Sunday, May 02, 2010

TV: Moyers even lies when quoting the classics

Friday, on many PBS stations, Bill Moyers Journal offered its last gasp before floating face-down in its own bias and prejudice. It was not an episode that qualified as "memorable" or even "informative."


He led with a "popular uprising" that you may not have seen. We've criss-crossed the country for years now and have yet to see what he claimed. But using one protest -- in Chicago, he pretended that a national event was taking place. We'd be the first to applaud a true national uprising but there's none as of yet. As usual with Bill Moyers, propaganda trumped reality.

He tries to connect a rally in Chicago with events in Iowa. You're supposed to go with the transition and not notice all the wads of scotch tape not-quite holding it together.

Then it was off to Jim Hightower. Jim is your typical Bill Moyers guest: 100% phony. It's not just that Jim Hightower is a sorry excuse for a political commentator or that his voice is so damn annoying, it's also all the stuff people in-the-know know but oh so rarely talk about. We're not afraid to talk. Here's one thing about Jimmy Hightower.

Ask him, if you're unfortunate enough to encounter him, why he would supply autographed copies of his books to LGBT bookstores but didn't do signing events at them?

Ask him what the hell was up with that?

But watch him back away quickly because that opens up way too many cans of worms. Way too many.

Jim Hightower hasn't had one of those best selling fourth-grade-reading-level 'books' since Bush was in office so we were curious as to what Hightower was doing on the program?

Then we realized: He's a man. And, after all, hasn't that always been more than enough for Bill? Hasn't he been happiest with his show coming off like a men's locker room? And, as an added bonus, at 67-years-old, Hightower qualifies as a 'youngster' on this PBS program.

He yacked away about populist movements -- well, what he considers them. The Tea Party? It's based on anger. And goodness knows, when farmers waived pitchforks in earlier times, there was absolutely no anger involved. None. Zero. Zilch. If you believe that, you just may be as stupid as Jim Hightower always sounds.

Bill asked him why he didn't refer to himself as a liberal and it was hilarious to hear the 'answer.' Poor Jim Hightower, going to go to the grave still in the closet.

The two Mouths of the South served up so much corn-pone we kept expecting Minnie Pearl and the cast of Hee Haw to show up at any second.

He mentioned the president of the United States only once. Jim Hightower lumped him in with Nancy Pelosi and others, moaned that they never worked to build the grassroots and then Jim quickly scampered away from the topic of Barack Obama.

Then it was time for Bill to deliver a meandering essay that served no purpose but if Michael Winship could write, he would have had a real career by now, wouldn't he?

Following all the gas baggery, it was time for Bill to make like Merv Griffin and talk to a book author -- a man, of course. For those who tire quickly of gas baggery, good news, Bill and Barry Lopez engaged in psycho-babble.

Finally the last show wound down with Bill self-stroking at length. You got the idea his ego was drowning in Viagra. He prattled on and on including this, "To our critics, I'm glad you paid attention; the second most important thing to journalists is to know we're not being ignored. The most important thing is the independence that enables us to do our job without fear or favor. In this I have been unbelievably blessed."

Independence? If there's one thing Bill Moyers could always deliver it was the laughs.

(Ask anyone who worked with him at CBS.)


Bill Moyers is a tired hack whose ass never should have been brought back on PBS. He had nothing to offer except sexism and everyone (but us) avoided calling him out on it.

His last show featured no female guest -- not one. Nor did his last three shows.

Women were never important in The World of Bill Moyers. Truth wasn't very important either.

"The Secret Government" is an expose he did once upon a time that's highly overrated but worth watching. He likes to plug it when speaking to groups and talk about the bravery and independence journalism needs. We don't disagree that journalism needs those two things (and much more); however, we don't feel he's ever really displayed either.

And he doesn't even try when Democrats are in the White House. That's the real dirty secret about LBJ's former henchman who attacked the press and plotted against them as part of the Johnson administration. Every time a Democrat's in the White House, Bill Moyers' palms sweat and he fondly recalls Johnson showing him the scar and remembers that all good Democratic operatives (as opposed to journalists) play the quiet game for four years when a Democrat is elected to the White House.

Which is why the show had no purpose or life once Barack Obama was elected president. Bill whored it good for Barack, used his national program -- supported with tax payer funds -- to attack Hillary Clinton (including refusing to play a clip of her eyes tearing up but making fun of her for that and then playing a clip of currently under investigation US House Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. ripping Hillary apart with lies). He wanted Barack and he got him. At which point the Journal was all about f**king over America.

Psycho-babble and gas baggery. No one polishes a Democratic knob like Bill Moyers -- what, you thought those rumors were just nasty Marshall, Texas talk?

Search in vain for the program this year about Barack's assault on the press which, yes, does including targeting New York Times reporter James Risen for exposing (in 2005) Bush's secret spying on the American people.

Billy Moyers didn't want to talk about that. Better to babble. Better to prove that there's no whore like an old whore. Better to misinform and disinform the American people if you're nothing but a Party Whore and that's all Bill's ever been.

Which is why he's never devoted a segment (let alone an entire program) to Barack's claim that, as president, he can order the death of a US citizen -- and do so without any trial to determine guilt or innocence. Barack believe he's judge and jury. That carries on Bush's claim that he can imprison any American citizen without allowing them to appear before any court -- and expands upon it

Where was Bill Moyers?

And, goodness, Bill, your homophobia? Good thing you're going off the air now because you hate gays and lesbians and now you don't have to deal with them just like you didn't have to deal with them for your last 16 episodes, which all aired this year, and not a one of them explored Don't Ask, Don't Tell or any other LGBT issue. No one was supposed to notice that, were they, Bill? The same way you hope all your queer bashing at CBS never gets noted or explored?

Bill might reply, "Those were different times."

They sure were and those are the times he belongs to. Bill Moyers ended his PBS run and we're supposed to mourn apparently. We don't see anything to mourn. And being fully aware of Bill's vanity, desperation and hatred for Republicans, we're fully aware that he'll try to come back to PBS should Barack lose the 2012 election.

"He'll never let his friends be at ease, and he'll never be at ease himself!"

That's the quote he should have closed with, the one that really applies to him. He got the wrong Bronte sister. He quoted from Charlotte Bronte's Villette when he should have quoted from Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, it's more suited to his personality.

Well . . . not quite.

The quote we apply? Actual quote from Emily Bronte's work. Bill Moyers declared Friday, "We intended to be married in this way almost from the first. We never meant to be spliced in the humdrum way of other people." What page does that appear on, Bill?

Uh, it doesn't. He's fudged the quote. "Alfred and I intended to be married in this way almost from the first; we never meant to be spliced in the humdrum way of other people; Alfred has too much spirit for that, and so have I -- Dieu merci!" Page 457.

As bad as the forged quote is the false set up he provides before (mis)quoting, "To quote, once again, what Charlotte Bronte wrote of her Alfred." He implies that Charlotte's writing either of someone in her own life or of a major character in the novel. Alfred is neither and isn't even present in chapter Moyers is quoting from. Ginevra is at school speaking of him and other men who are courting her.

How telling. How very typical of Bill Moyers. Even something as simple as quoting from a classic work requires that he fudge the truth. He just can't be factual. He can't be rooted to reality. It's not just his vanity and temper tantrums that turn people against him, it's his refusal to play it straight, his urge to always take a little lie and make it just a tad larger. And that's what, in the end, caused PBS to cut Bill loose.
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