Moyers & Company Debuts on January 15
Bill Moyers is back on TV – and online. Continuing his long-running conversation with the American public, Moyers returns to television in mid-January with Moyers & Company, a weekly series the veteran journalist says will try to make sense of our tumultuous times, “for myself and hopefully for anyone who wants to keep me company.” The new series begins with three broadcasts exploring how America’s gross inequality is no accident, but was in fact “politically engineered,” says Moyers.
The opening show of Moyers & Company features the work of two noted political scientists, Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, authors of Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer--and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class. Calling it the most important book he has read in the past 18 months, Moyers says, “Their account does better than any I've read to explain how politicians rewrote the rules to create a winner-take-all economy that favors the 1% over everyone else, putting our once and future middle class in peril.” The show includes testimony of middle class Americans at a Senate hearing about the impact of hard times on families, and closes with a Moyers essay on how Occupy Wall Street fits into the picture.
The following two shows continue an exploration of the seminal decisions over the past 30 years that led to today’s great economic disparities. Moyers talks with David Stockman who, as Ronald Reagan’s powerful and controversial budget director, was “taken to the woodshed” for telling the truth about the administration’s tax policies. Now a businessman and investor, Stockman speaks candidly with Moyers about how money dominates politics, distorting free markets and endangering democracy. “As a result,” Stockman says, “we have neither capitalism nor democracy. We have crony capitalism.”
In the third broadcast, Moyers talks with former Citigroup Chairman John Reed, now chairman of the board of MIT, and former Senator Byron Dorgan, to explore how the mid-90’s merger of Citicorp and Travelers Group brought down a crucial firewall between banks and investment firms -- the Glass-Steagall Act, which had protected consumers from financial calamity since the aftermath of the Great Depression. The merger enabled the formation of the financial behemoth known as Citigroup, which lost $27.7 billion in the Crash of 2008 and was bailed out by taxpayers. Now, Reed regrets his role in the affair, and says lifting the Glass Steagall protections was a mistake. After the financial disaster of 2008, Reed says he’s surprised Wall Street still has so much power over Washington lawmakers. “They have too much voice,” he tells Moyers. “I'm quite surprised the political establishment would listen to groups that have been so discredited.”
Watch Moyers & Company Sunday, January 15 at noon on WCVE PBS/WHTJ PBS or Thursday, January 19 at 10:00 p.m. on WCVW PBS
In conjunction with the new series, Bill Moyers is expanding his embrace of the web and social media. At launch, the new BillMoyers.com will include Moyers’ recent interview with organizers of Occupy Wall Street. The site will offer full streaming video of Moyers & Company shows, online-only essays, analytical blogs, interactive features, and “breaking insight,” as well as an extensive video library of Moyers’ past work in media. For the first time, it will be easy to browse and view hundreds of Bill Moyers programs, such as the landmark series Bill Moyers Journal, and NOW with Bill Moyers, covering a wide range of topics including the economy, faith and reason, money and politics, war, media, and the arts. Moyers is also revitalizing his Facebook and Twitter sites, launching a radio series based on the show, and offering programming on iTunes and YouTube.
Over succeeding weeks, Moyers & Company will continue to explore some of the defining issues of the day, including relevant insight from novelists, poets, and artists, scientists and philosophers, and leading scholars. Among those scheduled to appear are former Poet Laureate of the United States Rita Dove, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt on the moral values that influence our political choices; and the influential editor of Poetry Magazine, Christian Wiman, on faith, doubt, and suffering. The broadcast will also feature regular political analysis from many of the people Moyers has called on over the years to interpret life in America, as well as new voices in the dialogue of democracy.
Moyers & Company is distributed by American Public Television (APT).