A friend I once worked with, included me in an email effusively praising a recent Bill Moyers speech. I agree with precisely one thing in that speech, coming at 38:33 minutes into a 39:56 speech.
"So go tell it on the mountains and the cities. From your websites and laptops, tell it. From the street corners and coffeehouse, tell it. From delis and diners, tell it. From the workshop and bookstore, tell it. On campus, at the mall, the synagogue, sanctuary and mosque (no church? hmmm... wonder why that is, a bad word that requires a euphemism?) Tell it. Tell it where you can, when you can, and while you can. Tell America what we need to know, and we may rekindle the Patriot Dream. "
With that, and only that, I agree. The speech is a rant against freedom. Against freedom of the press, and freedom of the people to live their own lives, to seek their own life, liberty and pursuit of Happiness, and of course it clothes itself in leftist support for those very things it attacks. I've marked key minute:second points in his offensive diatribe... steady your stomachs, and lets have a look.
4:00 "See media consolidation as a corrosive force." Media consolidation shuts down freedom of the press... the press which they own?... and to save that freedom, he doesn't just want to start his own media business, but use the force of Gov't to force others to say what he approves of.
5:30"Our dominant media is ultimately accountable only to corp. boards, whose mission is not in the service of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness for the whole body of our republic, but aggrandizement of corp. executives and shareholders."
Let’s take a look at that.
Did the founders of this country seek to establish a republic where each person would be yoked to serve the "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness for the whole body of our republic", or did they set out to free each individual to engage in Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness for themselves and their families? They sought the later, because the knew that the only way to serve all the people, was to allow the people to act in their own best judgment - to do otherwise, to proscribe what they should listen to, think say and do, would be tyranny over body and soul, the likes of which George III couldn't, wouldn't, have ever imagined.
That dominant media, your dominant leftist media Moyers, CBS, NBC, ABC - Fox is still a bit player, is run and owned by corporate officers, elected by their shareholders - those owning stock in those companies. Those dominant media companies are formed of private property, every bit as privately owned, as was Samuel Adams press, 250 years ago. What would have happened to his words, to the Founders themselves, I wonder, if they were forced to publish what some few 'morally responsible media elites' such as Moyers, felt was in the best interests of the 'whole body of the republic'?
I think there probably wouldn't have been one.
6:10 " ...but the manufacturing of news and information as profitable, consumer commodities, rather than the means to empower morally responsible citizens."
Those same citizens which are presumed to be unable to choose what information to consider and heed, and which to discard as biased drivel?
Ultimately accountable to corp. boards, not for the life and liberty of the body politic, but to boards and shareholders, owners, with rights to their property the the view they support. Moyers would advance life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by forcing them to report what he would order them to report.
It is insane, and sick.
At 6:45 he tells a Cherokee tale about two wolves inside us all, one bad, one good, alive and struggling in each of us, and in answer to the question 'which one won?' answers "The wolf that wins is the one you feed".
Yes. And the wolf Moyers and his fellows seek to feed, is the power of the state, the power to control what becomes popular, in the naive notion that you can 'solve' and 'fix' others to believe as 'those who know better, those who aren't biased' do. What he doesn't grasp, is that those who claim to know what others should do, are the most fearsome of tyrants - because they don't know themselves at all.
8:00 "Nothing more characterizes corporate media today, Mainstream and partisan" no bias there, nosiree “than disdain towards the complex social debate required of a free and self governing people."
9:52 "I'm not alone in this movement" and he then protested removing barriers built up and imposed by the Gov’t through the FCC, against media consolidation. He doesn't see the contradiction there?! Gov't established oversight, of what messages it deems acceptable for the people to hear? He laments the attempt to remove them, and exults in the mobs successfully forcing them to remain standing. Do you understand that that means you protested, against allowing The People the freedom and independence of using their property and their own best judgment as they see fit for towards their own life, liberty and pursuit of happiness?
At 11:52 he laments that "Even as we meet, the administration is pressing to give the conglomerates more control .... to awarding some of the most valuable remaining swaths of public airwaves to two of the largest telecommunications companies..."
Public airwaves?! Which of you 'public' invested in and created and/or maintained the immense and costly technology necessary to make airwaves not just empty air, but flowing with the information which one person or group produces, in the hopes that another person will choose to listen to it? You don't want that, you don't want people to be able to speak what they believe in, worthy or unworthy; instead what you want, Moyers, what you and your mobs of the demos demand, is that those who speak must speak what you believe in, what you approve of, and that your mob has the right to limit the person on the other end of the 'public airwaves', to only hearing your approved point of view.
There is a name for that. Statism, Fascism, Totalitarianism... there is a name which that is not - it is not Americanism. Not in any way, shape or form.
He fears for "PBS's continued editorial independence" - whose?! Independently editorializing whose point of view?! Everybodies? Even he, I assume, realizes that that would be ridiculous, so he must expect and support someones editorial ideas. Whosoever those views may be, I know that my point of view is certainly not supported on PBS, PBS routinely speaks against everything I believe in, as apparently do you who agree with Moyers; but since it is funded by me as well as you, how dare you say that people even as remotely associated with my point of view as the Republicans, that their desire to have their voices heard, to seek to limit the derision of their views by the people supporting your point of view... be called attacks?!
It is for that very reason and Truth, that 'Public' ownership is nothing but mob ownership, ruled by those with the biggest elbows.
It is wrong, it is wrong in the form of PBS, it is wrong in the form of 'public airwaves', it is wrong in the form of your entire movement.
Do you realize that you fight against, as Moyers said (17:46 into it) the idea that the "public interest is what the public is interested in'?! What other definition would you give it? That the public interest should be interested in what you deem they should and must be interested in?! Oh, of course. That is what you believe in.
12:20 "‘Congressmen Ed Markey has introduced a bill to advance network neutrality' Moyers is fond of invoking the specter of Orwell’s 1984 and double-speak. Please, somebody, tell me what it is that cloaks itself under the name of 'network neutrality' in order to force private companies, telecoms, etc, to provide free access to their services, and force cable companies to provide programs which the Gov’t approves of and deems necessary? Thank God it was defeated yesterday.
14:59 Moyers laments private advertisers having the ability to sponsor points of view which they support, and making those available for people to listen to (or not) on something like YouTube "Imagine! The Campbell news caravan, this time online as a sponsored YouTube channel!" What you should imagine instead, are people like Moyers denying them the ability to support and promote the ideas they believe in. He asks in a contemptuous manner, "Can you imagine advertisers going for stories with keywords such as 'healthcare reform', 'environmental degradation'...I don't think so." He assumes not only that I, or others, wouldn't patronize such sites, but that I shouldn't be allowed to patronize such sites or others more in line with my interests, and that he, or other chosen ones, should have the power to limit and force me to view only what he sees as worthy keywords.
17:45"The commercial voice of the mega media companies has been loud, strident, threatening and clear”
Damn it! Which 'voice' is threatening to muzzle which?! It is you Moyers! Do you not see that!? Are there no Americans left in America?! Land of the FREE?!!!
18:02 "Neither congress nor the FCC, has seen fit to provide 'public media' the requisite policy support, but as you know the private industry has been able to use their vast resources to..." to what? Pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? - can't have that, can we?!!! If your interests involve "shaping the public agenda" do you lose the right to speak? Isn’t that what you are bewailing? No, you are lamenting the ability for leftists such as yourself, to determine what will, and what will not be said, and for you to determine it. You are brown shirts, smiley faced fascists, intent on forcing people to be free to do what you say they should want to do.
Disgusting and saddening.
Moyers and those supporting him, really see themselves as having no bias, no political self interest, them see themselves as the good and the pure and as those uniquely worthy of determining what others should support and listen to. More frightening than the original Crusaders, or as frightening perhaps - since they do see themselves as the new nights (no 'k' deserved) Templers.
19:00 "The strength of a free press is its independence - from its funders" Do you people really not understand what that means? It means that we must all be forced to support those views of that "free press" which is certified pure (by who? What happens, o wise man, when administrations change and a different 'who' is put in charge? Perhaps you don't intend to allow that to happen?), no matter whether you believe their ideas to be worthy or true. What would you do if a Bill Buckley & co. were the FCC administrators in charge of determining what PBS content was? DON'T YOU GET IT?! Public Funding for news, means Gov't approved messages!!! How do you claim something as a 'free press' that is sustained, approved of & by, and enforced by Gov't agencies?!!!
If you have something to say, say it, say it intelligently, persuasively, if you do, those you interest, will buy it - those you fail to interest, should not be forced to swallow it.
You 'truthers' who buy into this, as with Moyers (19:50) say” the health of our democracy is imperiled..." democracy! Newsflash: we were never intended to be a democracy!, the Founders did all they could to ensure that we never would fall that far. We were designed as a Republic, and despite Moyers and his ilk’s worst efforts, we still retain some semblance of that. But the Republic is imperiled, "... without a truly free and independent press, this 250 year old experiment in self Gov’t will not make it."
But what you fail to see, is that it is YOU who imperil it, with your desires for a Gov’t approved (meaning one that supports YOUR views) press - you seek to seat the most unfree press of all - Pravda lite (perhaps the 'lite' is too flattering). For 200 of those years, the press was free - free and independent, safe in the hands of private ownership, and the ability of the people to patronize and listen to the viewpoints they choose. It is you who wish to end that, to muzzle and limit the voice and choice of the people to act in their own best judgment.
20:30 "As journalism goes, so goes the democracy"
So true. As they have become progressive, statist, Marxist, fascist... so has the country. As they have denounced private property and people free enough to choose what to do with their own property, so have we lost the rights to our own property and choices over and within our own lives.
He laments the faltering sales of newspapers such as the L.A. Times. He doesn't attribute that lost circulation as any indication that the people disagree with its editorial policies, no, it must be that the people are too stupid to believe the leftist pap that he does.
25:17 "we needed to know the truth about Iraq" Yes you did, but you didn't want to listen, you wanted to cover your ears, and mutter your strident fanatical partisan rantings instead.
I have no problem with you funding and disseminating this, imho, garbage, to who ever wishes to pay attention to it. I have a deep problem with you demanding that the money that I earn be taken away from my families ability to do with it what we choose to do, and instead have my earnings go to fund this vile ranting against the heart of what I believe in. What you support is dictatorial, it is "might makes right", it is more orwellian than Orwell could have ever imagined. Orwell assumed that evil would have to dress in the coverings of jackboots and dark uniforms and dank grey bunkers. He couldn't imagine that it would come in the form of simpering thugs behind bright podiums using the power of thoughtless but loud-mouthed voters to subjugate an entire nation to their desires 'to act in their best interests'.
33:00 "The compensation of corp. barons soaring to heights unequalled among other industrialized democracies." Have you also noticed that this country also has a standard of living, of wealth and health, unequaled in any of the other industrialized democrazies? Why do you suppose that is? Do you really suppose that anything will be 'fixed' by you mandating what people can and cannot offer to pay those they choose to run the corporations they hold shareholder property in?
Fascist. He dares to lament the plight of the downtrodden attempting to rise to a middle class status... while he advocates robbing them (public funding... taxes, regulations, etc) of precious percentages of their income, which at their struggling income level is even more detrimental to them, than it would ever be for the Rich. The economic ignorance which he follows that up with, about rising prices of college, etc, caused directly by leftist policies he wants to increase... this is so painful to listen thru.
34:47 "Extremes of wealth and inequality cannot be reconciled with a truly just society. Capitalism breeds great inequality that is destructive, unless tempered by an intuition for equality, which is the heart of democracy."
Tempered. Tempered by an intuition. What would Orwell say about those words which are chosen to sound reasonable and 'moderate', but mask the desire to force others to hand over what is theirs, in order to use it as the gunmen desires it to be used, in order to force the person to believe as they do?
He'd call it what it was - double speak. Double speak in service of the cowardly and corrupt. Thracymacus would recognize it as well, as might makes right, and everywhere tyrants thrill to the sound of Moyers' words.
Do people lose their right to say and do what they believe, because they are successful?
You are democrats, you are the mob, and I fear you deeply, and I intend to fight you tooth and nail every step of the way. But I won't seek to silence you; I won't sink to your barbaric levels. I believe you do have the right to say and do as you please - but try and force me to listen to you, or to sustain your efforts to attack me... and you ask for a fight. And if you force it... there will be blood.
So go tell THAT from the mountains and in the cities, from your websites and laptops, etc, etc, etc. Tell it. Tell that there are still, despite over one hundred years of leftist assault, there are still Americans living here, who deeply believe in freeing individuals to choose what they see as their own life, liberty and pursuit of Happiness. I will fight for your right to say what you believe, but I will also fight, fiercely, against anybody who attempts to prevent me speaking as I see fit, or attempting to prevent me from listening to those I deem worthy.
For a preview of where the ideas espoused by Moyers leads, we need look no further than to our North:
David Warren: Deafening Silence
***********From an follow up email************
John, one of the aggravations of politics is the ease with which you can find yourself divided from those you otherwise respect.
But the ideas involved, and their ramifications, are deep, and potentially destructive. As Moyers said, you should 'Tell it!' to all who can hear. Such emotion is important in delivering the message, but it can not be a foundation of the message, and that, to my eye, is a fundamental part of Moyers' message. It is the immediate reaction, without sufficient understanding of the principles involved, or looking beyond the intended consequences, to also look for the unintended consequences.
Of course any thinking person reacts to 'News' being peddled with ulterior agendas. I certainly have for the few couple decades that I’ve been watching it. But the answer is not to impose another agenda upon them, or forbid ones that don't match your own.
The problem we face is a populace, of journalists, politicians and programmers, left and right, who don't understand the ideas, and the roots of those ideas, which this nation was formed from.
Until that is remedied, and since it took a century to inflict the damage upon our education, it'll likely take a century to fix it, all that is open to us is energetically attempting to stick a finger into the dike while shooing away those bringing picks and axes to plug them.
A good example of this is the people all eager to save the reefs in florida, they came up with a seemingly good idea, lay down millions of tires to form a new barrier to the tidal erosion, and save the reef. It didn't solve it. Their solution exacerbated it and added a new and more destructive aspect to it.
It's not enough to have a worthy motivation and a good idea, it must be thought through more than two or three layers deep, and it mustn't conflict with the fundamentals it is attempting to augment. Unintended consequences must be searched out, and just as programmers aren't the ones to test their own applications, journalists aren't the ones to fix the free press. Moyers is very good at asking questions, I’ve enjoyed his programs and books over the years, but he is lousy at proposing answers.
I've enjoyed your email's John, and those that have the political flavor opposed to mine I have and normally would, just let be. But any that tout ideas and actions that I consider to be fundamentally flawed and destructive, I will respond to, I will 'Tell it!', and so I'll leave it to you whether or not you want to keep me on your list. I enjoy being on it and hearing how you’re doing, but I understand if this isn't the type of response you want from them.
By the way, anyone interested in better understanding the U.S. Constitution and the ideas involved in its making, this site is unmatched. The range of references and context it brings to not only the Constitution, but Liberalism as the Founders understood it, is unmatched. If anyone wants to understand what they had in mind, what they agreed and disagreed upon and why, you’ll find no better presentation than what they've laid out in a fully referenced line by line examination of the U.S. Constitution. You can see from this page of the Preamble to the constitution alone, with hyperlinked references ranging from John Locke, to William Blackstone, the relevant Federalist papers, anti-federalist papers and Joseph Stories' commentaries... amazing.
It's The Founders Constitution, hosted by the University of Chicago Press and the Liberty Fund.