Roger L. Simon

Another Dinosaur Retires

On the very day CBS is supposed to be releasing the results of their internal study of the Dan Rather Affair, Bill Moyers–on the brink of his retirement–had this to say:

“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. Therefore, we don’t have a vigilant, independent press whose interest is the American people.”

Well, I have to admit Moyers is half right. The right-wing media would like to see Republicans elected. But idea that the other “mainstream” press is impartial borders on the comical–and not just because of the aforementioned anchorperson. I could fill up this page with instances, but why bother? The over-riding issue is actually more economic than political. Media satraps like Moyers depend on the mythology that the media is impartial to preserve their class position in the marxist sense. This goes all the way down to journalism schools which for their own survival must promulgate the idea of impartiality in order to give themselves a “professional” veneer. Yet human life, indeed the written word itself, contradicts this.

The case of Moyers’ beloved PBS is one of the more obvious examples. The idea that government would have an “unbiased” news outlet is undemocratic on the face of it.

MEANWHILE: Is this Moyers’ replacement?