Wingnuts hijack the KVMR News Hour

Rush on the KVMR News Hour
Rush on the KVMR News Hour

Our hard-right political blogger and activist George Rebane has once again soiled the KVMR News Hour with his “commentary.” It continues to amaze me that KVMR doesn’t reserve a show for George as it does for others instead of including his “commentary” as part of the news hour’s content. I can’t image what the rebuttal to this sensationalized tripe would read like — but I suspect it won’t happen unless someone “volunteers.” Is that how to run a News Hour? No. Podunk.

“Democrats waiting in the wings. Even before her Monday’s disaster in Iowa, Hillary’s campaign for the Democrat presidential nomination had become so fractured that the line of potential replacements was already forming. Uncle Joe Biden let it be known he will reliably carry the Donkey banner if and when tabbed by Obama. Add to that the growing stream of reports that billionaire and three-term NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg is testing whether his ten-year Oval Office dream is finally the now-or-never opportunity. And my personal favorite is Lizzy Warren, the socialist senator from Massachusetts who could easily out-socialist Ol’ Bernie himself.

“We believe that Hillary’s fate will be determined by what some people now call the ‘Comey vote’ – when the FBI director plops his stack of evidence on Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s desk. Lynch is a proven administration hack who faithfully carries on the legacy of her predecessor Eric Holder. Smart money is on Lynch ignoring the indictable evidence from Comey as Obama adds Hillary to the long list of presidential pardons now being assembled.”

And that’s just the beginning.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

83 thoughts on “Wingnuts hijack the KVMR News Hour”

    1. I am intrigued that “Fish” seems to know all about me, but he’s never met me. I guess that’s what a cyberstalker is all about. He’s rather obsessed.

      1. Fish writes: “He hosts a public website … I comment on his posts. That’s it.” Here’s what the police investigator told me after reading the sheer volume and hateful tone of his posts: “Cyberstalking is often accompanied by realtime or offline stalking.” We have a file going labeled “fish.”

      2. Then Todd writes: “He called the Sheriff and my lawyer. If that is not a stalker then I don’t know what is.” Todd does not understand the difference between an ongoing cyberstalker investigation and “stalking.” The law is clear that a blog host is responsible for the sock puppets who post on it and their content.

  1. As far as I’m concerned KVMR has become completely worthless due to their pseudo-magnanimity. It needs new management, but really, I don’t care anymore. I prefer NPR from Sac. They know their job description.

  2. Jeff

    Rebanes commentary airs for four minutes every two weeks on the News Hour. That’s four minutes out of 600 minutes air time or 0.6666666666666667 %. How that that equate as a “takeover” ? Also explain why the Rush cartoon captioned “Rush on the KVMR News Hour”.

    Just a reminder to your readers that you agreed to doing a commentary on KVMR but bailed on the idea after stalling for several months.

    1. Paul,
      Because you’ve let “Rush” (AKA George Rebane) onto the KVMR News Hour. Give George his own show instead! By contrast, Capital Public Radio in Sacramento knows their job description. Hope the KVMR board will address this one day.

      I never “bailed” on the idea of doing commentary for KVMR. George’s commentary on the News Hour is your problem, not mine.

      1. Rebane could do a show every other Friday sharing that time spot with Cannabis Chronicles… I love the music and most of the programming but subjects that are controversial to the community should be presented with both sides of the story.

  3. Bruce, you are not alone. My wife and I switched to Cap City public radio when KVMR went schizo. The programs are like random confetti falling from the air. There is no rhyme or reason to the patter. One minute we’re listening to something cool and interesting, next it’s Tibetan throat singers, music from the 30’s, or worse the incessant rants from the extreme ends of our political spectrum. It is a virtual guarantee that if you enjoy one hour of broadcast, you will detest the next. It is a nice premise to represent the entire community of listeners, but as we learned in high school, try to everybody’s girl and you end up being nobody’s girl. We switched the station one to many times and with no allegiance left for the local station we never came back.

  4. So Jeff in your view 0.6666666666666667 % of available news time constitutes a “hijack” ? By the way our credo is “Music of the world, voice of the community”

    Jeff you agreed to do a commentary on KVMR and pulled out before you ever submitted one piece.


    Fair observation of the difference between NPR and Community radio programming. There is an old saying around KVMR that “if you like everything on KVMR there’s something wrong with you.”

    1. Paul,
      I don’t think you’ll ever get it. Commentary like this does not belong on a News Hour, especially without any rebuttal. It belongs on a separate show — like the “random confetti” mentioned here.
      I never agreed to do a commentary. We never even met about it. Again, this is your problem to “solve,” not mine. And it seems that the issue is resonating with others too, judging by the comments here. Listen to your customers!
      I also don’t think you get what jon is saying: ” It is a nice premise to represent the entire community of listeners, but as we learned in high school, try to everybody’s girl and you end up being nobody’s girl. We switched the station one to many times and with no allegiance left for the local station we never came back.”

      By contrast, Capital Public Radio provides diverse opinions but the programming is more organized and contextual. And the News Hour does not have toxic commentary that goes unanswered.

  5. This is a hoot from Rebane! “As often happens in these pages, RR’s perspective is soon picked up by major national media and blogs of the more conservative cast. Now I’m not saying that they read RR, but I am saying that the themes discussed here are mostly in the mainstream of conservetarian thought across the country. It takes the big guys a bit longer to ruminate on these ideas and check them with their editorial boards than it does moi and many of our astute readers.”

    Of course. ROFLOL.

  6. The managers at KVMR are probably the same AV nerds in school who would ruin the band’s music by incessantly tweaking the dials to get a “better” audio effect. They never sat still long enough to actually hear the music. We don’t “listen” to the radio like we did in the fifties, where the whole family would sit around the box and take in every audio bit. Today the radio is more like the candle at the dinner table. We don’t stare at it, but it sets a pleasant ambiance. The radio does the same whether working in the shop or taking a road trip. I don’t personally want to be whip sawed by dyslexic programming. The guys at KVMR probably think it is their responsibility to introduce us to the world of eclectic news, music, and sound (such as five minutes of listening to the wind). They may be acutely attuned to the wants of a specific audience that I am not a part of. So be it. I have no dog in this race. I only have one man’s opinion. And another band on the dial.

  7. Having recently migrated down the hill there so much I miss about the beauty of living out of the woods near grass Valley. But then again it’s the garbage and crap from the right that should scare anyone from wanting to live there away. And that includes all the old angry white men approaching senility.

  8. One is not going to change the minds of people who listen to Limbaugh and read Rebane. Both of them are not going to change my mind one iota. It would be great if someone would respond to them, but we both know that you cannot reason with ingrained ignorance. The hue and cry was that “Bush Won”. excuse me, so did Obama.

  9. “Walt” on Rebane’s blog is not too bright. He writes: “On the subject of “dems” waiting in the wings”,,, Hear who is rolling into town? ( some real tonnage no less) Mr. AGW fabricator himself. (no,, not Gore) Mikey Moore..”

    Besides the “fat joke” directed at Michael Moore, “Walt” doesn’t realize that Michael will appear via Skype, but not in person.

    Since none of us know what the sock puppets on George’s blog look like (“Walt,” “fish,” etc.), we cannot ridicule their personal appearance.

  10. Jeff

    Thanks for the opportunity to allow me to affirm KVMR’s commitment to free speech and diversity in music and public affairs programming. KVMR, Music of the World, Voice of the Community.

    1. No problem. I hope you can now understand why some people have migrated to Capital Public Radio. They get all that (and more).

    1. Paul,
      You just parroted the KVMR mission statement without addressing any of the specific and legitimate concerns that have been raised.

  11. Bruce
    I agree with you that KVMR does not serve as a utility for those who need consistent background music to massage their daily lives but as a supporter of local music you can at least give us credit to our commitment of serving the diversity of our own regional musical community by featuring, interviewing and playing the music of our own musicians. With the exception of an occasional interview on Insight (an excellent program) there is no programming of regional music on KXPR, our NPR outlet.

      1. Jeff that comment was directed towards Bruce. As to allowing commentaries on the news hour that has been a long tradition of KV MR and it continues. We try to provide a diversity of commentaries that reflect our listening region. That was the policy when I took the job is news director and will continue to be unless I am directed otherwise. I suggest you take your concerns to our station manager.

      2. Paul,
        “A diversity of commentaries” means you need to do a better job of reaching out to the community for that diversity instead of just accepting whatever is submitted first. You, as the news director, need to manage this process. It is your job. Otherwise, you risk undermining the credibility of your news hour. It is the same problem as The Union. And it is what differentiates much of our local media from outlets such as the Bee, Capital City Radio. Sure, those places are bigger but they also are more judicious about managing this process. Find out what their policies are, what their best practices are for executing on the “fairness” plan and then come up with your own. And publish or broadcast them for the readers.

      3. That’s rubbish Paul. Do you really believe that the extreme right is tuning into KVMR because of your magnanimous choices of opinion. You got to be kidding. You are in lala land Paul. All you are doing is alianating your base. I used to love the station. I won’t listen to now.

    1. I didn’t refer or mention the music in any way. We’re talking about decisions pertaining to the political strata. You clearly hear what you want to hear, “and disregard the rest”.

  12. Bruce

    You agreed with Jon when he wrote: “One minute we’re listening to something cool and interesting, next it’s Tibetan throat singers, music from the 30’s, or worse the incessant rants from the extreme ends of our political spectrum. ”

    Either way you,, as a supporter of local music, should appreciate our dedication to the musicians in our region and all that we do to inform the public about the local music, art and culture in our wonderful community.

    AS far as “alienating our base” I’m glad to inform you that KVMR has record membership and is doing quite well on our fundraising efforts to pay off our wonderful new building which has received tremendous community support. I certainly don’t see evidence of that “alienation” from the information that I have. .In fact KVMR is a shinning jewel in the world of Community
    Radio and is noted for it’s almost unprecedented support for over 30 years from a small community especially considering we receive no institutional support such as that received by Capital Public Radio from Sac State University which sponsors them..

    I accept that we’re not your cup of tea but we have legions of supports that enjoy our programming and support us with their volunteer efforts and membership.

    1. Paul,
      I think you meant “its almost unprecedented support” not “it’s.” As for me, the issue never has been KVMR’s dedication to the musicians in our region. I’m a huge fan of the the new building too, and have enjoyed promoting it, along with the fundraising efforts. Having said that, I continue to think you need to do a better job of managing the “commentary” on the news hour for all the aforementioned reasons. But you seem pretty bullheaded about it for whatever reason. As for me, I enjoy the music and musicians on KVMR but do not find the News Hour very enlightening. I love Capital Public Radio’s news presentation, however. It is diverse, too.

    2. No, I wasn’t agreeing with the argument pertaining to the eclectic choice of music. But I was agreeing that KVMR is all over the place with no cohesive focus or ethical compass.

    3. Capital Public Radio was originally the Sac State student radio station and was taken over by CPR causing some resentment at the time from students. Another student station (low power) was started at some point, but I am not sure if it is still in operation.

    1. Paul,
      It’s not about comparing budgets. It’s about adopting “best practices.” The Union needs to do the same thing. By contract, YubaNet is a shining example of doing a great job with limited resources. We are paying subscribers.

    2. And hey, Paul, you’re happy with KVMR’s direction…that’s all that matters (I guess), but personally I put you up there now with The Union. Pat yourself on the back and keep the eye shades on if you’re doing so well. I would guess I’m not the only one who has given up on the station. And just as Hemig is blind to what the Union is, I think you are blind to what KVMR is headed towards. But if you’re happy…that’s all that matters.

    3. “So we both appreciate CPR’s news presentation. Care to compare the budget of both programs?”

      That is such a weak arguement that I will be embarrassed FOR you, as Jeff says, you just don’t get it.

    1. Paul,
      I think you mean “your,” not “you’re.” I think the better approach is for the KVMR News Hour (remember, this is about you, not about the music programming) is to reach out to the community for feedback, rather than the other way around. And now you’re getting it. And again, I’m not sure you’re listening or you just don’t “get it”: It’s not about “Rebane”; it’s about providing a News Hour that is credible and balanced. That “commentary” was a screed, not a thoughtful opinion. And managing all this falls directly in your lap, not mine or the KVMR community advisory committee. In the end, if you don’t reach out, you run the risk of losing listeners. That’s how it works.

    1. I’m glad RL Crabb is coming to Paul’s defense, albeit bending my words. Again this is a KVMR News Hour issue; it has nothing to do with the music programming. God Bless RL! He doesn’t know any better, because the bulk of his experience is working in “Podunk Pines” (his words). But for the rest of us, whose experience is working elsewhere, we are not quite accustomed to some of the practices that go on here — like running a screed on the “News Hour.” I think Judith Lowry said it best when she said our area often suffers from being “stubbornly backward.” Indeed.

      1. Interesting, because as this conversation progresses I’ve been reminded more and more of RL when reading Paul’s posts. I think they have a lot in common, including buttering their own bread and logrolling.

  13. “Buttering their own bread and logrolling.” Yes, that’s a common MO in our towns! Though I don’t think it’s good for economic development, creating higher-paying jobs or drawing millennials. “Out there,” it’s more of a meritocracy. Here, not so much.

  14. Paul- I don’t think you need my participation through your advisory board. You have a strong and loyal following and are apparently doing something right. KVMR simply isn’t my cup of tea. I don’t really care about the Super Bowl either, so how much community weight does my opinion carry? Carry on while I listen to CPR.

    1. This issue is not about “free speech”; it is about managing content on the news hour, just like Capital Public Radio or any other enterprise does.

  15. Jeff

    By what journalistic standards do you justify calling a four minute commentary by George Rebane every two weeks a hijacking?

    1. Paul,
      This was an acerbic diatribe and a free political ad on the news hour, not a commentary. What do we learn from it? What wisdom is involved? There is no countervailing opinion either. And it appears on the “News Hour.” A better question is what journalistic standards does your News Hour justify for this? Or is it just “anything goes.” I suspect the problem is that you don’t get many submissions. That’s your job — to reach out into the community and go get them. Do you have any standards for accepting your commentary like most news outlets? Can you link to that? Here’s the New York Times’ policy: I love it, and it’s published for all to see!

  16. You have a legitimate opinion as to a small portion of the content of our news prgram. You didn’t tend to my question as to what journalistic standards you applied in branding this a “hijacking” of KVMR’s news program. A simple definition of hijack is : ” to seize, divert, or appropriate (a vehicle or the goods it carries) while in transit: to hijack an aircraft. 2. to rob (a person or vehicle) by force: to hijack a traveller.”

    1. To be sure an acerbic diatribe and a free political ad like this, without balance or context, “seizes and diverts” what should be the mission of the news hour. Your stubborn focus on the timeframe involved is irrelevant. It only takes a drop of iodine (or poison) to change whatever is in the glass beaker.
      Now answer my question and show me a link to an op-ed policy like this one:
      Some salient points:
      “We don’t just wait for articles to arrive.” ‘We reach out…”
      “We will try to help you strengthen your argument. We want your thinking to win converts.”
      What do you do other than accept whatever is submitted first?

  17. Jeff
    Do you actually ever listen to KVMR’s News Program? If you did you would know that commentaries by nationally syndicated Jim Hightower air twice a week which more than provide balance to George Rebane’s views. When you suggest “countervailing opinions” are you proposing that for any commentary on KVMR we should have a retort aired at the same time?

    Are you suggesting that Jim Hightower should be removed as a commentator as well?

    George proposed his commentary some years ago and the idea was approved by those of us that are involved with programming decisions including our Station Manager, Program Director as well as myself, the News Director. The views expressed by Rebane are consistent with a sizable percentage of Nevada County residents making it consistent with expressing voices of the community .

    1. Paul,
      Yes I listen. Jim is not acerbic or hyperbolic; George is. It’s apples vs. oranges. You got hoodwinked by George Rebane, and all the longtime listeners — including our family — are getting dragged along for the ride. Please answer my question about your policies for accepting commentary. You have dodged it so far. And it is obvious to me and all of the readers here.

    2. I’m curious what % of your listeners approve of Rebanes ‘commentary’. I am one of them and don’t really get why he is on KVMR. Jim Hightower is progressive/liberal with some humor. To call Rebane conservative is a compliment (even in Nevada County). To call the two of them balance seems too convenient. It would be a hoot to listen to them debate almost anything. Something more like Point/Counterpoint would make much more sense and would likely have a bigger following. All in all we love KVMR (noone’s perfect) and consider it one of the reasons that we live here.

  18. Sure

    Someone proposes a commentary, I consider if it has substantial value to our listeners . If so I propose it to our Program Director and Station Manager and if we agree it becomes a regular feature. Sometimes I reach out like I did to you to become a contributor.

    We were looking for a Conservative voice to balance our commentaries and Rebane was available and has been a reliable contributor ever since.

    By the way this was from tonight’s Hightower commentary.

    “Yeah, right. These people aren’t merely contemptible, self-serving cynics – they’re creeps who should have to swallow a thousand buckets each of the bad water they forced on all of Flint’s men, women, and children. ”

    Acerbic or hyperbolic? Your call.

    1. Paul,
      You never reached out to me. You only “reached out” after I raised the issue. You have yet to provide a link to your policy for Op-Ed, as raised here. I suspect it is because you do not have one. You should. And you should share it with our community.

  19. I guess we’re a little too down home for you Jeff but we are sincere and we are honest and we have been serving our community and beyond for over 30 years. Stop by sometime and I’ll show you around. Have you been in our new building?

    1. No, Paul, it’s not about being “down home.” It’s about adopting best practices and holding your commentators to some professional standards — as most news organizations do. You have not been “honest” in this discussion, because you have dodged my question. Where is your Op-Ed policy? Show it to me. Link to it. Keep in mind the “we” I’m referring to is not KVMR’s music programming but KVMR’s news hour — and your stewardship in particular. As for your new building, of course I’ve been there. Several times in fact. We regularly do a lot of promotion for the new building and KVMR throughout the region. Four examples are here:
      We also are donors.
      Again, I’m offering some feedback here so you can grow your news hour. And to do that, you need to think more seriously about what is being said here — by me and the other commentators. Maybe you could hook up with the news guys at Capital Public Radio.

  20. We are hooking up with CPR. They are going to be doing broadcasts here in the near future. I already described our Op-Ed policy (see 7:59} . We also go through regular reviews of our programming including News.

    You never commented as to whether Jim Hightower is “Acerbic or hyperbolic” in your view and What is different about Rebane’s rhetoric that crosses that threashold?

  21. Paul, your 7:59 does not point to a “policy.” It points to a “process.” “available” and “reliable” is not a policy. Did the Hightower commentary appear on the KVMR News Hour?

  22. Yes, Hightower , as you should know is a progressive Liberal commentator from Texas.

    We do not have a documented policy. It’s never been a problem in the past nor is it a problem currently.

    1. I would have to listen to the audio clip from the News Hour. You should have a documented policy and provide a link to it on your website. You may not think it’s a problem currently, but you’ve heard some comments that contradict that here. The “anything goes” commentary isn’t very informative. And a commentator like George Rebane isn’t cleaver enough to be entertaining. So you’re not left with much except for demagoguery.

  23. I put a link to Hightower on my 7:59. Here’s another link to make it easy. Check it out
    The drift of what you are saying iis that it may be okay to be “acerbic or hyperbolic” if you are clever. Are you defending that position?
    Ads a matter of fact we do podcast all of our newscasts. You should know that if you are a listener since we repeat it every night. There is no groundswell of concern about Rebane on KVMR. I think there were three here not including you.

    1. Paul,
      You keep linking to Jim Hightower’s website. Did Jim Hightower’s commentary appear on the KVMR News Hour? If it did could you provide the link to the podcast of the Hightower commentary on the KVMR news hour, then I could listen to it and compare it to Rebane. As for the “groundswell of concern,” I don’t think anyone cares enough to approach you about it. I just think they listen to other shows, as the commenter here noted.

  24. I already answered that you asked:
    “Did the Hightower commentary appear on the KVMR News Hour?”
    I immediately responded “yes”

    The link I provided was to the exact commentary we aired. All you have to do is click to hear it. What more can I do?

    1. Paul,
      You just told me you have podcasts for all of your shows. So what you can do is the same as what I’ve been asking for all along: provide the link.

    1. Paul,
      You’re funny. If Jim Hightower provided commentary on the KVMR News Hour, please provide the link to the Jim Hightower commentary on the KVMR News Hour, so I can listen to it in the context of the program and try to answer your question. Do not provide the link the Jim Hightower’s website (which you keep sending). And do not provide the link to all the KVMR podcasts (which you keep sending). Think of it as the intersection of two Venn diagrams (one of KVMR’s News Hour and another of Jim Hightower commentary). LOL. Is this clear to you?

  25. All podcasts are listed as they are posted. We do not have the resources to put up podcasts of individual news pieces. Go to KVMR’s podcasts look for Monday Feb 8 it’s around 20 minutes in.

    thanks for your ionterest

    1. OK. Now we’re getting down to brass tacks, as grandma used to say. You can’t find it that way. When I get a chance to go fish it out, I will.

      1. OK I found it. First of all, you need a better podcast platform. With others you can scroll to the minutes you’re looking for. With yours, you have to guess. In short, Hightower has a more cogent form of argumentation than Rebane. He did use the word “creep” but he used offered up some details. Rebane is lazier: he uses hyperbole and disrespect throughout his commentary to “win” converts: He uses words like “disaster,” “Uncle Joe Biden,” “Lizzy Warren,” Lynch is an “administrative hack,” etc. He throws around the word socialist for Warren and “Ol’ Bernie” but never defines it. There’s really no point to the commentary except to throw cold water on (and up the noses of) the progressives. You could be a “coach” by referring to a policy like the New York Times For example,
        “We will try to help you strengthen your argument. We want your thinking to win converts.”
        This is how many news outlets handle commentary rather than the “free for all” approach. It builds credibility because it is more intellectually stimulating. And as for entertainment, yes, Hightower is more entertaining than George Rebane. Do you ever survey your listeners to see what they like and dislike? Do you ever ask them how you can improve the KVMR News Hour?

    2. Sound transmission quality on KVMR yesterday from the BOS (I’ll show you “again” how stupid we are meeting) was poor to say the least. Hope you can work that out-

  26. Sure we do. We have regular surveys with good solid support or our news programming. We are volunteer based. Any volunteer help you could provide would be appreciated.

    Yes, our pod casting could be improved. It will eventually. It is a matter of human resources to do the editing and posting of more detailed segments.

    Yes, Hightower is a nationally syndicated commentator and is rather brilliant. We do have our local commentators that I am very supportive of them and I really like the concept. That’s what Community Radio is all about.. .

  27. ““We will try to help you strengthen your argument. We want your thinking to win converts.” That wouldn’t work as George already thinks his arguments are rock solid.

    1. And that’s an uncomfortable exercise. But that’s what you have to do to upgrade the content. Here’s how the New York Times handles it: “In the end, you are the author. If you are unhappy with an edit, you can take back the piece.”

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