Bill Moyers returns on-air and online in January 2012 with MOYERS & COMPANY, a weekly hour of compelling and vital conversation about life and the state of American democracy, featuring some of the best thinkers of our time. A range of scholars, artists, activists, scientists, philosophers and newsmakers bring context, insight and meaning to important topics. The series occasionally includes Moyers' own timely and penetrating essays on society and government. In a multimedia marketplace saturated with shallow sound bites and partisan name-calling, MOYERS & COMPANY digs deeper. As the Los Angeles Times put it in 2010, "No one on television has centralized the discussion of ideas as much as Moyers... He not only gives a forum to unusual thinkers, he is truly interested in what they have to say and who they are because he believes their ideas really matter. "
Science can be a battleground -- witness the politics of climate change, the teaching of evolution, the uncharted terrain of genetic modification and stem cell research, among other contentious issues. But when industries release untested chemicals into our environment -- putting profits before public health -- our children are the first to suffer. Nowhere is this more troubling than in the ongoing story of lead poisoning. On this week's Moyers & Company (check local listings), Bill talks with David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz, public health historians who've been taking on the chemical industry for years -- writing about the hazards of industrial pollution and the neglect of worker safety -- despite industry efforts to undermine them. Their latest book, Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America's Children, is the culmination of 20 years of research. Markowitz and Rosner warn that, for young children, there's no safe level of exposure to this dangerous toxin still lurking in millions of homes. Rosner and Markowitz discuss thwarted efforts to hold the lead industry accountable, failed attempts to find cheap solutions, and the cost to the future of our children. As long as the chemical industry and its powerful lobbies prevail in blocking efforts to reform outdated laws, the authors say, we will continue to float in a soup of toxins -- inhaling, drinking, and absorbing chemicals that we may learn, years later, have put us all in harm's way. Also on the show, Bill is joined by the heads of two independent watchdog groups keeping an eye on government as well as on powerful interests -- like chemical companies -- seeking to influence it. Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics and OpenSecrets.org, and Danielle Brian, who runs the Project on Government Oversight, talk to Bill about the importance of transparency to our democracy, and their efforts to scrutinize who's giving money, who's receiving it, and most importantly, what's expected in return.
Sunday, May 19, 2013 Length : 56 min MPT
How People Power Generates Change
Episode # 218
With our democracy threatened by plutocrats and the politicians in their pockets more than ever, the antidote to organized money is organized people. It takes time and effort, but across the country, grass roots democracy is growing. Individuals are banding together, organizing toward common goals and demanding change - and often delivering it. On this week's Moyers & Company (check local listings), we'll meet three organizers leading the way. Marshall Ganz is a social movement legend who dropped out of Harvard to become a volunteer during Mississippi's Freedom Summer of 1964. He then joined forces with Cesar Chavez of the United Farmworkers, protecting workers who picked crops for pennies in California's fields and orchards. Ganz also had a pivotal role organizing students and volunteers for Barack Obama's historic 2008 presidential campaign. Now 70, he's still organizing across the United States and the Middle East, and back at Harvard, teaching students from around the world about what it takes to beat Goliath. Later on the broadcast, economic equality advocates Rachel LaForest, executive director of Right to the City, and Madeline Janis, co-founder and national policy director of Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, discuss with Bill how social action can change both policy and lives. Janis led the fight for a living wage in Los Angeles; LaForest fights for fair and affordable housing across the country. Grass roots democracy clamors for change. Next on Moyers & Company.
Sunday, May 12, 2013 Length : 56 min MPT
The Sandy Hook Promise
Episode # 217
Francine and David Wheeler's youngest son Ben was killed in the December 14th attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Their grief has led them to the Sandy Hook Promise, a now-nationwide group founded by Newtown friends and neighbors to heal the hurt and find new ways to talk about and campaign against the scourge of gun violence in the United States. One of their allies is folksinger and activist Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary fame, who joined with the Wheelers and others in a February concert of harmony, resilience and solidarity. On this week's Moyers & Company (check local listings), we see excerpts from the concert, soon to appear on many public television stations. Francine Wheeler and Peter Yarrow discuss with Bill the power of music to create change, and their mission to protect children and adults from gun violence in communities across America. Later, the conversation continues as David Wheeler joins his wife to talk with Bill about what can be done and if the gun issue can be addressed rationally in a way that includes diverse viewpoints and bypasses partisan brinkmanship.
Sunday, May 05, 2013 Length : 56 min MPT
Trading Democracy for 'Security'
Episode # 216
The violent Boston rampage triggered a local and federal response that, according to journalist Glenn Greenwald, adds a new dimension to troubling questions about government secrecy, overreach, and what we sacrifice in the name of national security. Greenwald joins Bill on this week's Moyers & Company (check local listings) to peel back layers that reveal what the Boston bombings and drone attacks have in common, and how secrecy leads to abuse of government power. Also on the show, political scholars Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann tell Bill that Congress' failure to make progress on gun control last week -- despite support for background checks from 90% of the American public - is symptomatic of a legislative branch reduced to dysfunction, partisan ravings and obstruction. A year ago, the two -- who had strong reputations as non-partisan analysts - decided to speak truth to power with their book It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism. In it, they argue that congressional gridlock is mostly the fault of the right wing of the Republican Party, which engages in "policy hostage-taking" to extend their political war against the president. What's more, Ornstein and Mann say, the mainstream media and media fact-checkers add to the problem by pretending both parties are equally to blame.
Sunday, April 28, 2013 Length : 56 min MPT
Living Outside Tribal Lines
Episode # 214
This week's Moyers & Company (check local listings), begins with a report on striking extremes of wealth and poverty on display in California's Silicon Valley. Facebook, Google, and Apple are minting millionaires while the area's homeless -- who've grown 20 percent in the last two years -- are living in tent cities at their virtual doorsteps. These are the human faces of economic inequality. Later, Bill is joined by writer Sherman Alexie. Born on a Native American Reservation, Alexie has been navigating the cultural boundaries of American culture in lauded poetry, novels, short stories, screenplays, even stand-up comedy for over two decades. Alexie discusses the challenges of living in different cultures at the same time, and shares his irreverent perspective on contemporary American life.
Sunday, April 14, 2013 Length : 56 min MPT
Mlk's Dream of Economic Justice
Episode # 213
Martin Luther King, Jr., who died 45 years ago this month, had long known that racial equality was inextricably linked to economic equity -- fairness for all, including working people and the poor. In the last year of his life, as he moved toward Memphis and assassination, Dr. King announced the Poor People's Campaign to demand an "Economic Bill of Rights" for all Americans, regardless of color. But nearly a half-century later, that dream is still a dream deferred. On this week's Moyers & Company (check local listings), Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Taylor Branch and author and theologian James Cone join Bill to discuss Dr. King's vision of economic justice, and why so little has changed for America's most oppressed. Also on the show, poet Kyle Dargan, whose poetry provides a window into the humanity that Branch & Cone say is essential to get people working towards justice, visits Bill to talk about and read from his work.