Press attacks on Valley PBS, Aiello underscore need for Ag media

Press attacks by GV Wire’s Nancy Price against Valley PBS and its CEO Jeff Aiello are misplaced, writes Wayne Western, Jr.

Many of you probably caught onto a recent story in GV Wire focused on Valley PBS and its chief executive officer, Jeff Aiello. Many probably have not.

Unfortunately, Valley TV viewers are being treated to nothing less than a litany of attacks that have little to do with Valley PBS or Aiello himself.


Instead, we are being treated to a serial melodrama drafted by a mouthpiece for former station employees who feel that their opinion on how our local public television station is operated is the one that matters.

Sadly, the public power struggle over Valley PBS is nothing more than another example of the Left spouting and claiming their celebration of free speech right up until the time they sense opposition to their viewpoints.

The past attempts to hide hypocrisy have given way to blatant hypocrisy which they can never successfully debate nor hide.

The series of attacks are written by Nancy Price of GV Wire. From what I’ve gathered, Price has had a lengthy career in what she calls journalism, from covering Native American economic development in Kansas to covering dog races in Alaska.

Not surprising, she eventually found her way to The Fresno Bee before moving to GV Wire.  

I think it is safe to assume that she, like the rest, will allege her reporting is fair and unbiased. Of course, that unbiased reporting includes vilifying farmers and agriculture while her mouth is full.

In this case, being fair and unbiased wouldn’t require much effort. She simply needs to close her laptop and drive in one direction for a few miles and will quickly learn she is surrounded by the people she hates.

Before I go further, a little disclosure: my career has been in agriculture for about thirty years.

Next, the vehicles that stirred vitriol from local liberals are a few documentaries and shows based around the lifeblood of the Central Valley – agriculture.

I was involved in a few including the first Tapped Out: The History and Battle over Water in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

Lastly, I will defend every single word I said and will say, and my writing is biased with facts. Unlike many – including Price – I won’t insult you by telling you I am unbiased.

In the battle of free speech and information, taking the high road in this game is a loss. In the interest of fairness, I choose to play the same game and stay on the same road as them.

Ironically in her library of Valley PBS attacks, you will find writings explaining the past hardships of the station that range from donations to revolving administrators to filling board seats, while attempting to portray the current situation as though the station has reached a new level of failure.

She and her deeply entrenched sources can’t change history but obviously do not like the success it is having today.  This includes people who have formally committed much time to the station, and one would think they would be devoted to its success. In this case, you would have to define success.

They assume that conservatism and agriculture run hand-in-hand, compelling the need to stop this programming and branding anyone who allows it to be aired to obviously be a right-wing radical.

Again, if the programming were full of shows highlighting that farmers were ruining the world and cows fart too much, Price would be writing that Valley PBS is the light of the Valley and her friends would be celebrating local public television instead of trying to tear it apart.

Price and her ilk would be better advised writing about her hatred for conservatism rather than to include agriculture. Including the vilification of agriculture is a glaring example of cluelessness that if she had any readers, could contribute to both the failure of Valley PBS and the inability to fill her dinner plate.

It takes years to understand California water enough in order to confidently and accurately explain some of its issues to people. Price and GV Wire should leave that one alone and enjoy their food, much of which is undoubtedly grown not far from her laptop.

But, not to worry.  This is exactly where the programming at Valley PBS comes in handy. 

I’m not advertising for Valley PBS.

I do know I see it as a topic of discussion a lot more than I used to, and that discussion continues to be about its highlighting of issues in California agriculture.

I also know farming certainly has its challenges in California and there is a reason around one-two percent of our population feeds the rest.

The successes of programming are never told by people such as Price – success such as other PBS stations throughout California airing the shows from Valley PBS and I haven’t checked to see if she and her friends are trying to get their CEOs fired too.

The shows and documentaries she refers to are absolutely educational about an issue that should be a priority for everyone.  Our agriculture is absolutely about national security.

This is about silencing anything that appears to be opposition to them, and it doesn’t matter if it is true opposition.  If anyone is opposed to eating, you should read and voice your opinion very fast. Complete honesty would be beneficial to anyone taking part in today’s media and masking an effort of activism while claiming the very same thing of others has become old news.  

Oddly enough, the programming about agriculture on Valley PBS is meant for people exactly like Price and others who need education about where their food comes from.

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