KPBS’s report to the federal government quoted letters from activists under the labels “listener” and “viewer.”
San Diego State University’s owned and operated public broadcasting operation is out with its “2013 Local Content & Service Report,” touting what it says are various achievements of the previous year. The document is required by the federally funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting as a condition of a station getting its grant money. “Every public television… grantee is required to provide to its community an annual report on its content and services that serve local needs, including information about the impact of such services,” says the corporation’s website. “The report should provide an overview of the grantee’s most impactful local content and services in its most recently completed fiscal year. The definition of local content and services will be determined by the grantee.”
So, what did federal and California taxpayers get for their multimillion-dollar annual investment? “Just saw the news broadcast and I applaud your hard hitting interview of Mayoral candidate [sic] DeMaio... Excellent work PBS... thank you for asking the tough questions!!!!” says a quote attributed to Erik Windsor, identified by the report as a “KPBS viewer” who made a “Facebook post following interview with mayoral candidate, Carl DeMaio, September 2012.” The rest of the post, left out by KPBS, said: “I was impressed with the questioning of his very close ties to Doug Manchester and John Lynch. The revelation that they were the largest financial supporters to his ‘citizens watch dog group’ was enlightening. Talk about beholding to special interests!? could there be more special interest than Manchester and Lynch who only want to develop downtown to their benefit.” Though the report doesn’t mention it, Windsor is identified by his Facebook profile as an “engineer/paramedic” with the San Diego Fire Rescue Department. Republican city councilman Carl DeMaio, reviled by city workers for his pension-reform plan, was facing off against public-employee-union-financed Democratic congressman Bob Filner, who won the race.
Regarding “a radio segment on La Jolla’s marine protected area,” Fay Crevoshay, identified as a “KPBS listener,” was quoted as saying, “KPBS’ host Maureen [Cavanaugh] was great, focusing on the important facts of the issue and their consequences, as well as the bigger picture.” The KPBS report didn’t mention that Crevoshay is the media and policy director of Wildcoast, a coastal environmental advocacy group based in Imperial Beach. And KPBS left out another detail regarding the occasion of Crevashay’s post: “WiLDCOAST’s CEO Serge Dedina was interviewed by KPBS radio Midday Edition about La Jolla Marine Protected Area and how to clean it,” according to Facebook. Crevoshay is a well-known figure in the local environmental movement. “She creates and directs our media campaigns and is in charge of our spokespeople as well as organizational outreach,” says Wildcoast’s website. And Crevoshay knows more than a bit about public radio from personal experience: “Prior to WiLDCOAST, Fay worked as [an] NPR and El Financiero reporter, where she earned several awards, including a 1992 Journalism Award for Best Feature Story.” KPBS general manager Tom Karlo didn’t respond to a request for comment.