Friday, March 25, 2005

Issues of inclusion vs. exclusion, the Un-embed the Media tour and Democracy Now!'s interview with Phil Donahue

This morning Cedric raises an issue that's been touched on here but that is becoming a strong sentiment in e-mails to this site ( KeShawn e-mails asking if this topic can be raised by him here and the answer is absolutely. Members can raise any issue they want here. Just note that you want your comments shared with the community or, if you only want some comments shared, which comments you want shared.

The story of inclusion vs. exclusion is an issue we should always be raising here. And as it applies to where our attention has been this week, it has been the subject of many e-mails that are coming in this week.

Gina writes this morning noting the Un-Embed the Media tour and notes that when you only go to the same sources and same faces you only get one part of the story.

For those who haven't caught Democracy Now! this week, The Un-Embed the Media tour kicks off on Monday. From the Democracy Now! web site for that tour:

Phil Donahue--Fired By MSNBC for Airing Antiwar Voices
Sgt. Camilo Mejia--First Court-Martialed Iraq War Objector, Just Released From Prison
Juan Gonzalez--Democracy Now! Co-Host and NY Daily News Columnist
Amy Goodman--Democracy Now! Host and Co-Author with
David Goodman--of The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them.

A WBAI fundraiser hosted By WBAI's Bernard White and Democracy Now!'s Jeremy Scahill
Marking the launch of the paperback edition of Amy and David Goodman's national best-seller, The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them.
The event will be ASL-interpreted.
Monday, March 28New York Society for Ethical Culture2 West 64th Street (at Central Park West) New York, NY
Ticket Information
6 PM Gala Reception: $50. Includes entry to the reception; one free, signed copy of The Exception to the Rulers; and admission to the event.
Purchase Tickets
7 PM Event Only: $10.
Purchase Tickets
Important! Please read carefully!
Tickets for the reception will be limited and are available on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Advance tickets for the reception and event are available for purchase by credit card only online by clicking on purchase ticket icons above. To pick up your ticket at the box office, you will need a printout of your purchase confirmation and the credit card with which you bought it.
Tickets are available for sale on this web site until Friday, March 26, 5pm.
After that time, tickets will only be available for purchase with cash only at the box office on Monday, March 28th. (Closest ATM: 64th and Broadway.) The box office, located at the Ethical Culture Society, will open at 5pm.
Seating is limited. Advance ticket holders should arrive by 6:30 pm. Tickets sold at the door will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis only.
For questions concerning this event please call 212-431-9090.

This is only the kickoff of the tour.

Other dates for March, April and May posted so far include:

3/28: New York, NY
3/29: Houston, TX
3/30: Washington D.C.
3/31: Los Angeles, CA
4/1: San Francisco, CA
4/1: San Francisco, CA
4/2: Portland, OR
4/2: Seattle, WA
4/4: Philadelphia, PA
4/5: Sarasota, FL
4/6: Huntington, NY
4/8: Boulder, CO
4/8: Denver, CO
4/9: Omaha, NE
4/9: Lincoln, NE
4/10: Boulder, CO
4/11: Salt Lake City, UT
4/12: Ogden, UT
4/13: New York, NY
4/14: Tempe, AZ
4/16: Santa Fe, NM
4/17: Taos, NM
4/20: West Hartford, CT
4/20: Fairfield, CT
4/21: Los Angeles, CA
4/22: Berkeley, CA
4/23: San Francisco, CA
4/23: Ashland, OR
4/23: Ashland, OR
4/24: Los Angeles, CA
5/2: New York, NY
5/3: Portsmouth, NH
5/5: Bloomington, IN
5/6: Albuquerque, NM

Gina: I want to stress what you did yesterday that the Democracy Now! interview with Phil Donahue needs to be noted and recognized.

Gina asks that we note this from the interview:

AMY GOODMAN: That was Harry Belafonte on KFMB radio in San Diego being rebroadcast on Donahue's show on MSNBC. Phil Donahue was on in the same time slot as Fox's Bill O'Reilly, but the show didn't last -- Phil's, that is. In fact, it didn't even last a year, even though it was MSNBC's top rated program. When Donahue was fired, the network moved to hire a string of right wing hosts. Phil Donahue joins us in the studio right now. It’s great to have you with us.
PHIL DONAHUE: Hi, Amy. Nice to be here.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, we all learned about this memo, just soon after you were fired that came out of NBC, that was -- that said that as we led into the invasion of Iraq, they didn't want to have their flagship show, no matter how successful it was, the most popular show on MSNBC, being one that provided a forum for anti-war voices. They didn't want an anti-war face when the other networks were waving the American flag.
AMY GOODMAN: Your response?
PHIL DONAHUE: Well, that memo was a fact, and it was reported by The New York Times and other publications. Our program was doing reasonably well. We weren't Elvis, but the program for its -- the numbers of our program on the family of NBC -- MSNBC at night, was very respectable, and I think had a prospect of growing even larger. So, the numbers did not warrant our departure, our dismissal. And along the way it became clear to us that they were terrified that we were going to become a place -- an anti-war kind of platform, where all of these radicals would come and oppose the war.
AMY GOODMAN: Like Harry Belafonte.
PHIL DONAHUE: Yes, and others. We had some wonderful – for a peaceful tomorrow. I mean, I came back to television and ran right into a wall of widows. I mean, that shocked me. I just somehow wasn't anticipating this. 9/11 widows. The New Jersey girls and these wonderful people, people who came on -- mothers, wives said, “Not in my name. Don't kill more innocent people to avenge the death of my loved one.” We just were very excited about what we were doing. Along the way, it became clear that they were really very nervous about us, and the rule was laid down, we had to have two conservatives for every liberal. I was counted as two liberals. I mean, this is the truth. So I was very, very naive, you know, for a veteran guy, I can't get over – and there’s probably some vanity involved here, too. I thought I was going to be a place where dissent could be heard. I really believed that that was going to happen. And it was very naive of me to think that. It made them very, very nervous.

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