Democracy Now is a fantastic news program broadcast on Pacifica Radio out of a retired firehouse in New York City. Hosted by my favorite journalist, Amy Goodman, and sometimes co hosted by New York Post contributor and current president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Juan Gonzales, Democracy Now is much more than a reiteration of daily events, although each program does begin with the host describing some of the day's most important events. But, each daily hour-long broadcast often concerns a certain theme or debate relevant to current events. (And most recently it is often discussion about civil rights and election laws). Most of the guests are activists of one sort or another which often reveal their research or experiences with things you might never hear about in the mainstream news. Recent guests have been academics, political activists and political prisoners, parents of military service people, immigrants, academics, authors, filmmakers, and famous political scientists and historians like Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Guardian journalist Greg Palast, and sometimes public officials (Maxine Waters appeared for a phone interview during the unseating of the Haitian President), and so forth to bring a wide array of expertise and viewpoints on numerous discussions about so many things that people should be finding out through other news sources, but for obvious fear of credibility and accountability and so forth do not. It is a real news station and one that provides real debates on issues. And they are not always political discussions, as one holiday broadcast did a sort of mini-documentary about the man who created the music for 'Wizard of Oz.' It seems fitting that, at least the satellite broadcast of the show, should be on the Free Speech TV network.
Democracy Now! is what a real news program looks like and dispels much of the idiocy, partisanship, and meaningless desire to turn information into a circus via the corporate news networks. Though, still in small circulation with some representation on radio and satellite television, I think it is gaining sufficient ground as more Americans (and other nationalities as well) become frustrated with the inability of self-serving major news networks (which includes both CNN and FOX) to do little more than kiss the ass of public officials and corporate sponsorships. Also, the show also seems to be gaining wider exposure as the grass roots movement gains great vibrance in this country. You can tell by the lack of gaudy graphics and soundtrack and even, our somewhat disheveled looking hosts, that this is a show that cares much more about substance rather than superficial appeals. You could get more news and other information in one hour from Democracy Now than you possibly could in one month on mainstream American news.
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