What Makes Amy Tick?

Last Monday the Washington Post ran a sympathetic and fair profile on Amy Goodman, the tireless host of Pacifica Radio’s daily news program Democracy Now. Then she appeared on PBS’s Charlie Rose program on Wednesday, but I missed it due to be pre-empted locally. The transcript is available on the Democracy Now website, where you can read Rose defend the mainstream corporate media:

“I promise you CBS news and ABC News and NBC News are not influenced by the corporations it may own those companies. I know one of them very well and worked for one of them.”

OK, Charlie, now wipe the CBS/Viacom brown off your nose.

I have to admit that I don’t listen to Democracy Now more than once or twice a week. This is due to the fact that I work in a concrete-walled basement sealed off from radio signals, and because I occasionally find the show exhausting and predictable, in a certain way. And although that might sound awfully harsh, I really don’t mean it that way. In fact, I have a great deal of admiration for Goodman and her work. I recognize the weight of the topics she covers, and I’m so glad that she cover them — but that’s also why, to me, it’s sometimes too heavy, too earnest and too humorless.

I’ve heard her compared to a left Rush Limbaugh, based on the fact that her politics are clear, unhidden, and tend to permeate all facets of the program. I don’t agree with that comparison, and I happen to think it’s a good thing that her position is clear and unambiguous. I also think she’s a real journalist, doing real reporting, whereas Limbaugh is just a hot-air commentator (at best). But it wouldn’t be bad if she could inject a little more humor into her presentation.

Nevertheless, Amy Goodman is an asset and a necessity in these times. In the scheme of things my critiques are minor, and she’s still better than most radio or TV journalism out there. It’s great to know that I can turn on the radio and know she’s there and that she won’t let up. Someone has to be Amy Goodman.






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