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Radio / Democracy Now!

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"From Pacifica, this is Democracy Now!"

Democracy Now! slogan

Democracy Now! is a progressive American news/op-ed show hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, broadcasting out of New York City. It is the flagship program for Pacifica Radio's WBAI, and also airs in television form on Free Speech TV, Link TV, and public or cable-access stations. The show takes great pride in giving an ear to little-heard and unheard voices and being viewer-supported, while remaining independent of editorial control from corporate media outlets or government funders.

Not to be confused with the Judge Dredd story of the same name.


This show provides examples of:

  • Author Filibuster: The show clearly makes its political and ideological stances very evident.
  • Berserk Button: Averted. Unlike even other left-wing radio hosts, Amy can back adversarial interviewees to a wall without so much as raising her voice.
  • Big Bad: Corporations in general are depicted as this, though the show most often specifically focuses on Goldman Sachs, Walmart, Exxon, Chevron, Monsanto, and News Corporation.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "From Pacifica, this is Democracy Now!"
    • "This is Democracy Now! — — the war and peace report. I'm Amy Goodman."
  • Conspiracy Theorist: While not over the top like Alex Jones, nor nearly as frequent, the show occasionally explores alleged cover-ups related to disputed historical events, like the Kennedy assassination and TWA Flight 800.
  • Advertisement:
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Pretty much anyone who runs a Wall Street bank or a fossil fuel conglomerate.
  • Government in Exile: The show was briefly titled Democracy Now in Exile after Amy and her staff were shut out of WBAI and Pacifica for a five-month period in late 2001, forcing them to broadcast the show from other community stations until the dispute was resolved.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Several multinational corporations are presented as this for nearly every single politician.
  • The Moral Substitute: For mainstream news outlets — "moral" here meaning "We don't stand by and cheer while the American military blows up Global Southern villages", as opposed to the more standard "God bless America, Ronald Reagan, and the heterosexual-and-only-heterosexual family."
  • My Country Tis of Thee That I Sting: Amy, Juan, and their guests are usually critical of U.S. policy on a multitude of issues.
  • Only Sane Man: Similarly to The O'Reilly Factor, the show likes to present itself as one to just about everyone else in the mainstream media.
  • Propaganda Machine: The entire mainstream media, from corporate-and-biased Fox News to government-funded-and-impartial PBS, is regarded as this. The show is carried on a number of PBS and NPR member stations.note 
  • Viewers Like You: Amy makes it a point to note that listeners underwrite the show rather than corporate sponsors.
  • Voice of the Resistance: The show is intended to present viewpoints that aren't discussed in corporate media. Its slogan is "The exception to the rulers."