Amy Goodman

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Amy Goodman in 2010

Amy Goodman (born April 13, 1957) is an American broadcast journalist, author, and co-founder (1996) and main host of Democracy Now!, a progressive global news program broadcast daily on radio, television and the Internet.


  • The media are using a national treasure--that's what the public airwaves are. And they have a responsibility to bring out the full diversity of opinion or lose their licenses.
  • In the meantime, it just makes it a little harder to smile. But so does the world.
  • I see the media as a huge kitchen table that stretches across the globe, that we all sit around and debate and discuss the most important issues of the day, War and peace, life and death. Anything less than that is a disservice to a democratic society.


  • During an Iraqi protest of the US invasion ABC's "Peter Jennings said to Chris Cuomo, "What are they doing out there? What are they saying?" And Cuomo said, “Well, they have these signs that say 'No Blood for Oil,' but when you ask them what that means, they seem very confused. I don't think they know why they're out here." I guess they got caught in a traffic jam. Why not have Peter Jennings, instead of asking someone who clearly doesn't understand why they're out there, invite one of them into the studio, and have a discussion like he does with the generals?
  • You have not only Fox, but MSNBC and NBC-yes, owned by General Electric, one of the major nuclear weapons manufacturers in the world. MSNBC and NBC, as well as FOX, titling their coverage taking the name of what the Pentagon calls the invasion of Iraq: 'Operation Iraqi Freedom'...They research the most effective propagandistic name to call their operation. But for the [capitalist] media to name their coverage what the Pentagon calls it-everyday seeing 'Operation Iraqi Freedom'-you have to ask: if this were state media, how would it be any different?" There are "immigrants now in detention facilities, they have no rights, not even a lawyer. And we have to be there ad we have to watch and we have to listen. We have to tell their stories until they can tell their own


The Exception to the Rulers written with David Goodman (2004)[edit]

  • Going to where the silence is. That is the responsibility of a journalist: giving a voice to those who have been forgotten, forsaken, and beaten down by the powerful. It is the best reason I know to carry our pens, cameras, and microphones into our own communities and out to the wider world.
  • We must build a trickle-up media that reflects the true character of this country and its people. A democratic media serving a democratic society.
  • We have a decision to make every hour of every day, and that is whether to represent the sword or the shield. Democracy now.
  • In 1981, the KKK's Grand Wizard claimed that his greatest act "was engineering the bombing of a left-wing radio station," because he understood how dangerous Pacifica was.
  • It's still much the same. On any given day, you can listen to the news on CNN or National Public Radio, then tune in to a Pacifica station. You would think you were hearing reports from different Planets. We inhabit the same planet, but we see it through different lenses.
  • I began hosting Democracy Now! in 1996, when it was launched as the only daily election show in public broadcasting. Listener response was enormous. Suddenly the daily struggles of ordinary people workers, immigrants, artists, the employed and the unemployed, those with homes and those without, dissidents, soldiers, people of color-were dignified as news. I call it trickle-up journalism. These are the voices that shape movements-movements that make history. These are people who change the world just as much as generals, bankers, and politicians. They are the mainstream, yet they are ignored by the mainstream media.
  • Why has Democracy Now! grown so quickly? Because of the deafening silence in the mainstream media around the issues-and the people that matter most. People are now confronting the most important issues of the millennium: war and peace, life and death. Yet who is shaping the discourse? Generals, corporate executives, and government officials.
  • In a society where freedom of the press is enshrined in the Constitution, our media largely acts as a megaphone for those in power. That's why people are so hungry for independent media-and are starting to make their own.
  • Vibrant debate and dissent exist in this country, but you are not reading or hearing about this in the mainstream press.
  • If you are opposed to war, you are not a fringe minority. You are not a silent majority. You are part of a silenced majority. Silenced by the mainstream media.
  • We are a compassionate people. But people cannot take action if they don't have accurate information.
  • This is not a media that is serving a democratic society, where a diversity of views is vital to shaping informed opinions. This is a well-oiled propaganda machine that is repackaging government spin and passing it off as journalism.
  • imagine if the U.S. media showed uncensored, hellish images of war-even for one week. What impact would that have? I think we would be able to abolish war.
  • The Bush team has invoked a basic principle of propaganda: Control the images and you control the people.
  • The lesson had been learned from Vietnam-a lesson in manipulation. In Iraq, there would be no daily television images of the human toll of war. The government and the media would portray a clean war, a war nearly devoid of victims.
  • When George W. Bush and his foot soldiers can't build an airtight legal case, suspicion and xenophobia will suffice.
  • That is one of the media's most serious responsibilities, to open up the discussion.
  • People across the political spectrum are outraged by the profiteering corporations-Bush's corporate criminal sponsors, including Enron, World Com, and Halliburton-robbing our treasury, raiding our pensions, ravaging our wilderness areas, and running away with the loot.
  • Media should not be a tool only of the powerful. The media can be a platform for the most important debates of our day: war and peace, freedom and tyranny. The debate must be wide-ranging not just a narrow discussion between Democrats and Republicans embedded in the establishment. We need to break open the box, tear down the boundaries that currently define acceptable discussion. We need a democratic media.
  • A democratic media gives us hope. It chronicles the movements and organizations that are making history today. When people hear their neighbors given a voice, see their struggles in what they watch and read, spirits are lifted. People feel like they can make a difference.
  • Social change does not spring forth from the minds of generals or presidents-in fact, change is often blocked by the powerful. Change starts with ordinary people working in their communities. And that's where media should start as well.
  • In closed-door meetings, nameless trade bureaucrats from 146 countries and multinational corporations were now saying, in effect, you can pass your laws in your democratically elected legislatures to protect workers or the environment. We'll just overturn them at the WTO.
  • While the networks were quoting the police saying that they weren't using rubber bullets, independent media reporters were uploading minute-by-minute images as we all picked up the bullets off the street by the handful. While the networks caricatured protesters, showing an endless loop of a single smashed store window, the IMC reporters were interviewing the mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons who had come together to protest against the threat that the WTO posed to their communities. In the IMC dispatches, these people had real names, real jobs, and real concerns.
  • What the corporations fear most is that grassroots activists and independent journalists will utilize the same model that companies have used to grab power: globalization. Grassroots globalization.
  • The same could be said of Henry Kissinger. While many in the United States still see Nixon and Ford's former secretary of state as an elder statesman, the rest of the world sees him as a war criminal responsible for the deaths and suffering of millions in Chile, Vietnam, Laos, Argentina, East Timor, and Cambodia, to name a few.
  • But the true power of this country does not lie in its military, government, or corporations. It lies with individual people struggling every day to better their communities. We must build a trickle-up media that reflects the true character of this country and its people. A democratic media serving a democratic society.


Standing Up To the Madness: Ordinary Heroes In Extraordinary Times with David Goodman (2008)[edit]

  • Using fear, electoral fraud, and the smokescreen of terrorist attacks, the Bush administration has given us a lesson in how quickly a nation can be hijacked and core tenets of democracy trampled.
  • Our government now routinely invades the privacy of its own citizens, then pulls the cloak of national security over its operations to hide its deceptions and blunders from public view. The economy has been trashed, inequality is now at levels not seen since the Great Depression, and at least 5 million more Americans live in poverty than did at the start of the Bush presidency. Many eminent historians and economists are concluding that George W. Bush has earned the distinction of being the "worst president ever." Where is the outrage? The U.S. corporate media and the Democrats complain politely, and then resume their deferential posture to enable the next disaster. The media, so helpful in launching the Iraq War by acting as a conveyor belt for Bush administration lies, has shifted targets and now passes along White House propaganda about Iran.
  • Great change begins with small steps taken at home.
  • Protesting is an act of love. It is born of a deeply held conviction that the world can be a better, kinder place. Saying "no" to injustice is the ultimate declaration of hope. But the corporate media ignores and ridicules grassroots activists who speak out. Concerned citizens are thus left wondering: Where are the millions marching in the streets to defend human rights, civil liberties, and racial justice? Where is the mass revulsion against the killing and torture being carried out in our name? Where are the environmentalists? Where is the peace movement?
  • activists and peacemakers are everywhere. And they are changing how politics is done.
  • Public libraries are a cornerstone of democracy. They are part of the public commons, a sanctuary for the free exchange of information and ideas. But they are under threat. From book banning to government surveillance, libraries have been a target in the "war on terror."


The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope with Denis Moynihan (2012)[edit]

  • We need a media that covers grassroots movements, that seeks to understand and explain the complex forces that shape our society, a media that empowers people with information to make sound decisions on the most vital issues of the day: war and peace, life and death. Instead, the media system in the United States, increasingly concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer multinational corporations, spews a relentless stream of base "reality" shows (which depict anything but reality), hollow excuses for local news that highlight car accidents and convenience store robberies larded with ads, and the obsessive coverage of traffic, sports, and extreme weather (never linked to another two words: climate change). Perhaps most harmful of all, we get the same small circle of pundits who know so little about so much, explaining the world to us and getting it so wrong.
  • The corporate media came late to Occupy Wall Street, offered superficial, often derogatory coverage, and, with a few exceptions, still haven't gotten it right
  • Skeptical of the corporare media, people have developed their own.
  • At the heart of the Occupy Wall Street movement is the critique that wealth and opportunity are not equitably distributed, and our media system, largely controlled by corporations, contributes to that status quo.
  • The Internet has created a seismic disruption to the balance of power in the media. It is getting easier and easier to post your thoughts, photos, or videos. Yet the Wild West of the Web is being tamed. Small Internet service providers are being driven out of business, with corporations like Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, and AT&T dominating the market. Privacy, security, and the freedom to publish without fear of censorship are dwindling with each merger, with each effort by corporate lobbyists to further restrict the open Internet in favor of a narrow profit advantage.
  • By stripping away the profit motive, by removing the Wall Street bankers from the picture, solid, disciplined, nonprofit journalism is possible.


Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America (2016)[edit]

  • This bears repeating: the sixty-two wealthiest people-a group that could fit on a bus-control more wealth than three and a half billion people.
  • A global movement is challenging the grotesque levels of economic inequality that are the hallmark of the modern age. From the Arab Spring, to Occupy Wall Street, to antiausterity campaigns in Europe, to low-wage workers in the United States fighting and winning a livable wage, each part of the movement inspires the other. (p 168)
  • Many have attributed low participation in US elections to voter apathy. I have never believed this. The low turnout is directly related to the many obstacles put in place that deter people from voting (for example, holding elections on just one day when most people are working, limiting hours that polling places are open, or requiring photo identification that disproportionately disenfranchises poor people and people of color). And then there are those who feel that there isn't a significant difference between the candidates, or that money distorts the process so much that their vote doesn't really count. Yet people are engaged in their communities all over the country.
  • There is a hunger for authentic voices-not the same handful of pundits on the network shows who know so little about so much, explaining the world to us and getting it so wrong.
  • There's a reason why our profession is the only one explicitly protected by the US Constitution: journalists are supposed to be the check and balance on power, not win popularity contests. The United States has 5 percent of the world's population but 25 percent of the prisoners. It's the job of journalists to put our microphones between the bars and broadcast the voices of those inside.
  • when you hear someone speaking for themselves-whether it's a Palestinian child or an Israeli grandmother, or an uncle in Afghanistan or an aunt in Iraq-it challenges the stereotypes that fuel the hate groups. It's not that you have to agree with what you hear. How often do we agree even with our family members? But you begin to understand where they're coming from. That understanding is the beginning of peace.
  • I believe the media can be the greatest force for peace on Earth. Instead, all too often, it is wielded as a weapon of war. That has to be challenged.
  • Even in this high-tech digital age with high-definition television and digital radio, still all we get is static: that veil of distortion, lies, misrepresentations, and half-truths that obscure reality.
  • We need a media that covers power, not covers for power.
  • Journalists have a special job. We have to cover the convention floor to question the delegates and politicians. We have to get into the corporate suites to see who is paying for the conventions. And we have to get out on the streets where the uninvited guests are sometimes thousands of them. These protesters have something important to say as well. Democracy is a messy thing. And it's our job to capture it all.
  • What gives me hope? It's the movements. Movements often start with a courageous act of resistance. These are not isolated acts. They are inspired by past movements. And they inspire future ones.
Chapter 6[edit]
  • Central to our reporting on climate change is the reality that global warming is real, is happening now, and is killing tens of thousands of people and displacing millions more. The warming planet presents an existential crisis for humanity.
  • Television stations pour millions of dollars into building flashy "Weather Centers" to grab their audience's attention. As they flash the words "Severe Weather" and "Extreme Weather," why not also flash the words, "Climate Change" or "Global Warming"? The public depends on broadcasters for most of their news and information, even in this internet age. The daily deluge of sensational weather reporting must include explanations of the deeper changes occurring on our planet.
  • Why does the climate change debate continue in the United States? Because oil barons, such as the Koch brothers, pour billions of dollars into foundations and corporations that obfuscate the issue or deny the problem exists at all.
  • Our responsibility in independent media is to cover the entire discussion, from the suites to the streets.
  • The young people at these climate summits have always amazed me with their eloquence and bravery.
  • We need to hear these silenced voices. That is the power of independent media: to give voice to the voiceless; to those who have been shut out of the debate.
  • Independent media is the oxygen of a democracy. It is not brought to you by the oil or gas or coal companies when we talk about climate change. It's not brought to you by the weapons manufacturers when we talk about war and peace. It's not brought to you by the insurance industry or big pharma when we talk about health care.
  • I see the media as a huge kitchen table that stretches across the globe that we all sit around and debate and discuss the most important issues of the day: war and peace, life and death...Anything less than that is a disservice to a democratic society.


  • The United Nations, the Red Cross and other relief organizations have refused to work with the U.S. on delivering aid to Venezuela, which they say is politically motivated. Venezuela has allowed aid to be flown in from Russia and from some international organizations, but it’s refused to allow in the aid from the United States, describing it as a Trojan horse for an eventual U.S. invasion.
  • Over the weekend, U.S. officials ramped up pressure on the Maduro government. On Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Maduro’s days in office are numbered. He also threatened more sanctions are coming. Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida tweeted the violence on the border, quote, “opened the door to various potential multilateral actions not on the table just 24 hours ago,” unquote. In what many saw as a cryptic threat to Maduro, Rubio tweeted an image of a bloodied Muammar Gaddafi as he was being killed following the U.S. bombing campaign of Libya. Rubio also tweeted photos of former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, who was removed from power during the U.S. invasion in 1989 and remained in a U.S. jail for years.


  • We turn now to... a rare joint interview with the Squad. That’s the group of four freshwomen Democratic congresswomen who have taken Capitol Hill by storm: Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are the first Muslim women elected to Congress. Ilhan Omar is a former refugee from Somalia. Tlaib is the first female Palestinian-American member of Congress. Ayanna Pressley is the first African-American woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts. And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was just 29 years old when she took office last year, making her the youngest woman to serve in Congress. Born to a mother from Puerto Rico and father from the South Bronx, AOC has quickly become one of the most popular lawmakers in the country. All four members of the Squad have been active on the presidential campaign trail. Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Omar have been campaigning for Bernie Sanders. Ayanna Pressley has backed Elizabeth Warren. Last week, Congresswomen Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley boycotted President Trump’s State of the Union. Rashida Tlaib walked out during the speech. Ilhan Omar stayed, saying, quote, “My presence tonight is resistance.”
  • This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman. As the nationwide uprising against police brutality and racism continues to roil the nation and the world, bringing down Confederate statues and forcing a reckoning in city halls and on the streets, President Trump defended law enforcement Thursday, dismissing growing calls to defund the police. He spoke at a campaign-style event at a church in Dallas, Texas, announcing a new executive order advising police departments to adopt national standards for use of force. Trump did not invite the top three law enforcement officials in Dallas, who are all African American.
  • Speaking about what’s going on in the West Bank right now and about the whole issue of international solidarity, the global response to the killing of George Floyd. In the occupied West Bank, protesters denounced Floyd’s murder and the recent killing of Iyad el-Hallak, a 32-year-old Palestinian special needs student who was shot to death by Israeli forces in occupied East Jerusalem. He was reportedly chanting “Black lives matter” and “Palestinian lives matter,” when Israeli police gunned him down, claiming he was armed. These links that you’re seeing, not only in Palestine and the United States, but around the world, the kind of global response, the tens of thousands of people who marched in Spain, who marched in England, in Berlin, in Munich, all over the world, as this touches a chord and they make demands in their own countries, not only in solidarity with what’s happening in the United States?
  • Chadwick Boseman, the world-renowned actor known best for his groundbreaking role in the 2018 blockbuster hit Black Panther died on Friday at the age of 43 after a private four-year battle with colon cancer. News of his passing shocked the public and sparked a wave of tributes to the man who played Jackie Robinson, the first black athlete to play Major League Baseball; Thurgood Marshall, the first black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court; and of course superhero King T’Challa, all while being treated for cancer....The final tweet from the account of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman has become the most-liked post in Twitter history. The social media company’s official feed announced the news. The original message – posted on Saturday... currently has more than 7m “likes”. (The previous most-liked tweet was by Barack Obama, with 4.3m.) The post said that his most famous roles were “filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy”. It added: “The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time....”
    LA Lakers star Lebron James paid tribute to Chadwick Boseman before the Lakers playoff game against the Portland Trailblazers by taking a knee during the National Anthem and crossing his arms across his chest to give the Wakanda Forever salute.


  • The death toll in Gaza has reached 213 as Israel continues to attack the besieged area by air, land and sea using U.S.-made warplanes and U.S.-made bombs. Health officials in Gaza say the dead include 61 children and 36 women. Over 1,400 Palestinians have been injured. The United Nations says 58,000 Palestinians have been displaced. Meanwhile, the death toll in Israel stands at 11 from rocket attacks fired from Gaza.
  • Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. military aid, receiving some $3.8 billion a year. In recent weeks, the Biden administration approved the sale of $735 million in precision-guided weapons to Israel. But House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Gregory Meeks is expected to ask for the sale to be delayed to give lawmakers more time to review it. Israel has relied heavily on U.S.-made weapons during its assault. Israel reportedly used a GBU-31 bomb made by Lockheed Martin to bring down a high-rise building on Saturday which housed the offices of many media outlets, including the Associated Press and Al Jazeera.
    Israel is also facing increasing criticism for targeting doctors and health clinics. On Monday, an Israeli strike damaged the only COVID-19 laboratory in Gaza. On Sunday, a massive Israeli airstrike killed Dr. Ayman Abu al-Ouf, who headed the coronavirus response at Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest hospital. He and two of his teenage children died in an Israeli bombing of the residential area of Gaza City that killed a total of 30 people. Another prominent doctor from Shifa Hospital, Mooein Ahmad al-Aloul, one of the only neurologists in Gaza, was killed in an airstrike on his home. Israel has also bombed many of the roads leading to Shifa Hospital, making it harder for ambulances to bring patients. According to the World Health Organization, Israeli strikes and shelling have damaged at least 18 hospitals and clinics.
    • Gaza Physician: Israel Is Targeting Doctors & Health Facilities to Overwhelm Our Crumbling System, Democracy Now, (18 May 2021)
  • The United States is on pace to spend over $7 trillion over the next ten years for the Pentagon. To put that number in perspective, the U.S. spends more each year on the military than China, Russia, India, the U.K., Germany, France, Japan, South Korea and Australia combined. While Republicans and Democrats are in sharp disagreements over the much smaller Build Back Better legislation, there is largely a bipartisan consensus when it comes to the military budget and foreign military intervention...
  • The new coronavirus variant Omicron is spreading across the world at an unprecedented rate. The World Health Organization warns cases of the heavily mutated variant have been confirmed in 77 countries, and likely many others that have yet to detect it.
    With international infections climbing, the Biden administration is facing renewed demands to follow through on his now seven-month-old pledge to ensure companies waive intellectual property protections on coronavirus vaccines and share them with the world.
    Now a group of vaccine experts has just released a list of over a hundred companies in Africa, Asia and Latin America with the potential to produce mRNA vaccines to fight COVID-19. They say it’s one of the most viable solutions to fight vaccine inequity around the world and combat the spread of coronavirus variants, including Omicron.


  • As Israel rejects growing international calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, there are mounting efforts to hold Israel and its backers accountable for committing war crimes in Gaza. Here in the United States, the Center for Constitutional Rights has sued President Biden, accusing him of failing to prevent genocide. Today CCR is seeking an emergency order to block Biden, as well as Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, from providing further military funding, arms and diplomatic support to Israel.

Quotes about Amy Goodman[edit]

  • Amy Goodman has taken investigative journalism to new heights of exciting, informative, and probing analysis. She has tirelessly pursued the most challenging and hardest questions, relentlessly and courageously. She has made a unique contribution to creating the informed public that must exist if 'democracy now' is to be more than a dream."
  • (What's the most important piece of information that is not making it into the media coverage?) ED: I suppose it depends on what you watch. If you watch Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, for example, she has the time and inclination to tell a larger story.
    • interview included in Conversations with Edwidge Danticat edited by Maxine Lavon Montgomery (2017)
  • Amy Goodman...believes the media should be a sanctuary for dissent
  • Producing features on a diverse range of civic and political activities is far below NPR's and PBS's funder-friendly range of entertaining programs. On weekends, to counter the commercial vapidity and the ditto-head Sunday interview shows, PBS and NPR are just not there. They simply do not look for, or listen to, the rumble of people who are on the ground, acting with conscience, organizing to break through power. Meanwhile, smaller programs-such as Democracy Now with Amy Goodman-are picking up the slack of these larger outlets, despite their comparably modest budgets and staff size.
  • The poem was inflected, you could say, by interviews I was hearing on Amy Goodman’s program, Democracy Now!—about Guantánamo, waterboarding, official U.S. denials of torture, the “renditioning” of presumed terrorists to countries where they would inevitably be tortured. The line “Tonight I think no poetry will serve” suggests that no poetry can serve to mitigate such acts, they nullify language itself. One begins to write of the sensual body, but other bodies “elsewhere” are terribly present.
  • Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! represent what journalism should be: beholden to the interests of people, not power and profit. Her work is invaluable.
  • We received very fair coverage in our campaign from Thom Hartmann, Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks, and Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! The folks at The Nation, In These Times, The Progressive, and a number of other smaller publications and blogs also worked extremely hard to allow us to convey our message to the American people. Ed Schultz, the Reverend Al Sharpton, Rachel Maddow, and Chris Hayes provided us with the very fair coverage we received on MSNBC. I was also pleased to have been on the Bill Moyers program on PBS on several occasions.
  • Amy Goodman is not afraid to speak truth to power. She does it every day.
  • A towering progressive freedom fighter in the media and the world.
  • Amy Goodman has carried the great muckraking tradition of Upton Sinclair, George Seldes, and I. F. Stone into the electronic age, creating a powerful counter to the mainstream media. Her programs have reached into homes across the country, educating a new generation of listeners on the realities of U.S. policy at home and abroad. The book she has done with her brother is a very welcome and important addition to the dissident literature of our time.

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