Amy Goodman, host of the syndicated show, “Democracy Now!” will speak tonight at The Temporary in the Willits Town Center to support the community outreach and fundraising efforts of Carbondale-based community radio station KDNK.
Goodman, speaking by phone from her home in New York City, said she is coming to the Roaring Fork Valley specifically because of KDNK.
“This is part of our commitment to help shore up grassroots media,” she said. “Democracy Now! is broadcast to 1,400 public television and radio stations. This helps us stress the importance of independent media in the time of Trump.”
Goodman’s liberal/progressive bonafides are beyond reproach.
She is the co-author of six New York Times bestsellers, including, most recently, “Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America,” which she wrote with her brother, David Goodman, and Denis Moynihan.
Goodman’s other titles include “The Silenced Majority,” “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” “The Exception to the Rulers” and “Standing Up to the Madness.”
Since 1996, Goodman has hosted Democracy Now!, an independent global news program broadcast daily on radio, television and the internet.
She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Thomas Merton Award in 2004, a Right Livelihood Award in 2008 and an Izzy Award in 2009 for “special achievement in independent media.”
In 2012, Goodman received the Gandhi Peace Award for a “significant contribution to the promotion of an enduring international peace.”
Goodman is a native of New York state. She burst onto the international news scene in 1991 when she covered the independence movement in East Timor, during which time she was badly beaten by Indonesian soldiers after she witnessed a mass killing of Timorese demonstrators.
In 1998, she witnessed the killing of several protesters by Nigerian soldiers after they had occupied an oil-drilling platform.
She has been arrested and/or detained at least three times — once while covering the Republican National Convention in Minnesota, once while covering the Keystone Pipeline demonstrations in North Dakota and once while trying to cross into Canada to give a speech.
All charges were eventually dropped and she successfully sued the U.S. Secret Service and the police departments of Minneapolis and St. Paul for $100,000 after being charged with obstruction and failure to obey a police officer in 2008.
She was also accused of being “hostile and combative” by President Bill Clinton during a radio interview in 2000.
The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard honored Goodman with the 2014 I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence Lifetime Achievement Award. She is also the first journalist to receive the Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize,” for “developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media.”
Goodman is the first co-recipient of the Park Center for Independent Media’s Izzy Award, named for the great muckraking journalist I.F. Stone, and was later selected for induction into the Park Center’s I.F. Stone Hall of Fame. The Independent newspaper of London has called Goodman and Democracy Now! “an inspiration.”
Goodman’s talk at The Temporary will focus, not exactly stunningly, on all things Donald Trump.
Her view of the man now occupying the White House is less than positive. She mentions accusations of sexual assault, his war on the media (often with the media’s complicity) and his mental stability.
At the same time, she said, she is heartened by the response to Trump’s presidency.
“The unprecedented resistance to President Donald Trump’s rise to power did not materialize overnight, but emerged from grassroots movements that have been challenging the establishment for years,” she said. “We have had mass organizations and demonstrations that have never been seen. We had hundreds of thousands of women marching. We have had massive demonstrations about climate change. There has been the ‘Me Too’ campaign. We are living in a time of tectonic shift, when anything is possible.”
After covering all those bases, and before returning to New York, Goodman plans to take a backcountry ski trip outside Aspen, though she prefers to leave her destination secret.
The connection between Goodman and KDNK is well established.
According to station manager Gavin Dahl, Goodman has come through town several times before as part of her previous book-signing tours.
“This came about because we are part of the Rocky Mountain Community Radio Coalition, which includes 15 stations,” Dahl said. “Amy’s co-author, Denis Moynihan, is based on the Front Range and he just helped launch a community station in Winter Park. While we were talking to him about joining the Radio Coalition, he asked what we would think about hosting a one-off with Amy.”
Dahl is stoked.
“Amy is one of the biggest influences on independent media maybe in the world,” Dahl said. “She has helped set the standard for media that is not beholden to any corporate interests.”
Dahl said hosting Goodman is an example of KDNK’s new commitment to events.
“We have been doing more stuff on-site and off,” he said. “This seemed like such a great way to start off the new year.”
There are still a few tickets left for Goodman’s presentation. They cost $24 in advance and $29 at the door. Tickets can be purchased from https://www.tacaw.org/
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with Goodman hitting the stage at 7 p.m.
Democracy Now airs daily at 6 p.m. on KDNK.