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PBS Couldn’t Make Time for Bill Moyers’ New Show

Posted on Aug 23, 2011
Matthew Hurst (CC-BY-SA)

Legendary broadcaster Bill Moyers is returning to television, flush with $2 million in foundation funding, but PBS opted not to carry his “Moyers & Company.” American Public Television will instead distribute the interview show for free to stations around the country.

In a statement, media watchdog Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting said: “Showcasing viewpoints not often heard on commercial media is precisely the point of public broadcasting. But few of the shows distributed by PBS aspire to that goal, as FAIR’s numerous studies of public broadcasting have shown (Extra!, 11/10). Moyers’ return is good news for viewers seeking diverse and dissenting viewpoints. PBS’ failure to find a suitable time slot for such a show demonstrates once more that the network’s understanding of its mission is sharply at odds with the founding vision of an independent, critical public broadcasting system.”—PZS

The New York Times:

The program will be based at WNET in New York City and distributed free to public television stations by American Public Television, an alternative distributor to PBS. Stations will be able to broadcast it at whatever time they choose. In a letter to public television executives announcing the new program, Mr. Moyers, who is 77, said that WNET was looking at showing the program on Sundays at 6 p.m.

Earlier this year, Mr. Moyers, who retired from PBS in April 2010, said he had received $2 million in financing from the Carnegie Corporation of New York for the new show, but PBS had told him it couldn’t find an appropriate time slot.

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By Figaro, September 15, 2011 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For everyone who’s sick and tired of PBS’s never-ending “begathons” (send us money, give us your old car, remember us in your will, etc.)this is the perfect excuse to wave goodbye to what has become a toothless remnant of its former self.

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By Curt Herman, August 24, 2011 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I loved his stuff. If PBS is so afraid of the
Republicans since they went after them he should go to
Current or FreeSpeachTV.

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Samson's avatar

By Samson, August 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

Why do I care about PBS?  I stopped even thinking about
given them money at least a decade ago, and I almost
never watch them any more.  Very rarely do they show
anything of interest.

The best revenge is to turn them off and ignore them. 
With the internet, Mr. Moyers will be able to talk to
you, and you can listen to him. No need for the high
priests at PBS to give him their corporate blessing.

Turn off PBS and walk away.

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By TIM D., August 24, 2011 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

PBS unable to find a timeslot for Bill Moyers:  that’s like the Vatican unable to find a place to house the pope.

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By Mana Marcus, August 24, 2011 at 11:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve missed this wise man. Since his essay in




























I’ve missed this wise man…since his great essay in Nov.2010 in which he said,“No more Mr. Nice Guy, Mr.president. We need a fighter.”
Say it again, Bill, please.

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By GradyLeeHoward, August 24, 2011 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

This does reinforce claims that Moyers Journal and NOW were censored at Koch demand. Maybe he’ll be more forceful this try and interview a Truther. Maybe he’ll uncover “shadow tech” and a new Cointelpro. We can only hope. I welcome him although I am the same Grady Lee Howard who called him a hostage when he purged David Ray Griffin’s book from his list. As I plan to help occupy DC Oct. 6 and protest at the Charlotte DNC I’m glad to have Bill covering those things.

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By MeHere, August 24, 2011 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

Bill Moyers’ programs have been much more than a stage for alternative political
views. His interviews have always been focused on a wide variety of themes
important to human culture.  In many ways, his work has embodied what PBS
originally was before adapting itself to the demands from political/business interests and audience mediocrity in order to remain in existence.

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D.R. Zing's avatar

By D.R. Zing, August 24, 2011 at 7:33 am Link to this comment

PBS once again does the hind-lick maneuver.  Like all other nationwide broadcast stations, it’s scared shitless of losing its funding. One look at a Newsmaker Interview or Shields and Brooks “analysis” on The News Hour tells you what PBS is looking for:  standard fare that allows Democrats and Republicans to hijack the airways with insufferable bullshit. See coverage of recent debt-ceiling crisis for details.

“I am a human being and I can’t believe all the things I’m seeing.”

—Pete Townshend

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By ardee, August 24, 2011 at 4:58 am Link to this comment

Much ado about nothing. A new show falling in what is mid season for PBS programming, a schedule already set, paid for even.

This seems a place to note that leftists never gain traction with the majority precisely because they insist, time and again, that everything reaffirms the belief that monsters lurk everywhere. Same reason the Tea Party will never be able to survive without the constant infusion of large sums of money, something of which the left is rather bereft.

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By racetoinfinity, August 24, 2011 at 2:21 am Link to this comment

Just like they cancelled the estimable “NOW” a few years ago, and replaced it with the more establishment-friendly “Need to Know.”  (Is that still on?)

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By LA_CC, August 24, 2011 at 12:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow. I’m just stunned. I guess I haven’t been paying
attention while PBS totally sold out? Sad.

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By IGiveUp, August 23, 2011 at 9:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

PBS’ failure to find a suitable time slot for such a show demonstrates once more that the network’s understanding of its mission is sharply at odds with the founding vision of an independent, critical public broadcasting system.”—and for this reason, a few people I know have quite donating to the organization and its affiliates.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, August 23, 2011 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

@ queenie

He will never REALLY challenge the 9/11 malarkey.

@ Patrick Henry

Sorry buddy but I don’t think that is going to happen.

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By Queenie, August 23, 2011 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment

Hopefully transcripts of his show will be on the internet or broadcast on U Tube for those of us with no television. His shows used to be interesting and informative. I was always waiting for him to challenge the “official” 9/11 bullshit we were fed. Don’t think he ever did, though. Correct me if I am wrong.

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By PatrickHenry, August 23, 2011 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

Link TV and RT would gladly make room for Moyers.

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politicky's avatar

By politicky, August 23, 2011 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

Yeah.  Why does this not surprise me?  I love and respect Bill

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