Last Saturday the people of Kansas City made the call to step into Main Street. The call was not made by PYO, not the first time nor the second time, but members of our organization were involved in taking the street. We were at the peoples back, answering the call and carrying our banner proudly to the frontlines. We will always be at the peoples back when the call is made. In recent days, however, it’s been made clear that The Kansas City Star – the local newspaper – does not have the people’s back. To those of us who were at the protest, watching Mayor Sly James, KCPD Chief Forte, and the Star try to make sense of the events has been like watching an episode of the Twilight Zone.
The Star and its pathetic hired journalists informed the public that there would be a hearing for the community. All sides would come together to address the nationwide uproar caused by the KCPD’s malfeasance. The Star then informed the public that since the police would not be in attendance, the hearing on that particular event was cancelled. Then, bizarrely enough, the Star suddenly mocked the protesters for not showing up to the hearing that they informed us was cancelled. We know that City Hall and the KCPD will always back each other, but watching the Kansas City Star fall in line like a whipped horse and recklessly lie disturbs us, as it should any concerned citizen, but it doesn’t surprise us. We know not to trust bourgeois media outlets funded by and ran by Wallstreet multi-millionaires and big capitalist enterprises such as the McClatchy Company, which owns the Kansas City Star, to tell the truth. But such blatant disregard for the facts here is boneheaded even for them. Regardless of what you think about the protest, or Donald Trump, or our organization, it is clear that the Star has straight up lied to all of us.
Anyone who took newspaper class in high school remembers that journalists are supposed to function as a “4th branch of government,” who’s primary job is to check the power of the ruling elites and watch out for the little guy. At least this is what the propaganda tells you to think. Unfortunately, the journalists at the Star, and the media around the country, are not embedded with the working folks, they are over at city hall daily, they are calling the KCPD daily, they are dealing with supposed professionals and academics. These are their primary sources for articles on local public affairs, not the masses. Journalists like Lynn Horsley, who are desperately trying to cling to their jobs in a crumbling industry, are required by necessity to cozy up to the crooks at City Hall and the KCPD. Still, even for those of us who have been watching and noticing this milieu for a while, these recent violations of public trust are outlandish. This is a case for local journalism professors and media studies professors to ponder over, and warn their students of. If establishment liberal media is willing to fall into line this way, it’s the people who pay. So when people on the sidelines wonder why the protesters at UM are unwilling to comply with establishment media, or when the journalists at the Star and others wonder why PYO, One Struggle KC and others are currently denying them interviews, they can remember these specific actions on behalf of the KC Star. This is not the first, nor the last time the Star has or will fall in line and lick boots. When it comes to free speech and expression, the Star as an institution is invested in denying us these rights. They are literally outlets for the corporate interests that are ruining this country and covering up the lies spread by the government, lies that implicate it’s credibility to the masses. They actively denigrate protesters, while deliberately falsifying claims, and using those false claims to fan public outrage from the most reactionary sections of the populace. We see their actions as a flagrant violation of democracy, and we call on the people to seek out alternative and revolutionary sources of media. Know that all media has a political character, it is never objective, and that establishment media will never have our back as we move forward towards revolutionary politics.
-Secretariat of the PYO