Many of you don't know that when I left TV news, I took a job shooting videos for the Washington Department of Natural Resources. It gave me the chance to build my independent media work in my personal time, which was not an option as a TV reporter given my contract in corporate news. When I was hired, I was encouraged to keep my social media presence. Recently, my bosses informed me that I was to stop all videos related to Covid safety, vaccines and mandates that “undermine” DNR's policies, as DNR is one of many state agencies with a vaccine mandate, though ours was enacted by Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz and separate from Gov. Inslee's order. My independent work was done on personal time with personal equipment and I never discussed my position at DNR. I also informed my bosses that I had a First Amendment right to continue, and that the policy of a state agency committed to science should align with robust discussion that includes a variety of viewpoints. They disagreed. I refused to comply and was terminated last week.
I am truly grateful for the many wildland fire fighters whose stories I’ve had the honor of telling, as well as the fuels crews fixing the forest health crisis driving historic fires. We nearly evacuated twice this year, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that the work of DNR staff across the state saved our home and thousands of others.
While there are many unknowns for our family, not the least of which is finding a new health insurance plan (any suggestions?), we are absolutely unwavering that it was the right decision. How could I continue covering censorship and allow myself to be censored on one of the most important topics of my lifetime? There are a great many people taking grave risks right now - many of them you've seen in my videos - and those of us who stand up for free speech and informed choice right now will hopefully pave the way someday for others to do so without losing their jobs. I got into journalism to follow the truth wherever it leads, and I will continue. I am planning to record a video to discuss this publicly on YouTube. Would you please let me know what questions you'd like me to answer in it? In sum, our family is incredibly grateful for your support here. I have absolutely no regrets. I said once that free speech is the hill I would die on - but just to be clear, as I've said before, I did not commit suicide. 😉 Be brave. We are in this together.
Just got back from butchering chickens. I watched the Russel Brand “censored” videos on the way (YouTube removed one of his videos for saying something positive about ivermectin). I’d like your feedback on it all as I prepare a video.
When your 2-year old helps butcher chickens. 😬 Jack stayed far away so as not to be confused for poultry as well…But hey, now we have a freezer stocked with the fruits of our friends’ labor.
Comedian and homesteader Owen Benjamin is my guest Monday. He has been banned from most Big Tech platforms but was also banned by Rokfin a couple months ago. The link to my interview with Rokfin's founder is below. Owen first made his "mark" on the censorship scene when his talent agency dropped him for criticizing gender reassignment work on children. This was several years ago before it was the hotly debated topic it is today. Any questions for Owen?