PBS’s “Moyers & Company” released a series of articles in which his writers answer a question that “matters today” to answer. Both the selection and wording of the questions and the answers provided by Moyers’s staff strongly favor President Obama over challenger Mitt Romney.
Moyers’s status as a journalist has not kept him out of liberal politics. As the president of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, he has funded more than a dozen other prominent lefty organizations and has given more than $10 million to liberal groups since 2000. Often, Moyers has had guests on his shows from groups which he himself funds. “Moyers & Company” is presented on public television by WNET in New York and distributed by American Public Television.
The day after the presidential townhall debate, “Moyers & Company” asked its Facebook fans “what would you have asked the candidates if you had been in the audience at lasts night’s debate?” After the “hundreds of replies on a range of topics,” they selected a handful of questions to answer.
The questions selected for this series were reflected standard liberal topics including: “Where Do the Candidates Stand on Citizens United,” “Where [Do] the Candidates Stand on the Eurozone Crisis,” “Where Do the Candidates Stand on Climate Change,” and “Where Do the Candidates Stand on GMO Labeling.” The articles ran on October 19, 26, 29 and November 1, respectively.
The first question chosen was on an issue which the positions of both candidates have come up several times during the campaign: “will you work towards getting rid of Citizens United?”
The answer began with a synopsis of Romney’s position on super PACs, which the Romney campaign has made no secret of. To embellish Romney’s position, they included an exchange between Romney and a protestor, in which Romney said “corporations are people too, my friend.” Moyers staff writer John Light, who answered this question, then went on to argue that, while, Obama has not taken as strong of a stance as many on the left would have liked, he opposed the Citizens United decision.
The next week led with “Where [Do] the Candidates Stand on the Eurozone Crisis?” As a question, this wasn’t actually biased. It’s the answer that was slanted. Light, who also authored this piece, still bashed Romney. “European leaders from across the spectrum have not embraced Romney,” he wrote. He then went on to talk about Romney’s apparent gaffes, and criticized Romney using Spain as “an example of big government.”
In contrast, Light said that “The Washington Post and Reuters reported that many European leaders openly support Obama and worry about working with Romney after his statements criticizing Europe’s big governments.”
On week three, the guide hit the liberal favorite of climate change. “Where Do the Candidates Stand on Climate Change?” kicked off a discussion on what has always beena partisan issue. The selected question read as follows: “I am concerned about global warming. What do they have to say about it; do they plan any interventions for alleviating it?”
The answer provided by Moyers staffer Lauren Feeney (who also wrote a few pieces for Moyers’s attacks against the American Legislative Exchange Council earlier in 2012) began with the following paragraph, which pretty sounded more like a trailer to a new Al Gore movie. .
“Despite record-breaking temperatures, vanishing glaciers, rising seas, droughts and wildfires, climate change wasn’t discussed in any of the four presidential of vice presidential debates, and rarely has been mentioned on the campaign trail. On the contrary, the two candidates have each tried to one-up each other in terms of their support for carbon-emitting coal, oil and natural gas.
Although she voiced disappointment toward both candidates, Feeney praised Obama’s green energy initiatives, including the $90 billion for clean energy projects included in the $787 billion economic stimulus bill. She also spoke positively about the Obama administration’s proposed new automobile fuel efficiency standards which would mandate 54.5 mpg by 2005.
Feeney quoted Romney as saying that he doesn’t think that we know enough about climate change to invest taxpayer money into it.
“Since he says he’s not even sure what’s causing climate change, it’s not surprising that Romney hasn’t yet presented a plan for mitigating the problem.” She noted that his website doesn’t include climate change as an issue. Then she criticized Romney for the “energy issue” page on his official website’s advocation of offshore drilling, and the Keystone XL Pipeline, as well as his promise to ‘streamline the gauntlet of reviews, processes, administrative procedures, and lawsuits that mire so many new projects in red tape’—in other words, relax regulations” To a firm believer in global warming, such initiatives towards energy independence could potentially be a huge problem.
The last question, to date, was posted on Nov. 1 and discussed an issue too obscure for most voters. “Where Do the Candidates Stand on GMO Labeling?” got into food labeling. The question read “GMO seeds and the ever increasing use of pesticides are causing huge problems and concerns around the globe. Will you label GMOs?”
GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” here refer to foodstuffs like fruit and vegetables that have been altered, often to make them more resistant to diseases or insects. Theresa Riley, Supervising Digital Producer for BillMoyers.com wrote the response to this one, roundly criticizing Romney’s favorable position towards GMOs.
She then argued that, while Obama has not yet taken a strong position on this issue, he “can be moved.” Riley cites a “Democracy Now!” article by Michael Pollan to back up her argument that, although he has not done anything yet, Obama shows promise when it comes to GMO labeling legislation. “It’s up to us to make him do it, because he does get it.” She agrees with Pollan that things might change after November 6 -- if Obama is reelected and the California Prop 37 ballot initiative on GMOs passes. “I think Obama simply judged the politics were not ripe yet. Well, this will ripen them dramatically should this pass.”
On November 1, Moyers and Company ran a fifth question, entitled "Where Do the Candidates Stand on Infrastructure". Despite implications that Senate Republicans blocking the presidents jobs creation proposal in 2011 prevented the president from being able to accomplish much, this question and answer segment was not nearly as biased as the previous four.
Moyers gave $175,000 to “Democracy Now!” in 2005. Democracy Now! is also a member of the lefty Media Consortium, an echo chamber were liberal news outlets can bounce ideas off of each other.
Moyers has repeatedly spoken in favor of liberal causes, including Occupy Wall Street, on “Moyers and Company.” He even went so far as to compare Occupiers to abolitionists and suffragettes. He has also called the gun-rights group the National Rifle Association “the enabler of death — paranoid, delusional and as venomous as a scorpion. With the weak-kneed acquiescence of our politicians, the National Rifle Association has turned the Second Amendment of the Constitution into a cruel and deadly hoax.”
Moyers was also involved in a series of attacks against the American Legislative Exchange Council, in which he promoted the work of groups that his Schumann Center funded through his taxpayer funded show Moyers & Company.
Moyers’s Schumann Center has funded several liberal organizations including the Proteus Fund ($1,035,000) and the Tides Foundation ($5,407,500). He’s also an outspoken supporter of lefty billionaire Soros, whom he has described as “a victim of Glenn Beck and the right wing, the Fox News assassins.”
Soros, however, has been the poster child for everything that Moyers claims to stand against, heavily funding dozens of media outlets through his Open Society Foundation. There’s one exception – those outlets were liberal. Moyers formerly sat on the board of the Open Society Foundation, and he donated $100,000 to Open Society’s Center for Responsive Politics.