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 Forum index » Reviews, Editorials and Commentary » Commentary and Editorials
American PBS Independence Under Attack - Bill Moyers
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 11:57 am    Post subject: American PBS Independence Under Attack - Bill Moyers Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I got this via email. Posting here because I believe in keeping a free press in the USA. Sorry to bother our non-USA members with this stuff.


In an historic speech on Sunday, legendary television journalist Bill Moyers blasted Kenneth Tomlinson of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting (CPB) for launching a partisan witch hunt at PBS and called for a series of town hall meetings across the country.

"I simply never imagined that any CPB chairman, Democrat or Republican, would cross the line from resisting White House pressure to carrying it out for the White House," Moyers told a packed room at the National Conference for Media Reform. "And that's what Kenneth Tomlinson has been doing."

You can now watch or listen to Moyers' entire speech on the Free Press Web site:

An audio recording can be downloaded at: www.freepress.net/conference/audio05/moyers.mp3

Or you can watch the video at: www.freepress.net/conference/audio05/freepress-closing40515.mov

Transcript online (as soon as it's available) at www.freepress.net/conference

In his first public statement since the controversy at PBS emerged, Moyers endorsed a call by media reform groups for a series of town hall meetings nationwide so that Americans can speak directly to station managers and policymakers about what they want and expect from public broadcasting.

More than 50,000 Americans have already signed the Free Press petition calling on Kenneth Tomlinson to resign and demanding that the public be put back into PBS.

Please add your name to the petition by clicking www.freepress.net/action/pbs

"That great mob that is democracy is rarely heard, and that's not just the fault of the current residents of the White House and Capitol," Moyers said. "There is a great chasm between those of us in the business and those who depend on TV and radio as their window to the world. We treat them too much like audiences and not enough like citizens. They are invited to look through the window, but too infrequently to participate and make public broadcasting public."

Please support Bill Moyers, public broadcasting, quality journalism and democracy by signing the petition and passing along this message to everyone you know.

Onward,

Robert W. McChesney

Free Press
www.freepress.net

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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 12:09 pm    Post subject: Re: American PBS Independence Under Attack - Bill Moyers Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
I got this via email. Posting here because I believe in keeping a free press in the USA. Sorry to bother our non-USA members with this stuff.


I think it´s quite relevant to many countries. Because of the political sides during the cold war and for Europe also because of the aftermath of WOII many countries get a lot of U.S. media. We have cnn, for example, more inderectly Dutch news reports more about the U.S. then about, say, Australia for the same reasons. You can wonder wether that´s a good or a bad thing but it´s happening and so U.S. press freedom is quite relevant in other countries too.

In Belgium the whole festifal business in run be Clearchannel, for example. Scary.

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

howard,

1. there is a typo in your link to the petition (there is a period at the end)

2. i personally would find pbs (and npr) more useful if they were something other than "all liberal, all the time". (according to the language in the petition) it is supposed to be non partisan, it isn't. a better role for pbs (and npr) would be to look criticaly at both liberal and conservative issues (since the market doesn't seem to support that much, it seems a good niche for pubilc funds to support).

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks, Deknow. I took out the periods.

IMHO, most of PBS is totally unpolitical as it is. It is the only source for in-depth documentaries we have in America anymore. When the White House has control over Frontline, where else are we going to be able to find a well-reasoned critical opinion? NBC, CBS and ABC haven't done a meaningful documentary in years. ABC's more recent one was about UFOs.

I guess I should just wake up and smell the coffee. The free press in the USA is dead. It doesn't exist anymore. Democracy has been reduced to the orderly procedure where those with the power anoint themselves for more power while the ignorant masses are placated into thinking they have approved the choice.

I guess I'll start watching Fox News so I can get upset about the most serious problem we are facing now - Mexican immigrants. Evil or Very Mad

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Howard, I am right with you. The state of journalism in this country is sad. But you have to give the Nu Right credit: they did their homework for the last 10 or 15 years and now they control the broadcast media. There is no liberal media except for a handful of newspapers; but so few people get their news from papers anymore.

I saw the Moyers speech on C-Span. It was wonderful to see someone stand up to the Nu Right. In time even C-Span will be under the scrutiny of the ultra right. Anti-adminstration stories will be subverted for more "pressing and important" news like gay marriage, celebrity court trials, illegal immigrants, runaway brides, etc.

As to Deknow. Yes NPR and PBS are left of center, but the difference is they practice ethically correct news gathering procedures. Their focus is more liberal, but the facts are backed up. But I would not be surprised if they get set up for a scandal. I'm glad they have a liberal stance, because some news organization has got to be.

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hear, hear. I'm quite tired of the "he said this, and this other guy said this, you decide what's truth" journalism going on on most media. They are so damn afraid of political pressure, no one is willing to commit to a story! Do the journalism, FIND THE TRUTH, and tell me what you found. That's what I expect.

And through many of the documentaries on PBS, that is what happens. Though it is (mostly) historical in nature, PBS doesn't broadcast many shows that just "gleam the surface". I expect a very large scandal to develop out of this, or a very quiet one (which to me would be far more dangerous). But, alas, I fear we will never see the documentary on Pres bush's true military service, nor his experience with drugs throughout his years, nor the full involvement between the bush family and the energy/defense contractors. For that matter, we don't even get good bush jokes on saturday night live!!!??
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
As to Deknow. Yes NPR and PBS are left of center, but the difference is they practice ethically correct news gathering procedures.
...outside of a "conservative bias", i'm not aware of any real ethics charges against fox news. in fact, the journalistic ethics violations that come to mind are on the liberal side (dan rather, newsweek, cnn's deal with saddam to keep a post gulfwar1 office in baghdad, nyt reporters plagurizing).

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Over here in Europe we are seeing documentaries about Fox News. Conservative bias would be an understatement. They are actually running PR campaigns and very targeted attacks. And yes, some of the methods are taken from the same textbook Joseph Goebbels and Joe Stalin were using. Actually, it is quite funny to watch Fox News News. "Is this the US or is this North Korea?" It is damned hard to tell.
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
They are actually running PR campaigns and very targeted attacks.
....well, they certainly have a conservative agenda. much of the news is made up of "targeted attacks" (any critique of any public figure, policy, movement, or ideal would qualify. any bias at all is a targeted attack on the other side of the issue...and npr has plenty of bias). targeted attacks on the president are plentiful in the media (even by conservatives), and that is as it should be. is there something "unique" that fox is doing that the major networks, cable outlets, and even npr are not?

Quote:
And yes, some of the methods are taken from the same textbook Joseph Goebbels and Joe Stalin were using.
...what methods are those? are they any differant from other propaganda (or are they unique to fox news and/or conservative propaganda)?

if you don't give examples of the evilness the documentaries are exposing, i can only referance my own observations, which is that fox is no worse than the rest of them (but differant)....which is why i wish npr were more about critical anaylsis of both sides, and simply adding conservative views to the network won't do it.

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I will look into if I can get some VHS copies of some of those documentaries.

Targeted attacks on political opponents isn´t however what a newsservice should be about. However, when presented as news it becomes news and then fact. A pretty intersting and disturbing thing about Fox News is that seemingly Fox News is a protector of decency and all things american.. the US way.. but then they really take it away to the twilight zone. Compared to what the BBC is doing, international news on Fox News reminds me more of the "swedish chef" doing his thing on The Muppet Show than actual journalism.

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

deknow wrote:
Quote:
And yes, some of the methods are taken from the same textbook Joseph Goebbels and Joe Stalin were using.
...what methods are those? are they any differant from other propaganda (or are they unique to fox news and/or conservative propaganda)?


It might be me, but it does seem to me that Fox News is spending a fair amount of time on identifying and naming internal enemies, be it gays or green activists or the homeless.. you male that list. Fox News is creating an image of what is american and healthy and what is not. Then political enemies like Kerry are being connected to this sick and unamerican shit.
Anyways, this was very obvious over here. You guys over there didn´t see this the same way?

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The internet is a great place.



[urlhttp://www.turnoffyourtv.com/networks/foxnews/foxnews.html]Why Fox News Channel Is An Industry Joke[/url]

Smear:

Quote:
(October 02, 2004 -- 04:37 PM EDT // link // print)

More good stuff from Fox. Was Cameron in on this one too? Fox News took a Kerry-bashing Republican group called "Communists for Kerry" and interviewed a 'member' of the group as though it were an actual pro-Kerry group.

Sample quote: "Even though he, too, is a capitalist, he supports my socialist values more than President Bush ... The North Koreans are my comrades to a point, and I'm sure they support Comrade Kerry, too."


http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/week_2004_09_26.php




Shocked Very Happy
And the BBC bashing..
http://www.neilturner.me.uk/2004/Jun/16/fox_news_lies_about_lying.html


Fox News, spanked for lying, apologizes - still no firings
http://code0range.net/node/704

..because popes are obligated to oppose all wars
http://mediamatters.org/items/200504060001

The Media Can Legally Lie
http://www.projectcensored.org/publications/2005/11.html

And there is more..

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
but then they really take it away to the twilight zone. Compared to what the BBC is doing, international news on Fox News reminds me more of the "swedish chef" doing his thing on The Muppet Show than actual journalism.


Yes, of cource but don´t forget that Fox and the BBC are in completely different industries. The BBC gets money from the U.K. governement and is obligated by law to use this to make independant programs, amongst other things news.

Fox on the other hand is making television to lure viewers who they in turn sell to their advertisers to generate profits.

Fox´s business is not at all "producing news programs" their business is the production of viewers. Judging Fox by the BBC´s standards indeed makes Fox look stupid, but the other way around hold true too; the BBC isn´t geting very rich from advertising now, is it?

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
Fox on the other hand is making television to lure viewers who they in turn sell to their advertisers to generate profits.


Commercial television is basically about making a product that can attract advertising. Sure. I am not arguing that.

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
the BBC isn´t geting very rich from advertising now, is it?

It isn´t supposed to. That said, the BBC is one of the greatest brands out there.
Well, you did just now make a case for public broadcasting with a BBC flair. THX! Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
Quote:
(October 02, 2004 -- 04:37 PM EDT // link // print)

More good stuff from Fox. Was Cameron in on this one too? Fox News took a Kerry-bashing Republican group called "Communists for Kerry" and interviewed a 'member' of the group as though it were an actual pro-Kerry group.
Sample quote: "Even though he, too, is a capitalist, he supports my socialist values more than President Bush ... The North Koreans are my comrades to a point, and I'm sure they support Comrade Kerry, too."


i don't have time to go quote for quote, and i don't think it's productive. usually, anything called "talking points" are designed for people that don't do their own research or thinking (if you google the quote, you will find what i found). the quote above is true, but if you visit the link below:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,134268,00.html
you will see that the next day (oct 3) the story was corrected, with a (plausable) explanation. the name "communists for kerry" is designied to be confusing, and the spokesperson for the group (understandably, that is their point) promoted the idea that it was a pro kerry group. there is a similar group called "billionairs for bush"....they are both parodies, and they are both intentionally confusing....this hardly seems to be any manner of dirty pool or giving republicans any kind of advantage.

more to the point, the page you got this from is nothing but a targeted attack on bush (and fox). my whole point (i think) is that it would be nice to have pbs offer something that doesn't exist in the marketplace...something that is a critique of both liberal and conservative ideas and reporting.

i think you would find that most americans on this board do agree with you (we all tend to be creative types, and creative types tend to be liberal). myself, i can't imagine that "christians" durring the inquisition were any less convinved that they "knew the truth" than i am, and certainly history has shown them to be misguided (and i have very strong opinions). i'm not sure enough that my version of "the truth" is right for everyone that i think people who believe otherwise (or even opposite) must agree with me or be "wrong"...and i'm well aware that the same tricks, deceptive tactics and dirty pool are used on all sides, i don't think mine is any more nobel than anyone elses.

it's also worth noting that fox news is brought to you by the same evil corperate entity that brings us the simpsons (i imagine they have been an inspiration for a large percentage of electro-music members).

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
Kassen wrote:
the BBC isn´t geting very rich from advertising now, is it?

It isn´t supposed to. That said, the BBC is one of the greatest brands out there.
Well, you did just now make a case for public broadcasting with a BBC flair. THX! Very Happy


Yes, yes, I know and agree, even if I don´t watch television.

I´m just warning gainst judging things by standards that don´t aply. Analysing Fox as though it were news is like sitting down and debating the recording techniques of general MIDI muzak for elevators.

I think the problems runs deeper; you could tell people a lot of what they get fed on T.V. is nonsense (but then, a lot of the printed newspapers is too) but most of the time they simply don´t care. The truth is often quite complex and only partially available and modern mand has no time for "quite complex and only partially available", he wants it all, he wants it now and he wants it with his microwave dinner served in front of the t.v.

When confronted with U.S. television, I and many of my friends prefer the "American wrestling". It´s fake, it´s men braging about how tough they are, it´s all practiced but unlike the other stuff it is honest about being entertainment. We once watched it on four televisions at the same time, scatered over two hotel rooms. It was great. :¬).

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
I think the problems runs deeper; you could tell people a lot of what they get fed on T.V. is nonsense .......... he wants it all, he wants it now and he wants it with his microwave dinner served in front of the t.v.


Yes, and a lot of news and sources on the net is shitty too.. and yes.. it has all merged to become entertainment. Hmm.. it is like reading a PKD novel.

Way back when I went through my notes and decided to more research on the bombing of Dresden, I found that even decent sensible institutions had taken all that David Irving nonsense seriously. Yes, and incredible number of people died.. but David Irving was for some reason falsifying numbers and increasing the total number of dead for every reissue of his book. Some even believed that the huge number of "missing" jews in Europe could be explained by the allies burning the lot in Dresden. Shocked And the net were making these lies into truth because all these sites were quoting each other and noone really understood this was yet another of those David Irving space cadet moves.

And ..
deknow.. I see your point. yes..

Observation:
Relatively objective news coverage will of course create a "new" problem.
How do we make sense of it all? It is always some kind of need for filtering/interpretation.. and we are all too willing to let go of this ourselves.

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

deknow wrote:
i can't imagine that "christians" durring the inquisition were any less convinved that they "knew the truth" than i am, and certainly history has shown them to be misguided (and i have very strong opinions).


Interesting analogy. Many of the Popes and other christian leaders weren´t what you would call Christian by any strech of the imagination. I think this is very similar to the typical leader of a comunist regime (typically those people don´t beleive in sharing equally at all).

Sure Bush´s followers honestly believed that there were "Weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq, but did Bush himself? I wonder.

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Experiment for all posting here.

Do you believe Iraq exists as a country? If so, what do you base this belief on? If not, what made you decide the evidence was insuficient? What do you think of people who believe unlike you do? (for example people who think Iraq doesn´t exist if you believe it does)

Do you believe in God? (any God or set of Gods will do, "God-like" personalised unversal forces count if you want them to). What convinced you of the existance of this God? What do you think about people who beleive otherwise? (for example scientologists, if you are a atheist or the followers of Quetzalquattel or Ra if you are Jewish)
------

You don´t have to actually answer, but unless you´ve personally spoken with God (or felt that you had) and/or visited Iraq (or some other place you were for some reason mistakenly convinced was Iraq) your belief is pure religion.

Just seeing pictures of Iraq is a somewhat shakey foundation to base your belief on. I will cheerfully show you pictures of Polarius or Kassanië.

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I didn't realize you get PBS in Europe. Shocked
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
I will cheerfully show you pictures of Polarius or Kassanië.

please, do Rolling Eyes

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Fox News describes the service offered as
Quote:
Offers worldwide news coverage, analysis,..


It is easy to make fun of those stupid infidels in other countries, but how do we know we get the real facts and the real info? To a certain extent biased news is helpful, but on the other hand it can be destructive and outright evil.

Kassen.. we agree on the bit about what commercial television is about. But Fox News and others are also selling a product called "news" and the way I see it that product is seriously flawed.

I am reading books by Howard Zinn at the moment. Great stuff.
http://howardzinn.org/default/

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
Kassen wrote:
I will cheerfully show you pictures of Polarius or Kassanië.

please, do Rolling Eyes


What, now I have to work for my conceptual jokes?
:¬)

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
What, now I have to work for my conceptual jokes?


Shocked

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A Charity Pantomime in aid of Paranoid Schizophrenics descended into chaos yesterday when someone shouted, "He's behind you!"

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