‘Close But No Cigar’: PBS Plan to Run Impeachment Hearings Online Not Enough to Show Whole Story of Trump’s Misdeeds, Says Moyers

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Veteran journalist Bill Moyers appeared on CNN‘s “Reliable Sources” Sunday to reiterate his earlier call on PBS to air the impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump as part of its primetime schedule.

During the Watergate hearings against President Richard Nixon in 1973, Moyers noted, “PBS did a very brave thing and broadcast it not only during the day but at night, too,” to ensure that all Americans would have access to the historic proceedings.

Now the network, which was established as a broadcasting service for the public good and on which Moyers has aired many of his own news and commentary shows over the past four decades, must give the public “the chance to see the whole story” of “politics at its most dangerous and…most momentous.”

“Our job as journalists is to slice and dice the events of the day as they occur or the day after, usually,” Moyers told anchor Brian Stelter. “But you don’t get the whole story there. If you wanted to get the whole story, the frame of the narrative of Watergate, you needed to watch the whole hearings. If you want to get the whole story of Trumpgate, you need to watch the whole hearings.”


Following an ad Moyers placed in the New York Times on Friday, PBS announced it would make the impeachment hearings available on its digital subchannel, WORLD.

As Moyers wrote in an op-ed published by Common Dreams on Saturday, the channel “is difficult to find if not impossible to receive in many communities where there is inadequate access to cable, satellite or the internet.”

“Close but no cigar, PBS,” wrote Moyers and his longtime collaborator, Common Dreams senior writing fellow Michael Winship.

While those who can find the impeachment hearings on WORLD during primetime may watch them, they wrote, “Nature, Great Performances, Antiques Roadshow (seen twice in one night on some stations) and the rest blithely will roll along as if nothing momentous is happening, as if American politics aren’t breaking down, as if the American experiment in democracy isn’t paralyzed.”

Instead, PBS must allow viewers to take in the impeachment hearings on its familiar, easy-to-find stations, Moyers said, rather than leaving the analysis to pundits.

“This is a moment in American history where the arc of justice will either be bent forward or it’ll be bent backward,” Moyers told CNN Sunday. “So everyone who wants to see it should have the chance to see the whole story.”

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1 Comment on "‘Close But No Cigar’: PBS Plan to Run Impeachment Hearings Online Not Enough to Show Whole Story of Trump’s Misdeeds, Says Moyers"

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John Howard
John Howard

I could not agree with Bill Moyers more; it must be aired on every channel, at all times, in order that all Americans may see and understand it – and that truth and democracy in America may be preserved.