Barsamian Column for the Kansas City Star

This was a column that David Barsamian wrote for the Kansas City Star which they said they would publish, but didn’t

-= Tom Crane =-



Mr. Barsamian will be visiting at a public event in Kansas City on Friday, December 1 at the St. Garabed Armenian Church at 4400 Wyoming.


Journalism is a bedrock of democracy and it is very disturbing to see what’s happening to journalists here and around the world.  From Istanbul to Cairo and Washington to India attacks on journalism and their profession are occurring more frequently than ever from the highest levels of government.  The President has called the media “the enemy of the American people.”  This reminds of slanders of Hitler and Stalin.  In the just released book I authored with Noam Chomsky Global Discontents: Conversations on the Rising Threats to Democracy, he discusses terrorism of a different kind, the efforts of repressive states to silence the media.    The only way to expose political corruption is through strong media, and signs of this corruption can be seen when there are increased efforts by those in power to deligitimize and muffle the press, radio, TV, and the Internet.  Control and manipulation of the media both directly and indirectly, is a tactic used by authoritarian regimes everywhere.  When legitimate reporting is subverted by propaganda, when a population becomes distracted by the media which should be providing accurate information, when people become an audience – then a nation finds itself at risk.  For example, when a nation is led by what I call “magical thinking”, as what is happening with the Trump Administration’s position on climate-change, we have to find the tools to protect and insulate ourselves from the dangers we are facing.  A good defense is to remember history and remember the past as a way of maintaining our balance against false information – what has been called “alternative facts”.  While there many pseudo-news outlets on the Internet, people become too focused on witty or scathing postings on sites like Facebook.  . . . but outrage and ridicule are not enough.  Simple slogans, memes, and catch-phrases are not the solution.  People should contest political policy issues directly through confronting elected officials, peaceful demonstrations, voter registration, and becoming well-informed.  It is through books and newspapers such as the Star, that people need to become educated to understand the very complex world we live in. 


Info on David Barsamian




David Barsamian is founder and director of “Alternative Radio”, the independent award-winning weekly series based in Boulder, Colorado.  He is a radio producer, journalist, author, and lecturer.  He has been working in radio since 1978.  His interviews and articles appear regularly in the Progressive and Z Magazine.


As a writer, Mr. Barsamian is best known for his series of interviews with Noam Chomsky, which have been published in book form and translated into many languages, selling hundreds of thousands of copies.


His newest book with Noam Chomsky is Global Discontents: Conversations on the Rising Threats to Democracy; and other books such as Targeting Iran with Noam Chomsky, Ervand Abrahamian, and Nahid Mozaffari;  Imperial Ambitions with Noam Chomsky; Speaking of Empire & Resistance with Tariq Ali; and Original Zinn with Howard Zinn . His earlier books include Propaganda and the Public Mind: Conversations with Noam Chomsky; Eqbal Ahmad: Confronting Empire and The Decline and Fall of Public Broadcasting.
His show, “Alternative Radio” airs on 90.1 FM, KKFI in Kansas City on Wednesdays at 9 AM following ”Democracy Now.”
The Institute for Alternative Journalism named him one of its “Top Ten Media Heroes.” Barsamian lectures on U.S. foreign policy, the media, propaganda, and corporate power in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, India and Europe. He is the winner of the ACLU’s Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism, the 2006 Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Award and the Cultural Freedom Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation.


Mr. Barsamian spoke previously at the Friends of Community Media’s annual media awards event to honor those in the media who have served their communities


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December 1 Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  Contact:  Tom Crane



Kansas City, Mo. , 11/14/17  – David Barsamian author of a new book with Noam Chomsky – Global Discontents: Conversations on the Rising Threats to Democracy, will present his views on the state of the world on December 1, 7:00 PM at St. Garabed Church, 4400 Wyoming in Kansas City.

One of America’s most tireless and wide-ranging journalists, Barsamian is an integral part of the independent media landscape both with his weekly radio show, “Alternative Radio” in its 32nd year – and his books with Noam Chomsky, Eqbal Ahmad, Howard Zinn, Tariq Ali, Arundhati Roy, and Richard Wolff.

The show airs locally on KKFI FM 90.1 on Wednesdays at 9 AM.  An interview with him will air on Tuesday, 11/14 on the station at 6:00 PM on the Radioactive Magazine Show.

David is the recipient of many awards including the Media Education Award, the ACLU’s Upton Sinclair award, and Friends of Community Media’s Media Excellence Award.

Admission at the door will be $20, $10 for students, low-income people, and seniors.  A reception to meet Mr. Barsamian is at 6:00 PM for a fee of $30 (includes an event ticket and refreshments).  Autographed books and CDs will be available for purchase.  Ticket  proceeds will benefit Friends of Community Media, a non-profit 501(c)3 group.  Tickets in advance are $15.00 and may be ordered at

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Ascertainment at KKFI

KKFI ascertainment forum on Thursday, 10/26 at 6:00 PM sponsored by the United Minority Media Association. KKFI Annex room at 39th and Main. Friends of Community Medias a co-sponsor and will have information about net neutrality and other activities coming up. M.C. Richardson is the coordinator.
All are welcome to bring diversity to the airways.

FCM Member / Board Meeting


Friends of Community Media Proposed agenda
Saturday 10/21/17 Noon
KKFI Annex
Mission statement: The mission of Friends of Community Media is to promote non-commercial community-based media of all types, to educate citizens on the nature of the media, and to encourage all media to be responsive to the public in their coverage.
Minutes from September Meeting – Spencer
Treasurer – Current balance, expenses, member list handout
Old Business
            Upcoming FCM forum 2 PM KKFI Annex Room
            November monthly media presentation
            UMMA information

New Business
          Future forum event, Barsamian event December 1
          New social event – Novebmer
Website update – adding FCR history, UMMA photos – progress
Possible collaboration with All-Souls to set up media committee
Possible next year events with national media figures at All-Souls

Saturday Event


This Saturday, October 21, 2017, 2-3:30 PM, Friends of Community 
Media (FCM) Forum will feature a videoconference / webinar with Lewis 
Friedland, professor of journalism at the University of 
Wisconsin-Madison, and author and editor of multiple works in this area 
including "The Communication Crisis in America, And How to Fix It"  
(2016) (Palgrave).


KKFI Annex
3901 Main St.
Kansas City, MO  (rear door, second floor)

Title:  Communication’s Challenge to Democracy

      This is the October 2017 episode of the FCM Forum, which hopes to 
catalyze improvements to media and in the greater Kansas City area.

      Hope to see you.
      Spencer Graves, Secretary
      Friends of Community Media
ph:  408-655-4567

Read more

Media Awareness Webinar Coming Up!

FCM Forum this Saturday, Sept. 16, 4-5:30 PM KKFI Annex Room, 39th & Main Rear Door.  Spencer Graves has set up an agenda which will include two items:  

1.  Reports back from people’s efforts to contact their representatives in the US House and Senate regarding net neutrality.

2.  Planning for a monthly webinar series on media and democracy to be cosponsored by the Friends of Community Media (FCM) and the United Minority Media Association (UMMA).  Per the draft minutes of an UMMA meeting earlier today (below), UMMA may meet on the third Saturdays at 10 AM in the KKFI Annex.  This webinar / Forum series might be scheduled to begin after that, e.g. at noon or 11 AM or 11:30 AM.  In July and August, we met later in the day.  These webinars could be live streamed on Facebook and subsequently offered on, broadcasted on KKFI and offered to the Pacifica network of ~200 listener-sponsored radio stations.  With luck, we may be able to get and other groups concerned with media reform to co-sponsor later episodes of the webinar series.  We have expressions of interest from the following three, who could do webinars for us Oct. 21, Nov. 18, and Dec. 16, not necessarily in this order:

2.1.  Lewis Friedland, professor of journalism at the University of Wisconsin and author of important publications on media and democracy (

2.2.  Rev. Timothy Hayes, Jr., the Interim President of the United Minority Media Association (UMMA), who is 25 years old and has built a church on social media and can likely help us replicate that success in improving media and democracy here in the greater Kansas City area — and the world.

2.3. David Barsamian, founder and director of Alternative Radio, a Boulder, Colorado-based syndicated weekly public affairs program heard on some 250 radio stations worldwide. (

For more on Spencer Graves’ thoughts on the webinar series, see “”.  For more on my thoughts regarding the afflictions that humanity inflicts upon itself, see“” and “”.

Meeting Saturday


Reminder – Saturday 8/12 KKFI annex room, FCM member meeting to vote on bylaws changes and discuss UMMA support.