Republican Fundamentalists are Killing Free Speech

Well the Bush guys are at it again. While they are busy killing Iraqis by the thousands and US soldiers by the hundreds in the name of “freedom and democracy” they are killing free speech and dissent back in the good ol’ USA.

On this 4th of July, Independence Day, the day the US declared its freedom from England, the day when the brew, the bible, the gun, and a gross expenditure of fireworks prevails, all of us should take a moment to reflect just how revolutionary the thoughts of the founders of the country really were. And we should all agonize over Bush and his regime using the Declaration of Independence to wipe their asses.

Bill Moyers left PBS several months ago and the Republican Fundamentalists are still in an uproar over his lucid and telling comments.

Mr. Moyers recently gave a speech to the National Conference on Media Reform and Democracy Now, wisely, albeit dangerously, published his comments entitled “Bill Moyers Responds to CPB’s Tomlinson Charges of Liberal Bias: “We Were Getting it Right, But Not Right Wing.”

Mr. Moyers warns us: “Hear me: an unconscious people, an indoctrinated people, a people fed only partisan information and opinion that confirm their own bias, a people made morbidly obese in mind and spirit by the junk food of propaganda is less inclined to put up a fight, ask questions and be skeptical. And just as a democracy can die of too many lies, that kind of orthodoxy can kill us, too.”

US citizens have to stand up now and demand the Bush regime be tried for war crimes in Iraq and for lying to the US public about almost everything. If Bill Clinton can be impeached for getting a blow job under his desk and lying about it, then Bush should be both impeached and imprisoned for his “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Interestingly I found the Democracy Now article on The World Forum entitled “The Battle For PBS” whereby the author, in his blog, outlines vary the essence of Mr. Moyers’ comments.

I will repeat them here:

First he (Mr. Moyers) responded to his detractors:
“Who are they? I mean the people obsessed with control using the government to threaten and intimidate; I mean the people who are hollowing out middle class security even as they enlist the sons and daughters of the working class to make sure Ahmad Chalabi winds up controlling Iraq’s oil; I mean the people who turn faith-based initiatives into Karl Rove’s slush fund; who encourage the pious to look heavenward and pray so as not to see the long arm of privilege and power picking their pockets; I mean the people who squelch free speech in an effort to obliterate dissent and consolidate their orthodoxy into the official view of reality from which any deviation becomes unpatriotic heresy. That’s who I mean. And if that’s editorializing, so be it. A free press is one where it’s okay to state the conclusion you’re led to by the evidence.”

“One reason I’m in hot water is because my colleagues and I at “NOW” didn’t play by the conventional rules of Beltway journalism. Those rules divide the world into democrats and republicans, liberals and conservatives and allow journalists to pretend they have done their job if, instead of reporting the truth behind the news, they merely give each side an opportunity to spin the news.”

He talks about how the rules of the game, in journalism, have changed:
“So the rules of the game permit Washington officials to set the agenda for journalism, leaving the press all too simply to recount what officials say instead of subjecting their words and deeds to critical scrutiny. Instead of acting as filters for readers and viewers sifting the truth from the propaganda, reporters and anchors attentively transcribe both sides of the spin invariably failing to provide context, background or any sense of which claims hold up and which are misleading.”

“I decided long ago that this wasn’t healthy for democracy. I came to see that news is what people want to keep hidden, and everything else is publicity. In my documentaries, whether on the Watergate scandal thirty years ago, or the Iran-Contra conspiracy twenty years ago, or Bill Clinton’s fundraising scandals ten years ago, or five years ago the chemical industry’s long and despicable cover up of its cynical and unspeakable withholding of critical data about its toxic products, I realized that investigative journalism could not be a collaboration between the journalist and the subject. Objectivity was not satisfied by two opposing people offering competing opinions, leaving the viewer to split the difference. I came to believe that objective journalism means describing the object being reported on, including the little fibs and fantasies, as well as the big lie of people in power.”

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