INVENTING THE NEWS

Kyle Stokes.jpgHoward Blume.jpgCorporations and their foundations have arrived at a point in this country where they have outright final say over virtually all the content of commercial and non-commercial media. Especially when it comes to reporting- or not reporting- what has come to be called the fake news. No, it might not be what The Donald calls fake news, but it's fake nonetheless.

This has taken the once cherished 1st Amendment freedom of the press to a place that might fairly be expressed by a variation on the old saw: If a tree falls in the forest... and we don't hear, see, or report it... did the tree actually fall... or even exist?" If your answer is still, "Yes, of course it exists!" Then the folks at your local news stations, who continue to engage in the conscious censorship of all relevant facts necessary to honestly fulfill their much touted mandate of "public service journalism reporting" might then ask you- while smirking- Prove it! And given the now pervasive open suppression of most all that is objectively newsworthy, you would then be hard pressed to do so.

Just one- or maybe two- illustrations of this notion: Is it just a coincidence that both Howard Blume of the Los Angeles Times and Kyle Stokes of local NPR affiliate KPPC both report virtually the same article and interview with new LAUSD Supt. Austin Beutner, where they both swallow hook, line, and sinker his obviously false LAUSD party line that what is wrong at LAUSD is just some bad teachers that are "hard to get rid of." Reality? Nothing could be further from the truth, and both Blume and Stokes know it, but they don't want to lose their jobs by telling the truth. So they go along with Beutner's blaming LAUSD's bad and purposefully failed public education system on teachers, who are supposedly hard to get rid of. This is about as far from the truth and reality as you can get. And again, both Blume and Stokes know it.

And yet, neither Blume, Stokes nor any other corporate influenced mainstream reporter from coast to coast in this country has reported that LAUSD and other districts like it around the country have already found it very easy to systematically get rid of literally thousands of more expensive, high seniority teachers, by falsely accusing them, while labeling them "bad teachers." This for the sole "crime" of being at the top of the salary scale.

Virtually all of these teachers never had a prior bad mark against them...until they were targeted. And many were even Nationally Board Certified. But these journalistically expunged facts would contradict what corporate clone LAUSD Supt. Austin Beutner has been saying and what the L.A. Times Blume and KPCC's Kyle Stokes have been going along with; that it has been very difficult to get rid of these mostly high seniority and more expensive teachers.

What has made this disingenuous process even easier has been the active collusion of the teachers unions UTLA, CTA, and AFT, whose leadership has been in the pocket of these blattantly corrupt school districts for many many years now- and yet this also never sees the light of day in the media.

So how do you stop this and get back a free press that does something more than just parrot corporate exclusively-profit-motivated party line? Here's a suggestion:

In looking at the 2017 Annual Report for local NPR station KPCC, one notices that 28% of KPCC "Public Support" comes from corporations with an agenda exclusively determined by things that effect the corporation's profit- either directly or indirectly. In addition, 70% of the Public Support comes from "Individual gifts & membership." But in this case, "individual" does not mean a single person, but could mean a foundation or other disproportionately rich corporate connected "individual," whose gift is contingent on KPCC slanting their news coverage to the financial interests of these corporate, foundation, and other "individual" entities that actually make up a very small percentage of KPCC's 600,000 weekly radio audience and 900,000 online hits.

Truly individual listeners still represent enough of the contributions to KPCC that if they withheld their donations and memberships until the stories and news covered by KPCC were more complete and truthful, they would be doing something that could not continue to be ignored by the leadership at KPCC and their present de facto corporate and foundation masters. If what we do and what we say can be ignored with impunity, it is not worth doing. This concerted action- withholding dues and membership by all those real individuals, who clearly know they are not being told the news based on complete facts on any given story, would stand an excellent chance of finally turning things around and finally making their station accountable to its listeners and the truth.

I wrote the following email to KPCC Reporter Kyle Stokes and received no response.

KPCC Reporter Kyle Stokes: kstokes@scpr.org

Leonard Isenberg <leonard.isenberg@gmail.com>
Sep 18, 2018, 9:44 PM (17 hours ago)
to kstokes

Mr. Stokes,

With literally thousands of top of the salary scale teachers having been removed already on completely fabricated charges and with no UTLA union opposition, it is not difficult as you alleged on KPCC to get rid of "bad teachers," especially when LAUSD saves a combined $60,000 in salary and benefits payments, when they replace them with a 20-something fresh out of college and working on an emergency credential.
If KPCC's dependence on foundation money doesn't preclude you from telling the truth, give me a call.

Leonard Isenberg

cell 323.383.7805

Skype: LennyIsenberg

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
--Thomas Jefferson

If enough of you emailed similar concerns to Mr. Stokes, maybe his handlers would finally get the message.

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