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City Attorney Mike Aguirre today (Thursday, Nov. 15) rescinded a request he had made under the California Public Records Act for local public broadcasting station, KPBS, to provide information on its programming policies. He had spoken with a First Amendment attorney quoted in the Union-Tribune who had criticized him for the action. According to Aguirre, that attorney suggested KPBS release the records voluntarily. Aguirre says that another attorney quoted in the story said that the use of California Public Records Act was appropriate. The station receives state and federal money. That attorney had been critical of Aguirre, too. Among many things, Aguirre has sought to learn the influence of Copley Press over KPBS programming. Copley is a major donor, having contributed $2 million to help build the station's headquarters, along with other gifts. The public TV and radio building bears the Copley name.

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Comments

Anonymous Nov. 16, 2007 @ 6:05 a.m.

I agree that maintaining the impartial nature of KPBS is important. But is it the most important thing for the city attorney to be doing just now? Is it in the top 5 or so?

I might also mention that, if I'm not mistaken, the owner/publisher of the Reader has certainly shown a little political bias with his sponsorship of state-wide propositions. Please correct me if I'm wrong here, Don.

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Anon92107 Nov. 16, 2007 @ 2:23 a.m.

Don, “influence of Copley Press over KPBS” is indeed a subject that should be of major concern to the community of San Diego since KPBS is mandated to serve San Diego without political bias and censure. The reality is that money rules in San Diego where KPBS like Voice of San Diego and SDSU’s Envision San Diego are controlled by those with the money, mainly the U-T Establishment. So Freedom of the Press + Corrupt Establishment overpowers Freedom of Speech and representative government for San Diegans and that is one of the biggest battles that Aguirre is fighting for all of us. The fact is that we are living in most disturbing times where the White House is claiming “national security” whenever they wish to invade our privacy and overwhelm dissent, yet they themselves still refuse to release information on Cheney’s 2001 Energy Lobby meetings in the White House that set policies that have resulted in the out of control, economically devastating gasoline prices we are experiencing today. It is time for everyone to read and think about “The Declaration of Independence” because these are most troubling times once again.

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Anon92107 Nov. 17, 2007 @ 6:09 a.m.

“Symbiotic” is a well chosen characterization Don. The U-T has created a lot of parasites over the decades including KPBS, VOSD, Envision, Sanders, Roberts, and their all time U-T Champion Parasite Duke Cunningham. So Aguirre is overwhelmed with San Diego’s desperate need to herd all the human parasites into a sewer for disposal so we can begin to recover from decades of U-T establishment larceny of public funds with totally unacceptable consequences such as burning one-fourth of San Diego county in just four short years because far too many San Diego "leaders" are focused on their rewards for being U-T parasites instead of serving the needs of the people of San Diego. After the latest firestorm there can be no doubt that if Aguirre and the far too few others like Frye and Bauder can’t make the right things happen to stem the tsunami of U-T sewage, San Diego shall most certainly become a New Orleans class city sooner than we care to think about.

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Don Bauder Nov. 16, 2007 @ 7:09 a.m.

Response to post #2: You are correct that the owner/publisher of the Reader has given money to support state-wide propositions. That is his right, just as the Copley family has the right to give money to Republican candidates, as it has through the years. (The Copleys backed Maureen O'Connor, Democratic mayor, too, and perhaps other Democrats.) The issue is whether making big donations to KPBS has influenced news and feature coverage there. And, quite frankly, anybody who doesn't think so has not been paying attention. Should pursuing this matter be in the top 5 percent of Aguirre agenda items? I agree it should not be. And I don't think it ever was, actually. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 16, 2007 @ 7:01 a.m.

Response to post #1: I chuckled on reading in the U-T this morning that bothMyrland of KPBS and Kittle of U-T said the claim that the U-T has influence over KPBS was outrageous. But their claims are ridiculous. Kittle complained vehemently one time that a potential participant on Editors Roundtable had used a naughty word and shouldn't be permitted to appear. The documents that Aguirre unearthed in his first shot clearly showed the U-T's influence, and some KPBS's staffers' sensitivity about it. When I worked for the U-T, staffers would laugh that the paper owned KPBS. Some private citizen should make a request for those records. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 Nov. 16, 2007 @ 12:30 p.m.

We definitely need more people like you Don who speak out from personal and professional experience with the powers that be, thanks for your continuing insights into the San Diego Star Chamber. Interestingly, Matthew Dowd resigned from the Bush Star Chamber recently, he was part of the Bush inner circle from the first presidential campaign, considered to be one of the nations leading political strategists, spending years shaping and promoting Bush’s policies, many of those policies which he now views a mixture of anguish and contempt. One question he wished he had asked after 9/11 was why the President wasn’t asking all Americans to buy into the war by purchasing war bonds, instead on continuing with our conspicuous consumption as if nothing unusual was happening. Recently he was confronted with the damning question about why he never voiced any of his concerns directly to the people he was supposed to be advising, and he admits one of his greatest failures was owing America a voice of open dissent to the powers that be that he did not have the integrity to honor. Fortunately for San Diego we have Mike Aguirre who has been asking a great many questions, most of them the right questions all along.

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Don Bauder Nov. 16, 2007 @ 1:04 p.m.

Response to post #5: Yes, one of the most incredible, and telling, events of recent years was when Bush, after 9/11, warned people of the perilous road ahead and then told them to continue shopping at the mall, lest the drop in consumption hurt the economy. But the combinations of excessive federal and consumer spending, along with excessive federal and consumer debt, are killing our economy. Best, Don Bauder

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Anonymous Nov. 16, 2007 @ 1:15 p.m.

Don, We know you support Mike for what he's attempting to accomplish at the city. I'm glad he's dropped this KPBS investigation. Once again, I think he's his own worst enemy, and this link:

http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-US&brand=msnbc&vid=bbd46380-0963-40bd-a607-0de3ad2cf679

shows us why.

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Don Bauder Nov. 16, 2007 @ 2:32 p.m.

Response to post #7: I respect your opinion, and respect Keith Olbermann, but in this case, Olbermann has just picked up another slanted hate piece from the U-T. He has done a rip and read job. He should know better. Don't believe anything you read about Aguirre in the U-T. By going after KPBS information, Aguirre really hit a raw nerve. As soon as he did it, I knew the U-T would come out with guns blazing even more than they were already blazing. The paper has now admitted that it gave $2 million for the building of the KPBS headquarters, plus other money along the way. Those are huge donations. There's a symbiotic relationship between KPBS and the U-T, and that's antithetical to public radio/tv's mission, and deleterious to San Diego. It certainly appears that this relationship was bought and paid for. Maybe somebody else other than Aguirre should have pursued this. I can tell you, however, that other individuals and institutions have tried to get KPBS documents on this topic, and it won't surrender any. That happened long before Aguirre ever got involved. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 17, 2007 @ 4:17 p.m.

Response to post #7: As I've said on the topics of economic woes and corruption, it will be a long time before San Diego becomes a New Orleans, particularly post-Katrina New Orleans. But San Diego's corruption is growing, not receding. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 17, 2007 @ 7:30 p.m.

Response to post #10: Some of the national programs featured on KPBS may be slanted slightly left, but no one is saying the U-T is responsible for that. The idea is ridiculous. The question is whether local programming was influenced by the Copley Press, which gave more than $2 million to the station and has its name on the headquarters. It's a good question; somebody other than Aguirre will have to try to get the answer. Best, Don Bauder

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Anonymous Nov. 29, 2007 @ 6:23 a.m.

I listened to KPBS after the Stacy Taylor show was canceled by
Clear Channel (now we have ANOTHER 24 hour sports station!) I could only listen for about 5 minutes before I had to return to listening to music. The news program consisted of quoting the UT! If I had wanted to get information from that worthless, muckraking, newspaper, I would have bought the paper itself. I am very disappointed. KPBS...the last two letters are correct; BS.

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Anonymous Dec. 4, 2007 @ 1:29 p.m.

I just heard about this on the radio!! Ebay is auctioning off lunch with Mike Aguirre! You can also post a question you'd like to ask Mike right on Ebay... some of them are pretty funny.

Just google aguirre lunch to find it

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