Bill Moyers' Journalism Tree

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 13, 2005 | Go to article overview

Bill Moyers' Journalism Tree


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A blogger brought to my attention a column by Bill Moyers in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Jan. 29, titled "There is no tomorrow."

The third paragraph reads as follows:

"Remember James Watt, President Ronald Reagan's first secretary of the interior? My favorite online environmental journal, the ever-engaging Grist, reminded us recently of how James Watt told the U.S. Congress that protecting natural resources was unimportant in light of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. In public testimony he said, "After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back."

I have never thought, believed or said such words. Nor have I ever said anything that could be interpreted by a reasonable person to mean anything similar to the quote attributed to me.

The paragraph does have one true statement about me. I did serve as President Reagan's first secretary of the interior. I am very proud of having been associated with such a great president. After 20-plus years of hindsight, I am delighted that the revolution I helped to bring about remains fixed in America.

The Moyers column tells that one truth about me. It also tells us a lot about Mr. Moyers. First, he did no primary or objective research, because there is no record, in congressional hearings or elsewhere, attributing such words to me.

Mr. Moyers is of at least average in intelligence and has a basic understanding of Christian beliefs and therefore he knows that no Christian would believe what he attributed to me.

Because Mr. Moyers served in the White House under President Johnson, he knows that no person avowing such a thing would be qualified for a presidential appointment, nor would he be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, or if confirmed and said such a thing would be allowed to continue to serve. …

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