Oblivious to the facts

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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:30 am

You should be terrified, writes the Sydney Morning Herald’s Alan Ramsey. Quoting Bill Moyers, he warns: The delusional is no longer marginal! Voters and politicians alike are oblivious to the facts! Ideologues hold stoutly to a world view despite reality!

Bill Moyers, the founding director of Public Affairs Television in Washington, retired three months ago, one of the United States’ most honoured journalists. Harvard Medical School that same month named him the recipient of its fourth annual Global Environmental Citizen Award. Moyers’s acceptance speech should terrify you. If not you deserve everything you get, even if the rest of us don’t. Here is an edited version.

“One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal. It has come in from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in the Oval Office and in Congress. For the first time in our history ideology and theology hold a monopoly of power in Washington. Theology asserts propositions that cannot be proven. Ideologues hold stoutly to a world view despite reality. When ideology and theology couple, their offspring are not always bad but always blind. And there is the danger: voters and politicians alike, oblivious to the facts.

“Remember James Watt, President Reagan’s first secretary of the interior? He was the man who told the US Congress that protecting natural resources was unimportant in the light of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. In public testimony he said: ‘After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back.’ Washington elites snickered. The press corps didn’t know what he was talking about. But James Watt was serious.”

A small problem for Ramsey: Watt never said any such thing, as Powerline pointed out last month. Moyers subsequently apologised:

Bill Moyers has apologized to former U.S. Interior Secretary James Watt for referencing a quote, which has been wrongly attributed to Watt for years, during a speech Moyers gave last December upon receiving an award from Harvard Medical School. The text of the speech has since appeared in several newspapers and on numerous Web sites.

“I said I had made a mistake in quoting him without checking with him,” Moyers told E&P today. “I should have done my homework.”

As should have the ideologue Ramsey, who’s been holding stoutly to a world view despite reality for some time. Why, it’s almost as though he’s delusional, or oblivious to the facts. Over to you, Media Watch; Ramsey deserves everything he gets.

(Via Attila The Pun and several readers)

UPDATE. More on Alan Wrongsey from Professor Bunyip.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/08/2005 at 11:32 PM
    1. Professor Bunyip also does a rather impressive hatchet job on Mr Ramsey’s poor effort.

      Posted by entropy on 03/08 at 11:46 PM • permalink


    1. Buh tie gah tah PLAH STICK TURKEY!!! he said, and held it to the light.

      Posted by ForNow on 03/09 at 12:09 AM • permalink


    1. Off Topic

      Tuesday, March 8, 2005 10:48 p.m. EST
      Al-Qaeda Schemed to Kidnap Russell Crowe, Actors

      Australian actor Russell Crowe revealed he and other top actors were the target of an al-Qaeda plan to kidnap them.

      CNN Wednesday night confirmed from the FBI Crowe’s account.


      If posted previously, excuse the redundancy.

      Posted by El Cid on 03/09 at 12:16 AM • permalink


    1. Nothing escapes Ramsey’s meticulous research. His next big scoop will be about some 1973 National Guard memos that are sure to sink Bush.

      Posted by Randal Robinson on 03/09 at 12:22 AM • permalink


    1. Slightly OT, but over at Media Watch the ABC journo who was attacked in the first show of the year has replied on the “Have your say” section of the website. It seems that there was more than meets the eye to the story that MW did on his rerport and he very clearly lays out the series of events that led to its showing.

      To give you a taste, his opening comments on the website were:

      Congratulations to Liz for her clear diction and warm presentation of her first program. What a shame her story was utter bollocks.

      Read it all here. Any chance that MW’s next target might be MW??

      Posted by kisdm001 on 03/09 at 01:03 AM • permalink


    1. Ramsey just got this story now?  Your lefties are on a weird time lag.  Does Aussie Cannabis cause a time warp?

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 03/09 at 01:37 AM • permalink


    1. I saw a few snatches of Moyers’ NOW on PBS – that’s all I could take. Moyers is clearly delusional.

      Recounting alleged stories about James Watt indicates how behind the curve Liberals/Leftists are. But it’s probably worse. They are simply stuck in thought death, able only to repeat mantras and/or false dogmas.

      Then Moyers implies he is not the very epitome of the ideo-theologue he is describing! Freud would have a field day.

      Posted by J. Peden on 03/09 at 02:40 AM • permalink


    1. I love it when Ramsey talks dirty to the electorate. When he gave us all a spanking for voting against his wishes I was all like ‘Oh yeah that’s it! We’ve been bad, oh that’s it, oh yeah we’re bad bad racists and morons oh yeah, tell us all what for Ramsey!

      And FYI our American visitors, He prefers you call him daddy.

      Posted by Amos on 03/09 at 03:27 AM • permalink


    1. Interesting MW retort by eric campbell linked above.  Demonstrates Ms Jackson’s usual approach to story preparation – write up your story, then go and get some sound bites.  Unfortunately for her, THIS TIME, it didn’t work out so well.  So instead of abandoning the story and doing somthing else (she sure isn’t spoilt for choice is she?)Liz kept modifying it until she could get him somehow.  Considering it happened over two years ago, pretty boring all around….As for the luenig getting his cartoon pulled- who could give a rats!

      Posted by entropy on 03/09 at 04:06 AM • permalink


    1. golly gee! ramsey sounds kind of frustrated. maybe ms laura tingle’s got the ‘interior decorators’ in at the mo.

      Posted by Deo Vindice on 03/09 at 05:01 AM • permalink


    1. Eric Campbell is the guy whose cameraman or sound guy got killed by a suicide bomber, so I’m sure he knows a shitload more about real reporting than Liz Jackson does.

      Posted by steve68 on 03/09 at 06:10 AM • permalink


    1. There used to be a song (in America):
      Everybody’s talking … ‘bout the atomic bomb,
      But nobody’s talking … ‘bout the day My Lord will come,
      When He’ll Hit … like an Atom Bomb!
      People probably quote James Watt feeling safe … because the guy who improved the steam engine died ages ago and wouldn’t come back to contradict them?

      Posted by blogstrop on 03/09 at 07:08 AM • permalink


    1. I can’t wait to see the Ramsey story on Media Watch next Monday!


      Posted by Speculative Catholic on 03/09 at 07:34 AM • permalink


    1. Does anyone else see an irony in making a statement like “theology asserts propositions that cannot be proven” in the acceptance speech for something called the “Global Environmental Citizen Award”?

      Posted by PW on 03/09 at 10:17 AM • permalink


    1. Hey, give Moyers a break. He was “inaccurate but not entirely wrong.” [snicker]
      Posted by Dave S. on 03/09 at 01:40 PM • permalink


    1. No wonder Karl Rove goes around the White House whistling Onward Christian Soldiers. ~b moyers~


      Posted by guinsPen on 03/09 at 09:36 PM • permalink


  1. I’m sure he would like the somewhat more belligerent Battle Hymn Of The Republic too!

    Posted by blogstrop on 03/10 at 06:58 AM • permalink