Principal Extortion

Dear Friends,

Before I tell you why I nearly choked on Sunday’s breakfast, some good news:

Between spring and fall of 2012, the Fallon Forum’s audience grew by 29.8%!

The program logged 1,450 views-per-show between October 1 and December 31. That’s up from 1,117 during April-June. Not bad! Whether you were a guest, caller, viewer, listener, or just smiled and waved as you walked by the studio, thank you for helping to grow one of the few local alternatives to corporate-owned media.

Now, back to Sunday’s breakfast. The gag reflex nearly triggered while reading what the Register tried to pass off as objective journalism in Principal Proposes $238.5 M Renovation.┬áSure, Principal has been what we call a good corporate “citizen.” But the notion that they are somehow entitled to a big wet taxpayer kiss is emphatically controversial. Yet more than 60 column inches and not so much as a passing quote from a dissenting voice? Really??

Even more shocking was to read how City of Des Moines officials seem almost eager to dole out taxpayer money to one of Iowa’s largest, wealthiest corporations. And how is this type of meddling in the free market fair to other taxpayers, not to mention the thousands of small business owners who aren’t on the public dole (and who, for the most part, don’t want to be)?

Monday, we talk about Principal Financial Group’s panhandling for public money. We also talk with State Sen. Brad Zaun about his bill to ban traffic cameras. And Jeff Abbas discusses the controversy in northeast Iowa over fracking and natural gas exploration.

Tuesday, we talk with Jerry Hatfield with the USDA about the agency’s report on how climate change is likely to affect agriculture across the country. We also take a look at tonight’s State of the Union address. And J. Michael McKoy and I analyze the ever-changing world of radio.

Wednesday, we discuss the State of the Union address. And Adam Mason with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement updates us on campaign-finance legislation working its way through the Iowa Senate.

Thursday, Marybeth Gardam with Move to Amend talks about another angle on the corporate money problem. Nakisha Phillips joins us for an update on her pregnancy and her work with a doula and midwife (yeah, find THAT conversation on the corporate airwaves).

Friday, Dr. Charles Goldman and I argue over whether media violence is connected to America’s gun-violence problem. This should be interesting, because Charles and I are usually on the same side of the issue. Not so in this case, i.e., Charles is wrong. Also, Deb Bunka gives us an update on KHOI 89.1 FM, Ames’ community-owned radio station. And Heather Ryan joins us for “Ryan’s Rants.”

Also, if we have indeed worked out the bugs, maybe you’ll be the one to win our Fallon Forum Freebie this week – a free winter-check for your furnace with Leonard Tinker Heating and Cooling (market value of $85). It’s somewhere on my website. First person to find it wins.

And speaking of bugs, we’ve also figured out how to include “media” on the website, including my stint on Iowa Press last fall, various Occupy interviews, and even some videos from my Congressional and Gubernatorial campaigns.

Monday-Friday, join the conversation online from 12:00-1:00 pm on the Fallon Forum website. Call-in at 244-0077 or toll free (855) 244-0077 and add your voice to the dialogue. Tune-in to Bradshaw, Monday-Friday from 1:30-2:30, also on the Fallon Forum website. If you miss a show, video and audio-only podcasts are available later in the day. Thanks!


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