Skip to comments.PBS’s Moyers Gives Over $1.3 Million to 4 of 6 Groups Attacking Conservative Group ALEC
Posted on 09/24/2012 11:20:19 AM PDT by Kaslin
Few in journalism are viewed with as much veneration and respect as media veteran Bill Moyers.
NBC anchor Brian Williams once said that “Bill Moyers has been and remains an essential voice in our national conversation … the living antithesis to an era of shocking superficiality in our discourse and media.” Moyers, the winner of more than 30 Emmys, nine Peabodys, and an impressive array of other awards, has been a staple of public television for decades.
Those accolades ignore the reality that Moyers is involved in a massive conflict of interest. As a journalist Moyers reported repeatedly on attacks by liberal groups against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). But his reporting failed to note he has helped fund four of the six organizations involved in the attack. Moyers has also criticized conservative groups and the Tea Party time and again, while he promoted liberal causes.
Moyers heads the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, which has given away $1,360,000 to groups leading the attack on ALEC. That point was ignored in four stories written about ALEC on Moyers’ website in 2012, even though Moyers has been criticized for his connections in the past. Similarly, billionaire George Soros also donated more than $12 million to those same organizations.
The campaign against ALEC, dubbed “ALEC Exposed,” managed to pressure several of ALEC’s donors to pull their funding from the group, including Kraft, McDonalds, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola. On Sept. 14, pharmaceutical giant Merck was the latest to withdraw.
Moyers has had a big hand making that news happen. The veteran journalist has hosted “Moyers & Company,” which is distributed by American Public Media, since his return to the airwaves in January 2012. Moyers had tried a brief retirement beginning in 2010.
His status as journalist has not kept him out of liberal politics. With the Schumann Center, he has funded more than a dozen other prominent lefty organizations and has given more than $10 million to liberal groups since 2000. Often, Moyers has had guests on his shows from groups which he himself funds.
Moyers has used his status as a trusted media veteran to push the agenda of groups that he himself funds in what the Society of Professional Journalists warns against – “conflicts of interest, real or perceived.” Meanwhile, he has accused news outlets on the right of being funded by wealthy donors, while he has been working at taxpayer funded PBS.
Moyers Behind the Attack Against ALEC
One, fairly recent, example of Moyers’s hypocrisy was his coverage of the attacks against theALEC. ALEC, a non-profit organization that promotes state-based policy initiatives, has been heavily criticized by the left for its politically conservative stance on many issues.
In March 2012, a group of lefty organizations including the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, the Center for Media and Democracy (which are not the same group, despite the similarities in name), the Center for American Progress, People for the American Way, United Republic, Common Cause and Color of Change, launched a campaign to pressure the corporations that funded ALEC to withdraw their support.
On the May 11, 2012, edition of Moyers and company, entitled "Fight for Fair Play on TV and Taxes," Moyers spoke out against "the unshakeable grip of the very rich on their mercenaries on both our political parties," while, ironically, his own organization is spending millions on liberal groups.
On Aug. 30, 2012, Moyers co-wrote a piece for the lefty blog Alternet entitled “Where Is the Outrage over Money in Politics,” which spoke out against the “happy billionaires.” According to this opinion piece, “the corporate owners of television stations which reap handsome profits for selling the public’s airwaves to undisclosed buyers … who pollute the political atmosphere with millions of dollars spent on toxic ads designed to keep voters angry, dumb, or both.” In that piece, Moyers also complained about “crony capitalism of businessmen and politicians” and then cited reporting by the George Soros-funded ProPublica.
“Where is the outrage at this corruption?” Moyers asked in an Aug. 30, 2012, piece on his site entitled “Money in Politics: Where Is the outrage?”
“Partly smoothed away with the violence, banality, and tawdry fare served up by a corporate media with every regard for the public’s thirst for distractions and none for its need to know. Sacrificed to the ethos of entertainment, political news – instead of getting us as close as possible to the verifiable truth – has been reduced to a pablum of so called objective analysis which gives equal time to polemicists spouting their party’s talking points,” Moyers wrote.
The Schumann Center gave $285,000 to the liberal blog Alternet, in 2005 and 2006. His article failed to note the conflict of interest. During much of his time funding lefty organizations, Moyers himself was receiving taxpayer funding, courtesy of his job at PBS.
As president of the Schumann Center, Moyers has funded four of the groups involved in the attack on ALEC:
The same four organizations that received funds from Moyers have also received money from Soros’s Open Society Foundation since 2000, totaling, $12,338,491:
The Open Society foundation also gave $300,000 to Color of Change in 2010.
Moyers has been criticized before for promoting those groups. In July 2009, Moyers interviewed Wendell Potter, who is now a senior fellow at the Center for Media and Democracy. Responding to critics Moyers said, “The Schumann Center for Media and Democracy is not currently funding the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). Schumann did make grants to CMD in 2005 and 2006 for the purpose of establishing SourceWatch, an Internet-based operation that provides accessible, timely and reliable research to journalists and citizen journalists.”
As Moyers said, The Schumann Center’s $250,000 donation to the Center for Media and Democracy was specifically for the formation of SourceWatch, but SourceWatch’s main page was, and still is, dominated by links to various “ALEC Exposed” propaganda tools, including links to articles and a links to the ALEC Exposed Wiki. So, Moyers has funded the part of the organization which has been directly attacking ALEC.
Phil Kerpen of American Commitment told the Business and Media Institute that the assault on ALEC undermines free speech. “The left’s attack on ALEC, led by communist and 9/11 truther Anthony K. ‘Van’ Jones, is an anti-speech intimidation campaign. Americans should be outraged that it has been aided and abetted by LBJ hatchet-man Bill Moyers on the taxpayer dime.”
Moyer’s own website had four separate articles supporting the point of view of the organizations attacking ALEC since March. One of these was written by Suzanne Merkelson, the web editor for the activist group United Republic. That group was involved in the attacks and Merkelson cited “The Republic Report,” a project of United Republic. She actually has blogged for both.
The President of United Republic, Nick Penniman, was formerly the DC director for the Schumann Center. Nowhere did it mention the Schumann Center’s or Merkelson’s affiliation with United Republic.
The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics expressly states that “Journalists should avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived,” and that they should “remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility,” and, furthermore, that journalists should “shun secondary employment, political involvement … if they compromise journalistic integrity.”
Moyers A Major Funder of Liberal Media
Moyers has repeatedly protested corporate ownership of news networks and newspapers. “A few huge corporations now dominate the media landscape in America,” Moyers complained to attendees at the Conference for Media Reform in Memphis, Tenn. in January 2007.
“Almost all the networks carried by most cable systems are owned by one of the major media conglomerates. Two-thirds of today’s newspapers are monopolies. As ownership gets more and more concentrated, fewer and fewer independent sources of information have survived in the marketplace,” he continued. However, Moyers is the president of a foundation that funds liberal media outlets. Many of those outlets both work together and share similar donors.
Since he became its president in 1990, the Schumann Center has funded at least seven members of the Media Consortium. The Consortium is an echo chamber, where left-wing media outlets can network and share ideas. Since 2000, the Schumann Center has given a total of $1,625,000 to the following organizations that belong to the consortium:
Moyers also gave more than $2.5 million dollars to seve
ral other liberal media outlets that were not part of the consortium, listed below, in order of amount donated:
Moyers has long railed against the alleged bias of the “right-wing” news outlets, as well as against the major networks, which he claims are biased in favor of conservatives. The Associated Press, in a December 2004 article, quoted Moyers: “I’m going out telling the story that I think is the biggest story of our time: how the right-wing media has become a partisan propaganda arm of the Republican National Committee … [w]e have an ideological press that’s interested in the election of Republicans, and a mainstream press that’s interested in the bottom line. Therefore, we don’t have a vigilant, independent press whose main interest is the American people.”
Moyers’ Schumann Center has funded several liberal organizations including the Proteus Fund ($1,035,000) and the Tides Foundation ($5,407,500). He’s also an outspoken supporter of lefty billionaire Soros, whom he has described as “a victim of Glenn Beck and the right wing, the Fox News assassins.”
Soros, however, has been the poster child for everything that Moyers claims to stand against, heavily funding dozens of media outlets through his Open Society Foundation. There’s one exception – those outlets were liberal. Moyers formerly sat on the board of the Open Society Foundation, and he donated $100,000 to Open Society’s Center for Responsive Politics.
Moyers has also repeatedly spoken in favor of liberal causes, including Occupy Wall Street, on “Moyers and Company.” He even went so far as to compare Occupiers to abolitionists and suffragettes. He has also called the gun-rights group the National Rifle Association “the enabler of death — paranoid, delusional and as venomous as a scorpion. With the weak-kneed acquiescence of our politicians, the National Rifle Association has turned the Second Amendment of the Constitution into a cruel and deadly hoax.”
Before he was a renowned journalist, Bill Moyers, now 78, was involved in liberal politics. He served in the Kennedy administration as the associate director for public affairs for the Peace Corps, and then later in the Johnson administration as Johnson’s press secretary. Moyers spoke highly of LBJ, and has pointed to him as an example of how a president should handle Medicare. Moyers hosted Bill Moyers Journal on PBS from 1971 through 1981 with a brief hiatus from 1976-1977. He also worked as an analyst and commentator on both CBS and NBC.
NBC anchor Brian Williams once said that Bill Moyers has been and remains an essential voice in our national conversation...
Anyone who sees Moyers for 30 seconds can see he is an ultraliberal nitwit. He has gotten more shrill and unwatchable every year.
Moyers is and always has been a liberal/progressive hack since his days as a key staffer for that paragon of honest and decent government, one Lyndon Baines Johnson, who was launched into national office in one of the most dishonesly “won” election in the nation at the time.
That Moyers is associated with PBS was a key reason for eliminating TAXPAYER funding for America’s own Pravda!
Mr. Moyers could be one of the most annoying TV personages I have ever encountered.
His faux virtue is his only decent quality! :)
What a guy!
Brian Williams? Former White house Fellow during Jimmy Carter’s presidency.
But, I like Brian’s ties, though. Very nice.
Moyers is and always has been a liberal/progressive hack
Who obviously does very well in the capitalist’s system. The hypocratical elitists.
Every network news anchor since, and including, Walter Cronkite, have been nothing but propagandists for the left. Cronkite was an out and out communist.
Moyer's career and current activities are reminiscent of those of the self-described "liberals" Rev. Benjamin W. Arnett described in 1876 in a Sermon in Urbana, Ohio. Arnett described these men as being among the thought leaders of that day. See what you think!
Yesterday, one of my posts here included a portion of a stirring call to the nation in the form of a sermon by a Black minister and Ohio State Legislator on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of our Declaration of Independence.
That Minister's "Centennial Thanksgiving Sermon" can be read in its entirety at the American Memory section of the Library of Congress, but excerpts from it are contained my post here.
In that post, Arnett's concluding remarks are quoted; however, the section of his Sermon just preceding that conclusion call attention to a "movement" being led by what he described as "liberals"--men who wanted to change the Constitution's protections for religious freedom into a sinister restriction on that freedom. The "movement" sounds eerily like that of so-called "progressives" who, as we can see, already have accomplished many of the goals outlined in what Bishop Arnett called "The Danger to our Country":
"The Danger to our Country.
"Now that our national glory and grandeur is principally derived from the position the fathers took on the great questions of right and wrong, and the career of this nation has been unparalleled in the history of the past, now there are those who are demanding the tearing down the strength of our national fabric. They may not intend to tear it down, but just as sure as they have their way, just that sure will they undermine our superstructure and cause the greatest calamity of the age. What are the demands of this party of men? Just look at it and examine it for yourselves, and see if you are willing that they shall have their way; or will you still assist in keeping the ship of state in the hands of the same crew and run her by the old gospel chart! But ye men who think there is no danger listen to the demands of the Liberals as they choose to call themselves:
"'Organize! Liberals of America! The hour for action has arrived. The cause of freedom calls upon us to combine our strength, our zeal, our efforts. These are The Demands of Liberalism:
"'1. We demand that churches and other ecclesiastical property shall no longer be exempt from just taxation.
"'2. We demand that the employment of chaplains in Congress, in State Legislatures, in the navy and militia, and in prisons, asylums, and all other institutions supported by public money, shall be discontinued.
"'3. We demand that all public appropriations for sectarian educational and charitable institutions shall cease.
"'4. We demand that all religious services now sustained by the government shall be abolished; and especially that the use of the Bible in the public schools, whether ostensibly as a text-book or avowedly as a book of religious worship, shall be prohibited.
"'5. We demand that the appointment, by the President of the United States or by the Governors of the various States, of all religious festivals and fasts shall wholly cease.
"'6. We demand that the judicial oath in the courts and in all other departments of the government shall be abolished, and that simple affirmation under the pains and penalties of perjury shall be established in its stead.
"'7. We demand that all laws directly or indirectly enforcing the observance of Sunday as the Sabbath shall be repealed.
"'8. We demand that all laws looking to the enforcement of “Christian” morality shall be abrogated, and that all laws shall be conformed to the requirements of natural morality, equal rights, and impartial liberty.
"'9. We demand that not only in the Constitution of the United States and of the several States, but also in the practical administration of the same, no privilege or advantage shall be conceded to Christianity or any other special religion; that our entire political system shall be founded and administered on a purely secular basis; and that whatever changes shall prove necessary to this end shall be consistently, unflinchingly, and promptly made.'
"'Let us boldly and with high purpose meet the duty of the hour.'
"Now we must not think that we have nothing to do in this great work, for the men who are at the head of this movement are men of culture and intelligence, and many of them are men of influence. They are led by that thinker and scholar, F. E. Abbott, than whom I know but few men who has a smoother pen, or who is his equal on the battle-field of thought. He says in an address on the duty of his leagues:
"'My answer may be a negative one to all who see nothing positive in the idea of liberty. The conviction I refer to is this: that, regarded as a theological system, Christianity is Superstition, and, regarded as an organized institution, Christianity is Slavery. The purpose I refer to is this: that, whether regarded as theological system, Christianity shall wholly cease to exercise influence in political matters. Although the national Constitution is strictly secular and non-Christian, there are many things in the practical administration of the government which violate its spirit, and constitute a virtual recognition of Christianity as the national religion. These violations are very dangerous; they are on the increase; they more and more give Christianity a practical hold upon the government; they directly tend to strengthen the influence of Christianity over the people, and to fortify it both as a theology and a church; and they are therefore justly viewed with growing indignation by liberals. Not unreasonably are they looked upon as paving the way to a formidable effort to carry the Christian Amendment to the Constitution; and the liberals are beginning to see that they must extinguish the conflagration in its commencement. I believe all this myself, with more intense conviction every day; and therefore I appeal frankly to the people to begin now to lay the foundations of a great National Party of Freedom. It is not a moment too soon. If the liberals are wise, they will see the facts as they are, and act accordingly. Not with hostility, bitterness, defiance, or anger but rather with love to all men and high faith in the beneficence of consistently republican institutions, do I urge them most earnestly to begin the work at once.'
"He acknowledges that this is a religious nation and wants all men to assist him in eliminating the grand old granite principles from the framework of our national union. Will you do it freeman; will we sell the temple reared at the cost of so much precious blood and treasure? These men would have us turn back the hands on the clock of our national progress, and stay the shadow on the dial plate of our christian civilization; they would have us call a retreat to the soldiers in the army of Christ; the banner of the cross they would have us haul down, and reverse the engines of war against sin and crime; the songs of Zion they would turn into discord, and for the harmony and the melody of the sons of God, they would give us general confusion; they would have us chain the forces of virtue and unloose the elements of vice; they would have the nation loose its moorings from the Lord of truth and experience and commit interest, morally, socially; religiously and politically to the unsafe and unreliable human reason; they would discharge God and his crew and run the ship of State by the light of reason, which has always been but a dim taper in the world, and all the foot-prints it has left are marked with the blood of men, women and children. No nation is safe when left alone with reason.
"But we have no notion of giving up the contest without a struggle or a battle. We are aware that there is a great commotion in the world of thought. Religion and science are at arms length contending with all their forces for the mastery. Faith and unbelief are fighting their old battles over again, everything that can be shaken is shaking. The foundations of belief are assaulted by the army of science and men are changing their opinions. New and starting theories are promulgated to the world; old truths are putting on new garbs. Error is dressing in the latest style, wrong is secured by the unholy alliances, changes in men and things, revolution in church and state, Empires are crumbling, Kingdoms tottering; everywhere the change is seen. In the social circle, in the school house, in the pulpit and in the pews. But amid all the changes and revolutions there are some things that are unchangeable, unmovable and enduring. The forces that underline the vital power of Christianity are the same yesterday, to-day, to-morrow and forever more. They are like their God, who is omnipotent, immovable and eternal, and everywhere truth has marched it has left its moccasin tracks."
So said Benjamin W. Arnett in 1876. Do we hear his words?
Indeed, there is need for a "revival" of the ideas of liberty in America in the Year 2012!
Just think how much good that money could have done if he gave it to places that actually helped people! Instead, he lined the pockets of liberals. Way to go!