Bill Moyers Back on TV with Talking Heads!

Bill Moyers, who started out at the Peace Corps at age 27 or so, as the Associate Director for Public Affairs, and later was the Deputy Director under Shriver, and then continued to star in a variety of arenas, is back on public television this month with a new interview show, Moyers & Company. He left PBS 20 months ago, retiring from Bill Moyers Journal, but as he told Elizabeth Jensen in the New York Times (Sunday, January 8, 2012) he just needed a break. He wasn’t retiring. After all, he’s only 77!

The new program by Moyers will be a lot like his last one: thoughtful interviews with thinkers. Upcoming will be interviews with David Stockman, Reagan budget chief; John S. Reed, the former Citibank executive; poet Rita Dove, and a four-hour chat with the political scientists Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson, on their work Winner-Take-All Politics.

The catch to  his return is the fact that PBS is not distributing the show. It comes via the American Public Television, a separate distribution service. Moyers is unsure why this happened, as he had been with PBS since 1971. According to the NYTIMES article, “Some public television executives, who would not publicly comment on a sensitive issue, said they believed that PBS did not want to realign itself with Mr. Moyers, a longtime target of some conservatives, as it was fighting to keep its federal financing.”

Moyers is only creating his own Web site, and is soliciting viewer participation, writing, “This will be a political series but not a partisan one. In the conversation of democracy, everyone’s invited. That means you too.”

Okay, Bill! We’ll watch and write you. Promise!


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  • Bill Moyers said he’d be back on television at the 50th panel he moderated in D.C. Saturday afternoon, and I’ve been watching for it. He was terrific that afternoon, an inspiration to journalists and thinkers of all persuasions.

  • Bill Moyers interviewed Rev. Jeremiah Wright in March of 2008.
    It was classic and wonderful. The two are friends. They met back in 1964 when Wright was a Naval corpsman and Moyers was Johnson’ aid. Johnson was having gall bladder surgery; the operating room was filled with doctors, secret service, probably tv cameras, and Johnson’s staff, including both Wright and Moyers. They sent Wright out for coffee.

    What was so great about the interview is that both men were Baptist ministers and graduates of theology programs. They shared stories of their favorite professors and famous theologians. Wright explained how he believed that the biblical stories applied to the journey of African-Americans from Africa to this contingent and their quest for justice.

    No one listening to the two could ever doubt the patriotism of each nor the beauty of this country.

  • Leo,
    ..because I think I may have goofed. Wright has a degree in Theology from the University of Chicago. Moyers is a Baptist minister. I think that Wright’s church may be Church of Christ. I wish I could access the interview, I will try and find it. But, the two of them in the interview talked about being Divinity students and their favorite professors and theologians.

  • Leo,

    Leo, Keeping me honest -This information is from Wikipedia

    Virginia Union University (VUU) is a historically black university located in Richmond, Virginia, United States. It took its present name in 1899 upon the merger of two older schools, Richmond Theological Institute and Wayland Seminary, each founded after the end of American Civil War by the American Baptist Home Mission Society. Wright attended from 1959 to 1961. In 1961 Wright left college and joined the United States Marine Corps and became part of the 2nd Marine Division attaining the rank of private first class. In 1963, after two years of service, Wright joined the United States Navy and entered the Corpsman School at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. Wright was trained as a cardiopulmonary technician at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Wright was assigned as part of the medical team charged with care of President Lyndon B. Johnson The surgery was in 1966, not 1964.

    He also earned a master’s degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School. Wright holds a Doctor of Ministry degree (1990) from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, where he studied under Samuel DeWitt Proctor, a mentor to Martin Luther King, Jr.

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