Bill Moyers Pt. 1

  • Aired:  06/01/11
  •  | Views: 76,004

Bill Moyers says news organizations undermine journalism by relying on opinion rather than reporting. (4:53)

>> Jon: MY GUEST TONIGHT IS A

BESTSELLING AUTHOR.

HE'S A PRIZE-WINNING JOURNALIST.

HE HOSTS "BILL MOYERS JOURNAL."

HIS NEW BOOK IS CALLED "BILL

MOYERS JOURNAL: THE CONVERSATION

CONTINUES.

" PLEASE WELCOME BACK TO THE

PROGRAM BILL MOYERS.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

SO NICE TO SEE YOU.

AND YOU TOO.

>> Jon: THANK YOU FOR COMING

BY.

I WAS READING.

IT'S SO NICE TO READ THE

INTERVIEWS THAT ARE COMPILED IN

THIS BECAUSE IT REMINDS YOU OF

JUST WHAT A GREAT VOICE YOU ARE

ON TELEVISION, AND IT'S, YOU

KNOW, PARDON ME, AND I KNOW THAT

YOU'LL BE UNCOMFORTABLE DOING

THIS, BUT WHAT'S SO NICE ABOUT

YOUR INTERVIEWS IS THEY PROVIDE

CONTEXT BUT NOT AMNESTY.

THEY HAVE THIS INCREDIBLE

ABILITY TO BRING OUT THE LAYERS

OF A STORY, BUT NOT TO EXCUSE

ANYTHING ELSEMENT AND YOU MAY

JUST NOD IF YOU WANT.

[LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE]

I REALLY APPRECIATE IT.

SO WHAT'S YOUR... WHEN YOU

APPROACH AN INTERVIEW, WHAT'S

YOUR... WHAT'S YOUR PREPARATION

LIKE?

>> WELL, FIRST MY FOLKS AND I

TRY TO FIGURE OUT THE DIFFERENCE

BETWEEN THE IMPORTANT AND THE

IMMEDIATE BECAUSE THE IMMEDIATE

IS NOT ALWAYS THE MOST

IMPORTANT.

AND WHO CAN SPEAK TO WHAT WE

THINK IS IMPORTANT?

WE DO A LOT OF RESEARCH, A LOT

OF READING, A LOT OF TALKING AND

ALL OF THAT.

YOU KNOW...

[LAUGHTER]

>> Jon: I'M GOING TO PUT STAR

BY THAT.

>> I DON'T THINK YOU TOLD YOUR

FRIENDS HERE ABOUT THE FIRST

INTERVIEW.

BECAUSE I'M A PRETTY GOOD

CHOICE.

THE FIRST INTERVIEW IN THIS BOOK

IS WHO BUT YOU AND I HAVING A

i>M9YTHAT'S FIRST ONE.

>> Jon: THAT'S WHAT DREW MY

EYE TO THE BOOK.

[LAUGHTER]

>> WELL, WE STARTED NOT

NECESSARILY WITH THE SMARTEST,

BUT WITH THE MOST...

>> Jon: THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

[AUDIENCE REACTS]

HE'S RIGHTS.

LET ME ASK YOU A QUESTION.

WHEN YOU SAY "THE MOST

IMPORTANT," THAT SEEMS TO BE

WHAT IS MISSING FROM TODAY'S

JOURNALISM INTERVIEWS, A SENSE

OF EDITORIAL AUTHORITY AND THE

COURAGE TO EXERCISE IT.

>> WELL, IT'S YOUR OWN

INDEPENDENT JUDGMENT.

YOU HAVE TO BRING THAT TO BEAR

ON YOUR CHOICES.

YOU HAVE TO DECIDE, THIS IS WHAT

I THINK IS GOOD, IS WHAT I THINK

IS RIGHT, AND THEN STAND BY IT.

YOU HAVE TO DOCUMENT IT.

YOU HAVE TO PROVE THAT YOUR

AUTHORITY IS CREDIBLE, THAT IT'S

JUSTIFIED.

I LEARNED A LOT.

I DON'T FOLLOW SPORTS VERY MUCH,

BUT I LEARNED A LOT FROM THE

GREAT ONE OF HOCKEY, WAYNE

GRETZKY.

YOU REMEMBER THAT HE SAID HIS

STRATEGY WAS ALWAYS TO GO WHERE

THE PUCK WAS HEADING, NOT WHERE

IT IS.

HE READ THE GAME, AS SOMEBODY

SAID, IN MAGNIFICENT WAY.

AND THAT'S WHAT WE JOURNALISTS

SHOULD TRY TO DO, TRY TO SEE

WHERE THE PUCK, THE NEWS, THE

EVENTS ARE GOING.

AND TO BE THERE WHEN IT HAPPENS

SO WE CAN PUT IT IN CONTEXT.

AND WHEN YOU DO THAT, YOU GAIN A

CERTAIN AUTHORITY FROM BEING

RIGHT MORE OFTEN THAN WRONG.

>> Jon: DO YOU THINK

JOURNALISM IS IN TROUBLE BECAUSE

IT'S LOST THAT AUTHORITY, THE

WILL TO EXERCISE THAT AUTHORITY,

THE ABILITY TO EXERCISE THAT

AUTHORITY?

WHAT'S... WHERE WOULD YOU SAY IS

THE BIGGEST LAPSE THAT YOU SEE?

>> I THINK WE'RE LOST IN WHAT...

I BELIEVE IT WAS WHITMAN OR

THOROUGH CALLED THE MERE SMOKE

OF OPINION.

THE NEWS IS ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE

WANT TO KEEP HITTING.

EVERYTHING ELSE IS PUBLICITY.

PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO KEEP THEIR

OPINIONS HIDDEN.

THEY WANT TO KEEP THE FACTS

HIDDEN.

IT TAKES A LOT OF MONEY, A LOT

OF TIME, A LOT OF EFFORT TO

EXPLORE THE FACTS AND BRING THEM

OUT.

SO A LOT OF NEWS ORGANIZATIONS

NO LONGER DO MUCH REPORTING.

THEY SIMPLY RELY ON OPINION,

TALK, ALL OF, THAT AND THAT

UNDERMINES JOURNALISM.

THE OTHER THING IS WE ARE

ABUSING OURSELVES TO DEATH.

IT'S ALL ABOUT ENTERTAINMENT

TODAY.

JON JON I SHOULD JUST GO.

[LAUGHTER]

[APPLAUSE]

>> YOU ACTUALLY ENTERTAIN?

>> Jon:, NO NOT REALLY.

EVERY NOW AND AGAIN.

>> THE REASON YOU'RE FIRST IN

THE BOOK IS PEOPLE SAID, WHY DO

YOU HAVE JON STEWART ON THE

SHOW.

YOU WERE FIRST ON MY SHOW WHEN I

CAME BACK TO PBS IN 2007.

AND I SAID, WELL, BECAUSE MARK

TWAIN WASN'T AVAILABLE AND HE'S

NOT.

BUT THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS,

YOUR PEOPLE HERE KNOW THAT THE

TRUTH GOES DOWN BETTER IN A

DEMOCRACY WHEN IT'S IN HUMOR,

BUT YOU DO A SPLENDID JOB OF

JUXTAPOSING.

YOU DON'T ATTACK PEOPLE.

YOU PUT WHAT THEY SAID TEN YEARS

AGO AND WHAT THEY SAID LAST

NIGHT.

THAT'S WHAT GOOD JOURNALISM IS

ABOUT.

IT'S ABOUT COMPARING.

IT'S NOT DECLARING IT.

>> Jon: WELL, THAT'S VERY KIND

OF YOU.

I FEEL LIKE WE'RE NOT TO DYE

THAT MAN'S MUSTACHE, BUT THANK

YOU FOR PUTTING US IN THE SAME

SENTENCE.

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