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Q&A with Amy Goodman, host of ‘Democracy Now!’


Editor’s Note: Amy Goodman, host of “Democracy Now!”, visited the University last night in the Rutgers Student Center Multipurpose Room for a lecture hosted by the Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs. The Daily Targum’s Thursday columnist Joe Amditis had the opportunity to catch up with her and ask a few questions.

DAILY TARGUM: So you’re on your 100-city book tour for “The Silenced Majority.” Can you tell us a little bit about what your book, “The Silenced Majority,” is about?

AMY?GOODMAN: Well the title of the book, we chose “The Silenced Majority” because I really do think that those who are deeply concerned about  war, who are concerned about the growing inequality in this country, concerned about climate change, the fate of the Earth, are not a fringe minority — not even a silent majority, but the silenced majority — silenced by the corporate media, and we have to take it back.

DT: You talk about, in your book, the “large kitchen table,” of which the media presents the forum to talk about these issues. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience with that and how you think we can change that and further the goal?

AG: I see the media as a huge kitchen table that stretches across the globe that we all sit around and debate and discuss the most important issues of the day: war and peace, life and death, and anything less than that is a disservice to a democratic society. And so, everyday on our news hour, Democracy Now!?on DemocracyNow.org, which also broadcasts here on The Core, we span the globe and we bring out the voices of people at the grassroots describing their own experiences, and there’s nothing more important. When you hear someone speaking for themselves, it breaks down barriers that fuel the bigotry and hate groups that fuel groups like the KKK. I really do think that the media can be the greatest force for peace on Earth.

DT: A lot of us that are in the area are still suffering from Hurricane Sandy and the aftermath of that. It is really great to be able to hear things on WBAI and The Core — it’s great to have that — but what would you say to students who are still kind of looking for that light, I?guess you could say. How would we be able to help??What are the kinds of things we could do?

AG: It’s important that the media not move away from these critical issues, especially when people are still suffering. People still can talk about what they’re experiencing so that the situation can improve, and that’s a media of the people, by the people, for the people.

DT: I wanted to talk about President Obama’s inauguration speech. I believe you talked about this in your column from the 24th. He made a specific mention of dealing with other nations more peacefully, yet at the same time, he’s appointing people, like you said, to the CIA, who are pro-interrogation. What can we gather from that, in the sense that we have this dual message?

AG: I don’t think it’s up to one person in this country, even if he occupies the most powerful position on earth, the President of the United States. I really think, ultimately, it’s about movements. I mean, that’s why M’Bareck was toppled, in Egypt. He didn’t willingly go, he was forced out by millions of people who felt, “enough is enough”. In this country, President Obama knows well what it means to make a demand. He was a community organizer himself.

The question is, who does he hear those demands from? Certainly from the Tea Party, certainly from those in Congress who oppose him, but what about from, actually, his progressive base, which I think represents the majority of people in this country? People are for gun-control, overwhelmingly; they’re for cleaning up the environment, overwhelmingly; ending war, overwhelmingly. And these are the voices that need to be heard, and I think, when people organize, that is what ultimately changes policy, not one person changing their mind in the White House.

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