Monday, December 20, 2004

Moyer's Madness

I got away from everything this weekend and was determined NOT to watch or listen to the news or get on the internet. I accomplished it pretty well until I happen to be flipping through the channels and came upon Bill Moyer's last appearance on his PBS show "Now." I had never watched the show, but I have seen Bill Moyers before and knew he was very liberal. I tried really hard not to watch it because I promised myself I would watch movies (which I never get to do) and relax. But as soon as Moyers began by speaking of a 'rightwing media headed up by Fox News." Well, I was stuck. This I had to watch.

To sum it up for you, Moyers basically said that the rightwing conspiracy Hillary talked about it is real and growing like nasty green mold on the walls of our democracy. He spoke of the "outright lies" of the rightwing media. He gave 2 examples, which I will get to in a moment. He had several guests to prove his point including David Brock, the recovering gay Republican (recovering from being a Republican, not from being gay) and Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the ALCU.

Ironically Moyers began his program with an outright lie and took it to the end. First he called Sean Hannity of Fox News an "anchor." A total lie. As we all know, Hannity is a partisan commentator and has a liberal counterpart on the show, Allan Colmes, which Moyers conveniently never mentions.
Brit Hulme, Chris Wallace, and Shepard Smith are "anchors." They give us the hard news, the "fair and balanced" news. Moyers was obviously not able to come up with any indication of those anchors being partisan though, so he used Hannity to make it look as if he were an anchor. This wasn't a small mistake either. It was deliberate. He put clips of Brit Hulme and Sean Hannity side by side. Then he goes on to show Hannity on his tour before the election being all "partisan." As if it were like Peter Jennings going out before audiences and telling people to vote for Kerry before the election.

It floored me that Bill Moyers was doing EXACTLY what he was accusing Fox News of doing, distorting the story to make it look a certain way. So I made popcorn and settled in for "Night of the Living Dead Democrats."

One of the "outright lies" that Moyers came up with in the show was the Swiftboat ad controversy. He claimed that while Fox News jumped on the story, the other news organizations waited so they could "get the facts." (oh well, that explains it then) Moyers said that the swiftboat guys were lying because all the military papers supported Kerry's version and to top it off, a rich republican funded the ads. He failed to mention that the 250 guys were of all political stripes, and the main guy, John O'Neil voted for Gore in 2000. Leaving the impression that they were all just a bunch of Republicans out to get Kerry. Also, the swiftboat guys never said the military papers didn't support what Kerry said happened, they said that the papers were wrong. Most of the problem the vets had were their belief that he didn't deserve his medals and that he had a political agenda from the start and that he betrayed them by telling lies to Congress about atrocities committed by the vets themselves. Where is the lie? I have asked several of my liberal friends where was the lie? It was these guy's opinion that he didn't deserve them. That is not a lie. That is what they felt. Besides, the most harmful ad was the one showing Kerry himself speaking in Congressional hearings. Hardly a lie.

During Moyer's soft reasonable sounding rant of the "fair and balanced" Fox New's" panel, he shows clips of Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes, but never mentions liberals on the panel like Juan Williams, Mara Liasson, and Cissy (whose last name I can't remember, someone give it to me please and I'll put it in) or moderates like Mort Kondrake (although Kondrake is a democrat). He also tried to paint O'Reilly as some kind of anchor as well, but no mention of Susan Estrich or Gret Van Susteren or Linda Vester.

Moyers 2nd supposed lie put out by the rightwing was that Saddam was somehow connected to 9-11. He had no clips to show because that, of course, was never said nor implied by Fox News or Bush for that matter. Moyers proves it though by saying that 41% of those surveyed thought Saddam had something to do with 9-11. I hate to break it to Moyers, but 41% of the American people can't tell you where Poland is or who is the Sec. of State. Not because they are ignorant, but because they just don't care. How he figures it is Fox's fault that people believe that is beyond me.

His last guest, Anthony Romero of the ACLU was so sickening I can't even go into it. Maybe later I will tell you why I was so sickened other than the obvious. But they bantered on about Rush Limbaugh (showing only fat pictures of him by the way) and Rupert Murdock, rightwing talk radio, rightwing internet, and the popularity of Fox News and how it is ruining democracy. No mention of Michael Moore and his anti Bush political ad dressed up as a major motion picture. No mention of Air America or the bias of Dan Rather shown quite clearly at the end of the election with the fake memo, which we all know would have been taken as truth if not for Fox News. No mention of the last minute news story of the missing weapons in Baghdad that had to be dumped by 60 minutes when soldiers there started disputing the story.

Liberals need to start asking themselves why people like Rush, Hannity, and other rightwing radio is so popular. They need to ask themselves why people love Fox News who has actual conservatives on, instead of the fake or moderates called conservatives on CNN and the rest. Why are people listening? Because it makes sense. Because, starting with Reagan, the conservative message was finally being heard and we liked it. We learned that being conservative wasn't about hate, or discrimination, homophobia, or greediness as the liberals led us to believe. It was about moral values, smaller government, regulating spending, fighting socialistic programs, helping the poor in such a way that did not get them caught in a vicious cycle of poverty. It was about everything we thought and believed and finally someone was saying it for us.

Liberals have the same right, the same airwaves, the same voice as we do. Heck, they have the most powerful industry out there in their pocket, Hollywood. They have the biggest newpapers and the 3 main nightly news networks. So please don't whine to me about how conservatives are "brainwashing" people everyday with Rush and Hannity.

Bill Moyers ended his career condemning the very thing he was doing, distorting a story to spin it in such a way to make a certain thing or person look bad and pretending to present it in a fair way.