tv Democracy Now PBS May 4, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
05/04/16 05/04/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from atlanta, georgia, this is democracy now! >> from the beginning, i've said i would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory. , itght, i'm sorry to say appears that path has been foreclosed. >> we had a tremendous victory tonight. amy: donald trump wins indiana and virtually clinches the republican nomination as ted cruz suspense is campaign.
in the democratic race, bernie sanders. and upset in indiana. >> understand secretary clinton thinks this campaign is over. i've got some bad news for her. amy: then democracy now!'s own juan gonzalez retires from the "new york daily news" after 29 years. >> i figured my modest contribution would be a voice from another part of new york, not writing about outcast neighborhoods, but from them. not simply to entertain, but to change. not after the fact, but before it when coverage could still make a difference. air juan gonzalez 's speech when he became the first latino journalist inducted into the new york journalism hall of fame and speak to pulitzer prize finalist tom robbins who describes juan as "the most essential reporter in new york these past three decades." all that and more, coming up.
welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. donald trump has virtually clinched the republican nomination after senator ted cruz suspended his campaign following a devastating defeat in the indiana primary. trump won about 53% of the vote, capturing 51 delegates in the winner-take-all state. in his concession speech, ted cruz shocked his supporters by announcing his withdrawal. >> from the beginning, i've said that i would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory. say it, i'm sorry to appears that path has been foreclosed.
we left it all on the field in indiana. we gave it everything we've got, but the voters chose another path. amy: in the democratic race, vermont senator bernie sanders pulled a surprise upset by winning just over 52% of the vote. we will have more on the results later in the broadcast. the bernie sanders campaign has launched a petition urging the clinton campaign to transfer money her massive joint fundraising venture to state parties. this comes after politico investigation found less than 1% -- found less than 1% of the $61 million raised by clinton's record fundraising vehicle with state parties has actually gone to the state parties. the hillary victory fund is a joint venture between the democratic national committee,
32 state committees and , clinton's campaign. it allows clinton to collect massive donations at events like the recent dinner at george and amal clooney's house. but it turns out that of the $3.8 million the victory fund has transferred to the state parties, 88% of it was quickly moved back to the dnc by the clinton staffer who controls the committee. in syria, fierce fighting has been reported between rebels and the syrian regime in the city of aleppo. the syrian observatory for human rights said the battle was the most intense the city had seen for more than a year. dozens have reportedly been killed. this comes after at least three people were killed when a maternity hospital in a government-controlled section of the city was hit by rocket fire. secretary of state john kerry said the rockets appeared to have come from a rebel area. attack on the hospital appears to be rockets
that have come from some area of opposition, and we're trying to determine precisely which. so the bottom line is, there is no justification for this horrific violence that targets civilians or medical facilities or first responders no matter who it is. amy: the hospital attack came days after syrian regime destroyed a doctors without borders-backed hospital, killing the last pediatrician in the rebel-held east aleppo. the u.n. security council has unanimously passed a resolution reminding states they must protect medical and aid workers. but joanne liu, president of doctors without borders, noted four of the five permanent members of the u.n. security council have been tied to attacks on hospitals, including the united states for its destruction of a hospital in kunduz, afghanistan. liu said the attacks must stop. >> four of the five permanent
members of this council have, to varying degrees, but associated with coalition responsible for attacks on health structures in the last year. these include the nato-led coalition in afghanistan, the saudi-led coalition in yemen, the russian backed syrian led coalition. amy: u.s. navy seal charles keating iv has been killed in northern iraq. the pentagon said keating was serving as an adviser to kurdish peshmerga forces and died as a result of a "coordinated and complex attack" by about 100 isis militants. keating is the grandson of charles keating, jr., the late financier who served prison time for his role in the 1980's savings and loan scandals. in canada, a raging wildfire has
forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate from the heart of the alberta oil sands region. the entire community of fort mcmurray has been ordered to leave. it's the largest wildfire evacuation in alberta's history. scientists have linked the increase in wildfires to climate change. the detroit teacher's union has urged teachers to return to work today after teacher sickouts over a funding shortfall shuttered nearly all of the districts 97 schools for a second day tuesday. the teachers called out after learning the district may not have the money to pay them at the end of the school year. but union officials say they have now received assurances the teachers will be paid. detroit teachers have also protested black mold, rat infestations and other dire , conditions in their schools. georgia republican governor nathan deal has vetoed a bill that would have allowed people
to carry concealed weapons on college campuses. in a statement deal said it was "highly questionable" the measure would make students safer. a similar measure became law in tennessee this year. in honduras, a prominent radio journalist has been shot four times but survived. felix molina was reportedly attacked twice in the same day monday. he was shot twice in each leg. in a statement released by a human rights group, molina said he believed he was directly targeted and vowed to continue practicing journalism without fear. he said -- "i declare myself a survivor of the insecurity that the majority of the country faces." molina's shooting came one day before world press freedom day. labor activists targeted the clothing retailer h&m over the safety of its supplier factories in bangladesh. as h&m shareholders met in sweden, organizers rallied in
front of the times square h&m store in new york to demand safe conditions. >> my name is elizabeth. i'm a journalist and author. i am out here today to demand that h&m provide safe working conditions for the bangladeshi factory workers. they have over 100,000 workers making their close in bangladesh, and currently the majority of them are working in facilities without legal fire exits. so their lives are literally on the line in the name of making cheap close for western consumers. no one should die in the name of making cheap fashion. amy: in february, an h&m supplier factory in bangladesh caught fire early in the morning before most of the factory's 6000 workers arrived. in washington state, six workers at the hanford nuclear site have undergone medical evaluations for possible exposure to chemical vapors.
in total, more than 30 workers are being evaluated for possible exposure to vapors resulting from radioactive waste from the u.s. nuclear weapons program, which is stored in underground tanks at the site. last month it was revealed , thousands of gallons of radioactive waste had leaked between two walls of one of the tanks, and incident a former worker called catastrophic. former new york state assembly speaker sheldon silver has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after being convicted of corruption charges. silver served as new york assembly speaker for over two decades and was one of new york's most powerful politicians. he was convicted of abusing his office to rake in more than $4 million in illegal bribes and kickbacks. in new york city, voters who say they were blocked from casting a ballot in last month's new york presidential primary packed a board of elections hearing
on tuesday. some 126,000 brooklyn voters were purged from the democratic rolls ahead of the primary. voting rights activist yvonne gougelet spoke out. >> the new york city board of elections have to hand over the primary results and that number is certified. if those votes are certified, no evidence that we find will matter in the court of law. if the votes are certified by the new york city board of elections on the events at 3:30 p.m., nothing that we find in the future is going to change the primary result. so we as activists are working alongside with the lawyers in court. they are fighting to get a court order. they're trying to stop election from getting certified. we are here at the board of elections to put pressure on them, ask questions, tell them what happened, find out what is going on. amy: an indian man who follows the sikh religion says he was
pulled off a bus and detained for 30 hours for speaking punjabi with another passenger. daljeet singh was traveling on a greyhound bus from arizona to indiana when a fellow passenger falsely accused the two men of speaking arabic and discussing a bomb threat. fellow passengers detained the men in amarillo, texas until police arrived and arrested them at gunpoint. the police also removed singh's religious turban and circulated mugshots of him without the turban to local media. singh and the sikh coalition have demanded criminal charges against the passengers who accused and restrained him. meanwhile in california, a group of women say they were kicked out of a cafe in laguna beach last month for being muslim and wearing hijabs. sara farsakh said she and her friends were told to leave the restaurant within 10 minutes while their desserts and coffee were still on the table. a worker said the restaurant needed to clear tables for other clients, but farsakh said there
were numerous empty tables, and other customers were not asked to leave. president obama is heading to flint, michigan, today. his visit comes weeks after three michigan officials were criminally charged for their involvement in the flint water contamination crisis. the lead poisoning began when an unelected emergency manager appointed by michigan governor snyder switched the source of flint strengthening water to the corrosive flint river. obama is expected to meet today with an eight-year-old flint girl who wrote to him asking him to come to flint. she wrote "i am one of the children that is affected by this water and i've been doing my best to march and to speak out for all the kids that live here in flint." to see our documentary, "thirsty for democracy: the poising of an american city" you can go to democracynow.org.
afeni shakur, a former black panther, activist and mother of late hip-hop artist tupac shakur, has died at the age of 69. afeni shakur's activism was a source of inspiration for her son's music. tupac shakur was killed in a still-unsolved drive-by shooting in las vegas in 1996. afeni shakur died in california monday after suffering a suspected heart attack. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are broadcasting from atlanta, georgia. juan gonzalez is in new york. hello, juan. juan: welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. donald trump has virtually clinched the republican nomination after senator ted cruz suspended his campaign following a devastating defeat in the indiana primary. trump won about 53% of the vote,
capturing 51 delegates in the winner-take-all state. in his concession speech, ted cruz shocked his supporters by announcing his withdrawal. >> from the beginning, i've said i would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory. itight, i'm sorry to say appears that path has been foreclosed. together we left it all on the field in indiana. we gave it everything we've got. but the voters chose another path. so with a heavy heart, but with boundless optimism for the ,ong-term future of our nation
we are suspending our campaign. but here me now, i am not suspending our fight for liberty. [applause] i am not suspending our fight to defend the constitution, to defend the judeo christian values that built america. continue.nt will and i give you my word that i will continue this fight with all of my strength and all of my ability. amy: with ted cruz, ohio -- with senator ted cruz dropping out ohio governor john , kasich becomes donald trump's only remaining challenger. reaction among the republican establishment to trump remains divided. republican party chairman reince
priebus tweeted, "realdonaldtrump will be presumptive gop nominee. we all need to unite and focus on defeating hillary clinton #neverclinton." however, south carolina senator lindsey graham tweeted, "if we nominate trump, we will get destroyed and we will deserve it." during a victory speech in new york, donald trump set his eyes on november. >> we are going after hillary clinton. she will not -- [applause] she will not be a great president. she would not be a good president. she will be a poor president. she doesn't understand trade. her husband, perhaps in the history of the world, the single worst trade deal ever done. it is called nafta. and i was witness to the carnage over the
last six weeks, specially. juan: meanwhile in the democratic race vermont senator , bernie sanders pulled a surprise upset by winning just over 52% of the vote. >> i understand that secretary clinton thinks that this campaign is over. i've got some bad news for her. [cheers] great victory in indiana. next week we will be in west virginia. we think we have a real shot to win and that great state. then we're going to kentucky and oregon and we think we have a pretty good chance to win there as well. then we're going to another bunch of other states culminating in the largest state in the united states with the most delegates, and that is the state of california. and we think we have a pretty good chance to win there. and i think as more and more
delegates are to the democratic convention take a hard look at which candidate is generating the kind of enthusiasm, excitement, voter turnout that we need to make sure that someone like a donald trump does not become president, i think we're seeing more and more delegates concluding that that candidate is bernie sanders. amy: despite bernie sanders victory, hillary clinton still holds a commanding lead in the delegate count. to talk more about donald trumps rise to power in the upset by bernie sanders we are , joined by tom robbins, investigative journalist in residence at the cuny journalism school. he was recently named a pulitzer prize finalist for his reporting on the culture of violence in new york's prisons. in the 1980's he covered politics, labor, and organized crime for "the daily news" and the "village voice" from 1985 to 2011. his recent article for the marshall project is "trump and the mob."
welcome to democracy now! why don't you begin by talking about, really, this historic night in indiana. start with donald trump now becoming the presumptive republican nominee with ted cruz pulling out. >> good morning. who would have thunk it? yet the slickest con man out of new york city has just been basically made the republican nominee by the hoosiers of middle america. it is an astonishing thing. i guess it goes to show that the republicans have just as little idea as to who their base is as the democrats. juan: tom, you're one of the few people who attached on trump's amazing history and relationship to organized crime in america that has gotten virtually no attention. could you talk about some of the characters that you another reporters on her -- under years
ago that have not been paid attention to this campaign, starting with the infamous warre coehn? >> he is well-known to people at least of our generation, probably not so much to the one that is casting a lot of ballots now but roy was the sidekick and cheap witch hunter for senator joseph mccarthy, a guy who reminds a lot of people of ted cruz. they look alike and talk alike. left the senate, he went into private practice and set himself up basically is the house council to a couple of the crime bosses in new york city. adopted ae time, he young developer from queens looking to make his first mark as a developer in manhattan and donald j trump. donald j trump will tell you to this day that he learned how to play politics and he learned how
to play development from roy cohn while he was sitting in roy cohn's east side townhouse next to two mob bosses. trumps for as of first into atlantic city and in the construction industry jobs he took on to build his towers in new york? >> to be of a developer in new york city, and those days, talking about the late 1970's brushrly 1990's, he had a up against the mob. there were a force on both the employer site and particularly on the union side. despite that problem, donald trump seem to keep running into them over and over again. they bought apartments in his trump tower in trump plaza. they kept showing up as people that he was carousing with. the money went to atlantic city am a one of the things i did recently in this piece for the marshall project was i pulled up this old fbi memo i've had for many years. donald trump met with a couple of fbi agents protesting he was
concerned in atlantic city there might be organized crime figures and what could he do to protect himself from this -- which is a little like saying, is there to a guy named al capone did not pay his taxes? he probably got a bet with mobsters who he bought land from in atlantic city. amy: tom, i want to turn to the memo that says -- trump advised agents that he had read in the press media and had heard from various acquaintances that organized crime elements were known to operate in atlantic city. trump also expressed at this meeting the reservation that his life and those around him would be subject to microscopic examination. trump advised that he wanted to build a casino in atlantic city but he did not wish to tarnish his family's name." >> i am so glad you read that in detail, amy. it is one of the most remarkable statements coming from a man who was invited the most microscopic examination not only of his
life, but his children's lives, his wives lives. tarnish his name? this is a man who is emblazoned his same all over every building he can find. and regardless of who he associated with. it did not stop in atlantic city. until recently, the latest trump hotel in new york -- at least it has his name on it even though he is not the owner of it -- "the new york times" revealed his partners in that were a bunch of russian mobsters. wh he was asked about it, donald trump said the same thing he said about the mobsters in atlantic city him about the ones in developing he dealt with in new york, "he would not know them if you knew them." juan: what about dan sullivan? talk about that and the polish immigrant workers that trump employed. >> you were there when i told a story. it is one of my favorites. i love it because of the fact i got it from a crusty old rank-and-file member of the house records union who had sued donald trump for the fact that
in making way for trump tower -- that is his signature congressman is his high-rise condo palace right at the corner of 57th street and fifth avenue -- and to do that he had a knockdown a building that was a former famous new york city department store called -- he was in such a rush to do it, he got himself a contractor who had union signatory to union contract, but was using all undocumented workers from poland, harley paying them at all. there were getting so little money, there were little we just literally sleeping on the jobsite. of course, he made no donations to the benefit fund he was supposed to do. this rank-and-file member filed a lawsuit against donald trump for the fact he had cheated his union out of these benefits. trump ended up settling, even though he came clean. he settled that one out of court. we never know how much he settled for, but that christiane rank-and-file guy and his lawyers were very happy with how it went.
juan: in a luxury limousine company that he went his name to as well? friend atthis to my smokinggun.com. in 1988, when trump was at the peak of his days in atlantic city, he teamed up with a guy named john who was a very successful and wealthy auto dealer out of long island to create a new stretch limousine, kind of a trump mobile though it be so lavish with these leather seats and paper shredders and bars and every thing in the world you would ever want. john, according to the fbi, is a member of the colombo crime family. that is what the fbi says. when donald trump was asked about it he said, i never knew anything about it and i did not know john very well at all. amy: you talk about when donald trump was asked about it. let's talk about the media's coverage of donald trump, tom robbins. what is your assessment of it
and the significance of what this means, what happened in this last 24 hours with ted cruz pulling out? clearly, donald trump is becoming the presumptive republican nominee for president of the united states of america. >> you know, i don't think, amy, the media is done a terrible job in covering these stories. they're been quite a few, actually. the problem is no one is really compelled trump to answer the questions. in that he gets away with simply saying things like, well, i never heard of that guy or i would not know him. no one -- he is never been forced to sit down in a chair and really answer the kind of questions he would have to presumably due as a republican nominee. that will really be a telling point for the american media. ok, we know the stuff about him, look, he is a gold mine of these kinds of stories. we're just scratching the surface with the ones i just mentioned. for 40 been going on
years. he has come up against some incredibly shady characters. now the question is, will people get him to answer questions and try to get down below the level? so far i think none of these stories have stressed the surface. stateason he can win a like indiana is because nobody feels badly about him. juan: and the issue of when he will or if he ever will release his tax forms. >> i don't think we're going to see those. donald trump says he is running for president in a different way, and that is one of the different ways. you're not going to see his tax forms. amy: let me ask you, tom robbins , the issue of what donald trump says, just the outright wise -- lies dosing to matter. for example, the iraq war. one of the things that has been mentioned, similar to bernie sanders, he was opposed to the war in iraq and against the so-called free trade deals that are made. iraq, hesue of war in
was for the war in iraq. back then in 2002. he talked about being for it. >> it is a perfect example. there can be no more crucial difference that he claimed at the early republican debates. he kept saying, i am the guy who said i was against the iraq war. he said it over and over and no one challenged him until they went back and started looking at the public record and realized, wait a minute, he was for the war in iraq until he was clever isugh -- grant him this, he a smart man and recognized the disaster in the making and changed his position and started saying mildly at first, it wasn't until much later when the tide turned, he really started saying was a bad idea. i think that is a really good example of why trying to get him to own up, what were you saying at that time? to slide through this stuff is astonishing. recently, politico brought together all of the people who had written biographies of trump
to sit down at a table and swap stories. i committed that these to everyone who was to read it. jim o'brien, wayne barrett, folks who it written most in-depth biographies of him. they tell a wonderful story one after another, but my favorite one was about trump and the draft, which for people of our generation, it was a big deal as to what you did during the draft. donald trump has always claimed he got out of the draft since the because of the fact they did not need him at that point. he talked about having a high number. one of the biographers went and checked and you said, actually, your date was before they were even use in the lottery. how did you get out of the draft? trumpch point donald said, heels first. the guy who wrote the book said, i can't imagine how many miles on the golf course this fellow has walked and he is too many walk in vietnam.
those of the kind of stories out there waiting to be grateful. amy: in the big stories of bernie sanders last night, once again, the polls are wrong. the prediction that it was going to be hillary clinton, now this has not gone quite as much attention as donald trump winning because ted cruz has pulled out, but bernie sanders won indiana. it is not a winner take all primary method the significance of bernie sanders continuing on and these continued victories. >> you watched it closer than i did. my sense was they knew it was going to be close. perhaps they were predicting a narrow clinton victory there but indiana demographically matches the kind of states that bernie sanders has done very well in. largely white electorate. he has shown an ability to resonate with that portion of the voters in the democratic party that is above and beyond.
some people should not be surprised about the fact he did well stop enough to put them over? now we get into the mathematical count for delegates. juan: i'm wondering if you can look forward, if there is a , let'slinton contest say, what you would be looking for in terms of the potential of some of you like trump actually pulling it out? to hear interesting republicans talk about how scared they are of trump being the candidate. i find that much more telling than when democrats talk about, oh, he is a popular among women and minorities -- unpopular among women and minorities. this is certain point that democrats are whistling past the graveyard. that american voters are scared, anxious, worried. they have been fed information about jobs that disappeared. here's a fellow telling them, i can fix that and it was wrong and should not have happened to
you. and he comes across as a strong man. there's a section of the electorate that response to that. if he can curb his own instinct -- he has to stop beating up on jeb bush and try to figure out a way to say some nice things about other people in his party. if you can do that, i think you could be a formidable contender, much more than the democrats are thinking right now. amy: and hillary clinton being the nominee, not that she is yet, but if she is, tom robbins? you have been in new york city for quite a long time. your assessment of trump-clinton race? >> you know, hillary clinton at her best is a tremendous candidate. when hillary clinton lets her guard down and speaks out, i think she resonates with people and people feel the pride of the fact it looks like it could for the first time be a woman who would be the candidate of a major party. and i think that is something that has the potential to really rally enormous tempers of voters. hillary clinton at her worst,
which is something we unfortunately see a lot of, is someone who is paranoid and who is fearful and who is distrustful. as a result, voters see her that way. i think she has the capability of being at her best, but she is a flawed candidate. she carries a lot of baggage. i think donald trump is somebody who is incredibly good at skewing his rivals and finding the soft spot is that she has a lot of soft spots. amy: we're going to go to break. when we come back, we turn to our very own juan gonzalez, who has just retired after 29 years as a columnist and staff writer -- as a columnist at "the new york daily news." tom robbins, stay with us for this hour because you have a lot to stay about juan as well. and we're going to play juan's speech when he was inducted into the deadline club's new york
that's right, juan has just become the first latino journalist inducted into the new york journalism hall of fame. after 29 he retired years from the "new york daily news." over the years juan has used his , column to break major corruption scandals and cover-ups, including the attempt to conceal the health impacts of the toxic dust released on 9/11. in his signoff, in his final column juan wrote -- , "i opted to become a voice from another part of urban america. not writing about outcast neighborhoods, but from them. not simply to entertain, but to change. not after the fact, but before it, when coverage could still make a difference." in november of last year, juan was inducted into the deadline club's new york journalism hall of fame, the first latino
journalist to be selected for the honor. he was inducted along with pbs host charlie rose, "new york times" journalist max frankel, "60 minutes" correspondent lesley stahl, propublica founder paul steiger, and "time" magazine journalist and editor richard stolley. juan was introduced by the deadline club's j. alex tarquinio. >> juan gonzalez has been a staff columnist with the "new york daily news" since 1987. and cohost of the syndicated radio and television news program democracy now! since 1996. i believe there are a few of you here. [laughter] his books include "harvest of empire" "news for all of the "fallout: the impairment oh consequences of the world trade center collapse." to georgeas received for courts for commentary in the
name to the hall of fame of the national association of hispanic journalists. please welcome juan gonzalez. [applause] [cheers] juan: my thanks to the deadline club for this honor. it is still hard to believe you consider my writing and reporting worthy of being recognized next to the amazing figures you previously inducted into the hall of fame and besides this externa group of my fellow nominees this year. leisure somebody did not make a mistake? i am just amazed that i am still
-- that i still have a job at "the daily news" given all of the of people brought about an hour media industry by the digital age. our lastks ago, during run of heartbreaking layoffs at the "news" was sitting at an editorial board meeting with a bunch of reporters and editors interviewing governor cuomo when one of my editors rob moore, who is sitting next to me, suddenly pointed to a smart phone. the observer is reporting you have been fired, he told me. i took a deep breath and said to him him a well, can you confirm that for me? [laughter] you have nothing to worry about, rob said. he did not add "for now." i was already fired by "the daily news" 25 years ago last month. our owner at the time, the tribune company, declared me and
2500 reporters, as sellers, drivers, permanently replaced for daring to go out on a labor strike. it took us five long months on picket lines and protest through bitterly cold winter, but we eventually won the strike during which i somehow managed as chair of the guild strike committee turn the respect of all of those irish and italian -- italian reporters at a news who until then had disdain me as some kind of unqualified affirmative action hire. the tribune sold the paper to british billionaire maxwell who proceeded to negotiate a deal with the unions and welcomed us back. so i baxley been living on borrowed time for the past 25 years. [applause] know, minusou may up in the typical journalism career these past 37 years. i have managed to work not only
in mainstream journalism, but proudly in the alternative a dissident press most notably for the past 20 years with democracy now! with a terrific journalist and friend amy goodman who is here today. [applause] times in thearious spanish-language or ethnic press. in addition, i must be the only reporter in mainstream journalism with an extensive rap sheet. haven't been arrested about a dozen times over four decades -- having been arrested about a dozen times over watcher decades on a variety of charges, criminal trespass, marijuana possession, inciting a riot, draft evasion. all except for the marijuana bust related to political protest. [laughter] mike mcleary often said he would into the old "daily news"
library and came across the papers clips on my radical days. this is when papers still had massive files of yellow cut out articles stuck in the pocket folders under various subjects and names. there max found the old stories on me. the clip folder title was " juan gonzalez revolutionary." by then summit had crossed out revolutionary" and changed it to "daily news" columnist. [laughter] life.s, i had a prior and i did not really get started into mainstream journalism until i was already in my 30's. but i ended up a reporter at all of you can chalk up to the young lords. one gave me the skills and the other gave me the heart. pauline was the one public school teacher every kid dreams about. she was an english and journalism instructor at
franklin high school in east new york, brooklyn. young, charismatic, relentless. she had a hopeless love affair with the english language and was determined all of her students would master not only grammar and writing, but the art of reporting. the number of fine journalists she produced is remarkable. the times" andom " steve handelman who worked at "the toronto star" and editor at "seattle times" and a reporter at "the philadelphia inquirer" for many years. all of us were her students. she plugged me a shy kid from a working-class puerto rican family and the cypress hills projects of use new york and chose me to be the editor of her paper, the paper that are most every year when the columbia scholastic journalism prize. that probably had a lot to do it my eventually getting into columbia on a full scholarship and it was there that i first
became acquainted with dissident views and social protest and in the columbia student strike of 1968. then can the young lords. jimmy breslin once wrote, the lords for the spark the jurnalists than columbia school. do lords were allowed, brass, radical intelligent group of puerto ricans. we became a thorn in the side of the establishment and police in this town and the city struck the east coast for a brief time, and influenced a generation of young latinos to demand more equitable treatment for our community. but of all of the radical groups of the 1960's, and the were many back then, we probably received the most sympathetic press coverage. even as youngsters, we understood the power of the press and we consciously cultivated good coverage. the firstlped by brilliant crop of young black and latino reporters in the
city's media to home we fed exclusives and who in turn andid us with all around found coverage. people like a young at bradley, gil noble, gloria rojas, rudy garcia, and of course liberal white writers like techno field at the village voice. and we published our own newspaper that i edited for a while. so there was no accident when the lords fell apart in the mid-1970's, several of us ended up going into journalism. geraldo rivera, our first lawyer. everybody knows him. or when we landed there, we were all drawn to uncovering injustices and digging deeper than some journalists were accustomed to. my first job at the philadelphia
daily news in 1978i became friendly with pete dexter, one of the paper's big-name columnists. so what is it like to write a column, i asked him one day. it sure beats working for a living, he told me. i quickly became hooked on the idea of becoming a columnist. what i have been doing the last 27 years or so -- i think 27, 28 years now. well, i had to figure out what i wanted to do as a columnist when i came here. i decided in the city brimming with extraordinary veteran and awashcolumnists young writers,le i figured my modest contribution would be a voice from another part of new york. not writing about outcast neighborhoods, but from them. not simply to entertain, but to change. not after the fact, but before
it, when coverage could still make a difference. writing, newspaper time becomes both an enemy and an ally. what you lose and the chance to chisel under five for the relative few, you gain and the opportunity to influence and energize the many. i have tried to use as many of my columns as possible to probe the injustices visited upon the powerless. yes, the rich and the famous are also victims on occasion. but they have so many politicians and lobbyists, lawyers, gossip columnist, even editorial writers ready to jump to their defense that they will always do fine without my help. i prefer to desperate unknown reader who comes to me because he or she has got everywhere else and no one will listen. more often than not, i come gems, humanected beings whose tragedies eliminate the landscape encourage hopefully inspires the reader to believe there is indeed some
greater good served by a free press that just chronically influencing the altering of one group of politicians by another. award --ing me this the first latino journalist i think to be so honored by the deadline club, i assume you have looked beyond my rap sheet, beyond my rabble rousing days, and determined i did indeed have something -- add something about you to this great city will not working for living all of these years. thank you. [applause] amy: juan gonzalez in november speaking in new york when he became the first latino journalist inducted into the deadline club stay your journalism hall of fame. when we come back, tom robbins and juan, well, we will all reflect on his career at the "new york daily news." stay with us.
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are broadcasting from atlanta, georgia and new york city. one gonzalez is in new york. on monday night, new york governor andrew cuomo, new york senator chuck schumer, new york mayor bill de blasio, commerce member is a surrender, journalist geraldo rivero and others celebrated juan gonzalez 's 29 year career at the new york daily news during the event monday night. we are joined by longtime new york journalist tom robbins, who is a recent pulitzer prize finalist for his coverage of violence in new york's prisons,
and a longtime columnist and staff writer at "the village voice" and "new york daily news" where he worked with juan gonzalez for over a decade. he recently wrote an article headlined "juan gonzalez: iron , man of the news room." tom is now investigative the cuny school. i'm so sorry i cannot be with you all. juan, what is seen in new york as i was getting live tweet of the photographs of first the governor, then the mayor just got further they should be the same room at the same time, but it was you who brought them into the same room even if they were not there at the same time. tom, i'm not going to ask juan because he is too modest, but talk about juan's significance as a journalist. >> andrew cuomo was singing juan's crazes. seen thems who have
squirming the past few weeks given his own problems, we're thinking he is escaping from the questions of reporters or otherwise asking. it in fact, i think he was speaking from the heart about his true admiration for reporters like juan to get below the surface. juan's ability to both dig deep and ask tough questions has never gotten in the way of his relationships with people, with -- which is an amazing thing. that is one of the reasons you had the crowded room at the tavern and why you had the deadline club event that we just witnessed surrounded by adoring fans. juan has an ability to vote tell the truth -- to both tell the truth and he people liking him, which is sometimes a tough thing to do. amy: and the years of coverage, i mean, of the kind of stories that juan has broken. i got to the news about six
months after juan did, and the object new field can together from "the village voice" and the way juan just described himself to the deadline club in terms of him being kind of like odd man out in a way was really true. only clearly, was not the key latino reporter in the room, he was the only columnist at that time. he was looked at askance by other folks. he never let that bother him for a moment. he just marched on and he did the stories. he worked as one of the editors at the other night at the party for him, arthur brown, juan worked every day to do the stories in a process of which he forged a bond with i think working new yorkers. something i mentioned in this column i just wrote about him for the public employee press, the municipal workers union, so that people trusted him enough to bring him news and information and stuff they were
not supposed to talk about. juan was able to parlay that along with his own inbred sense of what is a good story and his attitude.t you mentioned in the only reporter in new york to write the truth about what was happening to their quality in lower manhattan after the twin towers fell. just think about that for a moment. that is a pretty remarkable scoop for anyone under any circumstances. but more remarkable is the fact that after juan wrote it, and i think it was a front-page story initially, it was such a ferocious war back from the federal secretary for air quality, from the mayor, and then from his own editors who then really once juan to tone it down. grin.as his sheepish i was not in the room but i can see him shrugging and saying, sorry, i'm doing my job.
the editors i think understood saying no to juan gonzalez was not a very good idea. it just did not work out very well. they're all gone, by the way, and juan was still there until he got out from his own decision last week. amy: juan, you united politicians -- i was across the political spectrum -- but you got all of these people, well over 100 people in this room for your retirement. how did it feel? >> well, it was a good feeling to know that, because andrew cuomo did say when he gave you the support he said, well, juan gonzalez is never stop beating me like a drum. but he would think enough of my work to show up and to say goodbye. i even had a former police commissioner ray kelly there who you when ince cuffed was in the lords and he was a
young cop. he showed up with his wife to say goodbye. to because it is been a long road, it has steadily been a long road, and, tom, you and i bonded especially early on of the "daily news" strike which was a traumatic expense for all of us. five months, i don't how many people have been -- i'm sure many of our new york listers at one point have been on strike, but a labor strike is a really traumatic experience of a person's life and we were out there for five months and many people thought they would never get their jobs back, but we were able to prevail and i think that helped much in terms of building the respect of the management of the paper as well as my fellow workers that we were able to stick it out together and that i helped assist in trying to figure out the best way to do that. two-=fer.uan was a
was incredible organizer -- is an incredible organizer. when he says those five months are dramatic, it doesn't begin to talk about it. juan never broke a sweat. that was the remarkable thing. the newspaper guild was in total chaos at the time we went out. juan led us together. amy: i want to thank you, tom robbins, for joining us, and, juan, congratulations on all that you have accomplished. you may have left that new york daily news, but i am really thankful that you are staying with your other dn, that's right, with democracy now! that does it for our show. gonzalez, read all of his books. rolled under windows stories of a forgotten america. i will be speaking in spokane, washington and then olympia and seattle. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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