Jun
17
2009

On Corporate Journalism as 'Popularity Contest'

The unlikely news source Voice of America (6/15/09) has Adam Phillips' profile of Amy Goodman and "the largest public media collaboration in the United States," Democracy Now!, in which Goodman lays out "her job as a journalist" as "to bring out 'the voices of people closest to the story at the grassroots'": In Goodman's program, as well as in her column and the three bestselling books she has co-authored with her brother, David Goodman, she also accuses the mainstream media of dangerous laziness in its reliance on so-called "pundits." "We need to bring out the voices of people who think […]

May
23
2009

Media Unconcerned with Real Torturers Still at Gitmo

Amy Goodman recently interviewed independent journalist Jeremy Scahill on her Democracy Now! show (5/19/09) regarding the fact that, in Scahill's words, "while much of the focus has been on the tactical use of torture at Guantanamo, almost no attention had been paid to a parallel force" known as the Immediate Reaction Force. Describing the methods of this "thug squad that is used to mercilessly punish prisoners"–"They go in, and they hogtie the prisoner… douse them with chemical agents…. They've squeezed their testicles…. They've taken the feces from one prisoner and smeared it in the face of another prisoner"–Scahill tells us […]

May
09
2009

Pentagon Faces Reality Still Denied in MSM

The current Democracy Now! (5/8/09) features New York Times Pentagon Pundits reporter David Barstow giving Amy Goodman the background on the U.S. military's retraction of a report clearing itself of domestic propaganda wrongdoing: So the report comes out in January, and it effectively exonerated the program. Now, one thing your viewers should know is that as soon as the stories ran, the program itself was suspended by the Pentagon, pending the outcome of this investigation. But what happened earlier this week was really unusual. It really is very rare for the inspector general of the Defense Department to rescind and […]

May
02
2009

Secret to Journalistic Survival: Real Journalism!

Interviewing Progressive magazine editor Matt Rothschild on Democracy Now! (5/1/09), Juan Gonzalez and Amy Goodman get the now 100-year-old magazine's high-minded take on the threatened existence of other periodicals: Rothschild: Well, the magazine industry is in crisis. The newspaper industry is in crisis. A lot of the news weeklies donâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢t know how to function right now; the idea that you have a Newsweek magazine right now, that's antiquated. That's a dinosaur. People get the news within minutes or hours; they donâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢t need to go find it a week later as to what happens. So the intellectual reason for being for […]

Apr
18
2009

Spanish Torture Indictments Dead?

Reading some of the latest headlines, one might think that Spanish investigations and possible indictments of six former Bush officials for alleged involvement in torture were dead in the water. As the Associated Press banner put it (4/17/09): "Spain: No Torture Probe of U.S. Officials," while the Los Angeles Times headlined a news brief (4/17/09), 'Spain; Prosecutors Reject Trying Bush Officials." On the prosecutors' announcement, the AP story reported: While their ruling is not binding, the announcement all but dooms prospects for the case against the men going forward. On Thursday, Spain's top law-enforcement official Candido Conde-Pumpido said he would […]

Feb
18
2009

Who's 'More of an Advocate Than the Corporate Press'?

In a discussion with Jessica Newman of Campus Progress (2/17/09), Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman gives her motivations for entering journalism: "I just always saw it as a way to pursue issues of social justice, to hold those in power accountable, to really work hard to get at the truth." When asked if she sees "a successful and profitable way to embrace multimedia…in a for-profit system, like the mainstream media," Goodman makes an important distinction: "It depends on what you mean by a 'for-profit system'": For the profit of society, yes. I can only speak from my own experience with what […]