[Videolib] new film featuring amy goodman from DEMOCRACY NOW

Steve Fesenmaier (fesenms@wvlc.lib.wv.us)
Wed, 16 Jun 2004 09:43:40 -0400

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The Indymedia War and Peace Trilogy DVD includes:
Independent Media in a Time of War
Voices Against War: F15 NYC
Women's Fast for Peace
-Bonus shorts with Amy Goodman, Jeremy Scahill, and the "Peace Train"
-Study Guides
-HM-IMC audio commentaries

Order a copy of The War and Peace Trilogy online on DVD. To order by
phone, please call 212.431.9445

1. INDEPENDENT MEDIA IN A TIME OF WAR: (also available on VHS)

Part scathing critique, part call to action, "Independent Media In A
Time Of War" is a hard-hitting new documentary by the Hudson Mohawk
Independent Media Center (www.hm.indymedia.org). This film is composed
of a speech given by Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now! illustrated by
clips of mainstream media juxtaposed with rare footage from independent
reporters in Iraq. The documentary argues that dialogue is vital to a
healthy democracy. "Independent media has a crucial responsibility to go
to where the silence is," says Amy Goodman, "to represent the diverse
voices of people engaged in dissent." She makes a compelling argument
that the commercial news media have failed to represent the "true face
of war."

Thanks to Joe Public Films and Tom Jackson for contributing footage from
"Greetings From Missile Street"

Running Time: 29:00

Download realplayer: Real Media Player
Watch video online: Dial-Up | Broadband

Chronicles the experiences of "ordinary" people on the streets of
Manhattan as they joined millions around the globe in "The World Says No
To War" protests
Running Time: 21:43

With the invasion of Iraq looming, more than 125 women in upstate New
York fasted to create a culture of peace rather than of war.
Running Time: 29:00



Select clips from a speech by Amy Goodman.
AMY GOODMAN: The media are among the most powerful institutions on
earth. Cuz they are not only among the wealthiest, but they are the way
the whole world views us and we view each other.


AMY GOODMAN: The other morning I was invited on a commercial radio
station, a little bit of a shock jockey station for a few minutes after
the statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down by the U.S. Marines in
Baghdad. One of their first questions was "how do you feel now?" They
also asked me about what I think about the torture rooms that were
found. In talking about the torture rooms, I could only think about how
important it was to be aware of what torture is. How horrific it is.
Whether Saddam Hussein does it, that military tyrant who assured up by
the United States for so long. Or the fact that now, there is an
actually acceptable debate in this country, in the mainstream media
about whether the U.S. should torture people to get information. And if
the U.S. doesn't do it, for example those at Guantanamo Bay, those at
Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan, isn't it O.K. to send them to countries
that do engage in torture? I thought, those torture chamber's of Saddam
Hussein are very important lessons to all of us about what is not
acceptable in a civilized society, neither here nor there.

There was a piece in the Wall Street Journal the other day about the
difference between CNN and CNN International, two different networks
owned by the same company. And they talked about the difference on that
day, the day that the statue was pulled down. On CNN, all day we watched
that statue pull down and went back up and pulled down again.


AMY GOODMAN: On CNN International they also showed the statue pulled
down but it was a split screen and on half the screen they showed the
casualties of war and on the other half they showed the statue pull
down. Now I'm not talking about the difference between CNN and Al
Jazeera. I'm talking about the difference between CNN and CNN
International. It means that that company knows exactly what it's doing.
What they provide for domestic consumption and what they provide to the
rest of the world. Now think about what the rest of the world sees and
what we see here in the United States.

Some of you may have heard the hour discussion we had with CNN's Aaron
Brown and we were asking him a lot of questions like "Where are the
pictures of casualties in the U.S. media"?

AARON BROWN: I think there are actually legitimate questions here about
have we over sanitized this?

AMY GOODMAN: And he said, "well some of them are tasteless". And we
said, "well, war is tasteless". I was speaking at St. Mark's Church in
New York and I talked about how Al Jazerra shows all these casualties
pictures and a journalist came up to me afterwards from Berlin and said,
"It's not just Al Jazeera that's showing these. All over Europe we see
them day and night. It's just here in the United States that you don't
see them". And so we asked Aaron Brown, "Why don't they show some of the
shots", you know CNN was kicked out of Baghdad and he said "it's tough
to get those shots". You have no trouble taking Al Jazeera's footage of
the bombs over Baghdad, the kind-of fireworks display that we saw that
night scape, but when it came to taking their pictures of casualties.
Well, he said, "they're tasteless".

I really do think that if for one week in the United States we saw the
true face of war, we saw people's limbs sheered off, we saw the kids
blown apart, for one week war would be eradicated. Instead what we see
in the U.S. media and it's just quite astounding, it's the video war
game. Those gray-grainy photographs with a target on them looking down
but you don't see, we don't see those people as the targets on the

NEWS CLIP: The administration is very proud of the precision with which
they went about yesterday's attack.

FOX NEWS: There have been apparently very few casualties which is
exactly what the United States government wanted, right Colonel?


AMY GOODMAN: A Newsday reporter asked me the other day, am I opposed to
embedded reporters? You know they say it in the mainstream media, I
don't know how to say it, they say and our reporter embedded with the

NEWS CLIP: Our reporter, Diane Mearial who is embedded with the British
troops in southern Iraq.
101st airborne. These rules are bent sometimes.

AMY GOODMAN: Even Walter Cronkite the other day raised some objections
"What an unfortunate choice of words" he said. And he was critical. You
rarely hear that criticism in the mainstream media, the working
journalists today. What kind of critical reporting do we get?

NEWS CLIP You might find this interesting that when the tanks are
inspected it's not unlike taking your car to a gas station. Ah, they
have a dipstick that they put into the engine to check the oil levels.

NEWS CLIP No one does this better in the world than the American GI.

AMY GOODMAN: It's this parade of retired generals that are on the
network's payrolls.

NEWS CLIP I'm back with two of our military analysts who've been with us
this morning who are helping us understand this war.

AMY GOODMAN: We now have people like Wesley Clarke, General Wesley
Clarke on the payroll of CNN who is questioning their embedded reporter
on the front line. He is questioning the reporter and the reporter is
saying "Yes sir, No Sir".

NEWS CLIP This is a very special moment in time for the men and families
and for this country. It is often fascinating for me. General Clarke and
I have spent a good amount of time together today and over the week.

AMY GOODMAN: This is journalism in America today. They have redefined
general news and we have got to challenge that.


AMY GOODMAN: Why is it if they have these retired generals on the
payroll, they don't have peace activists and peace leaders also on the
payroll? So let's have the same number of reporters embedded with Iraqi
families, let's have reporters embedded in the peace movement all over
the world, and maybe then we'll get some accurate picture of what's
going on. Aaron Brown had some interesting comments. He said "no",
because these generals are analysts. He said he admits they came late to
the peace movement. But once the war started those voices are irrelevant
because then the war is on.

AARON BROWN: It's just not the relevant question right now.


AARON BROWN: Because it's over. It's on. It's being done.

AMY GOODMAN: I asked him, well how would the Vietnam War have ended
then? And do you think we would have seen the most famous picture from
the Vietnam War, that picture of the little girl with the Napalm burning
all over her? Would we have seen that picture that helped end the war?
And he said, "well, of course". I said, "how?". We're seeing these
romanticized pictures of soldiers against sunsets and the planes on
those aircraft carriers that the embedded photographers are getting at
the sunrise hour.

The Newsday reporter who did this profile today asked about my engaging
in advocacy in journalism. And I said, "the establishment reporters are
my model".

NBC: Revolutionary coverage, the power of NBC news.

AMY GOODMAN: Think about Dan Rather the night that the bombs started
falling on Iraq. He said, "Good Morning Baghdad"

DAN RATHER: CBS news has been told...

AMY GOODMAN: And Tom Brokaw said "we don't want to destroy the
infrastructure of Iraq because we're going to own it in a few days.

TOM BROKAW: Shock and awe...

AMY GOODMAN: And Peter Jennings was interviewing Chris Cuomo who is a
reporter for ABC and he was out on the street, where we were, Times
Square, thousands of people in the freezing rain who had come out to
protest the war. They had all sorts of signs that were sopping wet and
people were trying to keep the umbrellas up and the police charged a
part of the crowd. Jennings said to Cuomo "what are they doing out
there, what are they saying?" And he said, "well they have these signs
that say no blood for oil but when you ask them what that means they
seem very confused. I don't think they know why they're out here." I
guess they got caught in a traffic jam. Why not have Peter Jennings,
instead of asking someone who clearly doesn't understand why they're out
there, invite one of them into the studio? And have a discussion like he
does with the generals.

NEWS CLIP: It's captivating to watch this technology at work.

AMY GOODMAN: Why don't they also put doctors on the payroll. That way
you can have the general talking about the bomb that Lockheed Martin
made and the kind of plane that drops it and whether it was precision
guided or not. And then you can have the doctor talking about the effect
of the bomb. Not for or against the war, just how a cluster bomb enters
your skin and what it means when your foot is blown off, if you're lucky
and you're not killed. So why not have doctors and generals at least.
But this is just to show how low the media has gone.

FOX NEWS: Stay brave, stay aware and stay with Fox.

AMY GOODMAN: You have not only Fox, but MSNBC and NBC, yes owned by
General Electric, one of the major nuclear weapons manufacturers in the
world. MSNBC and NBC as well as Fox titling their coverage taking the
name of what the pentagon calls the invasion of Iraq. Operation Iraqi
Freedom. So that's what the pentagon does and you expect that, they
research the most effective propagandistic name to call their operation.
But for the media to name their coverage what the pentagon calls it.
Everyday seeing Operation Iraqi Freedom you have to ask, if this were
state media how would it be any different?

BUSH: In Iraq, the regime of Saddam Hussein is no more.

MICHAEL MOORE at the Oscars: We live in a time where we have a man
sending us to war for fictitious reasons. We are against this war Mr.
Bush. Shame on you Mr. Bush. Shame on you. And anytime you've got the
Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up! Thank you very

AMY GOODMAN: Even now the media has had to start reporting a little bit
on the protest. But it's not those events that we're talking about. It's
the daily drumbeat coverage who is interviewed on the front pages of the
New York Times and the Washington Post for the headline stories and the
network newscasts that matters. They're the ones shaping foreign policy.

FAIR did a a study. In the week leading up to General Colin Powell going
to the security council to make his case for the invasion and the week
afterwards, this was the period where more than half of the people in
this country were opposed to an invasion. They did a study of CBS
evening news, NBC nightly news, ABC evening news and the NewsHour with
Jim Lehrer on PBS. The four major newscasts. Two weeks. 393 interviews
on war. 3 were anti-war voices. 3 of almost 400 and that included PBS.
This has to be changed. It has to be challenged.

We are not the only ones, Pacifica Radio, NPR stations, we are not the
only ones that are using the public airwaves, they are too. And they
have to provide the diversity of opinion that fully expresses the debate
and the anguish and the discussions that are going on all over this
country. That is media serving a democratic society.


AMY GOODMAN: For awhile in talks before the invasion, I've been saying
as we see the full page pictures of the target on Saddam Hussein's
forehead that it would be more accurate to show the target on the
forehead of a little Iraqi girl because that's who dies in war. The
overwhelming majority of people who die are innocent civilians. And then
what happens on the first night of the invasion? Missile strikes a
residential area in Baghdad. They say they think they've taken out
Saddam Hussein. Independent reporter May Ying Welsh who stayed their as
the bombs fell, who you heard on Democracy Now! on a regular basis, went
to the hospital right after that first attack and there was a
four-year-old girl critically injured from that missile attack and her
mother critically injured and her mother's sister. That's who dies,
that's who gets injured in war. Ghandi asking, you know when he was
asked what do you think of Western civilization? He said I think it
would be a good idea.

Here are some of the headlines: Can you help me get my arms back? Do you
think the doctors can get me another pair of hands? If I don't get a
pair of hands, I'll commit suicide. These were the words of 12-year-old,
Ali Ismail Abass, who lost his arms, was orphaned and received severe
burns when a missile hit his home ten days ago. The wounded Iraqi boy
has begun eating food and drinking normally after recovering from
initial surgery at a hospital in Kuwait City to place a temporary graft
over the deep burns in his chest, abdomen and groin. He's expected to
undergo further surgery that will involve grafting skin from his own
body. The badly burned child amputee has become the icon of civilian
suffering in the U.S. led invasion of Iraq. His pregnant mother, father,
brother and 12 other relatives died when a missile obliterated their
home. One story.

And I think of the woman from the shock jock station who asked, "now
what do you think, are you really not going to call this a victory"?


AMY GOODMAN: I talked earlier about it being such a dark day for
journalism in this country. It's a dark day for journalism around the
world, with at this point they think 14 journalists killed. An
incredibly high proportion of foreign deaths. We don't know the number
of Iraqi deaths, thousands of people have been killed. But journalists,
mainly unembedded reporters like those at the Palestine hotel. Everyone
knew where the Palestine hotel was and it was packed with hundreds of
reporters who are packed in like sardines when the U.S. military shelled
the hotel, killing a Ukrainian cameraman. Killing a Spanish cameraman
and then there was Tareq Ayub (sp), who is the Palestinian Jordain
reporter who had just come in from Jordan and was at his office at Al
Jazeera. Al Jazeera had given the coordinates to the office repeatedly
to the Pentagon and maybe that was their first mistake.

NEWS CLIP: We gave them the exact location in terms of longitude and
latitude. The height of the building from the ground.

AMY GOODMAN: Because the Pentagon dropped a missile on the Al Jazeera
offices and killed the 34-year-old journalist. His wife, wailing in
Amman at the funeral said, "hate breeds hate." The U.S. said they were
doing this to route out terrorism, who's engaged in terrorism now? Abu
Dabi TV, which was right next door, their competitor, the reporters were
still broadcasting as the tanks surrounded them and they knew that they
had already bombed the Al Jazeera offices, pleaded with anyone to help
save them as the tanks surrounded and shelled their offices. In this
country, there has hardly been a peep from the establishment mainstream
media objecting to what the U.S. military has done. Pentagon
spokesperson Victoria Clark, she was in charge of the Washington office
in the first gulf war when that 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl gave that
heart-rending testimony before the Human Rights Caucus about how she
watched Iraqi soldiers drag Kuwaiti babies out of incubators. Turned out
it was all a hoax, she was never there. She's the daughter of the
Kuwaiti ambassador. Well the Pentagon was very impressed and she's now
their spokesperson.

The two Spanish journalists who died. Two, Jose Cousa from Telecinco. He
was a cameraman and also the Spanish reporter who died, Julio Anguita
Perado (ph), a reporter for Spanish newspaper El Mundo. When this
happened the Spanish reporters, back in Spain, said "no" and they
engaged in a one day strike. When the Prime Minister of Spain came to
the Spanish Parliament, they laid down the tools of their trade, they
put down their cameras, their pens and their pencils, they laid down the
cables and the microphones and they turned their backs and said "Shame",
that they would not record the words of the powerful who have condoned
these acts. And then they went outside, hundreds of media workers. These
were the elite journalists of Spain and they stood outside the U.S.
Embassy, they blocked the intersection and they chanted "murderer,

As the press in this country, unfortunately people like Ann Garrells of
NPR, said that Tareq Ayub should have known better than to be in his
office. The Agence France-Presse reporter in New York was outraged as he
listened to this report. They got calls from all over, "How dare you
blame the victim" and she a reporter herself and I watched on CNN as
Aaron Brown asked General Wesley Clarke why this happened and he said,
"well this was clearly a mistake". And Victoria Clark is put on saying
that "they should know Baghdad is dangerous and they should not be
there". I believe that's the role of reporters to go to where the
silence is, to bring us the voices of people who are at Ground Zero. Now
it's one thing if they were killed by others but they were killed by
Victoria Clark's own troops and she never apologized. The pentagon has
yet to do that and now 14 journalists are dead.

It is a very strong message that is being sent to the world's reporters
now that this embedding has become such a success. And that is you're in
bed with the military or well, think about the Palestine hotel.

MUSIC: And the mighty multi-nationals have monopolized the oxygen so
it's as easy as breathing for us all to participate.

AMY GOODMAN: On the night that the bombing began to go over to the Ani
Difranco concert at the New Jersey performing arts center some of you
may have heard what happened. You might wonder, why go on the moment
that the bombs are about to fall, but 2000 young people were packed into
the fine arts center in Newark, New Jersey to see Ani, a wonderful
artist perform. And she said I could introduce her and also explain the
importance of independent media in a time of war and where people could
get alternative information. They were also going to have political
tabling and we raced over to the performing arts center and I called the
cell phone and Ani answered. I thought she was going on the stage and
getting ready and I said "what are you doing answering this phone?" She
said, "I don't know if the concert's going to go on. They'll probably
close down the concert if you go on the stage, They said no political
speech allowed but we are willing to risk this. They said take the mike
and make your statement about democratic media in a time of war and if
they close the mike which we expect, we have a mike right behind that's
Ani's mike and pick it up and just keep on talking". Now why is this
significant and why does it relate to the rest of the country?
Clear-Channel is the very Bush-connected company that went from owning
47 radio stations to 1400 in no time at all. As the FCC and Michael
Powell son of General Colin Powell who heads it are in the process of
deregulating the media and so we have seen this explosion of ownership,
except I would say a concentration of ownership, owning 1400 radio
stations in the country. They are sponsoring pro-war rallies and they
are saying that music that is critical of war cannot be played and their
pushing other kinds of songs and they're saying no political speech

Well we got up and we gave our little speech and they didn't close the
mike and Ani got up and she said, "that's one for the people and zero
for the knuckle-heads." and then she sang...

ANI DIFRANCO: Your next bold move. The next thing you're going to need
to prove to yourself...

AMY GOODMAN: These are very serious times at every level. Michael
Franti, the great hip-hop artist just told his story on Democracy Now!
of being at a concert on the east coast, flying home to California, and
the FBI knocking on the door. The FBI knocking on the door of one of the
band members homes, and starting to question them and showing them
pictures of their performance the night before on the east coast. And
starting to question about who everyone is. He described getting his MTV
email. These are artists who've got their music videos that said, "we
will play no songs that say the word war". This all has to be

Our mission is to make dissent commonplace in America so you're not
surprised when you're at work, someone walks over to the water cooler
and makes a comment and someone isn't shocked and says, "what's that all
about?" but that it comes out of the finest tradition that built this
country. People engaged in dissent. We have parallel worlds in this
country. For some it's the greatest democracy on earth. There is no
question about that. But for others, immigrants now in detention
facilities, they have no rights, not even to a lawyer. And we have to be
there and we have to watch and we have to listen. We have to tell their
stories until they can tell their own. That's why I think Democracy Now!
is a very good model for the rest of the media, as is the Indy Media
Center all over the country and the world. Built on almost nothing
except the goodwill and the curiosity and the interest and the passion
of people who are tired of seeing their friends and neighbors through a
corporate lens and particularly tired and afraid of the fact that that
image is being projected all over the world. That is very dangerous.
Dissent is what makes this country healthy. And the media has to fight
for that and we have to fight for an independent media.


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