Democracy Now! is a syndicated program of news, analysis, and opinion aired by more than 700 radio and television, satellite television and cable TV networks in North America. Democracy Now! serves as the flagship program for the Pacifica Radio network.
Democracy Now! was founded in 1996 at WBAI-FM in New York City by journalists Amy Goodman, Juan Gonzalez, Larry Bensky, Salim Muwakkil, and Julie Drizin. Goodman is the program's principal host, with Juan Gonzalez as frequent co-host. Jeremy Scahill is a frequent contributor. Since 2008, producers Anjali Kamat and Sharif Abdel Kouddous have occasionally been featured as fill-in hosts. The Spanish version (Democracy Now! en Español) includes the daily headlines, as well as a weekly summary of the news and was begun by Andres Thomas Conteris in May of 2005.
The program focuses on issues its producers consider underreported or ignored by mainstream news coverage.
Democracy Now!'s War and Peace Report provides our audience with access to people and perspectives rarely heard in the U.S.corporate-sponsored media, including independent and international journalists, ordinary people from around the world who are directly affected by U.S. foreign policy, grassroots leaders and peace activists, artists, academics and independent analysts.
Goodman's tagline for the program is, "The Exception to the Rulers".
The show was previously broadcast from Pacifica Radio's WBAI radio station in New York, and was relocated to the DCTV firehouse during a management conflict at the station, during 2000–2001. On September 14, 2001, the show became televised, expanding its reach to cable and satellite viewers.
Democracy Now! receives no corporate, government or Corporation for Public Broadcasting grants or funding, stating that the independence of their programming would be undermined or otherwise compromised.
Funding for Democracy Now! is primarily derived from listeners, viewers, and foundations. In 2004, Ford Foundation awarded a grant of US$150,000 "to produce, broadcast and distribute a series of radio, television and Internet reports on the media reform movement in the United States."[unverified] From 2001, approximately US$350,000 in grant money was awarded by the Lannan Foundation of the family of former ITT board member J. Peter Lannan.[unverified]
Democracy Now! is the flagship national program of the Pacifica Radio network on which it airs. It also airs on some NPR and community radio stations. The television simulcast airs on public access cable television stations; on satellite via Free Speech TV (channel 9415 on DISH Network) and Link TV (channel 375 on DirecTV, channel 9410 on DISH Network), and free-to-air on C Band. Democracy Now! is available over the Internet, as both streaming audio and video, and as a podcast and torrent.
While covering the protests at the 2008 Republican National Convention, several Democracy Now! members including Amy Goodman, two producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, and videographer/filmmaker Elizabeth Press were arrested by police on charges including probable cause for riot while they were videotaping arrests by police outside a house. Their press release calls the arrests of the producers unlawful and "a clear violation of the freedom of the press and the First Amendment rights."
Democracy Now! and its staff have received dozens of journalism awards, including the Pinnacle Award for American Women in Radio & Television; the George Polk Award for its 1998 radio documentary Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship, on the Chevron Corporation and the deaths of two Nigerian villagers protesting an oil spill; and Goodman with Allan Nairn won Robert F. Kennedy Memorial's First Prize in International Radio for their 1993 report, Massacre: The Story of East Timor which involved first-hand coverage of genocide in East Timor.
On October 1, 2008, Goodman was named as a recipient of the 2008 Right Livelihood Award, often referred to as the "Alternative Nobel Prize", in connection with her years of work establishing Democracy Now! as a major force in alternative journalism.
 Notable guests, interviews, and on-air debates
- Mumia Abu-Jamal — Democracy Now! was one of the first national programs to air radio commentaries from the controversial journalist and former Black Panther Party member, on death row in Pennsylvania for the murder of a Philadelphia police officer.
- Tariq Ali and Christopher Hitchens — took opposing sides in two debates over the Iraq War, in December 4, 2003 and October 12, 2004.
- Jean-Bertrand Aristide — on March 16, 2004, The recently ousted Haitian President accused the United States of kidnapping him and overthrowing the government of Haiti.
- Lori Berenson — Interviewed in 1999 in Peru by Amy Goodman; political activist arrested in 1995 on suspicion of collaborating with the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, a Peruvian leftist guerrilla organization. It was the first time a journalist was able to interview Berenson inside the prison where she was incarcerated.
- Jimmy Carter — Interviewed by Amy Goodman on 10 September 2007; former US President: author of Palestine Peace Not Apartheid.
- Hugo Chávez, President of Venezuela — Interviewed by Amy Goodman in September 2005.
- Noam Chomsky — A regularly interviewed guest; MIT linguistics professor, political analyst, and author.
- Alan Dershowitz and Norman G. Finkelstein — Finkelstein is a frequent guest. This was a much publicised debate about whether the Dershowitz book, The Case for Israel was plagiarized and inaccurate. Dershowitz has written that he agreed to appear on the show after being told he would debate Noam Chomsky, not Finkelstein.
- Michael Eric Dyson — Regular guest; Georgetown professor, writer & radio host.
- Robert Fisk — Frequent guest; prominent British journalist who currently serves as a Middle East correspondent for The Independent.
- Danny Glover — Regular guest; American actor, film director, and political activist.
- Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve — by Amy Goodman and Naomi Klein, journalist and author of The Shock Doctrine, September 24, 2007. In a follow-up interview, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalists Donald Barlett and James Steele, based on their October 2007 article in Vanity Fair, call Greenspan "flat wrong" regarding claims by Greenspan in that interview denying Federal Reserve responsibility in the transfer of billions of dollars from the Federal Reserve to Iraq, $9 billion of which the reporters claim has yet to be accounted.
- Dennis Kucinich, Democratic presidential candidate — Interviewed by Goodman and Gonzalez on November 9, 2007.
- George McGovern, 1972 Democratic presidential nominee — Interviewed by Goodman on March 11, 2008 about that year's presidential race and how McGovern's chairmanship of the Democratic Party Reform Commission (1969-70) transformed the nominating process.
- Evo Morales - Interviewed on September 22, 2006; the president of Bolivia talked about his recent speech at the United Nations in New York where he held up a coca leaf and argued for international drug law reform as well as talked about the nationalization of Bolivia's energy reserves among other topics.
- Bill Moyers — Interviewed by Amy Goodman; former host of the PBS show NOW with Bill Moyers and currently the host of the PBS show Bill Moyers' Journal.
- Yoko Ono — Musician, peace activist and widow of John Lennon. Interviewed by Amy Goodman on October 16, 2007.
- Greg Palast — Frequent guest; US-born writer and investigative journalist for the BBC and The Observer.
- Scott Ritter — Interviewed by Amy Goodman; former UN weapons inspector who disputed the Bush administration's claims about weapons programs in Iraq.
- Arundhati Roy — Recurring guest; Indian writer, anti-war activist, and leading figure in the alter-globalization movement
- Edward Said — was a regular guest; Columbia University professor, literary critic and Palestinian activist and intellectual.
- Howard Zinn — Interviewed by Amy Goodman; historian and activist; author of several books, including A People's History of the United States.
 Criticisms from Guests
- Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States — interviewed by Amy Goodman on November 7, 2000. The White House press office had lined up a series of short, routine, election-day interviews with local news outlets. But in this interview, which extended to nearly 30 minutes, Clinton was confronted with a series of pointed questions that compelled him to defend his record on a wide array of issues, with Clinton at one point complaining Goodman "asked questions in a hostile, combative and even disrespectful tone."
- Lou Dobbs — In a December 4, 2007 interview Dobbs criticized Goodman and Gonzalez of not "do[ing] representative journalism" when questioned about the validity of the facts that he presents in his news casts pertaining to immigration in the United States.
 See also
- Human rights in the United States
- Independent Media Center
- List of Military Interventions of the United States
- private military corporations (also PMC investigator Jeremy Scahill)
- post-Cold War covert regime change by the US
- US military operations in the 20th and 21st centuries
- Weather Underground
- Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn on Democracy Now!
- Madge Weinstein
- Alternative media
- Chiquita (United Fruit Company)
- Dershowitz-Finkelstein affair
- Independent media
- Peace movement
- Social justice
- INN World Report
- ↑ Lizzy Ratner (2005-05-05). "Amy Goodman's 'Empire'". The Nation. http://www.thenation.com/doc/20050523/ratner.</li>
- ↑ The First Democracy Now! Show. Democracy Now!. URL accessed on [[2008-03-05-->]].</li>
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 About Democracy Now!. Democracy Now!.</li>
- ↑ Satellite. Democracy Now!.</li>
- ↑ Amy Goodman and Two Democracy Now! Producers Unlawfully Arrested At the RNC. Democracy Now!.</li>
- ↑ 25th Annual Awards - 1993. Robert F Kennedy Memorial.</li>
- ↑ Amy Goodman. Right Livelihood Award.</li>
- ↑ Right Livelihood Award.</li>
- ↑ Tariq Ali vs. Christopher Hitchens on the Occupation of Iraq: Postponed Liberation or Recolonisation?</li>
- ↑ Tariq Ali v. Christopher Hitchens: A Debate on the U.S. War on Iraq, the Bush-Kerry Race and the Neo-Conservative Movement.</li>
- ↑ Exclusive: Aristide Talks With Democracy Now! About His Return to the Caribbean.</li>
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Lori Berenson: MIT Graduate in Peruvian Prison.</li>
- ↑ Fmr. President Jimmy Carter on “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” Iraq, Greeting the Shah of Iran at the White House, Selling Weapons to Indonesia During the Occupation of East Timor, and More.</li>
- ↑ Hugo Chavez: “If the Imperialist Government of the White House Dares to Invade Venezuela, the War of 100 Years Will be Unleashed in South America”.</li>
- ↑ Alan Dershowitz (2007-05-14). "Taking the Bait". The New Republic. http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20070521&s=diarist052107.</li>
- ↑ Amy Goodman (2007-09-24). "Alan Greenspan vs. Naomi Klein on the Iraq War, Bush’s Tax Cuts, Economic Populism, Crony Capitalism and More". Democracy Now!. http://www.democracynow.org/2007/9/24/alan_greenspan_vs_naomi_klein_on.
(2007). Democracy Now! 9/24/07. (.RAM) Pacifica Radio.</li>
- ↑ Daniel Barlett, James Steele (2007-10). "Billions over Baghdad". Vanity Fair. http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/10/iraq_billions200710.</li>
- ↑ Amy Goodman (2007-10-09). "Mr. Greenspan is Flat Wrong: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalists Respond to Alan Greenspan’s Claim that He Didn’t Know about Federal Reserve’s Role in Iraq’s Missing Billions". Democracy Now!. http://www.democracynow.org/2007/10/9/mr_greenspan_is_flat_wrong_pulitzer.</li>
- ↑ Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Effort to Impeach Vice President Cheney Still Alive.</li>
- ↑ Bolivian President Evo Morales on Latin America, U.S. Foreign Policy and the Role of the Indigenous People of Bolivia.</li>
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 Democracy Now! Exclusive Interview with President Bill Clinton.</li>
- ↑ Amy Goodman (2000-11-08). "Exclusive Interview with President Bill Clinton". Democracy Now!. http://www.democracynow.org/print.pl?sid=03/04/07/0244240.
(2000). Democracy Now! 11/08/00. (.RAM) Pacifica Radio. </li>
- ↑ Bill Clinton Loses His Cool in Democracy Now! Interview on Everything But Monica" Transcript from Democracy Now! website 22 June 2004. Retrieved 8 March 2009.</li>
- ↑ Fact-Checking Dobbs:CNN anchor Lou Dobbs challenged on immigration issues. Democracy Now!..</li></ol>
 External links
- Official website
- VIDEO: Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times, Democracy Now! host, Amy Goodman, and her brother, David Goodman, from their recent book tour, April 14, 2008, Portland, Oregon.
- "Democracy Now! History in the Making", An article by Angela Alston about the innovative distribution of the Democracy Now! TV show, published in The Independent (June 2002).