"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Monday, June 09, 2008

Bill Moyers is my elvis

as i usually do in the summer, i've been setting my alarm to wake me up to Democracy Now (sometimes it's the only way i can get up in the mornings).

and today, in a foggy half-sleep state, i thought i was dreaming of the '60s and listening to a poet, back from the dead, encouraging us to revolt and revolution. i was confused.

but as i gradually gained consciousness and listened more closely, i realized what i was actually hearing was a journalist's plea to the American ppl, and that this was actually the keynote speech at the National Conference for Media Reform which i was invited (and now regretting declining) to attend.

the speech itself was beautiful, the pace reminiscent of Ginsberg's "Howl", the urgency appropriate for our times. the post-speech was pretty awesome, too. as Amy Goodman explained, Bill O'Riley (yes, i spelled that wrong. no i'm not gonna change it. that's how much i care) and his slugs were "outing" Dan Rather and Bill Moyers as "leftwingnuts" for speaking at this conference with "these people" (read: progressives, liberals, media critics. oh my, indeed.)

apparently, they dispatched an O'Reilly factor producer to "ambush" and accost Mr. Moyers after his rousing speech. this is the verbal pounding that ensued:

it occurs to me that my generation has had the pleasure and honor of seeing several inspiring media moments in recent years:

Jon Stewart on CrossFire (2004):

"I'm here to confront you, because we need help from the media and they're hurting us..." (transcript here)

Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondents dinner (2006) [click to play]:
"...And as excited as I am to be here with the President, I am appalled to be surrounded by the liberal media that is destroying America, with the exception of FOX News. FOX News gives you both sides of every story: the President's side, and the Vice President's side." (transcript here)

these have had the collective impact, for me anyway, of revealing the spectacular theatre of mainstream news media, and encouraging citizens' critical investigation and dissent.

as Bill Moyers said: "it's up to you to remind us that democracy only works when ordinary people claim it as their own."


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