A recent headline in the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail reads â€œAmy Goodman’s Border Woes Have Americans in a Tizzy.â€ Really? Because this is the first Iâ€™ve heard of it.
Donâ€™t know who Amy Goodman is? Youâ€™re not alone. As host of the television/radio program Democracy Now! (undoubtedly the most ironic misnomer in the history of news media), her activist-style â€œjournalismâ€ has kept her operating on the periphery of mainstream media.
Fact is, a quick Google news search shows that the only U.S. news outlets to report on her â€œordealâ€ have been, well, Amy Goodman for Democracy Now! and her left-wing-nut-job soul mate Keith Olbermann for his show on MSNBC.
Apparently, Amy Goodman was held and questioned at the U.S.-Canada border for 90 minutes, during which â€œCanadian border guards demanded to know her views on the Olympics.â€
I would be outraged â€“ if the whole damn ordeal wasnâ€™t so laughable.Â Just say this to yourself, or out loud â€“ â€œCanadian border agents interrogate journalist Amy Goodman for a grueling 90 minutes about her views on the Olympics.â€
Good grief, where to start? Let me begin by making it clear that I DO NOT find it acceptable for border agents ANYWHERE in the world to detain ANY journalist unless the journalist in question is also suspected of participating in an illegal activity â€“ say, running drugs across the border. Without question, the situation should be addressed with the Canadian government.
Poor Amy â€“ interrogated by Canadians about the Olympics! It must have been horrifying. No doubt the tea they served her during questioning was only luke warm. I honestly cannot stop laughing. (Iâ€™m sorry, Amy. I donâ€™t mean to diminish the gravity of your ordeal. Okay â€“ maybe I do.)
Who is Amy Goodman?
The Canadian border agents in this case made two errors: first, choosing to hold a journalist for questioning; second, mistaking Amy Goodman for a journalist. Letâ€™s be clear on this second point â€“ Goodman is NOT a journalist. Sheâ€™s an activist with a microphone and a soapbox.
The Society of Professional Journalists is quite clear on the issue of ethical journalism. In part, their code of ethics states:
Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know. Journalists should: avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived; and, remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
At no point in her career has Goodman failed to grandstand on a liberalÂ issue. As a matter of fact, Goodman has frequently chosen actions antithetical to the ethics of journalism by opting to BE the news â€“ a cardinal sin for journalists. In September 2008, Goodman was arrested for conspiring to cause a riot at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis.
She is known to launch into conspiratorial tirades against what she views as a largely right-wing media, and often gives speeches (on and off her show) and writesÂ in support of popular left-wing agenda items like single-payer universal health care, civil rights for terror suspects, opposition to the War on Terror, and man-made global warming.
Her credibility has been steadily eaten away by her own thoughtless rhetoric, offering such analysis as:
â€œThe women of New York had a champion in Eliot Spitzer. The good news in the wake of the governorâ€™s resignation is that his successor, David Paterson, and the stateâ€™s activists are ready to keep up the fight.â€
– Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!, March 2008
I grew up in New York, just outside our capitol city of Albany. The delusions she expressed didnâ€™t get by me and are actually now being acknowledged by members of the Democratic Party â€“ including President Barack Obama â€“ as they seek to discourage a determined but failed Gov. David Paterson from running for election in 2010 to the post he stepped into after the sex scandal that led to Eliot Spitzerâ€™s resignation.
Imagine that â€“Eliot Spitzer (or Client #9), a champion for women. And his successor has been a success in nothing. Paterson has failed to fight for anything, save his position on next yearâ€™s ballot.
We have long tolerated a leftist bias in mainstream media. Should we also come to accept activists operating under the cloak of protection offered to journalists?
Everyone has an agenda, and in the information age, everyone has an outlet for the viewpoints. However, journalists should be held to higher standards â€“ the very standards they have established for themselves as a profession.
Amy Goodman has flaunted her partisan activism in the face of her profession, waving her microphone – the lone piece of evidence available to her â€“ as proof that she is a journalist. Like a soldier in war, wearing a red cross on her back to avoid enemy fire, she hides behind such props of the journalism profession. In reality, sheâ€™s just another leftist radical.
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