Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Amy Goodman is a name well known to those who seek independent news reporting but little known among those who think they get adequate information from network and cable news programs. While acting in her role as an independent television news journalist, she and two of her producers were been arrested yesterday in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Not so many years ago this would have brought every major news source in the country roaring into action to protest the silencing of the press. Today, with the news being controlled by the few remaining owners of the major press outlets and a government whose M.O is secrecy and manipulation, this arrest didn’t even make the standard news broadcasts.

I constantly read complaints in the local newspaper about the “liberal” press, but those complainers have obviously never encountered truly liberal press. Amy Goodman represents independent press and leans heavily toward what our local citizens would certainly classify as the liberal side. Her program “Democracy Now!” seen on Link TV, and the magazines the Utne Reader, Mother Jones, and The Nation” are about all that is left of the liberal press in this country.

As it turns out, the problem Goodman and her crew are facing in St. Paul is due to the fact that they refuse to be “embedded” in the police department. In the eyes of the police that puts them on the side of the protesters instead of the establishment, so they are considered legitimate targets for harassment. Here is a link that will provide you a short video clip of an interview in which Amy explains what happened:

Embedding was the creation of the current Bush Administration for reporters on the war in Iraq. It consists of assigning reporters to military or police units to report what the unit does rather than giving them free rein to roam about and report on what they find for themselves. It was very touted as a means of getting reporters closer to the action, but has in fact accomplished its goal of controlling what is reported on. It further tends to soften reporters’ stories by virtue of the relationships they strike up with the troops with whom they are embedded.

Amy Goodman and other solid independent reporters have always refused to accept embedding and, instead, seek and report on the stories they believe are most important and insightful. For this, which was once the standard for American reporting and which was widely recognized as the most meaningful function of the Fourth Estate -- as the press was known when it actually functioned as a monitor on the balance of powers, Ms. Goodman and her crew are considered by the St. Paul police and Federal police to be criminals.

Thanks to the enforced blindness of today’s American press, most Americans are totally unaware that they are not getting unbiased news from any source. The omission of material like Goodman’s arrest, not to mention the constitutional implications of such arrests, leaves the American public without guidance as to the authoritarian oppressiveness of their government.

Arresting people for seeking to report all the news to the people was de rigueur for Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia, but it has no place in America, and every citizen should be up in arms about it regardless of his or her political party affiliation.

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” – Patrick Henry

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls -

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

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