Moyers and Company

John Lewis marches on: Watch his fiery speech at the March on Washington -- and read the original draft

As the head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, John Lewis drafted a fiery speech to present to the crowds gathered at the March on Washington. But the night before the storied march, the speech was mistakenly leaked to the press, and as word of its contents began to spread, Lewis was summoned to a meeting with the march’s leaders and urged to tone down certain elements. Out of respect for leaders like A. Philip Randolph and Dr. Martin Luther King, Lewis edited his harsh criticism of the Kennedy administration’s civil rights bill, which he’d originally called “too little and too late,” and changed his call for a march “through the heart of Dixie, the way Sherman did” to a march “with the spirit of love and with the spirit of dignity that we have shown here today.”

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The Media's Gift to Trump: Low Expectations

I was struck over the past 10 days or so by the way the media covered two episodes. The first was Donald Trump’s retweeting of that now-infamous white supremacist meme showing Hillary Clinton against the backdrop of hundred-dollar bills with a red six-pointed star slapped beside her, suggesting that she was the puppet of Jewish money. The second was Trump’s press release on the killings of two black men by police and the murders of five police officers in Dallas.

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The Democrats Ignore the 500-Pound Lobbyist in the Room

In all of the 35 single-spaced pages of the Democratic Party’s platform draft, there is just one mention of lobbying.

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Giving Us Trump, This Is the Year the Media Overthrew the Party System

No matter how this presidential election turns out, it is crystal clear we are in the midst of a political revolution—and the media are a primary reason why. Never before has there been a major-party candidate created almost wholly by the media, full-blown and virtually outside the boundaries of the traditional parties’ apparatuses.

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The Internet and Social Media Are Increasingly Divisive and Undermining of Democracy

When we talk about the media’s effect on our political discourse, usually we’re referring to the way politics are reported. There are, of course, lots of other ways in which media mediate the political process, from ads to organizing to community building to fundraising, all of which play major roles in our elections. Yet much larger than any of these may be the way the media alter our thinking about politics — purveying not just narratives that often decisively shape our opinions of a Trump or a Clinton or a Sanders, but also the larger psychological context in which we conceptualize our world and ourselves.

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The Media Keeps Legitimizing the GOP - Regardless of Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Gun Addiction, and Now Fascism

As incendiary and dangerous as he is—and he is very dangerous—and as much of a main event as he has been in this election season, Donald Trump is largely a distraction from what really ails our political discourse. Long after he is gone from the scene, the Republican Party that engendered him, facilitated him, and now supports him—despite a severe case of buyer’s remorse—will no doubt still thrive, booting up for a future candidacy of Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio or Paul Ryan. And the media will still act as if Trump were an aberration, a departure from so-called “sensible” conservatism. If so, it will be yet another act of media dereliction.

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The Ghosts of ’68 Haunt the Election of 2016

Watching the mad, mad, mad, mad world that is the 2016 presidential campaign, I was trying to remember a presidential campaign that was as jaw-dropping, at least in my lifetime, and easily settled on 1968.

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Nestlé Is Trying to Break Us: A Pennsylvania Town Fights Predatory Water Extraction

Donna Diehl, a 55-year-old school bus driver from Kunkletown, Pennsylvania, a small historic town located on the edge of the Poconos, wanted to do three things this year: drive the bus, paint her bathroom and learn to crochet. Instead, Diehl, along with dozens of her neighbors, is spending her time trying to stop the largest food and beverage corporation in the world from taking her community’s water, putting it in bottles and selling it for a massive profit.

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Superdelegates Are One Reason Why the Way We Choose Our Presidential Candidates Is Wrong

Last week, our suggestion that Hillary Clinton call for the resignations of her pals Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz got a big response. But a few people misunderstood what we were saying.

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Blowing the Biggest Political Story of the Last Fifty Years

Ah, the crescendo of complaint! The Republican establishment and the mainstream media, working hand in hand in their unprecedented, non-stop assault on the “short-fingered vulgarian” named Donald Trump, would have you believe that Trump augurs the destruction of the Republican Party. Former Reagan speechwriter and now Wall Street Journal/CBS pundit Peggy Noonan expressed the general sentiment of both camps when she said on Super Tuesday that “we’re seeing a great political party shatter before our eyes.”

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We Wouldn't Have Donald Trump If the Media Hadn't Helped Destroy the Democratic Process First

It is more than a little ironic that the Republican Establishment and the mainstream media are both now in full panic mode over the possibility of Donald Trump winning the GOP nomination. You would think that the Republican Party, which has been, let’s face it, hate-spewing, poor-bashing, government-stopping and corporation-loving for decades, ought to be the leading culprit for having paved the way for Trump’s success. As for the media, Marco Rubio, who claims to be exactly where he wants to be after losing 14 primaries and caucuses and winning only one, holds them responsible, which, from a candidate who has demonstrated little support outside the media, is a bit disingenuous. Still, even Rubio is occasionally right. The media did have a lot to do with enabling the rise of Donald Trump. Just not how Rubio or most people think.

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Sanders and Trump: How the Political and Media Establishment Got 2016 so Wrong

Perhaps the biggest story coming out of campaign 2016 is not the rise of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, but the fact that the media and political establishment never saw it coming. And the fact that they never saw it coming perfectly explains the rise of Sanders and Trump.

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How the Kochs Are Writing America's Story Through Wealth and Power -  and What Progressives Can Do to Counter It

Gather round for the word of the day: metanarrative. Definitions vary but let’s say it’s one big narrative that connects the meaning of events to a belief thought to be an essential truth, the storytelling equivalent of the unified field theory in physics.

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Bill Moyers: Let’s Ask Obama to Give This Speech Next

Barack Obama once confessed to politics’ original sin but has yet to atone for it. He now has an opportunity to do so.

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Bill Moyers: The Challenge of Journalism…Is to Survive in the Pressure Cooker of Plutocracy

The following remarks were made by Bill Moyers at the presentation of the Helen Bernstein Book Awards for Excellence in Journalism. The ceremony took place at the New York Public Library on May 26, 2015.

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How an American Billionaire Stands in the Way of Mideast Peace

Everything you need to know about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress Tuesday was the presence in the visitor’s gallery of one man – Sheldon Adelson.

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Plastic Junk Litters Our Oceans, Killing Sea Life - And It’s Getting Worse

The ocean may conjure up images of coral islands, gray whales and deep blue seas, but plastic junk?

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Join the Internet Slowdown on September 10!

This Wednesday, September 10, you can show the world how you feel about a free and open Internet that’s available to all, with no “fast lanes” giving better access to those with the thickest wallets.

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As the World Burns, Our Political Class Whoops It Up with the Plutocracy

There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart, a poet wrote, and as this year’s summer winds toward its end and elections approach, gratitude is indeed what our politicians have flowing from that space where their hearts should be.

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Combat Veteran and Military Historian Tells Bill Moyers, "No Way" Do We Go Back into Iraq

The escalating bloodbath in Iraq has triggered renewed debate on how muscular America’s foreign policy should be. Speaking about the crisis earlier, President Obama recently said that the US is ready for “targeted and precise military action” against advancing Islamists if needed, adding that “American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq.”

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Scientist Tells Bill Moyers That Letting Climate Change Happen Is an 'Intergenerational Crime'

This week, as the White House issued a landmark report detailing the frightening affects of global warming on our country and President Obama took to the airwaves to drive home that message, Bill Moyers talks with a scientist who has sounded the alarm for decades.

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If the GOP's Obamacare Hissy Fit Seems Bad - You Won't Believe the Plot to Overthrow FDR

Every baby step toward guaranteeing American working people a minimum of economic security with new social insurance programs has been greeted with howls of horror and outrage — and predictions that the end of the Republic is near. Every new addition to the safety net has been met with a concerted campaign by conservatives and the business establishment to undermine it. Eighty years after it was signed into law, the Social Security Act, arguably Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s signature piece of legislation, still is under attack from the right.

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Bill Moyers and Michelle Alexander on the Racist Plague of Mass Incarceration and America's Future

There are more African Americans under correctional control today  Ì¶  in prison or jail, on probation or parole  Ì¶  than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began. According to The Sentencing Project, an advocacy group dedicated to changing how we think about crime and punishment, “More than 60 percent of the people in prison are now racial and ethnic minorities. For black males in their thirties, one in every ten is in prison or jail on any given day.”

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Happy 100th Birthday Income Taxes! Or How the Rich Have Gamed the System to Pay a Smaller Share

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the federal income tax. That is, the income tax that we have today – the first US tax raised on earned incomes was a temporary one imposed to help pay for the War of 1812. Another helped pay for the Civil War, but was allowed to expire in 1872.

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16 Politicians Cashing in Thanks to Washington's Revolving Door

The revolving doors in Washington spin especially quickly after elections: 79 new members of Congress will take their seats in January, and each one is selecting their staff. Meanwhile, 97 lawmakers have retired, resigned or lost their bids for reelection, and they — and their staff — are looking for work. Politicians are barred, by law, from lobbying their former colleagues within one or two years of leaving the Hill — but the law doesn’t prevent them from making introductions and opening doors for lobbyists in their new jobs. Here’s a look at some lawmakers and lobbyists who’ve made the switch from Capitol Hill to K Street, and vice versa, in the recent past.

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