September 2, 2008

And then they came for Pacifica Radio

Out of all of yesterday's protest coverage from the 2008 Republican National Convention (in St. Paul, Minnesota), this was probably the hardest to deal with:

2008 Pacifica Radio.

Yes, that was footage of Amy Goodman, veteran Pacifica/WBAI–FM journalist and host of Pacifica's Democracy Now!, being arrested yesterday — for trying to intervene on behalf of two colleagues, producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, who were themselves being arrested while trying to cover the protests near the Xcel Energy Center, where the RNC is being held.

From the program's blog:

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were arrested on suspicion of rioting, a felony. While the three have been released, they all still face charges stemming from their unlawful arrest. Kouddous and Salazar face pending charges of suspicion of felony riot, while Goodman has been officially charged with obstruction of a legal process and interference with a "peace officer."

All three have since been released, but the charges have not yet been dropped.

Whether Pacifica or its five stations (including WBAI) will themselves face further fallout from this incident — at the hands the next Presidential administration, that is — isn't very clear right now. But I suspect that conservative pundits are having a field day with this one.

If I spy some choice words (how carefully do we use the word "choice"!), I'll add them here. Otherwise, any talk about Ms. Goodman and her colleagues' run–in with the wall of blue is probably being washed down in coffee and a cognac or two.

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