tv A Conversation With Bill Moyers PBS August 13, 2017 1:30am-3:01am PDT
explore new worlds and new ideas through programs like this, made available for everyone through contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. hello i'm don shelby. what you're about to see is one of the most exciting and humbling assignments of my career. i was asked to interview bill moyers. it's something like playing the piano for mozart. because to my mind bill moyers is the greatest broadcast journalist of our age. he's won more than 30 national emmys, a lifetime achievement award for the national academy of television arts and sciences, nine george foster peabody awards, the broadcast equivalent of the pulitzer prize, three george polk awards, and the dupont-columbia golden baton. he's introduced us to some of the world's most remarkable people in his one-on-one interviews and shared with us a world of ideas. and he once took us inside his own family
in a very personal way. he's authored 12 books. i'm incompetent to properly introduce bill moyers there's simply not enough time. before a studio audience a man known for his modesty and his reluctance to talk about himself, agreed to sit down with me for a conversation i shall never forget. ladies and gentlemen, mr. bill moyers. (upbeat music) (audience applause) - it started in marshall, texas but it started before you were a journalist.
something unusual occurred in marshall that taught you about this america. you were the son of one of the poorest people in town anywhere else, in any other time, you wouldn't have had much of a shot. how did it happen that a poor boy got the shot you got? - i was the beneficiary of affirmative action for poor, white southern boys. if you studied hard, worked hard, moved around town, met people, there were men particularly men in the town who would say, "he's a comer let's help him. "he's a poor boy let's help him." so the rodeo club gave me a scholarship, the city commission let me come in and sit-in on their meetings. i was just constantly touched by people
older than i am who saw something in me that i didn't see in myself. so they just kept moving me from one opportunity to another. but you know in those days the gap of income inequality was not so great. one of my best friends was anne blalock, who was the daughter of the richest man in town. but we went to the same school, we went to the same parties, we went to the same dances. and i never felt uncomfortable in the presence of the kids in town whose parents were really the more fortunate ones. and that's changed in this country today to a very disturbing extent. there's very little conversation, there's very little intercourse, there's very little communication, very little participation between the poorest people, poorest kids in our country, in our cities, and those who are well off. but i, it never occurred to me, that i wasn't as good as anne, or it didn't occur to her that i was not her equal in our relationship, and so that little town
said to me, you signify, you matter. it doesn't matter that your dad is poor. so those benefits in this small town were available to an ambitious young man who was white. - you are 14 years old, you're in marshall, texas, and there's a political rally, and for the first time in your life you see in person lyndon baines johnson, the senator of the state of texas. what did you think when you first saw him? - i was bowled over by the helicopter. (audience laughs) i was on the town square and the helicopter landed. he traveled the state, this is the 1948 election, which he was beaten by 87 very contested and i have no doubt illegal votes down in the valley of texas. but he was campaigning hard in a helicopter, so who didn't want to see a helicopter in '48 the first year that helicopters were used in campaigns? so i went down to the town square
and when he got off the helicopter took his big stetson and tossed it into the crowd. now i later learned that he did that at every stop and he had somebody on his staff who went and got the stetson and returned it to the helicopter at the next stop so he could toss it again. i mean i learned a lot about politics in that very moment. that realization that this was part of the game. this was just not that he had an endless supply of stetsons in the helicopter, but i remember that he spoke to the crowd without a microphone. must have been 1,000, 2,000 people, at courthouse square. big man, boisterous, stentorian in his tall, commanding presence, and i remember being stunned by the power of his persona. something you didn't see again, really, until the campaign of '64 when he was running for president for the first time in his own right. - so you, north texas, university of texas austin,
southwest theological seminary, would stop in edinburgh and spend some time to study. committed to becoming a preacher, preaching in two churches upon graduation. but in there somewhere is a letter that you sent to lbj suggesting that the young voice wasn't being heard as much, and maybe you knew something. and he was struck by that apparently, because he called you. - i had been at north texas state college in upstate texas and i would go stop at the student union from time to time and watch the mccarthy hearing. some of you don't remember the mccarthy hearings but the extremist joseph mccarthy a senator from wisconsin on anti-communist crusade had gone beyond the limits of reasonable dialogue and reasonable politics and the senate had called him to question was about to censor him. and sitting in the student union watching those hearings i became very engaged.
don't ask me exactly why it was, as i say, i was 20 i'm 82 now that was a long time ago. but i felt maybe i wanted to be a political journalist. i planned to be a journalist i was working my way through the colleges on the publicity staff of the college covering the sports from the college and writing newsletters. i went to my office on a saturday afternoon wrote a letter to, i had never met senator johnson except to see him from the helicopter. and i wrote a letter saying, i'd like to learn about politics and you're in a campaign down here where you're trying to reach young people and i think i've got something for you and you've got something for me. the letter got to his desk, he always wanted to have bright, young men around him. john connally became governor and many others were young men on his staff at one time in his career. and i went to washington and spent the summer in fact when i got off the trolley that brought me over to the capitol where his senate majority office was he was getting onto the trolley, and he took my hand and said, "come on," he didn't even have a warm greeting
he just took me down a long corridor in the basement of the capitol opened the door and took me down to an addressograph machine, an addressograph machine was like a sewing machine, you would hit the pedal and a metal plate would come through, the stamp would come down, and print the address on the envelope. so in-between eight o'clock at night, and seven the next morning, i addressed by foot 275,000 envelopes. i hadn't even unpacked my bag and i hadn't gone to the room where i was staying, and that impressed him. so then he moved me over to his own office to answer his own correspondence and there i was at 20 totally inexperienced in this, writing his letters to eisenhower, writing his letters to the secretary of state, writing his letters to his contributors in texas, and we bonded. i was going back to this small college at the end of the summer, and lyndon johnson at his desk said, "you know, i think you ought to transfer to the university of texas." that's where he lived and that's where he had a television station and i said,
"mr. leader i don't have any money, "i'm going to get married, and i've got a job "in north texas in denton," he said, "i'll give you a job-- - [don] ktbc? - [bill] ktbc the radio station which somehow mysteriously was the only station in the country that could broadcast all three networks. (audience laughs) - i wonder how that happened. - they had a monopoly, the favorable gods were looking down, and i got a job with him. he had promised me that he would pay me a hundred dollars a week that was astonishing in '54. it was more than my father had ever made in his life as i said earlier and i went down and he worked me 40 hours a week but we bought the first mobile unit in texas. and i used to tool around town study, covering accidents and murders and the state senate the state legislature and that was probably the biggest crime scene in austin. (audience laughs) but anyway that fall i had a deep, profound experience
i still have a hard time describing it. and i decided that politics wasn't, and journalism wasn't going to satisfy my instincts and my intuitions, or even be a healthy place to work. so i decided to go and teach at a religious institution, i'd get my phd first, so i went to the seminary four years. and i was graduating in late december of '59, judith and i, my wife, were packing our boxes to move back to austin where i had been accepted to do my phd in american civilization and had a teaching assistantship at baylor university which is a baptist school in waco halfway between dallas and austin. and the phone rang, it was two days after christmas, and it was lyndon johnson, i hadn't talked to him in two and a half years. he said, "bill how are you doing?" "i'm fine, mr. leader." "what are you doing," he said. "i'm packing to go back to austin." and he said, "no, no, i'm going to make a run for it,
"i don't think i'll get it but i need you back." i hung up and i said, "judith pack for washington, "not for austin." and we went up, on the way she said, "what did he offer to pay you?" and i said, "i have no idea he didn't mention it." (audience laughs) and so i spent that year back in his office traveling with him, spending every night in some hotel, around the country, seeing all of the politicians, meeting them, watching what happened. they were heavy drinkers in those days, and after all day of campaigning they'd come to the hotel and they would drink until 1:30, 2:30, 3:30 in the morning and i had to stay up until it was over. of course i learned a lot, but gradually, that led me in the direction of washington for my career. when he didn't get the nomination he did get picked to be the vice presidential running mate. i started to go back to texas then, and he said, "no stay through the election "then you can go." and so i did and during the campaign i was the liaison on the vice president's plane
the swoose named after the plane he had been on in the pacific, briefly during world war ii, and the caroline which was john kennedy's plane. and i got to know the irish mafia, to be frank and others have written this, i was the only person on johnson's team who could talk boston and interpret boston to austin. (audience laughs) and i became in their eyes somewhat valuable. so when the election came and we won, barely, as you know, john kennedy came down to the lbj ranch and i'm sure that lbj set him up for this, but john kennedy was leaving and he turned on the porch of the lbj ranch saw me leaning in the corner, came over and said, "i hear you're not coming with us." i said, "no, i'm going to teach at a baptist school "and i'll get my phd." and he said, "don't you know harvard was founded "by a baptist preacher?" he said, "we need you in washington," so i went. and just a few months into working in the vice president's office, boring job,
he was bored out of his mind, it was a non-job at that time, and i had written a speech for lbj, he said, "i don't have a speech, i'm going to speak "at this university give me a speech." so i sat down on my little portable typewriter and wrote a speech proposing a youth corps, where did i get the idea? from hubert humphrey in minnesota he had been advocating a youth corps a peace corps, kennedy of course picked it up but so did we. and after the election i realized as kennedy announced that he was going to start the peace corps, that's what i wanted to do so i began what became a strenuous and almost futile effort to rest myself free of the vice president's office. and i was one of the founding organizers of the peace corps, became its first deputy director and i had the three best years of my life. you know it was a new effort to send young people who were not in military uniform out to help shape the identity of america in the world and to give them a sense of the world that they would bring back.
and i can't tell you every time i come to minnesota, every time i go to the hubert humphrey institute, i gave the keynote speech at the humphrey institute when they opened it. people come up to me, my age and younger, and they say, "we were in the peace corps, "it was a defining moment of my life." it was mine, i couldn't have been happier. and one day in early october of '63 i got a call from kenny o'donnell who was then john kennedy's most powerful assistant, "bill we want you to go to austin, "the president is going to go down there." "we sent an italian, advance man from boston, "whom i knew, jerry bruno, we sent him down there, "and he just can't, they can't understand each other. "our efforts, we've got to raise money. "we've got to speak in houston, "and you've got to go down there and hold hands." so i did, i went down and i was holding hands with the governor and the labor people, and the liberals and the conservatives until the president got out of town. sitting at the forty acres club at the university of texas having lunch with the chairman of the state democratic committee
and the most promising young member of the state senate, ben barnes the maitre d' came over to me and said, "mr. moyers you've got a call," so i went and took it. it was bill paine the secret service agent assigned to me in dallas and he said, "bill, the president's been shot." i immediately went back and told my colleagues and went right out to the airport, on the way, ben barnes arranged for a little aircraft to carry me to dallas, halfway between austin and dallas, robert trout on cbs said, in a haunting voice, "the president is dead." i landed at love field, started to town, to the hospital, parkland hospital and got a dispatcher's call saying, "the president, lyndon johnson now, was on air force one at love field," right where we had landed. went back, went up to air force one, the secret service stopped me, he didn't know me, and i wrote a note--
- what did it say? - it's in the library. mr. president, don't ask me why intuitively i started calling him mr. president. i'd always called him senator, or leader. mr. president i'm here if you need me, bill moyers. a few minutes later the secret service agent came back and called me up the steps and there i was on air force one. - [don] what was going through your mind? - no awesome, my god, look at this, it was very practical, how do i help him? what's he going to do now? 'cause he had never expected to be president, wasn't ready for it, wasn't really prepared for it. i was a practical guy. i mean in the campaign of '60, organizing the peace corps, those were administrative and managerial jobs. and i had never even been in the white house and i was standing at the back of that plane, saying, "how can i be helpful?" and when he went back into the bedroom of air force one
security had closed all the portholes, but he had opened the one in that inner office, inner bedroom, inner sanctum and he was looking out. quietly, very calmly, and i said, "mr. president what are you thinking?" and he said, "are the missiles flying?" here we're in the midst of a cold war, the cuban missile crisis was not long behind us, and i realized then that he had things on his mind he had never had on his mind before. and i just started filling in with the small details. calling the speaker of the house, just functional things, and i was good at that, and one reason he came to trust me was because i had that sense of doing the details and not being conspicuous about it. but there were no great and noble, or fearful thoughts in mind on that plane coming back. >> hi, everybody. my name is don shelby. i'm the person who's sitting
next to bill moyers in the program that you're watching. and it has been the highlight of my life. when i was first asked to host the program and to ask the questions of bill moyers, i knew that he was not going to be as forthcoming because he's a very modest person and doesn't like to talk about himself. in fact, in the first break that we took, he leaned over and apologized to me and said, "i'm sorry i'm talking so much." no, that's cool, you can talk as much as you want to. this show that you're watching was, for me, a labor of love. the opportunity to interview him and spend some time with him, and to be able to ask him about those incredible times during the johnson administration, when he was present at the creation of so much of what we now call history, which is perfectly fitting for journalists because it's always been said that journalists write the first draft of history, but much of what he has seen and covered and reported has become itself
history, and the way he has written it and the way he has spoken it to us will stand as a landmark of the great journalism that is produced. i'm so glad that you're watching this program. and supporting this television station. >> what an absolute privilege it is to be watching this superb program with you this evening. it is truly remarkable to hear bill moyers tell us about his life experiences. imagine, he is the only one still living from that plane on the day that kennedy died. wow. hi, i'm margaret pressrud and i'm a member of public television and i'm asking you to give your support this evening, as well, around this wonderful program. when you do it with a gift of $84 or $7 a month, we will be happy to gift you the wonderful program that we're enjoying. as don mentioned, it's not just
the program that we're seeing, that there's almost an extra hour, as well, because we just were not able to fit it all into this program. it is truly a special recollection from bill moyers. with a gift of $156, or $13 a month as a sustaining member, our gift to you will be the program that we've been enjoying as well as a examine companion book to bill moyers as journal. it is 554 pages, 43 interviews. every interview has a personal introduction by bill moyers, setting the stage, telling you how it was that day in the studio. it's just a fascinating read. with a gift of $252, or $21 a month as a sustaining member, we will send you the power of myth, where bill moyers and joseph campbell talked about mythology and how it impacts our lives. it is just fabulous. not only is it the d.v.d. but it also includes a viewer's
guide, an extra footage that was not in the original that you can enjoy. with a very generous gift of $1200, or $100 a month as a sustaining member, we have the moyers collection for you. this is 43 hours of bill moyers' d.v.d.s, including the program that we're enjoying and the "power of myth" plus the wonderful book. this is a special collection. these are all our way of saying thank you when you call and make that pledge of support. why don't you do it right now? call the number on the bottom of your screen, or go online to show your support for this very special program on your public television station. >> when bill moyers left the lbj white house, he spent some time working on other projects and then he ended up at wnet in new york city. his first touch with public broadcasting, and then, from there, he started to work with
nbc, and then with cbs. he jumped into eric severeid's shoes as the commentator and then he went back to wnet because he was so constrained in commercial television, he didn't have the ability to expand thought. just talking to other people, letting them expound, letting them talk. can we keep up with the kind of standard that he set? the only way we can do that is if we, somehow, pull ourselves together and make money available for your local public television station. that is the only way we're going to continue to get that kind of journalism coverage. it means here you can trust what you get. >> you keep great conversations coming with your financial contribution to this station today. make a monthly sustaining gift of $7, or a one-time donation
of $84, and we'll thank you with a d.v.d. of this program, which includes nearly an hour of additional conversation, plus questions and answers with bill moyers. with a monthly sustaining gift of $13, or a donation of $156 right now, you'll enjoy the program d.v.d. plus the book, bill moyers' journal, the conversation continues. with 43 in-depth interviews from his popular tv series. enjoy the 25th anniversary edition of the seminal series, "the power of myth" with joseph campbell, with your gift of $252, or a sustaining contribution of $21 per month. the three-d.v.d. set includes new footage not seen in the original release, and an interviewing with filmmaker george lucas. you'll also receive the d.v.d. of today's program. a monthly sustaining gift of $100, or a contribution of
$1200 will bring you the mothers' collection. this 19-d.v.d. library covers topics that are of special interest to bill moyers. on faith and reason, a world of ideas, god and politics, in search of the constitution, the wisdom of faith, the power of myth and today's program, a conversation with bill moyers. the collection also includes the book of interviews, the conversation continues. this library is a must-have for fans of bill moyers and pbs. the only place you find this level of thought and discourse on television. please call and give to the station right now. thank you for your support. >> you know, it is the job of pbs and your local station to inspire, to entertain, to illuminate, to uplate everyone in your family, everyone in your community to do a little
bit more, to do a little bit better because the great issues of the day are put right in front of you. and you have the opportunity to make decisions, and then it makes democracy work, and it's one of the tenets of bill moyers that it is a democracy in peril unless we do act, unless we do make these decisions on our own. you want the education, you want the inspiration. you want those things in your life and they're not available elsewhere. you can watch all the cable, all the commercial channels you want to and you won't get what you get on your station. so i hope you will join us in supporting this station. mestican the white house, lbj pledged to carry out john f. kennedy's mission. and time magazine called you the young man in charge of everything. (audience laughs) but the vietnam war interfered, and got in the way
of these great hopes and dreams. did you resent the war in that way, did you resent the war as a man of the cloth? did you resent the war as a public policy? - in those first two years when i was in charge of the domestic program i didn't think about the war. as we look back and as documents are revealed it turns out that many decisions were made in '64 and early '65 by the president, mcnamara and bundy. and as the war began to escalate it was very troubling. i wish that i had been a moral prophet, and had said, "this is gonna end in disaster." it was tragic, it was one of those tragedies of history which lyndon johnson is responsible for that changed the course of our society. frustrated the great society programs, snuffed them out in the cradle.
i mean every constituency that we had practically for the great society program for remaking the institutions of america, schools, roads and all of that was a victim of the vietnam war. many times i left in january of '67 because i felt what i cared about was no longer being nurtured, no longer being funded, and there was no longer a priority of lyndon johnson. he had to be, when you're in a war, you have to fight it, and so i left. my influence was limited then, humbled, because the president, i was an advocate of stopping the bombing of the north. and i used to go to meetings in the cabinet room and i'd come in and the president said, "here comes ban the bomb bill." and they began to see me that way and therefore believed that i was skewed. - no less light than doris kearns goodwin said that,
"moyers should write the book, because all of those blanks even in caro's work can be filled in by bill moyers." and when i read why you won't write a book about lbj i was touched professionally and personally for why you said you won't do it. would you tell people why you won't? - there were so many reasons i can't be sure i'm remembering the one that you are referring to. there were many reasons, many reasons. first of all, i didn't want to be the thief of his confidence. i spent hours, hours with the man alone, on the campaign trail, in those first 12 months of our time in the white house, and he never believed that anything he said to me, whether he was drunk or sober would become public. and secondly i lived the experience but i don't remember it that well.
because there were so many things coming at me. i was telling my really good friends here this morning that when i left the white house i put all my files in 100 boxes we moved them to the brookings institute and then on up to new york when i was publisher of the newspaper. i never opened them after 25 years took them to our new home in new jersey put 'em in the attic, never opened them. i hadn't opened them for 50 years, so last year when we decided to sell our house, i had to get all of those boxes out including the carcasses of mice and the shells of creatures of all kind and i opened them. and the first box i opened was the first three weeks in the white house, and all we could do, i didn't even have an assistant that i had known that's how we were thrust into the hurricane. five of us, six of us, the president, mrs. johnson, jack valenti, me, horace busby
and a couple of others. and there were all the kennedy people but they were so grief stricken and so shattered that we felt as if we were alone on the island, and the island was in the midst of this great tsunami. and so i just put my files and all my correspondence, cables and all that in the files, here i was 29 years old and there were cables coming in from the uprising in nigeria, and the civil war in cypress, and the turmoil of the british government which was in trouble, and the information about the movement of chinese troops towards the border of korea, and right on down the line there was one issue after another. and what did we know about them? what did i know about them? i had been at the peace corps. even lyndon johnson who had been in many of those meetings with president kennedy, what did he know about them? and suddenly decisions were being made
about issues for which there was very little time to collect the evidence. you know lyndon johnson kept saying to me, in all those years, "a man is no better, a man's judgement is no better than his information." and i really believed that, and that has guided me in my journalism career the last 44 years. my opinion isn't worth a pig's ass if you don't mind my saying so, unless i can back it up with evidence. - you said in a couple of places, in some of the books that you have written more than a dozen books. and the thousands of hours of television that you produced. i found three references to the word atonement. where you talked about a personal need to atone. when you said to william sloane coffin in one of the very last conversations you had with reverend coffin.
you were saying you were glad that you had grown old enough to begin to account for in essence the sins of the past. and he said to you, "bill we have a lot to atone for." has your journalism career, and i will make it easier for you if you want to answer it this way, because it has with me, been an atonement in a sense a redemption? - i don't look at it that way, and i never have. but let me say in the crucible of power you make a lot of mistakes. some of them come from character, some of them come from a paucity of information, and some of them come from haste, but you make a lot of mistakes. you don't see there are consequences until you are out of the battle, till the war is over. and you can read what the other side said the other troops on the other side of the trenches or the files in north vietnamese records
or in the kremlin library you don't really know that you misjudged it or made a mistake, presidents or staff assistants to the president you make a lot of mistakes. and if you let the mistakes eat away at you they will destroy you. but you learn certain things, that is you're happier if you are trying to report the truth than if you are trying to conceal it. you have more fun, you feel better at night. if you're trying to find the truth instead of trying to cover it up. when i became press secretary against my will by the way, the president went through two or three press secretaries. he said, "i want you to be press secretary," i said, "mr. president i don't want to do it, "thank you anyway." the second time didn't do it. the third time i said, "yes," because i'd still have my shoulder out of joint here. and that afternoon i flew home to see my wife who was in dallas visiting her parents. and as we went to bed that evening, she had on her red and white silk pajamas.
i said, "you know this is the beginning of the end." and she said, "why?" and i said, "because no man can serve two masters." you're trying to help the president get his ideas across, you're serving his interests rightly. but if you're trying to help the press understand why he's making those decisions, or what they mean, you're trying to help the press. and there were moments that grew in intensity and paranoia, in which he thought i was serving the press more than i was serving him. - but at some point you came to the conclusion standing at the lectern in the white house that you wanted to be on that side. - yes i remember it clearly. it was in the briefing room, my office was the briefing room. by the way there were only about 40 or 50 accredited reporters in the white house then. there are now 1,100, so i had a small office,
and we'd brief the press there (laughs). i knew we had carefully arranged for the president to go to bethesda hospital and have a surgery, gallbladder surgery. but i couldn't let that out until after three o'clock. because the first line that would have gone out from the press corps they would have rushed out and said, "johnson to go for surgery." and we agreed we called the fed, we called the secretary of the treasury, "oh no it could bring the market down "if you do it before three o'clock. "it could bring a government down." and johnson said, "it could bring my government down." so we calculated a carefully, thought out strategy, and i would not answer a questions that subject until 3:01. well merriman smith who was the dean of the white house correspondents his wife had a really close friend who was a nurse at bethesda hospital.
and merriman came in and said, "bill i know the president's going to bethesda "but i have to have it confirmed." in those days pierre salinger who had been kennedy's press secretary, had urged me to learn to smoke cigars, i never smoked. he said because you're going to be asked very tough questions and you're going to need 30 seconds to think of the answer. and if you're smoking a cigar you can light it up and you've got 30 seconds to compose your answer. (audience laughs) so i was hooked i smoked a cigar on my son's front porch this afternoon, i got used to them. and anyway, so i ease up lighting my cigar and he said, "let me light it." he smoke cigarettes, so i walked around him and locked my door from the inside, took the key and put it in my pocket. from my office to the lobby where the press phones were and he said, "damnit i know it "i'm gonna go out and write it." so he opened the door, he couldn't get it open. we were seven minutes till three and he couldn't, and he started chasing me around the room.
no, i'm serious, behind the desk. he started coming at me, "you son of a bitch," he said, "i know you got, "just nod, just confirm it some way. "otherwise i'm going to take your "no answer as a confirmation." so finally he calmed down a little bit and at three o'clock i pushed the button to the outside the press came back in and i made the announcement. then they started asking all these questions and then and there i said to myself, as i lighted a cigar, again, "i want to be on their side asking the questions, "than on my side not answering them." - let's leave the white house and lbj and now you're a journalist. 1970 you go to channel 13 wnet, and begin doing a weekly show and get television in your blood, but when you decided to have a conversation with joseph campbell can you imagine what it would have been like
to walk into some place like cbs and say, "i got an idea two guys sitting down facing "each other talking for a series "of six long shows about mythology." they would have told you, you were crazy. - they would have called bellevue hospital. (audience laughs) i wish i could claim exclusive rights to the idea, but i had colleagues who talked about joseph campbell and i had read the hero with a thousand faces when i was at the university of texas and didn't understand it, but i had read it and remembered it. and then i read that he had been advising george lucas on the star wars film. so i called him up and he said, "of course i'd love to sit and talk with you." cbs wouldn't consider it, my friends at pbs, they saw the value of it and they put up a good bit of the money that i had to raise to do it. and we did 20 some-odd hours over two summers
'85 and '86 at george lucas's skywalker ranch. - so myths are stories of the search by men and women through the ages for meaning, for significance, to make life signify, to touch the eternal, to understand the mysterious, to find out who we are. - people say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. i don't think that's what we're really seeking. i think what we're seeking is an experience of being alive so that the life experiences that we have on the purely physical plane will have residences within that are those of our own inner-most being and reality. and so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. that's what it's all finally about, and that's what these clues help us to find within ourselves. - the reaction initially from the station was, "what?"
two guys sitting there, two white guys, sitting there talking about mythology? and we had no promotion and it went out and within the next seven days after it first aired, after the first episode aired, stations were getting calls from people, what is this? put it back on, and they began to run it and it grew and it grew, it's the most, it's what i will be remembered for introducing this great teacher to a mass audience. because it was repeated over and again it became for years the best fundraiser for public broadcasting. i believe there's no better production value than the power of the human face. when you let people look at your face, and your emotions, and your eyes, and the intensity in your participation in this conversation there's no way i could create that with technology. when you tell somebody, "i love you," if you're fortunate you tell them when you're this close to them. if you ask them to marry you,
you're looking right into their eyes. there is no power greater than the human face for the purpose of television, and television makes us intimate strangers. and so being able to sit like this and talk is probably the most personal experience we have outside of sex. and since that's limited for many people, conversation is absolutely the way we entertain ourselves. (audience laughs) let me tell you a story. a year after that series aired, i was walking out of a restaurant, la caravelle restaurant, on 8th avenue, between 55th and 56th. i was walking down the street and a young, african american woman was coming this way. and as you know, television makes us intimate strangers and you think you know everybody you see on television. and i think some intuitive reason that i know the people who are watching, i've never lost that sense
of the people on the other side of the camera. so our eyes connected and we walked on, strangers. but i turned and she turned and she said, "mr. moyers?" and i said, "yes," she said, "do you have a minute?" i said, "sure," she said, "i came to new york "to be an actress and i've had a really difficult time. "i had some good auditions "but none of them were satisfactory. "my boyfriend and i living together for a year "he just suddenly left i haven't seen him. "i mean life just sort of come to an end for me. "so one night i came home, and i went to my apartment," she pointed right across the street to a small apartment building and she said, "i went up and i turned on the burner, "i pulled down the window, i went over and poured "a big glass of bourbon," and i know you like bourbon. and she said, "i laid down on the couch "and i was really ready to go," she said,
"when i had left that morning, "i had left my television set on, "and i heard these two guys talking about "myths, and the meaning of life, "and all of this and i heard one of them say, 'do you think people are looking for the meaning of life?' "and the other one said, 'no, no, no, 'i think they're looking 'for the experience of being alive,'" and she said, "you know something snapped in me, "and then i heard a voice of the announcer say, 'come back next week, (audience laughs) 'for the second edition of 'bill moyers and joseph campbell on the power of myth.'" - and that postponed her suicide. - she got up and said, "i poured the bourbon out, "i turned the burner off, i opened the window, "and i watched every one of those episodes. "and what i decided," standing on the street, "what i decided is i don't need to be an actress,
"but i need to experience the possibility "of life every day." now those stories are common for people who watched that series, and i can't explain it adequately, even today, but this medium has the power to touch, and move, inform, and connect people, and that's what i discovered in doing it, and why i've done it for 44 years. and why i've done a thousand or more hours of television because public affairs is more than the news of the day, it's the truth of poetry, which is a greater truth that you can get from any politician. william carlos williams said, "people are dying "for a lack of the news they don't get on the evening news." it can take people far away, it can connect people who don't know each other, intimate strangers. i mean the marriage of the image and the word
the most powerful combination of truth telling and experience sharing we've ever had. it's not the cuneiform tablet, it's not the printed word which is wonderful, but it's a marriage of the two and from that coupling comes something creative. and when it's done this way, it is the most important and valuable contribution to our understanding each other that man has ever invented. >> i want you to think back to a moment in time when he mentioned that woman that he just bumped into on the streets, who had in her mind the idea that she was going to end her life and he heard her say, once i saw this show, "the power of myth" with joseph campbell, i changed my mind. and i hope that you're thinking about doing the $21 a month donation because if you do, you
get "the power of myth." and do you know that this is still, after all of these years, 25 years, that this is still the most requested of the d.v.d.s published by pbs and made available to the public. more people still seek that. you can have that in your home, we have only pbs to thank for that. your local station. >> you keep great conversations coming with your financial contribution to this station today. make a monthly sustaining gift of $7 or a one-time donation of $84 and we'll thank you with a d.v.d. of this program which includes nearly an hour of additional conversation plus questions and answers with bill moyers. with a monthly sustaining gift of $13, or a donation of $156 right now, you'll enjoy the program d.v.d. plus the book, bill moyers' journal, the conversation continues. with 43 in-depth interviews
from his popular tv series. enjoy the 25th anniversary edition of the seminal series, "the power of myth" with joseph campbell with your gift of $252, or a sustaining contribution of $21 per month. the three-d.v.d. set includes new footage not seen in the original release, and an interview with filmmaker george lucas. you'll also receive the d.v.d. of today's program. a monthly sustaining gift of $100, or a contribution of $1200, will bring you the moyers' collection, this 19-d.v.d. library covers topics that are of special interest to bill moyers. on faith and reason, a world of ideas, god and politics, in search of the constitution, the wisdom of faith, the power of myth and today's program, a conversation with bill moyers. the collection also includes the book of interviews, the
conversation continues. this library is a must-have for fans of bill moyers and pbs. the only place you find this level of thought and discourse on television. please call and give to this station right now. thank you for your support. >> i have all of the bill moyers' d.v.d.s in my house, i play them for my children and i will one day play them for my grandchildren because i'll be able to say, this is the way it was once done. this is the way journalism was once done, the great ideas were being introduced. we're going to get deep into subjects that we wouldn't otherwise have thought about but enlighten us and fulfill us and maybe change us just a little bit. if you listen to what joseph campbell said, the people are searching for an experience of living, an experience for living. it changed the lives of so many people when they first heard that and then when bill talked
about that a person's judgment is only as good as his or her information, that is an important thing to remember in this day and age. so i hope that you will support this local television station. i hope that you will support pbs so that we continue to bring you the kind of in-depth reporting, analysis and mind-changing opinion-changing and altering information that it has always given you. >> sustaining membership is an easy, convenient and affordable way to support the programs you love. sustaining members make an ongoing monthly contribution from either their credit card or checking account. just choose the monthly amount you would like to give, then go online or call and we'll get it set up for you. your donation will happen automatically each month so your support will always be current. if you want to change your sustaining membership, just contact us.
monthly contributions begin as low as $5 per month. go online or call to start your sustaining membership right now. >> and the time to do that is right now, by making your phone call and giving a financial contribution to help keep this station strong. when you make that phone call, with a gift of $7 a month as a sustaining member, you can have this wonderful d.v.d. to enjoy in your home, to share with others, perhaps, to listen to more in-depth and, remember, there's d.v.d. extras included with that, an additional 49 minutes that we're not going to be seeing. with a gift of $13 a month, not only will you get the d.v.d. to enjoy in your home but we're also going to send you bill moyers' journal, it's the conversation continues. this is a companion book to the iconic program that he did here on pbs and it includes so many incredible interviews. you've got robert bly talking about poetry, you have shelby steele on race, there are so many in-depth interviews in
here. in fact, it's 43 interviews, what a wonderful way to really enjoy bill moyers with this book and this d.v.d. or with a gift of $21 a month, "the power of myth." how enjoyable would it be for you to have this in your home, to listen to this conversation that has had such an impact for so many years. with a gift of $100 a month, as a sustaining member, very generous gift, our pleasure will be to share with you the moyers' collection. it includes the program that we've been enjoying, plus the extras from that program. and the power of myth, the six hours of that conversation with joseph campbell. in addition to that, we also have several d.v.d. sets. it includes bill moyers on faith and reason, world of ideas, god and politics, and in search of the constitution, the wisdom of faith, plus the wonderful book that we've been talking about.
the important thing, though, is for you to figure out what works for you and your family to support this station and call the number on your screen right now. >> i have a daughter who, these days, happens to be thinking about maybe becoming more involved in public service. maybe even running for office sometime. it had never occurred to her but something is afoot in this country and saying maybe i should do something. well, one of the first things i would do, then, is to say i would like you to look at "in search of the constitution" by bill moyers because it says what are the underpinnings under at basis of this democracy of this republic, and what are these founding documents and what do they mean to all of us. everyone, i think, who has an interest in what is going on today would be glad to take a look at "in search of the constitution." and i hope you remember that this is a fundraiser. this moment in time with the conversation with bill moyers is sort of serious and we're talking about serious issues but i want you to know that all
you have to do is look back on your own experience and your life and the importance of pbs and the shows it has brought you and the joy that it has brought you, the information that it has brought to you and the way that it has helped your children. the shows that have been so important to them from sesame street all the way to this program today. so, remember, that this local station is your lifeline to incredibly important information and so it is worth your time and your dollars. >> you know, we invite you to consider a very generous gift, $100 a month to support this station for all the important work that it does in our community. when you make that donation at that level, our thank-you gift to you is really an incredible collection. don had just mentioned the constitution -- bill moyers on the constitution. let me tell you, though, all the programs that are included in the moyers' collection. of course, you've got the
program we're watching, plus the iconic series, "the power of myth." that's part of it. but then in addition, you have bill moyers on faith and reason, you have a world of ideas, you have god and politics, which is a two-d.v.d. set. you have in search of the constititution, that's a 4-d.v.. set. you have wisdom of faith and then, of course, you've got the book, the bill moyers' journal, the conversation continues. that is an incredible collection. we're looking forward to hearing from you. the bottom of the screen, call that number and support. >> your contribution in any amount would be appreciated. we know what the economy is like, we know that some people are doing better, some people not so well. those people who are doing better, maybe it's time to look deep into your hearts, souls and say, should i bear the weight of the time that i spend in front of the television with this television station, pbs show that i am watching? or should i let someone else
pay for it? well, i think the real answer to that is, no, i probably should pay my fair share. that's all that's being asked. and to pay to the degree that you can afford. i heard one time someone say that you should give until it hurts. i think the better way to say that is to give until it makes you feel great, and if you believe that this station and pbs has been important to you and will be important in the future, the only way that it can be important in the future, if there is funding. with all the news out there today, it is very difficult to separate fact from fiction. but here you can trust what you get from your station. please give and give generously. ! want to read you a quote which you know and many people in our audience will probably know the first half, this is a quote from thomas jefferson.
"whenever the people are well informed "they can be trusted with their government." now that's what is usually quoted. but actually that quotation goes on, and jefferson continues, "that whenever things get so far wrong "as to attract their notice, they may be relied upon "to see them to rights." is america well informed? and can americans be relied upon to set the wrongs to right? - at times, at times, generalizations are generally wrong, and i would not say the american people are not informed, many are not, they don't want to be informed. so they move through life with a limited supply of what it takes to think critically, but many others are, it's like journalism.
i don't speak of the media anymore because o'reilly's in the media and bill moyers is in the media and we are different journalists. but no, i think today, with the complexity of the issues, although in those days they were complex issues of forming a government and there was no rapid communication. i don't think people are as informed as we need for democracy to function for government to be held accountable for huge economic institutions to be checked with balance. the whole secret of democracy is not that people are virtuous or not, it's that some are virtuous sometimes and they're not virtuous other times, and some are not virtuous and then they are. what we need is checks and balances it's the balance of power, when both parties are trying to do the right thing, or one's trying to do the wrong thing and the other's holding it account. so i don't think the american people are as a whole, are as informed as we need for democracy
to work and it's very difficult today given most people spend all day making a living, holding two jobs, raising a family, trying to help in their church, trying to work as volunteers at the public television station they're busy. that's why the accountability of politicians is so important because they're a professional people designed to solve the problems but democracy should be able to solve the problems it creates for itself and we're not doing that right now. you're house is on fire, don, our home here on earth is on fire. our economy is not performing for millions of americans our highway system is coming apart. we should be able to solve those problems, by depending upon the politicians and bureaucrats who we elect are employed to take those problems that none of us alone can solve and we're not, this country is unraveling, and we need not only more information we need more time to be active citizens.
change does come but it never comes swiftly, and it usually comes from the bottom up. and there are people out there on the front line trying to fight climate change, trying to take on the climate deniers, trying to solve the problems of our inner cities, thank god for them all of that. but they're up against almost insurmountable odds and if we had a truly independent, non-partisan, truth telling media we'd be in a lot better shape. you know there's a great line in the play night and day by tom stoppard, where the photographer in that play says, "people do terrible things to each other, "but it's worse when they do it in the dark." and we're settling into a dark period in american life, during which everybody's happy because we're amusing ourselves to death. we watch how many hours, i go on the subway
in new york city and every week they put new posters up there are new cable television shows, and new plays on broadway and all of that. and there's so much to do and the web is constantly consuming obsessively consuming people. there's so much to entertain us that as my friend the late neil postman who taught communications at new york university said in his famous book, amusing ourselves to death, we will probably die laughing because of the little we know. - it comes down to this issue it seems to me, bill, that it's the difference between providing people what they need to know versus what they want to know. and the invention of, the survey, where we have asked the public what would you like to see on the news? as opposed to, damnit, this is what you're getting.
because this is what you need to know in order to be a citizen and cast a reasonable informed opinion vote. we don't, or they, don't do it anymore. because ratings, circulation, are more important. - there's a prophet in treating viewers as consumers instead of citizens in the great gift of public television and public radio is that we still somehow with the help of people like this it's been able to hold to the idea of the american people as a community of citizens, not consumers. (audience applause) years ago, don, i met a professor of english a great cultural critic at yale, a man named cleanth brooks.
and he talked about the bastard muses and there were three bastard muses. propaganda, which pleads for a particular point of view sometimes unscrupulously at the expense of the total truth. sentimentality, which works to create an emotional response in excess of and unwarranted by the occasion. and pornography, which focuses on one powerful drive at the expense of the whole personality. in that little interview i did with cleanth brooks, i don't know a long time ago, comes to my mind almost every time i try to watch the news on corporate news, because it is propaganda, largely, sentimentality, largely, and pornography,
in the terms of its twisted view of the human being and they have also twisted the heart out of what it means to be a citizen. and journalism is a fallen profession, almost like the first profession it is said, but it is still our only hope when both parties when i was in politics i believe it was the responsibility of one party to tell the truth about the other party, neither party does that today. - i would call joseph heller a curmudgeon i suppose and in your interview with him he says these sort of frightening things, here's what he said in the interview with you, "democracy we celebrate is full of illusions "such as participatory democracy," he called voting, "a ritual and a delusion that comforts us, "indispensable to our contentment but "absolutely useless in application."
do you agree? - not with you absolutely, but i do believe that voting is easy and democracy's hard. democracy, so it happens, between elections in our local communities in our state house and elsewhere and it requires participation people who go to school board meetings, and struggle, and argue for what they want. so i don't agree wholly with him. i don't believe in pure democracy, i don't believe you can put an issue out there and enough people will be able to be well informed and act on it you have to read the sentiment of the public and this is the terrible consequence of too much money in politics. representative government is a flawed but necessary form of democracy. we send our representatives to the state house here or to washington to make the best informed judgments they can for their constituents. they're never going to satisfy all the constituents but maybe sometimes they don't even satisfy
most of the constituents but we hire them to make good judgments. today most politicians, there are exceptions fortunately, but most politicians are more responsive to the donors than they are to the voters. so that a representative democracy is skewed, corrupted, by the fact that money is the determinant of the outcomes of politics. and that's why what's happened to representative government we need a democracy in which people feel a sense as with public television that they're well considered in the programs we've put on and the policies we adopt in politics and we don't have that at the moment, rarely. i mean we have a dysfunctional government in washington today. by the way, i do have a reverence for the constitution because they attempted to try to create a government of, by, and for the people,
even though they discovered that was a very difficult thing. but they had this built-in conflict, that i didn't realize when i was growing up, i mean the man who wrote, "all men are created equal," with his hand on that pen that was the same hand that caressed the breasts and thighs of his slave, sally hemings. different time, different morality, but how could he reconcile writing these noble words, "all men are created equal," when he bedded a young woman over whom he had total domination and she had to do what he wanted her to do? they had these children together, how do you reconcile those opposites in your mind? i don't know but it is that conflict in the intelligence and decision making of the people
in power that we have to constantly question. and so i have a different view of the constitution i mean i didn't even know when i was growing up that it protected slavery, and that many of the founders were slave owners. slavery is woven like a dark thread through our history and our founding fathers were culpable. and the point of it is that change has to come from people like us who don't take for granted or take with finality what those in power tell us and who fight for the justice and the liberty and the equality that is mentioned in the declaration. to me the declaration is the much greater, more powerful, of the instruments of our government. so when you keep revising, the older you get, you keep revising what you know. that's why living to an old age if you're lucky to have your health is a wonderful, internal,
and perpetual university. - final question, to you mr. moyers and that is would you repeat for them a story that joseph campbell said to you at the conclusion of all of the interviews when it was finally done. when he asked whether you intended to stay in this line of work? - yeah we had been together those two summers and i was leaving to come back, it wasn't the last time i saw him because when i got back to new york and started editing i remembered i had looked at all the footage and i hadn't asked him about god. so i called him at his home in hawaii and i said, "joe i didn't ask you about god. "would you come to new york let's do one more show?" so he did, but when i was leaving, when i was leaving skywalker ranch for the last time he walked with me out to our car. and he said, "are you going to stay in this?" i had not been certain about journalism not been fixed in my trajectory.
"are you going to stay in this work?" and i said, "yes, i think so," and he said, "well, good." he said, "if you want to change the world "change the metaphor. "change the story." - as joseph campbell would say meta-pher, instead of metaphor, the heroes journey is one as he describes it as, "the person man or woman "who goes out to an unknown place, "faces dangers and terrors and drama, "returns with the prize after the fight "and tells the story and from the story "we then the heroes of it can begin our own heroes journey." bill moyers i speak for a lot of people,
but this is very personal, you are the metaphor. you are the heroes journey, and i thank you so much for being a part of this evening. - well thank you. (audience applause) the important information that you receive on this television station can be entertaining. it has been entertaining. it's entertained your children, it's entertained you. some of the great dramas, "masterpiece theater," all of that is entertainment. but when it comes to public affairs journalism, this is the place you turn when you want to create for yourself an informed opinion. now, as a person who's worked almost a half of a century in commercial television, i can tell you this, that it is a popularity contest. they're seeking people who will watch them, and in order to do that, commercial television gives people what they want to
know as opposed to what they need to know. that was part of the conversation with bill moyers. but at the same time, i need to tell you that that is not a question that your station is asking. it is not asking the question whether it is popular, it is asking whether you need the information it is about to provide. you see what's on your screen right now. for $7, that's $84 a year, this d.v.d., which is the d.v.d. of the program that you're watching right now, but i need to hasten to add for you that there is almost an hour additional information. we talked so much that we simply couldn't get it all into this one program, but we put it on the d.v.d. so you'll get to hear bill moyers continue to talk about things you're not seeing on this program. plus, we had a studio audience and they asked questions of bill moyers which he answers in his inimitable way. so makes sure this is in your
house. >> you know how you make sure that is in your house, how make sure public television is in your house, you give a financial contribution. this is what it's about. it's you coming together with others in our community that keep the station strong. when you give a gift of $7 as a sustaining member as an ongoing pledge, we'll be lean to share with you this wonderful program with all that extra material that we are not able to enjoy. now, with a gift of $13 a month, this is very special because not only will you get that d.v.d. of this fascinating conversation but you'll also get his companion book to his program, bill moyers' journal. every interview has a personal introduction from bill moyers, setting the scene for you, as it is. you will enjoy having it in your home. now, with a gift of $21 a month, our gift to you is a wonderful iconic series, the power of myth. this is a six-hour seminal series that we've talked so much about, with joseph campbell. not only is it that but there's
extras, too. a 28-minute interview with george lucas and there is also a 12-page viewer guide that goes along with that. now, with a gift of $100 a month, the moyers' collection, so you can celebrate your support of public television. we will share with you not only the program that we've been enjoying and the power of myth, the book, the bill moyers' journal, but additional d.v.d.s, as well. it's 19 did finds in all, 43 hours of viewing. it's truly an exceptional bill moyers collection. what's up to you right now, though, is to decide you wish to support this wonderful station by calling the number at the bottom of the screen and saying, you want to be a part of wonderful television. >> i hope you're thinking right now about the importance of this station to you and your family, what it means, what it has meant over the period of time of your family's growth. what it's meant to you personally and whether you want to be personally involved in supporting the kind of programming that you have come to expect from this station.
i hope you're thinking about that, and i want you to know that there is not a great deal left in this program, and we would like to ask you to support this station. so that we can continue with this. i hope that you would support with money this station in order to make sure that kind of programming continues on pbs. i hope you will think very, very hard right now about getting up and picking up the phone, or going to the website and making your donation right now. to become a member of something that is already a part of your community. >> sustaining membership is an easy, convenient and affordable way to support the programs you love. sustaining members make an ongoing monthly contribution from either their credit card or checking account. just choose the monthly amount you would like to give, then go online or call and we'll get it set up for you. your donation will happen automatically each month, so
your support will always be current. if you want to change your sustaining membership, just contact us. monthly contributions begin as low as $5 per month. go online or call to start your sustaining membership right now. ♪ >> you keep great conversations coming with your financial contribution to this station today. make a monthly sustaining gift of $7 or a one-time donation of $84 and we'll thank you with a d.v.d. of this program. which includes nearly an hour of additional conversation, plus questions and answers with bill moyers. with a monthly sustaining gift of $13, or a donation of $156 right now, you'll enjoy the program d.v.d. plus the book, bill moyers' journal, the conversation continues. with 43 in-depth interviews from his popular tv series. enjoy the 25th anniversary edition of the seminal series,
"the power of the myth" with joseph campbell. with your gift of $252, or a sustaining contribution of $21 per month. the three-d.v.d. set includes new footage not seen in the original release and an interview with filmmaker george lucas. you'll also receive the d.v.d. of today's program. a monthly sustaining gift of $100, or a contribution of $1200, will bring you the moyers' collection. this 19-d.v.d. library covers topics that are of special interest to bill moyers, on faith and reason, a world of ideas, god and politics, in search of the constitution, the wisdom of faith, the power of myth and today's program, a conversation with bill moyers. the collection also includes the book of interviews, the conversation continues. this library is a must-have for fans of bill moyers and pbs.
the only place you find this level of thought and discourse on television. please call and give to this station right now. thank you for your support. >> when you think about the fuel of your automobile, whether using some kind of petroleum or you're using the energy of the sun or you're using battery power, or a combination thereof, it is how much power you can put into a vehicle that tells you how good that performance is going to be. that's kind of a long way of saying that it is your contribution that powers your station, that powers pbs. the more power you put into it, the greater the performance you're going to get out of it. so if you think that pbs is doing a pretty good job right now, just think about what it would do if it had the resources, if it had the participation that every member of the community who relies on
what goes on on pbs and on your station. think about how much it has meant to you over the years, how much it means now. support your public television station. >> you know what? you can support your local station right now. the programs like this and all the other programs you enjoy. how you do it is call the number on the bottom of your screen or go online, whatever works for you and your family's budget. perhaps you would like to support with a gift of $7 a month as a sustaining member and get the d.v.d. of the wonderful program that we're enjoying. or the gift of $13 a month, and not only get that d.v.d. but also get the bill moyers' journal, the companion book to that with 43 interviews. or maybe $21 a month really works for you and your family's budget and you would like to have "the power of myth" to enjoy along with this program that we're watching. that is your gift at that level or does $100 a month work for you? very generous
gift but our gift to you is the moyers collection, that's 43 hours of bill moyers, wonderful d.v.d.s for you to enjoy. not only is it the 43 hours but it is also the companion book to his series. these are all different suggested levels. what's really important is that you choose an amount that works for you and your family and call the number on the bottom of your screen or go online right now to show your support. >> whether your favorite programs are the costume dramas that you love so much, you like "downton abbey'" you like "victoria," mr. selfridge," or you like the science programs, nova or maybe "frontline." the question is, are you one of those people who fit in the category at the end or the beginning of each program that says, "this program is made possible by the following foundations, and viewers like you." when you watch these programs, are you one of the viewers they
are talking about? did you make a contribution? are you shirt-tailing on someone else's contribution? are you confusing pbs and this station with commercial television that all you have to do is sit through some commercials? you don't see commercials on these stations, you will not see that on pbs. what you will see is content like no other content you will receive. nowhere, not on cable television, not on commercial television. it's time, as we end the end of this program, it is time to make the decision to donate now so that at the end of the program when you see this program has been made available by people like you, you are one of those people. >> i want to thank everyone who's called tonight. appreciate that phone call so very much. but if you haven't called, there's still time for you but now is the time to make the decision to go from being a viewer to being a contributor,
to being somebody who makes programs like this possible. think about all the programs that you and your family enjoy in your home. name them off to yourself. i bet there is a lot, isn't there? think about the value that that brings to you. think about how much you enjoy turning on this station and being enlightened, learning something that you didn't know before or maybe watching a child's face as they are introduced to a concept that they have never heard before. the delightful giggle as they learn something brand-new. that's all here and it's all possible because of you. you are the power in public television. so won't you make that donation right now? won't you make that phone call? become a supporting member today. >> make a donation to this station and to pbs. it counts. it does make a difference. the level that we can supply great information, great public information, great public
policy information, great drama episodes, all of the great science and wildlife shows, that makes a difference based on your donation. $7 a month, you can get this conversation with bill moyers which you've been watching, and i want to remind you that it contains almost an hour of additional programming, additional conversation with bill moyers. we're in an interesting, interesting period in our history and it is time to develop an informed opinion. he's had 83 years to develop that opinion and we have been the beneficiaries of that. in his search for truth, objective truth. not faith and belief but truth. to find something that is undeniable. if two plus two is four, that's a fact. it wouldn't be five or seven based on what the political
whims or what someone believes. it would be four. that's the kind of reporting that you get here. and you will hear him here. you'll hear him here before you'll hear him anywhere else. so we're asking you to think and think seriously about supporting this station. make sure that this kind of programming continues throughout for your children and for your grandchildren. (audience applause) (upbeat music) explore new worlds and new ideas
explore new worlds and new ideas through programs like this, made available for everyone through contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. (paula kerger): i'm paula kerger, president of pbs. ken burns is a national treasure. he's been working with pbs for over 35 years making films that change the way we look at our history. films that challenge us, start conversations and help us prepare for the future by better understanding our past. it is all made possible because of the financial support of viewers like you. to say thank you, we are taking a look back across ken's many award-winning documentaries