On Friday, distinguished veteran PBS journalist Bill Moyers announced that he was retiring from weekly television. “I am 75 years old,” he explained, noting that “Bill Moyers Journal” had been having a “good run of it,” so he felt “it’s time.”
Last night on his Fox News show, Bill O’Reilly used the news to attack Moyers and his journalistic ethics. He also claimed that his producer, Jesse Watters, was solely responsible for Moyers resigning. “Now I think we — Jesse Watters drove him out of PBS,” said O’Reilly. “I think Jesse Watters is responsible for Bill Moyers leaving.” Watch it:
In 2007, Watters ambushed Moyers on the street outside his home. O’Reilly had Watters harass Moyers after the PBS journalist ran a program about impeaching President Bush. O’Reilly claimed that Moyers symbolized “Americans who want their country to lose in Iraq, based upon hatred of all things Bush,” which he determined was a good reason to send his henchman to Moyers’ house. According to O’Reilly, this one interview was what drove Moyers out of his job two years later.
Of course, what O’Reilly didn’t show was a 2008 confrontation between Moyers and Fox News producer Porter Berry, which didn’t go as O’Reilly had planned. This time, Moyers turned the tables on Berry and called O’Reilly a coward for sending out producers to do his dirty work and for refusing to appear on his PBS show. Watch it:
Mr. Moyers said he had been planning for some time to retire the program on Dec. 25, but was asked by PBS to raise the funds to continue through April, which he did.
“I am 75 years old,” he said of the decision to end the series, which began in April 2007. The program has recently been having a “good run of it,” he added in a telephone interview on Friday, “so I feel it’s time.” He said he was not quitting television work, although he has no new projects planned.
“Bill Moyers Journal” originally aired in 1972, and after a few breaks, returned on-air in its current form in 2007, with the critically acclaimed documentary “Buying the War.” The film highlighted how, “in the rage that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the media abandoned their role as watchdog and became a lapdog instead.”