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Bill Moyers rebukes PBS criticism in St. Louis

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Bill Moyers, speaking at the Conference for Media Reform on Sunday (KWMU photo)

By KWMU

St. Louis, MO –

Longtime Journalist Bill Moyers used a speech in St. Louis Sunday to rebuke recent criticism of him and public television.

The New York Times recently reported that the Republican chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Kenneth Tomlinson, had hired a White House staffer to monitor Moyers' show "NOW" to see if it had a liberal bias.

Moyers says the criticism he faces from Tomlinson and other conservatives stems from the show's reporting style, which he says doesn't follow "conventional rules."

"Those rules divide the world into Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, and allow journalists to pretend they've done their job if - instead of reporting the truth behind the news - they merely give each side the opportunity to spin the news," Moyers said.

Moyers left the show "NOW" last year but has since returned to a different PBS show, called "Wide Angle." Despite his retirement from "NOW," Moyers hinted Sunday that the recent turmoil may drive him back.

"I should put my detractors on notice," he said. "They might just compel me out of the rocking chair and back into the anchor chair."

He spoke at the close of the Conference for Media Reform, held by a group called Free Press.

To hear Moyers' entire speech, click on the "Listen" icon above.

To read a transcript of the speech, click here.

CPB Chair Kenneth Tomlinson recently spoke about the current controversy to Bob Garfield on the NPR show "On the Media" (May 6th episode). To hear that interview, click here and scroll down to the story called "Caught in the Balance."

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