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.
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I can’t believe my eyes today. Sassy could barely walk Wednesday and I was told she had a 10% chance of recovery. I know things could still turn but I am incredibly grateful for this. I was planning on firing up our Editorial Board livestream with Sassy but The Senior Producer woke up early from her nap so I need to push back a little. Thanks so much to everyone who has generously given to help whether financially or prayerfully. Let’s Go Bran….Sassy! https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-sassy-get-back-on-her-hooves
Thanks for all the Sassy well wishes, she seems much better today! Vet is coming out later so I’ll post an update.
Here are some pictures of Sassy at a brighter time - helping out with our engagement photos. As many of you know, another vet came out Wednesday to run some tests on Sassy. While the scans were non-diagnostic, Sassy appears to be suffering from laminitis. Her condition worsened significantly on Monday but thankfully she appears to have stabilized and today was a tiny bit better. I was told Wednesday that she may only have a 10% chance of recovering at this point, but that’s enough for me. This condition often is associated with sugar in the diet so I have overhauled Sassy's feed. She is now getting special herbal tonics from Australia and medicine for Cushing's disease. We are still waiting for the results of a blood test taken Wednesday as well. Sassy is in pain but she is still eating and drinking, perky as ever, and trying to break out of the new stall we built to keep her resting. The last week has been a total whirlwind as I try to nurse her back to health while working and ...
Thank you to everybody on the editorial board who has weighed in on the video commentary that I am about to shoot regarding Thanksgiving, turkey, inflation, local food and decentralization. I have a special floor director helping me out. I will be using your comments!
If only we had more politicians like Senator Lankford!!