tv QA CSPAN May 2, 2016 6:00am-7:01am EDT
brian: amy goodman, 20 years of "democracy now." you say "going to where the silence is" is your motto. amy: unfortunately the corporate media leaves such a gap to cover the majority of people in this country and around the world. when you turn to a network, they have the small circle of pundits who knows so little about so much, explaining the world to us and getting it so wrong. the idea of "democracy now" starting 20 years ago, it really hasn't changed. bringing out the voices of people at the grassroots in the united states and around the world. they very much represent the majority of people. i think people who are concerned deeply about war and peace, about growing in equality in this country, about climate change, the state of the planet
are not a fringe minority. not even a silent majority. but the silenced majority, silenced by the corporate immediate, which is why we have to take it back. brian: 20 years ago in february, we had you as a guest on our morning show. here's a clip four days after you started "democracy now." [video clip] >> got to ask about this piece. why liberals find talk radio so threatening. you're a talk show host and not a conservative. amy: that's right. we just started a show this week called "democracy now," which is the only grassroot daily election show. bringing the voice of the grassroot into the national political discourse. i haven't read the article. i find talk radio -- i don't get to hear a lot of talk radio because i'm doing a lot myself.
but i think a lot of what we're hearing, about what i'm reading is a lot of hatemongering. [end video clip] brian: what's the difference between "democracy now," than what it was like back 20 years ago? amy: first of all, we were on nine community radio stations in 1996. when you invited me on, we started washington, d.c., at the pacifica radio station. i thought you gotten the wrong number. that was the first time i was ever invited on television. it was four days after our first broadcast february 19, 1996. it was really remarkable but in
a sense, the mission hasn't changed. that was 20 years ago nine stations. now we're broadcasting in over 1400 not only community radio stations but public radio stations, npr stations on public access tv stations around the country on pbs tv stations around the country and also all over the world. we broadcast on television and radio in sweden and japan and south africa throughout latin america. our headlines are translated into spanish for the spanish speaking u.s. audience as well as people around the planet. i think the growth from nine station to 1400, it's a testament to the hunger for independent voices. people on the ground who are deeply involved in their community, not having the pundits on describing experiences they often don't know about but people themselves. that's just plain old hard work. i want to just pay tribute to all the remarkable producers and journalists and videographers who worked at "democracy now." it's that digging everyday to bring people to global audience.
who are speaking in their own words, there is nothing more powerful. at the time we started on pacifica. it's instructive to look at the history. founded in 1949, berkeley, california, a war resister named lou hill came out and said, there's got to be a media outlet. that's not run by corporations that profit from war but run by journalists and artists. that's how pacifica was born. not run by corporations but nothing to tell and everything to sale that are raising our children today. so the first station was cpa in berkeley, second station kpsk in 1959, wbai1960 went on the air. 1977wpfw in washington. 1970, kpsp in houston. that station only station in the country, that was blown off the air by the klu klux klan.
grandd cyclops or the hison, but he said it was act."est now it's a national event. it finally went back on the air in january 1971. pbs was returning -- i can't -- i think that's because he understood how dangerous independent media can be. dangerous because it allows people to speak for themselves. when you hear someone speaking from their own experience whether it is palestinian child or israeli grandmother, whether it's iraqi uncle when asked in afghanistan, whether it's a child in the south bronx or in ferguson, missouri. that breaks down stereotypes and caricatures that fuel the hate group. i think the media can be the greatest force for peace on earth instead all too often, it's a weapon of war. that's why we have to take it back.
brian: here you are in 2008 at the republican national convention in minnesota. [video clip] >> sir, i want to talk to the -- do not arrest me! do not arrest me! >> stay right there. back up. >> you're under arrest. back up back up. if you cross this line, you'll be under arrest. so don't do it. [end video clip] brian: why the confrontation? amy: well, this was the first day of the republican convention of 2008. we had just flown in from denver. that was the democratic convenience. there was major protest there against war. we came into st. paul. before the night of the convention, it was a beautiful blue sky day, 10,000 people marched for peace. in fact, they were led by men and women in uniform. they were taking great risks. they were soldiers who returned home who felt that war was no the answer.
and many civilians. course, thousands of people. we covered that protest. then, i went to the convention floor. we were covering the convention floor. i was interviewing. i remember people from alaska. this is the sarah palin, john mccain convention. i get a call on the cell phone, -- from our senior producer. he said, come quickly. 7th and jackson. nicole has been arrested. nicole salazar were two reporters who when we finished covering the protest, they went to the public access tv station where we were broadcasting from to digitized tape. i said they were in the tv station.
they had seen there was a protest outside. they had gone down stairs to cover it. he said they've been bloodied by the police and arrested. we got to 7th and jackson. i saw this line of riot police that you were just showing. i went up to them -- i had all my credentials on. i had the top security clearance credentials. i was on the floor of the convention. i said, i want to speak to your commanding officer. you got a part of that. two of our reporters has been arrested. they're inside in this parking lot area they need to have them released. that's why i was standing there. it wasn't minutes before they pulled me through the police line, pushed me against the car, pulled my arms behind my back, slapped the handcuffs on and pushed me to the ground. they charged me with interfering with a peace officer. if only there was a peace officer in the vicinity. i'm still looking for my vantage point on the ground for shareef and nicole. i saw shareef. we were saying, we're
journalists. the secret service came over and ripped the credentials around our neck. i said nicole what happened. how did you get arrested? she said we were in the tv studio. we saw right outside riot police and protesters. we ran down with our video camera and microphone to start recording. they would not have been doing their job if they stayed in the tv studio. they're in this parking lot. she was against parked cars. the riot police came at her. this is a contained area. they were shouting on your face. they were saying, she had to move. she said, where. she's against parked cars. she didn't know what hit her from behind her and in front of her. they took her down. first thing they did was take the battery out of her camera
and say, and if you want to know what they wanted -- to stop happening. the recording. they had their boot in her back and face in the ground and they started to ground her. which means her face was being dragged. shareef was telling them to calm down. they punch him twice in the chest and they take him down. his arm is bleeding. felony -- they faced riot charges. i'm taken to the police garage where they directed agents to put the protesters in. shareef and nicole were taken to jail. there were hundreds of people calling and faxing and e-mailing the authorities to have us released. a number of hours later, we were ultimately released, first me and then shareef and nicole. i was brought back to the convention center. it was over for the night. i was brought into the nbc sky
box and i was being interviewed. when that was finished. an nbc reporter said i don't get it, why wasn't i arrested? he said, why were you covering the protest. i didn't graduate arrested in the sky box. it's our job to get in the sky box to get into the corporate suite who's sponsoring these celebrations of democracy. you know, the republicans and the democrats. also to be on the convention floor and interview the delegates and get out into the street where the uninvited guests are. there are often thousands of them. they had something important to say. it's our job to get it all. democracy is a messy thing. we shouldn't have to get a record when we put things on the record. so, that's what happened to us at the convention. we would later sue the st. paul and the minneapolis police wells the secret service. interestingly, the only reason we knew it was secret service
who pulled our credentials, when i turned to police officer, said this is outrageous. he said it wasn't us, it was the secret service. we sued, the secret service wanted to be separated from the law enforcement. from the law suit. all, they didn't want it to be known that they were there and they did this. there's all levels of authority at these what are called special national security events. we felt it was very critical to send a message. journalist must be protect. all illegal arrests should not happen. ultimate it will took a number of years. we won a six-figure settlement. when we got out, it was right before the next convention. we felt, where do we hold the news conference announcing that the settlement has been made? we just come from st. paul the settlement, negotiation. when we went to a large gathering of police and protesters, we went to the park. this was in the middle of occupy
wall street. we thought, well there will be a lot of police and they'll hear. you cannot simply arrest journalist because they don't want -- because you don't want them to see. you don't want the public to see what's going on. i mean, we live in a democracy where journalism is extremely important. there's a reason why our profession, journalism is the only one explicitly protected by the u.s. constitution. we are supposed to be the check and balance. brian: i'm going to run a clip of man named alex jones, who could probably not think anymore different than you. based in texas, he's saying somewhat of the same thing
you're saying the corporate media let's run it and get your reaction. [video clip] alex jones: i got 30 employees and i'm not exaggerating. go to the major stat analytic site. it's dwarfing, msnbc, glenn beck. they have all the flash. and so it's a giant hoax. they know people are looking behind the curtain now that the emperor has no clothes. they are openly announcing internet tracking, internet taxes, they have called for a banning. for banning so-called "conspiracy theorists." that's anybody that questions the official story. the system is losing credibility, it's circling the wagons with government and the mega corporations, because we are kicking their rear-end. [end video clip] brian: are you worried that somebody is going to kick your
hind-end and take you out of business? amy: i think that corporate media has have to change its ways. they've learned. i don't think -- those with newspapers and with television, i don't think it's just they're losing audience because of the internet. they for a long time has been gatekeepers. preventing most people from being heard. this year with this presidential election, has shown so much. the shock of those on the network tv stations, when they see thousands of people coming out, for example for bernie sanders, bernie sanders is very much expressing the views of people who came to occupy wall street. who are deeply concerned about the growing inequality between rich and poor and also who is profiting. the richest people in the world, have more wealth than 3.5 billion people than half the planet.
of them arer 43 american. this is astounding. when occupy wall street happened, the media hardly paid attention at first. but then, mocked it and then when the police eviscerated the encampment. they represented every issue under the sun. and where were their leaders, anyway? well in a see, it was not so much a leaderless but a leaderful movement. yes they represented many different issues. because people were so frustrated with the direction that this country going. i think that we're seeing these movements on the ground percolating and coming together and coalescing. i mean, president obama was elected in 2008. many different movements came together to elect him. first and foremost, i think the peace movement. because i think that's the reason he was a democratic candidate. the difference him and hillary clinton was she was for the war
in iraq and he was against the war. then there was environmental movement, racial justice, economic justice movement, gay and lesbian movement. all of these different movements together. now, they accomplished something. the first african-american president in this country has ever known, which is absolutely astounding with a country with a legacy of slavery. when it came to the issues of these different movements, ending war, dealing with climate change, dealing with the inequality. people i think at that point, they felt they'd accomplished something so momentous, they were either exhausteed or they didn't want to contribute to the racist backlash. like the birther movement, like donald trump was one of the leaders of. the suggestion that president obama, look at what he looks like, he couldn't come from here. it was so ridiculous. not just ridiculous, it was racist and people didn't want to contribute to that backlash.
i think there was a fear of criticism. one of his first promises was to close guantanamo, which became such a symbol and he admits it was a recruiting tool for groups like the self-proclaimed islamic state and others. and what, like seven years into his presidency, still guantanamo stands. congress has not helped. there are a number of executive actions he could have taken to ensure that the extra outside of the reach of us law but run by the united states prison would be closed. astounding more recently that president obama was in cuba the first president in 88 years to go. he's talking to the cuban president. about human rights. yet just down the road, u.s. is presenting a model, little corner of cuba, the u.s. was
land.g with it? the u.s. do guantanamo. 91 men still being held. or 10 years. it is a very painful lesson what the u.s. has come to represent to the rest of the world. brian: what do you think somebody have to do in order to label themselves journalist? as you know, you got very strong views and there's never any doubt what you think. couldn't anybody in our society say, "i'm a journalist, and i have credentials and i want access to everything." >> i think the whole journalism
movement and noncitizen journalist movement has been extremely important. for so long the mainstream media didn't go. places on the ground. they had that elite group of pundits. they were missing so much of the story. i think about ferguson. the networks did go to ferguson to their credit. it was after michael brown was killed by darren wilson the police officer. they showed people being tear-gassed. they showed the militarization of the police. there was not a lot of showing of the political leaders but the people in the crowd. i remember watching cnn one day, one of the journalists, was walking along with a protesters, now we're turning on this street and that street. and to his credit, in the middle of the protestors. but they were a backdrop. they were the scenery to a traffic report. what about handing the mic to them? it is that going behind the scenes and truly talking to
people on the ground. so often, you'll have the network calling us and saying, who is this person and who is that person? amazing movement that has reshaped america like the black lives matter movement. three african-american women who coined this term, black lives matter. who deeply committed to racial justice in this country. making sure that the microphone opens up in the way that black lives matter movement has grabbed attention. they're not waiting for the networks to come to them. they went to martin o'malley's rally. they're going to bernie sanders rallies. they went to hillary clinton's rally and they interrupted. it wasn't just the republicans, it was the democrats saying how you addressing our issues. they changed the shape of presidential politics 2016. brian: what would you say to some republicans say that all the coverage that corporate media are giving donald trump is really because they want to elect hillary clinton. by giving him a lot of coverage, there's no way he can be elected?
just based on what we've seen. amy: there is no question that msnbc, cnn, and fox have become trump tv. there's no question. that's a very good question for what reason they've done this. certainly the statistics show that. it's not just the networks. it's the newspapers. the washington post from march 6 to 7th, had 16 anti-sanders articles. the "new york times" had a piece looking at his record and-in congress. then it was changed by an editor to be a negative piece. timesblic editor of the criticizingicle
this. i remember when donald trump was in his white house south. one of his florida residences with all the american flags behind him. he held a news conference for an hour where he showed trump steaks, trump water, trump magazines. all the different trump products. it went on for an hour. now, he can hold it all night if he wanted. networks stayed with it. what weren't they showing? want, buto what they what weren't they showing? hillary clinton had given her speech that night. they recorded it and they played it afterwards. then you go the next week, two weeks later, i think it was super tuesday three, it was with illinois, missouri, this was very contested five states. she had won three of them. but it wasn't clear she won her home state and win missouri. it looked neck and neck with sanders. she gave a speech for not wanting to be there.
that was a day rubio pulled out. that was kasich, that was ohio. they showed his speech. th showed ted cruz of course and they usually show all the concession or victory features. then they said that donald trump was holding a news conference again. they kept showing the empty podium. they were waiting and they were looking for something. finally they showed it. he spoke about half an hour. where was bernie sanders. huffington post did a piece, saying where was bernie sanders, he was giving a speech to thousands in phoenix. it started before donald trump. they never showed bernie sanders at all that night at a point when it was divided 3-2. ultimately he would lose missouri and illinois. but where was this candidate?
the networks just brought you the others but particularly, the center did a report in 2016, he got 23 times for coverage than bernie sanders. the networks make these decisions. he doesn't need to go to every community. because he's being channeled into everyone's home. in a way that others aren't that has to be challenged. it's also why we need independent media. "the to where, what we say silence," is. which isn't always so silence, it's just that the media is not there. brian: go back to motivation.
take the corporate media and why they do what they do. go back to the republicans who think the corporate media is trying to get hillary clinton elected by covering trump so much. amy: i don't know if it's about getting hillary clinton elected. i think -- going way back, i was on msnbc, i remember it was very much at the beginning, i was saying bernie sanders right before we went to commercial, you can't be serious. i mean, he's not going anywhere. well, that's because they're not in communities understanding people enormous frustration. you don't feel it in the hallowed halls of the network studios. you just don't feel it. brian: why not? amy: they're not in touch. brian: they're making lots of money amy: they are. i think the reason that you don't have a questioning of how money is drowning politics, drowning our democracy, is because these networks are making so much money. especially in an election year. hands down. the less coverage they do, the more politicians need to pay money for their ads. they're furnishing whole studios and they're getting money from the ads. that's a huge problem. i think campaigns shouldn't have to raise money for cash.
-- shouldn't have to raise money for ads. they should have allotted time on television. tv time is so expensive. these politicians wouldn't have to raise this kind of money which puts them in the pocket of the corporations and the super pac's. brian: back to "democracy now," how of an organization is it? amy: well, we started nine stations. now we're on over 1400 stations. our staff is a staff based in new york city. about 25 full time people. then volunteers, interns, fellows and we've been doing this for 20 years. it is just been astounding the growth. working with stations all over the country and because we're in a lot of public television and radio stations, we do a lot of fundraising.
brian: nonprofit or for-profit? amy: nonprofit. brian: how much does it cost you per year to function? amy: i don't know the exact budget. it is to cover the news all over the world. to maintain the staff. i don't know the exact budget. brian: is it going to be $6 million or $7 million. amy: yes. >> where do you get it? >> large part of it is listeners and viewers. some foundations. >> nonprofit. >> this is nonprofit. we're nonprofit news organization. maybe a station a week or every week or two is picking up "democracy now." it's absolutely amazing. it turned the population of people who view public television on its head. it is a young, diverse audience. people committed to hearing voices like theirs and not like theirs. but where else do you get than television and radio? brian: here are two people you know well. david goodman and a man that's also on the cover of your book. dennis moynahan. let's watch them. [video clip] >> i have to say one of the most
surprising things and most moving thing that happens again and again when we go and speak in rural areas and places that are traditionally conservative areas. like salt lake city, it's soldiers and their families come up and speak with us. many of them thank us. we're bringing a viewpoint that they are not getting. many of them just come to express their sense of what's going on. >> there's a lot going on in the country. you have to get out there and cover it, which is what we try to do with "democracy now," which is part of offer goal. at its heart, are the wonderful constellation of community media institutions that broadcast "democracy now" with whom our work would not be possible. brian: you don't say much about it. isn't dennis moynihan your husband?
amy: no, he is married. he lives in denver. brian: i wonder why is that stated somewhere on the internet. amy: somewhere on the internet. i said universities and colleges in particular, you have got to double, triple and quadruple check everything that you see on the internet. david is my brother, a great journalist, he lives in vermont. dennis is my colleague at "democracy now" who's been there since 2000. he lives in denver, colorado, with his wife and he has really helped to build "democracy now" to what it is now. we're about to embark on a 100-city tour. we'll be doing the broadcast from wherever we are. we'll start in ithaca, new york,
and move on to ohio state university. then we're moving to st. louis and kansas city and we'll be in los angeles at the los angeles times book festival. c-span covers these festivals so well. we'll be doing fundraisers. we'll be moving on to san francisco to the san francisco city arts and lecture series. going on to washington state, new mexico, houston, texas, louisiana, new orleans, atlanta, new york. brian: what drives you? amy: the deep commitment that independent media is the oxygen of a democracy. it's essential. holding those in power accountable. we're not there to serve some kind of corporate agenda. when we cover war and peace,
we're not brought to you by the weapon manufacture. when we cover climate change, we're not brought to you by the oil, gas and coal company. but by individuals. by viewers and listeners who are deeply committed to getting independent information. so they can make up their own minds. they don't have to agree with what they hear. but deeply believe in a forum for free speech. brian: there's a fellow named john weir. do you know him? amy: i know what he did. brian: this is back in 1991 and it's on youtube. got a clip of him talking about when he interrupted the dan rather evening news show. it's a longer clip. the whole thing is available. it's interesting thing to watch. let's watch a little bit of this when he talks about him that he does interrupt the evening news show back in 1991.
clip] down the hall, it's in the middle of the war and gulf, there were all of these people around. we stroll down the hall with our fake i.d.'s and we waited for the show to start. dan rather said good evening. we ran on set and jumped in front of the camera. what happened was, my face popped into the screen for about three seconds. chanting, " -- not arabs --." >> this is the cbs evening news, dan rather reporting. we going to take a break for commercial.
>> i want to apologize for the way the broadcast came on the air tonight. there were some rude people here. they tried to stage a demonstration. our apologies for the way it began. we'll continue after this these messages. brian: fight aids, not arabs. amy: this is such a powerful movement which we document in our book "democracy now," 20 years covering the movements change america. the movement fighting aids. the aids coalition to unleash power, the bravery of young people who were facing the calamity -- you know, recently hillary clinton was congratulating nancy reagan, eulogizing her. talking about her brave stance on aids, but had to take this back. it was badly president reagan did not mention aids in his first term and until his seventh year. even though this is when the epidemic was ranging.
then you understand when you have a media that covers power and the powerful and the president was not addressing aids. people on the ground and their communities were dying. the young population taken down. why? if they could put center stage this epidemic and how it was happening and putting money into research to deal with it. you had people like john weir. in didn't only happen on cbs. it happened on pbs. they dealt with it a little differently and said, we will discuss this issue. that they were taking -- they understood how powerful media is to get out a message. they took it into their own hands.
brian: i want to run just another clip of john weir. what is it about some people that would go and interrupt a newscast like this? where did that start in life? let's watch this. [video clip] >> it turned out that, as a matter of fact, my father works for television. my father worked for nbc tv. which was a rival network. he's retired now. for 35 years, his job was the vice to be president. when activists invade your studio, he was in charge of technical foul ups. wherever anything went wrong, they called my father. it was a giant leap into the tv studio. so hed pulled the plug, took it personally. my mother's father, ran a radio station in denver, my brother is a video editor, he edited the olympics in barcelona. it was basically that i violated the family temple.
brian: whether you agree or disagree, watching the overwhelm thing on youtube -- whole thing on youtube is interesting. thef somebody wants to see whole thing -- and, this man for some reason, was quite willing to break all the codes. amy: i don't think it was for some reason or other. it was because this community was being decimated. his friends were dying. this was nothing compared to that. what was something was letting this country know. when they saw millions of dollars and billions of dollars being put into war, to kill people but not to save people here who are suffering from this epidemic not being talked about. he decided to take action himself. it's very important to be able to -- whether you agree or not, hear why people do something. i think about scott olson, a
young marine who served two tours of duty in iraq. this is advancing much further into the iraq and afghanistan wars. he came back to the united states and he ended up being on the front lines of protest in oakland at occupy oakland. here was this former soldier and there are many veterans and former soldiers who have been part of the occupy movement. he got shot in the head by a bean bag projectile of the oakland police. they almost killed him. he went unconscious. people around him didn't know him went to pick him up. they were hit with a flash grenade. the group that went to save him right in front of the police. horrific story. but scott just stood by his values when he regained consciousness, ultimately came out of the hospital. he was part in 2012 of the anti-nato summit in chicago. this is very interesting what happened.
scores of soldiers marched and they threw their medals back like what happened back in the early 1970's with john kerry when he came back from vietnam war. they did the same, throwing their medals back. these soldiers in 2012, two of the reporters that came with -- "democracy now" was there to do a number of shows -- two of the reporters, axel wechsler, the great cinematographer, amazing filmmaker, and a young reporter named james foley. james foley who of course is well known to everyone because he was ultimately beheaded by isis. he went back to syria after covering the event.
the anti-nato protest. foley was one who deeply believed in hearing people's voices on the ground that -- he covered war. he covered war to end war. he felt that the people of syria's voices were not being heard. he was held hostage here libya. he came here to cover the peace movement. he went back to cover the people on the ground who were the victims of war. he ultimately would face the ultimate penalty for what he did. he was beheaded by isis. his family, i just interviewed with his close friend, it's very interesting to follow independent journalists to see the paths they take. brian: if you had the responsibility of being president of the united states and you were facing what the last two presidents faced, what you have done differently? when it came to the war?
iraq war, afghanistan war. amy: not go to war. brian: what would you do about protecting the american people? amy: i think what was shown at the time, was that saddam hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction. he was not an imminent threat to the united states. and even tony blair, who sided with the u.s., he was interviewed on cnn and asked, what do you say to those who say that this invasion of iraq would ultimately lead to formation of isis? he said, that is partly true. brian: if you go back to the 9/11 situation, you were on the scene down there. was a happenstance that you were that close? amy: we were the closest national broadcast to ground
zero. we operated out of a firehouse at the time. september 11, 2001 was election day in new york. it was primary day. we were doing broadcast that day. we were in the garrett. we couldn't see what was happening. we broadcast then at 9:00, now we broadcast live at 8:00 a.m. then at 9:00, at 8:47, first plane hit the first tower of the world trade center, we were just down the street. we were within the evacuation. 9:03 the second plane hit. we were doing a special that day on the connection between terror and september 11. 1973. salvadorean day. the day the president in chile
died. pinochet would ultimately take control, 17-year reign, killed thousands of chileans and other latin americans. we just continued to broadcast september 11, 2001. the fire house was opened up. it was a decommissioned fire house. they were providing water to people and phones. we were just interviewing people as they came in through the day and broadcast to whoever was taking our broadcast. then we stayed inside the fire house for the next day. we were in the evacuation zone. i felt if we went outside, i was afraid that the police would force us out. but it was critical to keep on broadcasting because what was being projected to the rest of the world, the reaction was very different from what was happening on the ground. people streaming into parks, holding candles comforting each other.
it was not a cry for war. it was a little sticker that said, our grief is not a cry for war. i think that much more expressed the sentiment. we were interviewing people like the late great historian howard zinn, saying we should be sending nurses and doctors into afghanistan, not soldiers. imagine how the world would respond differently. what happened on september 11th was horrific. 3000 people incinerated in an instant. we'll never know how many people died. those who go uncounted in life go uncounted in death. they are the undocumented workers and folks who lived in that area or worked there. brian: as we watch isis grow, you suggest that wasn't caused by us? i think it is -- many people physical including -- feel, including those like tony blair, you are seeing a growth of a force that came out of the destabilization. saddam hussein, there's no question he was a tyrant, but he was not a threat to the united states. how did he stay in power force so long, this tyrant who was oppressive to his own people? remember that handshake of donald rumsfeld and saddam hussein as the u.s. was providing financial support to sadaam hussein. my colleague did a great job
showing this, showing that image. for a long time, the u.s. was supporting iraq and saddam hussein. then they turn against saddam hussein. he didn't have weapons of mass destruction. why weren't we waiting for the u.n. weapon inspector saying wait, let us do our work. but president bush was intent on attacking iraq from almost the minute, give a day or two, after september 11th. you hear his national security, his national security czar and others saying, he was talking about iraq when we understood full well this wasn't coming from there. another issue that is a kind of sacred cow with the media that must be challenged. the questioning of saudi arabia and the role that it has played over the years. if you ask most people, who was in those planes that went into the world trade center, you
smoking a cigar with the saudi ambassador to the united states within a couple days. what are they doing when all planes are grounded? and it's fully documented. brian: what's the motive of george w. bush? relationship to the saudis. amy: they were on intent at the time on attacking iraq. there's a joke of a little boy saying to his father, what's our oil doing under their sand? it's not our oil. brian: what is the motive if you are george w. bush? do you really want to go to war? you want to see americans killed over there? what's the reason? amy: it's a very good question why president george w. bush, why vice president cheney, why secretary of defense donald rumsfeld, why they committed so many innocent lives in this country. think about the soldiers who went to iraq, deeply committed to securing the united states, why were they sent to iraq?
that is a very serious question. interestingly, one of the people who signed up to be in the military who wasn't ultimately, was edward snowden. one the great whistleblowers of our time. he ended up having -- his leg broken in training. he didn't go into the military. ended up working for the nsa. had a deep commitment to the united states and ended up showing it in a different way. brian: from your perspective, why do you think -- was don rumsfeld and george w. bush, were they evil people? amy: when you look at the actions they engaged in, were they evil actions, committing so many lives leading to loss of not only american lives but
lives in iraq and afghanistan, it's horrific. brian: why do you think -- what motivated them to do it? that's the question that never been answered. obviously you were against it from the beginning. you demonstrated before it started. what's the reason? amy: that was a matter of saying, what would be the reason after the september 11th attacks when harmed so seriously, we would attack a country who had nothing to do with the september 11th attacks. i do not know why they were so intent on taking out saddam hussein from iraq. there are many dictators in the world. except the countries that we target are so often -- have precious resources that u.s. wants to control for example like oil. i think it's more complicated than that. all we can judge is the actions that they took. why, in their hearts? i can't tell you. brian: in a democracy, your leaders are chosen by the people. he was reelected in 2004.
the public must not have been unhappy. amy: that's another interesting issue, our election. when we started "democracy now" in 1996, end of 1995 i was in haiti. why was it that people covering -- people would go to the poles polls,le would go to the risk their lives. but in the united states, many countries in the world, the vast majority of people vote. in the united states, most people do not vote or it's like 50% or slightly higher. this is a very serious issue when we look at why people don't vote. i think there are many obstacles put in their path and there's a question of whether they feel there's a real choice. we have to look at why people are elected with 25% of the vote, which is something like along the lines what george w. bush was elected by. brian: what happens when amy goodman says, it's time to quit? how does "democracy now" continue? amy: "democracy now" is a group of deeply committed of people.
i work with journalists all over the country and around the world. "democracy now" is much bigger than me. brian: but still, you're the one that conceived it. you're the one who hosted it. amy: i'm the founding host of "democracy now" but it will continue. there is a new generation of journalists and reporters who are deeply committed to independent media. we are part of an independent media movement in this country and around the world. that is much bigger than any one institution. brian: looking back 20 years, where were the different points along the way where you thought this might not work? amy: i didn't think that. brian: or there a hiccup? amy: i didn't think that from the beginning. we originally began with pacifica radio. then we went independent. we also expanded to division as well. it just continue to grow.
i think being out in this country and around the world, that hunger for independent voices has -- it's just enormous. that wasn't really something i thought from the beginning. brian: what can get in your way now this moment forward? who are you dependent on? besides the money that keeps you going. satellite, dish tv? amy: yes, we're on public radio, public television, public access tv stations on both satellite, dish network. free speech tv and link tv. direct tv and dish network. then we're around the world. we pioneered a way to -- this was because at the time, the network would spend millions. even in saddam hussein's iraq, they would pay millions of dollars to use the satellites. we couldn't afford satellites like that. we pioneered a way to send broadcast video through the internet so we could send it to stations all over. now that is commonplace.
brian: is that how they get it? amy: we use satellites as well. we use every means necessary to get information out. the internet is also something we have to fight for to remain open and free and not to allow the video companies and any of the corporate networks to rewrite the rules of the internet. it was something that was developed with public resources. it's a great equalizer. the way we can talk with each other all over the world. brian: somebody might have listened this last hour, amy goodman is really not that different from any of the united states senators. she just has a different platform. amy: i'm a journalist. journalist?is a
amy: a journalist is -- i can just say that, what i do, i started as a young person in my -- not in elementary school, junior high school covering what was happening in our school and the principal. i took it to a larger stage. it is being there, chronicling what is happening, digging deep, going beyond the he said she said. chronicling it, it's not a matter of different perspective. part of it is being a forum for people to speak to themselves. another part is digging deep to get the truth. this issue of holding those in power accountable is essential. that is why independent media is essential to any democracy. i hope we can be a model for people and institutions around the country. so often we have documentary makers coming from all over the planet to show a model that isn't state media, isn't corporate media.
that is truly independent. brian: in ten years, what do you think you'll be saying about the journalism of this country? amy: hopefully independent media will be the par for the course. it will be accepted. that it's unusual that you have weapons manufactures, oil companies, insurance industries running the essential check on power. that instead, it would be an outgrowth of a democracy saying, we need independent bodies that are monitoring and holding those in power accountable. brian: our guest has a book out called "democracy now," 20 years covering the movement and changing america. along with her brother, david goodman, and her friend, dennis. thank you very much. amy: thank you so much, brian. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]
announcer: for free transcripts or to give us your comments about this program, visit us at q-and-a.org. "q&a" programs are also available as c-span podcasts. ♪ >> if you enjoyed this week's "q&a" interview with amy goodman, here are some other programs. radio talkshow host bill press talks about his book, "buyer's remorse," how obama let the progressives down. artist molly crabapple on her drawings of the guantanamo
detention center. and radio talkshow host hugh hewitt on his book "the happiest life." you can join us any time on c-span.org. >> up next, the washington journal. and at 2:30 p.m., a discussion on human rights abuse in north korea. >> tonight on the communicators, tim winter, president of the parents council on the 20 years of the tv ratings system. meant to protect children from sex and violence on tv has failed. tim winter: there is actually no series on broadcast television today that is rated
appropriately for children. is rated as appropriate for children to watch. we learned that the tv networks themselves right the show and the tv advertisers who pay the on the ratings just like the parents do. so there is a conflict in terms of rating the shows properly. the tv stations do not rate anything is appropriate for mature audience and it is incapable of rating rings properly. announcer: watch it on c-span tonight. of the centerr for transgender equality talks about transgender restroom debates. indianag done, of the
republican party discusses the indiana republican primary and the transpacific alliance. "washington journal" is next. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. isit ncicap.org] host: good morning, it's monday, may 2, 2016. the house is currently away from washington on a district work peered and isn't scheduled to return for legislative business until may 10. and the senate won't be back until sunday, may fein. and with congress away, we're turning our attention this morning on the "washington journal" to the supreme court as the fight over president obama's nominee gets set to intensify this week, our viewers consider who you trust the most. would it be a potential president trump, crr