For some, including (I imagine) practitioners of the faith under which I was raised, today is about four-leaf clovers, leprechauns, corned beef and cabbage, rainbows, and binge drinking. But for me this day has always been about the color green, the color of Hope.
So here’s my “green” for the day: I’m going to share with you my list of journalists, authors, and documentarians who stand out as beacons of hope.
Here are some of the voices of reason — and vital sources of information — in our world today. These are the folks who inspire me and help me get through the dark times when Despair seems to lurk around every corner.
Amy Goodman — Amy’s DemocracyNow! is quite simply the best news program in America today, cutting through the propaganda, Monday through Friday;
Bill Moyers — an exemplar of sharp, principled journalism for decades, Moyers has earned the trust of millions of Americans who still recognize integrity when they see it;
Glenn Greenwald — writing for Salon.com, Glenn has provided perhaps the fiercest, most articulate defense of civil liberties and the Constitution in the post-9/11 period;
Matt Taibbi — Rolling Stone is fortunate to have such a pithy, sharp analyst of 21st Century American politics and the colossal fraud committed by Wall Street;
Paul Krugman — Thanks to Paul Krugman’s brilliant analysis, integrity, and ability to translate arcane economic issues into layman’s speech, I have been ahead of the national learning curve on everything from the Bush tax cuts to systemic mortgage fraud, the potential fallout of which Krugman was reporting years before the crash;
David Cay Johnston – Johnston has done an excellent job detailing the extent to which our system is rigged to favor the richest parasites in world history;
Simon Johnson — the author of Thirteen Bankers, this former chief economist to the IMF has done an excellent job of exposing the crimes of the “banksters” who crashed the global economy and the desperate need to reform our financial system;
Scott Horton — Scott Horton has been vigilant in exposing America’s use of mercenaries in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and the Bush-Obama assault on freedom, including the persecution of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks;
Jeremy Scahill — a veteran of DemocracyNow! Jeremy has become, perhaps, the leading authority on private contractors, especially Blackwater, exposing their lawless, reckless conduct at home and abroad;
Juan Cole — Prof. Cole’s views on the Middle East are invaluable, especially when it comes to debunking NeoConservative warmongering and alarmist claims;
John Nichols — writing for The Nation, Nichols is an astute political observer and principled progressive (no Democrat in progressive’s clothing), who has done much to expose the recent attempt by several U.S. governors to curtail American democracy;
Randall Robinson — if there is a more informed source of information on Haiti, from Haiti’s slave-uprising to the present period (including the U.S.-engineered coups of recent decades and stranglehold on relief funds), I have yet to encounter him/her;
Noam Chomsky — Chomsky deserves every bit of the legendary stature attributed to him; there is no one more capable of elucidating America’s foreign and domestic policy;
Norm Finkelstein — Prof. Finkelstein remains one of the most articulate, informed, and passionate voices advocating for justice in the Middle East;
Naomi Klein — the author of The Shock Doctrine (the most timely, relevant book in existence today) continues to shine the light on the practitioners of “disaster capitalism” (still thriving under President “Hopey-Changey”);
John Perkins — The author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John continues to work for a more just and sustainable world with his unique perspective as a former Corporatocracy insider;
Charles Ferguson — I recently watched Ferguson’s excellent documentary Inside Job, exposing Wall Street criminality and the thoroughly corrupt political and regulatory environment that permitted a handful of banks to destroy the global financial system and economies the world over;
Alexander Gibney — another superb documentarian, I will always be grateful for his film, Enron, the Smartest Guys in the Room and, more recently, his Taxi to the Dark Side, an unflinching look at the Bush administration’s embrace of systemic torture.
Honorable Mentions to this list would have to include:
Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert, Antonia Juhasz, Medea Benjamin, Ann Wright, Chris Hedges, Tom Tomorrow (creator of This Modern World), Christian Parenti, Juan Gonzalez, Robert Reich, Dean Baker, Robert Scheer, Arundhati Roy, Gore Vidal, Norm Solomon, and… probably a few others I’m simply failing to recollect at the moment.
(Now go pick on someone else, ya’ bullies, with yer lobster-like pinchers!)