Saturday, April 04, 2009

Bill Moyers with his gentle journalistic style

Pulls no punches. William Black and then Amy Goodman and Glenn Greenwald.

From the transcript with William Black:
BILL MOYERS: What is your explanation for why the bankers who created this mess are still calling the shots?

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Well, that, especially after what's just happened at G.M., that's... it's scandalous.

BILL MOYERS: Why are they firing the president of G.M. and not firing the head of all these banks that are involved?

WILLIAM K. BLACK: There are two reasons. One, they're much closer to the bankers. These are people from the banking industry. And they have a lot more sympathy. In fact, they're outright hostile to autoworkers, as you can see. They want to bash all of their contracts. But when they get to banking, they say, รข€˜contracts, sacred.' But the other element of your question is we don't want to change the bankers, because if we do, if we put honest people in, who didn't cause the problem, their first job would be to find the scope of the problem. And that would destroy the cover up.

BILL MOYERS: The cover up?

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Sure. The cover up.

BILL MOYERS: That's a serious charge.

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Of course.

BILL MOYERS: Who's covering up?

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Geithner is charging, is covering up. Just like Paulson did before him. Geithner is publicly saying that it's going to take $2 trillion — a trillion is a thousand billion — $2 trillion taxpayer dollars to deal with this problem. But they're allowing all the banks to report that they're not only solvent, but fully capitalized. Both statements can't be true. It can't be that they need $2 trillion, because they have masses losses, and that they're fine.

These are all people who have failed. Paulson failed, Geithner failed. They were all promoted because they failed, not because...

BILL MOYERS: What do you mean?

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Well, Geithner has, was one of our nation's top regulators, during the entire subprime scandal, that I just described. He took absolutely no effective action. He gave no warning. He did nothing in response to the FBI warning that there was an epidemic of fraud. All this pig in the poke stuff happened under him. So, in his phrase about legacy assets. Well he's a failed legacy regulator.
And (same link) the interview with Goodman and Greenwald:

BILL MOYERS: Glenn, what stories are you covering that you think are being ignored by mainstream press?

GLENN GREENWALD: Well, let's start with the fact that there is a very widespread perception, one that's growing with more and more revelations, by the day. That what the United States did over the last eight years, in terms of how we detained people, how we interrogated people, how we tortured people and kidnapped them, and shipped them off to black sites, where they were completely disappeared is something that is not only disgraceful, and a fundamental violation of what we claim our political values to be but are crimes. Very serious war crimes. If you look at political discussions that take place on most major television no shows, about that. What you'll find is this implied consensus that Americans don't want their political leaders spending time on investigations and looking to the past. And that's absolutely false. It's a case where public opinion is distorted. Polls show that large numbers of Americans, even 50 percent believe that there should be investigations into whether or not crimes were committed. Because if we don't investigate when our political leaders break the law, it means that there's no rule of law. Look at our policy toward Israel, and this continuous blind support for whatever the Israeli government does. Something that's about to get even more harmful to our interests now that there's a very right wing extremist party with racist factions within the government in Israel. Polls show that if you ask Americans do you think the U.S. Government should be on the side of Israel, on the side of the Palestinians, or should be even-handed? Seventy percent, seven out of ten, will say that the government should be even-handed in that conflict. And yet, that is an opinion that is virtually never heard. Debates about our policy toward Israel is something that is essentially frozen out. You can go across those issues, and find the same dynamic.

BILL MOYERS: I sometimes sense some frustration in both of your voices. And I know that I.F. Stone was often frustrated. I mean, no one dug deeper into government documents than he did. And he saw the difference between the official view of reality, and the reality on the ground. And yet, for all of his exposure of these lies and deceptions and horrors, the Vietnam War raged on another ten years. Do you ever feel futile over the results of what you do?

GLENN GREENWALD: Personally, I actually don't. And, you know, I do think there is a difference. I think that the advent of technology the internet, in particular. And also the collapse of trust that so many Americans have now placed in the political and media institutions, as Amy was saying earlier. Largely, though not exclusively, as a result of how transparent the lies were over Iraq. Have really caused so many more citizens than ever before to question the kind of establishment instruments that have been used for so long to propagandize the citizenry. And to seek out alternative sources of truth. You know, change of this type is always extremely incremental. And it can be kind of imperceptible and very frustratingly slow. But I think it clearly is happening. And the more profound and transparent are the failures of the institutions. The more the citizenry will be open to alternative ways of thinking. The greater the crises are, I think, the more people will seek out opinions that may even five, ten years ago have been entirely excluded. And so, I think when you combine those events with the potency of technology, the advent of bloggers, and alternative media, like what Amy is doing, and the growth of it. I actually feel rather optimistic that the work that we do is paying off.

Thank god for Bill Moyers and real journalism. (Just for fun and the enjoyment of delicious memories, look at how he dealt with 0'Reilly's attack dog):


Wil Robinson said...

Did you ever catch Moyers interviewing Jon Stewart? Nothing like two journalists on the screen at once.

ellroon said...

I delight in Stewart's obvious intelligence. He's wonderful.

Will go and find link to said interview!

ellroon said...

And here it is. I'd forgotten how good it was.