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:
Last night was a prime example of O’Reilly’s inflated ego. He has also taken sole credit for saving Christmas, lowering gas prices, John McCain being behind in the polls in October 2008 (because the senator refused to appear on The O’Reilly Factor), and Spanish prosecutors deciding to drop an investigation into the Bush administration’s torture regime (because O’Reilly threatened a Spanish boycott).
Later in the segment, O’Reilly added that another reason that Moyers is retiring is because PBS was mad at him for not being tough enough on Rev. Jeremiah Wright in a 2008 interview.
GOLDBERG: Avuncular, right. But you know what? I knew Bill Moyers at CBS. I worked with him. He’s a very serious guy. And in that sense I give him — I give him credit. When a lot of people were going for fluff, Bill Moyers wanted to do serious journalism.
Some place along the line, Bill, he stopped being a journalist, and he started of being an advocate. He stopped being a journalist, and he started being an evangelist. And the religion he was preaching for was liberalism.
O’REILLY: Far left.
GOLDBERG: Far left. And when you’re — when you’re that kind of person, there are no shades of gray.
O’REILLY: Now I think we — Jesse Watters drove him out of PBS. I think Jesse Watters is responsible for Bill Moyers leaving. Now Bill Moyers is hammering Bush and Cheney, wanted them impeached, this and that, and you know, taking shots at The Factor. So we sent Jesse out to talk with him. Roll the tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESSE WATTERS, FACTOR PRODUCER: Mr. Moyers, what do you think about t hat? I mean, come on, do you think…
BILL MOYERS, PBS: Come on my show. I’ll ask you. Bill won’t do it. He doesn’t have the courage. But I’ll ask you.
WATTERS: Bill would have been here today but he’ interviewing Lindsay Lohan.
MOYERS: Oh, of course. Bill’s got his priorities in line.
WATTERS: That’s right. He would have loved to be here, but he can’t make it tonight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
GOLDBERG: I’m amazed he knew who Lindsay Lohan was.
O’REILLY: Look, and that was a joke, by the way. There was no Lindsay Lohan interview.