Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Bill Moyer's Journal

Bill Moyers is a national treasure. He is a liberal, and unabashed about it, and he looks for truths that the mainstream media won't touch. He currently has a show on PBS called Bill Moyer's Journal. The shows are astonishing... some in-depth journalistic investigations, such as the first one on the lousy media coverage during the run-up to the Iraq war. Some are cultural, such as one that showed many scenes out of a one-woman show about Rachel Carson. Some are interviews with literary or political figures.

The story I'm watching now is on the Kerner Commission of 1968, which examined the causes of the riots in cities. The report said that racism was institutional and that the country was dividing into separate and unequal societies, one black and one white. The story goes on to examine the current state of black America, and as I've seen in other things and mentioned here, statistic after statistic shows that our society is still highly unequal, that the black quality of life is worse in measure after measure even today. Here's a link to the story.

The follow-up story is a conversation with the mayor of Newark, NJ, who is dealing with truly frightening conditions. Both of them mention some of those awful statistics. Corey Booker, the mayor, is surprisingly optimistic that policy decisions can make a difference. He says it is possible to create change, but the problem is less the evil actions of bad people, but the lack of action by good people, and challenges people to be part of the change. He has serious issues to deal with, and is coming up with creative solutions to them. Wow... he says that sooner or later we have to stop assigning blame, but to accept responsibility and take action for change. He says he is proud of this country, but knows it is not complete yet. These are the kind of people we need to listen to, and I am grateful there is someone like Bill Moyers giving them a voice.

Bill Moyer's Journal is on the GPB station on Sunday afternoons, I think at 3 pm. I don't know because I tivo it and watch it later. The audio of all the shows of the Journal are available FREE as podcasts on iTunes, and you can subscribe to the podcast feed and get automatic updates to your iPod.

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