By Jim Frazier
“Tea Party activists share some common goals with progressives,” said Amy Goodman, creator of Democracy Now, a liberal TV and radio show that airs on public stations across America. She spoke to an overflow crowd in Boulder on November 5 at a fundraiser for the public radio station KGNU (88.5 FM and 1390 AM) About 600 members and listeners to the station assembled at the Unity Church in Boulder to buy her books and contribute funds to the station.
Evangelical Christians were the butt of jokes by warm-up speakers with a general comedic theme that aligned “evangelical Christians with the Aryan Nation which originated in Sand Point, Idaho where Sarah Palin was born.”
A more serious theme involved creating “social justice” with public media. “The best way to change the world and create ‘social justice’ in America is to support independent media,” said a KGNU manager. The radio station, staffed mostly by volunteers, has been on the air since 1978. Social justice is a cornerstone of Agenda 21, a UN document formed at the Earth Summit in 1992. The theme of “social justice” is the foundation of the new global order designed to ‘spread the wealth’ and create a new “balancing” of the world economies.
Although the audience was composed mostly of “liberal progressives,” some of the values expressed by Goodman echoed the values of Tea Party activists. Afterwards, in an interview, she suggested that a consensus might be created between the two cultural groups. One area of possible agreement is the financing of political campaigns.
“Political campaigns must be changed so that money does not dominate,” Goodman told the audience. “The American people own the airwaves, yet $4 billion was paid to private radio stations for airtime during this 2010 election. That is wrong,” she said. “The TV and radio stations make huge profits off the campaigns. That is why the media executives will never solve the problem or limit spending.” She said that elected politicians are afraid to correct the issue for fear of losing media support during their next campaign.
“The mainstream TV and radio stations receive a license which costs them nothing,” Goodman explained. “They gain millions in profit by using airwaves that belong to the people.” She suggested that all national and statewide political campaigns could use the national network of non-profit public radio and TV stations. “That would solve the problem,” she said.
Another issue of possible consensus involved mainstream news gathering. Goodman said national news media are owned by wealthy people who filter the news to control public information. “The opposing views are ignored, not reported, or under-reported,” she said.
For example, Democracy Now, features interviews with people on issues not covered by national media. “Freedom of speech is the prime area where a consensus might be created,” Goodman said. She described her arrest at the last Republican national convention for documenting protests in the streets. She also told how Canadian border guards detained her recently when she was trying to enter Canada. “I was invited there to speak about democracy in Canada. They went through our laptop computers, read our email and kept us in a room for over four hours,” she said. “They were afraid I would talk about the Olympics.”
In an interview after the event, Goodman said that Tea Party activists and Progressives share a strong belief in freedom of speech. “Freedom of speech is one area where the two groups could begin to unite,” she said.
Goodman is the author of several books: “Static,” “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” and “Standing up to the Madness.” She provided a statement for conservatives to consider. ”I wrote a book called “Static” with my brother, David Goodman. The reason we called it Static, is because even in this high tech age, still all we get is static on television and radio—a veil of distortion and lies and misrepresentations and half-truths. What we need is a media that gives us the dictionary definition of static which is ‘criticism, opposition, and unwanted interference.’ We need a media that covers power, not one that covers for power; we need a media that is the Fourth Estate not a media for the state. We need a media that covers the movements that create static and make history.”
She ended her audience speech to rousing applause with one of her most popular quotes, “We will not be silent – Democracy Now.”