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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