Democracy Now! was founded on February 19, 1996 at WBAI-FM in New York City by journalists Amy Goodman, Juan Gonzalez, Larry Bensky, Salim Muwakkil, and Julie Drizin. It originally aired on five Pacifica Radio stations. Goodman is the program’s principal host, with Juan Gonzalez and Nermeen Shaikh as frequent co-hosts. Jeremy Scahill, an investigative reporter and co-founding editor for The Intercept, has been a frequent contributor since 1997. Democracy Now! began broadcasting on television every weekday shortly after September 11, 2001, and is the only public medium in the U.S. that airs simultaneously on satellite and cable television, radio, and the internet. In June 2002, Democracy Now! separated from Pacifica Radio and became an independent nonprofit organization.
Clearly 2002 marked a change of direction for DN! as it’s quite probable the problems with this show began when DN! split from its original platform with Pacifica and sought “donations” and the help of “foundations” as an independent nonprofit. We all know that when foundations enter the field in force, the object of their benefaction suddenly begins to absorb and regurgitate their values. This is not even sinister, it’s just human nature, normal for anyone living on a shoestring for many years and finally finding some generous sponsors. Problem is, practically all foundations are tools and playthings of the rich, usually helmed by (at best) well-intentioned but nonetheless comfortable pro-status quo liberals, a situation fraught with conflicts of interest for radical journalists. Who knows what happened then to Amy Goodman, but it’s obvious the system certainly got to the previously brave and implacable critic of US predations. Suddenly transparent shills for the US propaganda apparatus, the likes of Samantha Power, and a host of literal stenographers for the State Dept. line began to show up with alarming regularity. To this day the mask has not entirely fallen off, and therein lies the residual ability of this show to inject US government propaganda into some of the most critical issues of the day among an audience of longstanding liberals and radicals.
DN’s programming mix a highwire act
I hazard by watching a few shows that the current DN! format uses a careful mix of guests and topics to maintain its credibility, so there is no uniform imperialist propaganda theme running day in day out, as one sees on all the major mainstream media like NYTimes, WaPo, CBS, CNN, NBC, BBC, MSNBC, Fox, etc. But giving credibility to disinformers and presenting as valid the “point of view” of pro-imperialist shills suggested by the myriad individuals and organizations working for US imperialism is no real journalism, it is an exercise in artificial “balance”, a simulacrum, a form of disguised propaganda. Still, this is an act that, cumulatively, cannot sustain credibility with perceptive publics indefinitely. I presume an audience erosion is or has been taking place for some time, and, given the fact its pro-US government fare has huge competition in the dense pack of mainstream presstitutes, DN! is not likely to find many recruits in that demographic.
DN! descent into a Faustian pact with the murderous establishment is mirrored by the runaway corruption we now find in the so-called “human rights industry”. While many global NGOs were clearly and undeniably created as fronts for the CIA and other US government agencies to be used as instruments of destabilisation in various formulas, from outright coups to “color revolutions,” etc. (the NED, National Endowment for Democracy is perhaps one of the best exemplars of this lot), since the mid 1960s, and accelerating in the late 1970s, it has become also irrefutable that Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders, and the more recent entry, Lawyers Without Borders, plus a host of other onetime reputable outfits, have also been penetrated by US state operatives, rich foundations, or are operating knowingly as willing collaborators. As can be seen below, the underhanded propaganda work of faux left media is often interwoven with the parallel fabrications produced by the huan rights industry. Together, they form a powerful mix in the hybrid war coktails constantly produced by the system’s managers.
Personally I refuse to believe a battle-tested and highly experienced journalist like Amy Goodman cannot tell an imperialist propaganda plant from the real article. Below a sampler presented in rough chronological order showing the constant presence for at least five years of guests and witnesses spousing the State Dept. viewpoint. Draw your own conclusions.
Human Right Watch discredits itself with doubtful statements (Feb. 16, 2017)
People React to Amnesty International’s Falsehoods
Prepared by Going Underground
Published on Feb 11, 2017
We speak to Charles Glass, award winning foreign correspondent who spent his career on the ground in the Middle East about the turning tide in Syria. We talk to Amnesty International about the timing of their new report containing allegations against President Assad’s government. Professor Piers Robinson on NATO-propaganda and media manipulation.
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