For those who missed Democracy Now! today, Amy Goodman had the co-author of the article about Barack Obama using homophobia in South Carolina. The topic discussed was South Carolina. But apparently they both had agreed not to discuss homophobia.
Apparently homophobia isn't worthy of a discussion in the World of Goodman.
Apparently it was yet again important to use a guest to tear apart Hillary Clinton. So important that when you have the co-author of the homophobia article on, you ignore that topic.
There is no going to where the silence is, there is only creating new silences.
For those trying to keep track, it's hard. The list of what Goodman will ignore in the Bambi campaign continues to grow and grow. If you hear Democracy Now! on an NPR station and you're offended by all the Bambi-Love including Goodman allowing Bambi supporters on her show and presenting them as neutral on any of the Democratic candidates (as they shape their remarks to endorse Bambi), you might want to call your NPR station. You could start with yesterday's Dim Melissa whom Amy met on Jesse Jackson's radio show BEFORE she ever brought her on Democracy Now! and Amy KNEW she was supporting Bambi. However, last week, when Amy interviewed her from New Hampshire, Dim Melissa was just a little college professor with no dog in the fight. Of course, on Monday, when it was time for Amy to do her hit job on Gloria Steinem, she ran to Dim Melissa and then, and only then, did Democracy Now! consumers learn what Amy HAD ALWAYS KNOWN, Melissa supports Barack Obama's run for president.
For the record, JOURNALISM DOES NOT ALLOW for the presentation of guests as "neutral" when they are in fact campaigning for a candidate. Translation (to steal from C.I.), that's not up to NPR standards and Democracy Now! is carried by some NPR stations.
"Democracy For Who! with your hosts Ava and C.I." (Ava & C.I., The Common Ills):
Welcome to the "Where is peace?" report, not here, we are Ava and C.I. and we'll turn to headlines.
In news of Iraq we'll note one quick item and then quickly move on.
Now it's time to play our pre-selected unflattering clip of Hillary Clinton. We'll work that clip into a segment later in the show because why play it once when we can offer it twice.
Now we're going to pretend that a US government propaganda institution can testify to the 'fairness' of an election in Kenya.
We go to break with Nina Simone over images because it's MLK Day.
And why doesn't everyone snooze for a bit until we do our required Obama segment.
Wake up, we've got Kevin Alexander Gray.
We'll play dumb while Kevin Alexander Gray (who does not support Obama) says that the Clintons raised the issue of "drugs" and won't point out that Obama wrote about his drug use in two bestselling books and talked about it on Jay Leno's program which we assume someone watches. Gray co-wrote an article that popped up online, far too many places to mention, and made it into print in The Progressive.
We won't ask about that.
We'll continue Little Media's silence on that moment unless and until the Clinton campaign makes a statement -- at which point we'll talk about their "attacks" on Obama.
You know what, it's not worth it to sell our self-respect, so Americans we'll be signing off of Democracy For Who! at the end of this broadcast.
Having just finished a segment where we never asked Gray, while supposedly addressing the South Carolina primary, about his article, about the topic of it, we're ashamed and embarrassed and realize that we've allowed Exception For The Candidate to damage our credibility.
With Marshall Derks, Gray authored "Obama's Big Gay and Black Problem." We apologize to our listeners and viewers for not raising that article with him. From the article:
If Obama doesn't win South Carolina with its large African American voter base the race may be over for him. His poll numbers in South Carolina have been up and down. Right now Clinton appears to have the overall lead in the state as well as with black voters. Clinton also has the edge with black women who regularly vote at a higher rate than black men.
Oddly, Obama threw a premature haymaker but it wasn't aimed at Clinton. The target was the GLBT community. Obama's wild swing involved having four of the most abrasively anti-gay gospel singers represent his campaign on his "Embrace the Courage" gospel music tour in South Carolina. The gay bashing headliners included Reverends Donnie McClurkin and Hezekiah Walker, Pentecostal pastor of Brooklyn mega-church, the Love Fellowship Tabernacle and Mary Mary (a sister act duo).The Mary Mary sisters compare gays to murderers and prostitutes. In an interview with Vibe magazine, one of the singers said, "They [gays] have issues and need somebody to encourage them like everybody else -- just like the murderer, just like the one full of pride, just like the prostitute." McClurkin's previous political involvement was performing for George Bush at the Republican National Convention in 2004. Now he's singing for Obama. And, while stumping for the candidate McClurkin didn't just "get on stage, sing, and shut up" as some in the Obama campaign hoped he would do. He sermonized: "God delivered me from homosexuality" - as though one could simply "pray the gay away." The predominately black crowd inside the Township Auditorium in Columbia clapped their approval of McClurkin's message. Meanwhile a small, predominately white group of gay rights supporters picketed outside the venue.
Yeah, that is kind of big news and we never explored it on Democracy For Who! before. We didn't even note the campaign's statement of "We got what we wanted" out of parading homophobia. To do so would mean to indicate that Bambi was anything less than the most innocent and long-lashed candidate ever.
That's why we ignore his runs for the Illinois legislature, that's why we ignore how his campaigns spread rumors about others (most famously to knock out a Democratic rival for the US Senate nomination and then to knock out the only GOP contender he had). Having used personal dirt to his own gain, it's no surprise that he shows no respect, as a law maker, for the victims of sexual assault, is it? Oh, that is a surprise. We forgot to inform our listeners and viewers about that too.
Well, obviously, we threw the LBGT community under the bus. For which we will now ask forgiveness but grasp fully that having repeatedly called out homophobes in the GOP and made jokes, at many public appearances for our book Exception for the Candidate: Why We Want Bambi in the White House, about Jeff Guckertt that possibly the LBGT community will not be quick to forgive us since our lip service has raised the belief that we actually give a damn.
We have no Harvey Milk Day. Outside of AIDs, we really don't focus on LBGT issues on any programs during the year. We do no day, each year, honoring Stonewall. When we report on gays and the military by including the topic in a brief headline sentence or two, we avoid noting Perry Watkins. Telling the people of America about Watkins, and that he served in the US military as an openly gay man for 14 years, that the US courts sided with him, would add another context to the debate ongoing today. But maybe our listeners and viewers would find the topic 'icky' and, besides, how important is the LBGT community any way? We are community radio, just not that community.
That's why we ignored the article Gray had co-written when we had him on our program today. It's not that we support homophobia, it's just we're really not interested in talking about that. Unless it's the GOP. If it's the GOP we can go to town and talk about "those people in the GOP." But the reality of Democratic Bambi using homophobia as a campaign tactic?
If you read our book, Exception For the Candidate, on page 133, you'll see that we clearly outline that a bi-racial man making it into the White House is our goal. Yes, we have also joined the chorus in erasing the strides that the multi-racial movement had made, we've have rendered them invisible and that's outlined in Exception For the Candidate as well, in the introduction, where we declare, "A bi-racial male will be promoted as Black and/or African-American. He and he alone matters more than the 2% of the population that self-identifies as either bi-racial or multi-racial. He matters more than the LGBT community. He matters more than women of all races. He can and must be installed into the White House. It is his due. Or, at least, it is half his due. On the side of his father who willing came to the United States and went to Harvard where he received a doctorate."
Following that guideline outlined in our introduction of Exception For the Candidate, which is out in paperback (we mean "soft cover," but we always say paperback, we don't know why), we also noted our mission as, "Creating silences, where the oppressed voices are, to honor one man's bid for the presidency because, in the end, one man is more important than millions of Americans." We have lived up to that.
We have regularly booked Bambi supporters who denied their support on air. Yesterday, we got into a little bit of trouble with our guest Melissa Harris-Lacewell. We had her on the week prior. On that show she was just a professor helping students get involved in all campaigns. Yesterday, she was a fierce Bambi groupie. And we knew that last week.
Our apologies to our viewers and listeners for not informing them of that fact.
It probably was not fair to allow Harris-Lacewell to plug candidates except Bambi's perceived opponent, Hillary Clinton. And it probably wasn't fair, last week, to allow her to plug Bambi and act like she was just a disinterested professor and he was just one of the many candidates (John Edwards and, to make sure we don't lose our tax free status or being broadcast on NPR and PBS stations, Ron Paul) she happened to catch. Since the press had called the race between Hillary and Bambi, we probably should have at least asked Harris-Lacewell, "Did you catch Senator Clinton speaking at any event?"
We probably should have done that.
Just as, yesterday, we probably should have said, "Wait, hold on, Bambi's getting lynching threats?"
When she paraded that absurd claim, it was probably incumbent on our part to note the parallels to her statement with those who supported Clarence Thomas claiming he was "lynched" in the Senate to shut down his critics. We probably should have pointed out that we seriously doubt anyone's planning to lynch Bambi. But we realize that inflated talk actually serves to stir up anger and stop discussion. We're not really interested in discussion and are fond of starting segments with, "We only have one minute!" But, again, we should have identified her as a strong supporter of Bambi and we failed to do that.
It fits with pattern of allowing Bambi supporters on the program to praise Bambi (sometimes letting them not note that they are indeed already supporting his campaign). It fits with bringing on journalist Glen Ford (Black Agenda Report) who, as far as we actually know, is not supporting any candidate, and -- despite hours of broadcasts featuring Bambi-love -- feeling the need to pit him against a Bambi supporter.
Now we haven't done that when we've acted as a direct echo chamber for The Nation magazine and brought a reporter from there on to discuss their latest slam of Hillary. We haven't felt the need to "host a debate." We've let them launch their attacks and we've grinned and maybe we've giggled a little.
But we couldn't even have Glen Ford on by himself. Glen Ford is an investigative reporter and much more so than either of the Aris at The Nation. He and Bruce Dixon have been covering Barack Obama for years. But we needed a 'debate' with Ford because that's only fair, right?
Hillary gets attacked daily on our show and we bring on journalists to attack her and we feel no need to offer a debate. But when we have Glen Ford on our program, we feel the need to clamp down on his own investigative research by pairing him with a Bambi groupie.
We called it 'balance.' Or maybe we just think the White (and often, yes, Jewish) journalists at The Nation are fair by their very race and the African-American Ford suspect due to his. He must be balanced but the Bermans, et al can drop by any time and we will treat them as if they just won the Pulitzer.
We told Lou Dobbs that we do correct ourselves when a mistake is pointed out to us.
But we've been repeatedly told that Bambi has a post-2002 speech record on Iraq and we pointedly ignore that.
Yesterday, our Bambi-love was so great that we put a woman, a lifelong feminist, into a situation she had spent the bulk of her life avoiding because she knows how that plays outside the feminist community. We truly did ambush journalism yesterday. We threw a woman under the bus and the feminist movement itself and, again, the reasons for that are in our book Exception for the Candidate.
Having gone out of our way to alienate all women, the multi-racial community, the LBGT community and so many more we are left with the fact that the pool of independent media viewers or listeners is now so tiny that there's not much point in going on (although Katrina vanden Heuvel assures us we're a shoe-in for next year's Puffin grant).
Looking at our broadcast history, we grasp our motto should have been: "Creating new silences." We have certainly done that with Bambi. As with the bulk of 'independent media,' we've hated the Clintons for the years. That may confuse some of our most recent viewers and listeners since we went goo-goo over Wesley Clark in a broadcast last year. Early on in our program's history, we called him out regularly but there we were grinning and letting him sidestep questions because, as Cokie Roberts so aptly put it, "I'm a sucker for a man in a uniform."
But we are Clinton haters and we did spend hours on Monica Lewinsky in our program's early history. We invited on the worst of the worst including Mikey Cough-Cough-Turn-Your Head. Clinton and Bambi have no differences on the illegal war. So we have had to work overtime to create differences for them in our "Where is the peace?" report.
We have done that at the expense of the multi-racial community. We have done that at the expense of the LBGT community. We have done that, really, at the expense of all but one community: the community of Barack Obama.
One person matters more than the millions and millions of Americans.
Which is why we repeatedly, including yesterday, press supporters of candidates Edwards and Clinton about their candidates positions on the illegal war -- all three front runners have "positions" and not one steadfast, single position -- and why we avoid ever doing that with Bambi supporters.
Yesterday, we trotted out Hillary on Meet the Press but we never confront Bambi supporters with his quotes. We just grin and nod. And when a student, on the show to explain why her support is so intense for Bambi that she traveled out of state for the New Hampshire primaries, makes a fool of herself by not being able to name even one issue that Bambi connects with her on, we pretend not to notice and move on quickly. We understand the wet panty issue having attended Professor Patti Williams' symposium on "Dampness As The Electoral Pulse."
Creating new silences has been our hallmark and we hoped to continue that. But now, as we grasp that Adam Kokesh was brought onto the program and had to stop us to correct our statements and semi-nicely explain that we didn't know what we're talking about; as we grasp that we didn't, in fact, since we didn't grasp that the military's case against him had already been resolved in a Supreme Court decision during Vietnam; as we grasp that we missed the story of kill-teams in Iraq because we refused to cover the emerging war resisters of 2007; as we grasp that a real left wouldn't have created a "rock star" but should have held all candidates to the fire; as we grasp that the Green Party single debate being reduced to a headline as opposed to an entire show is one more way we have excluded voices; as we grasp that our work in the summer of 2006 did not include coverage of Camp Casey, Abeer or Ehren Watada's Article 32 August hearing; even we are a little disappointed and doubt we can grab the pom-poms tomorrow for another day of "Cheerleading Obama Into The White House."
And so we end Democracy For Who! by answering: Democracy For The Coronation of Barack Obama. He is more important than anything else. He matters more than anything else, more than the millions of people who are distorted and go uncovered. He matters not because he'll end the war (he's refused to pledge that US forces come home by 2013, forget the first year of his term). But who cares about Iraqis anyway?
Usually, on this program, we note Juan Gonzalez columns in The New York Daily News regularly. For some strange reason, despite making Obama a daily topic this week (as with every week), we forgot to note his column from last week: "I smell Barack Obama baloney."
For Democracy For Who!, this has been Ava and C.I.