The importance of being Amy

The visit to Chico this week by firebrand journalist Amy Goodman, as reported on in our Newslines section this week, added an exclamation point to this week’s cover story about the stories the mainstream press either ignored or buried during the past year.

Goodman’s book, The Exception to the Rulers, indicts much of the American media as little more than enthusiastic, non-questioning cheerleaders for the powers that be, both Republican and Democratic. Goodman, while at times a little overbearing, is in the end a classic muckraker who operates under the motto that there are no sacred cows. And her tendency sometimes to screech to the choir can be excused when you consider she is one of a precious few progressive voices that do not ring with the reverberation of a conspiracy theorist or knee-jerk advocate.

We in this business, particularly those who consider ourselves alternatives to the mainstream, can at times, in the rush to publish, forget our purpose, and it takes an Amy Goodman to reel us back in and remind us of why we do this.

Goodman’s visit is more than encouragement for the possibility of a better-informed nation. Her book is 17th on the New York Times’ bestsellers list and rising—a sign, perhaps, that Americans outside the choir are seeking alternative sources of information to balance the corporate pabulum they’re used to ingesting.