Details of the NDP's involvement with KICK FM and Red River Censorship, err, Red River College, are coming around now and I can't get my mind around a few things.
First is The Kenny Show from this past Sunday, January 9th. Now I know Kenny's got tons of fans who listen every week without fail so obviously this story is getting spread around a lot. If I'm dripping with sarcasm here just let me know, I'm not trying to insult The Kenny Show or anything.
What happened to Kenny is startling and should have all Manitobans and Winnipeggers, and especially Red River College students, aware of at the very least. If I were a RRC student, and especially a journalism student, I'd be a little more than concerned.
Kenny phoned Greg Selinger's constituency office. Kenny has mightily conveniently posted all this audio to Youtube. The audio of that phone call is included in the shortly upcoming link. Over the Christmas break, he not only got an email from NDP Cabinet Communications, but it was sent to the office of Red River College President Stephanie Forsyth. You can listen to that, here.
So in point form:
1. KICK FM radio host leaves a humorous call (or lame and silly if that's how you roll) complete with Christmas music to the Premier's constituency office, which the phone number of, was included in an ad in the Red River College student newspaper The Projector.
2. NDP Cabinet Communications sends the office of Red River College President Stephanie Forsyth a letter. In the letter Jay Branch (Cabinet Communications) misconstrues what Kenny actually said in his phone call and suggests somebody should "have a chat" with Kenny regarding "calling the Premier's office."
3. President's secretary, Deb Pokrant, forwards email to many people including a member of the Kick FM Board.
4. A member of Kick FM's board, Rob, establishes communication with Cabinet Communications to acquire a transcript of the phone call.
5. Board member Rob receives transcript of the phone call.
Iiiintresting. Does the NDP Government and the office of Stephanie Forsyth control freedom of speech and freedom of expression on Kick FM? At least they seem to want to.
Kenny correctly points out that if you go to the RRC website, there is no mention of or logo of KICK. Which would be because it isn't the College's station. The College just funds it. The students have the opportunity to use it. In fact, this is what it says on the KICK FM website:
CKIC-FM is owned and operated by Cre-Comm Radio Inc. and licensed by the CRTC as a non-profit campus radio station, based at Red River College, who supplies the majority of the station's operating costs.
All of this is essentially repeated on a post made on the TGCTS blog on Monday, though I didn't get a chance to hear the audio until last night myself.
Given what's been circulated about the cancellation of The Great Canadian Talk Show on KICK I can't help but see this as similar in some fashion to how Marty Gold was taken off the air. The NDP has pressured RRC to get Marty off the airwaves before, and so has the Winnipeg Free Press. The story that appeared in the National Post last November confirmed that WFP Editor Margo Goodhand also contacted RRC President Stephanie Forsyth about Marty Gold and The Great Canadian Talk Show.
The other thing that I'm aware of, is that former RRC President Jeff Zabudsky was pressured by the NDP and WFP, but always said KICK FM was separate of RRC, and that issues with the radio station went to the station manager, Rick Baverstock.
So given that the NDP Cabinet Communications went directly to the office of the RRC President without going to the station manager in the case of the Kenny Show, and knowing the swiftness and unexpected cancellation of The Great Canadian Talk Show, I'm thinking that a similar thing happened. Note here that Kenny was a senior producer on TGCTS almost since it's inception and continued to be a part of the program up to the day it was cancelled, and had hosted the show himself on a couple of occasions when Marty Gold was away on business.
Someone pressured, asked, or told the RRC President to quash The Great Canadian Talk Show. And without former President Jeff Zabudsky there to keep the college from interfering in an "arms length non-profit," things started falling. Without someone stronger than outside pressure to stand up, the foundation cracked.
The community lost a voice. Former President Jeff Zabudsky recognized the importance of the community being a stakeholder in the KICK FM station. In fact he was on TGCTS December 2008 as a guest and interacted with Marty and Catherine, host of one of the many other KICK music programs that were promoted on the show.
After seeing what I saw and hearing what I heard at the TGCTS Live event, it was already obvious Marty Gold broke no rules, there were no formal complaints to the station, was responsible for the rise of an alternative media, as well as the proliferation of bloggers and added our voices to the discussion, defended taxpayers and citizens, and was never given the chance to defend himself.
It seems more obvious than ever that the NDP, WFP, and Stephanie Forysth were involved with silencing freedom of speech and freedom of expression.
Marty reporting on the complaints against candidate Ross Eadie's admission of NDP campaign financing seems to have something to do with the trigger being pulled on freedoms of speech and expression.