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"Democracy Now!"
March 7, 2006 11:00 AM   Subscribe

Democracy Now! Amy Goodman's "Democracy Now!" has been featured in many Metafilter posts over the years but I didn't find any direct links to the main site recently. Daily video webcasts are available and the program is also heard on many Pacifica stations. Today's reports :
posted by notmtwain (40 comments total)

 
Amy Goodman is hands down my favorite "journalist". She's been occasionally invited on corporate news programs to provide the rare dissenting opinion. She's a powerhouse.
posted by tom_g at 11:03 AM on March 7, 2006


"USA Today is reporting at least 8,000 men and women have now deserted the U.S. military since the United States invaded Iraq three years ago."

To be fair, the desertion rate has actually decreased since 9/11/2001, according the same article.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:07 AM on March 7, 2006


(source)
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:08 AM on March 7, 2006


Fair enough, Crash. But I also found Army not punishing reservists who won't go to war in the USA Today saying that the army isn't declaring some of those who fail to report as AWOL (which might lead to underreporting of desertion.)
posted by notmtwain at 11:17 AM on March 7, 2006


Amy Goodman and DN! are terrific, an island of sanity and real reporting, hands down the best news show you can get anywhere on American TV. Can't help but get depressed every time we watch though.
posted by muckster at 11:21 AM on March 7, 2006


I used to enjoy Democracy Now! in doses, but I have learned to take what I hear/read on the show with a great degree of skepticism, especially as it relates to her coverage of the "independence movement" in Puerto Rico. I am not a historian, nor can I claim exhaustive knowledge of the island's volatile history - but things such as this interview:

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/09/26/1434229&mode=thread&tid=25

Where the speaker, Juan-Manuel Garcia-Passalacqua asserts that Filiberto Ojeda Rios, the former head of the Matcheteros, killed by FBI agents in September 2005, actually was acquitted for the bank robbery that forced him into his fugitive life are absurd. Its stated that "[Ojeda Rios] was tried for those events in a federal court in Puerto Rico, and he was absolved unanimously by a Puerto Rican jury," and that's just not true. Goodman doesn't ask a single question about this -

I think overall, her coverage of the Puerto Rican independence movement lacks any semblance of a critical eye - perhaps based on some inherent sympathy for "freedom fighters" battling against the imperialist powers of the United States - however, imho, I can't say that sympathy is in any way warranted.
posted by buddha9090 at 11:24 AM on March 7, 2006


Amy Goodman and DN! are terrific, an island of sanity and real reporting, hands down the best news show you can get anywhere on American TV.

Stated differently: I think that "reporting" that reinforces my existing views is the best! (See also: Conservatives and Fox News)
posted by pardonyou? at 11:25 AM on March 7, 2006


pardonyou, I'd encourage you to read some of what Bill Moyers has said on the topic of what "journalism" really is. Investigating a subject and presenting facts on that subject is beneficial to democracy. Pretending to have no viewpoint, and spending your "news" broadcast playing press releases for the government is detrimental to democracy.

Comparing things to Fox News is usually a losing analogy, because Fox takes its talking points directly from GOP leadership. I wasn't aware that DN! does that.

In general, I like DN! quite a bit, though the sorts of sympathies buddha9090 mentions do sometimes make me change the channel.
posted by rxrfrx at 11:31 AM on March 7, 2006


i met amy goodman at the second al jazeera forum in feb this year. she and her team were amazing. lovely people, very friendly and so hard working. my respect for her was even higher after meeting her and seeing her work.

my colleague was invited to appear on democracy now, as al jazeera were allowing them to broadcast an hours show throughout the event. the programme is here.

what was stunning was seeing her read the news in the opening segment after the teleprompt broke, without missing a beat.
posted by quarsan at 11:32 AM on March 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


pardonyou? - cute. I prefer to look at it this way: Everyone is bombarded with corporate news. CNN, MSNBC, NY Times, etc all present a rather narrow range of opinion *and* a narrow selection of what is considered news. There are some of us who appreciate someone who spends considerable effort to bring to light other world events that are not presented by the corporate news.
Of course Amy's program presents a dissenter's slant. That is why I love it. Remember the homogenous garbage pumped through the corporate news contains a slant, although it's nice to think that the sheer volume of consistent views and selection of stories merely represents something called objectivity.
posted by tom_g at 11:36 AM on March 7, 2006


I love DM! but I sure wish they'd quit playing all that durn hippy music between the segments.
posted by photoslob at 11:44 AM on March 7, 2006


I love Amy. I've seen her speak twice. Her experience puts other 'journalists' to shame.
posted by ao4047 at 11:48 AM on March 7, 2006


pardonyou, I'd encourage you to read some of what Bill Moyers has said on the topic of what "journalism" really is. Investigating a subject and presenting facts on that subject is beneficial to democracy. Pretending to have no viewpoint, and spending your "news" broadcast playing press releases for the government is detrimental to democracy.

That would be insightful if it was remotely close what I was suggesting. To the contrary, I completely agree with that statement, and Moyers' view. I was implying that DN does not, in fact, investigate a subject and present all of the facts on that subject. I was implying that it picks and chooses elements that it investigates and the facts that it presents in order to fit its pre-existing worldview. Sometimes this leads to a largely accurate piece, sometimes to one that's misinformed, at best. And I was implying that if you try to claim with a straight face that DN is the best available source of news reporting -- even based on the criteria you mentioned -- you just like being spoon-fed information that supports the views you already hold.
posted by pardonyou? at 11:50 AM on March 7, 2006


Ok, I saw a monkey riding a dog on CNN last night, on Anderson Cooper 360; then after that, Larry King talks with Germaine Jackson. When that's the alternative, I think I'll take DN! anyday.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 11:50 AM on March 7, 2006


you just like being spoon-fed information that supports the views you already hold

That would be insightful if it were remotely close to the truth.
posted by rxrfrx at 11:52 AM on March 7, 2006



posted by caddis at 12:20 PM on March 7, 2006


Former UK Soldier Urges Others to Refuse To Fight in Iraq.

The guy's in the TA. Popularly referred to, and never pleasantly, by the real military as the Weekend Warriors. Guys that can't hack it in the real Army, but feel that their manhood depends on wearing a uniform and knowing how to fire an SA-80. Big frickin' surprise that, after talking the talk, he suddenly realises that he's a conscientious objector when it comes to walking the walk. He's a coward, and the fact that he calls himself a soldier is sickening.

The view of a proper soldier: Friendliness and fear on tour in Iraq. Take a look at the pictures linked to from that page. Pictures 2 and 3. Do you reckon that the average Iraqi ever looked that comfortable when one of Saddam's soldiers was around?
posted by mad judge pickles at 12:23 PM on March 7, 2006


me: you just like being spoon-fed information that supports the views you already hold

rxrfrx: That would be insightful if it were remotely close to the truth.

The "you" was referring to those -- like muckster -- who make the claim that DN is "hands down the best news show you can get anywhere on American TV." I didn't see you make the claim, so my statement didn't necessarily apply to you. If, however, you think that DN is the best source of news in the U.S., my claim would apply to you, too.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:24 PM on March 7, 2006


Democracy Now! Insanity Later!
posted by blue_beetle at 12:31 PM on March 7, 2006


And yeah, I know that the usual MeFi OCD packrats are right now sifting through their extensive catalogues of lovingly collected pictures of dead, mutilated, and abused Iraqis that are victims of the US and UK forces. Because, you know, that'll prove that the presence of the US and UK in Iraq is nothing but evil. Smiling children be damned.
posted by mad judge pickles at 12:35 PM on March 7, 2006


And if they weren't, you wouldn't let that stop you from supposing they were, huh?
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:41 PM on March 7, 2006


MJP, I don't get it. Your happy photos are proof that all (or most) UK soldiers are well-liked, but some sad photos can't prove the opposite?
posted by rxrfrx at 12:44 PM on March 7, 2006


mad judge pickles has cognitive disassociation with the realities of a war torn country and the ability of the human spirit to smile and be comfortable even with death and destruction all around.

Pictures of smiling children does not a happy world make.

Remember, when monkeys show their teeth at you, it means they are frightened and can turn agressive very quickly.

Banana.
posted by daq at 12:49 PM on March 7, 2006


At any rate, the thread is not about pictures of children. It is about soldiers who choose not to serve. Some of them, like the fellow quoted on Democracy Now, never made it overseas. However, they still have the legal right to decide not to serve in a war they oppose.

The other thread being what is probably old news to everyone that Blair and Bush decided to go ahead with the war while they were still negotiating and were attempting to provoke Iraq into attacking first.
posted by notmtwain at 1:00 PM on March 7, 2006


I always thank people when they link to DN! content around here because people need to see the truth. Sure I admit it's a bit bias but I tune in to the KPFA stream every day at 8 A. M. (CST) just to hear what interesting stuff they present.
posted by wheelieman at 1:02 PM on March 7, 2006


mad judge pickles has cognitive disassociation with the realities of a war torn country and the ability of the human spirit to smile and be comfortable even with death and destruction all around.

Actually, mad judge pickles has many memories of participating in events where the British Army made genuine, and positive, improvements to the lives of people in foreign countries who would otherwise have been living a life under an oppressive regime. This war, by any reasonable definition of the term, is a disgusting mistake, but we have no choice but to make it work. Some guy, who's taken the shilling but suddenly decides that he has a conscience when it comes to actually risking his wellbeing, is not a shining example of the way things should be done.

We shouldn't be there, but we are there, and now we have to make it work. We have to, because morally we have no choice. We owe it to the people of Iraq. To pull out out now would be a betrayal of the Iraqi people, and would be to our eternal shame.
posted by mad judge pickles at 1:23 PM on March 7, 2006


Will I get lynched if I think Amy Goodman's voice is completely unlistenable? She sounds just a bit too full of righteous indignation for my taste.
posted by zsazsa at 1:28 PM on March 7, 2006


throw new BadGrammarException("too many consecutive outs");
posted by mad judge pickles at 1:30 PM on March 7, 2006


pickles, a majority of the Iraqis don't want the Americans there. So, my in-laws hate me, but I'm morally obligated to make them like me, so I should stay and live on their couch, leaving piles of dirty laundry around, because that's the right thing to do? No--the right thing to do is to leave, ASAP. Iraq has descended into the Civil War that most adults said would happen back in 1991 if Saddam was deposed. An American and British occupying force is nothing more than a target for bullets and a source of further indignation. If America had pulled out after Saddam was captured, the situation couldn't possibly be worse than it is now (we've played into both ObL and Iran's hands). Granted, we're discussing lesser-of-evils, but that's what adults who undertsand history, religion, and power vacuums do--they don't rely on fantasies of the occupied people throwing flowers and chocolates at our occupying forces. There were people in the Pentagon and Defense Department who knew this, and Bush promptly had them fired.

So fuck your self-righteousness, because it's incredibly ignorant. American and British troops aren't doing anyone a favor there any longer. Saddam is gone (sort of--the US can't even put together a decent show-trial, which is surprising). The sooner the current civil war plays out the better, re: the Shiites establishing a theocracy that is cozy with Iran. Because that's the best of all possible worlds today, thanks to the lunacy of Bush and Blair.
posted by bardic at 1:36 PM on March 7, 2006


So fuck your self-righteousness, because it's incredibly ignorant. American and British troops aren't doing anyone a favor there any longer.

You're wrong. The one thing that British troops have learned the hard way, is how to handle sectarianism. We are helping these people. All sides are making mistakes, and we have to learn from them, and raise our game, but we are making a positive difference. If we fail them now, the Iraqi people are doomed. It's difficult, taking the hard road that is the gift of foolish men, but that's what we have to do.

Don't ever confuse the US and UK forces. The UK forces are orders of magnitude better, in terms of quality, than the US forces. In many ways, the US presence in Iraq is nothing more than a reimagination of Project 100,000. The British Army can, and is, making a difference. A decade ago, the Balkans were aflame with racial hatred. Ten years, and more than a few mistakes, but with determination to stay the distance by the military assigned to the task, the Balkans are (amazingly) now a holiday destination.
posted by mad judge pickles at 1:51 PM on March 7, 2006


The one thing that British troops have learned the hard way, is how to handle sectarianism.

Yup. That's why we have Iran/Iraq, India/Pakistan, and probably lots of others I can't remember right now. And those worked out great.
posted by jlub at 2:00 PM on March 7, 2006


I also agree that, while I like the content of DN!, I find Amy Goodman's voice and delivery style to be pretty intolerable.
posted by trey at 2:08 PM on March 7, 2006


Basra != Iraq. And there are reports that Basra hasn't been so rosy as of late (although I agree the British were better handling the job at hand, but they also only had to deal with one city, with a dominant Shiite (anti-Saddam) majority).
posted by bardic at 2:13 PM on March 7, 2006


Yeah, jlub, let's pretend that the British Army of today is the same as the British Army of Imperial times. In fact, for pathetic shits such as yourself, let's take it even further back, almost 100 years. The Black and Tans. Now they were a shining example of what the modern British Army is.

For your information, the British Army has just recently emerged from being a reviled-by-both-sides player in a quarter-century long sectarian war. A war, one of the major protaganists of which was the Provos. The Provos, need you be reminded, were a misadventure jointly funded by the freedom-loving Gaddaffi government and the US east coast liberal intelligentsia. Which reminds me, St Patrick's Day is rapidly approaching. Hopefully, all of the Sinn Fein leadership have had their all-expensives-paid fact-finding missions to Boston and New York booked. I'd hate for all of our domestic 'freedom fighters' to go unfunded.
posted by mad judge pickles at 2:13 PM on March 7, 2006


The British Army is better on the level of individual training, but hardly a player any longer in world affairs. Which is a good thing, but it's kind of funny to trumpet their new-found political correctness at the cost of having any meaningful impact on world affairs, at least without the approval of the US (or formerly NATO).
posted by bardic at 2:21 PM on March 7, 2006


Wow, MJP. That's quite a chip you've got, there. Breathe....
posted by zoinks at 2:40 PM on March 7, 2006


Hey, mjp, let's pretend history never happened and call people names!
posted by jlub at 2:52 PM on March 7, 2006


The guy's in the TA. Popularly referred to, and never pleasantly, by the real military as the Weekend Warriors.

Wasn't Gareth from "The Office" in the TA?
posted by Cyrano at 5:07 PM on March 7, 2006


U.S. Troops in Iraq: 72% Say End War in 2006"

* Le Moyne College/Zogby Poll shows just one in five troops want to heed Bush call to stay “as long as they are needed”
* While 58% say mission is clear, 42% say U.S. role is hazy
* Plurality believes Iraqi insurgents are mostly homegrown
* Almost 90% think war is retaliation for Saddam’s role in 9/11, most don’t blame Iraqi public for insurgent attacks
* Majority of troops oppose use of harsh prisoner interrogation
* Plurality of troops pleased with their armor and equipment
posted by notmtwain at 10:40 AM on March 8, 2006


According to the above, MJP, it's not just the TA that wants the war to end sooner rather than later.
posted by notmtwain at 10:41 AM on March 8, 2006


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