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Bill Moyers Vs. Fox News
June 8, 2008 6:43 PM   Subscribe

Bill Moyers Vs. Fox News The Fox News stooge was unaware that he was messin' with a Jedi. Joseph Campbell would be proud.
posted by Optamystic (102 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
I was at this conference, and I didn't see this moment, but I saw Moyer's keynote and it was quite kick ass as always. Amy Goodman was there also, and got me in the conference as her guest simply because I couldn't afford the 95 dollar registration fee. Amy just rocks my world. She can do no wrong!
posted by wheelieman at 6:49 PM on June 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


This is the second video in about as many weeks where we've seen right wing ideologues having their clocks cleaned on video. (Here's the other one, where conservative talk radio host Kevin James is humiliated on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, May 15, 2008.) Maybe they'll learn that there's more to an argument than talking points.
posted by Dave Faris at 6:57 PM on June 8, 2008 [8 favorites]


That was delightful. I wonder how much, if any, of that footage is going to show up on Fox News. I wish there was a central place to "neener neener" O'Reilly for being a whiny wuss until he agrees to show up on Moyer's show.

Also, Porter Barry looks like the SHIELD guy from Iron Man.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:11 PM on June 8, 2008


The problem is that for too long, people have underestimated the power of calling out people on bullshit. They are afraid that the bullshitters will make them look bad. But, even if that happens, continuing to call people out works. The one thing the O'Reilly's of this world know is the power of repetition. Why the other side cannot learn that is amazing. Only recently have things like the Daily Show and Media Matters for America begun to systematically and continuously go after the "lying liars" and their ilk.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:16 PM on June 8, 2008 [10 favorites]


I'm not as impressed with the Matthews clip. The claws should have come out four years ago. Pretty easy to go after lame ducks. When he starts playing "hardball" with the McCain camp, wake me up.

On the other hand, if the new luminaries of the right are all like Kevin James, arguing that every ill that befell Bush's term in office was the fault of Bill Clinton, they're doomed. In terms of peace and prosperity, Clinton was responsible for a veritable Golden Age, compared to the past eight years. I sometimes think part of the Hillary appeal was that she was central to those good times.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:17 PM on June 8, 2008


(Central in terms of being a part of the administration itself, not the good times in general.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:18 PM on June 8, 2008


Ironmouth gets it right - calling people out on their bullshit is one of the best things that can and should be done.
posted by tgrundke at 7:21 PM on June 8, 2008


Journalism will Eat Itself.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:29 PM on June 8, 2008


I just watched that Matthews clip and had a good chuckle. Love it.
posted by tgrundke at 7:31 PM on June 8, 2008


I will paypal someone a dollar if they write up a transcript because I just can't hear over the background noise.

Seriously. A dollar.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 7:33 PM on June 8, 2008 [5 favorites]


Also, Porter Barry looks like the SHIELD guy from Iron Man.

Aw, let's not conflate him with the excellent Clark Gregg.
posted by Bookhouse at 7:34 PM on June 8, 2008


Bill Moyers' Keynote [via,via].

Also via that reddit thread: Bill O'Reilly vs Terry Gross.
posted by Skorgu at 7:41 PM on June 8, 2008


Holy god that was a thing of beauty. I've never seen such masterful good cop/bad cop journalism bear trap. Moyers shut him down with a smile on his face, then released him to the piranhas. I'm still laughing. I'm gonna watch it again right now.

There's no picking a favorite quote, I like this one:

"I'm not a classy guy, I'm a journalist."
posted by EatTheWeak at 7:59 PM on June 8, 2008


Moyers was pretty composed and intelligent, but the people following Barry after their conversation were adding unnecessary confrontation and subtracting classiness. Moyers' made his point well and ended the conversation, it should have ended there.
posted by nomad at 8:09 PM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


He was giving some top-notch act-right to an ant. What is Fox going to do if the States go Dem? No one's in the mood for haters these days. It will be interesting to see.
posted by Flex1970 at 8:10 PM on June 8, 2008


C&L has this new Moyers clip paired with an older clip of Jon Stewart on Crossfire calling them hacks and handing Tucker Carlson his ass. Good times.
posted by tula at 8:12 PM on June 8, 2008


> I will paypal someone a dollar if they write up a transcript because I just can't hear over the background noise.

Seriously. A dollar.


I'll match that, for the same reason ...
posted by WCityMike at 8:13 PM on June 8, 2008


tula, not only did Stewart hand Carlson his ass, the show was cancelled shortly afterwards and the CNN suits basically admitted Stewart forced their hand.

(I remember watching it live and thinking 'this show can't survive this').
posted by unSane at 8:23 PM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


I will paypal someone a dollar if they write up a transcript because I just can't hear over the background noise.

Seriously. A dollar.


That's what Mechanical Turk is for, homey.
posted by SassHat at 8:27 PM on June 8, 2008


Ok, fine, two dollars, plus one dollar from WCityMike = an easy three bucks plus my gratitude.

I really am not kidding. My hearing is not the best when there is background noise and this seems to be too good to miss.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 8:29 PM on June 8, 2008


Moyers sounded good, but I couldn't understand what the Fox flack was saying. Bill Moyers would say something, then the guy would respond with the Charlie-Brown-adult "Mwah mwah mwahhhhh" -- which is fairly appropriate for Fox News, I guess.
posted by Avenger at 8:29 PM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love the honey pot Bill Moyers puts out for the guy, even though they both know he won't take it. "You're a hard worker, what they're asking you to do is unfair..." Love it. That's old-school smarts.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:44 PM on June 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


That was extremely satisfying.
posted by ryanhealy at 8:50 PM on June 8, 2008


Hahah! Good for Bill Moyers! And good for the Uptake guys! Yay!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:00 PM on June 8, 2008


Love how Moyers tosses out "We'll do it live!"right over Porter's head....
posted by sharksandwich at 9:12 PM on June 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


More from Moyers and friends: Media, McClellan, and the War
posted by homunculus at 9:16 PM on June 8, 2008


Whatever Happened to Iraq? How the media lost interest in a long-running war with no end in sight.
posted by homunculus at 9:18 PM on June 8, 2008


Bill Moyers for Obama's press secretary! He's sure got the experience in the job, as well as the balls to face anything dicks like Porter Barry can dish out.
posted by birdhaus at 9:37 PM on June 8, 2008


There were several cameras around.
For all you hard of hearing:
This video is recorded from right up in between the two, much better sound - Part 1 - Part 2

also

This angle captures the exchange from the beginning.
posted by Merik at 10:13 PM on June 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


Part one of the better audio version Merik referred to is actually here.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:31 PM on June 8, 2008


Moyers' rhetoric skills completely outclassed his opponent, but I don't feel triumphant. If television news had one iota of intelligent discourse, this kind of exchange would never attract the attention its getting.
posted by Popular Ethics at 10:39 PM on June 8, 2008


hahaha lame Fox Producer could be parodied by Steve Carrell or Jason Alexander easily. Bully the bullies.
posted by celerystick at 10:52 PM on June 8, 2008


oops, thanks pater aletheias
posted by Merik at 10:56 PM on June 8, 2008


I feel a little sorry for Porter. I'm assuming the guy has some real journalistic qualifications, or at least worked his way to a degree in something-- PR, most likely. He must have had some dreams for himself at some point. And here he is in early middle age playing Stuttering John for a cut-rate rightwing version of Howard Stern. If he's got any capacity for self reflection, this must have been a pretty sobering moment.
posted by maryh at 10:58 PM on June 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


It amazes me that sixty-seven years after Orson Welles did an attack piece on William Randolph Hurst in response to the attack pieces for which Hurst had been responsible, we're still having to ask the question: "IS THIS JOURNALISM?"

Yes. It is journalism. In fact, we used to call it Yellow Journalism.

I'm repeatedly impressed by Bill Moyers for being able to go toe to toe with mudslingers like O'Reilly and others under Murdoch's employ, and somehow always come out smelling like a rose. There's a point when Moyers is talking with the Fox reporter where he essentially hits the nail on the head.

"Is Rupert Murdoch responsible to the American people?"

No. No, he is not.

Right there. That's the crux of the whole thing. I have said it before and I will continue to say it because it is true. We live in a corporate oligarchy. We do not live in a democratic republic. Decisions are not being made in the voting booth. They're being made by large corporations with enough money, resources, influence, and power to affect change on the world.

Our vote no longer counts, because a stack of dollar bills speaks louder than our vote. It really doesn't matter who we put in the white house, because people like Murdoch are already in the catbird seat, and there's absolutely nothing we can do about it. However, Fox News will continue to wag the dog, and entertain us all with the pomp and circumstance.

Sixty-seven years ago, Orson Welles was not just trying to piss off the most powerful man on the planet cuz he thought it was funny. Welles was using what little influence he had amassed up to that point to tilt at a particular windmill. It was rather Quixotic in hindsight, and some would argue it cost him everything. Fame, money, power.. Welles never recovered from Kane. Hearst made sure of that.

Kane used castor oil. Moyers is using honey. I just hope one way or the other, the American people will take their damned medicine already, cuz this country's real sick.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:03 PM on June 8, 2008 [31 favorites]


Moyers was pretty composed and intelligent, but the people following Barry after their conversation were adding unnecessary confrontation and subtracting classiness

I disagree. I thought they were just interviewing Barry per standard Fox technique. That's journalism. Let Barry's interviewers report, so that we can decide.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:22 PM on June 8, 2008


I was at the conference but did not witness this scene. It was recorded by a fellow I know, Noah Kunin, who works for the citizen journalism site The UpTake based out of Minneapolis-St. Paul. His job at the NCMR conference was to follow O'Reilly's goons and to capture something just like this, and sure enough, he did.

The greatest thing about this is that the UpTake was able to get the video up, online, and distributed within hours of the incident. The full, unedited version that demonstrates how calm and collected Moyers behaves during the confrontation is now all over the web well before O'Reilly's team can edit it down and air it on his Monday night show. Hopefully this netroots exposure will completely take the wind out of the sails of any hack-job editing O'Reilly can do to the video to try to make him and his producer look good.

In this battle of new vs. old media, it's certainly new media FTW!
posted by Hammerikaner at 11:26 PM on June 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


So, a couple of hours ago, well before all these newly-surfaced links to better videos, I thought that transcribing that video (and finally signing up for an account--hi!) would be a half-decent idea. Silly bored-during-summer endeavors like this always get me in trouble, lol. Even though it's only half of the actual encounter and pretty roughly done, here's a transcript of the video in the post. Um, enjoy! :D
posted by thack3r at 11:30 PM on June 8, 2008 [13 favorites]


God, what an ugly, nasty, loathsome little turd. I always imagine toadies like Porter Barry going to their lonely hotel rooms when the night's over, looking at themselves nude in the mirror, faced with the realization that they're nothing but cannon fodder for even nastier, less talented men, and then retrieving the handgun from their luggage: tasting the tip of it, hands shaking, belly fat quivering as tears begin to form at the corner of the eyes: and deciding one more day: just like that.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:39 PM on June 8, 2008 [9 favorites]


This has soon become one of my favorite posts in a long time.
posted by farishta at 12:21 AM on June 9, 2008


My favorite quotation: "We'll do it live."
posted by grouse at 2:17 AM on June 9, 2008


here's a transcript

TeddyKGB: Pay dat man his money!

I always imagine toadies like Porter Barry going to their lonely hotel rooms when the night's over, looking at themselves nude in the mirror, faced with the realization that they're nothing but cannon fodder for even nastier, less talented men, and then retrieving the handgun poppers, the breath restriction hood, the ladies lingerie and the Jeff Stryker dildo from their luggage: tasting the tip of it, hands shaking, belly fat quivering as tears begin to form at the corner of the eyes.

FTFY.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:44 AM on June 9, 2008


> We live in a corporate oligarchy. We do not live in a democratic republic. Decisions are not being made in the voting booth.

Quoted for motherfucking truth.
posted by sdodd at 3:01 AM on June 9, 2008


If he's got any capacity for self reflection, this must have been a pretty sobering moment.

I think that was Moyers' genius in this clip. He knows that people don't go to J-school, dreaming of being a flack for O'Reilly. At some point in their past, they have aspirations. Regardless of their political affiliations, I'm guessing that they all dream of a career in which they get to break an important story, to speak truth to power and to change the world for the better.

In an attempt to get into an extremely competitive field -- journalism, and then to break into what might be considered the elite of that field -- nationally broadcasted current affairs television, people who are extremely bright, extremely talented, extremely driven -- have to make compromises.

For some, that might mean working on shows aimed at people with an IQ level several standard deviations below the mean. For others, that means producing programmes whose political analysis is has the sophistication of the WWF. On this show, it means eating dinner with the anchor, and then having him come back to your hotel room where he'll rub you all over with a Felafel, cover you in chili sauce and lemon juice, slip you inside a pita bread and eat you all up.

We've never really had Moyers here in the UK, but I know his work because Metafilter's own maias worked as a producer on one of his series. For British readers, he's like the American version of a Dimbleby, I suppose. Enormous gravitas, huge commitment to public service broadcasting. Hugely liberal in a middle-of-the-road, consensus kind of way. Moyers only has to break wind, and the rest of the media over there sits up and pays attention.

Nice to see the good guys fighting back and winning for a change. Lets hope that it's the start of a trend.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:12 AM on June 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Here's the other one, where conservative talk radio host Kevin James is humiliated on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, May 15, 2008

Holy fuck that was humiliating! Thanks!

That's what happens when you don't learn your history, kids.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:58 AM on June 9, 2008


God, those videos were boring.
posted by Eideteker at 4:36 AM on June 9, 2008


I'd been about to say oh my god, that guy (Barry) is such a weaselly little shit, but then I listened to that NPR link, and well, I was reminded that O'Reilly is even worse!
posted by opsin at 4:52 AM on June 9, 2008


not to be obtuse, but what's the point of the second clip ("messin' with a Jedi")? what's Joseph Campbell or George Lucas have to do with any of this?
posted by jammy at 4:55 AM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


In 1988, Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell produced a renowned video series, called The Power of Myth (torrent, 2gb). As for the Jedi reference, Campbell was a teacher of George Lucas, and taught him how to craft a new myth, practically using a formula, and he came up with the whole Star Wars universe as a result.
posted by Dave Faris at 5:12 AM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I guess that was pretty vague. Sorry about that.

Joseph Campbell was a close friend of and a mentor to both Moyers and Lucas. The Jedi bit was just a reference to the aplomb with which Moyers dispatches this particular stormtrooper. I'm a nerd.
posted by Optamystic at 5:16 AM on June 9, 2008


Or what Dave Faris said.
posted by Optamystic at 5:17 AM on June 9, 2008


Bill O'Reilly about ambush interviews:

"O'REILLY: You know, and that's one of the good things about the ambush stuff is that we expose the — for who they are. And sometimes I feel bad about it, but you do a nice job. And Porter Barry is our other guy. And we're breaking in some others.

You're never afraid out there, are you?

WATTERS: No, I'm just afraid to come back empty-handed for you.

O'REILLY: Yes. That's who you should really be...

WATTERS: That's what I'm afraid of.

O'REILLY: Talk about an ambush, boy. You don't come back with it.

Jesse Watters, everybody. He's becoming a big star all over the world."

But sometimes people are rude to the Fox ambush reporters and hurt their feelings...

"O'REILLY: OK now, you are an outspoken person on politics and life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We went down and talked to — let's give Tim Robbins. We said to Mr. Robbins, "Listen, what about Iran? If we get out of Iraq and they come down and they cause trouble what do you do?"

And he said to our reporter Porter Barry, our producer Porter Barry, "Well, why don't you enlist?" Now come on. You know, I mean we're asking a serious question, and he's out front on this anti-Iraq thing and goes Porter Barry, "Why don't you enlist?"

GOLDBERG: Well, Bill, did he know he's from your show?

O'REILLY: Yes, he knew.

GOLDBERG: OK. So come on. You know.

O'REILLY: Wait a minute.

GOLDBERG: He could not — you know, he could not answer any other way. The question...

O'REILLY: Why not?

GOLDBERG: Well, because I'm sure that a lot of folks feel sometimes that they're about to be jumped. And so they just stay neutral.

O'REILLY: Porter Barry is 5'8".

GOLDBERG: I know.

O'REILLY: He's a nice guy.

GOLDBERG: I'm sure.

O'REILLY: He asked a legitimate question.

GOLDBERG: You seem to be a nice guy too but people are really...

O'REILLY: I'm not. I'm not. No. If it were me, and I know Robbins, if it were me I would say you are right. Robbins goes, "O'Reilly." But this guy asked a legitimate policy question to a guy who's making a stand."
posted by iviken at 5:18 AM on June 9, 2008


THEY'RE ALL GONNA LAUGH AT YOU ... THEY'RE ALL GONNA LAUGH AT YOU ... THEY'RE ALL GONNA LAUGH AT YOU
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:23 AM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hopefully this netroots exposure will completely take the wind out of the sails of any hack-job editing O'Reilly can do to the video to try to make him and his producer look good.

In this battle of new vs. old media, it's certainly new media FTW!


Do you really think that the folks who watch (and love) O'Reilly's edited slurs are going to care about the longform piece that shows Moyers to be sensible and calm? There's no "win" for new media here, because everyone is on separate playing fields. People watch O'Reilly because they already agree with him. Moyers, vice versa.
posted by OmieWise at 5:46 AM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Optimus wrote:

I always imagine toadies like Porter Barry going to their lonely hotel rooms when the night's over, looking at themselves...

The problem is that they are not doing that. They go back to their hotel room and open up a suitcase full of cash and imagine the 3 people a day who would be reading their blog if they actually played it straight. That's the sense I get from every FOX/CNN stooge saying whatever the teleprompter tells them. These people are not journalists. They are desperate climbers who just want to be successful -by any means necessary - so they can go back to their 20 year high school reunion and stick it to the popular kids who were mean to them.
posted by any major dude at 5:55 AM on June 9, 2008


I always figured that the FOX/CNN stooges were the popular kids.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:04 AM on June 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


I wonder what the hatemonger-in-chief over at that little green footballs site thinks of this exchange... no wait, I already know.
posted by krautland at 6:14 AM on June 9, 2008


Bill Moyers for Obama's press secretary!

I'm a little doubtful that he'd agree to take it, but that isn't a bad idea.

We do not live in a democratic republic. Decisions are not being made in the voting booth.

What simple-minded nonsense. In spite of all the damage that's been done to this country over the last 8 years, in spite of the fact that money does decide too many of the issues that matter, the argument that decisions aren't made in the voting booth is just as ludicrous now as it ever was.

Remember the old saw about how if voting changed anything they'd make it illegal? Just what do you think the current administration has spent the last 8 years trying to do?
posted by octobersurprise at 6:22 AM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


There's no "win" for new media here, because everyone is on separate playing fields.

I don't think that's completely true. Sure, there's a huge majority of both audiences that already has their minds made up and who'll cheer their guy on from the peanut gallery even when he's getting the trouncing of his life. But for the longest time, it's felt like the left has been losing even on its own playing field, and so hopefully turning that around will inspire a degree of confidence and resilience that's been long overdue in coming.

Secondly, I think people are genuinely reevaluating stuff at the moment. The USA is five years in to a pointless, bloody and expensive war. People might have gone in their, with a moronic, uncritical, my-country-right-or-wrong-rah-rah-rah perspective, but I rather suspect that more than a few of them now realize that they screwed up when they supported that decision, and as a consequence are starting to realize that they need to hear a little more in-depth reporting and analysis.

Finally, you've got the young undecided who don't really know what they think. They've been largely guided by their parents until this point, and they'll continue to be influenced by them unless the media can provide them with compelling discussion and debate -- some of which must be about deconstructing the process of how the news -- and political news in particular -- is constructed.

For all of those reasons, I think it's a win and I think it's an important one.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:28 AM on June 9, 2008


I always figured that the FOX/CNN stooges were the popular kids.

Not in this part of the world, they aren't.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:38 AM on June 9, 2008


Yeah, I guess that was pretty vague. Sorry about that.

Joseph Campbell was a close friend of and a mentor to both Moyers and Lucas. The Jedi bit was just a reference to the aplomb with which Moyers dispatches this particular stormtrooper. I'm a nerd.


no apologies necessary - being a nerd is pretty much a prerequisite for good posts, no?

I knew the interpersonal connections between Lucas/Moyers/Campbell. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something obvious (besides the Jedi aplomb - good characterization, btw - seriously, Moyers is like "I could kill you with my brain, but wisdom & compassion form a nobler path than destruction - come to the bright side of the Force, my son").

anyhoo, thanks for the clarification.

There's no "win" for new media here, because everyone is on separate playing fields.

I agree with PeterMcD, right above. It often looks like the camps exist across unbridgeable chasms but I know of more than one dyed-in-the-wool oldskool republican conservative who have had their heads turned by good reporting (Seymour Hersh & Patrick Cockburn spring to mind). Even more, I know one dude who had his head turned just by The Daily Show - he liked the humor & it exposed him to views & ideas he had never experienced. Media matters, without a doubt - & good media (solid, investigative, "comfort the afflicted & afflict the comfortable" media) will always be a useful tool in the struggle.
posted by jammy at 6:49 AM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


It really doesn't matter who we put in the white house, because people like Murdoch are already in the catbird seat, and there's absolutely nothing we can do about it.

I don't think you believe this, you're merely being self-indulgent. If you really believed that there's absolutely nothing we can do about it, you wouldn't bother to hope that the American people "take their medicine." There's nothing to be done, right?

But if you're still saying "it really doesn't matter who we put in the White House" eight years after George W. Bush became President--and you truly believe that--then you should probably try to find peace in other ways and just ignore the topic of politics entirely.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:04 AM on June 9, 2008


Have you guys read The Nightly News? I think you'd like it.
posted by graventy at 7:28 AM on June 9, 2008


Am the only one that got a bit weirded out by Moyers just reaching out, grabbing the guy's shoulder, and hanging on?
posted by Shepherd at 7:47 AM on June 9, 2008


The full, unedited version that demonstrates how calm and collected Moyers behaves during the confrontation is now all over the web well before O'Reilly's team can edit it down and air it on his Monday night show.

The people who watch O'Reilly won't even know the unedited versions exist.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:48 AM on June 9, 2008


Shepherd: he couldn't just start waving his hands around all willy-nilly in public, could he? Then everyone would want to be a Jedi. He had to be subtle.

PeterMcDermott: I would belong to your third group, the young and mostly undecided. Personally, I agree with your point about the nature of political news (in this case, almost paparazzi-like in its desire to grab slip of the tongue [or slip of the nip] from a person of interest). I do find video like this to be compelling evidence of the often underhanded techniques used by people, on both sides, in what comes down to a war (for ratings and advertising dollars?). But videos like this only add some weight to the words spoken everyday by people like Stewart and Colbert, who I believe are absolutely instrumental in illuminating the absolute and utter idiocy spouted by people like O'Reilly. The young people I know who have become more interested in politics have usually been sparked by one of them. Jammy refers to this above, too.

Re: your second point, I have to agree about a general feeling of reevaluation, but I can't help but think that politics is now all but disconnected from reality, save for the occasional Moyers or (gasp) Obama, and that feeling of reevaluation is more around the polical demi-elites than a truly popular movement. Of course, this is really just based off of my batch of anecdotes--watching an 18-year-old unquestioningly support McCain is painful, painful, painful--though seeing the rising numbers of absolutely unquestioning Obama fans is also... painful. I can't help but think this is some consequence of those damned "GET OUT DA VOOOOTE" campaigns, but "READ A NEWSPAPER, PREFERABLY MORE THAN ONE, AS TO NOT ABSORB ANY PARTICULAR BIAS, THEN PROCEED TO RATIONALLY MAKE A DECISION AND CALMLY PARTICIPATE IN DEMOCRACY" isn't as catchy. Not to say they're completely harmful, clearly they're not, just not as good as they could be.

Damn. I need my coffee. It's too early for this nonsense, lol.
posted by thack3r at 8:47 AM on June 9, 2008


Haven't had the chance to read all the comments, but want to say I fucking loved this. Pleade, please, continue! Where can I donate to have a full time team doing this to the Fox news journalists, everywhere, always?

"I learned it from the master. Is this journalism, what I am doing to you now?"
"I didn't assault Bill Moyers."
"I do apologize for touching your jacket."

Brilliant, wonderful, excellent.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:27 AM on June 9, 2008


I don't understand why this is such a "Oooh Snap" moment on Porter. Seems to me Porter has a good point in that Moyers is playing games with going on O'Reilly. The fact that Moyers invited O'Reilly first is crap...that's just a pissing match. Get some nuts and go on O'Reilly and THEN when he refuses to come on your show, you have some ammo. Be a man and just do it.
posted by spicynuts at 9:35 AM on June 9, 2008


LOLFALAFEL.
posted by hellbient at 9:36 AM on June 9, 2008


Shepherd: I think I know what you mean about the hand on the shoulder, but on reflection this actually reminded me of some body language of my father and some of his colleagues, all white 60s-era southern progressive preachers. That hand means "I am focused on you and it's important to me that we hear each other." It's actually a presumption of intimacy. It communicates earnestness and even affection. Of course, Moyers is using it in his own brilliantly manipulative way, because if the guy bristles or shrugs him off he risks looking priggish or ungenuine.
All that said, I still think it's a high-risk move in this kind of situation because of how it could be framed out of context, etc. And it's worth noting that Moyers probably couldn't do this successfully across gender or racial difference.
posted by Mngo at 9:44 AM on June 9, 2008


FWIW, hand-on-shoulder (man to man) is also a classic "alpha" move. It says, "I am higher value than you." Might as well call the guy "son".
posted by LordSludge at 9:50 AM on June 9, 2008


Get some nuts and go on O'Reilly and THEN when he refuses to come on your show, you have some ammo.

Uh, no. It's not about nuts, it's about brains. You don't go into a bear trap if you can avoid it. O'Reilly is known for manipulating everything to make the Other look bad. Moyers just lets people be people, and if they look bad, it's their own damn fault.

Moyers goes on Fox and gets shouted down, edited to kingdom come. Then nothing. Bill-O might go on with Moyers, but wouldn't be anything but a show - no discussion, no talk about solutions.

Because at heart B.O. is a performer, not a serious journalist. The problem is that he's often mistaken for a serious journalist.

It's not about manhood, it's about standards.
posted by lysdexic at 9:53 AM on June 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Holy crap, that Chris Matthews video. I never understood the Chris Matthews hate around here. Yeah, he's loud, he's a blowhard but he's not retarded. His biggest sin is that his politics seem to go which ever way the wind blows. Somehow I think we'll see a lot more of this kind of thing from him in the next 4 years. I mean, it's still degrading to journalism as a whole but it is so much more pleasurable to see right wing fucktards get smacked down for being dumb than thoughtful liberals getting smacked down for being wimps.

But man, Kevin James, wow. There was this moment when he realized that he had been *explicitly* called a dumbass and the next words out his mouth were "9/11." Fucking brilliant. Do careers get ruined over things like this anymore?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:06 AM on June 9, 2008


I found your post very interesting, thack3r. Mainly because it forces me to reflect on my own feelings about politics as an eighteen year old. As an adult, I tend to think that we vote on the basis of a combination of our personal interests, our values and our aspirations.

Very few of us have an economic self-interest at eighteen, so as I said, we tend to adopt that of our parents. My own parents were both factory workers, but I initially rejected their embrace of the social democratic end of socialism, for communism, because Marx's writing appealed to my relatively unformed value system.

With hindsight, I can see that I was dead wrong. In reality, I would have found the Eastern European version of communism much more unpleasant than the tepid socialism of Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan and so over time, came to realize that my natural home was in the Labour Party for all it's faults and flaws and weaknesses.

And I think that that's what's going on with young people and Obama. Most of his white, well-educated, middle-class youthful supporters aren't supporting him because he's going to pursue their particular economic interests. In fact, he's going to do the exact opposite. They're supporting him because he represents change -- and a movement towards a fairer, more diverse, more inclusive society. He espouses the same values that they aspire towards.

I don't think any amount of newspaper scrutiny will tell us about the extent to which Obama is likely to deliver in respect of those values. However, this much we do know: we know about the extent to which Hillary represents change from Bill's days in the White House. While it was better than things are today under Bush, in some ways, it was very much more of the same. Welfare was hacked to the bone. The drug war continued as per usual. Inequality continued to rise.

So, I don't think that the unquestioning support for Obama is a bad thing. I think people are simply saying 'This man espouses a set of values that are consistent with my own. I've never known that happen before -- not during my lifetime.' And I don't think that's a bad basis on which to make political decisions -- until you start noticing that the decisions that a politician starts to make are no longer consistent with the values that they espouse. That's when your antennae should start twitching, but even then, you shouldn't be too quick to abandon your initial instincts because part of the deal about power is that you inevitably have to compromise to get things done. Look at Bush and the extent to which he's delivered -- or hasn't delivered -- for the religious right. Ultimately, you have to look at someone's actions in their totality to decide whether they delivered or whether they didn't.

Ultimately, whether you like him or not, Obama is definitely going to make the next few years a very interesting time for US politics.

Now get offa my lawn.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:09 AM on June 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


Hand on shoulder = "You're not going to walk away from me and edit this down to show something that didn't actually happen."

Moyers wouldn't have done it if he didn't think Porter would just walk away the minute he realized he couldn't control the conversation.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:09 AM on June 9, 2008


From Dave Faris' link:

"...he was an appeaser, and it energized and it legitimized... it legitimized...

...his policies the things that Neville Chamberlain supported, energized, legitimized... energized, legitimized and made it easier for Hitler to advance in the ways that he advanced. "


It was like watching someone caught in a stupid-loop: 'if I keep saying these two rhyming words together, everyone will be hypnotized into agreeing with me...' I mean, talking points are one thing, but if you plan on basing your entire argument on one phrase, you better be able to think more quickly on your feet. I did like the moment when he calls Matthews out on whether it was '38 or '39, only to try burying it as quickly as possible because he wouldn't actually be able to make the distinction if cornered on it.
posted by quin at 10:24 AM on June 9, 2008


Hand on shoulder = "I worked for LBJ and learned all about alpha male behavior."
posted by kirkaracha at 10:29 AM on June 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


Hand on shoulder = "I worked for LBJ and learned all about alpha male behavior."
posted by kirkaracha


"And now I have to piss. Follow me into the bathroom so we can keep talking."
posted by COBRA! at 10:55 AM on June 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


You don't go into a bear trap if you can avoid it.

And O'Reilly should not follow this advice? Why would O'Reilly walk into the Moyers bear trap? Someone's gotta be willing to take the first step. Moyers should just suck it up and do it. Then, bring O'Reilly on his show and nail him to the wall by exposing the editing and such.

You're probably going to say that Moyers doesn't 'bear trap' anyone, he just lets them talk. However, O'Reilly is probably smart enough to know that being given an open mic for an hour, he will put his foot in his mouth. Same bear trap, different trapper.
posted by spicynuts at 11:06 AM on June 9, 2008


Someone's gotta be willing to take the first step. Moyers should just suck it up and do it.

Why shouldn't O'Reilly be the one to "just suck it up and do it?" I don't understand this argument.
posted by grouse at 12:51 PM on June 9, 2008


Not to derail, but did anyone else notice how Mr. Lucas went from saying Star Wars has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with the "greater mystery", how he's uninterested in organized religion, to then speaking about how it was inspired and designed to reflect Bible myths, and how he approves of it being used to reinvigorate religions, and how he would be saddened to see organized religions deteriorate because they're crucial to the fabric of society?

I realize this has nothing to do with Mr. Moyers, but it still strikes me as a funny turn-around.

I agree that the end of the Moyers video where the piranhas (as ETW put it) accost him was unnecessary, though it does embolden the revealing Porter's hidden agenda.
posted by tybeet at 12:55 PM on June 9, 2008


Also, I particularly like this quote from the "transcript".

Moyers: Is Bill O’Reilly controversial?
Barry: Of course he’s controversial; he’s popular.
posted by tybeet at 12:56 PM on June 9, 2008


I get more religious meaning from Bruce Wayne's life than Luke Sywalkers. Which is why I am founding my own church. The Church of Batman, Scientist.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:07 PM on June 9, 2008 [6 favorites]


Slarty Bartfast writes "I never understood the Chris Matthews hate around here."

For one thing, he can be a really sleazy guy.
posted by joedan at 1:20 PM on June 9, 2008


...people like Stewart and Colbert, who I believe are absolutely instrumental in illuminating the absolute and utter idiocy spouted by people like O'Reilly. The young people I know who have become more interested in politics have usually been sparked by one of them.

The blurred reality of Stephen Colbert’s world -- "Truthiness be told, 400 shows later, satirist’s influence is hard to ignore."
posted by ericb at 1:20 PM on June 9, 2008


The Church of Batman, Scientist.
Astro Zombie for the win.
posted by eritain at 2:28 PM on June 9, 2008


This makes him "jedi"??
posted by tadellin at 2:45 PM on June 9, 2008


"This is not the interview you were looking for."
posted by Dave Faris at 3:27 PM on June 9, 2008


Slarty Bartfast writes "I never understood the Chris Matthews hate around here."

For one thing, he can be a really sleazy guy.


Bah. I am unconvinced. Matthews isn't even among the top 75% most offensive, even in your linked video. Certainly, there is a lot of stupidity and insensitivity that comes out of his mouth but he has his moments. Oh, if we only lived a world where he *was* the most offensive pundit on cable news...
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 3:32 PM on June 9, 2008


The Church of Batman, Scientist.

Heads off to change facebook profile.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:40 PM on June 9, 2008


To add to the points about Chris Matthews above, a few weeks ago the NYT Magazine did a cover piece about Matthews that made me look at him differently. He appears to really care about being liked and respected by his peers, and chooses to just yell his honest opinions loud and often. He's like an awkward kid at a party that thinks his joke is really funny, but people just didn't hear it.

He may be a blowhard and a sleezy guy, but he seems to really know and care about politics.
posted by monkeystronghold at 4:02 PM on June 9, 2008


I just converted to COBS.
posted by scrump at 4:08 PM on June 9, 2008


This makes him "jedi"??

Crawl back into your hole.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:25 PM on June 9, 2008



Why shouldn't O'Reilly be the one to "just suck it up and do it?" I don't understand this argument.


Because otherwise it becomes a playground 'i'm rubber, you're glue' piss fest. I don't care who does it, but one of them should just DO IT. Moyers can keep blabbering on about 'well, i invited him first' and then Porter can triple dog dare him and it can go on forever or Moyers can just fucking DO IT.
posted by spicynuts at 6:30 PM on June 9, 2008


Me: "We do not live in a democratic republic. Decisions are not being made in the voting booth."

OctoberSurprise: "What simple-minded nonsense. In spite of all the damage that's been done to this country over the last 8 years--"

I'm not talking about the last eight years. I'm talking about the past seventy. Corporations have bought this country piece by piece, over a very long period of time, and what we see today as 'politics' is just a dog and pony show disguising whatever's behind it. This train has been a long time a'comin', there's a lot more than a couple terms of the presidency that factors into it, and if you can still look point blank at the problem and brush it off as "simple-minded nonsense" then you don't know your American history. I'd check my own mind for simplicity first if I were you.

If you still think this argument can be distilled to republican versus democrat or liberal versus conservative, or "shirts versus skins," I'm not the one you should be calling simple-minded. The media is manipulating you.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:22 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


OctoberSurprise: "if you're still saying 'it really doesn't matter who we put in the White House' eight years after George W. Bush became President..."

*puts hand on OctoberSurprise's shoulder *

You still think 'we the people' put GW in the white house? That's ...admirable! Listen I gotta pee. Follow me to the men's room so we can continue this conversation...
posted by ZachsMind at 7:47 PM on June 9, 2008


I don't care who does it, but one of them should just DO IT.

Seems like you do care who does it; you think that Moyers should do it first, but you refuse to produce an articulable reason for this that is specific to Moyers.
posted by grouse at 11:46 PM on June 9, 2008


if you can still look point blank at the problem and brush it off as "simple-minded nonsense" then you don't know your American history.

I can look point blank at your assertion that "Decisions are not being made in the voting booth" and brush it off as simple-minded nonsense because it is, in fact, simple-minded nonsense. It is historical fact that voters have changed this country for better and for worse; and it's a pretty safe bet that they will do so again in the future.

Argue that politics is only a dog and pony show, owned by all-controlling puppet-masters if you want, but tell me why, if this is true, I should care at all about a status quo I can't do anything to change?
posted by octobersurprise at 6:17 AM on June 10, 2008


Follow me to the men's room so we can continue this conversation...

I have no desire to see your wide stance, darlin'.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:23 AM on June 10, 2008


Jon Stewart Slams Media for Blacking Out Iraq War Lies Report
posted by homunculus at 11:31 AM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


O’Reilly Uses Heavily Edited Ambush Segment To Attack Moyers As ‘Rude,’ ‘A Fanatic,’ ‘A Crazy Guy,’ ‘Scary’.
posted by ericb at 10:16 AM on June 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the update, ericb. Predictable.
posted by grouse at 10:19 AM on June 11, 2008


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