|Genre||News program, current affairs|
|Running time||60 minutes daily (M–F)|
|Exec. producer(s)||Amy Goodman|
|Recording studio||New York City|
|Air dates||since February 19, 1996|
|Audio format||Stereophonic sound|
|Opening theme||"Need to Know" by Incognito|
|Ending theme||"Kid You'll Move Mountains" by Manitoba|
Democracy Now! is a daily progressive, nonprofit, independently syndicated news hour that airs on more than 1,250 radio, television, satellite and cable TV networks around the globe. The award-winning one-hour news program is hosted by investigative journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. The program is funded entirely through contributions from listeners, viewers, and foundations, and does not accept advertisers, corporate underwriting, or government funding.
Democracy Now! was founded on February 19, 1996 at WBAI-FM in New York City by progressive journalists Amy Goodman, Juan Gonzalez, Larry Bensky, Salim Muwakkil, and Julie Drizin. It originally aired on five Pacifica Radio stations. Goodman is the program's principal host, with Juan Gonzalez as frequent co-host. Jeremy Scahill, an investigative reporter for The Nation, has been a frequent contributor since 1997. The program's first fifteen minutes, called the "War and Peace Report" are translated daily into Spanish. The Democracy Now! website is also available in Spanish. The program focuses on issues considered underreported or ignored by mainstream news coverage. Democracy Now! began broadcasting on television every weekday shortly after September 11, 2001, and is the only public media in the U.S. that airs simultaneously on satellite and cable television, radio, and the internet.
Democracy Now! began as a radio program broadcast from the studios of WBAI, a local Pacifica Radio station in New York City. In early September, 2001, amid a months-long debate over the mission and management of Pacifica, Democracy Now! was forced out of the WBAI studios. Goodman brought the program to the Downtown Community Television Center located in a converted firehouse building in New York City's Chinatown, where the program began to be televised. Only a few days later on September 11, 2001 Democracy Now! was the closest national broadcast to Ground Zero. On that day Goodman and colleagues continued reporting beyond their scheduled hourlong time slot in what became an eight-hour marathon broadcast. Following 9/11, in addition to radio and television, Democracy Now! expanded their multimedia reach to include cable, satellite radio, Internet, and podcasts.
In November, 2009, Democracy Now! left their broadcast studio in the converted DCTV firehouse, where they had broadcast for 8 years. The studio subsequently moved to a repurposed graphic arts building in the Chelsea District of Manhattan. In 2010, the new 8500-square-foot Democracy Now! studio became the first radio or television studio in the nation to receive LEED Platinum certification, the highest rating awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Democracy Now! is the flagship program of the Pacifica Radio network. The television simulcast airs on Public-access television stations; by satellite on Free Speech TV and Link TV, and free-to-air on C Band. Democracy Now! is also available on the Internet as downloadable and streaming audio and video. In total, over 1,200 television and radio stations broadcast Democracy Now! worldwide.
Awards and reaction
Democracy Now! and its staff have received several journalism awards, including the Gracie Award from American Women in Radio & Television; the George Polk Award for its 1998 radio documentary Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship, on the Chevron Corporation and the deaths of two Nigerian villagers protesting an oil spill; and Goodman with Allan Nairn won Robert F. Kennedy Memorial's First Prize in International Radio for their 1993 report, Massacre: The Story of East Timor which involved first-hand coverage of genocide during the Indonesian occupation of East Timor.
2008 Republican National Convention arrests
Three journalists with Democracy Now!—including principal host Amy Goodman, and news producers Nicole Salazar and Sharif Abdel Kouddous—were detained by police during their reporting on the 2008 Republican National Convention protests. Salazar was filming as officers in full riot gear charged her area. As she yelled "Press!" she was knocked down and told to put her face in the ground while another officer dragged her backward by her leg across the pavement. The video footage of the incident was immediately posted on the Internet, leading to a large public outcry against her arrest. When a second producer, Kouddous, approached, he too was arrested, and charged with a felony. According to a press release by Democracy Now!, Goodman herself was arrested after confronting officers regarding the arrest of her colleagues. The officers had established a line of "crowd control," and ordered Goodman to move back. Goodman claims she was arrested after being pulled through the police line by an officer, and subsequently (as well as Kouddous) had her press credentials for the convention physically stripped from her by a secret service agent. All were held on charges of "probable cause for riot." A statement was later released by the city announcing that all "misdemeanor charges for presence at an unlawful assembly for journalists" would be dropped. The felony charges against Salazar and Kouddous were also dropped.
Goodman, Salazar, and Kouddous subsequently filed a lawsuit against the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis as well as other defendants. According to Baher Asmy of the Center for Constitutional Rights, "[a]ll three plaintiffs that are journalists with Democracy Now reached a final settlement with the city of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and the United States Secret Service, that will resolve the claims that they had against them from unlawful and quite violent arrests." The settlement includes $100,000 in compensation and a promise of police training.
Notable guests, interviews, and on-air debates
||This article contains embedded lists that may be poorly defined, unverified or indiscriminate. (April 2013)|
- Alan Dershowitz and Norman G. Finkelstein – Finkelstein is a frequent guest. This was a much publicized debate about whether the Dershowitz book, The Case for Israel was plagiarized and inaccurate. Dershowitz has written that he agreed to appear on the show after being told he would debate Noam Chomsky, not Finkelstein.
- Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve – by Amy Goodman and Naomi Klein, journalist and author of The Shock Doctrine, September 24, 2007. In a follow-up interview, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalists Donald Barlett and James Steele, based on their October 2007 article in Vanity Fair, call Greenspan "flat wrong" regarding claims by Greenspan in that interview denying Federal Reserve responsibility in the transfer of billions of dollars from the Federal Reserve to Iraq, $9 billion of which the reporters claim has yet to be accounted.
- Arundhati Roy – Recurring guest; Indian writer, anti-war activist, and leading figure in the alter-globalization movement 
- Bill Clinton – Interviewed after hours on election day of the U.S. presidential election, 2000. The heated interview on the Clinton Administration's neoliberal policies, bombing of Vieques, Iraq sanctions, Leonard Peltier, the death penalty, the Cuban embargo, racial profiling, Ralph Nader, and the Israel-Palestinian conflict resulted in the outgoing President calling Amy Goodman "hostile and combative." A staffer at the White House press office later criticized Goodman for straying from the topic of getting out the vote and for keeping Clinton on much longer than the two to three minutes agreed. Goodman replied "President Clinton is the most powerful person in the world. He can hang up when he wants to."
- Bill Moyers – Interviewed; former Johnson Administration press secretary and former host of the PBS show NOW with Bill Moyers and former host of the PBS show Bill Moyers' Journal.
- Cornel West – Scholar, currently a professor at Union Theological Seminary, formerly at Harvard, Princeton, and Yale; activist; author.
- Danny Glover – Regular guest; American actor, film director, and political activist.
- Dennis Kucinich, Democratic presidential candidate – Interviewed by Goodman and Gonzalez on November 9, 2007.
- Edward Said – was a regular guest; Columbia University professor, literary critic and Palestinian activist and intellectual
- Evo Morales, President of Bolivia – Interviewed on September 22, 2006; talked about his recent speech at the United Nations in New York where he held up a coca leaf and argued for international drug law reform as well as talked about the nationalization of Bolivia's energy reserves among other topics. Morales was again interviewed on April 23, 2010 after the World Peoples' Conference on Climate Change in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
- George McGovern, 1972 Democratic presidential nominee – Interviewed on March 11, 2008 about that year's presidential race and how McGovern's chairmanship of the Democratic Party Reform Commission (1969–70) transformed the nominating process.
- George Monbiot, climate change activist, and Helen Caldicott, debated nuclear power after the Fukushima Dai-Ichi incident "A Debate on the Future of Nuclear Energy"
- George Papandreou, Greek Prime Minister – Interviewed on December 8, 2011 at U.N. Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa shortly after resigning due to pressure from European Union and financial institutions.
- Gore Vidal – U.S.-author, essayist, and political activist; interviewed sparsely on a few occasions.
- Greg Palast – Frequent guest; U.S.-born writer and investigative journalist for the BBC and The Observer.
- Howard Zinn – Interviewed by Amy Goodman; late historian and activist; author of several books, including A People's History of the United States.
- Hugo Chávez, President of Venezuela – Interviewed in September 2005.
- Jean-Bertrand Aristide – on March 16, 2004, the recently ousted Haitian President accused the United States of kidnapping him and overthrowing the government of Haiti.
- Jimmy Carter – Interviewed by on 10 September 2007; former U.S. President: author of Palestine Peace Not Apartheid.
- Joseph Stiglitz – Recurring guest; Columbia University economics professor, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences winner (2001), and author
- Julian Assange
- Paul Krugman – Recurring guest; Princeton University economics professor, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences winner (2008), and author
- Lori Berenson – Interviewed in 1999 in Peru by Amy Goodman; political activist arrested in 1995 and convicted for collaborating with the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, a Peruvian leftist guerrilla organization. It was the first time a journalist was able to interview Berenson inside the prison where she was incarcerated.
- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
- Manuel Zelaya – multiple interviews with the ousted president of Honduras
- Matt Taibbi – Frequent guest; U.S.-born writer and investigative journalist for the The Nation
- Michael Eric Dyson – Regular guest; Georgetown professor, writer & radio host.
- Michael Moore – Filmmaker, author, political commentator; interviewed on March 10, 2011 & on September 28, 2011
- Mumia Abu-Jamal – In its first year, Democracy Now! was one of the first national programs to air radio commentaries from the controversial journalist and former Black Panther Party member, on death row in Pennsylvania for the murder of a Philadelphia police officer. The 1997 decision to air Abu-Jamal's commentaries caused Democracy Now! to lose twelve of its then 36 affiliates.
- Naomi Klein – Author, public intellectual, and critic of globalization and corporate capitalism. Interviewed on March 9, 2011.
- Noam Chomsky – A regularly interviewed guest; MIT linguistics professor, political analyst, and author.
- Norman Finkelstein – Author, activist and scholar.
- Oliver Stone - Director, producer, screen writer.
- Ralph Nader – A regularly interviewed guest; consumer activist, corporate critic, author, and former presidential candidate.
- Ricardo Alarcón – President of the Cuban National Assembly interviewed by Amy Goodman.
- Robert Fisk – Frequent guest; British journalist who is Middle East correspondent for The Independent.
- John Pilger – Frequent guest; Australian journalist and film-maker.
- Scott Ritter – Interviewed; former UN weapons inspector who disputed the Bush administration's claims about weapons programs in Iraq.
- Tariq Ali and Christopher Hitchens – took opposing sides in two debates over the Iraq War, on December 4, 2003 and October 12, 2004.
- Tawakel Karman – The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize recipient appeared 21 October 2011, while she was in New York for a UN Security Council resolution that would create a path for Yemen President Saleh to resign.
- Yoko Ono – Musician, peace activist and widow of John Lennon. Interviewed on October 16, 2007.
- "Democracy Now! station directory". Democracy Now!. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- Stelter, Brian (October 23, 2011). "A Grass-Roots Newscast Gives a Voice to Struggles". The New York Times. Retrieved October 23, 2011.
...a producer said: "I don't get it. Why wasn't I arrested?" Ms. Goodman asked him, "Were you out on the streets?" No, he said, he had been in the studio the whole time. "I'm not being arrested here either," she said she told him. "You've got to get out there."
- "Democracy Now! – About us". Democracy Now!. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "Investigative Journalist Amy Goodman to Open 68th Season of The Forum". Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "Long Island University Announces Winners Of 2010 George Polk Awards In Journalism". Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "The First Democracy Now! Show". Democracy Now!. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
- "About Democracy Now!". Democracy Now!. Retrieved 2007-05-28.
- "History & Highlights". Democracy Now!. Retrieved 2013-06-16.
- Ratner, Lizzy (May 6, 2005). "Amy Goodman's 'Empire' How a prospective biochemist became a muckraker and champion of media reform". http://www.commondreams.org. Common Dreams. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez (November 13, 2009). "Farewell to the Firehouse: After 8 Years at Downtown Community Television Landmark, Democracy Now! Moves to New Home". Democracy Now!. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
- "Democracy Now! Broadcast Studio Targeting LEED-CI Platinum at 207 West 25th Street". Green Buildings NYC. July 6, 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
- Holland, Ben (August 2010). "Democracy Now! Goes Green". Rocky Mountain Institute. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
- "LEED Certification—Democracy Now!". Energy Resource Solutions. 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
- "WBAI, New York – 99.5 FM Pacifica Radio – Democracy Now!". Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "Satellite". Democracy Now!. Retrieved 2008-11-17.
- "Democracy Now! - Listen/Watch Today's Show". Democracy Now!. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- Lizzy Ratner (May 23, 2005). "Amy Goodman's 'Empire'". The Nation. Retrieved October 23, 2011.
Goodman herself lays the credit--or blame--for the program's success squarely at the well-rested feet of the mainstream newsmakers who, she said, leave "a huge niche" for Democracy Now! "They just mine this small circle of blowhards who know so little about so much. And yet it's just the basic tenets of good journalism that instead of this small circle of pundits, you talk to people who live at the target end of the policy,"
- "Amy Goodman Wins Gracie Award from American Women in Radio & Television". Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "Long Island University Announces Winners of 1998 George Polk Awards". Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "25th Annual Awards – 1993". Robert F Kennedy Memorial. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
- "Amy Goodman". Right Livelihood Award. 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
- "Amy Goodman, Others Detained Outside RNC". The Nation. September 1, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-02.
- "Democracy Now! Host and Producers Arrested At Republican Convention". Washington Post. September 1, 2008. Retrieved 2013-06-30.
- "Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman arrested at RNC protest". Minnesota Public Radio. September 1, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-02.
- Karnowski, Steve (May 5, 2010). "Journalists file lawsuit in GOP convention arrests". Associated Press. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
- Nelson, Tim (October 3, 2011). "Radio host wins settlement against Twin Cities police". Minnesota Public Radio.
- Alan Dershowitz (2007-05-14). "Taking the Bait". The New Republic. Retrieved 2007-06-24.
- Amy Goodman (2007-09-24). "Alan Greenspan vs. Naomi Klein on the Iraq War, Bush's Tax Cuts, Economic Populism, Crony Capitalism and More". Democracy Now!. Retrieved 2008-09-16.
Greenspan, Alan; Goodman, Amy; Klein, Naomi (2007). Democracy Now! 9/24/07 (RealAudio) (Video). Pacifica Radio. Retrieved 2008-09-16.
- Daniel Barlett, James Steele (October 2007). "Billions over Baghdad". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2008-09-16.
- Amy Goodman (2007-10-09). "Mr. Greenspan is Flat Wrong: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalists Respond to Alan Greenspan's Claim that He Didn't Know about Federal Reserve's Role in Iraq's Missing Billions". Democracy Now!. Retrieved 2008-09-16.
- "Shows With Arundhati Roy". Retrieved 29 November 2014.
- "Democracy Now! Exclusive Interview with President Bill Clinton". Democracy Now!. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "Bill Clinton Loses His Cool in Democracy Now! Interview...". Democracy Now!. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
- "Legendary Broadcaster Bill Moyers Returns to Airwaves With Critical Look at How U.S. News Media Helped Bush Admin Sell the Case for War". Democracynow.org. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- "Shows With Cornel West". Retrieved 29 November 2014.
- Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Effort to Impeach Vice President Cheney Still Alive.
- Bolivian President Evo Morales on Latin America, U.S. Foreign Policy and the Role of the Indigenous People of Bolivia.
- "Bolivian President Evo Morales on President Obama: "I Can't Believe a Black President Can Hold So Much Vengeance Against an Indian President". April 23, 2010.
- "Fmr. Presidential Candidate George McGovern on the 2008 Race and How He Helped Transform the Democratic Nominating Process". Democracynow.org. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- Video on YouTube
- "Interrogation of Helen Caldicott's Responses". Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- Goodman, Amy (2011-12-09). "Ex-Greek PM George Papandreou on Greece's Fiscal Crisis and Why He Backs Occupy Movement". Democracy Now! (Durban, South Africa). Retrieved 2011-12-10.
- "In Ohio, African-American Turnout Threatened by Reduced Early Voting and Faulty Ballots". Democracy Now!.
- "Greg Palast: "Mitt Romney's Bailout Bonanza: How He Made Millions from the Rescue of Detroit"". Democracy Now!.
- "Reporter Greg Palast Exposes How U.S. "Vulture" Funds Make Millions by Exploiting African Nations". Democracy Now!.
- "Zinn". Democracynow.org. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- Hugo Chavez: "If the Imperialist Government of the White House Dares to Invade Venezuela, the War of 100 Years Will be Unleashed in South America".
- Exclusive: Aristide Talks With Democracy Now! About His Return to the Caribbean.
- Fmr. President Jimmy Carter on "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," Iraq, Greeting the Shah of Iran at the White House, Selling Weapons to Indonesia During the Occupation of East Timor, and More.
- Lori Berenson: MIT Graduate in Peruvian Prison.
- "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Iran-Iraq Relations, Iran's Persecution of Gays and the Future of Israel-Palestine". Democracy Now!. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "Honduras Coup". Democracy Now!.
- "Matt Taibbi on How Wall Street Hedge Funds Are Looting the Pension Funds of Public Workers". Democracy Now!.
- "Matt Taibbi: "Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail?" (Complete Interview)". Democracy Now!.
- "Covering Up Wall Street Crimes: Matt Taibbi Exposes How SEC Shredded Thousands of Investigations". Democracy Now!.
- "Michael Moore Calls for Renewed Pro-Democracy Movement as Anti-Union Bills Approved in Wisconsin and Michigan". Democracynow.org. Retrieved 2010-03-10.
- ""Here Comes Trouble": Michael Moore Tells The Formative Tales Behind His Filmmaking, Rabble-Rousing". Democracynow.org. Retrieved 2010-03-10.
- Marc Fisher (1997-02-25). "Pacifica Stations Bolt Over Convicted Killer's Commentary". The Washington Post.
- "Naomi Klein on Anti-Union Bills and Shock Doctrine American-Style: "This is a Frontal Assault on Democracy, a Corporate Coup D'Etat"". Democracynow.org. Retrieved 2010-03-09.
- "Noam Chomsky". Democracy Now!. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
- "Oliver Stone on His Next Project, a Martin Luther King Jr. Biopic with Jamie Foxx". Democracy Now!. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
- "Oliver Stone on 50th Anniversary of JFK Assassination & the Untold History of the United States". Democracy Now!. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
- "Part 3: Oliver Stone on His Visit to Jeju Island, NSA Protests, Impact of Social Justice Movements". Democracy Now!. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
- "Ralph Nader on the G-20, Healthcare Reform, Mideast Talks and His First Work of Fiction, "Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!"". Democracynow.org. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- "Scott Ritter on "Target Iran: The Truth About the White House's Plans for Regime Change"". Democracynow.org. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- "Tariq Ali vs. Christopher Hitchens on the Occupation of Iraq: Postponed Liberation or Recolonisation?". Democracynow.org. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- Tariq Ali v. Christopher Hitchens: A Debate on the U.S. War on Iraq, the Bush-Kerry Race and the Neo-Conservative Movement.
- "EXCLUSIVE: Yoko Ono on the New Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland, Art & Politics, the Peace Movement, Government Surveillance and the Murder of John Lennon". Democracynow.org. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- Official website
- The Democracy Now! collection at the Internet Archive
- Democracy Now! at the Internet Movie Database