Bill Moyers was on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart the other night, and he made the most fantastic quote about journalism I’ve ever heard: “The news is about what people want to keep hidden. Everything else is publicity.”
We had former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani swing by the office today. Why? For publicity. He isn’t running for president yet, but he wants to test the waters.
“Who cares?” should be a good response to his visit, because surely everyone will hear enough from him, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and every other candidate running for president in 2012 when they start spending like mad. As the campaign continues their stops will continue to be publicity, but unless they’re hiding something it isn’t news, by Moyer’s definition.
I have to agree. It isn’t often you find something people are actively working to keep hidden, but those are the things worth finding. The biggest news story of the last century brought down a president after he tried to hide what his staff was doing. The rest of it? I’m with Moyers — who cares.
Watch The Daily Show Moyers interview clip, and if you have time check out the second segment: