KPIX Channel 5–A Failure to Communicate

Here is a link to CBS Channel 5 News’ last night’s story on Garberville and the Emerald Triangle.

I’m spending the morning questioning myself.

I agreed to be interviewed by Mike Sugarman and Craig Franklin of KPIX Channel 5 News because I wanted to let people outside the area see growers as I do–small farmers besieged by economic concerns.  I explained how many growers are pro- legalization (though some aren’t) but they are also deeply concerned about seeing their paychecks move one decimal point to the left–which is something I hoped everyone would be able to relate to.

What I saw, watching the video, imagining I knew nothing about the subject, was a story that centered on the hypocritical grower who makes money off of pot but doesn’t want it legalized.  Yet, the people interviewed, Anna Hamilton (Secretary of HuMMAP), Ellen Komp (Deputy Director of NORML), Tim Blake (Mendocino Medical Marijuana Advisory Board), and myself all have spoken out in favor of legalization. Is it just that the hypocritical grower story is too sexy or is it that I’m too sensitive?

I know many growers against legalization, of course.  I think they are fighting a losing battle and one that doesn’t make economic sense for them. The NORML map shown in a recent post indicates the problems facing California growers if they don’t legalize marijuana.  The country as a whole is moving towards making marijuana for adults legal.  Specifically 5 states face legalization this fall with others soon to follow. California exports a substantial amount of marijuana.  If other states legalize, buyers will most likely head for states where the supply is more accessible and the consequences are lower.  California’s economy will suffer as less buyers bring piles of cash within its borders.  Nevada is likely to have a ballot initiative similar to California’s in 2011. Voters there are currently polling 65% in favor.  How many buyers are likely to drive through Nevada to get to California?

Those not in favor of legalization should seriously consider the consequences economically to Humboldt (not forgetting the people currently imprisoned over possession of the herb).  Those in favor need to figure out a way to convey that many growers are in favor because, currently the customers are angry at all growers for putting profits ahead of people. In addition, if and when laws are enacted regarding legal marijuana, it will be hard to gain sympathy for the growers’ needs if they are coming across as greedy now.

I believe in communicating but at this point I feel like while I talked, I didn’t get my  point across.

I didn’t communicate.

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27 comments

  • TV news has their way of getting you to say what enables them to edit a story that says what they want their audience to hear. Stay blogging and stay satisfied 🙂
    It’s a shame that your blog’s URL wasn’t printed under your name. I’d request that next time so more interested people can read your great work!

  • TV news has their way of getting you to say what enables them to edit a story that says what they want their audience to hear. Stay blogging and stay satisfied 🙂
    It’s a shame that your blog’s URL wasn’t printed under your name. I’d request that next time so more interested people can read your great work!

  • I’m betting you communicated very well, but they edited for the story they wanted to tell.
    Every media outlet seems to love the one about the rich growers who want smokers to risk jail so they can stay rich.
    No one wants to talk about small time family farmers fearing the loss of their incomes and homes as another small business goes corporate.

  • I’m betting you communicated very well, but they edited for the story they wanted to tell.
    Every media outlet seems to love the one about the rich growers who want smokers to risk jail so they can stay rich.
    No one wants to talk about small time family farmers fearing the loss of their incomes and homes as another small business goes corporate.

  • Nobody wants to talk about the fact that the small time family farmer was never what you were. Bootleggers. Confederates. In fact, the Em.Tri. gives corporate piracy a bad name. You might think that you are concerned about your compatriots waning support of legalization, but most likely it’s even more overwhelming to think that you were wrong about them all along and now you are just a rebel whose cause was never really a legitimate one to begin with. When Reefer goes legal, whether it is economics or compassion, the overwhelming majority of you will move on to one black market economy or another. Organs, sex slaves, meth amphetamine. Whatever appeals to your sense of freedom and liberty.

    This issue will be decided with much friction and pressure. Not only is it not “almost over” but it really hasn’t even begun. We shall see just how much humanity is there when the Feds get done with whatever it is that tripled up their presence a few months ago. Seems like they are more into seizing records than reefer; wonder what that’s about? IRS maybe? There was a time I was most definitely on your side. Maybe all the times I didn’t call out your hypocrisy were my own failing. My own short sighted respect for what the cause once was. Karma is as Karma does and I have faith that not one among you will feel they deserve their wicked fate before it’s over.

    Typically, I save this vitriol for more public forums with more likelyhood for wider debate, but my wife left this post up for me knowing my posting day is over but I would have something to state as clearly as possible so I could forget about it and relax. Here it is. It wasn’t media spin that turned my command of research and rhetoric against the EmTri. (That’s a new one for me – I like it); it was the true story of the “small time family farmer” who wasn’t satisfied with a substantial, tax free income and pulled up to the welfare office in one of your fleet trucks wearing her “I grow Reefer” uniform and demanded that California punish me for being a good father and my child for being a (expletive deleted) refugee. You must know at least one variation on that theme.

    Go ahead and tell me that is the exception to the rule and I will say that is your spin. You got your nation, I got mine. To me the main difference is you are invited to participate.

    • HKids,
      Your letting your feelings towards your ex not only warp your vision, but run your life.
      Living wrapped so tightly in your blanket of hate and anger is only hurting you & making it harder for you to be close to the child you love.
      When one parent speaks unkindly of the other parent (even if what’s said is true) children feel hurt, resentful, and conflicted. They need unconditional love and support, not to be torn in half by adults taking verbals swings at each other. The only person struck by both sides is the child.
      Regardless of whether your ex grows pot, scams welfare, milks you for child support, or has two heads and eats babies, YOU need to get some help working through these emotions, so you can move past what you can’t control, & move on to what you can.
      Find a good family therapist.
      I’m not trying to be a jerk. I see someone in pain, swinging blindly at the fire, & I am saying, step out of the flames.

      • Fiance here:

        Kim (not Kym) I know you think you are trying to help. There is much to the story that you don’t know. You don’t know about the mother lying to the child about us. You don’t know how much the mother has contributed to all of the problems that she created when she kidnapped the child and moved her to SoHum and then hid her out in the hills. You don’t know about the abusive nature of the mother and child relationship that she keeps hidden and the powers that be up there help her hide. You don’t know about a DCSS attorney telling us that “we know what she’s doing, don’t mention it in court.” You don’t know about the mediator and the family court facilitator telling us that they know it is her causing the problems but that they will keep the child there anyway. You just don’t know!

        Obviously you don’t know what it is like to lose your child and not be able to do anything about it. You don’t know what it is like to be laid off from work for over a year and not have the money to hire an attorney while the welfare fraud committing, pot growing mother who claims an income of $670 a month income can afford two attorneys that cost $675 an hour between them. You don’t know what it is like to have DCSS and the court help her keep the child from visiting because if there is no visitation they don’t have to look at the mothers income when they come in for more support.

        Come walk a mile in our shoes then give your advice about therapy.

    • the overwhelming majority of you will move on to one black market economy or another. Organs, sex slaves, meth amphetamine

      ew! i do NOT like contemplating being a sex slave, and i cannot stand the thought of having anything to do with meth; but i do have some experience in transplanting pot, i wonder if that’ll help me land a gig transplanting black market kidneys? I’m a hard worker, and i don’t mind getting my hands a little dirty …

      • Fiance here:

        From what I hear poppies are the next big thing in Humboldt…easier to hide than pot plants…maybe you can head that direction.

  • Nobody wants to talk about the fact that the small time family farmer was never what you were. Bootleggers. Confederates. In fact, the Em.Tri. gives corporate piracy a bad name. You might think that you are concerned about your compatriots waning support of legalization, but most likely it’s even more overwhelming to think that you were wrong about them all along and now you are just a rebel whose cause was never really a legitimate one to begin with. When Reefer goes legal, whether it is economics or compassion, the overwhelming majority of you will move on to one black market economy or another. Organs, sex slaves, meth amphetamine. Whatever appeals to your sense of freedom and liberty.

    This issue will be decided with much friction and pressure. Not only is it not “almost over” but it really hasn’t even begun. We shall see just how much humanity is there when the Feds get done with whatever it is that tripled up their presence a few months ago. Seems like they are more into seizing records than reefer; wonder what that’s about? IRS maybe? There was a time I was most definitely on your side. Maybe all the times I didn’t call out your hypocrisy were my own failing. My own short sighted respect for what the cause once was. Karma is as Karma does and I have faith that not one among you will feel they deserve their wicked fate before it’s over.

    Typically, I save this vitriol for more public forums with more likelyhood for wider debate, but my wife left this post up for me knowing my posting day is over but I would have something to state as clearly as possible so I could forget about it and relax. Here it is. It wasn’t media spin that turned my command of research and rhetoric against the EmTri. (That’s a new one for me – I like it); it was the true story of the “small time family farmer” who wasn’t satisfied with a substantial, tax free income and pulled up to the welfare office in one of your fleet trucks wearing her “I grow Reefer” uniform and demanded that California punish me for being a good father and my child for being a (expletive deleted) refugee. You must know at least one variation on that theme.

    Go ahead and tell me that is the exception to the rule and I will say that is your spin. You got your nation, I got mine. To me the main difference is you are invited to participate.

    • HKids,
      Your letting your feelings towards your ex not only warp your vision, but run your life.
      Living wrapped so tightly in your blanket of hate and anger is only hurting you & making it harder for you to be close to the child you love.
      When one parent speaks unkindly of the other parent (even if what’s said is true) children feel hurt, resentful, and conflicted. They need unconditional love and support, not to be torn in half by adults taking verbals swings at each other. The only person struck by both sides is the child.
      Regardless of whether your ex grows pot, scams welfare, milks you for child support, or has two heads and eats babies, YOU need to get some help working through these emotions, so you can move past what you can’t control, & move on to what you can.
      Find a good family therapist.
      I’m not trying to be a jerk. I see someone in pain, swinging blindly at the fire, & I am saying, step out of the flames.

      • Fiance here:

        Kim (not Kym) I know you think you are trying to help. There is much to the story that you don’t know. You don’t know about the mother lying to the child about us. You don’t know how much the mother has contributed to all of the problems that she created when she kidnapped the child and moved her to SoHum and then hid her out in the hills. You don’t know about the abusive nature of the mother and child relationship that she keeps hidden and the powers that be up there help her hide. You don’t know about a DCSS attorney telling us that “we know what she’s doing, don’t mention it in court.” You don’t know about the mediator and the family court facilitator telling us that they know it is her causing the problems but that they will keep the child there anyway. You just don’t know!

        Obviously you don’t know what it is like to lose your child and not be able to do anything about it. You don’t know what it is like to be laid off from work for over a year and not have the money to hire an attorney while the welfare fraud committing, pot growing mother who claims an income of $670 a month income can afford two attorneys that cost $675 an hour between them. You don’t know what it is like to have DCSS and the court help her keep the child from visiting because if there is no visitation they don’t have to look at the mothers income when they come in for more support.

        Come walk a mile in our shoes then give your advice about therapy.

    • the overwhelming majority of you will move on to one black market economy or another. Organs, sex slaves, meth amphetamine

      ew! i do NOT like contemplating being a sex slave, and i cannot stand the thought of having anything to do with meth; but i do have some experience in transplanting pot, i wonder if that’ll help me land a gig transplanting black market kidneys? I’m a hard worker, and i don’t mind getting my hands a little dirty …

      • Fiance here:

        From what I hear poppies are the next big thing in Humboldt…easier to hide than pot plants…maybe you can head that direction.

  • Humboldtkids pretty much says it like it is, don’t you think Kim?

  • Humboldtkids pretty much says it like it is, don’t you think Kim?

  • I don’t know if I’d call Sugarman’s two or three paragraphs a story. More like a tidbit to reel in the viewers with no substance. The same goes for the video.
    It strikes me that Channel 5 was more interested in having a sensational – non-informative – story on pot to get viewers.

    I came away from the video thinking that the only message that came across was that some illegal pot growers were going to go out of busniess when Marijuana is legalized. Ren and Kim are both right on about “creative editing” and you can be sure they (the media) will slant the story according to their agenda.
    You didn’t say anything that was untrue. Your observations, however, are easily manipulated by editing.
    I didn’t pick up the “hypocritical grower” impression like you did. Maybe you feel that way because you’re so close to the whole subject.
    You did good.

  • I don’t know if I’d call Sugarman’s two or three paragraphs a story. More like a tidbit to reel in the viewers with no substance. The same goes for the video.
    It strikes me that Channel 5 was more interested in having a sensational – non-informative – story on pot to get viewers.

    I came away from the video thinking that the only message that came across was that some illegal pot growers were going to go out of busniess when Marijuana is legalized. Ren and Kim are both right on about “creative editing” and you can be sure they (the media) will slant the story according to their agenda.
    You didn’t say anything that was untrue. Your observations, however, are easily manipulated by editing.
    I didn’t pick up the “hypocritical grower” impression like you did. Maybe you feel that way because you’re so close to the whole subject.
    You did good.

  • Kym you are a person of depth and quality. People or news orgs. that overlook that depth or quality do so out of a chronic compulsion to superficiality.

    I am sorry to see some of the crap being posted on this blog, but it is a downside of the web. Vitriol is the toxic waste of a desecrated inner landscape. I appreciate your courage and openness.

  • Kym you are a person of depth and quality. People or news orgs. that overlook that depth or quality do so out of a chronic compulsion to superficiality.

    I am sorry to see some of the crap being posted on this blog, but it is a downside of the web. Vitriol is the toxic waste of a desecrated inner landscape. I appreciate your courage and openness.

  • Kym
    I feel your pain. But it was THEIR story. They use what makes the story go in the direction that they want it to. That’s why they call it a “paste-up”

    I thought this song might interest you:
    The theme song of the evening news anchor.

    “Dirty Laundry” by Don Henley

    I make my living off the evening news
    Just give me something, something I can use
    People love it when you lose, they love dirty laundry

    Well, I could’ve been an actor, but I wound up here
    I just have to look good, I don’t have to be clear
    Come and whisper in my ear, give us dirty laundry

    Kick ’em when they’re up, kick ’em when they’re down
    Kick ’em when they’re up, kick ’em when they’re down
    Kick ’em when they’re up, kick ’em when they’re down
    Kick ’em when they’re up, kick ’em all around

    We got the bubbleheaded bleach-blonde, comes on at 5
    She can tell you about the plane crash with a gleam in her eye
    It’s interesting when people die, give us dirty laundry

    Can we film the operation? Is the head dead yet?
    You know the boys in the newsroom got a running bet
    Get the widow on the set, we need dirty laundry

    You don’t really need to find out what’s going on
    You don’t really want to know just how far it’s gone
    Just leave well enough alone, keep your dirty laundry

    Kick ’em when they’re up, kick ’em when they’re down
    Kick ’em when they’re up, kick ’em when they’re down
    Kick ’em when they’re up, kick ’em when they’re down
    Kick ’em when they’re stiff, kick ’em all around

    Dirty little secrets, dirty little lies
    We got our dirty little fingers in everybody’s pie
    Love to cut you down to size, we love dirty laundry

    We can do the innuendo, we can dance and sing
    When it’s said and done, we haven’t told you a thing
    We all know that crap is king, give us dirty laundry

  • There is an old media saying–if it bleeds, it leads. No this isn’t your failure to communicate, this is their failure to understand–or more precisely, their failure to WANT to understand– the story. That would be work, doing actual investigative journalism. They had a story trope already framed, and just came here for images and interviews to prove what they already ‘knew’.

    It’s unfortunate, but a lot of this arises from Anna Hamilton’s original framing of the issue, that legalization is a terrible threat, and from her public statements of fear.

    Anna’s fear was interpreted to mean opposition and that was the message that first got out. It’s not Anna’s fault, per se, but fear enables drama. Drama is easy, drama gets ratings and readers. Drama simplifies journalism into storytelling. Conflict makes for drama. We lost control of our story when that fear-based frame dominated the AP story after the March 23 meeting. It’s this same trope that the Chronicle reporter picked up on in his lazy reporting–not, not reporting–lazy storytelling about the cannabis expo. It created a dramatic conflict for his article when none was actually there for him to witness and report on. And though bright articulate people like you and Ellen Komp generously gave time to educate them, KCBS also went for drama they already knew: “All growers are cowardly greedbags who say no to legalization.”

    It’s what the media already think they know that frames their story. Makes no sense, but that’s how that industry works. (How else does Fox News BS suddenly become the frame of a political issue nationwide? Because they said it loudly, and first.) Taking back the story and reframing it is hard once that genie is out of the bottle. You have to repeat yourself endlessly, and come up with your own disciplined talking points and stick to them. Don’t give them anything they can misinterpret.

    There are investigative reporters like Sam Quinones of the LA Times and Michael Montgomery of KQED trying to tell the full complex story. It will eventually be told, but in the meantime, remember the difference between real journalists and reporters feeding the infotainment world of daily news, and don’t blame yourself for their shallow thoughtlessness, and don’t let their bullshit silence you.

  • There is an old media saying–if it bleeds, it leads. No this isn’t your failure to communicate, this is their failure to understand–or more precisely, their failure to WANT to understand– the story. That would be work, doing actual investigative journalism. They had a story trope already framed, and just came here for images and interviews to prove what they already ‘knew’.

    It’s unfortunate, but a lot of this arises from Anna Hamilton’s original framing of the issue, that legalization is a terrible threat, and from her public statements of fear.

    Anna’s fear was interpreted to mean opposition and that was the message that first got out. It’s not Anna’s fault, per se, but fear enables drama. Drama is easy, drama gets ratings and readers. Drama simplifies journalism into storytelling. Conflict makes for drama. We lost control of our story when that fear-based frame dominated the AP story after the March 23 meeting. It’s this same trope that the Chronicle reporter picked up on in his lazy reporting–not, not reporting–lazy storytelling about the cannabis expo. It created a dramatic conflict for his article when none was actually there for him to witness and report on. And though bright articulate people like you and Ellen Komp generously gave time to educate them, KCBS also went for drama they already knew: “All growers are cowardly greedbags who say no to legalization.”

    It’s what the media already think they know that frames their story. Makes no sense, but that’s how that industry works. (How else does Fox News BS suddenly become the frame of a political issue nationwide? Because they said it loudly, and first.) Taking back the story and reframing it is hard once that genie is out of the bottle. You have to repeat yourself endlessly, and come up with your own disciplined talking points and stick to them. Don’t give them anything they can misinterpret.

    There are investigative reporters like Sam Quinones of the LA Times and Michael Montgomery of KQED trying to tell the full complex story. It will eventually be told, but in the meantime, remember the difference between real journalists and reporters feeding the infotainment world of daily news, and don’t blame yourself for their shallow thoughtlessness, and don’t let their bullshit silence you.

  • Thank you for the Henly song! Perfect timing, I daresay. Fiance’ and I won tickets on the local radio station (the economy, you know. Too busy supporting you guys to to actually afford entertainment until the rececion is over) so we got to see the Eagles Saturday. They started with 7 Bridges Road. Those old timers are in no danger of loosing it any time soon. We really needed the break; I think waiting on Wilson is harder than appearing before him.

    Allow me to return the favor:

    There are stars
    In the Southern sky
    Southward as you go
    There is moonlight
    And moss in the trees
    Down the Seven Bridges Road

    Now I have loved you like a baby
    Like some lonesome child
    And I have loved you in a tame way
    And I have loved you wild

    Sometimes there’s a part of me
    Has to turn form here and go
    Running like a child from these warm stars
    Down the Seven Bridges Road

    There are stars in the Southern sky
    And if ever you decide
    You should go
    There is a taste of time sweetened honey
    Down the Seven Bridges Road

    Also, thank you for your own vitriol. As I mentioned, I try to be much kinder here. I believe my own distain may register higher on the pure rhetoric scale, but you’ll get the hang of it. It is a drag when someone interupts a circle jerk like that, I apologize.

    I very much appreciate Kym providing objective perspective. Acknowledging a spectrum instead of focusing on a color is among the many approaches to life I wish I wer permitted to share with my offspring. If anybody wants me to raise their kid for them, I will do it for a lot less than my ex charges and, of course, the kids will be safer and you will be able to run faster. Hey. Act now before the price of Reefer drops any further.

  • Thank you for the Henly song! Perfect timing, I daresay. Fiance’ and I won tickets on the local radio station (the economy, you know. Too busy supporting you guys to to actually afford entertainment until the rececion is over) so we got to see the Eagles Saturday. They started with 7 Bridges Road. Those old timers are in no danger of loosing it any time soon. We really needed the break; I think waiting on Wilson is harder than appearing before him.

    Allow me to return the favor:

    There are stars
    In the Southern sky
    Southward as you go
    There is moonlight
    And moss in the trees
    Down the Seven Bridges Road

    Now I have loved you like a baby
    Like some lonesome child
    And I have loved you in a tame way
    And I have loved you wild

    Sometimes there’s a part of me
    Has to turn form here and go
    Running like a child from these warm stars
    Down the Seven Bridges Road

    There are stars in the Southern sky
    And if ever you decide
    You should go
    There is a taste of time sweetened honey
    Down the Seven Bridges Road

    Also, thank you for your own vitriol. As I mentioned, I try to be much kinder here. I believe my own distain may register higher on the pure rhetoric scale, but you’ll get the hang of it. It is a drag when someone interupts a circle jerk like that, I apologize.

    I very much appreciate Kym providing objective perspective. Acknowledging a spectrum instead of focusing on a color is among the many approaches to life I wish I wer permitted to share with my offspring. If anybody wants me to raise their kid for them, I will do it for a lot less than my ex charges and, of course, the kids will be safer and you will be able to run faster. Hey. Act now before the price of Reefer drops any further.

  • -don’t be naive, you’re only given time and exposure in accordance with their bottom line which is to sell advertising. They edit to their agenda, just like you edit to yours here. Get used to it, they own the venue, being edited is a part of your fate in becoming a big potstar. I thought you looked and sounded great, but you need to be more shrewd and to learn how to get your message across in between the lines.
    blessings,
    s

  • -don’t be naive, you’re only given time and exposure in accordance with their bottom line which is to sell advertising. They edit to their agenda, just like you edit to yours here. Get used to it, they own the venue, being edited is a part of your fate in becoming a big potstar. I thought you looked and sounded great, but you need to be more shrewd and to learn how to get your message across in between the lines.
    blessings,
    s

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