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The Empress Has No Clothes


Carolyn Baker

(Special to From the Wilderness)

© Copyright 2006, From The Wilderness Publications, All Rights Reserved. This story may NOT be posted on any Internet web site without express written permission. Contact May be circulated, distributed or transmitted for non-profit purposes only.]

[This really needed to be said. The value of so-called alternative media is in how well it serves people with regard to critical issues of the day.

As many of
FTW’s friends and allies over the years know, I have my own Amy Goodman stories; too many to count or recount. I stopped trying to kiss her ring a long time ago. And while that has not hurt FTW, it has left behind a great many of our earliest allies, without whose help and support we wouldn’t have come this far. I also have a long trail of scars fought within the heavily infiltrated “progressive left,” especially with the most-dishonorable likes of Norman Solomon and David Corn.

The bottom line however is that within the progressive left there are too many great minds and dedicated souls to be surrendered without a fight. I did not solicit this article. It arrived like a gift from the stork one morning on my doorstep. Carolyn Baker is to be commended not only for her courage and alacrity, but more so for demonstrating that the necessary fight will not be abandoned and consumers of alternative media have taste buds just like everyone else. They know the difference between junk food and nutrition. – MCR

January 13, 2006 1200 PST (FTW):
Okay, someone on a progressive website finally dared to write an article questioning Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now programming. Reza Fiyouzat at Online Journal asks in his January 3 article: “What’s wrong with Amy Goodman?” ( Gee, all this time I’ve been afraid to take the risk. Is it not politically incorrect, or even unkind, to question the queen of “progressive” talk radio? Aren’t Air America or Democracy Now the only news alternatives that aren’t composed of completely contrived corporate compost? Didn’t Rodney King have it right? Shouldn’t we all try to get along, especially those who place themselves on the left end of the political spectrum?

Nothing personal here. I like Amy Goodman. She’s bright, articulate, and undoubtedly, a decent human being. But Amy has some jaw-dropping blind spots — some uncanny omissions in her so-called “progressive” programming that frequently cause her news reportage to disappear into a black hole of irrelevance because she simply refuses to deal with certain issues.

Blackout Number One: Amy will not, absolutely will not, deal with 9-11. Surrounding herself with “conspiracy-theory” phobics, such as Noam Chomsky and Norman Solomon, she has occasionally danced around the issue, but never firmly planted her feet in the reality of the pre-meditated mass murder by the United States government that September 11 was. Any journalist as articulate, informed, and on the cutting edge as she purports to be would not be evading the issue five years after the event. What was the point of inviting Sibel Edmonds to Democracy Now and asking obligatory questions of a guest who has been silenced by a colossal gag order from the Justice Department? Why invite one of the most astute researchers of 9-11, David Ray Griffin, to her program, and instead of actually interviewing him, pit him against Supreme Conspiracy Phobe, Chip Berlet, whose only rebuttal to Griffin’s impeccable evidence was, “It’s not good for people to believe in conspiracy theories.” Why only pathetically brief, patchy, so-called interviews with Cynthia McKinney who is the only Congressperson who has delved deeply into 9-11 and called for and carried out public hearings?

And then there were the enormous misstatements by Democracy Now’s producer, Jeremy Scahill as he was interviewed by Amy Goodman on November 10, 2005. During that interview, Scahill repeatedly praised Jerome Hauer, a board member of Bio Port, one manufacturer of a particularly atrocious anthrax vaccine and a close friend of the Bush Administration. Hauer’s connections with some of the most despicable corporations on earth are indisputable. On December 15, From The Wilderness published an expose of the erroneous Democracy Now story—an expose not to be missed which concluded:


Jerome Hauer is a Bio-Warfare expert who is well known in New York City for having created former mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) in World Trade Center 7 – the building that inexplicably imploded in a freefall on September 11, 2001, without having been hit by an airplane. Hauer’s corporate affiliations include SAIC, Batelle, CSC-DynCorp, Hollis-Eden, and one of the nation’s most powerful private investigative and security firms Kroll Inc., among others. Now BioPort has been added to his resume.

On the eve of 9/11, in NYC, Hauer was having drinks with his close friend, the recently retired FBI Agent and “Osama-Chaser,” John O’Neil. At that time O’Neil was the head of security at the World Trade Center complex, a position Hauer had helped him to get. O’Neil died in the World Trade Center on 9/11, and it was Hauer who identified his body.

Scahill’s misstatements not only herald the virtues of a notorious “bad guy” and ally of the Administration, but fail, once again, to explore links to 9-11. I hasten to add, however, that Scahill’s shabby reporting was also carried by The Nation Magazine, the day before the Democracy Now interview in an article “Germ Boys and Yes Men.” The same article was published concurrently by the websites Alternet and Common Dreams.

It appears that the left has been astonishingly misled by a failure to check facts and connect dots. Is it any wonder it has so profoundly lost its vitality and credibility in the twenty-first century? When so-called progressive journalists fail to do the most fundamental homework, all of the “Don’t Think Of An Elephant” linguistic research of the likes of George Lakoff about how to communicate with the rest of the world becomes meaningless.

Blackout Number Two: Day after day, in a world where oil production worldwide has peaked, and where we are now plummeting toward an energy Armageddon, Amy Goodman says almost nothing about the issue. In terms of foreign policy and the Iraq War, her guests incessantly proclaim world domination by the diabolical United States as the sole motivationfor the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Whenever the energy issue is alluded to, it is presented as a feigned crisis construed by bloodsucking oil companies who would do anything to justify spiking gas prices. Unquestionably, oil company profits are at an all-time high, but that does not diminish the reality of Peak Oil. Again, Amy has not done her homework, and it doesn’t appear that she’s interested in doing it anytime soon.

While she has interviewed Michael Klare, a Peak Oil expert and author of “Blood And Oil,” it has little effect when counterbalanced by numerous appearances of progressive guru, Noam Chomsky, who insists that oil is not the primary motivation for the dissection of the globe by the American military. Democracy Now is virtually silent on issues of oil and natural gas depletion, and the absence of interviews with the most outspoken experts on Peak Oil — such as Richard Heinberg, author of “The Party’s Over” and “Powerdown”; Matt Simmons, one of the world’s most distinguished energy experts; British Peak Oil authority, Colin Campbell; or Princeton’s famed petroleum geologist, Ken Deffeyes — is nothing less than mind-boggling. Failure to address what may be the most devastating global survival issue in the history of the human race is not only irresponsible but unconscionable.

Blackout Number Three: While Democracy Now is currently giving ample air-time to the Abramoff scandal, its grasp of the depth and scope of U.S. government corruption and economic warfare on its own citizens is abysmal. Much is made of the military industrial complex, indisputably a monstrous cavern of theft and taxpayer bilking, but has Amy Goodman ever interviewed experts on the $59 billion dollars missing from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or the $2.3 trillion missing from the Pentagon? Has she ever invited the foremost expert on U.S. government economic warfare on its own citizens, Catherine Austin Fitts, to be interviewed on Democracy Now? Or what about former Washington Times reporter, Kelly O’Meara, who has reported extensively on the missing money? What about Stephen Roach, Morgan Stanley’s chief economist who in 2004 made mainstream financial headlines by stating unequivocally that the U.S. economy is heading for economic Armageddon?

Instead, Democracy Now has conducted numerous interviews with John Perkins, author of Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man. In her article specifically addressing Perkins’ book, Catherine Austin Fitts writes:

A "limited hangout" is a partial confession, a mea culpa, if you will, that leaves the essence of a crime or covert reality hidden. Because it includes some small part of the truth, the limited hangout is irresistibly attractive to dissidents and political critics whose thirst for such truth makes them jump at the dangled scraps. Once the system's watchdogs are busy chewing on the limited hangout, the guilty players can go about their illegal business for a new round of unaccountable, semi-secret mayhem.

If you want to see an excellent limited hang out at work, pick up a copy of the John Perkins' bestselling Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. In his limited hangout confession, Perkins describes his career from 1971 to 1981 as a highly paid professional who helped defraud Third World countries by helping syndicates make uneconomic loans as a means to facilitate the eventual takeover of those economies by elite and corporate interests…

Nowhere does Perkins introduce the notion that cartels in a "New World Order" (the phrase coined and promoted by George H. W. Bush) use covert manipulation of the global financial system to centralize and concentrate economic and political power. Assassinations by "jackals" aside, Perkins barely hints that for fifty years the US military-industrial complex has been developing and testing powerful black budget technology, satellite and other invisible weaponry and surveillance technology and insider-trading tools behind the veil of national security secrets. Indeed, it was the need for a means of financing black budget operations and weaponry outside the view and control of Congress and the appropriations process - rather than the mere pursuit of corporate profits - that provided the political air cover for Perkins to do what he did as his covert counterparts marketed drugs in American and Third World communities alike.

It's an old rule of economics. Sources and uses need to be in one integrated financial statement to understand an enterprise. In Perkins' world, we are never quite clear who got what cash and in what amounts when all was said and done. Which means someone gets to keep the money and remain socially acceptable - and we remain clueless as to who was really running things two decades ago.

On a variety of issues, not merely economics, it appears that Democracy Now is a revolving door of limited hangouts—a term used by the intelligence community to indicate a plausible distraction intended to divert attention from the more nefarious behavior of the actual culprits. Democracy Now’s guests mention the federal deficit and the Bush Administration’s blatant economic blunders, but almost never does Amy Goodman or her guest dig deeper, connecting the dots with the current epidemic of disappearing pensions, the disastrous housing bubble which is in the process of bursting, the ramifications of the new bankruptcy law, widespread doubling of monthly credit card payments, and a plethora of issues that signal global economic collapse. From listening to Democracy Now, we can only infer that the economy of the United States and the world is “in poor health” but not, as it actually is, barely existing on the most precarious of life-support systems, headed for a train wreck that could make 1929 look like a Jubilee.

I have, in fact, communicated my concerns to Democracy Now in general and to Amy Goodman specifically. In response to numerous emails, faxes, and letters, I have received boiler-plate letters thanking me for my interest in the program along with an enclosed envelope and a request for a donation. I don’t financially support corporate media, so why should I support a form of media which appears to be offering me more, but isn’t?

What are we to conclude from a so-called progressive radio and television news program which so glaringly ignores or fails to accurately report the reality surrounding it? A quick Google of “Operation Mockingbird,” the CIA’s protracted program of infiltrating mainstream media, reveals that (during and decades after the McCarthy era) the agency established intractable control of news reporting in America — so much so, that former CIA Director, William Colby, before his death boasted that the CIA owned everyone of any significance in the U.S. media (a more in-depth analysis of alternative and mainstream media may be read at

Does the CIA “own” Amy Goodman? I don’t know, but I do know that any so-called progressive journalist of Goodman’s stature who will not astutely address September 11, Peak Oil, global economic collapse, and the inextricable connections among all three must be classified not as “progressive,” but as terminally peripheral.

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