The Washington Post covered Amy Goodmans arrest. Good for them. Not only that but the UPI and several locally owned newspapers reported on the event. Google this and you will see a flood of small outlets covering it. This is a very good sign with respect to the influence of independent media. I am writing this about 7 hours after the event. Hopefully it will get more play and the coverage will be influenced by this persepctive.
Today Amy Goodman was arrested. There are videos of the arrest but right now it is not clear exactly what charges have been made. (Here’s her narrative of events leading up to the arrest.) This was a thunderbolt through the independent media community and, because of her many awards, should at least have been noteworthy to big media. It, however, has not merited mention in the releases of the corporate-controlled media, who are reporting an entirely different world.
Compare this report of the heroic supression of anarchists with this report of police attacks and actual interviews with the “anarchists.” Here is a report and interesting video interview involving a gunpoint raid of a house containing independent journalists. Here’s another uncontrolled report. This side of things is ignored in the mainstream media’s widely reported battle between the forces of good and evil anarchists. (Here are some pictures of the “anarchists.”) The Washington Post to its credit presented an even-handed report of the people in the streets.
There is more local controversy about police action against independent media than the major media reports.
To report Amy’s arrest would give credence to a media that is not consonant with the major outlets. I wonder whether any major outlet at all will make mention of this. I seriously doubt it but I would love to be surprised.
On my way to work one day I was listening to the car radio and flipping between Democracy Now! on 91.3 FM and NPR. I was listening to reports of the flight of Jean-Bertrand Aristide from Haiti. NPR was reporting that Aristide had suddenly quit and was abandoning his country for places unknown. It was interviewing Condoleezza Rice and other government officials who expressed puzzlement at what was happening. Amy Goodman was interviewing Aristide’s driver who was present when about two dozen gunmen burst in and forced him out of his office and into a plane. She spoke with others on the scene, all of whom said that the kidnappers were American.
Amy herself now seems to find herself in one of these parallel universes.
Two hours ago Amy Goodman was arrested while trying to speak on behalf of two of her producers who had been detained by the police. Read this article and call!
The website Democracy Now! is a good place to look to keep up with this and an exceptional source of convention news coverage.
She’s now reported just released.
People looking for different perspectives on the Democratic Party’s convention must listen to Amy Goodman. (In Seattle she carried on 91.3 FM at 6:00 am and 5:00 pm.) Has anyone else noticed that her cadence and emphasis is exactly like those of Walter Cronkite? The same dramatic silences and slowly building sentences. Her interviews are masterful in the way that she never diverts attention from the person she is interviewing. She is just a stage hand assisting with the telling of a story. When she does not believe that the whole story is being told, however, she is insistent on a rational answer to followup questions.
My admiration grows for her as times passes. There has certainly never been a television and radio reporter like her. Every day for years now she has been reporting what is actually happening on the street and often behind the scenes. Her interviews and interviewees never cease to interest me. She has been at it long enough and has won enough awards to have more access than she did a few years ago, but that has not tempered or altered her reporting or interviewing at all.
Amy reports that Denver’s efforts to keep the streets clean don’t stop with moving the homeless people. The police with names tags removed have been making mass arrests of protesters, striking early and without warning apparently in order to maximize the period in which the protesters are detained and away from the streets.
The Democrats have learned from the Republicans. They have given the delegates talking point memos with instructions about how to answer specific questions and with scripted answers. An enormous amount of labor has gone into maintaining the appearance of unanimity. This of course relates in substantial part to the Republican efforts to court disaffected Clinton supporters. (The attendees have a mantra: “Differences within the party pale in comparison to differences between the parties.”)
But the threat of splintering is not just from the right edge of the party but from the left as well, principally because of Obama’s close association with the hawks of Bill Clinton’s Administration and his scaled-down talk about getting out of Iraq.
In yesteryear conventions were a time to sort out these issues as the party wrestled with its choice of a candidate. Those days are long gone, as conventions are now more like a book launching party, or rock tour launching party. But parties are fun, while Amy Goodman interviews the wait staff and activity outside the living room.