Wednesday, April 25 , 2018, 12:16 pm | Partly Cloudy 59º


Goodman, Moynihan Bring ‘Silenced Majority’ Book Tour to Santa Barbara

Amy Goodman is one of the last real journalists doing the hard work of covering the news that matters. Her daily program Democracy Now began in 1996 and now airs on hundreds of radio stations and is available free online.

She is on a 100-city Silenced Majority book tour with co-author Denis Moynihan.

The book details stories of vital importance to all Americans that receive little or no coverage in the corporate media. Most importantly, these are often stories of how ordinary Americans are able to work together, to fight for a better community, nation and planet.

Goodman and Moynihan attended a breakfast fundraiser Saturday morning for KCSB radio at La Casa de la Raza. They wanted to hear from attendees about what we are working on and what we care about.

The event was then opened up to the general public for a free talk.

One of the biggest obstacles to progress in this country is the corporate control of political campaigns, especially since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. The court has ruled that campaign money is the same as free speech and that corporations are people — meaning that corporations are free to spend unlimited resources to support candidates who will serve their interests, rather than serving the public interests.

The situation is so extreme that television ads in swing states now are selling at four times the standard rate, driving out regular advertisers. It also creates a conflict of interest where media outlets benefit from this torrent of money and oppose public financing of elections, as occurs in other countries.

Billionaire David Koch is personally financing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and other Republican campaigns. Goodman was covering the Republican convention and was curious what Romney would do as he passed Koch just before his speech. She directed her videographer to record the Jumbotron screen. As it turned out, the corporate media cut out the feed just as Romney shook Koch’s hand, but Goodman came away with the suppressed clip.

That is the history of Democracy Now. They were covering the Occupy protests when the corporate media ignored it, right under their noses in New York City.

They covered the Copenhagen Climate Change convention that was all but ignored in the corporate media — not just the speeches by the attendees, but interviewing those shut out of the convention.

While Anderson Cooper cowered at an “undisclosed location” during the uprisings in Egypt, Democracy Now reporter Sharif Abdel Kouddous covered it live in the middle of Tahrir Square as events were unfolding.

Ironically, Kouddous was violently arrested and injured covering the 2008 Republican National Convention in the United States, while Hosni Mubarak in Egypt had never harmed him at all.

At that 2008 Republican Convention, Democracy Now reporter Nicole Salazar were arrested while wearing press credentials simply for trying to cover a peaceful protest and interviewing the protesters about their substantive issues. When Goodman went to inquire on the arrest, she, too, was arrested.

Protesters at such events are banished out of sight in hopes they will be ignored. Goodman’s Democracy Now was breaking through the barrier of suppression.

Why so much suppression? Because when the people do organize, they have power. Even though Occupy was shut down, they have succeeded in a public relations campaign that money can’t buy: Every American now knows what it means to say, “We are the 99%.”

Click here for more photos from Saturday’s event.

Robert Bernstein is a local photographer and frequent Noozhawk contributor.

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