When Air America, the left-wing talk radio network, began, I predicted
that it would not succeed. One of the main reasons I gave was that liberals
already had their views expressed in the mainstream news media -- the major
networks, PBS and NPR (National Public Radio), and just about every major city
newspaper. Therefore, the need liberals have for liberal talk radio is nowhere
near the need conservatives have for
conservative talk radio.
To its credit, the New York Times -- through its public editor -- has
acknowledged that the Times is liberal; and anyone intellectually honest
understands this is true regarding virtually all of the news media. But for
those still needing proof, Bill Moyers supplied it on PBS this past weekend during his interview of one of the most
radically polarizing figures in America today, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Sen.
Barack Obama's mentor and pastor for 20 years.
The Rev. Wright's decision to allow himself to be interviewed by Bill
Moyers was, from his perspective, an excellent one. It is difficult to imagine a
less challenging, more fawning, interview.
How bad was it?
Given that one of the most egregious of the Rev. Wright's statements was
his charge that the American
government developed the AIDS virus and inflicted it on black Americans, one
assumed that the first major reporter to interview Wright since the comments
were made public would ask him about it. Not Bill Moyers. Beyond mentioning in
the opening introduction, "Wright repeating the canard heard often in black
communities that the U.S. government spread HIV in those communities," the
subject was never raised.
But Moyers did ask Wright tough questions like these:
"When did you hear the call to ministry? How did it
"What does the church service on Sunday morning mean in general to the
Instead of challenging Wright's un-Christian, anti-American and immoral
"God damn America, God damn America" statement, Moyers asked three questions
Here they are (I could not make up such puffball
1. "One of the most controversial sermons that you preach is the sermon
you preach that ended up being that sound bite about God damn
Wright's response was to deliver a 300-word indictment of America for
its violence against the
And how then does Moyers respond? With another killer question:
2. "What did you mean when you said that?"
So Wright then delivered another, 174-word, indictment of America for
But instead of challenging Wright or defending America, Moyers' third
3. "Well, you can be almost crucified for saying what you've said here in
Moyers changes Wright's "God damn America" to "Poor Rev.
And why not? It is soon clear that Moyers essentially agrees with Wright
"What is your notion of why so many Americans seem not to want to hear
the full Monty -- they don't want to seem to acknowledge that a nation capable
of greatness is also capable of cruelty?"
For the many Americans who suspect that most Americans on the left
silently agree with nearly all of Wright's views of America, Moyers provided
Nevertheless, Moyers' total failure to confront the America-hating,
race-preoccupied mentor of a man who may be the next president of the United
States does not mean the interview was worthless. Any time Wright speaks
publicly, even with the most sympathetic of questioners, we learn more about the
two motivators of his thinking: race and contempt for
Here is Wright in his sermon the Sunday after 9-11 as replayed during the
"Terrorism! We bombed Grenada and killed innocent civilians, babies,
non-military personnel. We bombed the black civilian community of Panama with
stealth bombers and killed unarmed teenagers and toddlers, pregnant mothers and
hardworking fathers. We bombed Gadafi's home and killed his child. 'Blessed are
they who bash your children's head against a rock!' We bombed Iraq. We killed
unarmed civilians trying to make a living. We bombed a plant in Sudan to pay
back for the attack on our embassy. Killed hundreds of hardworking people;
mothers and fathers who left home to go that day, not knowing that they would
never get back home. We bombed Hiroshima! We bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far
more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an
eye! Kids playing in the playground, mothers picking up children after school,
civilians -- not soldiers -- people just trying to make it day by day. We have
supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and
now we are indignant? Because the stuff we have done overseas has now been
brought back into our own front yards! America's chickens are coming home to
roost! Violence begets violence. Hatred begets hatred and terrorism begets
To which Moyers offered
another lacerating response:
"You preached that sermon on the Sunday after 9-11, almost seven years
ago. When people saw the sound bites from it this year, they were upset because
you seemed to be blaming America. Did you somehow fail to
Finally, as regards the Rev. Wright's Africa-centric form of
Christianity, this was Wright's explanation to his young church members as shown
during the PBS interview:
"We wanted our stained-glass windows to tell the story of the centrality
of Africans in the role of Christianity from its inception up until the present
day. We play some interesting games educationally with the kids to help kids
understand -- 'Can you name the seven continents?' As a kid, you learn that in
school. All right, on what continent did everything in the Bible from Genesis to
Malachi take place?"
And, of course, the Reverend and his church's answer is:
Now, as it happens, the Middle East is not Africa. It is Asia Minor, or
Southwest Asia, if one must have an identifying continent. And Jesus
was not black, nor were the apostles. It's all racial pride. And not true.
Africa in the Bible is overwhelmingly Egypt, which was not black and not a moral
In sum: PBS has done some wonderful programming. But when it comes to the
news or anything controversial, it is as politically correct and liberal as the
rest of the news media. As for Bill Moyers, had Mrs. Wright interviewed the Rev.
Wright, the questions and reactions could not have been less challenging or even
supportive. And as regards the Rev. Wright, the more he talks, the more one
worries about Barack Obama's values.