<i>New York Times</i> Buries Bill Moyers

You'd think, given the gravity of the issue and the status of Moyers, that the newspaper of record would review his program airing tonight.
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Tonight PBS is broadcasting ""Buying the War," Bill Moyers' devastating hour and a half long indictment of the US news media's complicity in helping sell Bush's invasion of Iraq.

You'd think, given the gravity of the issue and the status of Moyers, that the newspaper of record would review the program.

You'd be wrong. Welcome to the post-David Halberstam NY Times. Where today they write up the rapper-Imus nexus and some "controversial" book about mothers who stay at home. And a PBS show about Roosevelt.

But nada about this country being conned into a war: a conjob in broad daylight, that is, with cameras running.

I'm not a fan of reprinting Letters to the Editor, but here's the one I just wrote to the Times.

Dear NY Times:

I searched in vain through your pages this morning for an at least thoughtful, if not prominent, review of Bill Moyers 90 minute show on PBS tonight, "Buying the War," which details the appalling (considering the consequences) complicity of the American news media in selling the war in Iraq.

I finally found a one and a half line thumbnail about the show in the "What's on Tonight" listings.

The thumbnail for "American Idol," on the other hand, runs almost four lines. And it's the premiere thumbnail.

This says an awful lot about something, don't you think?

Barry Yourgrau

Here's the listing from today's Times, in all its hard-hitting investigative glory. Spot the important story if you can, it's down there near America's Top Model.


April 25, 2007
What's on Tonight
8 P.M. (Fox) AMERICAN IDOL When the six finalists return to hear their fates after last night's vote, they will be surrounded by some established winners -- of Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys and Grammys, no less -- in a two-hour "Idol" that concludes a two-night charity drive. The original Idol, Kelly Clarkson, above, joins the singers Gwen Stefani, Josh Groban, Pink and Annie Lennox and the actors Keira Knightley, Forest Whitaker, Daniel Radcliffe and Hugh Grant. (Mr. Grant recently starred in the "Idol"-based film "American Dreamz.") The show will solicit donations for charities that help children living in poverty in Africa and the United States. Just in case that sounds too serious, Borat will be there too.

8 P.M. (CBS) JERICHO Resources are scarce in the post-apocalyptic world, and the citizens of Jericho must defend their salt mine from a neighboring city. Several people are shot.

8 P.M. (ABC) ACCORDING TO JIM The grill may be the most manly of cooking accouterments, but the men turn into little boys when Andy wants to sell the grill Jim gave him.

8 P.M. (26) BATTLE FOR THE BIBLE Christians throughout the English-speaking world may take the King James version of the Bible for granted, but as this "Secrets of the Dead" episode recounts, the men who first dared to translate the Scriptures into English faced persecution and death.

8 P.M. (CW) AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL For those who can't get enough of the girl fights, Tyra Banks's contestants will not disappoint tonight. The show rolls out never-before-seen film that includes a fracas between Dionne and Renee. The prospective models also stage a mock fashion show.

9 P.M. (CBS) CROSSING JORDAN The workaholic Jordan decides she has sufficiently recovered from brain surgery to return to work; Macy allows it only because Jordan promises to take it easy. Right. The promise takes a back seat when she finds herself drawn into a murder investigation.

9 P.M. (22, 26) BUYING THE WAR The season premiere of "Bill Moyers Journal" examines the proposition that the news media were complicit in pushing the United States into the war in Iraq. Dan Rather, Tim Russert and Bob Simon appear in interviews.

9 P.M. (IFC) MONSTER (2003). Charlize Theron packed on 30 pounds and wore gnarly false teeth to become Aileen Wuornos, the Florida prostitute turned serial killer who was put to death via lethal injection in 2002 for murdering six men. Ms. Theron's transformation apparently worked: she earned a best-actress Oscar. Christina Ricci (above left, with Ms. Theron) plays Selby, Wuornos's lover, who ultimately testified against her.

10:30 P.M. (Comedy Central) HALFWAY HOME When the residents of the halfway house are asked to "scare straight" a juvenile delinquent, will they be able to stay on point or will they fixate on the youth's obesity?

You can write to the Times at letters@nytimes.com. I'll be sending them a big blue jug of warm puke, maybe they can review that.

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