Bill Moyers to focus on the brand he hates more.

    Get rid of public funding of partisan shows!

    Fellow Bloggers,

    I was appalled by what I saw and heard about the shock jocks. What bothers me even more is that other people would find it entertaining in some way. If it is satire, it is in poor taste. If it is intended to be serious then I do believe it is similar to shouting fire in a movie theatre and there should be legal consequences. Then again I also think when athletes get into a brawl in a game they should be arrested for assault. Double standards abound in our culture. I am all for free speech. You have the right to say what you want. Part of that right is facing consequences for what you say when it causes harm to others. Just as anyone has the right to protest or participate in acts of civil disobedience. That doesn't mean they are not subject to prosecution.

    Many are complaining that Bill Moyers has a liberal bias and therefore because of that anything that is said in the piece is dismissed based on that. Bill Moyers seems to be left leaning. That is probably why I myself enjoy watching the show. I am a Bill Moyers, Keith Olberman, Rachel Maddow, watching, liberal radio listening person. I would rather read the New York Times than most other papers. On the other hand, I think Rhandi Rhodes is vile and not a very good representative of what would be called liberalism. I don't go on Daily Kos very often because the tenor of the exchanges can be so nasty. When I watch Bill Moyers or Countdown or other things I am well aware of the bias...I'm not going to pretend it isn't there. What I don't understand is what is the big deal about bias? There is plenty to go around. If you think something is bias that usually means you think they are saying something incorrect. If that is the case go find out. Don't wait for somebody from your side to tell you. Figure it out for yourself. Instead of crying about all the bias out there get informed. If you don't like what the shock jocks are saying then stop listening for one and encourage others to do the same. Find out what is appealing about them to others. You may not always like the discussion or where it goes but the important thing is to have the discussion. I read most of the posts here. I disagreed with 90% of what Dave said. I think he uses the word liberal as a crutch to describe people he disagrees with. He uses personal attacks and derogatory names to insult but fails to recognize that Mr. Moyers has had several conservative commentators on his show. By watching these shows a viewer can see that conservatives may have differing viewpoints but there are many areas in which the right and left can agree if they are willing to have a civil discussion and maybe find a compromise. That is difficult to accomplish when the majority of both sides attack each other personally and spin the truth to the best of their ability. What people need to realize is that both sides do it and we all need to call fouls on our own side as quickly as we point a finger at the other side when they are being unfair. That means we need to be open minded and as informed and stop worrying about unfair bias. The first bias that we need to deal with is the bias of the person staring at us in the mirror every morning.

    Dear Mr. Moyers,
    I am very concerned for America when I hear people question the "civility" of talk and express concern for the ideas of others. Voltaire said, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." http://www.bartleby.com/66/40/63040.html
    There is also "Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too." Your ideas are far too close to extinguishing our freedom of speech, especially political speech. America is founded on free enterprise and freedom - let the radio market be free. We are responsible for our own actions, not those of others - let us be FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Do you really wish to end our freedoms??

    Shelley: You seem a wonderful insightful and caring person from your posts. It seems perverse to imagine oneself spouting hate speech over media for a living. Bill Moyers' metaphor of two wolves fighting within us, and choosing to feed the good one, is apropos but incomplete. We have had an ongoing discussion on his blog about how employment in the USA is becoming more predatory in its duties (scam sales, bill collecting, investment fraud,predation on the poor, pharmaceutical claims...)
    What is left out is that these predatory media jocks have employers. An employer is someone who hires a surrogate to perform tasks for them; repugnant or specialized jobs, things they don't have time of skills to do themselves. The suggestable and relatively powerless audience are an illusory employer at best. Somewhere, some time at several managerial, ownership and power broker levels the decision was made to market a product of political hate speech. When we can identify the cruel opportunists who made this selfish decision for reasons of greed and power we can expose them and ask why. The airwaves and band widths are theoretically a common resource, making their responsible use a province of the public, just like clean air or water. Until we can finger the wolfish, polluting employers it would be counterproductive to fight their overwrought victims (audience) or even indulge their irrational mercenary spokespersons in argument. Only by turning away from such confrontation can we save any peaceful discourse.

    Moyers also made a mistake in choosing his proverb when he assumed a hungry wolf could be bad or good. Like the audience being manipulated the wolf is simply hungry. It is the fault of our sterile materialism, failed economy and dead religion that such hunger exists. It is OK to give a warning about what happened in Tennessee at Chris Buice's Unitarian Church, but to tie this to the upcoming election and to pursue ideological confrontation is a moral and tactical error. By appealing to another aspect of fear Moyers actually represses the peaceful dissent so much needed now. And he makes it harder to console a hate parroting neighbor face to face. ( I have sinned along with you, Bill, but now must revert to constructive justice-seeking pascifism.) When people become mortal enemies over how they vote, we are on the verge of a bloodbath (as Chris Buice observed about Rwanda). Voting and campaigning are important, but so many other things are far more important. There are even many other aspects of politics to explore. Narrowness of mind, making the election of some hack candidate the end all and be all of your life is a hate crime in itself. Don't let the "Wolfish Employers" manipulate us like that.

    Mr. Moyers, Thank you for the segment on "Reclaiming Civil Discourse." To facilitate that I wish you had included a portion on the advertisers (or others) that support the radio stations that bring forward the "shock jocks." If you want to empower your viewers to reclaim civil discourse, follow the money (as always) and expose those who support this non-civil discourse. Then those who care can pull their support, as I would, and the more vocally the better. Keep up the GREAT work.

    why does men never listened to god's and why do they do what they do just to justified theirs own greed,selfishness,ungreatful
    deeds, and why does women keep up with all of these things of a man. am glad i don't given in too many things in my head. i may listened but my mind is far far away from what is evil and i only let in my head peace,love, and god does what he does best.....

    “With adequate profit, capital is very bold. A certain 10 percent will ensure its employment anywhere; 20 percent will produce eagerness, 50 percent positive audacity; 100 percent will make it ready to trample on all human laws; 300 percent, and there is not a crime which it will not scruple, nor a risk it will not run, even to the chance of its owner being hanged.” -1848

    what is needed is a website that has a brief quote of the "personalities" and the list of corporate sponsors that advertise on the station. the list would be updated periodically and edited and policed similar to wikipedia. consumers could print out the simple "do not patronize" shopping list. every follower could click on a pledge to not purchase products from the companies and that number could swell with just a portion of a few mailing lists followers such as those for obama or move-on. that should get their attention and cause real discussion among stations of why limbaugh gets paid so much for reducing product sales.

    Sitting all day on your posterior and screaming obscenities into a one-way microphone does not a 'jock' make. Shock Shlock maybe,but the furthest thing from a healthy jock.

    I posted a comment but don't see it yet. This is an addendum. FOX NEWS and CNN both carry some of the shock jocks mentioned in the Bill Moyer's program. These channels constantly play in many publics areas such as airports, waiting rooms, etc. For those of us that were shocked by this report as I was, we can write to the people responsable for letting these program air to the public and aske that they either be turned off or tuned to a channel that does not support shock jocks.

    Bill, I am absolutely pleased to meet you and glad to hear such an empathetic source of information. I have been appalled with what I have been seeing among our people. It's the total malaise of unconcern for the truth. It's like our morality has downgraded to it's lowest low and people are acceptable of anything.

    Just the point of accepting a lie is too much for me to consider. What makes people think that lying is of no value any longer? When did we lose it's value? I can't recall ever losing mind. I hate when people lie to me and smile in my face. I could never vote for McCain/Palin after listening to their lying rhetoric. They are disgusting to say the least.

    It's just so good when I can listen to someone who also didn't lose their moral authority. Thank you and may God bless you and yours.

    I don't see a thread for discussion of the OpenSecrets segment on campaign finance and the mortgage crisis, so I am putting this comment here.

    Blaming Democrats for the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is silly. OpenSecrets' methodology is weak in this regard. At least three presidential candidates wind up in their top recipients list simply because they raised lots of money. Only a tiny portion was from Fannie and Freddie. Looking at contributions from a donor as a fraction of the total would be sounder.

    OpenSecrets aptly pointed out that 19 of the top 30 bondholders among members of Congress were Republicans. These were people who stood to gain or lose personally from legislation. Which is more likely to corrupt the process: a campaign donation, or owning an asset that's at risk?

    Meanwhile, Republican Michael Oxley, writing in the Financial Times, blames the White House. Oxley was the man who undid Glass-Steagall, opening the door to the financial shenanigans of the mortgage crisis.

    In short, the problems of Fannie and Freddie are very bipartisan. However, even so, consider that they operated as Government Sponsored Entities for over 30 years with no problems. Something changed recently.

    What changed-- aside from the contempt for Regulation that the Bush Administration brought to Washington-- was the ability of Americans to shoulder debt. Alan Greenspan lowered interest rates temporarily, but did not use his regulatory power to maintain lending standards. So Americans, whose earning power is stagnant, borrowed... sometimes recklessly. Fannie and Freddie may have erred around the edges in buying secondary mortgages. But they had high standards. They were clearly undercapitalized, the one area where Congress bears direct responsibility.

    The real story of the collapse of Fannie and Freddie is a lot more interesting and a lot more complicated than the squib from OpenSecrets would suggest. I thought Bill Moyers' coverage was poor. After all, it's on The Journal that we hope to see complicated issues covered *well.*

    Bill,
    American political discourse follows the market of advertising, i.e., money. In America we have the purchase of the right to spread and promote lies and untruth. It will continue to become worse until an enforceable ethical standard is established by law as is the right to speach and petition, neither of which is the right to lie.

    Lots of sad commentary from a supposedly "Christian" right, must have missed the scripture quoting Jesus, paraphrased;

    And a new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another as I have loved you. That ye also love one another.

    So much for Judeo-Christian commandments from God. There's another pesky one from the old book, Thou shalt not kill.

    Something that the godless left has in common with the God fearing right, selective disregard for the dominant mythology.

    The middle is indifferent so long as they have and can give unto Caesar.

    See y'all in hell.

    If the so-called "fairness doctrine" ever comes to pass, this nation will cease to be a free country. Hate speech is a right. If you don't care for it, leave, but a right is a right. You are free to disagree as much as you want. I looove to see the leftist smear merchants spreading propaganda by saying things like "you know what those right wingers are saying behind closed doors." I roll on the ground laughing, knowing full well that those hosts go home to loving families (not without problems), go to church, catch a game, have a few, and generally don't have a secret bunker where they plan the horrific things that could only spew from the mind of a godless liberal. It's OK. We forgive you.

    I'm not frightened at all by right wing "shock jocks". What scares me much more is is a journalist who would use a murder by a disturbed individual to attack and demonize his political opponents.

    I have always felt that there is a great need in our country to teach and preach the importance of logic, critical thinking, understanding reason, debate, philosophy and true communication to the general public, beginning in elementary schools and continuing until logic and reason become commonplace ways of thinking. People should learn to know and understand what logical fallacies are and how to tear them apart. They should understand the importance of fairness, justice and diplomacy in speech. They should learn to armor themselves against being exploited by emotional rants and comments unbacked by true source information. They should also be provided with all sides of issues by the media.

    Of course, this will never happen because business, religion and politics depend almost entirely on deception and/or belief without proof. (Faith might be a good thing, but one must understand the sources of one's faith and critically evaluate it before one subscribes to it, IMO.)

    I also think that the Constitution should be amended to make terrorist type hate speech a felony. I don't want freedom of speech taken away, but there should be a limit on unreasoning speech that causes death, destruction, and psychological damage. Nobody should be allowed to incite murder on the radio, TV, or any other form of media. Shouting "fire" in a crowded theater is a very tiny crime next to that.

    Bill Moyers....Keep up the good work! I hope that with these final weeks before the election all this fluff has to stop. It seems that things will not change too much if what was said at the end that these lobbyists are hand in pocket with the politicans. The mess that has been revealed about the energy industry where drugs and sex and every other monkey business took place is sure a sign of a moral mess. Where is the American Solzhenitsyn?

    We have lost our sense of connectedness with others. I think fear is at the base of the troubles we have with talking honestly with others about how we feel. We fear losing our jobs so we don't speak up when management outsources or lays off employees. We fear making waves and are surprised when we are laid off by our employers. We fear others taking our jobs so we oppose immigration and most of all illegal immigration. Fear is pervasive but faith in the universe needs to be fostered. It is easy to talk about fear but talking about faith gets people put down by others. And when we don't talk to each other to see that we are all in the same basic boat buffeted by actions and reactions of others, we ultimately lose ourselves in our own heads. I think it is easy to slip into a non-contemplative reactive mode of hate and violence and shock jock behavior when we don't realize that we are the same as those who are different than we are. I hope we (as a nation) wake up soon enough to save ourselves.

    Bill,

    thank you. Your comment at the end of the program was appreciated as well as things Pastor Chris Buice had to say. It "is" too easy to sit in a broadcast studio, attack a person for their beliefs, and promote violence against people that are different from ourselves, as opposed to standing eye to eye with that same person or persons. It is what it is, propaganda, plain and simple. It's sole purpose is to divide our people. These things only serve to weaken us as a country. It shames us as a nation. We would do well to ignore these people and the negativity they've chosen to spread. I've chosen to turn them "off".

    Civility is nice. But what is needed is truth. Fox News. MSNBC. They all operate under the same FALSE set of assumptions.

    THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OSAMA BIN LADEN WAS INVOLVED IN 9/11.

    BOTH PARTIES ARE THE SAME.

    Investigate 9/11. Expose the true terrorists.

    Shock jocks are terrorists. Both use hate and fear to further their ideology. Thank you Bill for another thought provoking program.

    Two days after watching your program "Reclaiming Civil Discourse" I am still in shock. As I am originally from England, where I supported the then British Liberal Party, I could previously never understand how or why the word "liberal" with its honorable heritage was used as a vile pejorative by many people here in the United States. Now I do.

    I am disheartened by the huge audiences who listen to the shock jocks, whose exhortations are reminiscent of those of the Nazis. After watching the hatefest that constituted a considerable portion of the Repblican National Convention it seems clear that the same infection is contaminating the wider public discourse.

    What can we as ordinary, but outraged citizens do to stop the public broadcasting and dangerous excesses of hate speech?

    I think the real crime the shock jock set is guilty of is selling their bran of journalism as truth. There are many folks who I speak to who think these guys are not just entertainment, and when I try to tell them this, that even THEY regard themselves as entertainment, then the 'liberal press' accusations fly.

    Why can't congress pass a Truth In Reporting act that would require 'opinion news' shows to identify themselves as such at the beginning, middle and end of their broadcast. And then if said shows want to fight that effort, then the sponsors of the bill have their proof that these jocks don't want their audiences to have the truth.

    Just an idea.

    David Duval

    I was shocked by what is on the public airwaves. We have free speech in Canada too but you can't shout fire in a theater. This goes beyond hate propaganda into incitement to violence. Can you really say "anything" on the US airwaves. The right to keep & bear arms does not apply to having your own tank, surely you cannot tell your audience to kill someone OR can you???

    Listening to these "shock jocks" certainly was shocking. Having an opinion or belief and passionately advocating it is one thing, but broadcasting a national call for murder on AM radio is quite another, even if it is "just a joke". It is despicable, and an abuse of the freedom of speech that only lowers the bar for the American conversation. It dehumanizes not only liberals, but conservatives as well. What makes this "hate speech" isn't just the words, it's the violence you can hear in their voices. Anyone who has studied the role of Radio Milles Collines in the Rwandan genocide would recognize that sound. The shock jocks certainly have the freedom of speech, but radio stations (or at least the corporate conglomerates that own them now) have the freedom not to air them, and the public has the freedom not to tune in. I would hope Americans turn a blind ear to this stuff and render the shock jocks powerless. America deserves better. It deserves civility. Is that asking too much?

    I saw the Bill Moyer Report and am upset by the assumptions regarding talk radio shows and the implication they tried to make that the reason an amnesty bill did not go through is death threats.

    When it comes to threats of violence there are fringe loonies on both sides and an elected politician can defend themselves much easier than one of us street activists can.

    I have personally carried an anti amnesty sign in front of a march of ten thousand people visible to thousands in Boston. I was there aware that some have tried to intimidate me with in your face shouting and death threats.

    The majority of American citizens are against open ended continuous residence and so at odds with many of their elected politicians.

    The politicians were not reacting to death threats. They were reacting to the mass of Americans saying they would not be voting for someone who supported an amnesty.

    While we are here on the subject of confrontational messages going to some Senator's residences I have peacefully protested directly on Ted Kennedy's lawn in Hyannis Port eight times. This includes when he was there twice.

    I have let it be known that I would willingly be arrested and jailed for thirty days if neccessary so that America's citizens need not be railroaded by the likes of Ted Kennedy.

    Many Americans feel a sense of deep frustration with our legislators and do not know what they can do to have an impact practically. If I can turn them on to the NumbersUSA.org site and help them decisively fight for their interest by directly contacting their politicians it is worth the effort.

    Once again, WOSU in Columbus, preempts Bill Moyers for "fund-raising" infommercials. They have done this so many times over the years that I became a regular at an out of town truckstop where I went to watch PBS on my portable TV. Now, I watch online.
    WOSU now has 4 channels to fill. And, it has room for bland DIY shows and stale British comedies, the sort of which one can find in any Public Library, but no room for Bill.
    I hope Suze Orman enjoys her "self-help" fortune, because it's shows like Moyers' that make her boring commercials possible.

    By any measure, the shooter in the Knoxville church killings was a mentally deranged individual.

    I expect for to be on side of Republicans’ expect CNN ,
    NBC,CBS and other to be on side of Democrats. But when I watch PBS I want truth ,down the middle, honestly, this is not what I just saw. Shame on you.

    Re "Reclaiming Civil Discourse": I think Barack Obama is going to win the White House, and his victory will precipitate an explosion of violence coming from the reactionary right. The shooting in Knoxville is only a preview of worse to come. Civil discourse will not be reclaimed, and liberals will be either vulnerable or armed. I'm the latter.

    Sorry liberals, but Americans will NEVER stand for the Fairness Doctrine. We will stand up to Congress like we did when they tried to slip the immigration bill past us. It amazes me that liberals are so threatened by opposing points of view that they want to use government to squelch them. Doesn't sound very open-minded to me.
    Sounds like you're afraid of a REAL debate on the issues.
    And Bill, you know you listen to Rush every day. You know that hate is not what he's about.

    Bill,
    You have hit many home runs in your lifetime. Today you hit 2 grand slams! You are the Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron of "Classical" news.
    Question 1. What approach will put both these stories into the widest media visibility within the next 30 days?
    Question 2. For those people who tune out to non-sound bite stories; how can these CRITICAL stories be abridged to contain the heart and soul for sound bite consumers?
    Question 3. Are there people with enough conviction to put sufficient money in play to achieve these outcomes on a scale and saturation to "wet the souls of the unbelievers"?
    If these stories cannot begin to alter the 50:50 divide in America; is there hope for the next 20 years?
    As your second story demonstrated, today questions are more important than ever in showing the trap-door of the conjurer to the mesmerized audience!
    Bill, Americans know the name of Paul Revere, but how many know the name of the person who placed the lamps in the bell tower? You are Paul, your guests the person in the bell tower. Without both, could the American story ever have begun? May history remember you and your guests in the centuries that follow.

    The juxtaposition of the Journal programs On Civil Discourse and Andrew Bacevich's "On the American Dream" left me more cynical and despondent about our future. I do not believe that we can overcome the perverted use of deflection and obfuscation by the campaigns. I am not surprised that the presidential campaign has descended into Rovian political discourse which accomplishes nothing except to circumvent the issues that will decide the future course of our nation. It's about winning! Winning, winning, winning. Winning, it seems, is everything. But at what cost? We can only calculate the full measure of the cost if we are prepared to sacrifice those values that we hold most dear. The price for me is too high. I am not willing to allow those that would squander our democratic principles win without a fight.

    I will not answer pollsters. I would urge all to respond to pollsters with "No comment. You will know my vote when I cast it." In this way we may, perhaps, force the candidates to stand on their true values and not bend to the whim of the polls.

    As it stands, the candidates have stepped away from their core beliefs in order to win. For whoever wins, it will be a hollow victory; cynicism and distrust will be be the only winners. As Thomas More said to Richard Rich just prior to his sentence of death - "It profits a man not to sell his soul even for the Kingdom of Heaven, but for England?" (Substitute 'White House' for 'England')

    This tyranny of complacancy will rear its ugly head and before we know it it will come crashing down and smash our democratic principles to smithereens. Speak up, demand the truth, and keep silent about your choices. Maybe, then, we can salvage our democracy.

    btw ... why this program is so important...

    ideas lead to words ... and words lead to actions ...

    if a country gets into a deep financial calamity, u can bet the hate speech will be ratcheted up ...

    ANY person that thinks Bill & "The Journal" has an agenda...is right. It's called the search, THE HONEST search...for truth, in a world filled with disinformation...That;s the difference between liberals & conservatives...Liberals are willing to adjust their opinions when "new information" comes to light.
    If that new info makes a Democrat look like an idiot,
    (or has acted unethically),
    they get thrown underneath the bus, hands down, period paragraph....The whole Democratic philosophy is based around "doing the right thing, while keeping an open mind" Nothing trumps the truth...the facts...
    The Right, on the other hand, finds it bothersome to adjust or change an opinion or view, even if it's been proven wrong. Maybe it's somethin' about "having to actually think for ones self & not just memorize the party-line talking points"...I dunno'. I'm affraid it all boils down to RIGHT & WRONG,
    & the willingness to admit either, even when your side of the issue is proven wrong or incorrect...
    It's called "class war-fare", friends..."the have's & the have not's..."
    "The Royals & The Serf's"...& In the SOUTH....It's the constant fear that (sooner or later),
    the bill will come due for their historic minority oppression & "crimes of hate", and they'll get the public "social bitch-slapping" The South & other racist areas in America, so richly deserve..
    Remember...hatred in not inherited, in a "learned" behavior.....and it really is, a waste of time, energy & emotion...
    "Here endeth the lesson..."

    Bill:
    Thanks for your continued effort to contribute some real analysis and digging re; media consolidation and reform. I don't think most would agree that it's a good idea for only a handful of major conglomerates to own a majority of news media outlets. The 4th estate is under attack and has been for several years.

    The press is supposed to be a 4th branch of govt...maybe the most important branch. But now it seems they have been bought up, threatened, cajoled and cowed into a passive and submissive role. One of our political parties prefers to govern by using evangelists and the TV and radio stations they own as their mouthpieces. The conservative old money gathered themselves after Nixon was forced out of office and began their march on media ownership.

    They don't want a critically thinking, politically active citizenry...they like dumbing down America. Seems to go against the freedoms that we fought a revolutionary war over. When greedy, out of control, monopolistic forces finally run our ship of state aground, maybe then the country will wake up and take corrective actions.

    My applied ethics students at a technical college will be watching this program next week for sure and discussing its implications for their own less than ethical thinking about many issues and the candidates. Thank you once again, for always providing the kind of extraordinary material that a college teacher can use in the classroom immediately to help the really "average" American understand their identity as citizens rather than as consumers. My students must watch PBS's News Hour and BBC World News and listen to NPR daily. Most of them have never heard of either media source for news that truly informs and analyzes. Most are in their 30's and 40's or older and many are dislocated workers. It's stunning how much they do not know about the political process in theis country and the role of journalists and the public media. The work of Moyers and his staff is a blessing to this country and I am grateful for it.

    Rofl Dave - therein lies the dilemna. I am more conservative than liberal - an independant that votes on issues not personalities. Actually - you'd have a really hard time putting me in that square box of one side or the other. You may discover we have much in common.

    No one is denied chemo? I envy the you, for in my cancer reality, my options are limited by my wallet. Although, strictly speaking, if I had the cash I wouldn't be denied it. Perhaps you can give me the name of your oncologist? I was fortunate to find a neurosurgeon that would allow me to pay what I could per month - but right now I'm over 100k in debt due to medical bills. After 30 years of hard work - nothing is left to show for it but those bills. For those 'shock jocks' who want all independent thinkers dead - you will have one less on your list in a short time.

    But we digress - I will agree to disagree on specific issues. But no matter our opinions, it degrades us as Americans to refuse to see anothers humanity. Many of my friends have bumper stickers that ask "What Would Jesus Do", while degrading another person based on outward appearances. Perhaps the idea is not to ask the question what would Jesus do - but to live the answer.

    Shock Jocks - on either side, are hate-mongers. Let's face it - degrading another human being is a way of making ourselves feel superior. The real question is - what is lacking in ourselves that we need to have that feeling of superiority?

    Sock Jocks
    Dear Bill Moyers


    Thank you for this piece on “Shock Jock” whom most of the American people are not all that familiar with. I am totally outraged at the level and degree of hate speech that is being spewed by the rightwing shock jocks toward the left or liberals in America today. There is a certain irony that Michael Reagan the son of President Reagan who is the great-grand father of the modern day conservative religious right movement can make such threats of death over the public air waves and not be held liable. MICHAEL REAGAN: "Take them out and shoot them. They are traitors to this country, and shoot them. But anybody who would do that doesn't deserve to live. You shoot them. You call them traitors, that's what they are, and you shoot them dead. I'll pay for the bullet."

    Michael Reagan, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, and Glenn Beck as well as a host of other shock jock should be charge with high crime and no misdemeanors. They should be prosecuted to the fullest existent of the law, Rush Limbaugh for his "Operation Chaos”. These are the people that are the real threat to America freedom and security. The Reagan conservative’s revolution has moved the pendulum in the United States so far to the right. It makes many mainstream American centrists look like the so called loony lefties that the Conservatives love to bash.

    As our nation and the global economy and political system goes down the tube, our nations airwaves and cable are filled with mostly recycled garbage with the exception of shows such as your and “Democracy Now” others that are on PBS and NPR. It is time for the people in the center to stand-up and be heard. David
    http://globalcrier.blogspot.com/
    Sock Jocks
    Dear Bill Moyers


    Thank you for this piece on “Shock Jock” whom most of the American people are not all that familiar with. I am totally outraged at the level and degree of hate speech that is being spewed by the rightwing shock jocks toward the left or liberals in America today. There is a certain irony that Michael Reagan the son of President Reagan who is the great-grand father of the modern day conservative religious right movement can make such threats of death over the public air waves and not be held liable. MICHAEL REAGAN: "Take them out and shoot them. They are traitors to this country, and shoot them. But anybody who would do that doesn't deserve to live. You shoot them. You call them traitors, that's what they are, and you shoot them dead. I'll pay for the bullet."

    Michael Reagan, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, and Glenn Beck as well as a host of other shock jock should be charge with high crime and no misdemeanors. They should be prosecuted to the fullest existent of the law, Rush Limbaugh for his "Operation Chaos”. These are the people that are the real threat to America freedom and security. The Reagan conservative’s revolution has moved the pendulum in the United States so far to the right. It makes many mainstream American centrists look like the so called loony lefties that the Conservatives love to bash.

    As our nation and the global economy and political system goes down the tube, our nations airwaves and cable are filled with mostly recycled garbage with the exception of shows such as your and “Democracy Now” others that are on PBS and NPR. It is time for the people in the center to stand-up and be heard. David
    http://globalcrier.blogspot.com/


    To Cindy Anderson- I understand and agree with part of what you say; I consider myself a social liberal and never listen to Air America, go to MoveOn.org or anything like that, precisely because of the extreme level of division of their style of media. But I don't think I'd consider small splinter groups like the Animal Liberation Front or Earth Liberation Front to have "the worst violence in the country". That would probably be the Civil War in terms of history, and currently its gun violence, mainly in urban areas and related to gang wars and the drug trade. I completely condemn the tactics of groups like ELF or ALF, not only because they're potentially harmful to people and property, but because they don't work: these groups never really win any sympathy or gain supporters by using tactics of fear and intimidation. But I think you're exaggerating if you think that's the worst violence in our country right now- those sorts of groups are always extremely small, tenous in their level of support, and about the worst they generally manage to achieve is blow up SUVs.

    Also, I do agree with you that Moyers should've pointed out that there's some increasingly pretty vitriolic media on the left, and shown how equally harmful it can be. But again, I think you're going too far by saying Iraq war veterans are being mocked on the streets on "liberal" cities. I myself am from Knoxville, Tennessee (I should probably mention that the church mentioned in the Moyers segment is one I'm a member of), a moderately conservative city, but I've been in places all over America, including such 'notoriously' liberal cities like San Fransisco, Seattle, Boston, and New York, and right now I'm living near Asheville, North Carolina, a place with some strong liberal elements. But in all those places I've seen and encountered people who are either active-duty military or veterans of the Iraq war, and I've never seen any spitting or mocking or insults of anybody. In fact, I've never seen anything like that anywhere in the United States; despite what people may think about the Iraq War, everybody, even me- and I have some pretty strong anti-militarism views- have at the very least an essential respect for soldiers for what they've gone through and what many of them are still going through, and for the fact that they chose to serve something larger than themselves. In fact, sometimes it is self-described 'liberals' who push most for veterans's health care and benefits. Very anti-war Paul Wellstone made health care for veterans a constant issue throughout his political career, and it useful to remember that the Department of Veterans Affairs provide a single-payer, government-funded (i.e. 'Socialist) health care program, for free, for life, to veterans- an idea pretty close to what a lot of 'liberals' would like to see for everybody. Yes, there are the over-the-top statements like "General Betray Us?" and some extremists out there, but they are not representative of most people who are anti-war or most people who consider themselves politically 'liberal'. Just like the people who bomb abortion clinics, and every now and then kill a doctor who performs abortions- also a definite act of intentional violence- are not representative of most people who oppose abortion or who are pro-life, for very genuine and often decent reasons. In short, don't color entire broad philosophies or political ideologies with the work of a few extremists- they are there in any movement or ideology or religion or anything else. I think that ability to look at situations with Reason, and understand that people are complicated and political ideology is complicated, and that we should really try to see people as human beings trying to figure their place in the world out, just like us, is what Moyers is trying to get across here.

    As a guy interviewed in the segment said, we ARE a Deliberative Democracy, and if we lose that ability to genuinely and constantly Deliberate with our fellow citizens- like all of the people commenting on this blog- then we lose our Democracy. So please, everybody, if nothing else- be calm, be deliberative in the statements you make or the ideas you have about other people you don't know and maybe have never met. Always consider the possibility that the 'Other' or even the 'Enemy' may have an insight or piece of truth that you've never considered before. That understanding of mutual reasoning and ability to have healthy dialogue between people is the bulwark which seperates a society like ours from ones, like in the Balkans, where people literally slaughter each other over ancient and incredibly entangled resentments, fears, and hatreds. Please, please, please, be kind, be civil, and be empathetic.

    Bill, you mentioned the phrase "cognitive dissonance" a few months ago, forcing me to remember that it means to seek out others (or TV shows) that reinforce what I believe.

    I think we all fall prey to this; it's probably why I watch your show.

    However, the shock jocks are attracting an audience that revere hate. Just as we have freedom of speech, we also have the freedom of listening. If the audience dried up (fond wish), the shock jocks would melt away. They aren't doing what they do for anything but money.

    Tell truth to power? The Limbaugh's of the world preach hate for money. If folks stopped listening to them they would go back to selling SUV's or being hucksters at carnivals.

    I stopped attending church because too many members either imitate or tolerate imitators of the hate demagogues. Members paste the liberal label on anything outside their experience or range of acceptance. They defame human rights such as the right of workers to organize or to enjoy the decent limit of minimum wage. These nuts buttonhole people outside class and the pastor just lets them rage in groups he supposedly facilitates The infection spreads.

    Not all churches are like that, Ted.

    Posted by: Fran G | September 13, 2008 9:12 PM

    I did not say that they are. You miss my post completely. I said that my former congregation is infected with hare speech. That was all that I posted. Please don't dimiss what I posted with something unrelated.

    The only thing that will stop this hate spew is to bring back the Fairness Doctrine.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairness_Doctrine

    To begin to fight against partisan media, we first must get Congress to get the FCC to require all news organizations to offer "equal air time" to opposite view points in order to be allowed to use the public air waves.

    Since Ronald Reagan got rid of this FCC regulations, media has become a zoo. We cannot allow a news media outlet to be unregulated centers of propaganda. This will spell our demise.

    While lies helps a few powerful interest groups remain in control, a nation that feeds on lies is headed towards inevitable doom.

    To begin to fight against partisan media, we first must get Congress to get the FCC to require all news organizations to offer "equal air time" to opposite view points in order to be allowed to use the public air waves.

    Since Ronald Reagan got rid of this FCC regulations, media has become a zoo. We cannot allow a news media outlet to be unregulated centers of propaganda. This will spell our demise.

    While lies helps a few powerful interest groups remain in control, a nation that feeds on lies is headed towards inevitable doom.

    Not all churches are like that, Ted.

    I stopped attending church because too many members either imitate or tolerate imitators of the hate demagogues. Members paste the liberal label on anything outside their experience or range of acceptance. They defame human rights such as the right of workers to organize or to enjoy the decent limit of minimum wage. These nuts buttonhole people outside class and the pastor just lets them rage in groups he supposedly facilitates The infection spreads.

    Sorry, Lin K., but I don't believe for a minute that the radio talk show hosts and their listeners are angry primarily because traditional morals have been thrown down the toilet. The radio hosts are being funded and used by corportists to ensure that the the anger of the radio hosts and their audience is not directed toward them but rather toward liberals, gays, feminists, immigrants, etc. If the country has fallen on hard times and families are hurting, you can bet your lucky stars that it has something to do with the Bush tax cuts that most benefit the wealthiest people in the nation. You might also ask yourself how gas prices can be so high when the oil companies make windfall profits every year. Then again, think about it, aren't the talk show hosts themselves part of the deterioration of traditional morals? As I recall wasn't civility high on the list of transitional morals, and civility of course, is exactly what these radio talk show hosts lack.

    I was shocked by this program when I saw no mention of Air America, the Daily Kos, Moveon, Netroots, and the many left wing hate mongers on the radio. Trust me, the hate business is equal opportunity and quite honestly, as far as the internet goes, the leftwing liberals win hands down in the hate business on the internet. They were cheering that Robert Novak had a brain tumor and saying horrible things about wishing him dead. I agree with the comments by Lee Irwin who is the son of missionaries. There is hate and intolerance on both sides of the aisle while most Americans are middle of the roaders. Bill Moyer's effort to classify anyone who is conservative in their political philosophy as being a hater and a puppet of left wing radio is what is shocking. I personally am a moderate but I know many decent people who are conservative and not evil people as Bill Moyers attempts to portray them. Some of the worst violence in this country has been committed by liberals...the Weather Underground, Earth Liberation Organization, most recently the bombings by Animal Liberation Front to name a few. And how can we forget the huge billboard by Moveon of General Petreaus that read "General Betray Us", a man who has dedicated and sacrificed his life for this country. And to go along with that, remember the Vietnam protestors who spit and mocked the war veterans as they came home. Mistreatment of Iraqi war veterans goes on today in some of the liberal cities in states like California...I have seen it with my own eyes on the television news. I don't think I will be watching this programming again. Mr. Moyers is as bad as the very people he criticizes with his bias and effort to engender hatred against anyone with a different point of view than his.

    I did not get an opportunity to see this episode as my PBS stations did not yet carry it -- as the way the fundraising is done in Mississippi is to run a repeat fundraiser show at unpredictable times and to do it almost monthly. Apparently (according to your online information), this episode will air in Mississippi at 4:00 a.m. this Sunday morning, September 14th. Apparently they think Mr. Moyers will get too much publicity otherwise? There was no mention of when it would air given to those trying to actually watch PBS by the way. PBS needs to require some education or something of the head of PBS -- how to run a fundraiser and a station, etc. Oh, excuse me, the one in Mississippi is now called "Mississippi Public Broadcasting." The current head of PBS in Mississippi had us pay $30,000 to change the name so it would be harder for our less educated populace to find it presumably. But she apparently does not watch PBS herself either as its voice was completely offline one weekend with the shows' video running.

    I'll look forward to what Mr. Moyers says on this issue whenever I manage to see this episode.

    Hello Sherry, Just to correct you, NOBODY is denied Chemotherapy, whether they are insured or not, in this Country. I know first hand in dealings with my Oncologist that some of his patients only pay what they can afford. You are correct that Socialism is already here, and with it a sense of entitlement that is beyond belief. As I have asked on this forum, how many dead people did you trip over on the way to work today? I will bet it is one less than died in Ted Kennedy's Oldsmobile. I understand that it is your liberal nature to be condescending, while I prefer mild sarcasm. To each his own, which is exactly why we are blessed to live in such a wonderful country. As we got off track from the point of my original post, let us review. Bill Moyers program is so one sided that it defies logic. Talk about a smear merchant, Moyers has it in spades. Character assasination, lying by omission, misstatement of facts, mining for out of context statements and misinformation are not the hallmarks of a gifted Journalist. Moyers uses the old technique of projection, putting his bias on another who disagrees with his view of the world. BTW - I know a few liberals who refuse to buy medical insurance because they think someone else should pay for it. Nothing is free in the world, and there is no Constitutional Right to free healthcare, just as there is no right to free food or free housing or free vacations or free cars. And why isn't it free? Simple, in order for it to be free, you have to take another mans property to pay for it. You have no right to steal, and neither does your Government. If it did, only Fascism is the result.
    But again, I digress. You have your Liberal view, and I have my Conservative / Libertarian view. As a Liberal, you think Someone owes you a living. My view is that Nobody owes you a living. Now you can make another swarmy retort or just agree to disagree and we can be new Online Friends. I know I am outnumbered here, but that is what makes this so much fun.
    And I appreciate your Compassion as I hope you appreciate mine. God Bless.

    At the conclusion of this story, Bill Moyers sid: "But not for a moment do I think any of the talk show hosts mentioned by the police would have wished it to happen."

    Ah Bill, you give the hate radio fascists far more credit than I. Behind closed doors I think many are snickering and regretting the death toll was 2 and not 200.

    I stopped listening to right wing radio about fifteen years ago because it was (and still) is hate radio. I was shocked by how much more vicious it has become. Can't those kinds of comments calling for death be construed as terrorists threats? You say that in a bar and a fight is sure to break out. You say that to an elected politician and the cops are sure to call on you. Surely there must be some space between our free speech and baiting hate crimes for the government to regulate them. I am no big fan of regulation, but the main reason for government is to protect the weak from the strong.Thanks for another great show, Bill.

    Regarding Reclaiming Civil Discourse, I find your report VERY one-sided. I don't discount the effects of conservative talk radio show hosts, but you were unbalanced by not providing a similar view point on the hosts of shows carried by left-wing talk show hosts such as Al Franken, Randi Rhodes, or others. They say very similar things about conservatives that hosts such as Savage, etc. say about liberals. None of it is productive, and neither is this particular piece you produced, as it casts all people who listen to conservative talk shows as right wing lunatics.

    I was struck by something that the pastor said regarding conservatives and their desire to cast all the blame on particular individuals or groups of individuals. Sounds to me very similar to what liberals do. It has been my contention all along that conservatives and liberals are all very similar in their thoughts and actions, the dividing line being what they believe to be true.

    For instance, I am a son of an ordained Conservative Baptist minister. I and my borthers and sisters are missionary kids; we grew up on the mission field where our parents served. My parents are fundamentalist evangelicals. Us kids have varying views on religion and politics. The widest gap between views is between my second oldest brother and my parents. He is a 'devout' liberal, and we joke that he is as fundamentalist in his liberal beliefs as my parents are in their conservative ones.

    You had a show with two brothers who wrote a book on political views in this country, and they highlighted exactly what I think the issue is with America - the majority of Americans are middle of the road kind of people, yet the political parties are parties of the extremes. THIS is what is tearing this country apart.

    Unfortunately, shows like yours (or at least this one) continue to push that divide apart. Until someone takes the journalistic bull by the horns and ACTUALLY presents both sides of a story, doesn't interject opinion, conjecture, inuendo, and lets the American populous decide their positions, the gap will widen in extreme views between conservatives and liberals.

    This is a very sad time in American history, and both liberals and conservatives are to blame for losing sight of the principals on which this country was founded.

    it is so sad that some people feel that anyone who disagrees with them and their opinions should be silenced. has an important point been missed, or was i sleeping during my schooling? so, some people are liberal, some conservative, some further left, and some further right... and the deaths of those who profess a more leftwing view should be killed??
    isn't that facism?
    the loss of AM radio from music to the talk format opened the floodgates to these hateful talkers. i dont listen to such subjects as make me upset, and i dont watch tv shows that i know will be disagreeable.... i dont need to watch them to know what they are saying... but i dont want to kill them. they do have the right to their opinions.......but calling for murder?? something is wrong with that approach.

    All the right wing radio "personalities" owe their genesis to powerful elites on the right, as does FOX. The rest comes from sycophant corporations who can voice statements through their venomous shills.

    Given that, (and I deeply repect you Bill) isn't the real story not about what they say now, but how they came into being in the first place?

    Their vitriol will only continue to increase in anger and fury as they are propped up by more and more money from the right.

    The solution? Kick them back and do so even harder.

    We are way past rational discussion with these fascist loving corporatist.

    Trying to debate in arguments they frame is a losing proposition.

    The real truth about what is at stake in this election is whether or not we are going to install the final corporatist shill "regime" that leads to the melding of fundamentalist corporatists and fundamentalists Christians.

    At which point, game over.

    Your program on the media went farther than most, but stopped short of indicting the force that has primarily changed the news equation in America: the corporate-owned media. It's all very well to ask for 'more boots on the ground', but unless the media feel the expenditure is worth it in a time of cost-cutting and downsizing of many newspapers and radio outlets, and even some of the larger corporate entities owning the vast majority of our news sources, the request won't amount to much.

    The corporate media has two primary agendas: getting more advertising dollars (supported largely by putting on the less substantive and more salacious stories that people tend to tune in to watch), and continuing to grow and take over more media outlets (requiring the income from agenda point 1). Do news directors tell their reports to ask for 'just one example' if they think they will lose ad dollars by either a boycott from a political party or the cancellation of an important guest on a talk show? More and more, the answer is no. When the news is designed for profit, the facts tend to lose money - and air time.

    Please continue to focus on this issue, but do drill down further to what drives the decision-making in the newsrooms, executive suites, and board rooms of the corporate-owned media. While not everyone will hear or believe, it is important that more be said, in the hope that some glimmer of what we are losing will be communicated. Thank you.

    Yow!!!
    Some "silly people" have definately set-up shop on THIS blog...whew! Ain't America great?...Seriously,
    I'm suprised no mention was made of Denver talk-show host ALAN BERG,
    & how he was murdered by the same radical homosexual white supremastist group, ("The Order")
    that was eventually the focus of an FBI operation
    ending up in a shoot out in Whidbey Island, Washington.
    Alan Berg was a GENIUS. His style was to hold peoples' racist comments back to them in sort of a "mirror",to show folks and display how ridiculous & hateful they really do sound...For his efforts?Alan was found dead in his driveway, lying on the ground, in the middle of a pile of shell-casings...
    Google-Alan Berg...I'm sure there's more info on the case...Why do all the crazy extremists seem to be on "The Right"?

    To Spocko, thanks for your efforts and the good ideas.

    To Lin K, who likens right-wing radio hosts to Biblical prophets, this:

    The halcyon era you remember, I remember, too. Life was far, far better for regular folks, when we were growing up. Small businesses provided about 80 percent of all jobs, so most people had cordial relationships with colleagues and even competitors. Medical care wasn’t so expensive that families feared being bankrupted by illness or injury. Just about anyone could afford college at a state-run school, because tuition was cheap (in some states free) and even those earning minimum wage had more spending power than today. There was a feeling of calm about having what you needed — maybe not all you wanted, but enough –- and in that calm were dignity and purpose. There was confidence in government, too. Its agencies existed to do their jobs, not to pretend or refuse to do them. Apart from importing oil and tropical fruit, we were self-sufficient. Best of all, the media were still honest. That kept most elected officials pretty honest, although the forces of darkness were massing then for a mighty assault.

    Those good times weren’t done to death by liberals, Lin, but by greed -- a greed so extreme it negated the traditional social contract between government and governed. That the average American now earns less than his 1970 counterpart and has to work longer and harder to get it is no accident or “failure” – but a triumph of social engineering by plutocrats whose power depends on our being distracted, deluded and desperate. Everywhere we see parts of the same picture: a danse macabre portrait of deliberate decay, brought to us by those who don’t give a damn about the citzenry, except insofar as we can be induced to buy both their products and their lies on the airwaves they monopolize (which we’ve forgotten we own) and insofar as we can be taxed to support corporate subsidies and bailouts; war profiteering; militarism; paramilitary forces; prisons and police state powers; privatization of government functions; environmental destruction; an educational system structured to produce terrified worker-bees laden with debt; special breaks for the ultra-rich; the export of our jobs and foreign “aid” programs designed to reduce other countries to the same level of subservience that the Masters of the Universe call “freedom”.

    This story left me physically ill. I have always hoped that our country could work well on the basis of 4 C's: constitution, constituency, conflict and compromise. Not conflict based on the poison spewed by the far right, but by genuine differences of opinion and conviction and the resolution of those differences based on the common good. I call on all journalists who still honor the concepts of truth and their duty to it, in the spirit of Edward R. Murrow, to advocate in favor of civil and honest discourse and publicly condemn the venomous rhetoric of some of their colleagues and to censure those colleagues. There is a great difference between biting satire and the ad hominem garbage that is currently all too common. For starters, hold a new conference, Mr. Moyers, and scold those who need it and inspire the rest. You preach to the choir on PBS. Journalists should not be entertainers, but foot soldiers in the search for the truth we need to keep liberty, justice and freedom intact. Help!

    Has American political discourse become so toxic as to be counterproductive? Yes!
    Do you expect it to get better, stay the same, or become worse? Worse!
    How consistently is your own political expression tolerant, even-handed and fair?
    I have been very consistence in my political expression. Though I tolerate, I am not happy of the direction the country is on...!
    What are your ideas for restoring civility to America’s political discourse?
    If it is wrong to pollute the water that we drink! If it is wrong to pollute the earth that feed us!
    If it is wrong a person to build a bomb and use the air to kill!
    If it is wrong to pollute the air we breath with narcotics smokes, industrial chemicals etc. than it is wrong to pollute the air with airways radioactive transmission that pollute humans brain that leads to threats, killing and lost of life.
    “Freedom of speech - expressions” does not give right to pollute the air with radioactive transmissions to pollute human brains! The FCC has failed its duty. The FCC should have stopped to issue a license to anyone using the air with radioactive waves transmission that inflicts radiation pollution of a human brains that leads to threats, killings and death!
    DEMOCRACY is: “ EMPOWER THE PEOPLE to PARTICIPATE in POWER”

    SOLUTION:
    “AMEND THE CONSTITUTION”

    “EMPOWER THE PEOPLE TO EXPRESS THEIR WILL ON ALL ISSUES”!

    No one should be under threats irrelevant of their political believe!
    The Country is “POLIRIZED”!
    We may win the WAR in IRAQ and stay their for 100 years, but we may loose our COUNTRY!

    It is a fact “democracy” can be bloody unless people are “EMPOWER to participate in POWER”!
    No system can survive indefinitely ether that be Capitalist, Fascism or Communism by taking or
    short circuiting the power of the people!

    Last night's show knocked it out of the park. THANK YOU for the piece on right-wing radio. Even before the recent murders in the Unitarian church or the killing of Arkansas Democratic Party chair Bill Gwatney, I wondered how long it would be until one of the audience of shock jock Republicans turned violent. Of course, I realize these homicides are extreme incidents, but they point to the obvious fact that many outlets of conservative media have dehumanized non-conservatives. What started as goofy insults and caricatures of opponents has escalated into comparing liberals to Nazis, musing about violence against them, lying outright about their character and objectives, and soliciting the audience to refuse to compromise with different ideas or find credit in other points of view.

    I think it's ironic that both shooters were disgruntled about their employment struggles and economic woes and saw the left-wing as their bogeyman, given that Democrats stand for elevating the standard of living of the working classes. Especially when you contrast their party philosophy with the Republicans, who pantomime blue collar tastes as a political posture and then laugh all the way to Wall Street.

    It is a testimony to something--maybe the entertainment value these shows hold to their listeners, or that audience's lack of education--that these multi-millionaire radio hosts attack others as elite.

    If we have no civility in the media, we will never get anywhere with the issues. Average citizens absorb the nasty, in-your-face tone of the foaming-mouthed Hannitys and Savages and start to perceive it as a normalized way of treating others or approaching a discussion. I think the Murdoch-controlled radio/publishing/tv/blogosphere's main objective is that if they take the loudest, most irrational, most offensive attitude, people will be discouraged from any substantial dialogue and give up. We can't allow for that. I would love to see the mainstream media and watchdog groups call this bluffing, lying, and demented behavior out into the forefront and treat it as the embarassment it is. It's time to bring decency back.

    To the world of right-wing radio; compliments of
    Oliver Goldsmith

    ……………….
    How do thy potions, with insidious joy,
    Diffuse their pleasures only to destroy!
    Kingdoms by thee, to sickly greatness grown,
    Boast of a florid vigor not their own.
    At every draught more large and large they grow,
    A bloated mass of rank unwieldy woe;
    Till sapp’d their strength, and every part unsound,
    Down, down they sink, and spread a ruin round.

    Ev’n now the devastation is begun,
    And half the business of destruction done;
    Ev’n now, methinks, as pondering here I stand,
    I see the rural virtues leave the land.
    ………………….

    The only remedy for the "hate radio" disease is EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION!!!

    To the world of right-wing radio; compliments of
    Oliver Goldsmith

    ……………….
    How do thy potions, with insidious joy,
    Diffuse their pleasures only to destroy!
    Kingdoms by thee, to sickly greatness grown,
    Boast of a florid vigor not their own.
    At every draught more large and large they grow,
    A bloated mass of rank unwieldy woe;
    Till sapp’d their strength, and every part unsound,
    Down, down they sink, and spread a ruin round.

    Ev’n now the devastation is begun,
    And half the business of destruction done;
    Ev’n now, methinks, as pondering here I stand,
    I see the rural virtues leave the land.
    ………………….

    The only remedy for the "hate radio" disease is EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION!!!

    I hadn't seen the show introduction and so was unprepared for the subject matter. But I have been the direct target of hate speech and violence. Watching the show brought back the waves of fear that I felt when having violent speech flung at me.

    Words used to inflame have consequences far beyond their utterance. In my experience, it has resulted in hate crimes, in terrorism, and for me, in having my world turned inside out, upside down and leaving me with no ability to trust another person for any reason, great or small. I fear all people, and I avoid contact as much as is possible, except for internet postings under pseudonym.

    I feel a profound disconnect with other people, and whether this was part of the intention on the part of the haters, I don't know.

    But one thing I do know - hate speech is effective in isolating and in separating people from one another. It regresses to base tribalism, and it is violent - no less murder than physical violence enacted with intent to kill.

    It is predatory behavior. It is malicious. It is unethical.

    That our Constitution protects it - and only some are protected to have free and unfettered speech - is a conundrum.

    My best guess at resolving this is to wish that developed societies would first recognize hate speech for what it is and immediately expose it and rally to the defense of its targets. People must be adequately shielded from the effects of hate speech.

    In the entertainment/news industry, advertisers who finance hate speech should be exposed and called to account. They should lose market share and profits, and in our free (for all/fall) market capitalism, this should be the price they pay for subsidizing harmful language. They should also be exposed to litigation from the targets of hate speech resulting from their corporate underwriting and financing.

    Hate speech is a betrayal of trust, and it kills - souls and lives.

    I know - I'm one of the walking dead.

    Bill, Should we stop music because Charles Manson twisted "Helter Skelter" in his mad brain and killed? Conservative radio hosts are like the old prophets of Israel, full of anger because the traditional morals are in the toilet! They shout "Wake up, wake up, before it's too late!" When I was a kid we rode our bikes all over town and down in the woods and no one worried about perverts. The doors and car were not locked. The kids knew where Peru and the Pacific were and could add without a calculator. We are so politically correct our kids are "dumbed" down so nobody will feel left out, and a normal active boy is drugged so he doesn't cause the teacher problems. The day time TV has programs that would have been porn in the 1950's. And you wonder why they are angry? The good men of ancient Rome tried their best to get the people to wake up to the values of honor,decency, family and hard work.

    Nowhere in these posts do I find discussion of the actual underlying reason for the killings at the Unitarian church in Knoxville - untreated mental illness.

    Psychotic, paranoid and delusional individuals exude hatred - a symptom of their untreated illness. So although it won't sell newspapers or magazines (nor will it add fuel to the fire between the liberals and conservatives) could everyone's attention be re-focused please?

    If Tennessee had a Kendra's Law and someone could have gotten Mr. Adkisson into treatment years ago (the warning signs were definitely there), we would not be on this message board today. Tennessee needs its mental health laws changed to allow for mandatory assisted outpatient treatment for adults with untreated mental illnesses who are a threat, not only to themselves, but to our communities!

    Currently, Tennessee is only one of 43 states without Kendra's Law. Media attention redirected and focused on this fact has the potential to save lives if it could help raise awareness and get Kendra's Law enacted in our state.

    I seldom watch Bill Moyers show. I did watch it last night and caught bits and pieces of
    his excerpts from talk radio hosts. I have listened to many but not all of the hosts that
    Moyer's show played recordings from. I must admit when you slice the segments out and
    let them stand by themselves they are quite outrageous and incriminating. . Listening to
    talk radio in its entirety not just excerpts probably deafened me somewhat to how really
    mean and uncivil some of its commentary has become. Talk radio hosts do use a great
    deal of satire but remove the context and it all sounds less like poor taste humor and more
    like hate.

    I believe the appeal of talk radio right or wrong is the dis-enfranchisement of those who
    do not share the same world view as the so called mainstream media. The hyperbole of
    some of these hosts is the venting for their audience of their utter frustration of having no
    voice whatsoever in the mainstream media over DECADES. Until the advent of the
    Internet and Talk radio there hardly existed a venue for conservative ideals outside a
    political convention.

    NBC,CBS,ABC, and PBS pretty much had a monopoly until FOX came on the scene.
    I used to switch channels and listen to the major network commentators complete each
    other sentences. Not exactly diversity in reporting.

    I know that if your a liberal, corporate America is the enemy and if you are a conservative
    intrusive paternalistic government is your enemy. There might be another enemy to both
    sides. Lack of information. Censorship or editing at the discretion of those who present
    the information to us. I would prefer that all talk radio all mainstream media and Internet
    outlets continue to exist despite their good or evil intents. Having many venues may
    provide more not less of the truth to the population of our country as a whole.

    While those of all political persuasions may believe they hold the truth, only by having
    multiple viewpoints presented will we have a reasonable opportunity to separate out the
    bias and better ascertain a more factual accounting of what is presented to us. You can
    condemn talk radio for hate speech and MSNBC for slant but despite the calls for civil
    discourse silencing the opposition will not make us better only worse. We are a country of
    many opinions and voices. This is one of our strengths, and it protects our freedom
    despite its excesses.

    We have no respect for others because we have no self-respect; only ego; and a distorted sense of individualism which translates to greed and consumerism and competitive egomania.
    We seem to have become -- or maybe always have been -- a very immature country and peoples, denigrating one another for superficial differences of race and religion and class; using caustic terms and banal language which should have been left in high school.
    It's a top down, elitist begotten manifestation which is and has always been meant to divide us and manipulate us and control us.

    i can't think of a more appropriate time for a new super collider to be reving its engines somewhere in Europe under the French/Swiss border. an interesting and enigmatic symbol for our times.

    one point after reading the persistent commentary of some guy named "dave" having just come back from serving in Iraq --

    the amount of money we as tax payers pay to PBS is a small drop compared to the publicly funded bailouts of some of these businesses and banks; the tax breaks our government gives to large corporate interests that send their work overseas and keep their profits for themselves (and for the Republican party ELITES); the war in Iraq (not Afganistan, which i support) that was sold to us on lies and has bankrupted our nation...

    regardless of the bia or objectivity of the commentary on this one program, the fact that much of the financial failure of this country is tied to Republican policy and rooted in Reagan deregulations.

    i agree very much that a lot of this rage is a result of the failed policy of trickle down economics glazed over, year after year.

    Rent two movies one night and watch them back to back:
    The Misfits (Clark Gable, Marylin Monroe)
    Dr. Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick)
    Cowboys and Westerns rule the day in current politics and these are two good flicks. Then watch the great classic, Shane.

    Ah Dave - how delightful to give us an example of the type of bashing we know so well. It really wasn't necessary though.

    America already has socialized medicine - it's just that only politicians have access to it. Chemo - how nice that you have access to it while so many are denied it due to lack of medical insurance.

    Try neuroendocrine Carcinoma - brain met and no insurance and see what kind of health options you get. Tch - once again, them that has don't want the ones that don't to be equal. So many must find some tiny way to feel surperior to others. Such speech says much more about the speaker than you will ever know. You have told us volumes about yourself - and you have my compassion.

    zinj - You litle stinker. You knew I would have to take one more peek before turning in. You sure have a way with words my friend. Is that a comment on my postings or are you just being petty because I think differently than you and most posters on this board? Heaven forbid someone differs with you. But I understand. You sure can't let any facts get in the way when you have ideaology on your side. Well, I'll wait for your anthropologists to show up at my door so you can collect the Big Foot bounty that the National Enquirer is offering. Or were they offering a bounty for the John Edwards love child DNA? Oh yeah, two America's. I remember now. How's it going in your America? Stepping over dead bodies on the way to work because EVIL Bush won't Socialize health care like the Democrat's want to do? We can be just like Cuba if we really try! Oh the joy. Bill Moyers would finally crack a smile and there would be Unicorns and Rainbows. Obama touch me so I can see. The guy in the wheelchair at the Biden rally will walk because we cut up human embryos like the Nazis did to the Jews. What a wonderful world it will be.
    Oh are you still here? Have a wonderful life. I'll be thinking of you when I get my next Chemo treatment you poor helpless "progressive".
    Leukemia is a bitch, but ignorance is a lot worse.

    Have any of you ever listened to Randi Rhodes on Air America? The only difference between her and some of these right-wing talk show hosts is that they actually have an audience. Let's keep our outrage consistent: go read some of the thoughtful commentary on the DailyKos or Democratic Underground before you get too self-righteous about how terrible right-wing talk radio is. I'm not trying to suggest that I like Michael Savage or Glenn Beck: I don't, but the political left is hardly immune from vile rhetoric.

    Could someone please contact the forensic anthropology society.Forget big foot we have a living,breathing once thought to be extinct genus of the paranthropus calling itself Dave.It can type too!!!

    Continued from below:

    Corporations support the vicious comments of the hosts with all their tools: legal threats, financial threats, character assassination and bogus arguments. They even get misguided liberals and journalists to support them.

    These stations are providing corporate sponsored violent speech over the broadcast airwaves, and some people protect them as if they were journalists. The hosts pretend any criticism of them is a violation of their "First Amendment rights" or that liberals are trying to censor them. I have no power to censor them. I'm not the government, their advertisers aren't the government and their management isn't the government. Of these three only the management and the advertisers can have any real impact. They can choose what is too far.

    The First Amendment covers what the government can do, but remember, the government already HAS an impact on commercially supported broadcast radio. You can't swear or say indecent things during certain hours. These rules have been long established and agreed upon. Interestingly, the FCC doesn't care about calling for people to be killed on broadcast radio or suggesting people gather at "high noon" to "strike back" against Code Pink peace protesters. I looked it up. I have audio clips of radio hosts saying both of those things.

    Instead of telling the hosts to lay off the death talk, ABC Radio/Disney had my blog, Spocko's Brain shut down and threatened me with financial ruin. I had to stop focusing on them because next would be outing me and public character assassination. As we know, they excel in that area, they will ring any smearing bells that they can find and I'll be unable to unring them. All for simply playing back to advertisers the exact words the hosts said on the air in context, words that the advertisers were paying for. That is how they abuse the broadcast license the public granted them. It appears that inciting violence against part of the public is their idea of serving the public good.

    Corporate power will continue to support the violent rhetoric of these hosts if Obama is elected. Corporations will use their lobbyist powers and broadcast powers to defeat any kind of restrictions. The radio hosts are holding up the specter of the Fairness Doctrine, but they know that would be tough to reestablish. What they are really afraid of is losing their corporate support. Losing money is the one sin that the corporate world can not forgive.

    I acted in a way that the right wing understands. I went to the market that they believe so strongly in. They stuck back with lawyers and character assassination. There is nothing to stop them from defaming me on the air since they know they will be supported by management in anything that they say. They can turn loose their millions of listeners and supporters against a group or a person with impunity. I don't have 50 lawyers and a war chest to demand that my name not be smeared in the community. Will a Jim David Adkisson appear at my doorstep because ABC Radio/Disney would rather keep supporting their violent talk radio hosts than tell them to knock off the violent rhetoric?

    Mr. Moyers talked later in the program about smears. What they didn't address is why slander or libel cases never come up. I think that one reason is because talk radio hosts are given all the protections of journalists but bear none of the responsibilities. Journalists love to look down at bloggers, but it is really talk radio hosts who have the huge audience and a free pass to attack and smear with impunity. Why do they never issue corrections on the air? If they were journalists they would.

    The corporations will defend the hosts as if they were reporters for the New York Times and the technical rules of malice applies. The New York Times would probably even defend them too because they see talk radio as just another media outlet and they are afraid if a talk radio hosts gets sued they will too. Just because a talk radio host says he is bringing you "news and views" doesn't make him a journalist. Maybe people are confused because Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh seem to have more interviews with the president and politicians than most journalists do.

    I have multiple audio clips to illustrate my points but this one covers a lot and plenty of context. It is from the special 3 hour "Get Spocko" program on January 12, 2007 where host Lee Rodgers at KSFO DOES NOT apologize for his call to torture and blow the brains out a common criminal on the air, even when given an opportunity. His management and corporate lawyers from Disney were fine with that and he is still on the air. His GM was recently selected to be in the radio broadcasting hall of fame. This GM also gave Michael Savage his start.
    WMA Audio clip of Lee Rodgers KSFO NOT apologizing for suggesting the killing and torture of Kevin Holder, of Lincoln Nebraska. You should also note that he claims he did not know the man was black, therefore his call for torture and death is not racist.

    Hi Chickie, Thought I would check in one more time before I turn in. You are one funny girl? Sorry for the spelling mistakes. Didn't know you libbies were so picky about those kind of things. Didn't mean to offend. I'm not sure what your point is. You know nothing about me yet you question my IQ? How delightful. Did you have a comment on my observation that the entire Moyers show was slanted to the left? Gee whiz, how could I come to that conclusion being so dumb and all? My, my, my...
    I didn't question Bill Moyers intelligence, just his ignorance and bias. Considering he was part of the LBJ war mongering administration, I would hope you would understand my point. You libs hate war don't you? You'd rather surrender than fight, so why back Moyers? His boy LBJ killed 50,000 of our brave young men and then your boy Biden cut off funding for the South Vietnamese Govt. Result, the war was lost to North Vietnam and 2 million people were murdered and imprisoned. Is your guy Obama going to break the 2 million body count when he withdraws without achieving victory in Iraq?
    Yeah, you're on to me all right. Those damn Conservatives want me to keep the money I work for instead of giving it to people like you. Don't worry though Chickie, you'll get it eventually. I've paid about $200,000 into Social Security and Medicare Now I have Leukemia, and will probably collect little or none of that money. More for you and your lib friends. Can't privatize that Golden Goose now can we? BTW- You're welcome...
    And I love you too. Sweet dreams.

    I'm Spocko that Rich mentioned above. Excellent piece.The level of violent rhetoric on talk radio is intense and one reason that it continues is that it makes money. Some of your favorite family-friendly corporations advertise on the radio shows of these violence spewing hosts. And if you are disgusted with what you heard on this show, there IS something you can do about it. And it does NOT involve a boycott or government action.It involves getting the right message to the only people who have any power any more in the media. The sponsors.

    A bit of background: Starting in 2005 I've been working to convince mainstream advertisers that right-wing radio is a bad place to advertise. Specifically I first focused on the radio station KSFO and hosts Brian Sussman, Lee Rodgers and Melanie Morgan because of the violent rhetoric directed towards Democrats, liberals, journalists and Muslims. I was so successful that ABC Radio/Disney had my blog shut down with a cease and desist notice. The Electronic Frontier Foundation defended me against their bogus copyright violation claim. Eventually with the help of the blogosphere I got back on line. Bloggers and activists cost KSFO 28 advertisers in 2007 and in 2008 the loss of revenue lead to the failure to renew the contract of Melanie Morgan due to "financial issues". (Google Spocko and the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, UK Guardian, CBS KPIX, or USA Today for more on my story from the mainstream media)

    I've also been advising a group called Hate Hurts America (hatehurtsamerica.org) in the exact same techniques I used with KSFO. That work resulted in 18 advertisers pulling their ads from the Michael Savage Show. Savage sued them but lost the case (they also were defended by the EFF), this is good news for the public because it means that using the hosts own exact words against them in an advertiser education program can still be used with less fear of being sued.

    When Mr. Moyers says that "the Government shouldn't be the arbiter of what the Bill of Rights leaves to one's own sense of fair play." it raises the question. Who determines what is fair play? The hosts, the management and their sponsors. Does the public have any say? It appears we don't. If we can't use the government anymore because of a fear of limiting even the most extremes of speech, we need to influence the management or the sponsors. We can appeal to either their sense of fair play or to their pocketbook. I chose to appeal to the corporation's own stated internal values and the integrity of their brand, which they care about immensely.

    How does it work? Example: Are major automobile dealers that advertise on Boortz fine with his vile comment toward Muslims? Are they even aware of his comments? Do they have internal policies supporting diversity? Do they avoid discrimination in hiring? Are Muslim potential customers? I contacted the advertisers' VP of marketing, HR person and PR person and asked. "Do these hosts represent your values of diversity and integrity as listed in your website? If not, do you really want to associate your brand with a man who talks about killing another man on the air? Aren't you tainting your brand by being associated with this violent rhetoric directed toward potential customers?

    If they are a restaurant I would ask, do you like the lead in to your commercial to be

    NEAL BOORTZ: saying "I already have received at least one brilliant email today about the immigration problem [...]this person sent me an email, said when we defeat this illegal alien amnesty bill and when we yank out the welcome mat and they all start going back to Mexico, as a going-away gift let's all give them a box of nuclear waste[...]tell 'em it can, it'll heat tortillas."
    Not very appetizing, especially if you are a Mexican restaurant. Can you imagine the words said printed up in an ad? "This call by Neal Boortz to kill Mexicans using nuclear waste is sponsored by Taco Bell!"?

    Continued below:

    Marq, Thanks! - I thought I was the one that might be brain damaged because my brain could not wrap around or compute the fact that my brother and father-in-law (U of Oregon PhD and MIT graduate) could elect a second term of the current administration (I'll begrudgingly give them the first, but a second term?). Their political logic and discourse contains a particular element of illogical reasoning and ... and ... and ... Brain Damadgedness !! They must be somewhat aware of their brain damage because their baseline, in terms of discussing politics, is defensiveness without any provocation (I think they are already aware of their brain damage and feel defensive about it - poor fellows). Anyway, I hope what you say is true (and not just one of those liberal un-ironic smear tactics).

    Poor Dave...

    You've been brainwashed but us liberals still love you! Jesus was a liberal too and President George Bush is a Community Organizer! It's true but you don't have to believe me... look it up!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    dAVE SAID:

    "Nice to know my tax dollars support this idiot Moyers and his Liberal bias. No mention of the slander being thrown at Governor Palin and her children. No mention of Obama's inexperience when he is at the TOP of the Democrat ticket. Just another DNC commercal paid for by our tax dollars. Hey Bill, let me on your show so the truth can be told. Using your sycophant "journalist" friends to bolster your deceit is too much to take. You are a phony, smug, lying, sniveling elitist, just like your brethren in the Democrat Party. You just can't understand how the little people don't buy in to your Socialist agenda. You are the ones destroying this country, not the Conservatives. You are a disgusting propogandist."

    Posted by: dave | September 12, 2008 11:54 PM

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Hugs and Love to you, Dave.

    *Smooch*

    Someday you'll see how the right wing is USING YOU... "little people like you" (low IQ & wage earners) to fill their pockets. It's sad, very sad; that you defend the same people that are laughing at you behind your back, election after election, while they steal your money!

    Bill Moyers = VERY Intelligent

    dave = Not so much.

    It's a pity.

    PS. dave?

    commercal is spelled commercial

    propogandist is spelled propagandist

    ;)

    Marq Goldberg, care to share any specifics of what those mean right wingers with the impared brain function said that offended you on this board? Must be a living hell being so elitist my friend.

    Hi Robert, the problem is the use of the term "hate mongering". A liberal term to say the least. We now have "hate crimes" which is the silliest thing I can imagine. Talk about Thought Police, geez...
    What facts and sources are you speaking of? Randi Rhodes and Al Franken? How about John Murtha and Dick Durbin? Robert Byrd, Ex Klansman and the Democrats Senate Statesman using the N word? Talk about hate. Want to see real hate?Compare DU and Daily Kos to Free Republic. Tony Snow, a very nice family man, dies of Cancer and the HATE rages on those liberal sites. Ted Kennedy gets brain cancer and FR posters wish him well and pray for him. Bill Moyers is so invested in liberal ignorance he can't see the forest from the trees. He has absolutely no clue beyond his North Eastern liberalism and it shows every time he opens his mouth. Be well...

    HELLO!! Does anyone think for themselves anymore? It is ridiculous to place blame on someone for having, and voicing, an opinion. The blame lies squarely on anyone foolish enough to act upon someone else's opinion. The fact that people are so easily manipulated points to a much deeper problem- the ineptitude of the American educational system. Educated people collect facts and form their own opinions, rather than blindly act upon some rant that is most likely more interested in selling commercials or filling collection plates than seeking to fairly illustrate an issue.
    Educated people know how to simply change the channel, or discard mindless hate filled rhetoric for what it is.
    Lack of education makes easy prey for organized religion, as well, all of which are fueled by hate and retribution in these modern days. Educated people do not need to blindly follow religion because they have a RATIONAL sense of right and wrong.
    Education would also allow for the realization that this whole argument of accountability is a complete waste of time. Look to the root of the problem, and it is clear that we need to drastically overhaul our educational system, so that the future generations of American citizens will have the ability to rationally look at facts, rather than blindly follow emotionally driven rhetoric.

    Mr.Moyers,
    I watched your show on how the media manipulates alot of American thinking.I then wrote a lengthy response to your questions above but then erased it.It was full of lamentaions,pity and some anger there in.All in all it would have boiled down to this loaded equation.

    Republican America(Mcain/Palin)=Kill Intelligence(Jerry Springer,Fox network,gutter journalism etc etc).
    Thank you for not being part of it.

    I became a citizen after living 14years and 2days in this country. Whether I lived as a citizen or resident, I've experienced both good and bad about this country and what has been offered. As this country is so "multi" that almost everything effects everybody in some degree. By saying that, it is too hard for some ethnic groups and races to grasp and understand other cultures and what this country has been integrated into. Therefore, this country is separated in so many ways even though the name of the country is United States of America. To live up to its name, we all have to reevaluate its constitution because we the people built this country that we all cherish.

    In terms of politics, because of this country's multiness, it will be more difficult and dirtier since there are no more than "I'm right and you are wrong" and "personal attack" types of politics ahead. To achieve productive politics, everybody must practice its constitution and respect their differences without any form of condition. To add one more, we all have get rid of selfish privatism and pay more attention to the politics and get involved on this rapid changing world.

    A few months ago Psychology Today reported on medical studies that showed that conservative brains fail to generate the proper amount of electrical energy in the region that is supposed to tell us when some new piece of incoming data conflicts with what we think we know. That's why it does no good to present facts or reality for that matter to them. You may as well be speaking in a foreign language. They do not have the intellectual capacity to understand it. This isn't an insult its a medical condition. All you need to do is read the responses from these sick right wing freaks on this board to know its true. Of course they won't get it because they're brain damaged. I'd advise everyone to seek out that article in Psychology Today.

    Bill,
    Why is it that you don't have a send to friends button at the bottom of your transcripts? How do I share your story with my friends?

    In regards to your Civil Discourse piece - HATE IS HATE! Someone can be arrested on the outside of a radio or TV station, but a Hate Shock Jock is protected free speech because there is money behind him! I guess money is everything as it regards to protected freedoms in America the Beautiful!

    Art

    The venom is scary. Why is it that curse words are censored but this rhetoric is not. I find it more offensive than nasty words. Someday one of them will be indicted for inciting a riot. I find it sad that we have to wait until it comes to that.

    dave - get your facts straight and the sources for your claims! You accuse the wrong people. Undoubtedly the hate mongering is out there (along both pary lines from independent sources) but there is a difference between "hate" mongering and "opinion" and how opinion is then interpreted and fed to the public by Rush and his buddies..

    Joanna, I certainy hope you weren't talking to me.
    But if you were, please explain what bothered you about my original post. That I think PUBLIC BROADCASTING shouldn't have an obvious liberal bias because the PUBLIC funds it? As a taxpayer, I have no right to post on a PUBLIC BROADCASTING forum because I am not an open minded Liberal? Please enlighten me...

    thank you mr moyer for this show.
    Dont be fooled. these people are a part of a mass
    propaganda of fear and hate
    to brainwash us into believing whatever they tell us.They must be stopped. We must stop them!
    Kristy/Punky

    Dear Betsy,
    I'm so sorry to hear of your experience and the needless loss of life and permanent bodily and emotional injury!
    I, as a United States citizen, am embarassed and ashamed to be associated with these "American" talk radio hate mongers - While at the same time, so very saddened because I want to be proud of being a citizen of the United States and all the Goodness I believe it is should represent.

    Hey Randy, Your boy Bill attacked Conseratives and his leftist panel went right along implying that those Right Wing Radio Zealots were tearing down this country. No mention of the hateful Air America thugs wishing death on the President and Vice President. No mention of Democrat Senators calling our troops murderers and Nazis. Public discourse for me, not for thee huh?
    I don't give a rip what these idiot PBS libs think, but I do care that my tax dollars are paying for Moyer's elegant elitist lifestyle. You don't like talk radio, then don't listen. This is a free country you know. At least until the libs get control and use the "fairness doctrine" to silence those who dare to disagree with the master.
    Now get back to your whine and cheese and ignore the bias.

    this program dredged up traumatic memories for me: three years ago - to the day? - the jewish federation of greater seattle was invaded by a gunman raging against jews. pam waechter, a dear friend, as well as six other women working there (only pam and one other of the victims happened to be jews), was killed; the others still haven't fully recovered from their injuries. the gunman, who supposedly had converted to christianity, was raving about the news, israel and palestinians (his family came from pakistan). our community will never be the same. hate speech leads to vile thoughts at best, and murder at worst. ironically, none of the "shock jocks" sent condolences. i fear for the future of our country if we cannot discuss topics with civility.

    As I understand it, protected speech does not extend to open, pointed threats. Shock jocks have the right to say whatever they like, until they start recommending their listeners kill the objects of their hatred, or incite their listeners to riot or commit civil mayhem. Serious penalties should be available to punish the jocks and their broadcast outlets for such serious antisocial behavior. Stiff fines and suspension or revocation of licenses would be good places to start. Our speech is free; unlawful behavior ordinarily has, as it should, an appropriate cost.

    During the hurricane, I lost my public radio station and encountered hate radio. Clear Channel promotes hateful commentary. I find this profoundly depressing. It is as a bad as going to Sunday school in my former church in Baton Rouge. God have mercy on these people and all their victims.

    Thank you Bob Wold!

    Thank you Mr. Moyers - I thank you for helping decrease my current sense of futility and deep disappointment in the potency of political spin and rhetoric and the easily influenced American information consumer (unfortunately, myself included). We need more programs like yours and stellar journalism to help us with our ability to think critically – with our ability to make choices and have civil and academic discourse (regardless of level of education) based on semi-factual and less biased information (or at least less skewed information). I am deeply saddened, insulted, and angered by the "shock jocks" of talk radio and their repugnant, grossly self righteous and putrid behavior. They are utterly ridiculous and absurd and at the same time a serious scourge upon society. Their utterances are a crime against humanity and all intelligence. They are the lowest common denominator (Needless to say, they really, really bug me).

    I hope-hope-hope and try to believe that we will transcend the dysfunction and destructiveness of our species. I do hope for Great Change along with the recovery of our humility, dignity, heart, and an enlightened sense of power.
    Again, I cannot express how much I appreciate your work and your contributions towards the greater good! Thank You.

    It is amazing that our language is so misunderstood. Their have been many counties that have conservative governments in my life time. Conservative left wing governments, and some conservative right wing governments. Hitler’s right wing Germany and Stalin’s left wing Russia were both conservative. The democracies of the United States, England, and France were liberal. We have conservative Democrats and Liberal Republicans. We call these people moderates, centrist, many these people gave up on the parties and are now Independent. The name RINO was assigned to these moderate or liberal Republicans (Republican In Name Only.) because they did not follow some of the party leadership.
    What do you call a politician that is pro-life, raises taxes on some business profits to give a $3,000 + dollar hand outs others. Levies a sales tax on people’s necessities to build an arena and hockey rink to make hockey moms happy. Lobbies for $200,000,000 dollars in ear marks for their state and claims they are against earmarks.
    Conservative positions are black or white, good or evil. Liberal positions believe there is black and white and the shades of gray in between the two. There is good and evil and temptation is always there.
    China has a conservative policy that makes a women have an abortion if she already has the number of children the state limits her too. Conservative prolife people in our country believe abortion is a sin and the government must restrict and make it a crime. Again the liberal view is some where in between these points of view.

    Conservatives say God Bless me and mine, Liberals say God Bless us all, each and everyone. Conservatives believe in our flag, Liberals believe in what our flag stands for.
    Our founding fathers were both liberal and conservative, I think most of us still our in some areas of our lives. Thomas Jefferson, a great man and President, penned some of the most liberal words ever put on paper about men and freedom, he owned men slaves that were not free.

    As a Unitarian Universalist living in conservative Fairbanks, Alaska, the fear of something happening here at our Fellowship like what happened in Tennessee is real. The group of liberals I fear most for are the gays and lesbians of this state who have to deal with ballot initiatives that ask our population whether or not health benefits should be given to same sex couples in light of an Alaska Supreme court decision. This decision makes Alaska allow these couples health benefits. The Alaska constitution was amended in 1998 to define marriage between 1 man and 1 woman. The Alaska supreme court sees this amendment as discriminatory; however, Governor Palin, and our Republican legislature feels it's necessary to simply Poll our population with an initiative that cannot become law. Yes, that's right, there was an advisory vote in April, 2007 to give the Governor and Legislature an idea of how Alaskan's feel about Same Sex Benefits. What this really accomplished was driving a deeper wedge between liberals and conservatives, and give "Shock Jocks" ammunition to bash liberals, thus generating hate and fear in their listeners.

    Our protected freedom of speech has long been limited, to avoid endangering public safety (e.g., by shouting, "Fire!" in a crowded theatre, as you pointed out) or flouting usual standards of decency.

    Added to these restrictions, once broadcasting began, was the requirement that those licensed to use and profit from our public airwaves must serve the public interest.

    SO -- given extensive precedent for limiting free speech to what doesn't outrage morality, won't do us physical harm and (if broadcast) is also meant to do us good -- I'm baffled as to why people are being allowed to foment violence on the air. The laws needed to stop it already exist.

    Hmmm, same goes for the old anti-trust laws that should be used to break up today's "too big to fail" conglomerates.

    I was--appropriately--shocked by some of the sound clips of "shock jock shtick" and wondered how these guys get away with calling for shooting, killing, and getting rid of by any means necessary, the people they consider to be their enemies. I am surprised that this is considered to be protected speech.

    However, I wasn't surprised to see and hear these "entertainers" using the same tactics and embodying the very same disgusting, hateful characteristics that they ascribe to their liberal foes.

    I know it's all an act meant to whip up an emotional response, and is played by shrewd characters who know how to work a crowd, but if they are going to participate in a civil society, they need to learn that there are boundaries that should not be crossed (such as not shouting "fire" in a crowded theater--and not exhorting listeners to kill people).

    It makes no difference what side of the political argument they take up--left, right, center, fringe, underground, independent--anyone who publically calls for people to hurt or kill others should be stopped.

    There are complaints in this blog about Bill Moyers' bias, and I don't disagree; I detect a leftward bias. But there are people who value the truth - this includes Bill Moyers - and those to whom truth is irrelevant.
    Excuse my cynicism, but I'm coming to think that this is most people. People want feel good, not truth. Too many people act on emotion, not reason.

    Well, Kent Jorgensen keeper of "getting the truth", what "generic discussion" did you wish to contribute for examination or are you all about "shock jock" Comments ???

    Where the meanings of the terms liberal & conservative are in fact as diverse as there are issues in the world, they are generally used to unfairly stereotype a broad group of people.
    And this time, Mr Moyers, you have stereotyped the radio talks shows & minimized any true value they may have. The test of the validity of any journalism must be in how well it exposes the NAKED TRUTH IN THE FACE OF OPPOSITION. In this program, you said nothing regarding the dangers of hiding the truth in the guise of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, to which the talk radio programs object. That does not mean you are incorrect to chastise those who would advocate & issue a call to violence. But you are incorrect in your desires to suppress the expression of feeling & sentiment which these shows offer.

    Regardless, keep up your good objective reporting work without soliciting prejudice.

    You ask how can we make our discourse more civil? One idea - do not start any sentence with either of the words "I" or "you".

    Thats OK Joanna, I wasn't talking to you either !!!

    The video of Palin at her son's deployment ceremony is available. She most certainly referenced 9/11. Most of contributors on this blog are not PBS contributors or watchers, they are just more of the hatemongers Moyers referenced on the show tonight using the blog to spread more right-wing garbage.

    Are there not laws which protect us from some of these people. From what I heard, many of them were soliciting people to murder and using a radio station to announce their intentions. You have to wonder what their homes were like in which they grew up - talk about dysfunctional and self-loathing. Very sad commentary for a supposed 'religious' country.

    I’m going to say what no American has the guts to say: The United States is in a civil war, and it's our morals and values which that are the culprit. Unfortunately it may get a lot worse before it gets better, and many may loose their lives, jobs, friends, etc. We Americans were so quick to judge and attack communism which fell on its own falsehoods. Capitalism is no better, and is following the same steps to collapse.

    Hi Bill,

    Your bias is showing again...

    I happen to catch your show tonight and found it remarkable that your discussion was centered around media and it;s responsibilities to ferret out the truth. You and the others then proceed to infer and cast doubt on "what you Know" about Gov. Palin, in fact your entire discussion is about how reporters should go about getting the truth all framed about Palin... No mention of Senator Obama is what was being put forth as a generic discussion about the media.

    Just amazing you should watch your program the tree of you were leaning so far left that I expected you all to flip over at the same time. Well I was hoping you would anyway.

    Any charges of bias leveled at you and your PBS group are well justified...

    Really just watch your show it and you simply just trashed your own subject. The shock jocks are going to ride this one like a pony.

    "You are the ones destroying this country, not the Conservatives." -dave

    I finally understand. Bill Moyers and the liberals are the REAL enemy.

    Wake up every one!!! Civil discussions on Bill Moyers Journal will destroy our democracy!

    I'm reminded of Jefferson's taken out of context "tree of liberty watered by blood" quote.

    The context was his commenting on Shay's rebellion. Ironically, I had forgotten the rebellion's cause, foreclosures and economic crisis, making it perhaps even more relevant to the rage and violence of the present. I wonder if the escalating, and I think it is escalating anger reflected in the rhetoric, is the increasingly clear failure of the Reagan revolution to everyone. Thanks to Bush, the conservatives have been bankrupted.

    The events leading to The Shay's Rebellion make interesting reading.
    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shays'_Rebellion

    The description of the political divide, the elite on the one hand, and the "mob" on the other, make interesting parallels to the present. Hamilton's comment is curiously appropriate to the divide: "All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and well-born, the other the mass of the people. The voice of the people has been said to be the voice of God; and however generally this maxim has been quoted and believed, it is not true in fact. The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct permanent share in the government."

    A more useful quote from his letter:
    "A little rebellion now and then is a good thing . . . .It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government... God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty . . . . and what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned, from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed, from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."
    (A link to the entire letter is in the wikipedia article.)

    Bill, you clearly strive to respond to Jefferson's call: "The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them."

    I think Jefferson comes across as Obama does so maddeningly in similar situations, as dispassionate with "What signify a few lives lost in a century or two?"

    Still, with age, I have resigned myself to having to accept such events as the consequence of liberty, and then redouble my efforts to bridge the divide by seeking dialog and refusing to respond with the same inflammatory hate.

    I'm afraid some radio personalities get off the hook (indeed some are never put on the hook) too easily. One host had a guest describe how to make an illegal explosive on the air. No prosecution ensued. The host just made a flippant apology the next day followed by a joke. The FCC needs to act in all cases. If the Administration can eavesdrop into our private lives, it can listen and prosecute what they sanction in public.

    Wasn't talking to you, JP, sorry

    You idiot. Moyers funds Bill Moyers Journal himself!! If you don't like what you read --or watch-- don't post sarcastic and abusive comments, we are NOT amused by it. Don't see me doing that on biased conservative sites!

    Dear "24 an angry at the right an sick to death of the left"

    About your post below

    "One thing real fast hittle an the early nazis wher acutly bar room brawlers.How they got ther street cred.Not so much hittler he kinda was a sissy.But the racist an hatfuly people that realy scare me are the ones that hide it.Obama is a self hating person i am also a mix breed person not black an white but know he spent most his life tring to identfy with a culture he knows nothin about just look at his life it is a joke of a perosn tring be sumthing he not instead seeing what he is an american.An fact any one ca;lls him black is racist he not black he mixed an what is a black or white person nither exist ther is no white race ther is no black race for example go back 150 years an try to find a italin didnt exist."

    Please 24,

    Stop mixing beer with meds. Go to bed and sleep it off. And in the future, if your going to post a comment or something, use spell check.

    Posted by: 24 an angry at the right an sick to death of the left | September 12, 2008 11:02

    Nice to know my tax dollars support this idiot Moyers and his Liberal bias. No mention of the slander being thrown at Governor Palin and her children. No mention of Obama's inexperience when he is at the TOP of the Democrat ticket. Just another DNC commercal paid for by our tax dollars. Hey Bill, let me on your show so the truth can be told. Using your sycophant "journalist" friends to bolster your deceit is too much to take. You are a phony, smug, lying, sniveling elitist, just like your brethren in the Democrat Party. You just can't understand how the little people don't buy in to your Socialist agenda. You are the ones destroying this country, not the Conservatives. You are a disgusting propogandist.

    While Brooke Gladstone urged viewers and journalists to fact check, she misstated what Sarah Palin had to say at her son’s deployment ceremony, by speculating about what Palin meant when she spoke about those who killed thousands of Americans. Palin never referenced 9/11 as Gladstone stated.

    While Brooke Gladstone urged viewers and journalists to fact check, she misstated what Sarah Palin had to say at her son’s deployment ceremony, by speculating about what Palin meant when she spoke about those who killed thousands of Americans. Palin never referenced 9/11 as Gladstone stated.

    frank 21 is the man Good point i cant spell or nothin dont mean i cant think an u rite man.Thats what american about no matter who u r ore wher u from we come together chew gum an kick ass.

    One thing real fast hittle an the early nazis wher acutly bar room brawlers.How they got ther street cred.Not so much hittler he kinda was a sissy.But the racist an hatfuly people that realy scare me are the ones that hide it.Obama is a self hating person i am also a mix breed person not black an white but know he spent most his life tring to identfy with a culture he knows nothin about just look at his life it is a joke of a perosn tring be sumthing he not instead seeing what he is an american.An fact any one ca;lls him black is racist he not black he mixed an what is a black or white person nither exist ther is no white race ther is no black race for example go back 150 years an try to find a italin didnt exist.

    Republicans vs. Democrats, Right vs. Left, Liberal vs. Conservative, etc. It appears we have become the Divided States of America.
    Unfortunately most Americans appear to be listening to those who divide us.
    Shock jocks get incredible ratings.
    What does that imply about us ???

    "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." I just discussed this quote with my students yesterday... I believe that just as important as it is to defend freedom of speech, it is important to respond responsibly to any ideas that we find offensive or dangerous. We Americans need to take responsibility and engage in a serious exchange of ideas if we want to continue enjoying this freedom.

    THIS IS HOW EVERY CITIZEN MUST REACT. BUT FIRST WE MUST EDUCATE THEM. SO DO WE NOT EDUCATE THEM BECAUSE WE DO NOT WANT THEM TO COMPREHEND REALITY? THE TRUCK WAS LEAVING WITH THE POISON A SPOON FULL OF COULD KILL EVERYBODY IN THIS ROOM. THE INSPECTORS ARRIVED SOMETIME LATTER. WE DID NOT CALL THE INSPECTORS AND DIRECT THEM TO THE TRUCK. WE WERE BOMBING COMMAND AND CONTROL CENTERS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY IN PREPARATION FOR OUR INVASION BUT WE DID NOT BOMB THE TRUCK. WHY? WHY DID THE PRESS NOT ASK, WHY?

    TO THE CBS NEWS WITH KATY CURIC.
    I WAS HOPING YOU COULD EXPLAIN WHAT TYPE OF THINKING THE REPORTER MASON AND THE COLUMBUS ACCOUNTANT YUSKEWICH WERE USING WHEN THEY REPORTED THE RESULTS OF HIS EVALUATION OF THE EFFECT OF THE CANDIDATES TAX PROPOSALS ON THE THREE FAMILIES. The Beachams, who made $32,000 last year, would see no change in their taxes under McCain - but the Obama plan would help them.

    "The Beachams will be the beneficiary of a number of these refundable credits," Yuskewich said.

    The family, which paid no taxes last year, would receive a check from the government for more than $2,200.

    The Wilsons are at the other end of the spectrum, earning $213,000. That puts them in the 28 percent bracket. If Gilbert's business improves, his income could push him into the 33 percent bracket, which under Obama's plan would jump to 36 percent of income.

    According to Yuskewich's calculations, McCain's dependent exemptions would cut the Foos' taxes by $225. Obama's "making work pay" credit would cut their tax bill by $500.

    THE QUESTION IS WHY PROJECT A CHANGE FOR THE HIGHEST INCOME EARNERS WHEN YOU DID NOT DO THE SAME FOR THE MIDDLE OR LOW INCOME EARNERS? IT WOULD SEEM YOU MADE AN UNFAIR EVALUATION. HOWEVER YOU COULD GO A LONG WAY IN HELPING ME UNDERSTAND WHY THIS WAS A RATIONAL THOUGHT PROCESS TO PRESENT A FAIR AND BALANCED ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPACT OF THE TAX PROPOSALS NOT THE ACT OF A HIGH INCOME EARNER TO SWAY PUBLIC OPINION.
    BAAMEN@VERIZON.NET 090908 7:36PM

    Winston churchill said those who do not comprehend their history are destined to relive it. We do not teach history in this country in such a way that seems to be relevent to properly educating our people to function rationally in a Democracy. Hitler is a classic example of what hate can cause. Yet have we forgotten? Hitler was a coward who hid behind speaches of hate, as are the hate mongers who refused to come and speak with Bill on this program. If shock jocks wish to speak this way they should have the courage to face the light of day and look at what their words can cause. We as the public need to realize words have real power and we need to stand up to people who use words as a weapon by making them responsible for these words and tuning them off the air if they don't use some forethought in what they say. This is a beautiful country. Differing opinions are wonderful, but we need to remember we are all precious people and we need to respect our differences and not use words to cut people like a knife. When we find common ground, we can do amazing things. If we can't find common ground sometimes, then lets remember to respect the differences. If we were all mirror images, what a dull world it would be.

    An wither we should be in iraq or not i think not but time for that is over wher ther an i am goin do what i can to help i will join up its not right wither the war is or not that others fight an i am able an dont an.Any of age an health should join up or shut up.

    In my experience educated persons tend to communicate with civility and respectfulness; Uneducated persons do not.
    Radio and talk show commentators who are trying to reach educated thoughtful persons do so with thoughful civility. Those communicating with meatheads do so loudly and viscously with little regard for thoughtfulness or respect.

    Bill,
    Wouldn't the presidential discourse have wider meaning than the trivia we hear now if reporters picked up on Nader and the Green party candidate and brought them in. Our two-party duopoly is a far cry from our European allies who have multiple parties. If the League of Women Voters continued to run the debates instead of the parties (just keeping out any other parties)
    we might then hear about real issues
    being discussed in the media instead of
    this surface nonsense. Even your program of reporters didn't mention the other political parties.

    Why dont people learn the far Left is just as bad as the far right grow a brain.They sound so evil they preech hate go you tube sum far left ralleys an listen to the things they say.Want talk about hate i dont know whats worse a workin class racist or a rich white nerdy self hating ivy league commie. that talks about how unfair the world is but ther daddy bought them a car at 16 an pays for everthing they ever wanted.Both sides are whats wrong wit america.What ever happend to just being an AMERICAN.24 i smoke weed i will never vote dem or republican cause i not a brain washed tool that actuly thinks either give a crap bout me.

    For the record I meant ethologists and skirmishes not ethnologists and squirmishes, but they aren't so far off in any case.

    Hey, Bill...

    Another great topic...
    As a career long broadcaster,(28 yrs.)...I've seen the pendulem swing to the right,& stay there...It's sad but true...the reason is
    simple..."corporate media".
    No really, listen...Folks like Clear Channel buy a LOAD of major-market radio stations, OK?...I think Clear-channel is STILL on the stock exchange, right?
    Who owns stocks?..fortunate folks that can afford 'em, right?...cool. Those SAME folks, most likely, are conservative. Like any company, Clear Channel wants to create as many incentives for investment as possible....(Simon & Garfunkel coined it in a song...),"Keepin' the customers satisfied..." The
    sad truth is...(at least, currently),Rush makes money.
    When you got that much market saturation of Rush's right-wing Swill...The lemmings will always follow.
    Until it becomes socially popular to think for ones' self, & question the status quo...it all boils down to
    programming to one's stock-holders... The result? The destruction of "radio" as a living, breathing industry.
    Accept for a few obvious exceptions...Clear Channel put countless veteran pro's
    on the streets & re-hired a plethora of fresh young, hungry kids at half the salary... to plug in the corporately produced local I'D's, bumps & promos...It's called "lowering overhead" and BOTTOM LINE??? Network newstalk is cheap to produce....Amazingly,those 24 plus" minutes (per hour)of commercials you suffer through just to get your "Rush-fix"...are still pretty pricey for advertisers...& as long as there's money to be made with the format as it is...just do what I do...turn the darn thing off....Or better yet, find your local NPR station....

    Some how, some way, someone has got to get the message out that if you substitute "Jew" for "Liberal" in the shock jocks' diatribes, it is obvious they are using the very same tactics as the Nazis. Ironic when you then hear them (the shock jocks) using Nazi tactics to accuse Liberals of doing all sorts of evil things, including using Nazi tactics.

    Is there some way to take logical fallacies and teach them in comic book format to the general public?
    Is there some way to make people go beyond their current affiliations and beliefs to become skeptics of all sides?
    Can people go beyond all or nothing thinking?
    All sides have reasons for their beliefs and within each set of beliefs the reasons make sense. I suppose listening to hate speech relieves stress over having no control over those with different points of view. I prefer comedy - to just laugh at the absurdity of it all. Wish we could live and let live.

    I've spent three weeks e-mailing my father on political issues. We are opposites in our beliefs. We cannot find middle ground. He loves O'reilly and I listen to NPR. In the end I just have to say I love you anyway. I love you anyway...

    I wonder if there is any information on the demographics of people who listen to hate radio on the right and the left. I also wonder what the listeners get out of this type of radio. Obviously this type of radio wouldn't exist if people did not find some benefit in listening to me. It's also interesting that some posters while unhappy with the airing of this information, are not just as unhappy about the content of this type of programming. I don't understand why people want to listen to it.

    I listen to both left and right wing radio. Never once have I heard a "Liberal" host or guest call for death of, or violence against a fellow American. That is the difference between left and right wing radio.

    Listening to this piece reminded me so much of the hate speech of Hitlers Germany that it broke my heart. I realized how niave I have been in believing that irrationally hateful ideas against other races, groups of people, the weak, sick or just different, could never sway more than just a fringe group of Americans. What made me most sad was that there are so many Americans who listen to this hate-speech, and even read it as well. It goes against everything that I have believed all my life about us as a nation. What is American about suggesting people who have differing opinions should be killed? Where have heard this chilling rhetoric before?

    As a 9/11 Truth Advocate, I guess I have been assaulted by that Right Wing Shock Jock. Didn't I just hear him offer to buy bullets to kill me? Is that legal? Where are the police? He should be arrested for conspiring to kill me.

    I thought a traitor was someone who attacks their own country and countrymen like Dick Cheney considered dressing up Navy Seals as Iranians and having them attack our own ships in the Stratights of Hormus to start a war with Iran. Or like most of us 9/11 Truth Advocates believe; Cheney and friends did on 9/11, when they attacked the WTC and Pentagon, then got Ben Laden to take the blame and hide in Afghanistan, so they would have an excuse to invade and "secure the Caspian Sea Pipeline".

    The views shared on aggressive talk radio broadcasts plant seeds of hate in our country. You can be sure it is God's will that seeds of hate will sprout and produce only hate.

    "Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is it healed. This is the ancient and eternal law."

    You cannot purport to love your country while sowing seeds of rage and hate. How sad that Americans are fooled by these unpatriotic, Un-American "shock jocks".

    God Bless America.

    The right wing radio folks in this segment looked uncannily like the bullies that plagued our schools back in the day. They have found a new victim and unfortunately, the audience remains the same.
    Some things never change.

    As a Libertarian, I can find solace in neither candidate. But the partisan bigotry coming from the mouths of both sides is pathetic. And I'm convinced that people who shutter at the word "liberal" have been successfully brainwashed by the media. Those who find the word repugnant evidently aren't familiar with the definition of the word. The real problem is that both side are hypocrites. What do we call President Bush when he bails out private businesses with taxpayer money? I would argue he's a socialist. As a veteran, I'm saddened by the superficial nature of our decision-making for the most important job in the country. Do my dead comrades some justice and research the issues without wearing a "red" or a "blue" hat.

    How disingenuous of PBS to present this info-mercial for Bill Moyer’s biased book on media coverage and then depict it as neutral. The premise to his book mentions the weapons of mass destruction mistake in connection to the second invasion of Iraq. As if the press was duped by President Bush. Why is there no reference to the multiple intelligence agencies around the world that also believed that premise at the time?

    Then this program goes on to dispel talk radio with this fake intellectual façade. Like any government entities PBS despises the competition in the free market, like talk radio. PBS does not deserve public funding if it cannot be unbiased.

    While Left wing radio and some of the commentators on Air America may sound to the right as though they are threatening, that does not justify the slanderous and hateful talk of the extreme right.
    I don't subscribe to either but am drawn to listening to more moderate commentators for some reasonable balance. Oh yes, what ever happened to truly fair and balanced media. We should take sides, but maintain civility. The second amendment is being stretched when the public puts up with extremism, but as someone once said, while I may disagree with you, I will fight for your right to say it as long as it is based on fairness and truth.
    Than you Bill Moyers for your years of truly fair and truthful journalism

    As a Libertarian, I can find solace in neither candidate. But the partisan bigotry coming from the mouths of both sides is pathetic. And I'm convinced that people who shutter at the word "liberal" have been successfully brainwashed by the media. Those who find the word repugnant evidently aren't familiar with the definition of the word. The real problem is that both side are hypocrites. What do we call President Bush when he bails out private businesses with taxpayer money? I would argue he's a socialist. As a veteran, I'm saddened by the superficial nature of our decision-making for the most important job in the country. Do my dead comrades some justice and research the issues without wearing a "red" or a "blue" hat.

    How many mass murders have been committed by right wing radicals, and how many were left wing radicals?

    Was Tim McVeigh a Liberal?

    Was it a leftist that attacked the Unitarian church?


    I am an independent. I will vote for a president based on which one I think is best to defend this country and best represents my beliefs. I will make up my own mind after reading and listening from all the sources I feel are valid.
    Sorry bill, right now I feel your program is doing it's best to pander to the left and the liberals just to keep your show out in front of the others. Your show is no different than the right wing programs at speaking to your main audience, which is the left.
    I feel the right wing shows are doing so well because they are saying what the people listening are feeling. An example is immigration reform. It did not loose to right wing talk show hosts, it lost to the PEOPLE of this country who are tired of paying the bill for illegals who enter this country illegally and whom are breaking the backs of every social system provided to the legal citizens of this country.
    Your guest talked of getting people back together with actual discussion and interaction. Maybe you could get a balanced audience together and do that and not pack it full of liberals to cheer on the tripe of the left or the right.

    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.

    Unfortunately violence in politics is like gold and other commodities in economics. Both are necessary to keep the system honest, even though neither is desirable in a happy and productive society. Besides, in the ethnologist's view of life the territorial system and border squirmishes are considered far less violent than the more evolved alternative, a fact noted by, I believe, Churchill's father when he remarked that the wars of democracy will be far more terrible than in the past.

    Hearing these shock jocks it sounds like they really do hate people who choose to identify as liberal. I wonder why they hate so many people? What have the liberals done that makes these people hate them so much? It can't be just because they differ on ideology. It must be something deeper that has caused them to feel this way. I can't imagine feeling this way about large groups of people.

    oh my...oh my...
    it all makes more and more sense...
    **what does bill moyers have to gain by questioning the government?

    nothing but a lot of people breathing down his neck...

    what does the government have to gain if they put moyers down for his queries and label him a "liberal"... (as they slander anyone who questions them)?

    power without question!

    may someone please help our country? it is getting scary...

    if you are threatened by something that someone is saying...you must not be too sure about what you believe...

    My money is paying for this garbage? All this is, is Liberal propaganda! PBS will NEVER get another dime from me!!!!

    What about Liberal Hate Talk Radio, aka Randy Rhodes, Air America. Hmmm, what about that Mr. Moyers, how about a story on that, what don't want to upset your base.

    Do The Facts Matter?
    • If you believe the Bible is literal Truth, then the facts don't matter.
    • If you believe Intelligent Design and Creationism are science, then the facts don't matter.
    • If you believe global warming is a hoax, then the facts don't matter.
    * If you believe Iraq was responsible for the attacks on 911, then the facts don't matter.
    * If those are the "values" you want your political leaders to represent, then the facts be damned.

    Any questions?

    Recover civility in political discourse? How amusing. The nation began its first decade with the most uncivil of discourse, so uncivil that the powers that were enacted the Sedition Act, And not only in America--a viewing of, say, any pf Gilray's political cartoons would have the current assmbled champions of a civil kind of discourse in a fury--let's just say that none of his cartoons would get any time except on certain fringe portions of the Net.
    Indeed, the political discourse before the Civil War was hardly anything civil at all. And as the usual first comment about any election is that it is the most important, that the crisis is upon us, and that the other side is if not outright evil, perhaps just merely corrupt and incompetent, there's hardly any reason to not engage, as partisans and true believers do, in the most savage of attacks. But so what? If the rhetoric was not inflammatory, and it need not be full of epithets to be savage, the ratings would sag, even for Bill Moyers, with the threat of a cancellation, or at least an upbraiding by the activist supporters who delight in such savagery.
    Polirics has always been a rough game and in popular governments (meaning governments or societies of, by and for the people)the language of the street is the discourse--this is as old as Aristophanes ridicule on such civil discourse when he posited the sausage-seller against the patrician or right reason against wrong reason. This civil discourse controversy is as idiotic as Socrates suspended in a basket from the ceiling contemplating his navel, this satire by Aristophanes--

    Bill Moyers is a Socialist Turd!!!!!!!

    Am 24 an not well educated why my grammer sucks an u only showed the evil right shock jocks but the far left is just as bad if not worse cause ther spoiled rich self hating americans.All i know is i sick of all them left right kiss my arse if u got so many problems wit america get the f--- out.Put shawn hannity an rachel maddow in gitmo an be done wit it.24 years old an i not goin vote mccain or obama ther both jokes divide an conquer a holes how they rich stay rich an we stay fightin ther fake battles.

    Your program is so biased, one does not have to watch the whole thing. I thought public broadcasting was unbiased. I guess I was wrong.

    I thought I was an Independent until I watched a few of Bill Moyer Journal. Now I believe I MUST be a Republican.

    Why aren't the talk radio hosts prosecuted for assault? If someone directed that verbal venom at me, I would certainly feel endangered, and that's what assault is. Seriously. Why don't we prosecute???

    >> What is one person's "hate speach" is another person's truth.

    I could not agree more.
    Again I turned to PBS. Again I heard only liberal crap.
    ( I admit that the Bush years gave liberals like Bill Moyers ample material to talk about ) Why isn't he doing a special on the scandal at the Dept of the Interior ) - but nowadays when the pickings are slim he turns back to issues that are more like his hobby.

    The Journal tries to make the argument that "hate speech" is impolite, uncultured, and all-in-all not nice. This is why people like Bill need to move to France where you can be fined for hate speech. This is his ideal: To suppress speech, if not through laws then through culture and peer pressure.
    ( you know, in order for the more "reasoned" and sophisticated argument to be heard more - apparently, t can't take a little sarcasm or hatred and stand on its own.
    If free speech wasn't made for arguments like this, what's it for??

    Bill, go play with your dolls if you don't have the stomach for a knife fight.

    I live in Knoxville, and have attended the UU church where the shooting took place. After watching this segment on the Journal, I am really shocked--I had no idea of the degraded level of discourse (if one should even call it that) that was taking place. I didn't know that blatantly calling for violence was allowed on public airwaves. I don't see any excuse for being aligned with this behavior.

    Violent actions like the Columbine tragedy have been attributed by some to games and other materials which portray violence.

    I wonder whether the right-wing tirades that have evidently fueled some domestic terrorism would prompt the same critics of games to condemn right-wing talk shows.

    Also, despite sometimes ill-considered arguments of some on the left (the real left as opposed to liberal), I have never seen anything remotely approaching the violence of the right-wing which receives so much airtime in the US. A vastly more peaceful, even-toned left (like Amy Goodman and others) receives scarcely any airtime compared to the Becks and O'Reillys.

    As scary as any is the KSFO San Francisco radio show with Malanie Morgan and Lee Rogers. One fellow had enough and was shot down by ABC; see the saga at:

    http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/01/10/spockoabc-story-on-cbs-5/

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/1/3/202110/2838

    http://www.spockosbrain.com/2008/03/melanie-morgans-off-ksfo-what-does-it

    Civility in discourse? I've come to believe that no one is listening to each other any longer. Most people seem to be just waiting for the other person to stop speaking so that s/he can make a point. In my opinion, it is listening that is under threat. When did the definition of discourse change from the exchange of ideas to taking the opportunity to shout at each other?

    What is one person's "hate speach" is another person's truth. Liberals set themselves up as Judge and that is the final work.

    Conservatives set themselves up as keepers of "principles".

    Both are human. Both are working with idologs that are extreme.

    The greatness of America is that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

    Neither sides likes that. They lose power.

    We as a people need to quit talking about what we believe and what we will do and just go do it.

    It's easy to judge as a liberal or conservative until the bad thing happens to you.

    One idea for restoring civility to America's civic discourse is to provide more opportunities for citizens to come together to discuss the most important issues, in an atmosphere of mutual respect. To implement that idea, Conversation Week 2009 in New York City will occur in the last week of March -- for details: www.conversationweek.org.

    I am liberal by nature and passionate for justice among people. If anything I am ashamed of my tolerance for people who speak injustice as though it is religion. I am more able to say nothing than to be cogent and positive with my own viewpoint. Hate talk is so easy. Don't these poeple listen to themselves?

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