Sunday, July 05, 2009

Bill Moyers Journal: Find the girl!

Each week on PBS, Bill Moyers Journal takes up an hour of air time (more if rebroadcast by your local PBS station in the same week). The show describes itself as follows: "Each week the series will attempt to provide the high quality public service journalism for which Moyers and his colleagues have been identified for almost four decades."

Apparently high quality public service journalism does not include diversity.

As noted in "TV: Bill Moyers Locker Room," rare is the month when an essay written by Michael Winship (senior writer of the program) or one co-written by Winship and Moyers doesn't manage to slime at least one woman. This happens over and over, and in fact, Sarah Palin was at bat (yet again) in Winship's essay two Fridays ago.

We regularly call out the rank sexism of the program here. We've noted at length how covering Barack and Hillary's runs for the Democratic Party primary, Bill and Dr. Kathy found only one run historic and significant (Barack's). And that Hillary's run wouldn't be seen as historic was only surprising if you didn't pay attention to who sits across from Bill Moyers and who doesn't.

In the first six months of 2009, Bill Moyers made it even more clear that women just don't make 'capable' or 'qualified' guests. He did that by inviting on 43 men.

Forty-three men. Ask yourself how many women were booked during that six month period?

Give up?


Thirteen women, forty-three men.


On the public's dime.

Sexist booking leads to sexist programming and don't let anyone kid you otherwise.

That breaks down to men appearing 4.3 times as often as women.

So in Bill Moyers' world, a woman is worth hearing from after you've already heard from 4.3 men.

Our calendars say 2009, we're afraid Bill's stuck in the LBJ administration.

Batwoman autographed

Along with PBS viewers, the following foundations and corporations provide financial support to the program: "the Partridge Foundation, a John and Polly Guth Charitable Fund; the Park Foundation; The Kohlberg Foundation; The Herb Alpert Foundation; Marilyn and Bob Clements and The Clements Foundation; Bernard and Audrey Rapoport and the Bernard and Audrey Rapoport Foundation; Fetzer Institute; The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation ; The Orfalea Family Foundation; The Public Welfare Foundation, and our sole corporate sponsor Mutual of America Life Insurance Company." We'd like to know whether they support the sexist booking system which regularly sends the message that women just don't matter?
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