I fear for the future of KIXE. Until now, it has been the only antidote to the right-wing storm we get from the Glenn Becks and Bill O’Reillys of the world. Now, the new Channel 9 management has cancelled broadcasts of “Democracy Now!” hosted by Amy Goodman. The reasoning of the new general manager allegedly is that it purports to be a news program, but really is a left-leaning commentary program.
So I looked at a recent broadcast, August 27, 2010, on www.democracynow.org. Here is what I found:
- A report that approximately 1 million people have been displaced by the flooding in Pakistan.
- A report that the Washington Post claims that many officials of the Afghan Government are on the CIA’s payroll.
- A report that the UN Security Counsel is seeking ways to prevent the mass rape which occurred recently in the Congo.
- A report that a U.S. citizen had been released by North Korea after President Jimmy Carter went there to negotiate for him.
- A report that Governor Bill Richardson claimed to be making progress in his efforts to convince the Cuban government to release a U.S. contractor.
- A report that South African workers who are on strike are threatening an even wider strike. The leaders are claiming that they can bring economic action in South Africa to a halt by getting approximately 2 million workers to walk off the job.
- A report that a nonviolent Palestinian activist has been convicted by a court in Israel for nonviolent protest of Israel’s actions in Palestine. There was a further report that the European Union had put out a statement condemning Israel for that action.
- A Muslim, who was stabbed in Queens because he admitted that he was Muslim and for no other reason, spoke out against his attackers. Others spoke out as well.
- Reports of other anti-Muslim actions, such as a man who entered a mosque and shouted anti-Muslim slogans as he urinated on prayer rugs.
- A report that the Obama Administration Justice Department is opposing a lawsuit brought by eight states and the City of New York to force the reduction of greenhouse gas at power plants.
- Two people who were protesting mining in West Virginia were arrested for blocking the entrance to the building housing the agency, which was supposed to oversee mining, because they did not think the agency was doing its job.
This series of reports were straightforward, factual and took up the first 10 minutes of a 60-minute show. The closest anyone came to rendering an opinion was when, in discussing the stabbing of the Muslim man in Queens, Ms. Goodman remarked that the controversy over the so-called Ground Zero Mosque was “hysteria.”)
Amy Goodwin then spent most of the rest of the program on the story of a Syrian man who had emigrated to the U.S. and was living in New Orleans when Katrina struck. He got his American-born wife and their children out of New Orleans, but stayed himself, utilizing a canoe to get around the city, helping others until he was arrested as a terrorist and held for eight months in jail, during most of which time he was prevented from even speaking to his family. This was done as straightforward interviews with the man, his wife, and the author who has written a book about the subject. The book won the National Book Award.
If there was any editorializing in any of this (except possibly in the comment about hysteria), it was lost on me. Frankly, she did about as much editorializing as that icon of television news, Walter Cronkite, used to do.
I have been involved with KIXE on and off for over 30 years as a volunteer, auctioneer, donor, underwriter, you name it. Most of the people I have come into contact with there tend to be pretty progressive (dare I say liberal) in their views. The political right has all but declared war on Public Radio and Public Television. I do not know what the new management of KIXE thinks it is doing, but it is going to find itself rapidly losing its support base if it continues in this direction. If they think the “tea party” is going to fill the gap, they are very mistaken.
Dugan Barr has practiced law in Redding since 1967. He has tried more than 200 civil jury cases to verdict. He is married and has five children. The offices of Barr and Mudford, LLP, are at 1824 Court St. in Redding and can be reached at 243-8008.
A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment.