Sunday, December 19, 2004


I sat down to eat breakfast (or lunch, considering it was about noon) and turned on CNN, to see that Time had named Bush II it's Man of the Year. As it went to commercial the promo made it clear that the Bush story was going to keep going on and on and on. So I flipped over to PBS, to find Now With Bill Moyers on.

Now is a great show and I don't watch it often enough. Of course, no one else does either, because it's more than ten minutes long, contains facts, and no one is shouting at anyone else. This episode was all about the media. Shortly after I came in, it turned it's eye to the right-wing media machine and how it is distorting our perception of the world. Like how the Swift Boat vets can quickly write a book, go on O'Reilly's show, then talk radio, and Drudge will pick up and put it on the net. Moyers had one guest, Richard Viguerie, described as the founding father of the conservative movement, claiming, "That’s what journalism is, Bill. It’s all just opinion. Just opinion."

That's a dangerous suggestion, and I think one that goes to the heart of the media today. Sure, we all have our own personal opinions and biases, but what makes a good journalist and even a good scientist, is the desire and the attempt to set those biases aside and just look at the facts. If all news is opinion, who's opinion isn't news? Then it's ok to create a network and a media movement where everything is slanted in one direction. After all, it's all just one opinion, right?

Moyers then said a short goodbye to the show, since this is his last broadcast on the show. He had a great quote, which I will have to paraphrase here, "News is what powerful people don't want known. Everything else is just publicity." With this White House, and it's obsession with loyalty and security, that's truer than ever.

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