The Fall & Decline of Public Radio in Los Angeles

Activist journalism taints the story

By Gil Contreras
Published on LatinoLA: April 17, 2012

The Fall & Decline of Public Radio in Los Angeles

While running errands around town yesterday, I was listening to my car radio and realized that both mainstream media outlets and so-called, "alternative or socially conscious" media outlets such as KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles all have an "agenda." I heard a talk show host on KPFK during the day, 2:30 PM'ish I think, talking about the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference currently being held in Las Vegas.

The host, whose name I can't recall, was babbling on about the NAB, Clear Channel, the future of progressive radio and Dr. Laura's sagging boobs. He did say something interesting, however, that caught my ear! He wondered out loud, (para-phrasing hereyou can get the direct quote at KPFK archives), if American radio would lose its "free speech" or be left with [the likes of] "Rush Limbaugh."

I actually laughed out loud as I realized, once again, that "progressives" actually believe that only they should have the right of "free speech" to promote their ideas, and anyone with a differing opinion should have show sponsors pulled, should be boycotted by "the community," or they should be removed from the airwaves! ?íUvas No! Hoodies, ?íSi!

Listening to activists, progressives, et. al., one often hears them ponder why the "public" isn't more supportive of their position, their activist stance, their radio station during fund drives, or their million hoodie, occupy anything, fight the power [raise fist in air here] events. Activists often say, "Well, we just need to 'educate' the people more," presupposing, of course, that non-activists are just mean spirited or stupid.

The next morning during my daily commute to work, I heard Ms. Sonali Kolhatkar, host of KPFK's Uprising!, interviewing an ACLU lawyer about the lack of disciplinary measures being taken against LAPD officers involved in officer involved shootings (OIS), spawned by the recent shooting of 19 year old Abdul Arian (1) (pictured). I listened as the two spoke uninformedly, about deadly force and use of force investigations and how these officers should be fired as any other employee would who makes a mistake at their job. In fact, they thought officers shouldn't be presumed innocent of wrongdoing when deadly force is used! What?! No due process?

As they verbally patted each other on the back about poor criminals out there who commit crimes and then have big bad police officers come and stop themsome using force, even, I once again found myself SMDH (2). Apparently, this is an outrage. I know that in "progressive circles" criminals have a right to commit crimes, victims just have to take it, and cops may intervene, however, must do so ever so nicely, not hurting the criminal in any way, certainly not in the way the criminal hurts their victim!

Forgetting about Kolhatkar and her ACLU guests' lack of police training or experience for a moment, I was stunned to hear these two champions of "unions" and worker rights, lamenting ever so sadly, that the City of Los Angeles, its police department, and its police chief seemed to be taking no action against these union protected civil servants who find themselves in a position [by the very nature of their union job] to decide whether or not to use deadly force to protect themselves or a citizen.

LAPD, apparently, doesn't get the same benefit of the doubt that Mumia Abul Jamal, any minority or career criminal, or any union worker accused of a crime or misconduct get. In KPFK's current form, neither does George Zimmerman; the Pasadena police officers in the Kendrec McDade shooting (3); or the officers who were forced to shoot 19 year old Abdul Arian.

And although, 15 people were hurt and 8 died in gun violence in Chicago this past weekend (4), there'll be no outrage on KPFK, you won't see Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton or any of the usual suspects [activists] talking about this because the suspects in these shooting will likely be black, career criminals or minorities killing and shooting other blacks and minorities.

It's a shame the management and hosts over at KPFK, for the most part, are too afraid to bring its listeners both sides of a story, and not just the "activist" version of it. I guess maybe KPFK management & hosts think their listeners just too stupid to process all that opposing information. Maybe they just need more "education?"

Reference links:


2 Shaking My Damn Head



About Gil Contreras:
Gil Contreras is a former police officer, Golden Mike recipient, and Homeland Security Instructor in Los Angeles.

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