Monday, February 27, 2012

Bills Who Know... Moyers And Maher Aren't Afraid To Say It

Journalist Bill Moyers and Comedian Bill Maher may be Nonviolent Revolutionaries with different styles of conveying their point of view to television audiences, but both have been doing it long enough now to know how to deliver a compelling perspective.

Moyers and Maher continue to remain relevant voices in American culture today with their own weekly television shows. Moyers is back on PBS with a new show called 'Moyers & Company' after a brief retirement and Maher is currently in his 9th season of 'Real Time with Bill Maher' on HBO.

Maher and Moyers had a chance to chat on a recent episode of
'Real Time':

On both shows the host tackles the issues of today, and although the formats are different, neither Maher nor Moyers are ever afraid to ask the tough questions, engage in the debate, or offer an opinion (or crack a joke in Maher's case).

Moyers and Maher each have a history of rabble rousing the minds of the American public. They shake us out of the zombified stupor of the typical lowest-common-denominator commercial television blather and instead encourage creative and critical thinking with lively debates and discussions with depth.

Maher continues to do many stand-up shows a year all around the country, at one of his recent shows he made news by announcing that he is donating a million dollars to President Obama's Super PAC... he had some interesting things to say about it on 'Hardball':

Well said, Bill.

Moyers and Maher each have distinguished careers with defining moments that have informed their perspective. Let's take a closer look:

Bill Moyers served under President Kennedy as Associate and Deputy Director of the newly created Peace Corps from 1961 to 1963. After Kennedy's assassination, Moyers worked for President Johnson from 1963 to 1967, serving first as a special assistant, and later as White House Press Secretary.

Moyers joined PBS in 1971 as host of a news program called 'Bill Moyers Journal', which ran until 1981 with a hiatus from 1976 to 1977. The show would have another incarnation from 2007 to 2010, and in the years between Moyers would host several other similarly related shows and series touching on important topics with depth and integrity. 'NOW with Bill Moyers', 'Wide Angle', and 'Moyers On America' touched on political questions of the day, while in 2006 'Faith and Reason' explored the question "In a world in which religion is poison to some and
salvation to others, how do we live together?"

Moyers may be most loved for his 1988 documentary series
'Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth', consisting of six one-hour interviews between Moyers and mythologist Joseph Campbell. Check out this terrific clip from the series:

Moyers' influence in American culture has been priceless, his contributions to the debates of the day over the past few decades have always been thoughtful and crafted with an integrity befitting of a top notch journalist.

“There is no more important struggle for American democracy than ensuring a diverse, independent and free media." -Bill Moyers


Bill Maher is an animal loving, herb smoking, religion questioning, flat out funny bad ass comedian at the top of his game. Starting out in 1979 doing stand-up and a bit of acting, his career as television host took off in 1993 with the show 'Politically Incorrect' on Comedy Central. The show moved to ABC in 1997. Maher and the show became known for spurring debates around hot button issues and controversial or sensitive topics. It was critically acclaimed during it's run and won many accolades and awards. Here is a clip with Whoopi Goldberg, Gene Simmons, and the late Christopher Hitchens:

'Politically Incorrect' was cancelled in 2002 after Maher stirred up controversy with these comments:

In 2003, Maher took the gloves off for good on HBO by launching 'Real Time with Bill Maher'. By bringing in a whole host of diverse guests to his panel in an hour long format, Bill was able to reinvent the success of 'Politically Incorrect' without having to pander to corporate advertisers. The show has shown it has legs with its continued success... indeed, it's the main reason I have HBO! Thanks to Bill Maher for being unafraid to keep it real! More evidence of Mr. Maher's brand of call-it-like-you-see-it humor...

“I do think the patriotic thing to do is to critique my country. How else do you make a country better but by pointing out its flaws?” -Bill Maher

“Non-violence was kind of Jesus’ trademark, kind of his big thing. To not follow that part of it is like joining Greenpeace and hating whales.” -Bill Maher

“If you’re a Christian and support killing your enemies and torture, you have to come up with a new name for yourself.” -Bill Maher

UPDATE: Excellent write-up on Maher in New York Magazine, "It Won't Hurt You. It's Vapor."

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