Hawking Up Hairballs

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bill Moyers

It looks like PBS's resident liberal commentator Bill Moyers is taking it on the chin. According to the Slate piece to which I'm linking below, while working for LBJ, he was involved in campaigns to ferret out homosexuals in government and in Goldwater's campaign. He was apparently also involved in other unsavory practices of the Johnson administration, including bugging Martin Luther King's private life, surveillance of civil rights groups at the 1964 Democratic convention, and planting shills in press conferences. This kind of thing should come as no surprise. He was a special assistant to LBJ for Christ's sake, and when you wallow with the pigs, you're going to come out covered in mud and shit.

Of course, though Moyers is derided by the right wing as a liberal, he is no such thing. He is, in fact, an old-fashioned conservative. As such, he would have adhered to a chivalrous notion of loyalty. LBJ being his lord and master, Moyers would have done his bidding as any good vassal should.



Anonymous barbara in decatur said...

I've listened to Moyers and read Shafer. I plan to keep listening to Moyers and keep ignoring Shafer.

Moyers is well to the right of Marx. Shafer is a petty opportunist and a wanker.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Chuck Oliveros said...

I plan to keep on watching Moyers as well. His critiques are often on the point. However, he is a traditional conservative in that he believes in the America that he sees as envisioned by the framers of the Constitution. I don't. Those framers were men of wealth and privilege, and they rigged the system right from the start.

As far as I'm concerned, if Moyers was involved in outing gays, dirty tricks, etc., he should come right out and say it. He could explain that he was wrong and sees things differently now, or perhaps he doesn't. However, if he doesn't address the issue, it leads me to assume that he had no regrets about what he did.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous barbara in decatur said...

I looked at the Wizbang site Shafer linked to and spotted this remark

"For that matter,why is a man who was once as partisan a political operative as Karl Rove ever dreamed of being lecturing me about anything?"

That sentiment goes to the problem I have with Shafer and his sources. Moyers cannot be compared to Rove, not even close, and especially not on the glancing evidence presented.

In fact, the very title of Shafer's post telegraphs his invidious little bias, 'The Intolerable Smugness of Bill Moyers'. That's objectionable in the first instance because I would say that Shafer is the smug one, and trifling in the bargain. It's also even more seriously objectionable as a shabby attempt to fan resentment against the very idea of being decent and high-minded. Too much whiff of the jack-booted brownshirt in that attitude for any decent forum of opinion.

I'm as much a fan of realism and holding public servants accountable as anyone. I just want to also allow for the fact that our current public information context is a decades-long propaganda juggernaut from the extreme right, and make allowances accordingly.

Come to think of it, I probably wouldn't argue at all with the same critique had it come from someone like Gore Vidal, Greg Palast or Noam Chomsky. I just find Shafer seedy and untrustworthy. Just another journalist telling me, like the damn bankers, that I should trust him despite a long track record of dishonor and bad faith.

11:00 AM  

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