Monday, June 9, 2008

Bill Moyers at the National Conference for Media Reform

By: Harry Waisbren

Bill Moyers gave a pheonmenal speech regarding the importance of media for a democracy as well as the importance for America to reform our media if we plan to remain a free people. Here is his speech in full, which I could not recommend watching enough:

Despite his caustic view of our current media, Moyers' speech was remarkably inspiring. He argued that "nothing is ever broken that can’t be fixed if enough people are committed" and insisted that the media reform movement is well on its way. He marveled at the 3,500 particpants at the conference as evidence of this, and had us turn and shake hands with each of the "kindred spirits" on our left and right. He told us to "hold your neighbors presence in your heart, and keep reminding yourself 'I am not alone in this movement'."

This part moved me in particular, as my favorite aspect of the conference was realizing just how many kindred spirits I have---people who have felt in their bones that something fundamentally wrong has been going on with our democracy, and who have come to learn that our media systems have been concocting a truth-free reality in order to pacify the populace.

A great example of this dynamic came following his speech when Bill O'reilly's producer attempted to ambush Moyers much like they did to Arianna Huffington at the Take Back America conference. Moyers was having none of it though, and put the propagandist in his place:

The fact that Fox News can get away with referring themselves as a news organization is evidence enough that accountability for these propaganda organizations is essential. I entirely agree with Moyers when he argued that "Democaracy without accountability creates the illusion fo popular control, while offering ordinary Americans only cheap tickets to the balcony too far away from the public sphere to see that democracy has become just a Reality TV set."

This is why I believe that accountability for both the politicians and media figures who have misled us into war can not be avoided. If media figures are not included in the equation they will continue to manipulate the public through their propaganda, and true accountability for the political operatives direclty responsible will not ever be achieved. And if high crimes and misdemeanors can be committed without accountability, what is to stop other leaders corrupted by power from committing them again?

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