Bill Moyers Is Back!

By Robert Wright

It didn't take Bill Moyers long to realize that his premature retirement was premature. This weekend marked his return to public television with a new show, Moyers & Company, little more than 20 months after the final airing of Bill Moyers' Journal.

For some people, returning from retirement would raise questions about whether, while they were away, the world passed them by. But the world is, if anything, more congenial than ever to Moyers' sensibility. Moyers is a progressive with a populist streak, and he has long taken more seriously than most journalists one famous rendering of the journalist's mission: to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. So the upheaval on the left that preceded his return--the Occupy movement, with its legacy motif of "the one percent"--has nicely set the stage for him.

In his first show he takes full advantage, looking at the Occupy movement, and its motivating grievances, from various angles. Especially illuminating is his interview with Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, authors of Winner-Take-All Politics. It starts at the 6:30 mark in the video below. Don't miss the jarring animated graphic at the nine-minute mark.

For other video segments--including some that weren't broadcast--go to billmoyers.com.

[Postscript: I remembered after posting this that the final installment of Bill Moyers' Journal, in the spring of 2010, had featured a segment on a grassroots protest movement in Iowa that offers interesting parallels with, as well as contrasts with, the Occupy movement. Here's that segment.]

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/01/bill-moyers-is-back/251472/