On Friday's edition of Moyers & Company, the conversation focused on "The Case For Old-School Faith and Politics". Moyers' first guest was Eric Alterman who, among other things, writes for The Nation, so it's probably pretty obvious where he stands on the issues.
However, it was his second guest, and the conversation that followed, which illustrates once again, by comparison, how sadly lacking modern television journalism has become in taking the time to explore an issue thoroughly and having a respectful exchange with someone who sees the world quite differently.
The video version (26 minutes) of Moyers' conversation with Ross Douthat, conservative op-ed columnist for The New York Times can be found here, and the full transcript can be found on the link just below the video, if you would rather read the interview.
It was obvious that, not only had Moyers read Douthat's book Bad Religion: How We Have Become a Nation of Heretics, he was also excited by the ideas contained in it, and interested in the author's viewpoint. I can't imagine an interview of this length and civility occurring on any other television news show. It wouldn't happen on The Ed Show (although I'm willing to bet that Rachel Maddow would consider it) and it certainly would never happen with either Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly.
As an aside, I would also urge you to watch Bill Moyer's three-and-a-half minute essay on keeping political ads off of public television, which can be found here. As he says in his essay:
The Public Broadcasting Act was signed into law in 1967. It uses the term “noncommercial” 16 times to describe what public television and radio should be. It specifically says, and I quote, “No noncommercial educational broadcasting station may support or oppose any candidate for political office.”
This decision should not be allowed to stand, and I imagine the case will go to the Supreme Court, but I am not hopeful. If you can, please renew your membership in your local PBS station so that they'll have enough money to be able to decline to run any political ads.