Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Amy Goodman's "Crime"

Matt Taibbi
Amy Goodman was clearly acting as a reporter at the protest. Moreover, she’s as close to the ideal of what it means to be a journalist as one can get in this business.
Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
And something is happening but you don't know what it is
Do you, Mr. Jones?
Bob Dylan
Until yesterday, the award-winning journalist, Amy Goodman, was facing prison time. Her crime? Committing journalism. As was reported on October 15 in The Nation:
"Goodman had the audacity to commit this journalism on September 3, when she was in North Dakota covering what she calls “the standoff at Standing Rock”: the months-long protests by thousands of Native Americans against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The $3.8 billion oil pipeline is slated to carry barrel after barrel of Bakken crude through sacred sites and burial grounds of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, and tribe members fear it could pollute the Missouri River, the source not only of their water but of millions of others’, should the pipe ever rupture. Their protests, which began in April and ballooned through the summer months, represent the largest mobilization of Native American activists in more than 40 years—and one of the most vital campaigns for environmental justice in perhaps as long."
The original charge against Amy was "trespassing". When it became obvious to the geniuses persecuting her that there was no validity to that, they changed the offence to "riot" - not "inciting a riot", mind you - simply "riot". I'm happy to report that, since then, cooler heads have prevailed - or at the very least, more expedient heads. I suppose the powers-that-be realized that this incident was bound turn into a nasty cause celebre that would ultimately blow up in their faces. A wise move to be sure. But what does that tell you? That this sort of thing is being contemplated in a nation where the First Amendment is supposed to reign supreme is unsettling to say the very least.

Amy Goodman is not the only journalist being harassed. A videographer is facing forty-five years for covering this spectacle. Land of the free indeed.
Huntley and Brinkley
The demonizing of journalists is hardly a new phenomenon in this country. It has been going on for a long time. At the GOP convention in the summer of 1964, the extremist crazies who that year took control of the Republican party (and still control it to this very day) turned on the assembled press covering the event with such vehemence, that for a few moments NBC's Chet Huntley and David Brinkley feared for their lives. During the Fabulous Fifties, any reporter with courage was putting his-or-her livelihood (and freedom) at risk if they dared exposed the hypocrisy and corruption behind the communist witch hunts of that era. Even Theodore Roosevelt, one of America's finest chiefs-executive, would contemptuously dismiss the crusading journalists of "the golden age of American journalism" as "muckrakers".

What is happening in the United States in 2016 is very ominous indeed. The plutocratic forces that own this country are setting a precedent of fear and intimidation. The message has been sent and received: Don't you dare fuck with our agenda. It's enough to make any thinking person tremble with fear and loathing to contemplate how bad this situation might get if Donald Trump is elected in three weeks time. Thankfully, that's not ever going to happen. The problem is that Hillary Clinton has yet to prove whose side she is on. I'm not optimistic. Someone tell her to prove me wrong.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


In a little over a week I'll be shoving off to Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts to take part in a two-day symposium on the life and career of the legendary, groundbreaking comedian, Lenny Bruce. This is something that is decades overdue. When he died fifty years ago, he believed that he was a failure. A half a century later, an ivy league university in New England - about as far away from Lenny Bruce's Hollywood as is possible to travel in the continental United States - will be paying homage to his art, celebrating his life. I cannot tell you how happy this makes me.

I'll be writing about the event when it concludes. Look for my report.



At 1:17 PM, Blogger Luke said...

One of the most disturbing things I've heard in this election is Chris Wallace saying it is not his job as a journalist to determine the truth, or not of answers he gets from a presidential candidate to questions he asks them.
His dad must be turning over in his grave.
If it's not the job of journalists to research the truth, or not of what a politician, or people in power say to Americans, whose job is it? Americans look to journalists to determine true facts, so they can make a decision based on the true facts.
We report, you decide - only works if the reporting is based on true facts.

At 2:42 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

This incident really shows the disconnect between journalism and corporate media.

At 3:53 PM, Blogger T. Paine said...

Sadly, there is no independent journalism anymore. True investigative journalism is all but dead already. And certainly anything that runs counter to progressive dogma is going to be excoriated in the news. A recent report came out stating that "journalists" (supposedly not ideologue pundits) have supported the Clinton campaign over Trump by a 96 to 4% margin.

My first thoughts were why the hell are "objective" journalists contributing to political campaigns anyway? Doesn't that help to erode their "objectivity" when seeking the "truth"?

As for Hillary, she unabashedly lies to congress, the FBI, the American people etc. What makes anyone think that she won't continue to lie to the press? Further, as president, what would make anyone think that this corrupt and egomaniacal woman wouldn't intimidate journalists that don't tow her party line? Luckily for her, those journalists that actually care about and seek out the truth are very few indeed.

Mr. Degan, the first amendment's freedom of speech has been seriously eroded already under President Obama. I am not allowed to state my political or religious opinions freely without some PC zealot accusing me of hate speech or Nazism. I even shut down my Face Book account awhile back as I search for a new job just in case some human resource manager declares that I am ineligible to work for their company because I believe in traditional marriage and conservative values.

I am willing to bet that under this next corrupt Clinton administration we will indeed see far more stifling of our freedom of speech and worship. And what's to stop Hillary from ignoring our first amendment rights (let alone our second, fourth, fifth, tenth)? It's not like congress or We The People hold anyone accountable.

Hillary just lied, endangered national security, and deleted subpoenaed email evidence and the FBI did NOTHING. She knows she is beyond the reach of the law. And you all will vote for her and further erode what is left of our constitution and the freedoms she will lyingly swear to uphold. I truly weep for the loss of our nation.

At 4:22 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

The mainstream media have become the megaphone for the corporate elite and its message. Decades of media consolidation has transformed what were once mostly independent newsrooms into mere schedulers of trite entertainment and drivel.

The only "free press" in America comes from a body of independent outlets such as Democracy Now! Is it any wonder, when the majority of Americans still make their major news source network TV, that people believe their only presidential choices are "greater evil" and "lesser evil"?

At 5:09 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Journalism has always been demonized by the Right. FOX(R) "fair and balanced" propaganda is proof.

Independent journalists like Amy Goodman are demonized by the Right. Why would TP ignore that fact... Hmmm.

CNN and even MSNBC actually PAY Trumpies to lie on their shows, often letting them get away with blatant falsehoods. Why would TP ignore that fact... Hmmm. Bias, maybe?

Journalism is forced to compete with entertainment, and since corporate media insist on the news generating profit, the loss of credibility is irreversible. And corporate media has, above all, always had a corporate bias. Only in Trumpworld and FOX/Limbaugh Land is this fact not apparent.

Sane and informed people unanimously support Clinton over Trump. While I strongly disagree with her on many things, the facts are clear. She has a better temperament and grasp of policy, facts, government process, and even how most Americans live. Unlike Trump, she wasn't born rich and had daddy's millions to prop her up.

She obviously has more experience in lawmaking, and isn't a banana republic dictator-wannabe threatening her opponent with jail. Yes, she even wins in the "character contest".

How it is surprising to anyone that journalists are actually well-informed is the question. In fact, the far Right holds that against them and must demonize all but the propagandists from the Republican Party and far Right.

Believe it or not, professional journalists are better informed than the FOX/Limbaugh/Breitbart/Trump Cult.

Only those low-information voters, unwitting dupes, rubes, and the deplorable bigots and racists can't see the facts. Instead they believe their Orange Savior telling them Hillary and Obama "founded ISIS", and climate change is a "Chinese hoax", along with every other lie from Trump.

Many Christian fundamentalists see through Don the Con. And they're not even journalists.

Most conservative newspaper publishers are endorsing Clinton or denouncing Trump. Why is that?

It aint cause they're liberals.

They are journalists who believe facts over blatant lies from a cult leader.

At 7:07 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

T. Paine...

You obviously could not stand the heat. You did a wise thing by getting out of the kitchen.

At 7:08 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

T. Paine...

You obviously could not stand the heat. You did a wise thing by getting out of the kitchen.

At 7:11 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

"Dead people are voting and it’s something this administration does not want to do anything about. They must like it. They must like who they are voting for… Now we have four million, four million Steve, ineligible and dead voters on American voter rolls according to the Pew Charitable Trust. "

J. Christian Adams, former Voting Section Attorney at the US Department of Justice

You are correct TP under Obama our liberties have been reduced and our political system has become corrupted and under HRC it will only worsen.

At 10:26 AM, Blogger T. Paine said...

Mr. Degan, I am not sure I understand your comment posted at 7:07 (and then again at 7:08 to make sure I REALLY got it.) Would you be so kind as to clarify, sir? I don't recall retreating from any "kitchen" and certainly not one where civil political debate is occurring. :) Cheers!

At 4:14 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Can't figure out why that was posted twice.

At 4:00 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Mr. Paine, although I disagree with you on the vast majority of issues and stances, I will, like you, be voting for a third-party candidate. I can most assuredly say, however, it will not be the same candidate.

To everyone else voting for one of the two prominent candidates, "greater evil" or "lessor evil", you're either voting to select civil war or nuclear war.

Which one, again, do you think is the lessor of two unimaginably horrific happenings?

At 12:12 PM, Blogger T. Paine said...

JG, I can respect your decision. Everyone else continues to choose between the lesser of two evils, which only seems to perpetuate future choices of the lesser of two evils. I will no longer play that game. My vote may not make a difference now, but I will continue to advocate that people vote their conscience instead voting for two corrupt parties that continuously put party above the good of the country.

At 4:06 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

T. Paine,

My "conscience" says that Trump cannot be allowed access to the White House, especially the nuke codes and a chance to kill the country with his (actually Putins) Supreme court judges.

"Civil war or nuclear war". Since there will be no war of either kind when Hillary wins, I'll go with her.

If a few butt hurt old white men don't like it, too bad.

At 7:35 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Mozart, let your "conscience" be assured: Clinton will "win", and probably "win" quite convincingly. Although not a Trump supporter, and I've made this very clear over the last number of months, there are a few topics he's profoundly correct about. One, which I concede, is the system is rigged. I've also mentioned this more than once on this blog. I've also said what's not rigged, is fixed.

Oh, and please don't let me leave you with the impression that she'll turn the keys and start a nuclear catastrophe. No, she would never do that. Nor would Trump. Neither would have the outright power to commit such an atrocity. However, because the neocons have her ear, and she's cut from the same cloth as those hawks who seek world hegemony, she's the most likely to push the envelope and provoke a world war.

That's how these things spiral of control. It's never really an isolated incident that propels these things. Her stint as secretary of state shows she's very adept at fueling tensions. Coupled with her close alliance with the world banking cabal, I will cast my vote for her in one category -- the most likely to incite a world catastrophe. War is her game. Don't forget that.

Your dominatrix of doom will most assuredly take top prize, and take it she will. Now, I'll let you get back to your bread and circuses. You deserve it. You've proven yourself a loyal subject of the military-industrial-complex.


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