Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Did anyone else come away underwhelmed today, after watching Amy Goodman on Democracy Now?

When I heard last night that she'd been arrested at the RNC along with a couple of other people on her production staff I wondered if they were going to have a show in the morning. I was kind of surprised to tune in and find them on the air, and see everyone out of jail.

It's not too hard to believe that she has enough pull to get herself and her staff out of custody in just a few hours, and I probably could have bought into that if everything else about the show, particularly what she had to say about her arrest and the entire horrendous spectacle had been more along the lines of, normal. But it wasn't normal at all.

Where was the outrage? Where was the criticism of the police acting like terrorists and assaulting innocent people? Where were the demands to lawmakers to make this official crime spree stop? Where was the civil rights lawyer to give the legal and constitutional perspective on all of this?

No anger. No outrage. No passion. At all. She was about as dispassionate as you could get and had nothing critical to say about the whole concept of being surrounded by an army of heavily armed thugs and secret police and swept up in mass arrests that were nothing short of brutal and violent. In the sixties we'd have heard cries of, "Pigs!" and frankly, that would have been accurate. There was nothing to excuse or justify the unequivocal, violent police assaults being carried out all over the city.

Amy continued to speak respectfully of the authorities, and seemed to validate them by using their terms without appropriate derision and contempt. She spoke of cops using "chemical irritants" instead of telling it like it is. They were using chemical weapons on our citizens. Irritants? Are they kidding?

And when she spoke to the fact that her two coworkers had been released she also mentioned with complete passivity that they were all facing FELONY charges. "They were released last night but now face pending charges on suspicion of committing a felony riot. It's called "PC riot," probable cause riot. I've been charged with obstruction of legal process and interference with a, quote, "peace" officer. Overall, police say some 120 people face pending charges."

Suspicion of committing a probable cause felony riot? What the hell is that? There was no riot. Anywhere. The police committed the riot. An officially mandated, planned and executed, violent riot where people's rights were denied and their freedom was taken from them without any justification whatsoever. Why did she have nothing at all to say about the most glaring truths about the whole thing?

Whether intended or not, Amy's composure and complete lack of to-the-point-criticism of the authorities illegal behavior made her into a role model of acceptance. She legitimized everything that had happened to her, to her staff, and to hundreds of other people who had been even more brutalized than she had. In fact from watching the video of her arrest I have to say, she had it easy compared to what a lot of other people went through. I didn't see her being screamed at to put her face on that filthy asphalt. Was she actually allowed to remain upright throughout her arrest? Because the standard procedure is to shove people's faces into the ground like dogs, whether you're a grandmother or a 12 year old, even if you're a respected pastor.

Sharif Abdel Kouddous said that he'd been thrown hard against a wall and had been kicked in the stomach twice. He also said the plastic tie hand cuffs were so tight they caused nerve damage and when he'd asked if they could just be loosened a little bit they responded by tightening them. He still has no feeling in part of his hand and fingers. And Nicole Salazar had a bloody nose bad enough that she could see the blood running on the pavement, which was where her face was. She said she'd been hit in the face with her camera so I assume that is what caused the bleeding but she didn't say that directly as I recall.

Amy wasn't kicked in the stomach or thrown to the ground. Just wanted to mention that. But the fact that her coworkers were so brutalized, along with dozens of others, went by without a single word about the simple fact that this official brutality cannot be justified and is beyond anything we should ever have to take from these people. It's outrageous. It is criminal. Why didn't anyone say so? It just begged to be put into plain words. It needed to be said. It was not said.

Would we ever see Tom Brokaw or one of those Fox news idiots being treated this way? Would we ever see a Republican mouthpiece being treated like the dirt on the bottom of these fascist's boots? I don't think so. But Amy didn't even suggest that all of these arrests and assaults and brutal behavior were reserved only for those who's politics are incorrect, at least according to the nazis in chief. Only those who are not boneless supplicants and compliant zombie-trons were earmarked for arrests, beatings, chemical weapons, ill treatment and denial of their right to participate in their own political process.

But there was no mention of that. And I just find that bizarre.

It felt to me like the powers that be were smearing it in our faces with the message, "We can do whatever the hell we like". Incomprehensible insults to normal citizens doing what they have every right to do was dishonestly framed by the authorities as criminal activity. They blatantly, disgustingly, dishonestly lied about the arrests and brutality they committed with asinine, plainly untrue charges. Peaceful activists and passersby were attacked and assaulted by this government and accused of felony rioting when the assertion on it's face is completely nonsensical. No one was rioting.

Amy Goodman also did the police a big favor by reporting that there had been "break away" vandalism and violence committed, broken windows and slashed tires but where was the evidence of that? It was the first I heard of any such behavior by the protesters. Couldn't we at least have been shown this damage, if she couldn't name names or go into any detail about who did it and whether or not they'd been arrested? Because you'd have to be right off the turnip truck to not understand that supposed acts of violence committed by citizens invariably turn out to be acts committed by the authorities themselves in the aim of stirring up shit, providing them with the necessary legitimate reason for them to move in and assault people and arrest them. It's just not good enough, or even professional for that matter, to simply assert that whatever damage was done was automatically the fault of activists. How would she know that? How would she know who did it or why? And if she did know, why didn't she give us that information?

It seemed to be a helpful assertion to make that would give some justification, however insufficient, to the police to show up, but we all know they were going to show up anyway. This was planned in advance. These arrests were a given before anyone even showed up that day. We all know that. Why didn't Amy say it? Instead she provided the only tidbit of validation for them even being there, as there was no reason for the police to interfere with citizens engaging in lawful demonstrations and participating in their own political system. Was anyone at the RNC thrown to the ground after being surrounded by terrorist cops and charged with suspected felony rioting? I haven't checked but I don't think there's anything to check. It didn't happen.

And that twit monkey Congressman she had on was a shining example of bootlicking subservience to authority. When he got around to his spiel on what bush did wrong in Iraq, and it boiled down not to the fact that we have no business being there in the first place but instead an error in strategy, that's when I had to turn it off.

So what do we have here? Gatekeeping? Sigh. I'm sorry but it just doesn't add up. We could chalk up her dispassionate reportage to the fact that she runs with that upper crusty crowd of people who believe they must always be dispassionate about everything and look at things as if they were removed from it and scientifically detached, simply reporting the physical components of what they are observing. That kind of unplugging from half of your being makes my skin crawl in general because it's so, willingly retarded and artificial. It's also dishonest and it's also insulting when that lack of humanity is aimed at the suffering of others. It's downright weird when it's aimed at one's own suffering. How could anyone not be furious and breathing fire after being put through something as insulting and brutal and illegal as what she and her colleagues had experienced?

My buddy Dwight the Bright, (Dwight Ward of Maryland), sent out an email this morning on this very topic and he kindly consented to allow me to include it in my entry today, which I want to do because he covers a great deal more of what was wrong with this broadcast. Here's what he had to say.

"I'm suffering another attack of Bizzarotitis. On the day after her arrest by the Minnesota goon squads, Amy Goodman's broadcast was a mélange of .... it's hard to describe. There was a discussion with a Rosenthal or Blumenthal of The Nation about Palin, the preggers daughter, the religious right, etc. During the course of it Ron Paul's supporters get lumped in with Pat Buchanan's, both are connected with the Alaska secessionist movement, the Vermont Independence party and all are characterized as 'fringe' groups whose binding insanity and proof of moron status is "deep distrust of the government". Here is Amy nodding and offering no disagreement with the language just used on the day after her female producer was brutalized by non-men-in-black meat droids screaming "Put your face in the dirt! Put your face in the dirt!". Amy still likes big government. She has no deep distrust of it.

Then there's a discussion between two veteran's groups, ostensibly over veterans' health care. Politically, one group is slightly to the right of Martin Bormann, the other seems mildly and politely center-left. The topic drifts to, and stays on, the legality of the war in Iraq. What? Huh? The legality? Democracy Now and Amy Goodman is hosting a debate over the legality of the war and is granting equal legitimacy to both points of view on the day after she herself was rolled over by the police state in action? This subject was stale five years ago.

Let's say you're at the convention center and get a text message telling of some friends across the city being arrested. You have to exit the huge building, possibly going through yet more security checkpoints. Your car is blocks away among acres of other cars or stashed in some multi-story parking garage. After you find it and pay your bill you have to drive across a congested city, through police checkpoints, through protestor blockades to the neighborhood where your friends have been arrested. You'd think this would take an hour or more, right? But voila, you get there in plenty of time. The action's still hot and you get your own self arrested and, of course, youtubed.

All this seems disjointed to me. I'm thinking I shouldn't drop so much acid in the morning. On the other hand, maybe I should take more".

He's a hoot, isn't he? Gotta love Dwight the Bright but he hit the nail on the head, as usual. Amy still likes big government. She has no deep distrust of it. Even after being wrongfully subjected to what can only be described as a criminal assault. There's not enough acid in the world to make this come out looking right.

If you saw the footage, and especially if you hopped around on the net and read Glen Greenwald's angry piece on this subject and watched the videos out there of people who were minding their own business in private homes and buildings, who were descended upon by foaming at the mouth nazi droids who smashed their faces into the ground and demanded utter submission to their false authority, you couldn't help but feel outraged. How could you not be angry at this kind of criminal treatment of innocent people doing what they had every right to do? It speaks to how nonviolent we the people are, because we are. Antiwar demonstrators are against violence, they don't commit violence. But the police show up and commit violence against them and arrest the innocent people who were just assaulted by the authorities. How do you even wrap your brain around that? It's no wonder that so many people don't even try and are content to believe that if swat teams are bashing in people's front doors, instead of just knocking, that those people must be bad and must deserve to be treated like no one in this country should ever be treated. It does become an impossibility of logic if you must assume the police are good no matter what. It's not at all hard to understand if you can let go of that childish assumption.

Watching some of these other videos of citizens being assaulted by terrorist cops is enough to make anyone sick to their stomach. You can see some of them here. Little children coloring quietly in a room where these nazi thugs burst in and order everyone to get down on the ground, end up laying on the ground for hours as everyone around them is treated to heavy doses of "On your knees slave!" by criminals with badges. What does that do to a 12 year old girl I wonder? It wises her up I'd hope.

These creeps with their blunt force and assault weapons and helmets are a joke, and I would laugh if it wasn't such a serious situation. But the bottom line is, they come off like cowards. Like paranoids who feel they must incarcerate the planet in order to be able to relax themselves. I'm sorry, but that's just not reasonable. It's also not necessary. It's so Israel.

There were even quite appropriate laughs at the expense of these brutal schnoids who'd given themselves nicknames like "The Terminator" and "The Executioner". Truly, the indoctrination of these men is to the point that they see themselves and each other as righteous mighty killers for truth and justice, or at least the mighty killers part. The utter inappropriateness of this attitude and their behavior in general completely escapes them. They have THE RIGHT to be brutal. And that's just not a right that even exists. But try telling them that.

We have a problem here for sure. It's nothing new, but when it reared its ugly head in the sixties it was cut off. I'm just sorry to see it springing back, hydra style. We just don't need this.

The bottom line is this: in taking an objective look at Amy Goodman's reporting on this whole ugly, dead serious brutalization of innocent people, blatant politically motivated criminal activity condoned by the fascist state and the fascists in control of this country, she had nothing whatsoever to say about it that put it in the correct, obvious light. She totally skipped over the whole point and meaning of what we're seeing take place in this country today. She acted as if there was nothing wrong with citizens being brutalized and terrorized and marginalized by heavily armed out of control killing machines. Whether she's a "gatekeeper" or not really isn't the point as much as the fact that she's done us all a real disservice by validating and upholding the notion that there is anything valid in what the state is doing to innocent people. And that to me means Amy Goodman does some good work but she is not to be trusted. Trust really is becoming a scarce commodity isn't it? What a shame.


  1. Anonymous8:27 AM

    An attempt to bolster her "cred" if you ask me.

    There is a lot of Amy dissing in the corner of the blogosphere that I inhabit, where she is held to be the very ideal of a gatekeeper.

    Indeed being called an "Amy" is an insult that pops up now and again in a forum I frequent.

    What better way to help your image than getting busted by the creeps?

  2. Anonymous6:13 PM

    "Trust really is becoming a scarce commodity isn't it?"

    Trust is based upon truth.
    Truth is based upon honesty.
    Honesty is based upon Honor.

    It is honor that has become scarce.