Thursday, October 1, 2020

KNKX and the Undermining of American Democracy

Our democracy is threatened.

It is threatened by rioters using violence as a political tool, by individuals intimidating politicians through aggressive home visits, by Presidential debates where name calling and incivility rule, by the loss of a sense of physical safety that is a necessity for a civil society, by destructive hyper-partisanship, and by the suppression of freedom of speech and diversity of viewpoints.

There are few better examples of the suppression of freedom of speech and viewpoint diversity than the recent partisan actions by the management of KNKX, and this blog will review this issue.  I will discuss the termination of my weekly weather segment because of KNKX management’s unhappiness with my personal political free speech in social media.  And I will demonstrate the extreme hypocrisy of their actions, with their leadership’s use of nearly identical language for their own political advocacy.

Freedom of speech and respect for viewpoint diversity is the foundation of our democracy.

Only in a free society where differing ideas can be offered and compete, can citizens consider all sides of important issues and make wise decisions.

If advocates of one side of an issue can silence the speech of others, the inevitable result will be poor decision making and the undermining of our democracy.

The founders of our nation and subsequent political leaders recognized the central role of free, unfettered speech for the maintenance of our democratic system:

“If men are to be precluded from offering their sentiments on a matter…. reason is of no use to us; the freedom of speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the slaughter.”— George Washington

“If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought — not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.”— Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., U.S. Supreme Court justice

The management of public radio station KNKX made a decision in August that directly conflicts with the above principles.  

Brief Summary of the Situation
 
On August 5th, I posted a blog (A City in Fear Can Be Restored) that talked about the boarded up City of Seattle and the irresponsibility of our city’s leaders; a blog that was also highly critical of violent rioters who were, and still are, destroying property, hurting people and their livelihoods, and intimidating individual political leaders.  I talked about the damage being “reminiscent” of 1930s Germany (broken glass and more) and that the violent rioters were acting in several ways like the “brownshirts” of the last century.  

The day following my blog post, KNKX leadership received a number of messages from partisan individuals who called for my dismissal, and without discussing the situation with me, KNKX management immediately canceled my weather segment. Joey Cohn and Matt Martinez (station manager and program director) called me after the decision was made….no debate allowed, no conversation…my segment was cancelled.  

There are few more obvious examples of cancel culture.  

In a note on their website  they called my blog “misleading” and that it  “did not reflect what we stand for.”    I emailed both Joey Cohn and Matt Martinez, asking what I “got wrong”.   I asked them what was misleading.  They refused to answer.  They refused to interact in any way.  


Whether my blog was accurate was beside the point.   I was expressing my political viewpoint in social media completely outside of my contributions to the station.  And a public radio station, of all places, should not be in the business of suppressing free speech and limiting ideas. Imagine if your employer fired one of your coworkers for such a reason, and the chilling effects it would have on YOUR freedom of speech.   You would quickly become fearful of expressing your viewpoint on anything controversial.

And after reading a half-dozen books on 1930s Germany, I believe the analogy I made is both compelling and reasonable, and I am ready to defend my comparisons.  Both the rioters in Seattle (and Portland) and the 1930s brownshirts were organized thugs with a violent anti-capitalist political agendas.   The revelations and continued violence of the past two months have provided substantial corroboration of my analysis, documenting the organized nature of the violence and that the goals of the rioters are far different than the peaceful protestors concerned about protecting black lives.  In fact, the rioters detract and obscure the valuable messages of peaceful protestors.

Not only did KNKX’s actions contradict the essential principles of our democracy, but they also contradict Seattle civil law (Seattle Municipal Code Ch. 14.04) and the published principles of National Public Radio (NPR), something highlighted in the NPR Ethics Handbook:

“Our journalism includes diverse voices that reflect our society and divergent views that contribute to informed debate…We aggressively challenge our own perspectives and pursue a diverse range of others”

There are few more important roles of a public radio station than to foster diversity of viewpoint, and KNKX management acted to reduce diversity, not increase it. Destroying freedom of speech, not enhancing it.

For more details about the situation, please see a previous blog on the matter. 

While KNKX management removed my segment because they disagreed with my viewpoint, KNKX leadership used social media with the same analogies, but in support of a  different political narrative.  A stunning example of hypocrisy and partisanship.

Hypocrisy

Although it was problematic to KNKX management that I noted the similarity of recent violent rioters with 1930’s brownshirts, they are content for station leadership and on-air contributors to compare President Trump and his administration to Nazis and fascists.  In fact, there was a veritable Fuhrer-fest going on in the social media of KNKX leaders.

Consider leading members of the KNKX advisory board.   Joan Tornow, a longtime member, climate activist, and one of the key advocates (for several years) of getting me ejected from the station because of my science-based communication on climate change,  posted many Trump-Nazi tweets such as: 


Ms. Tornow has posted more tweets with references to “brownshirts” in the Trump administration.

Another KNKX advisory board member and the moderator of the KNKX community facebook page, John Woltjer, constantly railed about Trump and that Trump voters were fascists (see below), and even called for the death of Republican Party.



In his leadership role as director of the KNKX community forum Facebook page, John Woltjer decided to prevent any additional comments about my situation or support for my retention on KNKX.  Absolutely contradictory to free speech (see below).


Or consider KNKX Board Member Scott Alhsmith, who has compared Trump and conservatives with Nazis. A few examples



Goebbels was Hitler’s propaganda minister.

And the wonderful Art Thiel, KNKX sports commentator and in exactly the same position as I was as an outside contributor, tweeted about Trump being a Hitler-like goose-stepping character.


I could show you many more examples of KNKX leaders using Nazi references, but you get the message.  KNKX management believes it is ok to use Nazi, brownshirt, and fascist analogies if one is attacking Trump and Republicans, but a terrible offense and cause for expulsion if one uses these same analogies for violent rioters who are destroying the fabric of civil society with wanton property damage, malicious personal violence, and intimidating political leaders with different viewpoints.

This not only reveals a disturbing political bias but profound hypocrisy in KNKX management.


Partisanship has entered the KNKX “leadership circle,”  with tolerance for the viewpoints of only one side of the political divide.  KNKX management believes that those with differing viewpoints have no place at the station.  

KNKX management might consider the situation in the late 1940s and early 1950s when media fired commentators with “communist sympathies” in their outside writings and speech.   

Freedom of speech and honoring of diversity of viewpoint protects individuals of ALL sides of the political spectrum, and KNKX’s actions were deeply destructive to that protection.

Next Steps

KNKX leadership, in giving in to the cancel-culture mob, has undermined basic democratic principles that serve as the foundation for our society.  They did not show the tolerance for intellectual diversity that should be in the DNA of any public radio station.

KNKX was saved for one reason:  to preserve diversity of viewpoint in our region.  KNKX leadership, acting as they did, rejected the station’s reason for existence.  Its birthright.  And they showed disregard for KNKX listenership that lost a valued program.



I have asked KNKX leaders to reconsider their decision.   Unfortunately, they have not been willing to engage. 

It is now up to all of you.

If you believe KNKX management made a terrible mistake, one inconsistent with fostering freedom of speech/diversity of viewpoint, and contradictory to the essential role of a PUBLIC radio station, there are a few things you can do.

If you are a financial supporter of KNKX, you can ask them to reverse their decision, and in the meantime put your contributions on pause.  

You can write their leaders (see below) requesting that they pay more attention to the core values of our democracy, such as freedom of speech and protection of diversity of ideas.

Or you can complain to the national leaders of National Public Radio (see contacts below).

I do ask that in your interactions with KNKX leadership,  you do so in a civil, measured way. An intolerant mob stampeded KNKX to make a terrible mistake; hopefully, coherent reasoned arguments will persuade them to reverse their decision and to reclaim the ethical foundations of the station.

And if you’ve missed my weekly segment, I’m now doing an even better weekly forecast podcast every Friday. You can find it on my blog and all major streaming services.

Contacts

Joey Cohen:  KNKX General Manager: jcohn@knkx.org
Matt Martinez:  Program Director: mmartinez@knkx.org
Claire Grace: Chair, KNKX Board: info@knkx.org

If you’d like to express your feedback via phone, I’ve included their contact number below:
877-677-5659

NPR Public Editor:  link here.
___________________________________
Want to support the creation of the blog and podcast? 


94 comments:

  1. Good lord man, let it go! You're a tenured professor who's written a best selling book on Atmospheric Sciences, few people write best selling books, few people have tenure, and few people do both on Atmospheric Sciences! This feels like the rich kid in school who has friends, money, a fancy car, but got kicked out of the chess club for an arbitrary reason, your life is going great, let it go!
    It's more galling because you're mad about being fired form radio. My father worked in radio, so I know that firings are a rather common feature of that industry. If you're really mad about it perhaps search your soul for why. Are you mad because they can let you go for any reason and they decided to exercise that right? If so should your ire be against "at will employment" instead of "Cancel culture"? At will employment hurts people every day and harms the voiceless. Maybe lend a hand there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Way to completely ignore his point. Something is very wrong in our society where calling out violent rioters on your own personal platform is cause for termination. How is that not a completely uncontroversial viewpoint? Something tells me you would not be deflecting and launching ad hominems like this if he were fired for burning an American flag or praising the rioters.

      Delete
    2. What? Are you so naive that you cannot understand the complete annihilation of our constitutional right to freedom of speech? You criticize Cliff for standing up for our freedoms while you sit back and do nothing but let the radicals destroy our great country right in front of your eyes? I say, "God bless Cliff Mass for standing up for my right of freedom of speech." I admire a man who has the guts to speak the truth rather than cower in the shadows as so many are doing in America today. That's why we're losing this country. I've written about these issues extensively in my books, America: The Last Days, and The War For America's Soul. Wake America, and weake up archipelagian.

      Delete
    3. It doesn't matter if it happens to successful person like Cliff Mass or anyone else. The issue is a public radio station enforcing ideological purity by punishing (off air) dissent from the station's orthodoxy. Cliff could be a billionaire playboy and the issue would not be any more or less important.

      Delete
    4. Good lord man, get a grip. Standing with Cliff has nothing to do with his particular views. It's bigger than that.

      Read his article and these comments again for understanding.

      Delete
    5. Sure, let it go.

      “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”― Edmund Burke

      Delete
    6. way to roll over dermit...that's exactly what THEY want you to do...quit..if you haven't noticed but the nazi anarchists are the left...not the right..they want to silence any beliefs that don't fit their narrative or their progressive ideology..eventually, when you quit you either roll over like a dog and let them feed you what they want you to have, OR you fight back and don't let them give away your rights..pretty simple, if your against them they cancel you(woke)..you want to live with that over you everyday...wake up..their coming for you Barbara...some will get that reference.

      Delete
    7. I am extremely disappointed by KNKX.
      I now have one less reason to ever listen, and one compelling reason to never give them a single dime moving forward.

      Delete
  2. Cliff, Thank you for continuing to represent a rational viewpoint and balanced discussion. Cancel culture is damaging our democracy, and failure to speak up could result in a scenario much like Nazi Germany or the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. It seems impossible to believe that it could happen in our country, but the insidiousness of what is happening is daunting. The imbalance of acceptable public opinion Is moving rapidly to the left and gaining momentum. I respect your courage to speak out and attempt to change the irrational narrative.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I canceled my KNKX membership days after you were terminated, and I cited your firing as the reason. Took KNKX 6 days to respond, and all they did was acknowledge my resignation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did the same. Called and cancelled.

      Delete
    2. I lost faith w/ NPR some time ago. But I made first Patreon donation to Cliff.

      Delete
    3. As a fellow researcher I also will no longer support KNKX and now will Patreon support this weather blog. I have also stopped listening to KNKX and found KCSM out of the bay area as a replacement for a jazz radio station that is easy to stream. Truly sad after all the effort to save KNKX and a local jazz station.

      Delete
  4. No doubt about it Cliff. Today's progressives are the most close minded, intolerant, racist and angry people I've ever seen. Any movement that has to silence dissent is illegitimate. Your podcast is better than your old KNKX segment, like other long form podcasts are better than the mainstream media. It's much easier to be open minded and to formulate one's own opinion when listening to a long form unedited discussion like that of Joe Rogan, than the short edited pre-determined narratives of the mainstream media.

    You don't need KNKX, and you are better without them. My money goes to independents like you, not "public" radio with all of its bias and misinformation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NPR news is rated as one of the most accurate news sources available. Their opinion pieces swing left, but their news can be counted on to provide various lenses to look at issues.

      Delete
    2. Please provide objective sources to back up this claim. It was just revealed that their top reporter on the Supreme Court over many decades was best friends with Ginsberg, and even presided over her wedding! The kicker? The reporter in question neglected to disclose this egregious betrayal of ethics to her listeners for decades. What. A. Freaking. Joke.
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/media/nina-totenberg-ruth-bader-ginsburg/2020/09/21/ed34868a-fc1b-11ea-8d05-9beaaa91c71f_story.html

      Delete
    3. Eric, one data point doth not a trend make. And here's an objective source:
      https://www.adfontesmedia.com/interactive-media-bias-chart-2/
      Type "National Public Radio" into the Control search box on the left.

      Delete
    4. From years of listening to NPR (and KNKX) on my daily commutes, I do believe that NPR is unbiased. For evidence, I offer the fact that at least once on every commute I heard a prominent Republican being interviewed. For contrast, how many Democrats do you think have been interviewed on Fox News?

      Delete
    5. Mark, to answer your question, watch Tucker Carlson for a week. He invites a number of persons representing Democratic Party interests. Juan Williams is a regular co-host on The Five, and he is not a Republican. Geraldo Rivera has been a liberal voice at the network for years.

      Delete
  5. Preach on, brother! Weather, like Coronavirus, is best described by data. Apparently, KNKX, like Trump, disregards science to cater to its base. I am a liberal Democrat but trial by social media offers no justice.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's well past time for the US taxpayer to pull the plug on any more funding or support for public tv and radio. They've all became hyper - politicized adjuncts, and they spend most of their time doing their interminable beg - a - thons in order to pay their ridiculous overheads. When I was young my local PBS outlets were well run, objective and interesting purveyors of news and cultural programming. Aside from the lone documentary from time to time, there nothing there that you can't readily access via other means.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Cliff, personally I have heard from many people that they do not like your view on climate change. They feel that you are a threat to climate change theory because you disagree with climate change headlines. I appreciate your scientific review of how certain weather related events are and aren’t climate change related. In small part I feel that your viewpoint has some influence in this KNKX situation.

    That being said I like to hear more about your viewpoint on how and why weather events are not necessarily related to climate change. What sort of weather events are related to climate change?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You need to reread Cliff's commentary on our recent smoke nightmare...He made it clear, that each major event has to be separately evaluated--scientifically--in order to affiliate it with possible climate change ramifications.

      Delete
    2. There you have it - Cliff is a threat to climate change theory because he challenges a tiny bit of it. If you follow his blog regularly you'll know what his OPINION is on climate change, but in this insane world, some things just can't even be discussed.

      How can one man be a threat to climate change theory simply by having another theory???

      Delete
  8. Thank you Cliff, for standing up for what is right! Thank you for your courage to speak out against those who are willing to project their own totalitarian tactics and style, onto others who prefer freedom over enslavement. Lee Dawson

    ReplyDelete
  9. "1930s brownshirts were organized thugs with a violent anti-capitalist political agendas"
    That isn't true Cliff. The head - Ernst Rohm was a socialist which went against the Brownshirts/SA and the Nazi's. He was ultimately executed for it. Brownshirts/SA were anti-left/anti-democratic and used by the Nazi's as a tool to bully their way into power

    Look up the "Night of the Long Knives" - Purge that took place between June 30th and July 2nd 1934. This is the night many of the socialist/communists and Rohm himself were killed.

    Your history/narrative is incorrect and frankly I have no idea what your doing here. KNKX is fully in their right to dump you. What is your end goal here? Sue them? You'd loose that pretty quickly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unknown... you have your history totally wrong....please study the period more carefully. All Nazis were socialists....including Hitler. Rohm and friends were killed because they were a threat to Hitler, not because they had a different viewpoint. Fascists like Mussolini were admitted socialists. Anyway, there are a lot of people like yourself who do not understand what happened in the 1930s. The parallels to today are substantial

      Delete
    2. Cliff, are you really conflating anti-capitalist protestors and socialist demonstrators to brown shirts and Nazis? Fascism might be a form of socialism, but its a totalitarian state designed for and maintained by the corporate elite. Democratic socialism is a liberal democratic social order designed for and maintained by the working class where individual rights include things like living wages, health care, food, and housing.

      Delete
    3. Colin... no. I am not saying ANYTHING about protestors. I was talking about violent individuals that were destroying businesses and hurting people. They are very much like the brownshirts in many ways.

      Delete
  10. So you're a Trump Cultist as well as a climate change denying kook. Seek help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably want to go back and read what he's said. Trump has nothing to do with it.

      Delete
    2. it seems that you that you have not read this blog at all, or are completely misunderstanding Cliff's writing.

      Delete
    3. Seems like your comment is a typical Liberal who does not read or understand society and the destruction currently going on in Washington State. I do not agree with Cliff Mass all the time But respect his science and his knowledge on Weather. I find it a great source of true understanding the difficulties of weather forecasting.
      Historically reading various books on WWII and its sources including the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. The actions of the Brown shirts do actually correspond with what has been happening in Portland and Seattle over the past few months. ANd I am not afraid to say that it shows the Evil of a world Without God in it.
      When politicians claiming they are going to try to solve the social issues by more government programs and cutting funding for the Police Force is just wrong. And when they are trying to bring peace to the city from the violence one group was missing. No Religious leaders. Back in the 70's and 80's Religious leaders were needed to help fix things. But removal of God from Seattle and His servants to bring Peace shows that Man is trying to do it his way not God's Way. And it is a total breakdown in society caused by the Removal of God and His Teachings from the Public Square. You may not like it but that is the way I see it.

      Delete
    4. Michael- you obviously aren't reading Cliff's blog carefully. Several time he has mentioned that the climate is changing and will change. To summarize, he simply says that so far, the variations that we see routinely are a lot greater in magnitude than the net change due to global warming.

      Delete

    5. @M.O.
      Cliff is nothing of what you say. He is clearly NOT a Trump supporter. He is clearly NOT a climate change denier. In fact, you are 100% incorrect, and even a cursory look at his blogs would reveal you to be purposefully deceiving people.

      Delete
  11. A "veritable Fuhrer-fest." That made me chuckle. You now have the ability to attract a wider, more diverse audience with your blog and podcast than with KNKX. Keep up the good work, Cliff.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Here’s to your grit and willingness to exercise free speech here, sharing these thoughts - kudos! Free-speech and free-thinking critical to the advancement of science, and I respect your devotion to both.

    “Science” requires rigor and honesty. Every angle – from measurement to theory - has got to be subject to inspection, testing, and critique, and adjustment – yes, even the risk of rejection. Richard Feynman (famously) said, "I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned."

    When I read comments that suggest that "settled" climate theory (official policy) could justify squelching a voice – I’m appalled. Speak on, write on, about whatever you think is worth saying. Whether people agree or not, hat-tip for courage alone.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Unfortunately Cliff, you are on the wrong side of history on this one.

    You'd do well to read up on the paradox of tolerance (Karl Popper).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope I am not. I hope we can salvage the American experiment and restore the tolerance of differing viewpoints

      Delete
    2. If you're correct, Kolya, then the dissolution of our nation will proceed apace. The Red states are done with being dictated to by the Blue states, both in financial terms and cultural ones. Sad to see, but we're close to the inevitable.

      Delete
    3. Thus, according to Kolya, Cliff Mass is the intolerant one who deserves to be canceled because of the threat Cliff's heresy poses to liberalism.

      Delete
    4. Karl Popper would be appalled by any unilateral action to limit the scope of rational discourse in the public square - especially arguments presented with supporting evidence that have been framed such that the claims are falsifiable.

      Delete
  14. My letter to KNKX:
    TO:  Joey Cohen:  KNKX General Manager
    AND TO:  Matt Martinez:  Program Director
    AND TO:  Claire Grace: Chair, KNKX Board

    I am more than disappointed with your dismissal of Cliff Mass. Disappointed doesn't even come close to how I feel. You were WRONG to dismiss him for his right to express himself on his blog. What gives you the right to shred our freedom of speech guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution? I was an attorney for 20 years, and I have never seen such a time as this when organizations like yours completely disregard our most important human right in the U.S.--our right to freedom of speech. 

    Have you no respect for freedom of speech, or are you so weak that you would kowtow to the radicals on the left who love to control your media?

    You are wrong in dismissing Cliff Mass, and I want you to reinstate him. He is the best, most knowledgeable, and professional weather expert we have in the Northwest and perhaps the entire country. What is wrong with you guys at KNKX?

    Chuck Marunde, J.D.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Cliff Mass. You choose to stand with fascism racism and bigotry.
    What a disappointment you are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What in the world are you talking about? I am against violent mobs so according to you that says I support fascism, racism, and bigotry? Just silly.
      Did you know that the Nazi's were violent fascists, racists, and highly bigoted?

      Delete
    2. Are you against systemic racism fueled by a malignant narcissist in the Oval Office, too? Then maybe you should say that as well. Because if you think "violent mobs" spring out of nothing, you truly have drunk the Kool-Aid.

      Delete
    3. This is NOT about Trump. It is about violent rioters in Seattle. So you are saying the violence in Seattle is because these thugs are angry about Trump. Do you realize how illogical that is?...cliff

      Delete
    4. @Seattlite and Bruce M

      In fact, Cliff has stood against facism and racism and bigotry. Ironically, he did clearly did so in the blog that got him cancelled.

      It is apparent that you have not read the post.

      Delete
  16. Lately I have noticed that many people are what I call "mental cowards". They will not negotiate when they sense any kind of impasse, they simply stonewall, or, to use the latest descriptive term, they "ghost" you. This is how KNKX is behaving, which is especially disappointing since you were instrumental in helping them keep their independence when KUOW was about to shallow them up! Even some of my friends would rather stonewall than counter-offer me when I propose an activity that they don't want to commit to... which is somewhat off topic, but your story brought it to mind.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The people rioting were the police... for someone that observes the atmosphere, you are blind to the reality on the ground.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Were the policy destroying storefronts? Intimidating politicians by showing up at their homes? Attacking folks taking pictures? Burning down buildings? I don't think so.

      Delete
    2. The POLICE were throwing rocks and chunks of concrete at the demonstrators? THe POLICE were setting things on fire? The POLICE were breaking windows of small businesses on Capitol Hill and large companies downtown? How did I somehow miss all this?

      Delete
    3. The Police instigated most of the rioting. I saw it repeatedly. Just like when Trump tear gassed the peaceful protestors in DC so he could have his stupid photo op: People were protesting peacefully when the POLICE fire rubber bullets and tear gas for no reason other than to force people to disperse. You know what happens when You fire a bunch of tear gas and rubber bullets into a large angry crowd that is trying to be heard? They Riot. Broken glass is an appropriate response to the government-sanctioned violent suppression of peaceful protest, and it always has been. The reason the Civil Rights act was passed in 1968 is because of the King-assassination riots. Were those people brownshirts too? Are the riots during the civil rights movement similar to Kristallnacht? No, of course not, that is patently ridiculous, and so is your comparison. Kristallnacht was a government-sanctioned pogrom against Jewish people. It'd be more accurate to compare these riots for liberation in response to government-sanctioned brutality to the Warsaw ghetto uprising.

      Do us all a favor and read King's letter from the Birmingham Jail, then re-read it. Especially the part about the white moderate.

      Dr King said "the riot is the language of the unheard." The police are largely responsible for most of these riots.

      Delete
    4. Colin...this is just silly. Police did not break windows and destroy stores. They didn't try to intimidate our political leadership and damage their homes. You need to think about what you are saying.

      Delete
  18. Hi, I sent comments to the three people from KNKX on Aug 13. I did not hear back. I do take a warming planet seriously, and am very concerned about changes to ocean chemistry. But, there are a lot of ways to work on solutions. Here's a part of what I wrote:

    Hi, I have a few comments about the Cliff Mass situation.

    1. There were constant "Bush = Nazi" comments in the 2000 - 2008 time frame. I did not notice a lot of rebukes. Using the word "nazi" cheapens language. There is nothing similar to Dachau, Auschwitz or the several hundred other death camp sites. I visited those first two. So, I am in agreement when Dr Mass points out the hypocrisy of the silence of many about this cheapened language.

    2. I can definitely see why the thought police would want to silence Dr Mass. Climate Change has turned into a religion, and if someone doesn't toe the line, they get ostracized. I get the sense climate change activism and "solutions" like light rail have turned into a gravy train where well-connected insiders make mega bucks. Case in point is Al Gore. $330 MILLION net worth for a guy who worked most of his life , until 2000, in government?

    https://moneyinc.com/al-gore-net-worth/

    These people may have virtue unless someone disagrees with them, then watch out. Science is never “settled”, there’s always something new to find out, something new to critique.

    Stuart J

    ReplyDelete
  19. Another method to put pressure on KNKX is to file a Petition to Deny during their next round of license renewal. This will happen in October 2021. A significant number of well reasoned petitions will give the FCC and KNKX sufficient pause to consider why they're worthy of a renewal. The lawyers will be out in force. Any listener or station customer has standing to submit a petition.
    Cliff my hat's off to you for challenging people on this topic. Things I've learned:
    1) KNKX management and directors are cowards and very insular in their thinking.
    2) Some of the commenters here have not the faintest idea what you stand for
    3) People don't study history. After seeing the Presidential Debate and Trump's standby comments one certainly feels we might have a troublesome election. Comparisons to 1930's Germany are not farfetched.

    Google FCC and Public Participation in the License Renewal Process.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I disagree with in part with your post "A City in Fear Can Be Restored", and think you made some inappropriate comparisons. But, I don't think it should result in immediately losing a radio show, or being "cancelled". I agree that hyperpartisianship has gotten out of hand, both on the left (here in Seattle in particular), and on the right. People can be wrong about something (like I think you might), without being evil, or wrong about everything.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Your fixation on this reminds me of a parable I've found useful. A pedestrian was tragically struck and killed in a crosswalk while crossing with the green light. Having lived a good life he went straight to the Pearly Gates.
    "But St. Peter, I had the right-of-way!"
    "Yes son, yes you did. Now welcome to heaven."

    Let it go Cliff, just let it go and move on.

    I will continue to read your excellent weather-related posts

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, hopefully KNKX won't run me over. Anon...this is an important issue. Sometimes one has to do what you think is right and stick to it. People don't me to let go of KPLU and let it die. I stuck with it and the station was saved. Folks told me to let go of the math education business. But I stuck to it and we had many of the terrible textbooks replaced. If I learned anything in life, it is to ignore "friendly" advice like yours. Nothing important would ever be accomplished if you attitude won out.

      Delete
    2. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”― Edmund Burke

      Delete
  22. Your hypothesis is weak and your supporting data is questionable. Good arguments though.

    ReplyDelete
  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I wish you would run for President.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Canceled culture is a workaround of our right to free speech. Sam Harris completely agrees with you Cliff and his two most recent podcasts are excellent. The only solution is to stand up and fight

    ReplyDelete
  26. When bullying subverts the constitution it is called lawlessness for it is not based on any law. technocracy.news You will find all the answers there.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Is it possible hyper-partisanship has affected you, Cliff? 200k dead, Trump not willing to accept democratic election, but our biggest concern should be that you were fired for being out-of-step with your community? Conservatives have always wanted businesses to be free to hire and fire as they please. Maybe you could get a new job with Fox News and grind your axe there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ben.... I am afraid you got this backwards. The best way to get Trump elected is to have more riots and violence in the streets. This violence is giving him a life-line. Don't you see that? Remember Nixon getting elected after riots, etc. under a law and order banner? ..cliff

      Delete
    2. Cliff,
      Do you honestly think the appropriate response to continued killing of blacks by police is another round of holding hands while singing kumbaya? If yes you're naive. If no, then what would have been reasonable?

      Delete
  28. I find it curious that you focus on the minority of protesters that were destructive and violent. I also find it curious that no mention is made about WHY they are protesting. The protests themselves are an important exercise in 1st amendment rights just as is your voice. Militarized police with near zero accountability is where all that started and it's a valid thing to protest. As much of a danger to democracy as any other threat out there in my opinion. I don't castigate every single police officer for the violent and repressive few and I carry the same logic to the protesters. So I would urge that you be careful about the hypocrisy of wanting those voices silenced but not yours.

    Yes, the violence should stop - agreed. But at the same time the police violence has not stopped so people are frustrated.

    Freedom of speech is important. For everyone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael...you need to read my blogs more carefully. I fully support the rights of peaceful protestors. It is protected speech and good. My complaints are about the VIOLENT RIOTERS who destroy, burn, and intimidate. Who suppress press videoing them with violence. I DO NOT WANT PEACEFUL PROTESTORS SILENCED.

      Delete
    2. Throwing rocks, setting fires and breaking windows of other people's property isn't "speech".

      Delete
    3. Yes, but what of violent law enforcement? No mention of that.

      Delete
  29. I will respectfully disagree with your stance Cliff. You were brought on board for your weather and climate expertise- Not for your political commentary. And the media has the full discretion to choose the commentators that they wish to.
    It is as simple as that.
    Similar to a sports media outlet canceling a sports commentator for stating their political views.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isaac.... I NEVER did political commentary on air. Never. So this is not about what I did on the radio but about whether I could express my anti-violence message in my private life..cliff

      Delete
  30. Perfectly and wonderfully said Cliff!! Freedom of speech and freedom of thought, without being "Cancelled" is ALWAYS worth fighting for. Never bow, keep standing my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I am a staunch FDR liberal and I approve this post. It's ironic, but sometimes dissenting opinion winds up being the fairest sister. Take a look at the collected letters of Adams and Jefferson for an insight into the necessity of respecting the divergent opinion and ideology. It's as Cliff says, the BEDROCK of a democracy.

    ReplyDelete
  32. The reason that you were cancelled?

    It is to discredit your reasonable climate change discussion. Now they simply have to refer to you as "disgraced" or "cancelled" as if that has anything to do with your work on the science.

    What is so ironic is that your reasoned arguments about how climate change is occuring...and how humans are causing it...these things make me more open to understanding and accepting it is happening. Until I read your blog posts, I recognized the hyperbolic, religious, and manipulative speech used by so many in the media about human changed climate change. This made me doubt and discount what they were saying.

    Your approach is MORE LIKELY TO WORK than the other "freak out" approach. The same could be said of your posts about the violence in the streets.

    So, if your approach is more likely to bring understanding and peace and perhaps even change some minds on the other side, why would anyone freak out? You are advancing progressive thought in a useful and effective manner.

    The only answer left is that KNXX and their ilk are not interested in peace. They are not interested in winning in the marketplace of ideas. They want division, they want conflict. That division is how they make their money. That division is how they whip up support. Their tactics are exactly the same as Trump's, just different sides of the coin.

    ReplyDelete
  33. This is an attack on academic freedom

    https://www.thefire.org/washington-state-university-settles-wolf-researchers-academic-freedom-claims-for-300000/

    ReplyDelete
  34. First of all Cliff I deplore that you were "fired" and the reasons for it. We all need greater tolerance for dissenting views and opinions. Freedom of speech means little if it is only freedom to say things that don't offend anyone.

    That said I take issue with this post.

    Is democracy really under threat because a top notch professor in a second tier city on the left coast of the US loses his radio spot?

    Or could it be that democracy is under threat because: (1) A sitting president is trying his mightiest to undermine the integrity of the election, (2) A sitting president is threatening that he may not respect the verdict of the election, (3) one party is trying every tool to suppress the vote, (4) Neither major party has a lot of respect for facts and one major party has completely rejected scientific reality and expert knowledge if it doesn't line up with their ideology?

    Seeing the former as a greater threat than the latter would be as crazy as viewing exaggerations of climate change as a far greater threat than la-la-land denial of climate change.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "..... has completely rejected scientific reality and expert knowledge..."

      Well, "expert knowledge" is trying to tell us that a trace gas wafts around in the air above the ocean waves and by means of "backradiation", warms the water beneath it, more than it is otherwise by the Sun.
      "Expert knowledge" is trying to tell us that without some magical "greenhouse effect" in the atmosphere, that the oceans would all be frozen solid with a global average temperature of -18 deg C.
      "Expert knowledge" is, in effect, trying to tell us that the ATMOSPHERE is keeping the oceans in a liquid state.
      "Expert knowledge" should be given the fingers and told IT'S THE SUN,STUPID.
      It's an old, outdated, unreal, crackpot "greenhouse theory" which should be relegated to history.
      What part of the word HOAX, uttered by Trump, do you not understand?

      Delete
  35. Caveat....Trump will be history in a few months, but the attack on freedom of speech/diversity of viewpoint, much of it from the left, is undermining our democracy in a very serious way. My case is one example...and even in my case, this is not the first time it has happened. And exaggeration of climate change is VERY bad and results in poor decision (like in the case of wildfires). And keep in mind that the most "woke" in terms of climate change have some of the largest carbon footprints..cliff

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I could share your optimism about Trump being history in a few months (although at this point, it may conceivably be less than that), but even if he is, the Pandora's Box that he opened won't magically close. And looking at the public discourse about climate change, it being exaggerated seems to be the least of our problems.

      Delete
    2. POTUS health is getting better. He may be back in office on Monday. The Seattle Times is spreading misinformation with their headlines today (Sunday) about "confusion" and "serious condition because of multiple treatments", which were speculations yesterday afternoon until the president spoke on video.

      Delete
  36. As a progressive, I'm really disappointed with KNKX's decision as well as those who support it. What is wrong with having a diversity of perspective and the freedom to express it?

    ReplyDelete
  37. Cliff, I greatly appreciate this blog post. As a former left of center Democrat (who has stood still while watching his party swing dangerously to the left), I agree that this KNKX incident is simply a microcosm of what is taking place in our country. The radical left has embraced cancel culture and are using it to censor differing opinions and intimidate those not willing to raise their fists in agreement. And as it gets worse and worse, the majority of those with differing opinions will remain silent, protecting occupation and family over fighting for principle.

    With that said, please ignore those telling you to get over it. They completely miss the point and seem incapable of acknowledging the concentration of powerful media to the left of center. You have a platform to reach many people. You have personally had your first amendment rights violated. If people like you don't speak up for our democracy and freedoms who will? Cliff, continue to speak loud and proud! I don't agree with everything you have to say, but I cherish your right to say it and my freedom to agree or disagree.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I read several books on the French revolution some years back and this particular example of Cliff Mass being fired over the personal blog post reminds me of a common practice during that period. All anyone with a beef with a -- neighbor, business competitor, or anyone else -- had to do was go in front of a citizens committee and make vague allegations of unrevolutionary attitudes and that person would be hauled before the committee in chains to answer for it. Reasoned defence was impossible and unless that person possessed great oratorical skills or had powerful friends on the committee, the outcome was assured: they'd be imprisoned at the least and generally executed by guillotine.

    We live in far less violent times (or so Stephan Pinker assures us). But it sure looks like a convenient denunciation to remove someone in the field of atmospheric science who disagrees with some of the zealotry required to hold air time on public radio these days.

    Incidentally, several commenters above said they thought NPR gives unbiased news coverage. This is like saying Chris Wallace was unbiased during the presidential debate. Only the people who agree with the bias are unable to see it.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I agree with Cliff on freedom of speech. I'm at UW myself. It's a Research 1 University. Why has the focus entirely shifted to a social justice agenda? I have seen people given little voice whenever they brought an argument that deviated from mainstream mass media. Universities are the core of intellectual and open conversations. Once that's gone it's gone from society. You can forget about ppliticians. Most politicians are career politicians, they just want to be reelected.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I stopped watching PBS or listening to NPR years ago. They are both nothing but left wing propaganda rags.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Cliff and all, I really appreciate the "politics wing" of this blog. We all agree on only one thing - that we are severely polarized - and yet here in this space, with science and reason as our anchor, there is a glimmer of hope for the correct answer to win the day.

    I'm a white liberal, yep. I have a social justice agenda. I often feel angry and frustrated by folks on the "other side" who think that I'm anti-American for simply acknowledging that we live in a very racist country. I'm the one who is trying to make America great (not "again," but for the first time). Heck we are all racist, no matter who you are and if you think you are exempt from this or think that I'm somehow more racist because I'm the one bringing it up...man you are being willfully ignorant.

    My one critique of your viewpoint Cliff is that it could never be construed as anti-racist. And this may be a triggering comment to you and many others on this blog, but I would go so far as to say that your viewpoint is racist because it supports a racist idea: That police violence is justified but protester violence is not.

    Now, folks, the trick is to try not to get offended - I'm using the word "racist" not as a noun, but as an adjective. As such, it is not a slur against a person - it describes an idea. If you don't recognize the language I'm using, check out Ibram Kendi. We are all learners - and we need to unlearn as well. Thanks for considering!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seth...that blog was NOT about racism. I don't even get into that issue. It was rejecting VIOLENCE. Now we could get into whether violence is helpful with dealing with racism. Certainly Martin Luther King had strong opinions about that issue.

      Delete
  42. Cliff, I’ve been a fan of yours for decades, very sorry about your KNKX experience. Freedom of speech is critical to a healthy functioning Democracy as is a Media and Scientifically literate electorate. I’ve been a fiercely Independent and pragmatic voter my entire life and am now a recently retired Capitalist. I agree with George Washington who also had an excellent Crystal Ball-

    "The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.” ( Farewell Address)

    One only need read some of the comments above to recognize that the trouble in our Country Is not primarily about “Leftists“ or “Cancel Culture” (which exists on both the Left and the Right)
    Yes, we all ought to be concerned about Seattle’s “Autonomous Zone“ as well as systemic unequal treatment under our criminal Justice System and dramatically expanding Wealth Inequality.

    Donald Trump has been a transparently obvious Conman for decades, rampant tribalism and nationalist RW Authoritarianism managed to get him in the Oval Office. That’s easily as troubling as Seattle’s Autonomous Zone and Freedom of Speech.

    "Beware always of the loudmouth taking advantage of the situation and appealing to a crowd's meanest nature."
    -NYC Columnist Jimmy Breslin about Donald Trump in 1989, Jimmy won a Pulitzer for being a “Champion of ordinary citizens”

    -“In 1990, Marvin Roffman, a Philadelphia securities analyst at Janney Montgomery, posted a negative financial report about the soon to open Taj Mahal saying that it would be unable to pay its bonds. Trump threatened to sue the firm if he didn’t recant. Roffman refused and was fired. He in turn sued both, and was awarded $750,000 from Janney and an undisclosed amount from Trump. “I did not come here to bury Donald Trump,” Roffman gloated after Trump failed to make a $47 million interest payment a few months later. “He does a pretty good job of that himself” (Philadelphia Inquirer, October 4, 1991). While Trump’s name is still emblazoned on the Taj Mahal, he no longer owns it.
    From a 2015 essay- “Donald Trump vs. Richard Cory in Atlantic City- the casino magnate is hollow inside—and that's how he likes it.”
    -By Pete E Murphy

    ReplyDelete
  43. Cliff - You have written very eloquently and I much appreciate the investment you made to communicate your points to our benefit. I assume you have kept your political opinions out of your weather programs on KNKX. Otherwise, they might be justified in terminating your program.

    What you do on your own time (even though I assume what you have graciously contributed to KNKX is also on your own time as a public service) is yours to do with as you wish. What KNKX is doing is suppressing your right to express your opinion and free speech by intimidation. This is the same as terminating one for their sexual preference (by analogy only). What does KNKX "leadership" say to that?

    There goes my contribution to KNKX.

    ReplyDelete