National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Bill Moyers: a thoughtful voice amid the din

 |  NCR Today

This commentary in the Los Angeles Times by author and media commentator Neal Gabler, is worth recognition and worth a few minutes of your time.

It begins with these words about Bill Moyers, whose voice -- and moral authority -- among us we have valued for decades:

It is a testament to how much Bill Moyers matters that this quiet, humble man can still stir passions. When he announced late last month he would be leaving his award-winning weekly PBS series, "Bill Moyers Journal," in April, some of us felt as if we were losing a sacred American institution, a repository of the nation's conscience, while others cheered. Right-wing bloviator Bill O'Reilly went so far as to boast that he had forced Moyers from the air -- a claim that was not only patently false but also a misconception of who Moyers is and what he does. Astonishing as it may be to anyone who has watched Moyers, his right-wing critics seem to see him as just another noisy shill among the army of blowhards, ideologues, demagogues and partisans on the airwaves. They couldn't be more wrong.

The reason so many of us are already mourning Moyers' departure is that he is so unlike O'Reilly and that ilk. Though Moyers has certainly addressed the major issues of his times and taken fierce stands on them -- against military adventurism, against violence, against intolerance and hatred, for environmental sensitivity, for real healthcare reform and grass-roots democracy -- and though his recent programs have provided the deepest and most invigorating discussions of these issues on television, most of his work has had little to do directly with politics or policy and nothing at all to do with opinion-mongering. He is far less interested in advancing a particular position than in inspiring moral growth in the hope of creating a more just and beneficent society. In short, far from being another cudgel-wielding pundit, Moyers may be television's only moralist.

NCR-issue-christmas-icon.jpgGive a Christmas gift that lasts all year. Give the gift of NCR!

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Christmas-Feature-Flag-300x100.jpg

NCR Email Alerts