Tuesday, April 21, 2009

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Two Amies let their lights shine at the Adams Center, Tuesday night. First, Amy Martin enthralled the crowd with her lovely voice and charming lyrics.

The president of the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center introduced Amy Goodman, and gave her a bag of gifts and a quilt to remid her of Missoula. I have written of Amy on this blog, before, because she is one of my heroes. She's a journalist in the true sense of the word, and as brave as the heroes whose lives she cites as examples, Frederick Douglas, Susan B Anthony, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King. Her news hour, Democracy Now! is shown locally on MCAT, M-F, at 6 am and repeated at 10 am. On the satellite services, it is carried by LinkTV and Free Speech TV.
 Under the harsh lights of the Adams Center, Amy began to make her points, recite the supporting facts and figures and build her case. War is not the answer, but mainstream media has often acted as if it were. And mainstream media isn't really mainstream, when it doesn't report how the majority of us feel, nor is it doing its job when it doesn't cover the issues. 

We have work to do, to build free, non-profit media to maintain a lifeline of true news. She reminded all of the journalistic principle to follow the money. A lot of power changes hands with it, sometimes, and mainstream media is easily influenced by it, saying the news must be profitable. She gave a warning also about how the Internet can generate gossip, and digging past the rumors is often required. 

In the end, her message was uplifting: As others have fought for truth, we, too, can keep pushing for the truth. She told stories of modern heroes, such as the school kids who slipped W the letter questioning his signing statement regarding torture. Another group of high school heroes wrote their own play about the Iraq war, attempting to show the reality of it. When the high school refused to let the play go on, it was adopted bythe artists of Broadway, and the kids performed in New York. Those are the kinds of modern, young activists we should emulate. 

Mea culpa, mea culpa. I have a weakness for capturing other photographers plying their trade. 

Amy was promoting her third book written with her brother, and a thick crowd quickly formed seeking autographs. You can find all her books at one of my favorite places, Fact and Fiction bookstore, on Higgins, near Butterfly Herbs. 

Editorial comment: I am with the letter writers I have read in the Missoulian, who want to know why Democracy Now! is not on the radio here.

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