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  • Sharon Kyle 6:48 pm on June 2, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Things I Didn’t Know 

    Note To My White Self

    Nine years ago, I began to slowly awaken to my racial prejudices and white privilege.  It was a rude awakening.  During the past three years, I’ve blogged about that journey from racial ignorance.  Recently, someone asked me what have been the biggest surprises along the way.  What do I know now that I didn’t know before?  What follows is a short list of some of my bigger epiphanies and the posts where I shared these revelations.

    I didn’t know that for a short period after the Civil War black people made significant progress in political and economic terms.  I didn’t know we had black US Senators and Representatives, that many southern states had black legislatures, that black literacy rates skyrocketed and blacks make significant economic gains.  I didn’t know about the reign of terror necessary for whites to end this moment of possibility, murdering thousands of black men, women and…

    View original post 1,028 more words

  • Forrest Woolman 3:48 pm on December 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AM 1150, Clear Channel, Glenn Beck, KFI AM 640, KTLK, Mike Malloy, Pacifica Radio, right wing radio   

    Clear Channel to Replace KTLK and San Francisco’s Only Commercial Progressive Talk Radio Stations,
    Replace Them with More Rightwing Talk

    Non-RW listeners in largest and most progressive media markets to be almost completely unserved over our publicly-owned airwaves…

    By Brad Friedman,
    12/5/2013, 2:55pm PT

    The largest media market in the world is about to lose its only non-Rightwing commercial talk radio station. Los Angeles’ KTLK 1150am will be flipped to a far Rightwing station featuring hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and other rightwing talkers. “The changes are set to take effect for the first broadcast of 2014,” according to the Los Angeles Times this afternoon.

    KTLK is owned by Clear Channel Communications, Inc., the nation’s largest owner of radio stations. Clear Channel is now owned by Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital LLC. The talkers mentioned above who will be taking over the previously-progressive station are also syndicated by Clear Channel-owned Premiere Networks, the largest radio syndicator in the nation. The BRAD BLOG has long argued that the outsized control of our public airwaves enjoyed by Clear Channel/Premiere and a handful of other conglomerates — including their ability to leverage our public airwaves (licensed from we, the people, in exchange only for their promise to serve the public interest) to distribute their own syndicator’s shows — is a likely violation of U.S. v. Paramount, the 1948 anti-trust Supreme Court decision which found that the major movie studios could not also control the means of distribution by owning the nation’s largest theater chains at the same time.

    As if ending progressive talk radio in L.A. isn’t bad enough, Clear Channel will now also reportedly be flipping its formerly progressive San Francisco talk station KNEW 960am (a move which they had threatened and then partially changed their mind about flipping in late 2011), over to a completely Right-leaning station as well, says the Times. That will leave San Francisco, arguably the most progressive city in the nation, without any commercial progressive talk radio outlet at all. But, as in L.A., listeners will still have many different Right-leaning talks outlets on our public airwaves to choose from, several of them owned by the same major corporation.

    In Los Angeles, Clear Channel also owns KFI 640am, the number one station in the market. That station currently runs Limbaugh, along with a host of other Right-leaning local talk shows. KTLK, had once described itself as “Progressive Talk”, before changing it’s tag line to “L.A.’s Voice” earlier this year. They had already gutted of most of the station’s progressive-leaning talk shows over the past several years. The station will now be re-dubbed “The Patriot”. The Times reports that “Clear Channel is hoping to pump up [KTLK] as an outlet exclusively dedicated to right-leaning chatter”…

    Other than progressive-leaning Pacifica Radio-affiliate KPFK 90.7fm, a community radio station, once Clear Channel flips KTLK to “conservative” talk, Los Angeles will no longer have any non-corporatist talk radio stations over its public airwaves. While both L.A. and San Francisco have several National Public Radio stations, all underwritten by large grants from corporate outlets such as the fossil fuel industry, two of the nation’s largest and most progressive metro areas will be almost completely unserved on their publicly-owned airwaves, thanks to the flips now planned by Clear Channel.

    KTLK currently carries only two syndicated progressive talk show hosts, Randi Rhodes and Stephanie Miller (who currently broadcasts from the KTLK studios). Those shows, unless Clear Channel changes its mind, or the shows are picked up elsewhere, will become unavailable to both Los Angeles and San Francisco radio listeners as of January.

    Both Clear Channel and Premiere Networks have made similar announcements over the years, before later reversing course. We already noted the Clear Channel flip-flop in 2011 in San Francisco, when their plan to replace all of their progressive shows with rightwingers was changed several weeks later. Instead they added Premiere’s Glenn Beck to the morning line-up and moved many of the progressive shows to other parts of the day, airing them on delay.. Back in 2006, Clear Channel had announced they would be flipping their progressive station in Madison, WI, but changed their mind following a petition drive by outraged listeners. Last Month, Premiere had announced they would be ending their syndication of the Randi Rhodes Show at the end of 2013. She is the only progressive talker syndicated by Premiere. Days later, for still unknown reasons, Premiere changed their mind and announced they would continue carrying Rhodes in the new year after all.

    On the other hand, Clear Channel has closed down many of their progressive radio stations in most of the nation’s major metropolitan markets without changing their mind, leaving radio listeners in the majority of the country completely unserved by anything but corporatist, Rightwing radio over our publicly-owned airwaves.

    Disclosure: I do a weekly radio show on Pacifica Radio’s KPFK in Los Angeles, and had, for some five years, served as the regular guest host for the Mike Malloy Show, a late-night progressive talk program carried, until this year, by KTLK. While guest hosting his show, I was allowed to broadcast from the KTLK studios inside the Clear Channel building in Burbank. That courtesy arrangement ended after Malloy was dropped from the KTLK line-up in early 2013.

  • Forrest Woolman 9:16 pm on December 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AT&T, , DC Circuit Court, , freedom of speech, , ,   

    Below is insightful article about the Verizon vs FCC case that is being heard in the DC Circuit Court – the second-most powerful court in the US, behind the Supreme Court. If Verizon wins their lawsuit then we will likely see the end of a free and open internet, as we know it today…

    Net Neutrality: What’s At Stake
    By Marvin Ammori, Wired magazine
    November 18, 2013

    Net neutrality is a dead man walking. The execution date isn’t set, but it could be days, or months (at best). And since net neutrality is the principle forbidding huge telecommunications companies from treating users, websites, or apps differently — say, by letting some work better than others over their pipes — the dead man walking isn’t some abstract or far-removed principle just for wonks: It affects the internet as we all know it.

    Once upon a time, companies like AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and others declared a war on the internet’s foundational principle: that its networks should be “neutral” and users don’t need anyone’s permission to invent, create, communicate, broadcast, or share online. The neutral and level playing field provided by permissionless innovation has empowered all of us with the freedom to express ourselves and innovate online without having to seek the permission of a remote telecom executive.

    But today, that freedom won’t survive much longer if a federal court — the second most powerful court in the nation behind the Supreme Court, the DC Circuit — is set to strike down the nation’s net neutrality law, a rule adopted by the Federal Communications Commission in 2010. Some will claim the new solution “splits the baby” in a way that somehow doesn’t kill net neutrality and so we should be grateful. But make no mistake: Despite eight years of public and political activism by multitudes fighting for freedom on the internet, a court decision may soon take it away.

    Game of Loopholes and Rules
    How did we get here?

    The CEO of AT&T told an interviewer back in 2005 that he wanted to introduce a new business model to the internet: charging companies like Google and Yahoo! to reliably reach internet users on the AT&T network. Keep in mind that users already pay to access the internet and that Google and Yahoo! already pay other telecom companies — often called backbone providers — to connect to these internet users. [Disclosure: I have done legal work for several companies supporting network neutrality, including Google.]

    But AT&T wanted to add an additional toll, beyond what it already made from the internet. Shortly after that, a Verizon executive voiced agreement, hoping to end what he called tech companies’ “free lunch”. It turns out that around the same time, Comcast had begun secretly trialing services to block some of the web’s most popular applications that could pose a competitive threat to Comcast, such as BitTorrent.

    Yet the phone and cable companies tried to dress up their plans as a false compromise. Counterintuitively, they supported telecommunications legislation in 2006 that would authorize the FCC to stop phone and cable companies from blocking websites.

    There was a catch, however. The bills included an exception that swallowed the rule: the FCC would be unable to stop cable and phone companies from taxing innovators or providing worse service to some sites and better service to others. Since we know internet users tend to quit using a website or application if it loads even just a few seconds slower than a competitor’s version, this no-blocking rule would essentially have enabled the phone and cable companies to discriminate by picking website/app/platform winners and losers. (Congress would merely enact the loophole. Think of it as a safe harbor for discriminating online.)

    Luckily, consumer groups, technology companies, political leaders, and American citizens saw through the nonsense and rallied around a principle to preserve the internet’s openness. They advocated for one simple, necessary rule — a nondiscrimination principle that became known as “network neutrality”. This principle would forbid phone and cable companies not only from blocking — but also from discriminating between or entering in special business deals to the benefit of — some sites over others.

    Unfortunately, the FCC decision that included the nondiscrimination rule still had major loopholes — especially when it came to mobile networks.
    Both sides battled out the issues before Congress, federal agencies, and in several senate and presidential campaigns over the next five years. These fights culminated in the 2010 FCC decision that included the nondiscrimination rule.

    Unfortunately, the rule still had major loopholes — especially when it came to mobile networks. It also was built, to some extent, on a shaky political foundation because the then-FCC chairman repeatedly folded when facing pressure. Still, the adopted rule was better than nothing, and it was a major advance over AT&T’s opening bid in 2005 of a no-blocking rule.

    As a result, Verizon took the FCC to court to void the 2010 FCC rule. Verizon went to court to attack the part of the rule forbidding them from discriminating among websites and applications; from setting up — on what we once called the information superhighway — the equivalents of tollbooths, fast lanes, and dirt roads.

    There and Back Again
    So that’s where we are today — waiting for the second most powerful court in the nation, the DC Circuit, to rule in Verizon’s case. During the case’s oral argument, back in early September, corporate lobbyists, lawyers, financial analysts, and consumer advocates packed into the courtroom: some sitting, some standing, some relegated to an overflow room.

    Since then, everyone interested in internet freedom has been waiting for an opinion — including everyday folks who search the web or share their thoughts in 140 characters; and including me, who argued the first (losing) network neutrality case before the DC Circuit in 2010.

    Web and mobile companies will live or die not on the merits of their technology, but on the deals they can strike with AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and others.
    But, in their questions and statements during oral argument, the judges have made clear how they planned to rule — for the phone and cable companies, not for those who use the internet. While the FCC has the power to impose the toothless “no-blocking” rule (originally proposed by AT&T above), it does not (the court will say) have the power to impose the essential “nondiscrimination” rule.

    It looks like we’ll end up where AT&T initially began: a false compromise.

    The implications of such a decision would be profound. Web and mobile companies will live or die not on the merits of their technology and design, but on the deals they can strike with AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and others. This means large phone and cable companies will be able to “shakedown” startups and established companies in every sector, requiring payment for reliable service. In fact, during the oral argument in the current case, Verizon’s lawyer said, “I’m authorized to state from my client today that but for these [FCC] rules we would be exploring those types of arrangements.”

    Wait, it gets even worse. Pricing isn’t even a necessary forcing factor. Once the court voids the nondiscrimination rule, AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast will be able to deliver some sites and services more quickly and reliably than others for any reason. Whim. Envy. Ignorance. Competition. Vengeance. Whatever. Or, no reason at all.

    So what if you’ve got a great new company, an amazing group of founders, a seat in a reputable accelerator program, great investors and mentors. With the permission-based innovation over “our pipes” desired from the likes of Comcast, Verizon and AT&T… there’s no meritocracy here.

    Of course, despite everything the judges suggested during the two-hour argument, it’s possible that they offer net neutrality a reprieve. Given how sticky this morass is, there’s one simple way for you to judge the opinion: If the court throws out the non-discrimination rule, permission-less innovation on the internet as we know it is done. If the nondiscrimination rule miraculously survives, then, for now at least, so too will freedom on the internet.

  • akronheim 1:25 pm on July 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    LAUNCHING: Common Cause Radio 



    Common Cause is launching our first ever radio show on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 6pm. We’ll be on lower power FM in San Diego!

    Airing live on the last Saturday of each month from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. We’ll talk to guests and listeners about how to keep elections fair, hold government accountable, and ensure a diverse, free press. Bree is anything but boring, so stay tuned for lively talk and even some laughs.

    Legendary broadcaster Bree Walker takes the microphone of 107.9 – The Mountain and for a new public affairs show.

    Common Cause with Bree Walker: Holding Power Accountable & Our Democracy StrongLet us know what you think by tweeting @CommonCauseCA or call into the show at 619-445-1079.Stay up to date and support here: 

  • akronheim 1:52 pm on May 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    6th Annual Media Summit Success 

    We completed another successful summit at Occidental College hosted by the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute! Thanks to all who came and shared in the experience.

    In case you missed it, here’s some video from the event (with more to come!) and pictures.

    Keynote Presentation from Former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps

    1st Panel on the issue of LA Times Ownership with Ian Masters, Robert Scheer, Kathleen Miles and Angelo Carusone

    You can see pictures by visiting the album of this event at California Common Cause’s Facebook page here. 


  • Will Coley 12:49 pm on March 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    April 27 in #LosAngeles: “Good Grief – Who’s Going to Cover LA Now?” Media Reform Summit 


    You’re invited to the 6th Annual LA Media Reform Summit at Occidental College

    Good Grief – Who’s Going to Cover LA Now?

    We wanted you to be the first to know about this year’s event. We’re focusing on a local issue: the LA Times. With the paper possibly looking at new ownership as its parent company emerges from bankruptcy, will a rumored buyout by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. or the Koch Brothers improve the paper’s news coverage? Would a different merger, sale, or consolidation better serve the community? If not, how will Angelenos get their local government news coverage – what will be the consequences of that shift?

    This half day summit will study these issues and bring to light new ideas for how to make LA news better. (More …)

  • Will Coley 10:59 am on January 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Christiane Amanpour,   

    #ICYMI Video via @mediabistro: Christiane Amanpour’s First Big Break 

    She is one of the most recognizable foreign correspondents on network television today. But did you know Christiane Amanpour’s journey to the front lines of reporting included a stint as a graphics coordinator at a local NBC station?

    In this episode of My First Big Break, Christiane Amanpour talks about how first big break, escaping the Iranian revolution with her family, started a journey that took her from WJAR in Providence, RI, all the way to the front lines of the first Gulf War as a reporter for CNN.

  • Will Coley 6:30 pm on December 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Grant Brittain, Mike Blabac   

    Video via @NortonPhoto: SoCal skate photographers discuss Instagram 

    Professional skate photographers Grant Brittain (The Skateboard Mag) and Mike Blabac (DC Shoes) talk about how they have embraced Instagram. Note: This was filmed BEFORE the policy change announcement on December 17, 2012.

    Photos featured are from the Instagram feeds of Brittain (@grantbrittain) and Blabac (@blabacphoto)

  • Will Coley 8:16 am on December 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Video via @RadioRookies: How to do “vox pop” (people on the street) interviews 

    Radio Rookies is a New York Public Radio initiative that provides teenagers with the tools and training to create radio stories about themselves, their communities and their world.

  • Will Coley 7:31 am on November 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Video: @HuellHowser retiring 

    Read more here:

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