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Amy Goodman on Media in a Time of War

In the months before the U.S. led invasion of Iraq, many Americans found themselves scratching their heads. Why was the media reporting what the administration had to say, without asking the tough questions we were asking ourselves?

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In this special Link TV presentation we look at the media coverage of the Vietnam War, and the mainstream media?s seeming complicity in the subsequent escalation of U.S. involvement in conflicts abroad, culminating in the Iraq invasion. The eerie similarities in coverage of these wars are discussed by columnist and Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and Norman Solomon, columnist, author and contributor to the film War Made Easy.

Not every journalist falls into step with the military line, and thankfully we have independent stations, websites, and television shows like Link TV and Democracy Now!?s Amy Goodman to add a measured voice to the mediascape. In this special we also air Amy Goodman?s inspirational 2007 SolFest speech, along with extensive clips from War Made Easy, and Robert Greenwald?s new short film Fox Attacks Iran.

War Made Easy
Norman Solomon was a teenager during the Vietnam War, but that didn?t stop him from soaking up the media message that enveloped him - far from it. In the years that followed, U.S. intervention abroad was ramped up to a new level, and Solomon, a notable author and journalist, started to see parallels between the selling of the Vietnam War and the way presidents have subsequently rallied support for escalating, bloody military action overseas. Common were the use of fear as a tool, the supposed reluctance of the U.S. to get involved, the rhetorical use of ?freedom? and ?democracy? - tied to, naturally, entirely pure motives. War Made Easy uses archival footage, extensive analysis by Solomon, and an insightful voiceover read by actor and activist Sean Penn, to create a visual essay on the mutually-beneficial relationship between the military and the media.

Amy Goodman: Confronting Wartime Media
Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!, delivers a thundering speech in this recording of her keynote address at 2007?s SolFest in Hopland, California. Goodman says that U.S. journalists have abdicated their role as skeptics and critics, cozying up to power rather than challenging it. She touches on subjects as diverse as the American Psychological Association?s weak stance towards psychologists aiding the military in using torture, President Bush?s use of signing statements, Carlos Arredondo?s moving acts of protest, and the importance of hope through activism.

Articles and other work by Norman Solomon are available at his website.
Democracy Now!

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

Visit the War Made Easy website for more information.

Robert Scheer at the San Francisco Chronicle
Truthdig is an award-winning alternative online news source, edited by Robert Scheer.
UTNE reprints the best of alternative journalism, with articles available online.
Alternet draws together the work of independent journalists for daily news coverage and commentary.

The Solar Living Institute promotes sustainable living through inspirational environmental education. They hosted SolFest 2007, where Amy Goodman gave her keynote address.

Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media.

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