Cliff Mass Out, Censorship In
So I pull up my Stranger feed this morning and run across this:
According to everyone's favorite weatherman:
On Monday I received an email from Weekday host Steve Scher informing me that the regular weather segments on Weekday will be discontinued... And the real reasons for the termination of the my segment are more ominous and disturbing.
If what Mass says is true, those guys are asshats.
I have an email in to Scher and his producer and will get up both sides of the story before the day is out.
Well of course I emailed Steve, Katy, and Guy:
Dear Steve, Katy, and Guy,
I've recently read, via The Stranger's blog, the news that KUOW was discontinuing its segments with Cliff Mass. As an avid KUOW listener (you've even weened me from KEXP to become essentially the only station I listen to), I thoroughly enjoy Cliff's segments. The reasons for my enjoyment go beyond the weather content, and into his explanations of the true meteorology behind the weather. I also appreciate his unique take on educational issues, and any other topics he includes within his segments. Not once have I been offended.
What's offensive is the filtering of news. While you may not agree with Mass's assessment of the educational system in Washington, its great fodder for discussion. It advances the conversation.
If there are other reasons for discontinuation of his services, I would like to be made aware.
If there are none, I would hope that he is brought back, as I see no one else filling his unique role.
What I got back was something of a form letter, no doubt brought on by The Stranger's call to action:
With sadness I must announce that I have released Cliff Mass from his weekly weather and science segment on Weekday. For more than 15 years Cliff has been a regular volunteer, contributor presenting an informative and entertaining segment about science and weather. Over time Cliff began inserting his opinion on a wider range of issues outside of science and weather, most notably education. Although we value Cliff’s opinion I do not want the weather segment to become an opinion and views segment. Each Friday we use a full hour to take up controversial issues on our “Your Take on the News” segment which brings many voices with a variety of opinions and views.
I spoke with Cliff on several occasions about my concerns but Cliff disagreed that his science and weather segment should not include his views about other subjects. As a result I have decided to terminate Cliff’s weather and science segment. We will continue to look at other ways to involve Cliff on Weekday that will allow him to share his expertise on other issues. Below is the e-mail that I sent to Cliff discussing this relationship.
Steve's letter to Cliff, after the jump.
May 16, 2011
We will end our regular segments.
I respect your science and your passion for politics and education. As we have said, when we do appropriate segments, you can be a guest if you want to. Maybe even at some point you will do a whole hour with us, featuring you on weather and on math education and on training scientists etc. The weather segment has perhaps gotten too constraining for the topics at hand.
We have been doing this a long time, and I know I feel a little long in the tooth. When it is time, it is time.
We will leave it with different possibilities for the future and end our regular weather forecasts, freeing you up to do other things and us to feel comfortable with a segment designated as a weekend weather forecast.
I very much appreciate and acknowledge all the time you have given to educating the public about meteorology and atmospheric sciences. Your contribution has made our show and the region a better place. I restate that. Your contribution over the past 20 years has made our show better. Thank you.
I look forward to working with you in the future in your capacity as a science educator. We end with mutual understanding I hope.
See you at the gym.