While living in Ossining, NY during the 1960’s, I listened to my friend Jim Beach from Tarrytown, NY give honest political reports about events each evening on Radio WHUD (Tarrytown is a city on the Hudson River 25 miles north of New York City). One day Jim received a phone call from a man in Cleveland who said “Your political comments would no longer be needed.” Jim and I were somewhat shocked to discover his astute progressive political observations would be replaced by a corporate takeover. The new managers would be broadcasting “sports and modern music.” An Educational Radio Station led by a respectable journalist, Jim Beach, suddenly became radio “fluff”. Radio station WBAI survives in New York City.
By 1968, I found myself at Philadelphia. In a continued quest for truth, I met John O’Connor, an employee of CBS, who had a strong interest in Maryknoll, the foreign mission society to which I belonged for thirty seven years. O’Connor invited me for lunch on occasion and expressed fears of a smothering corporate takeover.
He felt “narrow minded CEO’s had plans to run a lawn mower through my hair!” John O’Connor soon found himself without a journalistic job in CBS.
Living in Hong Kong during the 1970’s, I listened to the BBC without commercials every hour, and “News of the World in Review” at 10:00pm. We received weather reports for twenty five nations and were notified at the late hour to turn the volume down so others might sleep in the world’s most densely populated city – Hong Kong.
Since 1989, I have lived in the energy states of Texas and Louisiana. Corporate control of newspapers, radio and television is pleasantly interrupted each morning at seven by Amy Goodman on “Democracy Now.” December 2016 marked the 20th anniversary with a celebration at the Riverside Church also along the majestic Hudson River where WBAI and WHUD proclaimed truth not stifled by corporations or politicians.
The December 6 morning broadcast featured General Wesley Clark’s son in military attire apologizing to the water protectors in frigid Standing Rock. When was the last time anyone bent down on their knees to seek forgiveness from Native Americans?
MIT professor Noam Chomsky, 86, spoke about being present in Barcelona, Spain at the time of USA elections. The German publication Der Spiegel carried a front page cartoon depicting Donald Trump as a giant meteor about to devour Earth. Der Spiegel’s line was “The End of the World.”
Harry Belafonte, now 90, was bold enough to say “Welcome to the Fourth Reich.”
May “Democracy Now” and Amy Goodman carry on freely under President Trump?