Bill Moyers

News Correspondent


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tab

About
About this interview

In his two hour Archive Interview, Bill Moyers discusses his upbringing in Texas and his early interest in writing and journalism. He explains how he first met Lyndon Johnson and four years later campaigned for Johnson for President in the 1960 election. He describes being present when JFK offered Johnson the Vice-Presidential ticket, shares where he was when JFK was assassinated, and discusses his roles as Deputy Director of the Peace Corps under Kennedy and as White House Press Secretary under President Johnson. He describes his role as publisher of the newspaper "Newsday", speaks of writing about cross-country travels for "Harper's Magazine", and relays how he was approached by National Educational Television to host a show on PBS - what would become This Week/ Bill Moyers' Journal. Moyers outlines memorable pieces covered on the show, and recounts how the Nixon administration reacted to coverage of Watergate. Don Carleton conducted the interview on May 16, 2001 in New York, NY.

"When I came to Public Broadcasting, to National Educational Television in 1970, it was informed with the original mission of Public Broadcasting as a continuing course in adult education - offering the best of the performing arts. Offering the best of opera. Offering the best of journalism. Offering what the market would not provide. That's how I came to Public Broadcasting. That was the mind set, mentality, history, and as you might say, legislative history that I brought with me to this system. It was designed to tell stories that were worth telling, even if advertisers wouldn't pay for their telling, or despite the fact that advertisers wouldn't pay for their selling."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Bill Moyers on JFK's assassination and being there when Johnson was sworn in as President
Bill Moyers on being Assistant Director, then Deputy Director of the Peace Corps and reporting to Sgt. Shriver
Bill Moyers on becoming White House Press Secretary
Bill Moyers on getting approached by National Educational Television in NY (WNET) to host a show - what would become Bill Moyers' Journal
Bill Moyers on the "Daisy" ad for the 1964 Presidential campaign
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years and influences; on growing up in Texas; on loving to read magazines as a youngster and listen to the news on the radio; on the first time he saw television; on high school teachers that influenced him; on working on his high school newspaper and for the town newspaper
On attending North Texas State College (now the University of North Texas), transferring to the University of Texas, and graduate school; on meeting Senator Lyndon Johnson and Johnson setting him up with a job at a TV station in Austin
On how he met his wife in college; on Joseph McCarthy's anti-communist paranoia and the very beginning of the conflict in Vietnam; on being in Washington when a Senator committed suicide

Chapter 2

On being in the building when a U.S. Senator committed suicide; on his two years at the University of Texas and the impact of his professors there; on getting a degree in Divinity; on intending to get his Ph.D. in American civilization
On linking up with Lyndon Johnson again when Johnson ran for President in 1960; on his time as a Rotary fellow in Scotland; on the 1960 Democratic Convention; on his impressions of JFK and Sam Rayburn; on JFK offering Johnson the Vice Presidential ticket; on staying on to campaign for Kennedy/Johnson and not returning to Texas to do his Ph.D.
On working with LBJ's Vice-Presidential staff; on helping to organize the Peace Corps; on being Assistant Director, then Deputy Director of the Peace Corps and reporting to JFK's brother-in-law, Sgt. Shriver

Chapter 3

On being in Austin when JFK was assassinated; on finding out JFK had been shot; on being there when Johnson was sworn in as President; on becoming White House Press Secretary; on the "Daisy" ad for the 1964 Presidential campaign
On his role and responsibilities as White House Press Secretary; on President Johnson not being good on television; on strategies for working with the press as Press Secretary
On the relationship between the Johnson administration and the press during the Vietnam War; on Lyndon Johnson's relationship with CBS

Chapter 4

On Lyndon Johnson and television; on Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights Movement; on dealing with the FBI trying to discredit Martin Luther King, Jr.
On who he believes killed JFK and his thoughts on the conspiracy theories and what Johnson believed; on his own beliefs about the Vietnam War
On resigning from the Johnson administration in 1967; on becoming publisher of the newspaper "Newsday"; on leaving "Newsday"

Chapter 5

On getting fired from "Newsday"; on William Morris of "Harper's Magazine" asking him to write about traveling the country; on getting approached by National Educational Television in NY (WNET) to host a show - what would become Bill Moyers' Journal; on the show's format; on his thoughts about public television and those of Lyndon Johnson
On covering Watergate and the Nixon administration's reaction - to cripple public broadcasting
Shows

Bill Moyers Journal

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Bill Moyers on getting approached by National Educational Television in NY (WNET) to host a show - what would become Bill Moyers' Journal; on the show's format
Bill Moyers on covering Watergate and the Nixon administration's reaction - to cripple public broadcasting
Topics

Civil Rights Movement

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Bill Moyers on Lyndon Johnson having a good moment on television
Bill Moyers on Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights Movement, and dealing with the FBI trying to discredit Martin Luther King, Jr.

Historic Events and Social Change

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Bill Moyers on the very beginning of the Vietnam conflict

JFK Assassination and Funeral

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Bill Moyers on JFK's assassination
Bill Moyers on who he believes killed JFK

John F. Kennedy

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Bill Moyers on his part in the Kennedy/Johnson campaign and Kennedy asking him to come to Washington
Bill Moyers on being Assistant Director, then Deputy Director of the Peace Corps and reporting to Sgt. Shriver
Bill Moyers on JFK's assassination

Lyndon B. Johnson

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Bill Moyers on meeting Senator Lyndon Johnson
Bill Moyers on becoming White House Press Secretary
Bill Moyers on Lyndon Johnson not being good on television
Bill Moyers on the relationship between the Johnson administration and the press during the Vietnam War
Bill Moyers on Lyndon Johnson and television 
Bill Moyers on Lyndon Johnson's thoughts on public television

Memorable Moments on Television

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Bill Moyers on the "Daisy" ad for the 1964 Presidential campaign

Richard M. Nixon

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Bill Moyers covering Watergate and the Nixon administration's reaction - to cripple public broadcasting

Vietnam War

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Bill Moyers on the very beginning of the Vietnam conflict
Bill Moyers on the relationship between the Johnson administration and the press during the Vietnam War
Bill Moyers on his own beliefs about the Vietnam War
Professions

Correspondent

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Bill Moyers on working on his high school newspaper and falling in love with the byline
Bill Moyers on becoming White House Press Secretary
Bill Moyers on the relationship between the Johnson administration and the press during the Vietnam War
Genres

Commercials

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Bill Moyers on the "Daisy" ad for the 1964 Presidential campaign

News and Documentary

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Bill Moyers on Lyndon Johnson and television 
Bill Moyers on Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights Movement
Bill Moyers on getting approached by National Educational Television in NY (WNET) to host a show - what would become Bill Moyers' Journal; on the show's format
People

Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Bill Moyers on the very beginning of the Vietnam conflict

Fred Friendly

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Bill Moyers on Johnson's relationship with CBS

J. Edgar Hoover

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Bill Moyers on Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights Movement, and dealing with the FBI trying to discredit Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lyndon B. Johnson

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Bill Moyers on meeting Senator Lyndon Johnson
Bill Moyers on Lyndon Johnson's reaction to Joseph McCarthy's anti-communist paranoia; on memorable moments from working for Johnson 
Bill Moyers on linking up with Lyndon Johnson again
Bill Moyers on working for Lyndon Johnson when Johnson made a run for the Presidency in 1960
Bill Moyers on JFK's assassination and being there when Johnson was sworn in as President; on becoming White House Press Secretary
Bill Moyers on the "Daisy" ad for the 1964 Presidential campaign
Bill Moyers on Lyndon Johnson not being good on television
Bill Moyers strategies for working with the press when he served as Johnson's White House Press Secretary
Bill Moyers on the relationship between the Johnson administration and the press during the Vietnam War
Bill Moyers on Lyndon Johnson and television 
Bill Moyers on Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights Movement, and dealing with the FBI trying to discredit Martin Luther King, Jr.
Bill Moyers on who he believes killed JFK and his thoughts on the conspiracy theories
Bill Moyers on his own beliefs and Johnson's beliefs about the Vietnam War
Bill Moyers on resigning from the Johnson administration in 1967
Bill Moyers on his thoughts about public television and those of Lyndon Johnson

John F. Kennedy

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Bill Moyers on working for Lyndon Johnson when Johnson made a run for the Presidency in 1960 (running against Kennedy for the Democratic nomination)
Bill Moyers on meeting JFK and JFK offering Johnson the Vice Presidential ticket; on Kennedy wanting him to work for them in Washington
Bill Moyers on JFK's assassination
Bill Moyers on who he believes killed JFK and his thoughts on the conspiracy theories

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Bill Moyers on Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights Movement, and dealing with the FBI trying to discredit Martin Luther King, Jr.

Joseph McCarthy

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Bill Moyers on the politics and paranoia of Joseph McCarthy's 

Edward R. Murrow

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Bill Moyers on how he enjoyed listening to the news on the radio when he was young

Richard M. Nixon

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Bill Moyers covering Watergate and the Nixon administration's reaction - to cripple public broadcasting

Lee Harvey Oswald

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Bill Moyers on who he believes killed JFK and his thoughts on the conspiracy theories

Morley Safer

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Bill Moyers on the relationship between the Johnson administration and the press during the Vietnam War

Frank Stanton

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Bill Moyers on Johnson's relationship with CBS

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