Giant of Journalism on KOSU
He’s been described as one of the last of the gentlemen journalists — Bill Moyers – and he’s the special guest on this month’s edition of The Living Room on KOSU. Moyers’ visit with host Gerry Bonds was part of an Oklahoma homecoming of sorts — he was born here as Billy Don Moyers in 1934. By age 20, he was a practicing journalist and ordained minister — and by 1960 he was a top aide to Vice-President Lydon Johnson. Moyers would go on to help establish the Peace Corps and the modern-day public broadcasting system.
“We believed that there should be one channel on the specturm that was free, not only of commercials, but of commercial values, whose programming was judged not by how many consumers could be delivered to an advertiser, but by how many citizens cared enough about the quality of the programming to pay attention. And we looked out and saw an America of citiznes rather than consumers, and that makes a big difference.”
Moyers says the real task of journalists has always been to get us as close as possible to the verifiable truth. Denial, he says, will destroy a person, a family and a nation. He points to America’s denial of the reality on the ground in Vietnam, a great division that he says tore our country apart. But Moyers says journalism’s truth-seekers aren’t very popular — particularly among those individuals who have a vested interest in bottling up the truth. Moyers, meanwhile, believes the greatest problem facing our society today – the absence of shame.
“There’s no shame because the reward and money is so extravagent today for the absence of shame that people don’t even bother to geel a tinge of conscious. So with the loss of taste, goes an absence of shame, and they create a degraded culture that keeps lowering the common denominator. In fact the common denominator today is a deference to cash. Our politicians have become money launderers in the trafficking of policy and power and cash is the common denominator of politics today, not policy, not compromise, not soloutions to the problems we face.”
You can hear more of Gerry Bonds’ Interview with journalism giant Bill Moyers on this mornth’s edition of The Living Room, Saturday afternoon at 4:30 and Tuesday morning at 8:30 on KOSU.