Here is a Cabbage Soup of leftover issues that were not covered in Parts One, Two or Three of this series.
Big Cabbage Radio LOVES political BOOKS – but only liberal ones:
Here are some books discussed and promoted on Big Cabbage Radio over the last few years. Do you notice a theme?
“A Girls Guide to Joining the Resistance” by Emma Gray:
“We are Indivisible, A Blueprint for Democracy after Trump.”
The Elizabeth Warren biography. This book came out just prior to Warren announcing her Presidential run.
For Black History Month, the Cabbages rebroadcast a discussion of Becoming by Michelle Obama. Why doesn’t the station ever celebrate conservative history makers such as Clarence Thomas?
This book – Blue Bias by Charles Hayes – was repeatedly touted by Mike Chmielewski on Big Cabbage Radio. The impression that Big Cabbage Radio gives is that Mr. Hayes is some sort of neutral expert in policing and sociology and other various topics…but that is NOT the case at all.
The author, Charles Hayes, is not a credentialed expert. Rather he is “self-taught.” Hmmm…Mr. Hayes is also an “unabashed liberal.” See his Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_D._Hayes.
Mr. Hayes is a longtime local resident. He has also appeared quite a bit as a panelist on the station’s show “Bridging the Gap.”
Mr. Hayes is a prolific poster on various Progressive Alaskan political groups on Facebook. Take a look at his many, many posts. Lots of vitriol directed at President Trump. It is all starting to make sense now as to why he is a Big Cabbage Radio favorite.
Mr. Hayes is very dramatic!
THE “BOOK BAN”
There was a bit of a dustup over the Mat-Su School Board updating the curriculum for various High School English courses this past Spring.
Tim Rockey (Frontiersman Reporter and Big Cabbage Radio on air personality) posted a tweet that was misleading and led to national coverage of this issue.
Mat-Su School Board Member Jeff Taylor (who is conservative) posted this on his Facebook page explaining what happened:
What was Big Cabbage Radio’s reaction to this issue? Basically the same as Tim Rockey’s initial tweet. Inflammatory. Book Ban!!! Book Ban!!! (Versus Routine curriculum change.) The station promoted a special reading of the book “Ban this Book” by Alan Gratz. According to the station’s Facebook post: (Retired librarian) Candy Kopperud, Janice Carrington and Peter Kopperud were going to “read aloud this timely book.”
BRIDGING THE GAP is not really about BRIDGING THE GAP:
Big Cabbage Radio ran a series called “Bridging the Gap” moderated by Mr. Paul Thomas (an adjunct math professor at MatSu College and union official). It started out as a one-time special but expanded into a regular series that ran for approximately 50 episodes from 2017 to 2019.
“Bridging the Gap” typifies why Big Cabbage Radio needs to be called out. The locally produced show was promoted as one that endeavored to “bridge the political divide.” It was described as a panel discussion aimed at “providing both insightful and useful ways of dialoging with people of differing views.”
So, it would be reasonable to expect that the show would therefore have panelists with a variety of political views – perhaps a balance of conservatives and liberals and independents. WRONG. Except for the occasional appearance by a conservative panelist or a person of indeterminate political affiliation, the show was DOMINATED by the same old group of Cabbages. The show didn’t try to “bridge” any “gaps” so much as it seemed to promote liberal groupthink.
Here are a some examples:
On this show dated March 25, 2018, the topic was “Gun Violence in America.” Part Two. The panelists were Charles Hayes, Michelle Church, and Neal Lacy.
Note – the moderator at the beginning of each episode would only introduce the panelists by their names and not reveal anything about their political affiliations, explaining that it did not matter for the purposes of the show. (And it didn’t matter for the true purpose of the show!) So, there was a complete lack of transparency from the outset.
Charles Hayes, as explained earlier in this post, is the self-educated author with very liberal/progressive views.
Who is Michelle Church? She is a former Mat-Su Borough Assembly Member from Wasilla and the former Executive Director of Friends of Mat-Su (FOMS – the non profit group that Mike Chmielewski also was involved with years ago.)
If you want to know someone’s political affiliation, you can always check to find out who they donate money to:
Interesting Morsel about FOMS – This comment was left on Facebook when Part Two of this series was posted. Many of the Cabbages seem to know each other from FOMS and many FOMS-connected folks have run for local political office.
Who is Neal Lacy? He is a former School Board member who ran for State House in 2014 as a Democrat.
By the way, guess who was Neal Lacy’s campaign treasurer? Carolyn Covington of course. And guess who was his Deputy Treasurer? Sarah Welton (see more on Ms. Welton below.)
On the November 29, 2017, episode of “Bridging the Gap”, the topic was the U.S. Constitution, the panelists were: Michelle Church (she was a frequent guest), Mike Chmielewski (The Big Cabbage himself was also a frequent panelist), and Mark Masteller.
Mark Masteller, an Assistant Professor of Sustainable Energy at UAA/MatSu College, ran for Mat-Su Borough Mayor in 2012. He was supported by the Mat-Su Democrats.
Mark Masteller was also endorsed by the Citizen Lobbyist:
On the December 4, 2018, episode the topic was Dictatorships. The panelists were: Mike Chmielewski, Charles Hayes, and Sarah Welton.
The panel decided that Hilter, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao, and Franco would make their lists of 20th century dictators. Then they began discussing who would make the list of 21st Century Dictators and included Putin, Erdogan, Assad, and Kim Jong-un etc. Then inevitably, they discussed President Trump and basically called him a dictator. It was both laughable and disgusting.
Who is Sarah Welton? We know that Mike Chmielewski and Charles Hayes are left-leaning, so perhaps the third panelist on this episode was more conservative? NOPE. Ms. Welton has been actively involved with the Alaska and MatSu Democrats for many years. She is also a longtime member of the Mat-Su Borough School Board. (She is on her 6th term.) Here is her bio from when she ran to be a National Delegate to the Dem National Convention:
On the episode dated November 13, 2017, the topic was Gun Violence in America. (Part One.) The panelists were Pat Chesbro, Eddie Grasser, and Warren Keogh.
Now – Eddie Grasser is more conservative leaning. He is a pro-hunting leader and lobbyist. He is currently the Director of Wildlife Conservation for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. He was previously affiliated with the Alaska Outdoor Council and the Safari Club and the Hunter Heritage Foundation.
Patricia Chesbro is a longtime MatSu Democrat who has run for office several times. She ran for State Senate in 2014.
Guess who was her campaign treasurer?
Warren Keogh is another longtime local politico. He was a member of the Mat-Su Borough Assembly and served the Butte district prior to Jim Sykes. Keogh ran for State Senate in 2014. He claims to be a lifelong independent, but in that senate race, he ran against the Republican candidate Mike Dunleavy. Also, Keogh’s donors included all the usual MatSu Democrats and Cabbages such as Dave Cheezem, Terry Snyder, Michelle Church, Carolyn Covington, and Gini King-Taylor.
MAT-SU BOROUGH ASSEMBLY CANDIDATE ENDORSEMENTS:
Radio Free Palmer/Big Cabbage Radio sometimes subtly promotes its favored candidates and politicians on its Facebook page.
Here is an example. Just prior to the Fall 2019 MSB Election, Big Cabbage Radio shared MSB Assembly candidate Stephanie Nower’s post:
Big Cabbage Board President Lee Henrikson (who seems to run Big Cabbage’s Facebook page) endorsed Stephanie on her personal Facebook page:
Just the other week, Big Cabbage Radio shared and thanked Stephanie for her post celebrating Mike Chmielewski’s 80th birthday at the station:
The Big Cabbage’s Citizen Lobbyist Terry Snyder also endorses candidates for local political office. However, she doesn’t disclose this on her weekly shows “Citizen Lobbyist” or the “Valley Edition” when she and Mike Chmielewski analyze and discuss local politics and current events.
This fall, Terry Snyder told everyone to vote for Sabrena Combs and Brian Daniels for Palmer City Council. She has also endorsed Mat-Su Borough candidates.
This is from Terry’s blog dated Sept 29, 2013, where she endorsed fellow Cabbages Jim Sykes and Dave Cheezem plus Matthew Beck and Neal Lacy. (And praised outgoing Assembly member Warren Keogh as the lone voice of common sense on the Assembly.)
NOTE: Neal Lacy was elected to the MSB School Board in 2010 and served until 2013. He lost his bid for re-election to Donna Dearman.
Here is a post from the fall of 2012 (when her radio show the Citizen Lobbyist was just starting) where Terry Snyder referred to MSB Mayor Larry Devilbiss as the “carrot mayor” (he is a carrot farmer) and endorsed Mark Masteller. She also endorsed Michelle Church for Assembly as well as Debbie Retherford and Sarah Welton for School Board. And like fellow Cabbage Lee Henrikson, Terry dissed Palmer City Council member Richard Best.
No wonder Big Cabbage Radio invited Terry to have her own weekly show analyzing local politics.
Note: If Big Cabbage Radio was trying to be fair and balanced, they would also have conservatives on the air regularly to discuss local politics.
The Big Cabbages and the Big Marches
Big Cabbage Radio has covered the various “Social Justice Warrior” marches in Palmer over the last few years. The same basic group of people organize and run these marches which have included the January 2017 “Women’s March” (which was basically a protest of President Trump’s election and inauguration), a “Science March,” and the BLM/Social Justice marches. These marches are essentially social events for the “woke” crowd.
The most recent march was held in mid October, but the one prior to that one was on June 6, 2020. Big Cabbage Lee Henrikson not only participated in this march, she discussed the plans for it on “Valley Edition” the day before on June 5th. She seemed very upset about the idea that a conservative group called “907 Freedom” (which she termed a militia) planned to be present at the march.
The Peaceful Protesters versus 907 Freedom Group issue was covered quite a bit in the Alaska media: https://www.alaskapublic.org/2020/06/06/palmer-police-move-to-quell-rumors-about-violence-ahead-of-saturday-demonstration/
Anyhow, on “Valley Edition,” Mike Chmeilewski gave his wife Lee a forum to discuss her views on the march. Her comments begin at minute 13. NOTE: The 907Freedom people were not given any air time on Valley Edition to discuss their perspective.
Frontiersman Reporter and Cabbage Tim Rockey was also all tangled up in the marches.
Tim is the main news reporter for the Frontiersman and has written all of the newspaper’s articles on the various marches. He also appears on Valley Edition regularly and he has his own sports and music shows on the station.
Was Tim really a neutral reporter re: these marches? No.
On June 1st, 2020, the week before the march, Tim devoted his entire Big Cabbage Radio show called “Sports Scene” to sharing his (intense, liberal leaning, very “woke”, white privileged) feelings about social justice and racism etc. He noted that the show was supposed to be about sports but he felt the need to “help” everyone by talking about current events instead.
On Twitter, Tim’s tweets and re-tweets seem interchangeable with any other Social Justice Warrior:
Here Tim Rockey tells everyone to visit a particular social media account to sign petitions:
In this tweet, from August 26th, 2020, Tim tells everyone that WHITE PEOPLE are the issue.
Radio Free Palmer/Big Cabbage Radio is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. The NFCB published a white paper a few years ago which cautioned Community Radio Stations to be careful about partisan politics.
Internal Revenue Service 501(c)(3) designations, which many community radio stations – including Radio Free Palmer – use, are expressly for the purpose of education and political advocacy is forbidden.
Has Big Cabbage Radio crossed the line into political advocacy?