Thursday, April 23, 2009

Democracy Now's Amy Goodman: What she really thinks about Obama, the media and today's crises

photo caption: Ever the journalist, Amy Goodman had camera in hand--when she was not pouring over her iPhone.

"For eight years [before
Nov. 4, 2008] we felt like we were hitting our heads against a brick wall. Now the door is open a crack. We can kick it open wide or watch it slam shut."

As a featured speaker at the Border Book Festival, Amy Goodman rocked a packed house in Mesilla, NM Sunday. The journalist-host of the 13 year old independent news program, Democracy Now, stepped out from her usual spot behind her news desk. Taking full advantage of the opportunity to speak personally, she promoted both the important role of independent media and the themes of her recent book, Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times.

I was swept away in her storytelling and by her inspiring perspectives even while I was sitting in row three of the audience--along with my good friends from Deming, Mr. and Mrs. Dada, and those singers from Las Cruces who have been known to frequent the High Desert Brewing Co. I guess I could be more estatic, but it would be hard.

By insisting that it's up to the public to demand the debate that will bring the truth to light in the many crises we face, she threw the ball into the citizens' court, so to speak. While Obama's election was a "relief," we are still in critical times. She cited specifically current global wars, global warming, the economic meltdown, national health care, and U.S. immigration issues. There is a failure to bring those who are affected by policies to the policy discussion table, she noted.

When, as a presidential candidate, Senator Obama was asked if he would bring peace to the Middle East, he emphasized the citizens' role. He cited, remarked Goodman, an incident about Franklin Delano Roosevelt and activist A. Philip Randolph. FDR told Randolph: "Make me do it." Now the people must demand debate and push Obama on critical issues, making him take action.

Goodman emphasized the importance of journalists to shine that light on truth. She played jaw-dropping video of her own inappropriate arrest at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis last summer. The video "went viral" on the internet immediately after the arrest resulting, she said, in the release of her journalist crew after two hours. The Associated Press reporter who had also been apprehended was not so lucky: "Show the pictures; show the images."

Goodman noted that mainstream media has in recent memory promulgated "fiction," giving as examples: Iraq has weapons of mass destruction; the US does not torture; there is no such thing as greenhouse gas. Citing studies by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, she revealed the mainstream media as complicit in "manufacturing consent" to the rush to war with Iraq. Citing the recent lack of debate in the news about the increase of US troops in Afghanistan as an example of today's "corporate" media news coverage, she quipped: "A mainstream media would be a good idea."


afeatheradrift said...

Boy do I agree. It's up to us to push and not stop pushing to get results. Washington is a cesspool and no matter Obama's good intentions he's up against a lot of entrenched power. But bloggers and an independent press will pressure change. At least they have put the torture prosections back on the table as possible now. We can never sit back and assume a good election solves our problems.

mmlindsey said...

Wish we could have been there!

I am reading a book called, Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne. He talks about American passivity and perpetuation of the blatant atrocities whirling around us. He writes, " the greatest sin of political imagination is thinking there is no other way except the filthy rotten system we have today." In essence, it is a sin to believe that we do not have the power to change this thing..." the door is open a crack. We can kick it open wide or watch it slam shut."

Great post. Keep shining the light.

Dave Dubya said...

Amy is a truly heroic American. She met the jackboots head on and told her story.

There's more courage in that woman than in the entire gang of Bush's Chickenhawk Cartel.

Spadoman said...

I've met Amy a couple of times at activist events like the March on the RNC, Veterans For Peace Annual Conference, 2008 and WOJB Public Broadcasting 25th anniversary celebration. She is a powerhouse, a tireless worker and I out her ideas, remarks and suggestions right up there with the likes of Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn and others.

Even if she is reporting that it is us, the people, to push the elected officials, she is right on. But I see she agrees with this assessment.

Take a look at this idea written by Charley Reese:

ONly the elected make the decisions, but blame is cast away from themselves. If they are going to blame someone, let them blame the American people for not demanding the policies we want.

an average patriot said...

After living a lie for 8 years Obama will do the right thing but it is up to us to drive him. It is worse now than ever. Thank God we have Obama at the helm but with Pakistan and Afghanistan getting ready to blow Obama has yet to hit the big test and it is coming.

Jan said...

So glad you were there and could write about her. She speaks the truth, and we need to heed the necessity to speak out and urge Obama to act. He's trying, but he cannot do it alone.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

She sounds very inspiring. And I agree with the others. Keep writing about this stuff. You're doing good work.

Carol said...

Amy's the real thing. And she is so very intelligent and knowledgeable. I'm glad that we at least have her, and a few people like her, to present information that the MSM won't even acknowledge.

Glad that you got to see her.

Dusty said...

Bill Moyers sings her praises regularly..and I agree she is the best.

Crossposted this at Sirens. ;)

Border Explorer said...

Thanks for a great round of comments!

Sherry, I wanted to give a rousing cheer after reading your comment!

Matt, that sounds like MY kind of book. Wow, great connection.

Dave, "Bush's Chickenhawk Cartel"=CLASSIC!!!

Spadoman, I like that accountability factor. The U.S. populace is too "busy" to bother themselves with demanding it. Thanks for the link.

Jim, I'm afraid you are RIGHT!

Jan, don't miss her if you get a chance.

Ruth, thanks so much. You know I respect your opinion highly.

Carol, I agree with what you said.

Dusty, Bill Moyers is my other very favorite journalist! Thanks for the X-post!

HelenWheels said...

BE: Somehow your blog was no longer in my roll!!! OMG, so I've been missing posts like these? When I implemented a new template all sorts of things got f'ed up. Thanks for the link for this post from FaceBook.

Wow, you had a great experience. I agree with all the posters, she is a major powerhouse and no one does more for democracy.

When I met her on Friday at that small book signing, she was so nice and her brother actually asked the name of my blog.

I'm going to post the pic up here soon. Amy needs to become a household name. I actually did ask her about the RNC and expressed my extreme concern about it. I love the pic I got with her.

Border Explorer said...

Helen, thanks for your visit/comment! I sooooo wish you could've been there with me in Row 3. That said, your photo is just wonderful. She is a treasure. Wouldn't it be a kick if she visited your blog????!!! Looks like we have one more item in common with both of us fans of Amy. :-)

Vicente Duque said...

Kudos for Amy Goodman - I watch all her videos and post many of them in my blogs.


Racist Radio Talk Show of G. Gordon Liddy On Sotomayor: ‘Let’s Hope That The Key Conferences Aren’t When She’s Menstruating’

On May 28, 2009 on his radio show, conservative host G. Gordon Liddy continued his right wing’s all-out assault on Judge Sonia Sotomayor. First, Liddy slammed Sotomayor’s affiliation with the civil rights group La Raza — and referred to the Spanish language as “illegal alien“:

LIDDY: I understand that they found out today that Miss Sotomayor is a member of La Raza, which means in illegal alien, “the race.” And that should not surprise anyone because she’s already on record with a number of racist comments.

Finished with the race-based attack, Liddy moved on to denigrate Sotomayor’s gender:

LIDDY: Let’s hope that the key conferences aren’t when she’s menstruating or something, or just before she’s going to menstruate. That would really be bad. Lord knows what we would get then.

Finally, Liddy disputed the entire idea that there’s anything wrong with the paucity of women and total lack of Hispanics on the Court:

LIDDY: And everybody is cheering because Hispanics and females have been, quote, underrepresented, unquote. And as you pointed out, which I thought was quite insightful, the Supreme Court is not designed to be and should not be a representative body.

G. Gordon Liddy On Sotomayor: 'Let's Hope That The Key Conferences Aren't When She's Menstruating'

Listen to the Audio of the Radio Talk Show here :

Vicente Duque

One Fly said...

This was three years and a day ago. Four years and three days ago I went to Salida to see her as well.