Ithaca Blog

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Amy Goodman Interview in Progressive Magazine

The current issue of Progressive magazine features a cover story/interview with radio journalist Amy Goodman, the first we have ever seen. It is well-crafted and informative, and not fawning, which is probably a difficult stance, as Ms. Goodman is unequivocally the bravest, most scrupulous and principled, and simply best journalist in America.

Ms. Goodman hosts Democracy Now!, a fiercely independent radio and television news show. "Speaking Truth to Power" and "The Exception to the Rulers" are mottos and guiding tenets of the show, which has aired since 1996.

The powers that Democracy Now! fights are not just corporate and political, but other media. As she says in the Progressive interview,

The media act as megaphone for those in power ... In the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq, the Democrats joined with Republicans in authorizing war. The media overwhelmingly presented that point of view, the pro-war position, even though most people in this country were opposed to the war.

When other media cover, for instance, the issue of waterboarding, they interview career politicians who speak in semantics and give rationales for what common sense says is a deplorable and ineffectual practice. Ms. Goodman, instead, interviews a victim of the practice:

On Democracy Now, we've just interviewed Henri Alleg, the French journalist who was in Algeria, now in his eighties, who describes waterboarding as if it were yesterday. Because when you yourself are tortured, you never forget. He described what it meant to feel like he was suffocating, not "simulated drowning" but actually drowning.

Ms. Goodman has made two public appearances in Ithaca, to overflow crowds, most recently at Ithaca College. On the air she gives the impression of a hard-working and well-prepared journalist. In person, speaking rather than interviewing, she imparts an aspect of actual genius, not just for her command of facts and her ability to interpret and explain, but for a dissident view of politics and society - as Newton and Einstein had dissident views of physics, Darwin of biology, Picasso of painting, Miles Davis of music, James Joyce of literature, etc. - that can only come from genius (as an attribute, not an accolade), and can cause revolutionary change.

Democracy Now can be heard in Ithaca weekdays at 9 a.m. on WEOS, 88.1 FM.

Stephen Burke
for Ithaca Blog

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