Friday, April 25, 2008

Disappointing Interview

After watching the Bill Moyers interview with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright tonight on PBS, I was reminded what a real gentleman Bill Moyers is. He is gracious to a fault in person and on the air.

Reverend Wright, you’ll remember, is the black minister whose “damning” of America from the pulpit several weeks ago caught media attention, particularly because Wright is the pastor of Senator Barak Obama’s home church in Chicago.

The hour-long interview on Bill Moyers Journal demonstrated what we all should have known anyway, that Reverend Wright – like all of us – is more complex than can be reflected in a 30-second sound bite.

Nonetheless, I was sorely disappointed tonight by the lack of incisive questioning from Bill Moyers. Not so much over Wright’s “damning” of America statement, but his vitriolic statements about an unfeeling America that has killed innocent people in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, in Iraq and in Afghanistan.

That innocents died – on both sides in these wars – is undeniable. That our troops, our government, and our nation did so as a matter of policy and with no feeling is blatantly untrue. Why did Bill Moyers not challenge Reverend Wright on this point?

Reverend Wright’s snipped comment about God “damning” America made national news, and Senator Obama promptly distanced himself from his old pastor. How, Moyers asked, did Reverend Wright feel about that?

In fresh candor, Reverend Wright acknowledged that Senator Obama is “a politician” and must say to his audience what is necessary; and as a pastor, he (Reverend Wright) must say to his audience what is necessary. Wright speaks at the National Press Club next week. I think I smell a book in the writing.

How unfortunate that Bill Moyers did not do what HIS audience expected: ask insightful questions and challenge the guest. Instead, it was kind of a “good ol’ pastors discussion down at the seminary.” Giving Reverend Wright 60 minutes to paint his own portrait on C-SPAN would have been equally revealing.

Bill Moyers has done some great interviews. This was not one of them.


Anonymous said...

Are you sure that "out troops, our government, and our nation did so as a matter of policy and with no feeling is blatantly untrue"????? Some American people had remorse, but most American people have no feeling due to ignorance. Reverend Wright statement is very true. For example, while G.W.Bush rattled his sword with Sadam, lot of people wanted the war started sooner so that THEY COULD SEE THE AIRPLANE DROPPED BOMBS ON TV ("Live from Baghdad" on CNN). For them the war was very entertaining, like a football game. I remembered hearing such a talk while I was in a looker room of a gym. I thought it was from a couple of teenagers, but very disgusted to discover that it was coming from a couple of middle aged beer belly men - the kind of men that would never serve in the army, but perform flag waving in a safe distance in the comfort zone.

People only want to hear what they want to hear. Thus they always deny the truth, and happily listen to the lies. Therefore in most elections, the smooth talkers, the best liars, the clever crooks are always elected into the office. And nothing is ever changed. People always complain about the politicians and the government. But it was them who support such system.

Larry Miller said...

You make some good points, Anonymous -- and I even agree with some of them. However, I remain convinced that Rev. Wright was wrong with his assertion about the atomic bombs dropped in WWII. I stand by my opinion as originally posted, that Wright's statement that "...our nation did so as a matter of policy and with no feeling is blatantly untrue."

Your view that "the best liars, the clever crooks, are always elected..." is a sad and overly-cynical view. And in our last presidential election, the winner would be...?