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The shows on Wise Women Media Radio are in depth profiles and stories that show us that women of a certain age are dynamic forces, empowered spirits and tenacious voices for creating the change we need to see in the world. We cover everything the way our Mothers and Grandmothers would; Environment, Sustainable Living, Art of all genres, Food Storage, Gardening, Crafting, once in a while Political Issues with Special Guests. These women will inspire you! There is no other radio format like this!
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Monday, April 11, 2005
Interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!
Anita: Who is the captive audience for the book, "The Exception to the Rulers?" Who do you want to read it and whom do you want to reach?
Amy: Everyone! You know I really think the media is the only powerful force that we have. AND WE HAVE TO TAKE THEM BACK. We need a media that serves as a forum for defense, discussion, debate and dialogue, which is what shores up the Democrats. It also cuts against the crackdown that is happening in our society today.
Anita: Do you think the conservatives are going to go out and buy the book and read it?
Amy: We have had a lot of discussions about people who defy the conservative labels; I don't think we can label them. There are conservative republicans just like progressives who care deeply about privacy, consumer control, the budget, out of control spending, and deeply care about the number of casualties in Iraq...Social Security...
Anita: Yes, that is a big one!
Amy: Yes, I think that all of these issues together with owning our own media and people taking back the media matters to everyone. The fact that Michael Powell with the FCC tried to launch the biggest media consolidation in the country was beaten back by everyone from Trent Lott to Barbara Boxer. And even the Congress and the most important grassroots organizations in the country revealed that there is something dangerous, not quite right, FAR from right about one media mogul owning the television, radio and newspaper in one town! That does not serve a democratic society.
Anita: And pretty scary, too! What would you say to people and I am hearing this more and more lately, who say they are sick of the mainstream media, sick of CNN, turning off the television and the radio and canceling their newspapers?
Amy: I think that it is absolutely critical to get information and they should not think that all of that is the mainstream media, IT'S NOT! It does not represent the mainstream! What it brings you is a small circle of pundits who know so little about so much, claiming they know the world. They are a minority and I am not talking about people of color. They represent the fringe minority. And people who are the disillusioned are not the silent majority, but the SILENCED majority. I think they feel hopeless, that is why they are tuning out. But tune in to community media! For example, WMNF-FM, Speak Up Tampa Bay, the support of independent bookstores such as Sarasota News and Books. And independent bookstores, like radio and TV are sanctuaries of dissent. Even libraries are important! We just came from California where they were closing the Salinas Library--completely closing it down--because they don't have any money! So authors came in from all over the country this past weekend and they hosted a 24-hour Readathon. This is frightening! These are places that anyone can go to, just like community media, just like http://www.indymedia.org, you can partake of the information, and you can produce the information. These are open admissions to the "Universities of the Airwaves" and really brick and mortar places themselves! And we have to protect these places or they will be shut down, including the Internet. We have to use it or lose it!
Anita: I work with several media organizations and one of the things I am hearing a lot of when disseminating information to others is, "you are a conspiracy theorist, you're passing around urban legends, etc." How do we handle comments like that from people who are closed and so doubtful about the information we are passing on?
Amy: I think they have a right to be skeptical of all information--but seek out all different venues of information. Check out international newspapers, foreign websites; see if the same stories are corroborated. Don't believe everything you hear. I think that is a very healthy instinct.
Anita: Your thoughts on the impending Draft? This issue is lying dormant and whatever is being done now is being done in secret. The Selective Service is in place. I cannot even get any information on our local Selective Service here. Everybody says it is going to happen.
Amy: Ahhhh, the forbidden 5-letter word! DRAFT! Well, number one, Ed Gillespie, former head of the Republican National Committee sent a legal letter to Rock the Vote about the Draft before the election. The Bush administration knew that this would be lethal, if there was a possibility of a Draft--now why is that? Because that means that the constituents, the people of clout, the sons and daughters of power would get tied into this invasion and this occupation. And that is why they are so afraid. It is when it starts hitting home and hitting society equally. The number one deferment man himself, Dick Cheney, had seven deferments, one of them because he was having a child. And if only now many of the people that were resisting and were saying that they have families were given a chance to opt-out. We are seeing a level of resistance that we have never seen before. There is a Draft for some for all intensive purposes. (NOTE***I am adding the Poor Man’s Draft here as reference to what Amy was saying, here is an interesting link for more info: http://www.teachablemoment.org/high/draft.html) And people joining the National Guard don’t expect to go off to war for two years. For instance, my brother David, who co-wrote the book with me comes from Vermont and for the last week we have been traveling all over the county on our Un-Embed the Media Tour at the launching of the paperback version of “The Exception to the Rulers.” David comes from Vermont and he was explaining that when he went to the airport, his plane was delayed and there were 4 F-16 fighter jets taking off or landing, I can’t remember which. More than half of the National Guard in Vermont is in Iraq! They signed up to help people out in times of need and in times of natural disasters and now they find themselves killing people! And the Vermont National Guard has the highest mortality rate in the country. These are astounding times! So for those who say, oh my God, what if there is a Draft? For some there already is! And there are many that are resisting and we don’t hear some of their stories. We write about some of their stories in “The Exception to the Rulers.” We also write about those who have been detained since 9-11, thousands of people, namely Arab-Americans or people of South Asian descent.
Anita: What would be the single most important thing that we as the progressive media can do and even the average Joe Citizen do to increase awareness about the selling out of our mainstream media? What is one simple thing we can do?
Amy: Get out there and tell the stories. Audio record them, write them, allow people to speak, breaking the sound barrier. This gives the inclusion of openness and of the diversity of opinion.
Go out and buy the book, check out the tour schedule and try to see Amy speak, listen to Amy's daily War and Peace report, either on http://www.democracynow.org or http://www.wmnf.org
(a global internet broadcast on each site) or check with your local community radio and Free Speech TV for listings and times in your local area. You can get info on the book and see her remaining tour schedule here: http://book.democracynow.org/.
BE THE MEDIA!