Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Billshit, or: Iron Maiden Can Teach Us a Lot About Bill Moyers

It appears that the Strib, aware that Memorial Day weekend is the Traffic Dead Zone for blogs, and that I was out of town, felt it was safe to run Bill Moyer's latest exercise in self-adulatory "truth" proclaiming and "democracy" defense.

Oh I am SO going to fisk the snot out of this one - if I can keep my brain from falling out of my head. But first, I'm curious as to what this dusty red button here in front of me does. I think I'll press it and find out:

BRUCE DICKINSON AIR RAID SIREN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another Prophet of Disaster
Who says the ship is lost,
Another Prophet of Disaster
Leaving you to count the cost.
Taunting us with Visions,
Afflicting us with fear,
Predicting War for millions,
In the hope that one appears.

-Iron Maiden

Ooo. That's a good one! Let's see what this fool had to say:

The story I've come to share with you goes to the core of our belief that the quality of democracy and the quality of journalism are deeply entwined. I can tell this story because I've been living it. It's been in the news this month, including reports of more attacks on a single journalist -- yours truly -- by the right-wing media and their allies at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Number of self references in that paragraph: 5

Number of sentences: 3

And, of course, a big "heh heh" to the phrase "right wing media". So far so good: my brain is still inside my skull.

As some of you know, CPB was established almost 40 years ago to set broad policy for public broadcasting and to be a firewall between political influence and program content. What some on this board are now doing today -- led by its chairman, Kenneth Tomlinson -- is too important, too disturbing and yes, even too dangerous for a gathering like this not to address.

A prophet of disaster... (now I've got that song in my head).

Two things worth noting: 1) If CFB was meant to be a "firewall" between politics and programming, then it has been doing a pretty crappy job. Moyers' own show - and the absence of one like it from the right - is proof of that; 2) PBS is not important enough that the consequenses of any fiddling with its programming could be considered "dangerous".

Starting to feel woozy, but I'm still OK.

We're seeing unfold a contemporary example of the age-old ambition of power and ideology to squelch and punish journalists who tell the stories that make princes and priests uncomfortable.

Taunting us with visions
Afflicting us with fear

Let me assure you that I take in stride attacks by the radical right-wingers who have not given up demonizing me although I retired over six months ago. They've been after me for years now, and I suspect they will be stomping on my grave to make sure I don't come back from the dead.

...Predicting war for millions
In the hope that one appears

And for the record:

Number of self-references in that last paragraph: 8

Number of sentences: 2

And a closed circuit to BM (heh, Moyers' initials are "BM". How delicious): You were never important or "dangerous" enough to merit our attention. Most people saw you for what you were - a bitter old former LBJ propaganda hack who cherrypicks "facts" to fit his own agenda. I like to call your version of journalism "billshit".

I should remind them, however, that one of our boys pulled it off some 2,000 years ago -- after the Pharisees, Sadducees and Caesar's surrogates thought they had shut him up for good. Of course I won't be expecting that kind of miracle, but I should put my detractors on notice: They might just compel me out of the rocking chair and back into the anchor chair.

WHOA! Did I just read that correctly? Is he comparing himself to Jesus?

I'm getting a throbbing headache.

Who are "they"? I mean the people obsessed with control, using the government to threaten and intimidate. I mean the people who are hollowing out middle-class security even as they enlist the sons and daughters of the working class -

Wait a minute waitaminutewaitaminuteWAITAMINUTE! Let's read this again:

I should remind them, however, that one of our boys pulled it off some 2,000 years ago -- after the Pharisees, Sadducees and Caesar's surrogates thought they had shut him up for good.

This fool is painting himself as a Jesus figure!!! The throbbing has turned jackhammer-like..

That's who I mean. And if that's editorializing, so be it. A free press is one where it's OK to state the conclusion you're led to by the evidence.

No Bill. The free press is supposed to give us all the evidence and let us draw our own conclusions. When you offer a prepackaged conclusion to those of us whom I'm sure you think are dumber than you are, it's an automatic reason to question the quality of the evidence. Are we getting the whole story? Is the reporter shooting it straight with us? How reliable are the -

I'm sorry, I have got to go back and look at this again, just to be sure:

I should remind them, however, that one of our boys pulled it off some 2,000 years ago -- after the Pharisees, Sadducees and Caesar's surrogates thought they had shut him up for good. Of course I won't be expecting that kind of miracle, but I should put my detractors on notice: They might just compel me out of the rocking chair and back into the anchor chair.

Un-freaking-believable. He thinks he's the Son of God - a Jesus Journalist.

I need to go put my brain back in my head. Someone please take over for me. I can't go on.

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