Sabbath, January, 15 2012

Posted January 15, 2012
By Clay Cerny

[On Sundays, this blog explores intersections of life and work in “Sabbath.”]

Bill Moyers retired from his PBS show Bill Moyers Journal a couple of years ago.  However, Moyers, now 77, has not retired.  He is back with a new venture called Moyers & Company.  Over the past years, he has also continued to write and give interviews.

Many on the right and some in the mushy middle condemn Moyers as a “liberal,” as if that label made someone not worth listening or respecting.  Moyers, on the other hand, presents his ideas without insult or name-calling.  If someone disagrees with his position, he listens and engages them in dialogue, a quality lacking in American politics and society today.

Moyers criticizes a political model of “winner take all” and argues that inequality is not simply the result of market forces, but political scheming.  Are these positions liberal?  Yes.  But, unlike many of his critics, Moyers and his guests lay out ideas in clear language, not talking points and phony statistics.  In another video essay, Moyers ponders the contemporary relevance of the folk singer Woody Guthrie.

In a time of simplified ideas and political campaigns based on finger-pointing TV commercials, Bill Moyers is a welcome antidote to the poison that threatens our democracy.  He wants his audience to think about an issue and understand its full complexity.  Agree with him or disagree, love him or hate him, Moyers offers his viewers real news, something we don’t get from corporate news readers. 

When Bill Moyers left PBS, American lost an important voice.  Now that he is back on TV and the Internet, we have more ways to engage with this interesting thinker. That’s a good thing to do on the Sabbath – Think about how to make life better for others and how to live a better life.