Our democracy is threatened.
It is threatened by rioters utilizing violence as a political software, by people intimidating politicians via aggressive house visits, by Presidential debates the place title calling and incivility rule, by the lack of a way of bodily security that could be a necessity for a civil society, by harmful hyper-partisanship, and by the suppression of freedom of speech and variety of viewpoints.
There are few higher examples of the suppression of freedom of speech and viewpoint range than the current partisan actions by the administration of KNKX, and this weblog will evaluate this subject. I’ll focus on the termination of my weekly climate section due to KNKX administration’s unhappiness with my private political free speech in social media. And I’ll display the intense hypocrisy of their actions, with their management’s use of practically similar language for their very own political advocacy.
Freedom of speech and respect for viewpoint range is the inspiration of our democracy.
Only in a free society the place differing concepts will be provided and compete, can residents contemplate all sides of essential points and make clever selections.
If advocates of 1 facet of a problem can silence the speech of others, the inevitable end result can be poor choice making and the undermining of our democracy.
The founders of our nation and subsequent political leaders acknowledged the central function of free, unfettered speech for the upkeep of our democratic system:
“If males are to be precluded from providing their sentiments on a matter…. cause is of no use to us; the liberty of speech could also be taken away, and dumb and silent we could also be led, like sheep, to the slaughter.”— George Washington
“If there’s any precept of the Constitution that extra imperatively requires attachment than some other it’s the precept of free thought — not free thought for many who agree with us however freedom for the thought that we hate.”— Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., U.S. Supreme Court justice
The administration of public radio station KNKX decided in August that immediately conflicts with the above ideas.
Brief Summary of the Situation On August fifth, I posted a weblog (A City in Fear Can Be Restored) that talked in regards to the boarded up City of Seattle and the irresponsibility of our metropolis’s leaders; a weblog that was additionally extremely important of violent rioters who had been, and nonetheless are, destroying property, hurting individuals and their livelihoods, and intimidating particular person political leaders. I talked in regards to the harm being “reminiscent” of 1930s Germany (damaged glass and extra) and that the violent rioters had been appearing in a number of methods just like the “brownshirts” of the final century.
The day following my weblog submit, KNKX management acquired quite a lot of messages from partisan people who referred to as for my dismissal, and with out discussing the state of affairs with me, KNKX administration instantly canceled my climate section. Joey Cohn and Matt Martinez (station supervisor and program director) referred to as me after the choice was made….no debate allowed, no dialog…my section was cancelled.
There are few extra apparent examples of cancel tradition.
In a notice on their web site they referred to as my weblog “deceptive” and that it “didn’t replicate what we stand for.” I emailed each Joey Cohn and Matt Martinez, asking what I “acquired mistaken”. I requested them what was deceptive. They refused to reply. They refused to work together in any means.
Whether my weblog was correct was irrelevant. I used to be expressing my political viewpoint in social media fully exterior of my contributions to the station. And a public radio station, of all locations, shouldn’t be within the enterprise of suppressing free speech and limiting concepts. Imagine in case your employer fired certainly one of your coworkers for such a cause, and the chilling results it could have on YOUR freedom of speech. You would shortly grow to be scared of expressing your viewpoint on something controversial.
And after studying a half-dozen books on 1930s Germany, I consider the analogy I made is each compelling and affordable, and I’m able to defend my comparisons. Both the rioters in Seattle (and Portland) and the 1930s brownshirts had been organized thugs with a violent anti-capitalist political agendas. The revelations and continued violence of the previous two months have supplied substantial corroboration of my evaluation, documenting the organized nature of the violence and that the objectives of the rioters are far completely different than the peaceable protestors involved about defending black lives. In truth, the rioters detract and obscure the precious messages of peaceable protestors.
Not solely did KNKX’s actions contradict the important ideas of our democracy, however additionally they contradict Seattle civil regulation (Seattle Municipal Code Ch. 14.04) and the printed ideas of National Public Radio (NPR), one thing highlighted within the NPR Ethics Handbook:
“Our journalism contains various voices that replicate our society and divergent views that contribute to knowledgeable debate…We aggressively problem our personal views and pursue a various vary of others”
There are few extra essential roles of a public radio station than to foster range of viewpoint, and KNKX administration acted to scale back range, not enhance it. Destroying freedom of speech, not enhancing it.
For extra particulars in regards to the state of affairs, please see a earlier weblog on the matter.
While KNKX administration eliminated my section as a result of they disagreed with my viewpoint, KNKX management used social media with the identical analogies, however in assist of a completely different political narrative. A surprising instance of hypocrisy and partisanship.
Although it was problematic to KNKX administration that I famous the similarity of current violent rioters with 1930’s brownshirts, they’re content material for station management and on-air contributors to match President Trump and his administration to Nazis and fascists. In truth, there was a veritable Fuhrer-fest happening within the social media of KNKX leaders.
Consider main members of the KNKX advisory board. Joan Tornow, a longtime member, local weather activist, and one of many key advocates (for a number of years) of getting me ejected from the station due to my science-based communication on local weather change, posted many Trump-Nazi tweets comparable to:
Ms. Tornow has posted extra tweets with references to “brownshirts” within the Trump administration.
Another KNKX advisory board member and the moderator of the KNKX neighborhood fb web page, John Woltjer, continually railed about Trump and that Trump voters had been fascists (see beneath), and even referred to as for the loss of life of Republican Party.
In his management function as director of the KNKX neighborhood discussion board Facebook web page, John Woltjer determined to forestall any further feedback about my state of affairs or assist for my retention on KNKX. Absolutely contradictory to free speech (see beneath).
Or contemplate KNKX Board Member Scott Alhsmith, who has in contrast Trump and conservatives with Nazis. Just a few examples
Goebbels was Hitler’s propaganda minister.
And the great Art Thiel, KNKX sports activities commentator and in precisely the identical place as I used to be as an out of doors contributor, tweeted about Trump being a Hitler-like goose-stepping character.
I may present you a lot extra examples of KNKX leaders utilizing Nazi references, however you get the message. KNKX administration believes it’s okay to make use of Nazi, brownshirt, and fascist analogies if one is attacking Trump and Republicans, however a horrible offense and trigger for expulsion if one makes use of these similar analogies for violent rioters who’re destroying the material of civil society with wanton property harm, malicious private violence, and intimidating political leaders with completely different viewpoints.
This not solely reveals a disturbing political bias however profound hypocrisy in KNKX administration.
Partisanship has entered the KNKX “management circle,” with tolerance for the viewpoints of just one facet of the political divide. KNKX administration believes that these with differing viewpoints don’t have any place on the station.
KNKX administration may contemplate the state of affairs within the late 1940s and early 1950s when media fired commentators with “communist sympathies” of their exterior writings and speech.
Freedom of speech and honoring of range of viewpoint protects people of ALL sides of the political spectrum, and KNKX’s actions had been deeply harmful to that safety.
KNKX management, in giving in to the cancel-culture mob, has undermined fundamental democratic ideas that function the inspiration for our society. They didn’t present the tolerance for mental range that needs to be within the DNA of any public radio station.
KNKX was saved for one cause: to protect range of viewpoint in our area. KNKX management, appearing as they did, rejected the station’s cause for existence. Its birthright. And they confirmed disregard for KNKX listenership that misplaced a valued program.
I’ve requested KNKX leaders to rethink their choice. Unfortunately, they haven’t been prepared to have interaction.
It is now as much as all of you.
If you consider KNKX administration made a horrible mistake, one inconsistent with fostering freedom of speech/range of viewpoint, and contradictory to the important function of a PUBLIC radio station, there are some things you are able to do.
If you’re a monetary supporter of KNKX, you possibly can ask them to reverse their choice, and within the meantime put your contributions on pause.
You can write their leaders (see beneath) requesting that they pay extra consideration to the core values of our democracy, comparable to freedom of speech and safety of range of concepts.
Or you possibly can complain to the nationwide leaders of National Public Radio (see contacts beneath).
I do ask that in your interactions with KNKX management, you achieve this in a civil, measured means. An illiberal mob stampeded KNKX to make a horrible mistake; hopefully, coherent reasoned arguments will persuade them to reverse their choice and to reclaim the moral foundations of the station.
And in case you’ve missed my weekly section, I’m now doing a fair higher weekly forecast podcast each Friday. You can discover it on my weblog and all main streaming providers.
Joey Cohen: KNKX General Manager: email@example.comMatt Martinez: Program Director: firstname.lastname@example.orgClaire Grace: Chair, KNKX Board: email@example.com
If you’d like to precise your suggestions through cellphone, I’ve included their contact quantity beneath:877-677-5659
NPR Public Editor: hyperlink right here.___________________________________
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