Bill Moyers (born Billy Don Moyers on June 5, 1934) is an American journalist and public commentator (pundit). He served as White House Press Secretary in the United States President Lyndon B. Johnson Administration from 1965-1967. He worked as a news commentator on television for ten years. Moyers had an extensive involvement with public television, producing documentaries and news journal programs. He has won numerous awards and honorary degrees. He has become well known as a trenchant critic of the U.S. media. Since 1990, Moyers has been President of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy. He lives in New York City, New York, United States.
Recipient of the 2006 Lifetime Emmy Award, "Bill Moyers has devoted his lifetime to the exploration of the major issues and ideas of our time and our country, giving television viewers an informed perspective on political and societal concerns," according to the official announcement, which also noted, "the scope of and quality of his broadcasts have been honored time and again. It is fitting that the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences honor him with our highest honor – the Lifetime Achievement Award." He has received well over thirty Emmys and virtually every other major television-journalism prize, including a gold baton from the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, a lifetime Peabody Award, and a George Polk Career Award (his third George Polk Award) for contributions to journalistic integrity and investigative reporting. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, including a doctorate from the American Film Institute.
In a 2003 interview with BuzzFlash.com, Moyers said, "The corporate right and the political right declared class warfare on working people a quarter of a century ago and they've won." He noted that "The rich are getting richer, which arguably wouldn't matter if the rising tide lifted all boats." Instead, however, "The inequality gap is the widest it's been since 1929; the middle class is besieged and the working poor are barely keeping their heads above water." He added that as "the corporate and governing elites are helping themselves to the spoils of victory," access to political power has become "who gets what and who pays for it."
Meanwhile, the public has failed to react because it is, in his words, "distracted by the media circus and news has been neutered or politicized for partisan purposes." In support of this he referred to "the paradox of Rush Limbaugh, ensconced in a Palm Beach mansion massaging the resentments across the country of white-knuckled wage earners, who are barely making ends meet in no small part because of the corporate and ideological forces for whom Rush has been a hero… As Eric Alterman reports in his recent book — a book that I'm proud to have helped make happen — part of the red meat strategy is to attack mainstream media relentlessly, knowing that if the press is effectively intimidated, either by the accusation of liberal bias or by a reporter's own mistaken belief in the charge's validity, the institutions that conservatives revere — corporate America, the military, organized religion, and their own ideological bastions of influence — will be able to escape scrutiny and increase their influence over American public life with relatively no challenge."
When he retired in December 2004, the AP News Service quoted Moyers, "I'm going out telling the story that I think is the biggest story of our time: how the right-wing media has become a partisan propaganda arm of the Republican National Committee. We have an ideological press that's interested in the election of Republicans, and a mainstream press that's interested in the bottom line. Moyers said: Therefore, we don't have a vigilant, independent press whose interest is the American people."
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