Amy Goodman, Martyr?
People have been wailing and gnashing their teeth over the arrest of Democracy Now! reporter and co-founder Amy Goodman at the site of the ongoing Native American protest against the Dakota Access pipeline. Witness this hed from a story in The Nation: “The Arrest of Journalists and Filmmakers Covering the Dakota Pipeline Is a Threat To Democracy — and the Planet.” Yee-ow! The entire globe is now in peril? Okay, I suppose if you see the pipeline as further evidence of the fossil fuel industry’s raping of the environment, sure, the hed makes a pinch of sense. (Although, to say the entire planet is in jeopardy is the same kind of overly-dramatic, alarmist bushwa the Right has become famous for, only in the opposite direction.)
In any case, the outcry over Goodman’s arrest has been loud and emotional. Folks are shaken over this. Hell, I’ve been one of them. I wrote on social media yesterday: “This Amy Goodman case in ND is scary.”
She’s been charged with criminal trespass for an incident in early September when she, Goodman, attempted to report on a clash between protesters and private security guards at the Standing Rock Sioux tribal burial site. The security guards unleashed dogs and pepper spray on protesters who tried to enter the restricted construction area at the site.
Ladd Erickson, McLean County State’s Attorney, issued the trespass subpoena and says he’ll charge her with rioting. Erickson says Goodman had forfeited her status as reporter by actually participating in the trespass action. Goodman says she’ll surrender to McLean County authorities today.
Scary? Sure. I don’t like to see journalists get arrested for their actions in covering stories. That’s as bad as one presidential candidate threatening to indict and jail another after he wins (snort) the election. These days of profit-driven news media, with parent corporations apparently calling some shots in how employee/reporters go about their business, are scary overall. The slant, tacit or not, too often will be on the side of moneyed interests. So the Goodman arrest seems like more of the same corporate jack-booting.
The Nation has been particularly hot for this story. The mag’s Lizzy Ratner penned a piece with a hed that concluded her arrest “should scare us all.”
Only there’s another side to the story. Marc Cooper is a retired prof. from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg school of J. He cautions us not to get too bent out of shape over the arrest. I present his argument, apparently a social media comment, in full. It was sent to me by a journalist I trust.
I wasn’t gonna say anything about this but I lack self-control. Let’s clear up some of the bullshit here. Goodman is charged with simple misdemeanor trespassing… not much more than a traffic ticket. Charges like these are usually dismissed in court or they are plead [sic] out to a $50 or $100 fine. Period. Been there. Done that. A black mark for the editors of The Nation who failed to disclose that the author of the article is a former producer for Amy Goodman and we are looking at clear conflict of interest. I looked up the incident in the local “establishment” papers that had a much more honest accounting. Some 30 protesters were charged with trespassing on private property and Goodman was among them.
Clearly, the prosecutor in this case is a tin pot loonie… clear from his statements. I have NO idea if the trespassing charge against anybody is valid. Assuming that it is, it matters not whether the prosecutor thinks she is or is not a real journalist. Real journalists have NO immunity to trespassing laws…. something I have bumped into maybe 50 times in my professional life.
Obviously there are bigger issues at play here and it is rather opportunistic of Goodman (and her former producer) to make her some sort of Big Issue when the real issue is the uprising of the tribes. Then again, Amy has never showed any shame in using ANYTHING at hand to maker [again, sic] herself a martyr worthy of fundraising.
In short, she is not being prosecuted for what she reported.
Second, this should not “scare us all”
Third, a misdemeanor puts you in jail. Not in prison. And she will not be going to jail unless she wants to.
Very disappointing work by The Nation.
UPDATE: From what I can discern from further reading in other sources, the original trespassing charges were dropped some weeks ago and the prosecutor has now revised the charges to participating in a riot. I don’t know the facts of the case. But my main point stands. Goodman is not being prosecuted for what she reported. She is being prosecuted for being in a crowd of protesters who over ran a fence on private property and who engaged in activity that the state says was rioting. It sure looks like everybody in this case has been overcharged by a wingnut prosecutor, But Goodman is not being persecuted for reporting.
I don’t know if I buy into Cooper’s argument completely. I merely present it in the spirit of lively discussion. Now, talk amongst yourselves.
Rudy Sees Dead People (Voting)
You know “inner cities” is code for “negroes,” don’t you? And Latinos. And any other non-alabaster-skinned folk who pretend to be Americans.
The voters of the inner cities, acc’d’g to R. Giuliani, are going to steal the election. This canard is a slam dunk, considering every white person still in thrall to the Republican Candidate for President knows it’s the blacks who steal cars and our women and the Latinos who steal stereos. The Arabs/Muslims? They’re not so much into larceny. They blow things up.
This latest charge follows on the heels of the RCP’s suggested that Hillary Clinton was doped going into the last debate.
Next accusation? It was Hillary who groped women’s pussies (and bragged about it), not the RCP.
Last night, I made my first batch of spaghetti sauce with meatballs since I underwent you-know-what and that selfsame YKW destroyed and/or adversely altered my taste buds.
The very idea of tomatoes nauseated me, beginning with my first tentative tastes of food back in mid-April up until very recent weeks.
The tastes of various foods, though, don’t seem to sicken me so much of late. My tastes vary wildly from day to day, as is normal for neck chemoradiation patients on the rebound. Some days I can make out a wide variety of tastes, if ever so slightly. Other days everything I put into my mouth tastes like corrugated cardboard, meat and bread especially. I’ve been slowly exposing my pie trap to tomato sauce in the last couple of weeks. Like a tablespoon of some Classico® Four Cheese red sauce added to my olive oil, butter, and white wine concoctions, poured over cavatappi, say.
See, I haven’t wanted to make my own (far superior) spaghetti sauce because if the stuff still sickened me, I’d get all depressed and have to dump out that huge potful. But I felt a little frisky this weekend. Devil-may-care, you know?
So I took the plunge. Man, it felt good to roll out those meatballs, one half ground sirloin and one half ground pork. I chopped my onion and garlic and sniffed my fingertips for my first such odoriferous treat in more than ten months.
I will say this: My honker still works awfully gosh-darned well, so there’s that.
As an aside, back in the early ’80s I had a roommate who’d been raised in backwoods Kentucky. He had, shall we say, a lot of backwoods Kentucky in him but he wanted in the worst way to be a city guy. He tried cooking what would be viewed as an exotic dish by a Kentuckian for me and my then-girlfriend. It had garlic in it, which, to a lot of Murricans at the time, was the equivalent of putting a dash of nitroglycerine in their food. For the next week or so, he scrubbed his hands constantly, even going so far as submerging his fingertips in lemon juice for hours at a time because he’d heard that’d get rid of the smell of garlic. I asked him why he was so worried about the smell of garlic on his fingers. He said, “Because garlic smells horrible.” I said, “No it doesn’t.” We gave each other looks that said, You’re deranged.
Anyway, I simmered my sauce for a good three hours and, at about 11pm, fished out a couple of meatballs and dunked some crusty hearth bread into it. The verdict? Meh. I could barely taste the stuff.
Which, as I say, is a great improvement. At least the pomodori aren’t making me want to hork anymore.
A Vestige Of Penury
Speaking of those long-ago days of the last century, I spent my first afternoon since the ’80s in a laundromat Saturday. Our washing machine is on the fritz — and ain’t that a chestnutty idiom from a million years ago? — so I had to lug our soiled duds over to the lavanderia next to the Little Caesar’s just off 3rd Street on the East Side.
(BTW: that “pizza” outfit styles its name w/o an apostrophe, begging the question, was the operation named for Gaius Julius Caesar or for him and all the successive Caesars? No matter, it’s yet another reason for you to withhold your custom from it. I’ll give the co. credit, though, for spelling Caesar correctly. Did you know the cognomen (family name) that eventually became the official title for the Roman Empire’s boss of bosses came down to us, lo these many centuries later, in the forms of czar and kaiser? It was pronounced, in the classical Latin, KAI-zahr, the first syllable rhyming with eye.)
Were Caligula and Nero involved as well?
Thankfully, the place was empty. I imagine everybody was busy getting ready for the IU football team’s homecoming game that evening.
Funny thing is, even though I’ve got quarters to spare these days, I still tossed them into the machines as if, in the words of Mike Ditka, they were manhole covers. The washing machines offered me no choice — it’s two bucks a load, period. The dryers, though, are a different story. You get six minutes per quarter, so I started off with twelve minutes. Naturally, that wasn’t long enough so I dropped another quarter in when that cycle had finished, even though I knew only one more quarter wouldn’t be enough to complete the job. Nevertheless, I wasn’t about to take the chance that I’d feed the machine any unnecessary quarters. Then I had to add another and still another before I was satisfied my clothes were dried. Only they really weren’t.
It is always so in a laundromat. Since I was a dopey 21-y.o., fresh from moving out of my parents’ crib, I’ve always taken laundry that was ever-so-slightly damp in certain areas home from the laundromat. I’d be damned — and I’ll still be damned today — if I was gonna give the laundromat one quarter more than needed.