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Democracy Now in Exile
Friday, October 5, 2001 cable television program from New york City
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TV Journalist Amy Goodman  Posh studio set  Staff and state of the art equipment  

Poet Victorio Reyes of Albany, NY  Goodman looks over notes  

Rick Macarthur publisher of Harper's Magazine and author of Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War  

Staff walk wily nily in and out of picture  Staff  Jeanine Jackson  Amy Goodman

Since Amy Goodman's dispute with management regarding a safe working environment at WBAI, Democracy Now has been broadcasting from the studios of Downtown Community TV a block south of Canal Street in lower Manhattan. Recently, the program (renamed Democracy Now in Exile) has also been cablecast live on Manhattan Neighborhood Network at 9AM weekdays. This 90 minute program was viewed on channel 57 on a Friday and the following Monday it was on channel 34. MNN's program grid has not been updated to list DNiX, so keep your remote handy or bug someone at DNiX (Email: to fork over the schedule.

The DCTV facility is in an old converted firehouse. The set for the eclectic DNiX is appropriately spartan and funky, with a bare lunchroom table in front of a newspapered wall being its main features. Amy sits at one end reading her copy and directing transitions. Occasionally she removes her headphones and dashes off screen during recorded portions and musical breaks. Staffers walk about behind and in front of the camera delivering notes and confering with each other. Periodically the cameras pan the newspapers and signs on the wall and table, the staff at work in front and behind Amy, or one or another piece of equipment. I had expected a static talking-heads-at-a-desk format similar to the program Bernard White had been doing on MNN, but this is much more complex and visually interesting (especially if you appreciate litter). There were at least 3 guests in the studio and 2 or 3 on the phone, with the proceedings coming off with few glitches. 

Taped segments were also utilized, including two speakers from a recently held conference hosted by the National Lawyers Guild. Abdeen Jabarra, civil rights lawyer and past president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, outlined the evolution of Osama Bin Ladin, his 1996 "Declaration of War," and the fundamentalist Islamic views at play in the Middle East.

Around 10AM I found it necessary to leave the room. Having then only a radio available, I turned on BAI to hear Utrice Leid speaking in those slow, perfectly formulated words and repetitious opinionating monologues (her take on US responsibility for the mess) that require quadruple the amount of time to get any idea across. The contrast between the two productions was stark and led me to marvel at why Pacifica's new National Program Director would think the historic drama of our age would benefit from a one hour daily Utrice Talks to Utrice program while even the airhead anchors on Fox and beyond busy themselves phoning experts and looking for news.

After viewing two DNiX programs, it seemed clear that if Pacifica had any smarts at all, they would settle their differences with Goodman, but leave her there at DCTV until they can get their own TV link set up. Maybe if Utrice can interrupt herself long enough to look around, this idea might make it across her screen. But I wouldn't count on it.


P.S. To maintain sanity and hope while you are agitating, typing and emailing your way back to great radio, try a healthy dose of some of the most creative radio ever produced - the odd, surreal productions of Joe Frank. Jump to KCRW radio at and experience a very cool website, complete with webcams peeking at the broadcaster, very nice graphics and an archive of Joe Frank's wild, provocative humor. Click on the "Keywords" arrow and head for "Joe Frank." Any of his programs are entertaining, but for an unusual take on poverty, love and ... well, it probably has many layers ... try "Anthology of Love" to get you started.

DNiX televised at the studios of Downtown Community TV in Manhattan

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