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MediaWatch: April 1991

Vol. Five No. 4

Address Dismisses Conservatives, Iraq War Victory

Bill Moyers Roots For Democrats

PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers' address to the Democratic Issues Conference should put to rest any idea that he is just an independent journalist. He told the March 8 gathering: "I left partisanship behind when I left the [Johnson] White House in 1967 for journalism, but my roots are all tangled with yours. Down there in Texas I was raised on mother's milk and Roosevelt speeches and over the years I still cherish the party's defining stands."

The House Democrats asked Moyers to advise them on their mistakes and how best to attract votes. "By the 1980s," declared Moyers the advocate, "when the Democrats in Congress colluded with Ronald Reagan and the Republicans to revise the tax code on behalf of the rich, it appeared that the party had lost its soul." In another slap at a conservative policy Moyers complained: "We spend four times as much on the Strategic Defense Initiative, Star Wars, than we do on the early education program Head Start, which works." Continuing in the Democratic spirit, Moyers asserted: "I know Ronald Reagan thumped his chest about rugged individuals and the self-made man. But Ronald Reagan was a movie, not a man, and I'm talking about real life."

"For ten years now the other party has embraced the notion that war is the health of the state. But in the long run, I dare say, the future belongs to the party that knows the health of the people proceeds the health of the state," Moyers argued. There is "a hunger" for such a vision, otherwise, he condescendingly explained, "we would not be investing so much transcendental significance in a triumph of overwhelming technology and unchallenged power over a country no bigger than Texas and with roughly the same amount of people, ruled over by a paranoid psychopath, who proved to be just a video tiger, all growl and no guts."