tv Wittman v. Personhuballah Oral Argument CSPAN August 23, 2016 5:48pm-7:01pm EDT
not much difference between hillary clinton and myself but that's if you take what hillary clinton said and what hillary clinton will do rather than looking at her record so it's important to look at the record of the candidate whose funding them as usual but you'd be surprised how many green candidates there are actually running for congress, for senate, for state offices, for city council, etc. we have a lot of down ballot candidates and i would just say that if the black swan event were to happen in this age of black swan and we wound up in the white house, i think we would find a lot of people ready to move with this agenda inside of the democratic party feel like they've been held hostage by prevailing politics. >> yes, after what we saw in the process both in the democratic and the republican
party, with internal crisis in both parties, what were things that would be a good thing for minor parties like yours to get funds and look more appealing to american voters? but that does not seem to be the case. how do you explain this? i don't know, call it an irrational scenario. >> i think it has a lot to do with the back that people haven't heard about our campaign and don't know who we are. the new york times did a studyabout two or three months agowhich i may have mentioned before you came in , i think . but it bears repeating. that's the, at the time, months ago donald trump had received $2 billion worth of free coverage. hillary clinton, 1 billion. bernie sanders about half as
much and we have received essentially as it yet are still running four or six percent in the polls without any coverage which is pretty unprecedented in our history. when we had our first peek below the curtain or when the curtain came up briefly on cnn for a whole hour, actually longer than that, town hall meeting last week we were trending number one on twitter. we were number two on nielsen ratings. it was every indication that people were hungering for more. >> what would you think it would be necessary for private viewers to gain more ... >> we are hoping tobegin more town hall meetings on primetime tv . to hold more town hall forums with myself and possibly with my running mate so that we can actually be seen and heard by the american public because right now they don't have a clue who we are or that we exist. the name of the game is all about empowering the american
voter or what they are demanding right now which is more voices and more choices. they don't like they've got so just by empowering the american voter to be the driver here in our democracy and in our elections, that's what we have to do and let the chips fall where they may but we've got to start with an inclusive and open democratic discussion. if we can have it now while we are looking our mortality in the face and see american people are saying this stinks, if we cannot change the discussion now, when in heavens name are we ever going to change it? it's got to be now. >> two more questions. >>. [inaudible question] you mentioned how racial disparities play a role in
the front lines of the climate crisis, i wondered if you could expand on that in relation to your experience in louisiana. >> louisiana was like what we saw with kind of like instant replay and katrina where so many of those hit hardest were poor people and communities of color, neighborhoods of color. not only that they were hit hard but the relief didn't come and even years later the relief didn't come so when i was there in new orleans for their 10 year anniversary, the numbers at that time reflected that about half of the african-american population had not been able to return, even 10 years later because that's not where the rebuilding happened. it is not where the salvage happen and we could see that in the neighborhood where we were walking and driving through that these were largely families of color. that were just helping each other and where volunteers
were coming in. the green party was mobilizing from around the state to help people out because the need of relief just wasn't coming. so people were very worried. and there we were seeing refugees from katrina that were there in the shelter and that shelter by the way was not even an official shelter so it's not receiving support from fema. it's not getting drop-offs of supplies and food because it's not a recognized shelter . and it wasn't just katrina, it was also super storm sandy where it was for communities and african-american or latino communities that are really the first to get hit and the last to get helped. so we see a compounding of the crisis of racial justice together with a crisis of the climate and the environment so it's important that we stay simple and we need attention to both. along these lines i want to
mention briefly in solidarity with the north dakota sioux, the standing rock sioux in north dakota were trying to protect their land as another disenfranchised group, another people of color. who are trying to save their water supply, their traditional lands as well as the climate. we've always relied really on indigenous people to be the caretakers of our climate and our ecosystem and they are basically resisting now another very toxic pipeline of the worst kind of fuel that's going to run over their water supply and put their lands much at risk and i just want to stand in solidarity with them, there are about 1000 native americans that have gathered now at their tribal lands in
an effort to resist the pipeline and what they are doing is trying to help prevent the next katrina, the next super storm sandy, the next louisiana flood. down the line because they are only getting worse and more frequent and more devastating. they exemplify i think the kind of courage and foresight that we need and the kind of community spirit that we need in order to stop this crisis from barreling down on us which it is right now. >> when we spoke yesterday you talked about the need for truth in commission and i wondered if you could expand on that 's thank you. i think this pertains not only to the issue of environmental racism, to the
issue of police violence, to the issue of the zeno phobia as well for that matter that we are really, that's armed and ready to shoot. and we are the mostviolent country in the world . with the most shootings and violent deaths at the hands of police but beyond the hands of police as well. and we have a violence problem which goes hand-in-hand with our problem of fear and mistrust and hate . unfortunately we are seeing the flames being fanned right now in this election, the lames of hate and fear are being intensified but we need to be moving in the opposite direction. we need to be having a facilitated discussion now, be having a frank discussion about race, about the legacy of racism, about in particular many people say
slavery, it ended. well it ended but then they became lynchings and then it became jim crow and then it became redlining and then it became aggregation which is coming back. for. the war on drugs, american incarceration and then this police violence which is really just the tip of an iceberg so there's a deep underlying problem here. and it's not only the culture of policing and the broken windows policing that creates very aggressive policing, the culture of that has to be changed and the training of our police has to be changed. communities need to be put in charge of their police instead of having police in charge of their communities so we need it is and review panels that have the power and we need to be able to hold perpetrators accountable to investigations of every depth at the hands of police so there are things we need to do about that violence but we also need a true
reconciliation commission and in my view we also need reparations to address this historic and compounded burden of economic disparity area so that violence is not only at the hands of an occupying police force, violence is also taking place economically right now. we know what that living while black confers a seven-year loss of life compound that with poor education which also tends to run in communities of color, it's another seven years loss of life though there are consequences to the cumulative historic burden and it's not just african-americans, we need to look at the burden of discrimination, fear and hate against people of color, immigrants , latinos and muslims and native americans, we need a facilitated discussion of the community level that includes arts and music and storytelling and the things that enable us to humanize each other to each
other. this isn't rocket science, there is a whole method for doing this, for helping us build trust and make friends and become a common community which we must do if we are to solve any of the problems that we are currently struggling with, thank you very much. >> thank you all for coming. if you haven't gotten a card, see me and i will let you know, thank you. >> thank you very much, i appreciate your attention.
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>> this week on q&a, democracy now close and executive producer amy goodman. she talked about some of the stories and people democracy now has covered over the past 20 years. >> 80 goodman, 20 years of democracy now and you say going to where the silence is is your motto. explain. >> guest: well, unfortunately the corporate media leads such a gap. to cover the majority of people in this country and around the world. when you turn to the networks, they have this small circle of pundits who know so little about so much,
explaining the world to us and getting it so wrong. the idea of democracy now is starting 20 years ago, it hasn't changed. bringing up the voices of people at the grassroots and in the united states and around the worldand they very much representi think the majority of people . i mean, people who are concerned deeply about war and peace . about thegrowing inequality in this country . about climate change, the state of the climate and they're not a fringe minority. not even a silent majority but the silenced majority. silenced by the corporate media which is why we have to take it back. >> host: 20 years ago in february we had you as a guest on our morning show. here is a clip four days after you started democracy now. >> host: i've got to ask amy goodman about this piece in carl's and meister's magazine, while liberal fine talk radio sothreatening and you're a talkshow host and not a conservative . >> before we started to show this week on pacifica radio call democracy now which is
the only grassroots national daily election show bringing the voice of the grassroots into the national political discourse. i haven't even read the article, while liberals find talk radio so threatening. 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 are hearing , what i'm reading about what's being said is a lot of hatemongering. >> host: what's the difference between democracy now when our program you do every day and today then what it was like 20 years ago ? >> guest: first of all, we are a nine community radio station in 1996 and by the way brian, when you invited me on we started in washington dc at pacifica radio station, psw. i think you've got the wrong number. that was the first time i was ever invited on television. it was four days after our first broadcast in 1996 and
it was really remarkable but in a sense, the mission hasn't changed. that was 20 years ago on nine stations. now for 1400, not only community radio stations but public radio stations, npr station, on public access tv stations, on pbs tv stations around the country and also all over the world, we broadcast on television and radio and sweden and japan and south africa, throughout latin america, headlines translated into spanish as well as people around the planet. and i think the growth from nine stations to 1400 is a testament to the hungerfor independent voices . people on the ground who are deeply involved in their communities. not having the pundits on describing experiences but the people themselves, that's plain old hard work and i want to just pay tribute to
all the remarkable producers and journalists and videographers who have worked at democracy now because that digging every day to bring people to a global audience who are speaking in their own words. there is nothing more powerful. i mean, we are on television and radio at an equal number. at the time we started on pacifica and it's instructive to look at pacifica's history, not founded in 1949 in berkeley california. a resistor named blue hill came out of the detention camps and said there's got to be a media group run by corporations of profit from war but run by journalists and artists and that's how pacifica was born as george gardiner, the late dean of the school of communications at the university of
pennsylvania said, not run bicarbonate corporations that have nothing to tell and everything to sell that are raising our children today and so the first station was a psa in berkeley, second station apf k in los angeles in 1959.my station here in new york is wba i, 1960. 1977, w psw in washington and in 1970 k pfc in houston and that station is the only radio station in the country, in the petro metro houston texas that was blown off the air by the ku klux klan. it was only months and two weeks into its operation when the clan struck dynamite to the base of the transmitter and blew it to smithereens. so when they got back on, i think he blew it up in the middle of arlo guthrie singing alice's restaurant. they got back on their feet, rebuilt the transmitter and the clan 15 times as dynamite to the transmitter, blew it up again, now at the national
event. when they went back in the air it was january 1971. now pds was covering the return of the katie ft to the airwaves, arlo guthrie came back into houston to finish alice's restaurant the song and i can't remember if it was the exalted cyclops or the grand dragon because i often confuse their titles but he said it was his proudest act. i think that's because he understood how dangerous independent media can be . it's dangerous because it allows people to speak for themselves and when you hear someone speaking from their own experience whether it is a palestinian child or an israeli grandmother. whether it's an iraqi uncle and aunt in afghanistan, whether it's charles in the south bronx or ferguson missouri, that breaks down stereotypes and caricatures that fuel the hate groups area that's why it's a threat. i think the media can be the greatest force for peace on earth instead, all too often
it's wielded as a weapon of war and that's why we have to take it back. >> host: here you are in 2008 at the republican national convention in minnesota. let's watch this and get you to tell a story . >>. [shouting] you're under arrest, stay right there. backup, backup.you are under arrest. [shouting] >> host: why the confrontation? >> guest: this was the first day of the republican convention of 2008. we had flown in from denver, there was major protests thereto against war but we came into st. paul and on the
first day, before the night of the convention it was a beautiful blue sky day. 10,000 people marched for peace and in fact they were led by men and women in uniform and they were taking great risks. there were soldiers whohad returned home that felt the world was not the answer and many civilians of course, thousands of people so we covered that protest . then i went to the convention floor with rick rowley who would later be an oscar nominated film maker with his film dirty wars but we were covering the convention floor and i was interviewing i remember people from the hottest days, from alaska. this is the sarah palin john mccain convention and i get a call on the cell phone from our senior producer who said come quickly to seven and jackson, i didn't know the area and karl and charisse had been arrested. nicole salazar and produced were are two reporters who when we had finished covering
the protests, they went to the public access tv station where we were broadcasting digitized tape and i said they were in the tv station. they had seen there was a protest outside and gone downstairs to cover it and they said they been bloodied by the police and arrested so rick and i raced through the streets of st. paul, we got seventh and jackson and i saw this line of riot police you were just showing and i went up to them. i had all my credentials on, the top credentials that allow you to interview president, vice president, i was on the floor of the convention and i said i want to speak to your commanding officer. so two of our reporters, charisse and nicole have been arrested. there inside in the parking lot area and i need to have them release. that's why i was standing there and it wasn't minutes before they pulled me through the police line, pushed me against the car, pulled my arms behind my back ./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 desperately looking for my vantage point on the ground for sharif and nicole who i've heard were hurt and arrested and i saw charisse across the parking lot, i demanded to be brought to him. so we're both standing there, his arm is bleeding. with our handcuffs on, with our credentials so we are saying where journalists, we want you to release us now and then the secret service came up and ripped the credentials from off our next. i'm taken to the police wagon and their icy nicole whose face has been bloodied. how did you get arrested? she said we were in the tv studio, saw outside protesters, ran down with our video camera and microphone to start recording. they would not have been doing their jobs if they stayed in the tv studio so there in this parking lot and
she was against parked cars and the riot police came at her. this was a contained area at this point and they were shouting on your face and they were saying she had to move but she said where, where? she's against park cars. she didn't know what hit her. from behind her and in front of her they came in the first thing to go down was the camera. the first thing they did was take the camera out of her battery and said if you want to know what they wanted to stop happening, they are recording. they had their boot in her back and her face in the ground and they are starting to drag her which means her face is being dragged along the ground. charisse is telling them to calm down and they take him and throw him up against the wall, they kick him twice in the chest and they taken down so his arm is bleeding. they face felony riot charges so i'm taken to the police garage where they've arrested protesters and charisse and nicole are taken to jail. i didn't know what was happening at the time but there was such an outcry and our arrest and hundreds of if not thousands of people are
calling, emailing the authorities to have us released in the number of hours later we were released, charisse and eventually nicole so i was brought back to the convention center, it was over to tonight but i was brought into the nbc skybox and being interviewed and when that was finished and nbc came over and said i don't get it, why wasn't i arrested? i said were you covering the protests to? he said no. i said, that's the thing. i don't get arrested in the skybox either. it's our job normally to be in the skybox but to get into the corporate seats who is sponsoring these celebrations of democracy. the republicans and the democrats and also to be on the convention floor and interview the delegates and get out into the streets where the uninvited guests are. and there were often thousands of them. they had something important to say as well and it's our job to get it all. i mean, democracy is a messy thing so 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 minneapolis police as well as the secret service. interestingly the only reason we knew it was the secret service who hold our credentials is when i turn to the police officer and said this is outrageous that you pulled out credentials they said it wasn't us, it was the secretservice so we sued and the secret service wanted to be separated from the lawsuit. they didn't want to be known that they were there and that they did this . there's all levels of authority at what are called special national security events and but we felt it's very critical to send a message that journalists must be protected. all illegal arrests should not happen. ultimately it took a number of years, we want a six-figure settlement but we got out it was right before the next convention, we felt it was very important to send a message and part of it was
that the st. paul police would be trained in dealing with journalists that we felt where do we hold a news conference announcing the settlement has been made? and we just come from st. paul, settlement negotiations so when we went to a large gathering of police and protesters, we went to the county park in the middle of occupy wall street andthought , there are a lot of police and we will send out this message . that you cannot simply arrest journalists 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. we live in a democracy and journalism is extremely important. there's a reason why our profession, journalism is the only one explicitly protected by the u.s. constitution, because were supposed to be the check and balance of power. >> host: i want to run a clip of a man named alex jones who could probably not think any
more different than you do. based in texas, has his own radio operation but he saying one of the same thing you are saying about the corporate media. again, let's run it and get your reaction. >> i got 30 employees and i'm not exaggerating on info wars.com, go to the major analytics site is working msnbc and all of glenn beck and rush limbaugh sites combined, one website that's got six people working on it, they have all the flash and so it's a giant hoax and they know people are looking behind the curtain now that the emperor has no close so they are openly announcing an internet tracking, internet taxes, white house regulations star has called for banning conspiracy theorists, that anybody that questions the official story
so the system is losing credibility. it's circling the wagons with government and the six big megacorporations to start curtailing alternative media because we are keeping their hind end. >> host: are you worried that somebody's going to kick your hind end and take you out of business? >> guest: i think the corporate media has to change its ways and they've learned it. i don't think, those with newspapers and television, i don't think it's that they're losing audience because of the internet. they for a long time have been gatekeepers, preventing most views, but most people from being hurt. i think this year with this presidential election has shown so much. i mean, the shock of those in 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 for example who came to occupy wall street and
other encampments around the country who are deeply concerned about the growing inequality between rich and poor and also who was profiting area and what the recent study that shows something like 62, 63 of the richest people in the world, something like 42 or43 are american , have more wealth than 3 and a half billion people, then half the planet. this is just astounding. and when occupy wall street happened, the media hardly paid attention at first but then mocked it and then when the police eviscerated these encampments, said it's all over, what do they represent anyway? they represented every issue under the sun and where were there leaders anyway? in a sense it was not so much a leaderless but a leader full movement and yes, they represented many different issues because people were so frustrated with the direction that this country was going and i think that we are seeing thesemovements on the ground percolating and coming
together and coalescing . 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 between him and hillary clinton was she was for the war and in iraq and she was against it. then there was racial justice, economic movement, gay and lesbian, all these different movements together. they accomplished something historic, first african-american president this country has ever known which is absolutely astounding with a country with a legacy of slavery but when it came to the issues of these different movements, ending war, dealing with climate change, dealing with inequality, people i think at that point felt they accomplished something so momentous they were either
exhausted or didn't want to contribute to the racist backlash like the birther movement, something that donald trump was one of the leaders of but the suggestion that o, president obama, look at what he looks like he couldn't come from here and it's so ridiculous but not just ridiculous, it was racist and people didn't want to contribute to that backlash so i think there was a fear of criticism but one of his first promises was to admits, a recruiting tool or groups like the self-proclaimed islamic state and others. and what, seven years into his presidency, still are a number of executive actions he could've taken a long way to ensure this extra outside of the reach of us law but run by the united states prison would be closed.
astounding most recently that president obama was in cuba, the first sitting president in 88 years ago and he's talking to the cuban president raul castro about human rights. yet just down the road, if the us is presenting a model, a little corner of cuba, the us was leased land and what does it do with it? many approved for release for decades, even back to the bush administration. many held for more than a decade without charge and it's very painful lesson what the us has come to represent to the rest of the world. >> host: what do you think somebody has to do in order to label themselves a journalist and as you know, you've got strong views and there's never any doubt what you think but couldn't just anybody in our society say i'm a journalist and i want credentials and i should have access toeverything? >> . >> guest: the whole citizen journalism movement has been extremely important because for so long the mainstream
media didn't go to places on the ground. they had that elite group of pundits and so they were missing so much of the story. i think about ferguson. the networks did go to ferguson to their credit, this is after michael brown was killed by darren wilson, a police officer and they showed people being teargas. they showed the militarization of police but even with that there was not a lot of showing not the political leaders but the people in the crowd, i remember watching cnn one day and one of the journalists, i think it was a protest in new york was walking with the protesters and saying now were going up 44th street, turning on that street and to his credit in the middle of the protesters but they were a backdrop. they were the scenery for his giving basically a traffic report . what about handing the mic to them?
it is that going behind the scenes, truly talking to people on the ground. so often you will have the rest networks calling and saying who is that person? the 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 microphones open up and the way the black lives matter movement has grabbed attention, they are not waiting for the networks to come to them and interview them. we are talking about decentralized movement over this country but they are going, they went to martin o'malley's rally. they went to bernie sanders rallies. they went to hillary
clinton's rallies and they interrupted it and it wasn't just the republicans, it was the democrats saying how are you addressing our issues? they've changed the shape of presidential politics in 2016. >> host: what would you say to republicans, some republicans, i have no idea how they think but some republicans say all the coverage the corporate media is giving is donald trump is really because they want to elect hillary clinton by giving hima lot of coverage , there's no way he can be elected a son what we've seen . >> guest: there is noquestion that ms nbc, cnn and fox have become trump tv, there's no question . that's a very good question for what reason they've done this but certainly the statistics show that and it's not just the networks. it's the newspapers, what the washington post from march 6 and march 7, 24 hour period had 16 anti-sanders articles.
the new york times had a few, looking more recently, had a piece looking at his record, a positive piece looking at his record in congress and that it was change and added her to be a negative piece and the public editor of the new york times ended a column criticizing him but the networks, you look at these super tuesday, one after the other.i remember one where donald trump was in his, i call it white house south, in one of his florida residences with all the american flag behind him and he held a news conference for an hour where he showed, trumpeted if you will trump states, trunk water, trump magazine, all the different trump products. it went on for an hour. the networks stayed with it. what were they showing for this hour? hillary clinton had given her speech that night. they recorded it and played
it after but then you go to the next week or two weeks later, i think it was super tuesday three. this was illinois, missouri, a contested five states. she had on three of them but it wasn't clear if she on her home state and whether she would win misery. it looked very close with sanders. she gave her speech behind that, maybe not wanting to be behind if you want these and that was the day rubio pulled out. they showed rubio, that was a sick, that was ohio. they showed his state. they showed ted cruz of course and they usually show all the concession or victory speeches and then they said that donald trump was holding a news conference again. it didn't end up being a news conference but they should showing the empty podium and they showed it and they were waiting and the pundits were yelling and looking for something. finally they showed it and he spoke for half an hour and that was it.where was bernie sanders in office to mark the huffington did a
good piece at that moment saying where was bernie sanders? he was giving a speech to thousands in phoenix and it had started before donald trump started. why didn't they go to that? they could always cut away if they had to but they never showed bernie sanders at all that night, at a point when it was divided 3 to 2. ultimately he would lose missouri and illinois but where was this candidate? but networks justbrought you the others but particularly , the kindle center did a report in 2016, he got 10 times more coverage than bernie sanders the networks make these decisions. he doesn't need to go to every community because he being channeled into everyone's home in a way that others are and that has to be challenged. it's also why we need independent media going to where we say the silences which by the way is always so silent is that the networks are shining the spotlights there. >> host: we go back to motivation, take the
corporate media and why do they do what they do and go back to republicans who think the corporate media is trying to get hillary clinton elected by covering trump so much. >> host: >> guest: i don't know if it's not yelling hillary clinton elected. i'm invited on the networks sometimes and on one of the shows i remember it was very much at the beginning of things think bernie sanders was a person right before he went to commercial that you can't be serious, he's not going anywhere. that's because they're not in communitiesunderstanding people's enormous frustrations . there is a sentence of this because you don't feel it in the hollow halls of the network studios. you just don't feel it. >> host: why not? >> guest: they're not in touch area. >> host: but they're making lots of money.>> guest: they are and the reason you don't have a question of how money is drowning politics, drowning our democracy is because these networks are making so much money. and especially in an election year.
hands down. the less coverage they do the more the politicians need to pay money for their ads but they're furnishing whole studios, their upgrading studios because they're getting money from these ads. that is you problem. i think campaigns shouldn't have to raise money for ads, they should have some allotted time on television. this hasto all be worked out that way also , tv time is so expensive. these politicians wouldn't have to raise thiskind of money which puts them in the pocket of the corporations and super pacs .>> host: back to "democracy now". it's not a big organization, is it? >> guest: we started in nine stations and now in 1400. our staff is a staff based in new york city of about 25 full-time people and then volunteers, interns,fellows .
>> guest: it is to cover the news all over the world, to maintain the staff, i don't know the exact budget. >> c-span: is a going to be six or 7 million? >> guest: yes. >> c-span: where you get a? >> guest: a large part as listeners and viewers from foundations. >> c-span: for-profit or nonprofit? >> guest: we are nonprofit news organization, it may be a station a week or week or two is picking up "democracy now". it is absolutely amazing.
it has turned the population into the people who view public television on its head because it is a young, diverse audience. people committed to hearing voices like there's a not like there's. but where else do you get that on television and radio. >> c-span: here are two people you know well. david goodman and a man that is also on the cover of your book, dennis the morning hamm. let's watch them. >> i have to say one of the most surprising things and most moving things that happens again and again when we go and speak in rural areas and in places that are traditionally conservative areas like selleck city, its soldiers and their families come up and speak with us. many of them think us for bringing a viewpoint that they are not getting. many of them just come to
express their sense of what is 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" and which is part of our goal with a hundred cities, silent cities to her. at its heart is the wonderful constellation of community media institutions that broadcast "democracy now" with whom our work would not be possible. >> c-span: you don't say much about it but isn't dennis -- >> guest: he is married and he lives in denver. >> c-span: i wonder that is stated somewhere on the internet >> guest: well somewhere on the internet. then and i say, at universities and colleges in particular, you have a double, triple, and quadruple check everything. everything you see on the internet. david is my brother, a great journalist who lives in vermont.
dennis is my colleague at "democracy now" who has a been there since 2000 who lives in denver, colorado with his wife. he is really helped to build a "democracy now" to what it is today. we are about about to embark on a 100 city to her. if we travel the country we'll be doing the broadcast from wherever we are, we will start in new york and move on to ohio state, and then st. louis and kansas city and then los angeles at the los angeles times book festival. i note c-span covers these book festival so well. will be doing fundraisers that different community television and radio stations. will be moving on to san francisco to the san francisco city arts and lecture series and going onto washington state, new mexico, houston, texas, louisiana, new, texas, louisiana, new york, all over. >> c-span: what drives the?
>> guest: the deep commitment that independent media is the oxygen of democracy. it is essential. holding those in power accountable. we are not there to serve some kind of corporate agenda. when we cover war and peace we are not brought to you by that weapons manufacture. when we cover climate change we are not brought to by the oil, gas, gas, the coal companies. we cover healthcare were not covered by big pharma and the health insurance but by individuals, by viewers and listeners who are deeply committed to getting independent information so they can make up their mind. they. they do not have to agree with what they hear. but deeply believe in the form for free speech. >> c-span: there's a man named john we are, do you know him? >> guest: i know what he did. >> c-span: this was in 1991 and it is on youtube.
i have a clip of him talking about when he interrupted the dan rather evening new show. it is a longer clip than what we can show here but the whole thing is available and it's interesting to watch. let's watch a little bit of this when he talks about and sets up the fact that he does interrupt the evening new show back in 1991. >> you. >> you walk down the hall it's in the middle of the war in the golf and all these people are around it was quite messy. they didn't notice us walking in trying to look like television executives and we strolled them how their fake ids and stood by the side and wait for the show to start. as as soon as dan rather said, good evening, darrell and i ran on the set and jumped in front of the camera. what happened was is my face popped into the screen on the lower left-hand side of the screen for about three seconds. so it's john weir said going --
[inaudible] >> i apologize to you for broadcasting on the air tonight. there are some people here who tried to stage a demonstration. but our apologies for the way we began our coverage. we will continue after these messages. >> c-span: fight aids not arabs. >> guest: this is such a powerful movement which we documented our book, "democracy now", covering your every movement's changing america. the movement of fighting aids and not arabs, act up the aids coalition and unleash power. the bravery of young people who are facing this calamity. recently hillary clinton was congratulating nancy reagan and eulogizing her talking about her after she died recently.
talking about her brave sense and and it was bad president reagan did not mention aids and his first term or halfway through his second term. was not until his seventh year even though this is when the academic was raging. so then you understand when you have a media that is so often covers power and the power, the the power, the powerful, the president was not addressing aids. people on the ground in their communities were dying, this young population taken down, why? if they could put centerstage to this epidemic and how it was happening and putting money into research to deal with it, so you have people like john weir. it did not only happen on cbs when they interrupted the dan rather news hour, it also happened on pbs on the news hour. they dealt with it a little bit differently and said we will
discuss this issue. but they were taking, they understood how powerful media is to get out a message so they took it into their own hands. >> c-span: just another clip of john we are, when i ask you the question is what is it about some people that would go and interrupt a newscast like this? where does that start in life question work let's watch the. >> it turned out that as a matter fact my father worked for television, my father worked for nbc tv which is a rival network. my father's job at nbc-tv was for 35 years his job was basically to be basically the vice president of cut the black, he's in charge of follow-ups and when anything went wrong he call my father. so what i leapt in front of the tv camera, it was john leaping into dad's tv studio at that point in the
plug. so he took it personally. my mother's father ran a radio station in denver during the war, my brother, video editor he edits for nbc nightly news he did at the time and he edits the elements in barcelona. it was basically as if i had violated the family temple. >> c-span: whether you agree or disagree, watching the whole thing on youtube is an interesting experience. if somebody wants to see the whole thing. listen to that family, this man for some reason or another was quite willing to break all the codes and jump in front of the camera. >> guest: i don't think it was for some reason or another. it was because this community was being decimated. his friends were dying. this is nothing compared to that. and what was something was letting this country know and when they saw millions of dollars and billions of dollars being put into war to kill
people but not to save people here, who were suffering from this epidemic, not being talked about, he decided to take action himself. it is very important, whether you said whether you agree with that or not, to hear why people do something. i think about scott olsen who was a young marine who served two tours of duty in iraq. this was advancing much further now into the iraq and afghanistan force. 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 a part of the occupy movement. he got shot in the head by a beanbag by the oakland police. they almost killed him.
but people around him didn't know him and went to pick him up and they were hit by flash grenade, the group that went to save him, right in front of the police because the police did not want this gathering in front of them, horrific story. but scott just to buy his values when he regained consciousness and ultimately came out of the hospital, he was in 2012 of the anti- nato summit in chicago. this is very interesting what happened. soldiers marched and they threw their metals back, like what happened back in the early 70s with john kerry when he came back from vietnam war. they did the same through their metals back. the soldiers in 2012, to the reporters that came what "democracy now" is there and did a number of shows but to went was a great cinematographer who recently died at the age of 93.
amazing filmmaker, and a young reporter named james foley. james foley who is well known to everyone because he was beheaded by isis. he went back to syria after covering this protest. he was was one, jim foley, who deeply believed in hearing people's voices on the ground that he covered war to end war. and he felt that the people of serious voices were not being heard. he held hostage in libya, he came here to cover them peace movement and he went back to cover the people on the ground were the victims of war. and he ultimately would face the ultimate penalty for what he did and he was beheaded by isis. his family, i just interviewed at the film festival with his
close friend who made a film about him called the james foley story. it's very interesting to follow independent journalists to see the paths they take. >> c-span: you had a responsibility with the president of the united states and you're facing what the last two presidents faced, what would you have done differently? when it came to the war. >> guest: i mean, not go to war. >> c-span: what you do about protecting the american people? spee2 i think what was shown at the time is that saddam hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction and he was not an imminent threat to the united states. even tony blair, the prime minister who sided with george w. bush and committed forces to iraq, he was just interview on cnn and asked what you say to those who say that this invasion of iraq would ultimately to the
formation of isis and he said, that is partly true. >> c-span: eagle back to the 9/11 situation, you are on the scene down there, was the happenstance that you're that close? >> guest: we are the closest national broadcaster ground zero. we operated out of a 100-year-old firehouse at the time. september 11, 2001 was election day, 2001 was election day new york. it was a primary day. we were doing the broadcast and we are in the -- we broadcast at 9:00 a.m. and now we broadcast at 8:00 a.m. but then at 9:00 a.m. at 8:47 a.m., the first plane hit the first tower. we do know what happened, we're just on the street we were within the evacuation zone. nine 9:03 a.m. the second plane hit.
and in 1973, the day the salvador in chile died in the palace, sadly the. [inaudible] , he would ultimately take control of a 17 year reign, and killed thousands of chileans and other latin americans for that is what we're looking at when this happened. we just continue to broadcast, the firehouse was opened up, it was a decommissioned firehouse in their providing water to people, phone so they could call their families, we're just interviewing people as they came in. throughout the day and then we broadcast to whoever was taking her broadcast. then we stayed inside the firehouse for the next days because we were within the evacuation zone and i for that if we went outside and i was afraid the police would force us
out because that's what they were doing to people in that area. but it was critical to keep on broadcasting. what was being projected to the rest of the world, the reaction was very different than what is happening on the ground. people screaming and streaming into parks holding candles and comforting each other. it was not a cry for war. for war. in fact there is a little sticker that artists against war put out against that grief is not a cry for war. i think that much more expresses a sentiment. we are interviewing people like a man who wrote the people's history of the united states saying we should be sending nurses and doctors into afghanistan's not not soldiers. imagine how the world would respond differently. what happened on september 11 was horrific. 3000 people incinerated in an instant, we'll never know how many people died on that day. those who gone counted in life go on counted in death and there are undocumented workers and
folks who lived in the area or work there. >> c-span: so we watched isis grow, you you suggest that that was caused by us? >> guest: i think it is many people feel, including those like tony blair, including the president who referred that you are seeing a growth of a force that came out of the destabilization of iraq. saddam hussein, there's no question he was a tyrant. but he was not a threat to the united states. also, how did he stay in power for so long, this tyrant who is oppressive to his own people? remember to his own people? remember that handshake of donald rumsfeld and saddam hussein as if the u.s. was providing support and financial support for saddam hussein under george w. bush. my colleague did a good job in showing this ensuring that image, so for long time the u.s. was supporting
iraq and saddam hussein. then they turn against him, he did not have weapons of mass distraction, why weren't we waited for the un weapons inspectors who said wait, hans and other sane way, let us do our work but president bush was intent on attacking iraq from almost a minute, give it a a day or two after september 11, you hear his national security czar another saying he was talking about iraq when we understood falwell it wasn't coming from there. another issue that is kind of a sacred cow with the media that must be challenged is 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 would think given the response of the united states that it was iraq he's. 15 of the 19 hijackers were from saudi arabia. what did president bush to get the time? he's on the truman balcony smoking a cigar with smoking a cigar with the saudi ambassador to the united states within a few days. what are they doing when all planes are grounded, this is fully document. >> c-span: was the motive of george w. bush? with the relationship to the saudis? >> guest: they were intent on night attacking iraq. there's a joke for the little boy saying what's our oil doing under their sand. it's not our oil. >> c-span: was the motive for george w. bush, do you want to go to war? what's the reason? spee2 it's a very good question why president george w. bush, white 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's a very serious question. interestingly, one of the people who signed up to be in the military who ultimately wasn't was edward snowden, one of the great whistleblowers of our time. he ended up having both his legs were broken in training and he did not go into the military. he ended up working with nsa. but he had a deep commitment to the united states and ended up showing it in a different way. >> c-span: from their perspective though, why do you think, was rumsfeld and george w. bush, were they evil people? >> guest: i mean when you look at the actions they engaged in, where they evil actions committing so many lives leading
to the loss of not only american lives but lives in iraq, and afghanistan, it's horrific what is happened. >> c-span: what motivated them to do it? that's a question that it's never been answered and obviously you are against and from the the beginning it you demonstrated before it even started. >> guest: that was a matter of same what would be the reason after the september 11 attacks when we were harmed so seriously, we would attack a country who had nothing to do with the september 11 attacks. i do not know why they were so intent on taking out saddam hussein from iraq. there many dictators in the world, except the countries that we target so often have
resources that the u.s. wants to control. for example like oil. but i think it's more complicated than that. all we can look at now we can judge is the actions they took, why in their hearts, can't tell you. >> c-span: but in a democracy. >> c-span: but in a democracy your leaders are chosen by the people, he was reelected in 2000 force of the public must not a been on happy. >> guest: that's another interesting thing our election. when when we started "democracy now" in 1996, in the end of 1995 eyes in haiti, why was it that people in covering these were people would go to the polls, risk their lives but in the united states, in many countries in the world the vast majority of people. in the united states most people do not vote for eligible or is like 50% or slightly higher. this is a very serious issue when we look at why people don't vote, i think there many obstacles put in their path and there's a question of whether they are feel there is a real choice. but we have to look at why people are elected with like 25%
of of the vote which is something like what george w bush was elected by. >> c-span: what happens when amy goodman says it's time to quit. how does "democracy now" continue? spee2 "democracy now" is a group of deeply committed producers and i cohost with different people and work with journalists all of the country and around the world. it is much bigger than me. >> c-span: but you're the one who leads it and hosted it. >> guest: 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. it is much bigger than any one institution. >> c-span: going back 20 years what were the different points along the way where you thought this might not work?
>> guest: i didn't think that come i didn't think that from the beginning. we originally began with pacifica radio and then went independent. it then we expanded to television and it continued to grow. being on this country and around the world, that hunger for independent voices has, it's just enormous, that that wasn't really something i thought from the beginning. >> c-span: walking getting your way now, at this moment going forward, who are you dependent on? besides money that keeps you going. in other words other words satellite, dish tv carries you. >> guest: yes. we are on public radio, public television, community radio, community radio stations, public access on both satellite networks on dish network, on both directv and around the world. we pioneered away to send and
this was because the time the networks would spend millions. even in saddam hussein's hussein's iraq play millions of dollars to use the satellite. we cannot afford satellites like that. we pioneered pioneered a way to send broadcast quality video way back through the internet. and that was so we could send it to stations all over. now course that is commonplace. >> c-span: is that how they get it? spee2 now we use satellites as well. we. we use every means necessary to get information out. the internet is also something that we have to fight for two not be afraid to allow the companies or corporate networks to rewrite the rules of the internet so that it is privatized. is something we have developed what public resources and it's a great equalizer. it's a way we can talk with each other all over the world. >> c-span: seventy might have listened this last hour and said you know, amy goodman goodman is
not a lot different than the united states a senator, just a different platform. >> guest: i'm a journalist. >> c-span: what is a journalist? >> guest: while i can just say that what i do, i started as a young person in junior high school and high school covering what was happening in our schools. the principal, and that i just took it to a larger stage beyond that. it is a been there, chronicling what is happening, digging deep, going beyond the he said, she said to look at what is happening in the world. chronicling it, it is not just a matter of different perspective. some part of this is just a being a form for people to speak for themselves. another part is digging deep to get at the truth. this issue of holding those in power accountable is essential.
that is why independent media is essential to any democracy. i hope that 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 chronicle democracy now, to show a model that is not to state media, is is not corporate media, that is truly independent. >> c-span: in ten years what you thank you would be saying about the journalism of this country? >> guest: hopefully independent media will be the par for the course. it's unusual that you would have weapons, and insurance industries running the essential check on power. that instead it would be an outgrowth of a democracy saying, we need independent bodies for monitoring and holding those in power accountable.
>> c-span: our guest has a book out called democracy now, could could 20 years covering the movements, changing america along with her brother david and her friend dennis. thank you very much. >> guest: thank you so much brian. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> for free transcripts visit us at q&a.org. q&a programs are also available at c-span podcast.
>> tomorrow on q&a, an interview with public interest lawyer and politician, market green. he'll talk but he'll talk about his group, bright, infinite future, generational memoir. that starts tomorrow evening at 7:00 p.m. eastern c-span2. let's it take you to politics and prose a bookstore in washington. we are moment or two away from getting started with a discussion on race, relations, news politics and including an examination and the rise of racial incidents. tonight's program is moderated by april brian. she is from the urban radio networks washington bureau. she is their chief and and she is the author of the presidency in black and white. there she is walking in the red dress. the presidency and black-and-white, and up close view of three presidents and race in america. on the panel tonight joey and read who wrote
fractured, barack obama, the clintons clintons and the racial divide. also the author of -- julienne malveaux wrote are we better off, race, obama and public policy. and michael hagan who is the author of jim crow, ending racism in a post-racial america. that is the lineup. microphones are being put on. will have live coverage in just a moment on c-span2. >> , [inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation]