Veteran journalist Bill Moyers has been around politics long enough that no one will ever accuse him of beng a naive neophyte when it comes to the ingrained duplicitousness of politicians.
In fact, his career actually began as a public affairs staffer and White House aide in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations before he ventured into a career in journalism that stretched from print media to CBS, NBC, and PBS.
So when the highly experienced newsman issues a dire warning about the profoundly dangerous effects of Donald Trump’s pattern of pathological mendacity on the fabric of our nation’s democracy, people ought to pay attention.
Moyers issued just such a warning during an appearance on CNN Business yesterday morning with host Brian Stelter wherein he discussed the upcoming impeachment hearings and their effect on the American viewing public who may be tuning in to hear the first-hand details of the president’s bribery, extortion, and obstruction of justice in the Ukraine scandal.
Stelter got to the heart of the matter by asking the esteemed journalist — who has lived and worked through both the Nixon and Clinton impeachment efforts — whether he feared for the country at this critical juncture in the nation’s history.
Moyers’ response showed genuine concern and pointed to a singular source for the cause of a democracy on the verge of being destroyed.
“For the first time in my long life — and I was born in the Depression, lived through World War II, have been a part of politics and government for all these years — and, yes, for the first time, because a society, a democracy, can die of too many lies. And we’re getting close to that terminal moment, unless we reverse the obsession with lies that are being fed around the country,” Moyers warned.
After Moyers’ bleak forecast, Stelter followed up with a question about whether people would care about the impeachment hearings and whether our democracy can weather this latest crisis.
The elder statesman of political pundits expressed a modicum of optimism in his reply.
“Some people will always care,” Moyers responded. “And we have to remember that we need to serve those people who will get up in the morning and watch those hearings, will come home at night and watch the hearings because they really want to…they want to understand, they want to cut through the lies. So we have to be concerned with them and we have to think about how do we reach the people who don’t care.”
“Do facts matter anymore? I think they do. I think they mattered in the Watergate hearings, in the Clinton hearings, and I think they’ll matter this time too.”
Moyers’ optimism shined its brightest when he expressed his hope for those Trump supporters who believe everything the president says. Saying that he hopes at least 10% of those people tune in to watch the impeachment hearings in their entirety, Moyers expressed his opinion about what they would find out from the experience.
“They will see it’s not a witch hunt, and they will begin to doubt their master, and they will begin to break off and maybe become a citizen again instead of a partisan,” he hopefully intoned.
Predicting that, even with the impeachment hearings, Trump could still win in a close race due to the electoral college, Moyers thinks that the hearings can instill enough doubt in voters in crucial swing states to determine the final election results.
Many of us still live in the hope that Trump will be thrown out of office before the election takes place, but if Moyers’ comments on the corrosive effects of a media diet of lies prove as dire as the picture he painted, we can only hope that the truth that emerges from the impeachment hearings will overcome the administration’s lies sufficiently to see justice served and restored before our democracy in drowned in false propaganda.
You can watch a clip of Bill Moyers on CNN in the video excerpt below.
Bill Moyers says that he fears for the U.S. "for the first time in my long life."
"A democracy can die of too many lies. And we're getting close to that terminal moment unless we reverse the obsession with lies that are being fed around the country."https://t.co/N5AzIOceHS
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 10, 2019
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.
Original reporting by CNN.
What do you think?
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.