Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 31, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

MOYERS ON JOURNALISM....Here is Bill Moyers defending public television against the charge that it's no longer needed because commercial TV provides us with everything we need:

One reason we get such pale and unquestioning journalism in America is that skepticism and irreverence toward the prerogatives of power and privilege are exactly what corporate media moguls don't want from the journalists who work for them. If they did, there wouldn't have been such gullible groupthink from the press when America went to war in Iraq on the basis of false information, faulty intelligence, fallacious propaganda, and flagrant secrecy. It's what happens when the news media becomes a complacent conduit for the government and multimedia corporations, failing to challenge authority, and passing information spun carefully by special interests both in and out of government.

....I believe in "fair and balanced."

I say let's be more fair than anyone else. Let's be as fair to Main Street as we are to Wall Street to the working men and women of America as we are to the big corporations, big government, and big investors.

....Let's be as fair to the skeptic of official policy as we are to its spokesman, as fair to the commoner as to the celebrity, and as fair to the lived experience of ordinary people as we are to the calculated opinion of think tank experts.

I'm for balance.

Let's balance the spin with the evidence, the rhetoric with the record, and opinion with reporting.

....And let's balance programs written by the National Mining Association and Boeing with programs underwritten by the United Mine Workers, Consumer's Union, and Citizens for a Fair Economy. If they can't afford the underwriting, let's at least give them a hearing.

You will be unsurprised to learn that Moyers is also appalled at the idea of setting up "digital tollbooths" on the internet that will transform it into "a system of corporate-controlled pipes." Read the whole thing for more. It's a manifesto for what journalism ought to be.

Kevin Drum 2:42 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (107)

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Comments

Bill Moyers is my boyfriend. Thank god for PBS.

That said, this sendup of PBS is worth checking out. We kid because we love.

Posted by: theorajones on May 31, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Only a commie pinko fascist atheist nazi would say that the golden rule doesn't apply!

Bitch, He Who Has The Gold RULES!!

Fuck you and your need for "Truth." Diebold and Jesus will save us from your pathetic ilk!

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on May 31, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Yee haw! Good for him.

I look forward to the RWNM calling him a traitor in 3...2...1...

Posted by: craigie on May 31, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

The Best things in life are free.

Words rehashed gain n gain
Does it ever stop
this journalist spin
Lexis Nexxus
Armchair Journalists
not on the street
not at the war
face down a senator
break down his door
follow the poop
get the scoop
off your ass
and on your feet
outta the shade
into the heat
you gotta work
if you wanna eat

Posted by: Yawn on May 31, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Moyers is delusional. His essential argument is that for somebody to question government policy, they have to be on the government payroll, like PBS is. If you care about truth and freedom, you would want the government as far away from media as possible, not buying and selling it. PBS is the same as the Armstrong scandal a while back.

As for his complaints that journalism isn't covering what it "should".... well, PBS is available in most homes, and nobody watches it. O'Reilly far outstrips his ratings on a daily basis, andp eople have to pay for FNC.

Posted by: American Hawk on May 31, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

PBS - was just as weak on calling out the BS on the Bush Presidential Elections and the BS leading up to the Iraq War. PBS is afraid to loose its funding and it shows.

Posted by: skibumlee on May 31, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

"PBS is available in most homes, and nobody watches it. O'Reilly far outstrips his ratings on a daily basis, andp eople have to pay for FNC."

Most people are fat and die of heart disease, too. All hail the wisdom of the masses.

Posted by: eckersley on May 31, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Moyers has frequently spoken out against a Big Media being run by Big Money. Some fella named McCain used to be an ally of his with respect to this. Wonder what ever became of him.

Posted by: RT on May 31, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

RT-- Somebody has to pay the expenses of journalism. Would you rather journalism me an arm of the government, or a private enterprise?

Most people are fat and die of heart disease, too. All hail the wisdom of the masses.

The liberal contempt for the common man strikes again!

Posted by: American Hawk on May 31, 2006 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, yes, journalism ought to be paid for through the coercive power of the state, under the threat of imprisonment or death, because free people giving their money willingly to those entities which they support, or from which they willingly purchase goods and services, just doesn't produce the desired outcome. Moyers is entirely correct; there's just too much freedom of association and contract in our society, and unless we use the state to forcibly stifle those forms of hideous human behavior, bad things will happen.

....hey, here's an idea! Why not have Moyers, Kevin, and other like minded individuals band together, and they can develop their own media outlets, with their own money, and say ANYTHING they want!!! They could call it the ABBC; the AntiBushBroadcastingNetwork, and if they convinced enough people to watch, they could sell airtime in thirty scond segments!

Freedom of the press; what a concept!

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen-- But people are too stupid to know what media they SHOULD consume! We liberals will accept your proposal only if people are forced to watch ABBC under penalty of a fine and possibly imprisonment!

Posted by: American Hawk on May 31, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

To lose the snark, people like Moyers, and they are well represented in both parties, who made themselves rich, or at least extremely comfortable, via a career taking government subsidies, are about the last people who should be granted any public credibility regarding what is best for the public. Truman's comments on LBJ come to mind; never trust a guy who entered public service poor and left wealthy.

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Note to you Conservatives:

Your world view which says government is bad and free market is good...and ultimately we are all best served by the latter is blasphemy to any person of faith, Christian, Jew or Moslem.

The free market is a human-created method of organizing society. It is ammoral. It does not serve any interest other than the corporate entities which are its primary movers. They have one goal - profit. Anything else they do is secondary and ultimately is about increasing the former.

A free market, as pure as you conservatives desire, is all about serving the interests of those with the most wealth and power - and not about serving the communities and human relations which of far more moral importance. Government, for all its faults serves to check the power of these corporations.

PBS has been a way for the citizens of this country to pool our tax resources to have an alternative to this free market group think. It has been an alternative to the stupidity of the conservative thought now dominating this once great country.

We liberals (and I'm damn proud to be one), have to put up with our tax dollars being used against us by the most corrupt band of Rethuglicans this country has known in my lifetime. Surely you can tolerate, nay have the courage of your own convictions to see your hypocracy and failed policies shown in the light of day. I'd say you're actually all just a bunch of ammoral cowards who haven't a care for anybody but yourself!

There are other ways to organize our society and you can bet the 49% and growing number of us will work to defeat you every chance we can get.

You really should take your non-serious postings elsewhere.

Posted by: Patrick Briggs on May 31, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

First Patrick, I'm not a conservative, and I well realize that you and others believe human liberty to be repugnant, which is why there is irony in your self-chosen label "liberal", a fine word which has been utterly corrupted by thugs such as youerself.

It may have escaped you, but there is no force opposing your ability to band with people who agree with you, and thus send as many resources to PBS as you desire. Your fear, of course, is that free people will not agree to do so in suffcient numbers, thus you feel you must violently coerce others to support political speech with which they disagree. Yeah, sure, you're a liberal. Really.

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Personally, I think that they ought to do away with all public broadcasting, and regulation of commercial broadcasting.

As soon as that happens, and commercial broadcasting becomes the pander-fest that it is destined to eventually become, then people will realize what a bunch of crap it all is, turn their TV's off, and do something productive with their lives.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on May 31, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen,

never trust a guy who entered public service poor and left wealthy.

My goodness I say the same thing about everyone!

Don't you know - ALL money is dirty!

Oh, wait, tell me how having anarchy is going to solve this problem again? I keep forgetting.

Posted by: Tripp on May 31, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Corporations have no accountability to the public good, only to their stockholders. You cannot vote a corporation out of office, nor shame it, nor reason with it. The corporation does not care in the least about you, only the bottom line.

Government is accountable to the people. It's sole reason for existence is to serve the common good. If it does not do so, the people have every right (duty even) to change it. Try that with a corporation.

If you believe news ought to serve a public good, you should want it funded in a publically-accountable way. If you think news is only another form of entertainment, then by all means lets bow to the corporate media. Just don't come crying when you wake up in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.

Posted by: moderleft on May 31, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

In the last few years, PBS has really sold out, with programming as innovative as a 50s Doo-wop concert or performances by some 60s has-beens. Those people don't need the exposure, but they keep getting it because PBS thinks they have to serve a market like a commercial broadcaster rather than the public interest.

The TV they produced when they were just starting out was innovative and served as a counterweight to the tripe that the big networks scooped up and shoved into the pipe for the benefit of their advertisers. Now public TV is so very much like everyone else, with the exception of only a few programs, that I think they have forgotten where they came from and don't know where they are going.

Posted by: Lake Tonawanda Whitefish on May 31, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Tripp, you predictably erect the tired strawman of the intellectually dishonest statist: that to support limited government is synonymous with anarchy. When you wish to have a honest exchange, lemme know.

Also, wealth obtained through mutually agreed-upon interactions is entirely honorable. Michael Moore is a thoroughly dishonest and execrable human being, but those qualities are divorced from his great wealth, since, as far as I know, every cent which he has obtained was given to him willingly.

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Here is the problem, May TV ratings:

1. American Idol - Tues (FOX)
2. American Idol - Weds (FOX)
3. CSI (CBS)
4. Desperate Housewives (ABC)
5. Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
6. House (FOX)
7. Without A Trace (CBS)
8. Will and Grace (NBC)
9. CSI: Miami (CBS)
10. ER (NBC)
11. NCIS (CBS)
12. Deal Or No Deal - Mon (NBC)
13. Lost (ABC)
14. The Unit (CBS)
15. Deal Or No Deal - Weds (NBC)
16. CSI - Thurs (CBS)
17. Extreme Makeover (ABC)
18. Law and Order (NBC)
19. CSI: NY (CBS)
20. 24 (FOX)


No where is PBS. So, if very few are watching, where is the productivity gain in this enterprise?

Why not put the intellectuals onto the web, they can get their same information, most of them can read, the information is more accurate and fact checking easier.

The productivity losses in dealing with PBS funding as a special interest in the long line of special interest is too great to bother.

Posted by: Matt on May 31, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Moyers is sadly delusional. The era when anyone at PBS "spoke truth to power" has long since passed, if it ever really existed. There are still a few good shows like Frontline but for the most part, at least in New England, PBS consists of old British shows, semi-decent kids programming and awful concert shows pandering to boomers. I think most people under 50 looking for alternatives to establishment groupthink long ago turned to the blogosphere, PBS at this point is a dinosaur.

Posted by: Vanya on May 31, 2006 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

If there were truly a Free Market in our mass media in America, it would be 250 channels of HighDef hardcore porn 24/7.

In the South, it would probably be interracial homosexual S&M porn.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on May 31, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Three to one that all the "conservative" bloggers complaining about Moyers are actually subsidized in some way by the King's Men. Too bad they get paid not to listen to reason.

Posted by: parrot on May 31, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Uh, modernleft, it may have escaped your penetrating insights, but Enron, Montgomery Wards, and countless other corporations no longer exist, for the simple fact that they could no longer convince anyone to willingly give them more money, even, as in the case of Enron, when fraud was engaged in. In contrast, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, to pick just one example of the state's "accountability" has been a cesspool of corruption and theft for decades, yet it still exists, for the simple reason that it can obtain more capital my coercive means.

People in the private sector are about as virtuous as people who toil for the state, which is to say that they are inconsistently virtuous at best. Fundamentally, however, the private sector, unless they have a government contract or are receiving subsidies, must convince people to voluntarily give more capital, whereas the state only needs to gain consent of the majority to coerce the minority, or more commonly, convince an energetic minority to coerce the majority.

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

No where is PBS.

And nowhere is ESPN. Does that mean no one likes sports? And nowhere is HBO, nobody likes movies? PBS isn't designed to reach a mass audience, but to offer an alternative free of the trappings of corporate-run enterprise dependent on corporate sponsors. Nobody's forcing you to watch it.

So what's your point?

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on May 31, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen neglects to mention the billions of dollars spent each year by the private sector to convince them that war is okay, there buying SUVs is good, and that utility regulation is bad. I suspect it is something they put in his water...

Posted by: parrot on May 31, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Hey trolls!!! What a Bush!!!

Posted by: some on May 31, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

The dictatorship of capital is not pleased with Bill Moyers. It might be why he is not broadcasting anymore.

Posted by: Hostile on May 31, 2006 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

Parrot, I don't know what you're being fed these days, but your post has exactly zero to do with anything I've written. If you don't like that people are being convinced of things with which you disagree, go ahead and ahead and attempt to get them to believe otherwise. Why do you find liberty so repugnant?

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

And nowhere is ESPN. Does that mean no one likes sports? And nowhere is HBO, nobody likes movies? PBS isn't designed to reach a mass audience, but to offer an alternative free of the trappings of corporate-run enterprise dependent on corporate sponsors. Nobody's forcing you to watch it.

So what's your point?

That we ARE being forced to pay for it, via the CPB. The only conservative objection to PBS is that it's coercively funded. I don't think HBO or ESPN should be funded by the government either. Do you?

Posted by: American Hawk on May 31, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Uh, no, hostile, you can be assured that if 20 million people per week were willing to listen to Moyers recite the collected works of Marx and Engels, Westwood One or Infinity would be syndicating Moyers.

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, Will Allen, if the dictatorship of capital wanted the masses to listen to someone recite Marx and Engels, it would be the number one rated show.

Posted by: Hostile on May 31, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

If that is the case, Hostile, how do you explain that the "dictatorship of capital" reperatedly attempts to have the masses listen to various shows, yet fails miserably? Must I really list every failed broadcast program of even the past two years? Your assertion is entirely false. Why do you have such contempt for your fellow citizens?

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

Moyers is sadly delusional. The era when anyone at PBS "spoke truth to power" has long since pass

Perhaps, if you consider the time since Moyers hosted NOW to be a long time.

Posted by: B on May 31, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, yes, journalism ought to be paid for through the coercive power of the state, under the threat of imprisonment or death, because free people giving their money willingly to those entities which they support, or from which they willingly purchase goods and services, just doesn't produce the desired outcome.

Wow, Will Allen hasn't favored us with his unique point of view in quite some time.

Posted by: Gregory on May 31, 2006 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

how do you explain that the "dictatorship of capital" reperatedly attempts to have the masses listen to various shows, yet fails miserably?

Lack of payolla, obviously.

Posted by: Hostile on May 31, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

To lose the snark, people like Moyers...

Lose the snark? Just for the record, Will, are you indicating that, since you posted with snark the first time, you don't desire a courteous exchange of views?

It looks like we're in for another episode of the Will Allen show -- arrogant assertion and loony libertarianism rolled into one! Pass the popcorn!

Posted by: Gregory on May 31, 2006 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

people like Moyers, and they are well represented in both parties, who made themselves rich, or at least extremely comfortable, via a career taking government subsidies, are about the last people who should be granted any public credibility regarding what is best for the public.

Actually, strangely enough, I tend to agree with this comment of Wills -- at least insofar as dismissing tbrosz' rants about taxation from a taxpayer-funded job.

Posted by: Gregory on May 31, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Will is a troll and that won't address the immorality of the free-market worship he so blinds accepts as the best way to make everybody happy in our society.

Liberals care about their fellow man and recognize the imperfections of any human-created mechanism for organizing society around. Whether it's Socialism or Capitalism.

Libertarians and Conservatives are all about getting theirs.

Any good thing this country has done has been because liberals and people of progressive faith worked together to make it happen. Women suffrage, child labor laws, civil rights, 40 hour work week, gay rights....

Libertarian and conservatives have done nada to make this nation a great one, that helps every human being have a chance to realize their fullest human potential.

Posted by: Patrick Briggs on May 31, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

First Patrick, I'm not a conservative

Remember, Will's a glibertarian, and therefore inherently untrustworthy.

As in, 'guns and porn for me and fuck-all for thee.'

Posted by: ahem on May 31, 2006 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Unsurpisingly, Gregory is unable to discern between sarcasm directed at the host of this site, and the name-calling incivility for which he is famous.

Hostile, I'll simply note that you concede the point.

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Why is it that I, who voted for George W. Bush and insisted that Kerry was a terrible candidate am consistently tarred as a conservative? I'm independent. I believe that just because the government provides the structure that allows some to become incredibly wealthy it has no right to the fruits of what it made possible. Just because I want to turn Social Security from a social contract into a welfare system, doesn't make me conservative. And just because very nearly every word out of my mouth is bashing liberals doesn't either. I am an independent. Hear me roar. Or at least whine when my idiocy is exposed.

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Patrick is a moron, in that he implies making "everybody happy" is a legitimate goal for a society. Truly, Patrick, that is about the most stupid thing that has ever been written here, and as such I see no point in explaining to you that to promote human liberty is really quite the opposite of seeking a perfect society, in that human liberty will always entail some undesirable outcomes.

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

It may have escaped you, but there is no force opposing your ability to band with people who agree with you, and thus send as many resources to PBS as you desire. Your fear, of course, is that free people will not agree to do so in suffcient numbers.

I can't resist pointing out that there's no force opposing Will Allen's ability band with people who agree with him, either, and to adopt, through the legislative process outlined in the Constitution, policies that support his loony libertarian utopia.

Of course, it goes without saying that despite the obvious suportiority of Will's philosophy, the American body politic -- Republican and Democrat alike -- is united in regarding it as the position of a crank.

Obviously that's a result of government coercion or something. Surely a free people would abandon our current system in favor of Will Allen's brand of cockeyed libertarianism that has worked so well in countries like Somalia.

Obviously.

Seriously, I just love the paranoid tone that creeps into Will's ranting about "government coercion" and "thuggery." And it's early yet! There's more to come on the Will Allen Show!

Posted by: Gregory on May 31, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, I see the last refuge of those unable to debate honestly; the use of another's name. So be it. As is the norm here, any who don't sip the kool-aid are to be denounced as wreckers, so there is no need for intellectually honest rhetoric. Fine group of "liberals" here.

I'll leave by noting that I have voted Republican, or for a conservative, fewer than 50% of the time, I oppose any regulation of abortion, the War on Drugs, and any Federal regulation of marriage. I denounced George Bush as a crony capitalist as early as 1996. Yeah, sure, I'm a conservative, and most of you here are "liberals". Really.

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Will,

Your kind are afraid to call their opinions Conservative because you know how bankrupt they are.

Did I say "make everybody happy" or did I say give everybody a chance to realize their fullest human potential? Yeah, I'm the moron.

Will-Avoid & Distort,

you have everybody's attention, as all trolls are prone to do. You have no intelligent arguments to make. You are doing an excellent job of showing off the utter failure of the conservative and libertarian ideology.

Posted by: Patrick Briggs on May 31, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

American Chickenhawk wrote: The only conservative objection to PBS is that it's coercively funded.

Funny, I don't recall that being the *only* conservative objection to PBS. ;)

Posted by: Gregory on May 31, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Uh, no, Gregory, I'm fully able to concede that most people disagree with me. Unlike you, however, when people disagree with me, I don't hold them in contempt (the contempt I hold for you and some others is not due to your positions, but due to the way you treat anybody who participates in this forum without toeing the ideological line), nor do I typically seek to use state power, via majority of vocal minority, to force them to bend to my will. You're a thug, so that is your first impulse.

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, patrick, you are a moron, in that you cannot read your own posts. You write...

"Will is a troll and that won't address the immorality of the free-market worship he so blinds accepts as the best way to make everybody happy in our society."

....thus implying that making "everybody happy" is a societal goal. True, you could merely be lying about what my goals were. So, what is it, Patrick, are you a liar, a moron, or both?

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Remember that phrase "intellectually honest" when you read things like "Ever notice that communist nations never have dissidents that reach Michael Moore-style obesity?" or "merely chracterizing Kennedy's speech as idiotic would likely be more productive, especially since it has been widely demonstrated that the Senator from MA is, in fact, an idiot."

These are the hallmarks of my brand of "intellectual honesty."

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

That we ARE being forced to pay for it, via the CPB.

And we're being forced to pay (a hell of a lot more) for your war in Iraq. Guess what, Chickenshit, the government will always fund things you don't agree with. CPB funding amounts to about $3 per taxpayer per year. Care to find out how much your war in Iraq costs?

Besides, Matt's idiotic post wasn't about funding, it was supposed to imply PBS's lack of influence due to poor ratings.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on May 31, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Unsurpisingly, Gregory is unable to discern between sarcasm directed at the host of this site, and the name-calling incivility for which he is famous.

Now, now, Will! You're quite quick to justify your own famous name-calling incivility on the grounds that someone's post indicated a desire for such, or some such claptrap. By your own standard, your initial post, which you admit is sarcastic, is hardly indicitave of a desire for a courteous exchange.

The hostility, paranoia and accusatory tone you display in this very thread is, of course, merely additional evidence, although no doubt your titanic, but fragile, ego, would never allow you to admit as much. (I know, I know, Will -- they started it, right?)

By the way, your voting for Bush doesn't make me call you a conservative. There's no shame in being a conservative.

I truly wish I could stick around for more of the Will Allen Show, but I have some coercion and thuggery to practice to practice on people who would otherwise be able to practice liberty. The liberty, say, to make an ass of themselves like Will usually does.

(That said, I wish the person hijacking Will's handle would cut it out. Will is quite capable of making an ass of himself without any help, thanks. As I always say, I'm perfectly content to let his statements, and those of myself and the others on this thread, stand the scrutinty of readers. Though I must admit, I do find it curious why ol' Will seems so anxious to justify himself to, and assert his no doubt boundless moral and intellectual superiority over, those whom he would seem to hold in such contempt. Inferiority complex much, Will?)

Posted by: Gregory on May 31, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Unlike you, however, when people disagree with me, I don't hold them in contempt

As usual with Will, an assertion that is not at all in evidence.

Posted by: Gregory on May 31, 2006 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

Great concept.

Conservatives should fund their own pre-emptive wars to avenge the attempts on their daddys. Why should the rest of us, living and those yet to be born, have to pay for these fools' errands?

Posted by: lib on May 31, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

"You're a thug, so that is your first impulse."

See what kind of intellectual rigor I bring to the debate. And that's not contempt, that's...well...it is contempt, but I have a good heart.

(Gregory, it entertains me and drives poor stupid Will crazy. I'll probably get bored of it before he does - he is, after all, the kind of honest broker who calls Kennedy an idiot and somewhere, though I can no longer find it, tells the world that Kerry is too unbalanced to be President. The difference is that I usually make it obvious enough to tell the difference. I failed on my first post - I thought it was over the top enough - but it just looked like regular old crazy Will.)

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory, don't confuse the contempt I hold for you with my stance toward many of the people I have had entirely civil exchanges with (by the way Einstein, sarcasm and civility are not mutually exclusive) in this forum, despite having a different opinion on any number of issues. Tell me, Gregory, have you EVER had an exchange with someone in this forum with whom you had differing views in which you did not call them a name? Your accusing others of hostility is pathetic. Projecting much, Gregory?


Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

I admit, I forget whether calling Kennedy an idiot is sarcasm or just plain old-fashioned civility. But if I did it, then it must be one or the other.

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

If you're all done pissing on each other....

I'd like to underline what Vanya and Whitefish said: Moyers is a good guy, he usually has something interesting to say, but I think he's guilty of some revisionist thinking. I don't remember anyone at PBS or NPR seriously contradict the groupthink that preceded the Iraq invasion. I'm not saying they didn't *oppose* the invasion, but they definitely failed to debunk the Judith Miller WMD garbage.

Posted by: kwo on May 31, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Will,

What I said in the complete sentence is:

"Will is a troll and that won't address the immorality of the free-market worship he so blinds accepts as the best way to make everybody happy in our society."

Implied in that is:

1) You're a troll
2) "make everybody happy" - meaning keeping folks generally happy all things considering - it's a frigging expression you deliberately misread
3) You worship a free market system - period.

I think there's nothing further to be gained from addressing anything else you would have to say.

Posted by: Patrick Briggs on May 31, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

KWO,

You are right. PBS and NPR have become much more corporate. They, like all the others failed us.

What do we do about de-corporatizing them? Do we just end government funding?

Regards,

Patrick

Posted by: Patrick Briggs on May 31, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone who wishes to defend the non-idiotic nature of Ted Kennedy, well, they are ambitious, if nothing else. Then again, it is entirely possible that a U.S. Senator who states that accounts of the near drowning of prisoners offend him as a human being, after said Senator felt no compunction to resign, after having drowned a woman without contacting authorities until several hours afterwords, is merely a moral cretin, and not an intellectual one. The smart bet, however, is that he is both types of idiots.

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, patrick, given your illiteracy (btw, since I openly acknowlege that freedom will have bad aspects, you attribution of "worship" to me is yet another example of your dishonesty or illiteracy), it would be better if you just stopped.

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

All one needs is a DVD player and a good analog TV to make broadcast programming superfluous. In fact, you can buy just about any PBS program, including those from back in the day when PBS didn't suck. Anyone who subscribes to cable tv is being badly ripped off.

Posted by: Pechorin on May 31, 2006 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

As to Gregory's typical dishonesty, one can examine in this forum's archives any number of exchanges I've had with people that did not involve the name-calling that Gregory favors over any other type of intercourse. If Gregory wishes to dispute this, all he has to do is promise (although it is perversely optimistic of me to accept a promise from a demonstrated liar) to contribute $100 to the re-election of Ron Paul when I produce ten such examples.

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

What isn't, of course, morally and intellectually cretinous is voting for the architect of the Iraq war and the man without whom there would be no tortured prisoners, no citizens held without recourse to the justice system, and more than 2400 dead soldiers, even after he started this glorious war - paid for through the coercive power of the state, under the threat of imprisonment or death. After all, the difference between an accident (like Laura Bushs little incident with her ex-boyfriend) and official government policy isnt particularly interesting to a towering intellect like mine.

since I openly acknowlege that freedom will have bad aspects, you attribution of "worship" to me is yet another example of your dishonesty or illiteracy

Oh, right, and I never did quite understand the point of Job.

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Moyers is a man turned bitter at the fact his issues and his party have done so miserably. In a world of 300 stations there's little need for PBS but they're rather harmless. No one watched Moyers show while Talk Radio and Fox dominated the ratings. It ate Bill alive that Rush limbuagh had an audience 1,000x's larger and he created an industry that has more listeners than network news and PBS combined.


As a political activist in the Kennedy/LBJ Bill came of age just as the Democratic party had peaked and started it's long, steady descent. As LBJs press secretary he saw up close the large congressional majorities and the legislative domination of LBJ. He watched it all whither away and the cowboy take over. Bill is in agony.

Posted by: rdw on May 31, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

I see the coward is unable to discern the difference between a human being worshipping a faultless deity, and worshipping an imperfect method of human beings interacting with one another, thus he stupidly puts forth inapt analogies. Not surprising, in that the seems to believe that waiting several hours to contact authorities after drowning a woman falls into the category of "an accident". Really, just how stupid are you?

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

Let it also be noted that the coward is too dim to grasp the difference between a sitting U.S. Senator and a teenager in Midland, Texas. Even so, Laura Bush likely has enough brains to grasp that it would be unwise for her to denounce the unsafe driving practices of others in a tone of moral indignation. Now, if Dick Cheney is ever enough of a moron to condemn anyone for unsafe firearm practices, THAT would be an apt analogy. The coward is to much of an imbecile to grasp any of this, so sadly, it must be explained to him in elementary terms.

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

I'll leave by noting that the coward not only hijacks my name, but also uses my e-mail address. This really is despicable, but all too typical of this forum.

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen...

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Posted by: Googles McGurk on May 31, 2006 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

As you can tell, I'm still obsessed by Ted Kennedy's accident several decades ago (but find Laura Bushs little adventure positively adorable I didnt say so before, but come on, no one even asked her to do community service for killing her ex, how cute is that), but unwilling to take to task someone whose inattention may well have cost the lives of several thousand civilians, whose bungling has killed thousands of our soldiers, and whose Oedipus complex has led to the death of tens of thousands of non-Americans. After all, one was a sitting Senator and likely drunk at the time (in fact, other than saying that this was as the record shows an accident, no defense has been of Kennedys actions. Only someone pointing out that this does not make one an idiot) and the other was only President and spent months lying to the American public about the threat that was Iraq. And you have to admit; Im a master of the idiotic analogies. Leaving the scene of an accident may have nothing to do with a government policy of deliberate torture, but I certainly can stretch it if it helps me attack those hated liberals.

Posted by: Will Allen on May 31, 2006 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

Will, you and the average commentator on this site are a match made in heaven as much as any of the other conservative trolls on this site, but since you've made a big stink about how no one is man enough to call you on your flawed arguments without insulting you personally, I'll give it a whirl, if only for the pleasure of demonstrating to myself that it really doesn't make any difference in your reaction.

Let's see here. What was your original point?

Yes, yes, journalism ought to be paid for through the coercive power of the state, under the threat of imprisonment or death, because free people giving their money willingly to those entities which they support, or from which they willingly purchase goods and services, just doesn't produce the desired outcome. Moyers is entirely correct; there's just too much freedom of association and contract in our society, and unless we use the state to forcibly stifle those forms of hideous human behavior, bad things will happen.

Ok, so, attempting to not be personally insulting, I still don't really know what you're talking about. Kevin's excerpts explicitly point out Bill Moyers discussing the need for societal groups and forces who don't have the multi-billion dollars to spend to get their own television networks, shows, and advertisements, to still have the opportunity, and a platform, government-supported, to have television networks, shows, and advertisements.

I don't see any mention here of shutting down corporate-funded media networks, throwing their owners in jail or blowing them up, so your heavy- handed references to imprisonment and death are rather unjustified and inflammatory, thus predictably leading to your well-deserved roasting.

Of course, you're probably reffering to the idea of taxes that you are required to pay going to fund media in some form. In the need to pay taxes, or, god help us, the use of those taxes to create goods and servies, you see facsism. That's all very well and good, as long as you are willing to admit that your opinion has nothing to do with the popular consensus of global civil society. Governments demand you pay taxes, as you've mentioned, under threat of imprisonment, though not death last time I checked, and they use this money to create goods and services not provided by the market, not limited to but including a legal and criminal justice system - that we have chosen not to provide by "the market", a national defense we have chosen not to provide by the market, various forms of wealth redistribution that are supported by a vast popular consensus and support, that the market will not provide, such as Social Security and Medicare, scientific research that we have judged the market to provide not well enough or not at all, and so on. Somewhere on this list, Bill Moyers also includes providing TV and radio time to groups that do not have the vast amount of money to get their own.

You may disagree with this as a social choice, but don't go making this offensive and entirely illogical argument that this is somehow a qualitatively different act than all the other services your government propels you to pay for. Either you don't approve of your government collecting any taxes and/or providing any services - you are an anarchist - or else you are exercising your personal opinion as to which services it should provide.

That's fine, but it's also your personal, philosophically inconsistent, and I might add selfish prefrences, not some overarching rational theory of what is and is not moral for government to provide. Don't disguise it as anything other than that. Happily, your preferences are currently being ignored by the majority will of our nation, as is appropriate in our democratic system, and as demonstrated by the fact that PBS continues to exist.

Rail against the system to your heart's content. Have a good time. But if you don't really don't like it, I suggest you emigrate.

Posted by: glasnost on May 31, 2006 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

RDW,

The paradigm you seem to be working off of is liberals vs conservatives as some kind of game/contest. That's just the impression I'm getting.

I think I can safely say that Bill Moyers is pained to see the direction this country has taken, not because Democrats no longer hold sway. I think for him (as it is for myself) a question of the replacement of values like:

-sacrifice for the common good
-neighborhood and community cohesiveness
-belief in government as a force for good (imperfect as the electorate that is involved or not involved in it)
-respect for the environment
-keeping corporate power in check
-valuing human relationships

by

-getting what's mine first
-taking care of my tribe first
-hatred of the government
-the environment valued only in terms of $$$
-deregulation for the sake of the idol of free market capitalism
-valuing the things money buys

in this country.

The entertainment industry has substituted true community for one that thrives on the latest gossip, star triviality, hottest movie, song, or advertising segment.

Bill Moyers is a person of deep religious faith. He hates what the Democratic Party has let itself become (a weak opposition party beholden to many of the same corporate interests as the Republicans) and even moreso, what the Republican Party has done to enable this destruction of our culture, our freedom, and this country.

We, the people have allowed this to happen by letting libertarian and conservative frauds fool us into believing we don't make a difference - leave it to the grown-ups and beltway pundits to tell us how to think. Further enabling ineffective representatives in our government to spiral us ever downward.

It just is a lot deeper than a game to me.

Posted by: Patrick Briggs on May 31, 2006 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

Government is supposed to provide and be custodian of public goods. The information provided by PBS was a public good to most people who desire to obtain the largest amount of information available in order to make informed decisions. Capital does not want people to make informed decisions. Capital only wants people to make economic choices, and so has shut down this public source of information that might expand individuals' understanding of the world.

Will Allen, I accept your capitulation to the power and will of capital.

Posted by: Hostile on May 31, 2006 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Moyers needs to be part of a new media news network.

Think about news broadcasts, video and audio over the internet. Now is the time to do a startup of this kind.

Posted by: patience on May 31, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

As to Gregory's typical dishonesty yadda yadda yadda

Oh, that's rich, Will! You put us $100 -- well, you don't, actually; no word on what you would do if you lost, which just proves it's a sucker's bet. All you have to do is produce ten polite posts out of all the ones you've posted here...conveniently ignoring, of course, your arrogance, evasion, invective, selective memory, selective quotation, tendentious parsing, and bucketloads of intellectual dishonesty. That's just hilarious, Will.

Will, ol' pal, I think I've posted enough here to have something of a rep among regulars, and I think it's fair to say you do too. As I keep saying, I'm perfectly happy to let the record stand as it is.

Since Will has promised -- for the second time -- to leave, I can only say that it's been another entertaining episode of the Will Allen Show. Thanks for the argument-by-assertion, arrogance, and crank loony libertarian philosophy, Will!

Posted by: Gregory on May 31, 2006 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: gsdfg on May 31, 2006 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

Edward Osgood: Hello. I'm Edward Osgood, Programming Director of WNET New York. The program you've been watching - "Sex and Peer Pressure at Valley High" - was made possible by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. But without your contributions, PBS can't continue to produce this and other fine programs. Programs like "Nude Black Man Today", "The Fidel Castro 60th Birthday Gala", and our award-winning 12-part "History of Police Brutality", hosted by Ice T. Government funding, through your tax dollars, isn't enough. It's barely $600 million. So, please call and pledge more money, operators are standing by. And, if you're pledging $30 or more, specify whether you'd like the Robert Mapplethorpe Tote Bag, or the Abortion Yes Umbrella! We now return to "Sex and Peer Pressure at Valley High".

Posted by: GOP on May 31, 2006 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

I'd like to see PBS' formula reworked to that budgets (and national programming) are doled out more in proportion to the American population. One of the problems with PBS is that it's so dominated by a handful of stations -- WGBH in particular, but also WNET and WETA to a lesser extent. If we could get stations from all parts of the country to provide stimulating, thought-provoking programming often with different perspectives (and I'm not really referring to liberal vs. conservative here!), PBS wouldn't be perceived as a refuge for tweedy yuppie elitists who shop at Whole Foods and root for the Red Sox because they're considered culturally correct.

Posted by: Vincent on May 31, 2006 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

Typically illiterate, Gregory confuses the meaning of the word "exchange" with the word "post". Listen, Gregory, you opened your yap and commented that I had not proven that I have non-contemptuous exchanges with those with whom I disagree in this forum. I'm happy to do so, as long as pay for my time. Of course, since you know you are lying, you refuse to put your money where your mouth is. Tell ya' what, if I can't produce them, I'll be happy to put up $100 to whatever cause you choose. Of course, since you choose to yammer pointlessly, along with being a liar, you won't accept the challenge.

Coward, you also seem to unable to grasp that it was you who raised the subject of Ted Kennedy in this thread, thus it can be more accurately said that it is you who is obsessed with him. Of course, since you are too dim to grasp that there is nothing accidental about failing to contact the authorities for several hours after drowing a person, your lack of comprehension is not surprising.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 1, 2006 at 12:35 AM | PERMALINK

Glasnost, if you really believe that taxes are not collected under threat of death, try not paying them, and then refusing to comply with subsequent orders of the state. Now, I'm not a pacifist, nor am I an anarchist, but I am honest enough to clearly state that I am willing to kill people who don't comply with the law. The question becomes, "What is worth killing people for"?. What is it about statists such as yourself that you are too dishonest to admit that the ends to which people are killed for is the ultimate question of government? Perhaps because killing people, or threatening to kill people, in order to ensure the funding of PBS, is absurd?

Your lengthy argument boils down to this; you believe the majority shall have the power to violently force minorities to disseminate political views with which they disagree. By this reasoning, of course, there is nothing morally objectionable about a majority forcing atheists to fund any number of religions. The First Amendment, after all, is perfectly malleable, or even perishable, given sufficient majority will, so by your reasoning, there is nothing illegitimate about forcing atheists to do so, as long as the suffcient majority follows legal procedures. If you really mean to advocate tyranny by majority, why not do so honestly? There is no freedom of speech, just as there is no freedom of religion, when majorities can force minorities to pay for that with which they disagree.

Are there times when majorities can legitimately force minorities to do their bidding? Sure, when failure to do so would threaten society with the most pernicious forms of violence, that of anarchy or tyranny. This isn't a bright line test, of course, so there is plenty of room for legitimate disagreement, from the extent of national defense, to providing for transportation infrastructure, to public education, etc., etc.. However, there is no reasonable argument for the notion that failure to fund PBS, which didn't even exist until 1965, would so threaten society, thus it can be fairly concluded that it is an illegitimate use of the violent power of the state.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 1, 2006 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

When NPR hires Fox shills like Mara Liasson and Juan Williams, I think the notion that they are standing against corporatism has taken a dive.

Posted by: Paul Camp on June 1, 2006 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

It should be remembered that, except for a few cases in which they are owned by their local municipalities, public television stations are privately-owned, not-for-profit organizations that receive only a portion of their funding through government sources. The degree to which any of them are dependent on government funding varies according to the station, with the larger ones with strong membership bases being far less dependent. Frankly, they could probably survive without government support. It would be at a cost, since they would certainly have a more difficult time trying to develop new programming, but they could probably survive in some fashion. The small stations would suffer the most, and that would be a shame, given that, in an increasingly corporate media environment, public television is the last refuge of truly local television.

Indeed, public television is not only structured to be local; it is mandated to be local. To the extent their budgets allow, each station is mandated to serve its local community, both in the local programming that it develops and in its community outreach efforts. Bear in mind that, unlike commercial stations, public television stations are also community service organizations that provide substantive material and professional support to local educators and other service organizations, and all of it at no charge.

Yes, unfortunately, there is some crappy programming on public television, but there are also documentaries the likes of which one is simply not going to find anywhere else, and if you think not, then I suspect you havent really been watching. Forget the Doo Wop concerts during pledge drives. Thats just public television trying to survive by getting support from viewers, far too many of whom seem to think that public television somehow lives off fresh air and sunshine. People perceive it as something that is supposed to be free so they have to be coaxed to give with the offer of CDs and DVDs of these concerts and other pledge programs. Indeed, public television is free, but that doesnt mean it gets a free ride. It somehow has to come up with the money to produce the programming it really cares about and Doo Wop shows are a fairly harmless way of doing it.

Public television as it exists in this country is not the ideal model. It is a strange hybrid between the commercially-driven model and the state-run model, the later of which, while it would spare us the pledge drives, has its own problems. Whatever its limitations, there needs to be a media alternative that is accessible, freely available, and not dependent on audience share. In this country, that media alternative is public television. Without it, there are important stories that will never get told or told in such a simplistic, dumbed-down fashion as to lose their meaning.

Posted by: Focaccina on June 1, 2006 at 2:57 AM | PERMALINK

These days one desperate to get away from the soma ( fictional pharmaceutical pacifier for the masses ) and the kool-aid still has to endure the pollution in comments. Welcome to Trollhatten.
By way of a breath of fresh air, candor and right mindedness, I commend you to
http://kfmonkey.blogspot.com/2006/05/ lions_led_by_donkeys.html

Posted by: opit on June 1, 2006 at 3:08 AM | PERMALINK

Remember when I was leaving before:

I'll leave by noting that I have voted Republican, or for a conservative, fewer than 50% of the time, I oppose any regulation of abortion, the War on Drugs, and any Federal regulation of marriage. I denounced George Bush as a crony capitalist as early as 1996. Yeah, sure, I'm a conservative, and most of you here are "liberals". Really.

As to the rest, I brought Ted Kennedy up to demonstrate my inability to argue effectively. Rather than attempting reasonable debate I use name-calling and lame rhetorical tricks to distract from my complete lack of intellectual integrity. Of course, my first post claiming that PBS's funding came at the barrel of a gun was another good example, but I wanted to broaden the scope a little and show just how idiotic I really can be. And boy did I provide clear evidence. Watch how I excoriate Kennedy for the aftermath of an accident (and how I ignore the fact that this was, at heart, an accident), but have no wish to extend this logic to the man whose lies have murdered thousands of soldiers and tens of thousands of non-Americans. See, Kennedy is an idiot and George Bush deserved re-election. Which explains how Im an independent.

At the end of the day I believe that the majority has the right to force the minority to pay for the slaughter of people who are no threat to the United States, its way of life, or even a single one of its citizens.

I'm sure I'm really leaving this time. After all, I got the last word.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 1, 2006 at 3:34 AM | PERMALINK

Listen, Gregory, you opened your yap and commented that I had not proven that I have non-contemptuous exchanges with those with whom I disagree in this forum.

Gee, now who's illiterate and/or a liar, Will? I said no such thin, and I challenge you cite where I did. (In other words, Will, this is the "put up or shut up" challenge you inevitably fail to meet.) Whether you've had "non-contemptuous exchanges with those with whom [you] disagree in this forum" on ten isolated occasions is irrelevent to the fact that overall the tone of your commentary is arrogant, pompous, dishonest (Will opening a remark with "if you really believe ..." is key signal to a dishonest paraphrase. And for that matter, Will, I challenge you to name three individuals in this country in the last 50 years who were executed for not paying taxes. Put up or shut up) contemptuous and cowardly (whining that your widdle feelings were hurt by other poster's commentary -- excuse me, that their comments indicated a desire for an impolite exchange or whatever -- is pretty thin beer, and again, this time it's fair to say that you fired the first shot in this thread, to my unending amusement).

I've already told you, Will, that it's a sucker's bet, and I'm not playing, and I've told you why. You're either too iliterate or dishonest to acknowledge as much. I'll just repeat that, regardless of whether you've managed to be polite on ten individual on occasions, I stand by my characterization of your commentary and simply trust that the evidence of Kevin's arcives -- which, to my undending delight, you have no power to alter -- backs me up.

Will, you keep coming here and asserting your, ah, unique and wildly paranoid theories of government. They're your opinion, deranged as it might be, and you're entititled to it. But I do have to wonder why you bother. Your assertions and a buck will get you a cup of coffee, Will, and I for one frankly don't give a damn what you think the minority is violently coercing you to do. Your paranoia, dishonesty and raging inferiority complex are excellent examples of the loony libertarian mindset, but again I really have to wonder what compels you to slink back here and get the last word (especially after promsing to leave twice -- why, you're worse than that cretin Charlie).

One last clue for you, Will. As I'm sure you'd agree, whether one agrees with my point of view is much less important than how they express that disagreement. Of course I point out the fallacies and intellectual dishonesty of people who disagree with me, for example your brother in loony libertarianism, tbrosz. But no one forces tbrosz or anyone else to post the straw men, bankrupt arguments, fallacies, dishonest disortions, long-debunked arguments and outright lies that they do. Those that do so, though, are owed no courtesy at all, and your own frequent justifications for your own behavior covers me in that regard as well.

So thanks for proving me right, Will. I'll close by saying once again that I'm absolutely confident in having any honest individual read your posts and mine and judge for themselves who has the better argument. Thanks again for another entertaining episode of the Will Allen Show.

Posted by: Gregory on June 1, 2006 at 5:58 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory, you illiterate twit, when you write...

"As usual with Will, an assertion that is not at all in evidence."

...any reasonable person would conclude that you were doubting whether I had proven that I have non-contemptuous exchanges with those with whom I disagree in this forum. You can't read, which is why you idiotically believe that sarcasm is equivalent to the name calling you inevitably engage in (the notion of you calling someone else hostile is too silly for words) whenever you encounter someone with differing views. Do you EVER refrain from name calling with someone with who you disagree in this forum? Has it ever happened?

The fact that you are too dishonest to acknowledge that all law is ultimately backed by the power of life and death is typical of little thugs such as yourself. You need to lie to yourself, and call other people names, for to do otherwise would threaten the self-image that you have pathetically constructed for yourself.

Finally, if you expressed disagreement in the manner of glasnost above, your second to last (dishonest) paragraph would be valid. You don't. You simply call people names, and then (stupidly) think it is notable when others respond in kind.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 1, 2006 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

And trust me, I know from calling people names. Idiot, coward, twit, these are all perfectly good ways of expressing my intellectual superiority. After all, I'm so smart that I consider taxes to be an act of violence rather than the price of living in a free society. Sure, it sounds insane, but really it is the height of wisdom.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 1, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

The problem is precisely that public television becomes ever more commercial, sloppy, ordinary. If the metric for viability is the same as that for commercial stations, public television will always fail to measure up.

But it is not the numbers that matter, but the quality of the programming that will never be aired elsewhere and exposure for those who won't get it elsewhere.

Posted by: leigh hunt on June 1, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Patrick -
"You are right. PBS and NPR have become much more corporate. They, like all the others failed us.

What do we do about de-corporatizing them? Do we just end government funding?"

You should look into who is running the show, so to speak. The Bush administration has over the past 5 years tilted the Board of Directors with pro-market "conservatives". I.e. corporate apologists and proponents. It should be no surprise that it has become more of a lapdog.
Shit, they even have commercial advertisements now, in some markets.
Once upon a time, some programs were funded by corporate sponsors, and in many cases those programs had themes that could be considered gently critical to those sponsors. This was not a problem due to low viewership, but more importantly the tax write-off for the charitable contribution more than compensated for the loss of business that the more-informed viewers accounted for.

Insofar as funding is concerned, has anyone addressed the preponderance of commercial advertising? In only rare occasions (such as PBS biatches! Ever seen CBS hold a fund-raising drive?) is it directly funded by viewers. For the most part, corporations give broadcasters money up front that pays for their programming. In return, the corporations are entitled to subject viewers to their marketing propaganda - a form of commercial speech, by the way. The incentive of more money for greater viewership encourages the braadcasters to come up with programming that will draw greater viewership, so that more people are exposed to consumerist marketing propaganda.
So, we get lots of titillating programming - sex, violence, etc. Not enough drugs and rock n' roll in my opinion, but that's me.

Not so much genuinely informative or educational programming, but that shouldn't be a suprise.
There are, after all, a lot of Americans out there that would still be crapping themselves if they hadn't been coerced into learning to use a toilet.

Posted by: kenga on June 1, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

opit - regarding this -
These days one desperate to get away from the soma ( fictional pharmaceutical pacifier for the masses )

You may want to have a look around. Unless a number of physicians I have visited have both a fascination with Aldous Huxley's works, and a pretty sly sense of humor, a pharmaceutical product by that name does in fact exist. I've no other reasonable way to explain multiple copies of the same poster advertising Soma posted in examination rooms of different medical facilities.

Posted by: kenga on June 1, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Gee, coward, are you really too stupid to grasp that taxes are collected via force? Has your illiteracy caused you to conclude that the word "law" is synonymous with the word "request"? Are you such an imbecile that you cannot understand that there is nothing mutually exclusive about acknowledging the need for taxes, in order to have a working society (unfree societies have taxes as well, moron), while also acknowledging that taxes are collected by threats of violence, or actual violence, if the threats are ignored? Whis is it; are you extremely intellectually dishonest, or just plain dumb?

Posted by: Will Allen on June 1, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah Will - like we show up at your door on April 15 with a SWAT team.

Posted by: IRS on June 1, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Would you STFU already Will? That goes for the fake will and everybody pushing his buttons.

Will - this is not about you. Quit bogarting it, OK?

Posted by: kenga on June 1, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, IRS, what happens if somebody ignores your "requests"? Are the people sitting in jail cells for doing so there voluntarily? What happens if they resist being imprisoned? Again, I have no objection at all to the collection of taxes, but what is it about "liberals" that they cannot acknowledge that taxes are collected via the threat of violence? Do they think society would function well if the tax code became voluntary? Are they dishonest or delusional? Is their self-image so carefully constructed around their silly notion of themselves as peaceful that they cannot bring themselves to face the undeniable fact that the state's primary function is to organize violence? What do they think built those buildings known as "prisons", and how they suppose those buildings came to be populated? How stupid are these so-called "liberals"?

I'm truly curious; do these people who call themselves "liberals" really think that acknowledging the fact that taxes are collected by threat of force means that one must be an anarchist, or must somehow deny the necessity of collecting taxes?

Posted by: Will Allen on June 1, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

kenga, what is "bogarting" about responding to people who attack me in a most vile manner, which most here have done, with the exception of glasnost? Do you find it unbelievable that someone would question the legitimacy of using state power to fund the dissemination of political views that some find disagreement with? I'll ask you: if it is legitimate for a majority to force a minority to pay for political speech they differ with, what would be illegitimate about a sufficient majority changing the First Amendment in order to force atheists to fund churches? After all, the majority rules, correct?

Posted by: Will Allen on June 1, 2006 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, that's right, I think all laws are an application of force. This, because I used the word all, include jaywalking. That's right, jaywalking enforcement is done under pain of death.

As to the insane notion that taxes are collected at the barrel of a gun is just one of the fun things that mark my towering intellect. Reasonable people may suggest that the only people for whom force is necessary are those who don't understand that taxes are part of the social compact, but not me. I know better.

That's because I'm not a conservative or a liberal. I'm an intellectually rigorous poster. Which is why I didn't get the reference about taxes and free society. I could look it up, but I'm smarter than that. Of course, if I did, I might notice that the original quote said "civilized" and not, as has been suggested "free" and that would allow me to continue to demonstrate my stunning brilliance. But that would be too much work. It's more fun to call names and make intellectually rigorous arguments about how all taxation is an application of force.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 1, 2006 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Tell ya' what coward, let's make the tax code voluntary, and we'll see how long society survives. As to your usual illiteracy, you wrote, at 11:25 AM,...

"After all, I'm so smart that I consider taxes to be an act of violence rather than the price of living in a free society."

...what is remarkable about this is the fact that you seem to lack the ability to comprehend what you have written yourself. This gives new meaning to the concept of idiot savant. Congratulations.

Finally, what happens to the person who ignores municipal fines? Every hear of an arrest warrant? What do you suppose happens to people who vigorously resist arrest warrants? Do you suppose they receive complementary massages? Again, just how astoundingly stupid are you?

Posted by: Will Allen on June 1, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Kenga,

Did you see that Fred Rogers clip on Youtube?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxy9oelCZ3o

There are aspects of previous American societies that are very attractive in this day and age. There was more a sense of community and public involvement.

People feel unempowered today. They retreat to what they know - their job, family, their home - and have nothing to do with anything else in their community. Nothing to do with things they feel they can't influence.

Their primary means of being involved in anything outside of this narrow realm is the media world corporations spin for us (i.e. American Idol, Tom Cruise's antics, gators eating people, so and so winning the lottery, how many times the Clintons spent together) - infotainment.

This virtual community has replaced a real community and our quality of representation in government has dropped concurrently. Not only that, but a vocal minority have created this paradigm of anti-government, me-first, theocratic fascism which wages war on our humanity and sense of being able to change things for the better.

It's interesting that the definition for:

idiot
The word idiot, is derived from the Greek word ιδιωτης, idiōtēs, "a private citizen, individual", from ιδιος, idios, "private".

It was originally used in the ancient Greek city-states to refer to people who were overly concerned with their own self-interest and ignored the needs of the community.

It would really describe that arrogant, self-described intellectual who keeps coming back here very well.

Posted by: Patrick Briggs on June 1, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Kenga,

Did you see that Fred Rogers clip on Youtube?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxy9oelCZ3o

There are aspects of previous American societies that are very attractive in this day and age. There was more a sense of community and public involvement.

People feel unempowered today. They retreat to what they know - their job, family, their home - and have nothing to do with anything else in their community. Nothing to do with things they feel they can't influence.

Their primary means of being involved in anything outside of this narrow realm is the media world corporations spin for us (i.e. American Idol, Tom Cruise's antics, gators eating people, so and so winning the lottery, how many times the Clintons spent together) - infotainment.

This virtual community has replaced a real community and our quality of representation in government has dropped concurrently. Not only that, but a vocal minority have created this paradigm of anti-government, me-first, theocratic fascism which wages war on our humanity and sense of being able to change things for the better.

It's interesting that the definition for:

idiot
The word idiot, is derived from the Greek word ιδιωτης, idiōtēs, "a private citizen, individual", from ιδιος, idios, "private".

It was originally used in the ancient Greek city-states to refer to people who were overly concerned with their own self-interest and ignored the needs of the community.

It would really describe that arrogant, self-described intellectual who keeps coming back here very well.

Posted by: Patrick Briggs on June 1, 2006 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

Kenga,

Did you see that Fred Rogers clip on Youtube?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxy9oelCZ3o

There are aspects of previous American societies that are very attractive in this day and age. There was more a sense of community and public involvement.

People feel unempowered today. They retreat to what they know - their job, family, their home - and have nothing to do with anything else in their community. Nothing to do with things they feel they can't influence.

Their primary means of being involved in anything outside of this narrow realm is the media world corporations spin for us (i.e. American Idol, Tom Cruise's antics, gators eating people, so and so winning the lottery, how many times the Clintons spent together) - infotainment.

This virtual community has replaced a real community and our quality of representation in government has dropped concurrently. Not only that, but a vocal minority have created this paradigm of anti-government, me-first, theocratic fascism which wages war on our humanity and sense of being able to change things for the better.

It's interesting that the definition for:

idiot
The word idiot, is derived from the Greek word ιδιωτης, idiōtēs, "a private citizen, individual", from ιδιος, idios, "private".

It was originally used in the ancient Greek city-states to refer to people who were overly concerned with their own self-interest and ignored the needs of the community.

It would really describe that arrogant, self-described intellectual who keeps coming back here very well.

Posted by: Patrick Briggs on June 1, 2006 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

Patrick is too dim to grasp that one need not favor a powerful state in order to be concerned with the well-being of others.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 1, 2006 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

I, on the other hand, am too dim to understand that by backing the leadership of George W. Bush I personally have helped create a more powerful state. One that no longer provides assurances that imprisonment will be limited to those who have been duly convicted of crimes but can also be imposed with no expectation of a trial.

But I'm really in love with the insane notion that taxes are collected at the barrel of a gun. Repetition is good too. If I keep saying that line about volunteering, perhaps someone will finally find it clever. The fact is, I just can't imagine that anyone actually pays taxes without thinking of those jackbooted thugs coming to their door and forcing them to submit. After all, that's how I present my opposition to something that might cost me $3/year. That's too high a price to pay for something I'm ideologically opposed to.

Now war, on the other hand, that's something I can get behind. A few billion dollars a month couldn't possibly work out to more than I'm being asked to pay for PBS (remember when we were talking about something other than me?). And even if it is, at least I get to vicariously kill non-Americans and force liberals to help me do it.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 1, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

The coward operates under the hallucination that when someone is told that they will either engage in activity x, or they will be jailed, and killed if they resist being jailed, activity x is somehow not being accomplished via the implicit threat of death. The coward just may be the the most cretinous person to ever participate in this forum, which is quite an accomplishment, given Gregory also participates frequently.

Posted by: Will Allen on June 1, 2006 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

The paradigm you seem to be working off of is liberals vs conservatives as some kind of game/contest. That's just the impression I'm getting.

Of course it is serious business but looking at it on a day to day basis it's also a game. The contest is to spin the daily news cycle in your favor. This is course expands far beyond the parties. Kevin Drum is an active participant. While clearly liberal and surely a solid blue slate vote Kevin will also hammer the party because his serious and spin his ass off because he wants to win.

The two most interesting parts of the last campaign for me were the TANG and SBV stories because they were all about the game aspect. Would the liberal media and DNC be able to trash Bush? Would the liberal media and DNC be able to protect Kerry?

Obviously for a conservative both events had additional meaning because they celebrate the rise of the alternative media at the expense of the MSM.

I am serious and that's why I call myself a conservative rather than a republican. Like many conservatives I have many problems with GWB especially his expansion of Govt and spending. It is thi seriousness that might cost them the house. If there is a shift it won't be because the Dems got their act together. It will be because serious coservatives want to send a message to the GOP and will stay home. That's as serious as it gets.


I think I can safely say that Bill Moyers is pained to see the direction this country has taken, not because Democrats no longer hold sway. I think for him (as it is for myself) a question of the replacement of values like:


I'm certain Bill is pained. He is a deeply frustrated man. The fact his party has had such a bad time of it is a big reason why. When Clinton lost 54 seats he might a well have cut his heart out.

Bill is also a serious and smart guy. He's also a true-blue post-68 socialist liberal. I see him as the classic liberal with an IQ near 160 but no thinking skills. Or his thinking skills are so atrophied by leftist partisanship he can't reason. Anyone in this age who still believes in socialism is a moron. Bill is still there.

My favorite Moyers story is a documentary he did in the 80's on being poor in America. Bill went around and visited poor familes in their homes. we got to see how it is to have 7 people in a two bedroom home with a small kitchen and living room.

As blame America 1st liberals are wont to do Bill took his show on the road to prove to the rest on the world America IS a bad place and they rally don't want to come here. In Pakistan Bill showed his documentary and elicited comments. The 1st guy said, "I want to go to America where the poor people are fat!!"

Poor Bill. It would never occur to a liberal that in most of the rest of the world to be poor and fat is a contradicton. They can't exist together. It did not occur to Bill the spaces Americans would find to tight are quite nice by global standards. Add in the TV (color) phone, furniture, plumbing, range, fridge and Bill had a disaster.

I really liked his series with Joseph Campbell but politically Moyers is off the rails. He's a hard core ideologue and every 'loss' is a disaster and the world is just going to hell.

I thank God I'm sane. I thought Bill Clinton an exceedingly dishonest, undisciplined and vain man as well as a poor decision maker. At no time did I fear for the country. We don't have kings. We have Presidents. Big difference.

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