Media assassins

Amy Goodman takes her critique of contemporary politics from the airwaves to the bookshelf.

Gabriel Shapiro

Here is something to shut Bill O’Reilly up about liberal media bias.

Fox News has been feverishly trying to get us to believe that the national news media are a sewer pipe with a few rich liberals sitting on the toilet. In opposition to Fox’s insistence on ignoring real journalism in favor of right-wing hatchet jobs, a few real journalists have been busy doing something that seems to have fallen out of favor in big media: working.

In a just world, Amy Goodman would be a household name. In a Goodman-styled United States there wouldn’t be so much jostling at the edges, with the moneyed interests trying to squash dissent into oblivion and pretend that debate is a waste of time. Instead, books such as “The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media that Love Them” would have their desired effect: a radical paradigm shift that would make such works unnecessary.

“The Exception to the RulersÖ” is a catalogue of grounds for impeachment and the outright lies told by the shameless corporate media. It’s also a how-to guide to getting a top job in corporate oil or politics. This is the type of book that people with a conscience read with an uneasy smirk on their faces; the kind that says “I knew it” while whispering “holy crap.”

Goodman knows a good fight when she sees it. She has been witness to a massacre in East Timor, shady U.S. political dealings around the ouster of Jean-Bertrand Aristide and a media nightmare in the post-Sept. 11, 2001 United States. She has been bringing the fight to the people with “Democracy Now!” her weekly radio program heard on the independent Pacifica Radio Network and National Public Radio.

In her book, Goodman runs through the litany of media debacles since World War II, through the Vietnam War and the global war crimes of Kissinger, up to the United States’ planting of the seeds that blossomed into what we now call terrorism. Saddam Hussein, the Saudis, the Bushes, Enron and Halliburton are some of the strange bedfellows Goodman exposes. The bed keeps getting bigger and more money keeps jumping in. And who’s on the leash waiting to bite the critics? Big media.

The corporate media know how to spin, and they could give any whirling dervish a run for his money. Goodman says big media “is not the media that is serving a democratic society, where a diversity of views is vital to shaping informed opinions. This is a well-oiled propaganda machine that is repackaging government spin and passing it off as journalism.”

Goodman is giving you an ultimatum: Stand up and take back what is yours – the airwaves, our rights, patriotism and truth – or prepare for the realization of your worst nightmares right here at home.

The media are complicit in the massacre of civil rights, the perpetration of crimes against humanity and the privileging of profits over people. They are worse than the actual perpetrators of these crimes, for they have both forsaken their

duty in a democracy and profited for it. A decent society

cannot long abide this situation.