“Shut Up!!!” Mike Rhodes’ Bizarre Take on Free Speech in Fresno

We have been informed that at the monthly meeting of the Community Alliance editorial board this past Sunday, Alliance editor Mike Rhodes put out the word that he will no longer accept any advertising copy from us. The reason given was that he is “uncomfortable” working with us.

That is a very peculiar statement coming from a man who has literally NEVER worked with us. The Great and Powerful Mike has never had any direct communication with us regarding the quality or content of our ad copy prior to an ad being run; not by phone, not by email, not by telegraph and not by Pony Express. In addition to the Alliance, we have run ads in the Fresno Undercurrent, the Central Valley Classifieds, the Fresno City College Rampage, the CSU Fresno Collegian and we have done business with Peerless Printing, Yellow Dog Printing and Spinn Print, all with no problems and no complaints.

We have on occasion complained when the Alliance has failed to run ad copy as submitted, but that is another story and believe me, we have ALL the correspondence to back up our story if anyone cares for details on that. That was in May of 2009. Since then, we have had ZERO communication with the Great and Powerful Mike regarding ad copy.

What this “shunning” is about is not ad copy, it is about politics, and before the truth is buried under character assassinations, distortions and innuendo, I thought I’d put the TRUTH up here.

As noted, it is about POLITICS. You see, the Great and Powerful Mike has deemed it to be in the best interests of Fresno’s activist community to support a debate between Victor Davis Hansen and Michael Parenti that is being hosted by KMJ radio and the Sunbird Conservatives of Fresno Pacific University. We think that is a bad idea, that it is creating a huge waste of time and energy in the progressive community that could be better spent on ideas and causes that do not put money into the coffers of the Sunbird Conservatives. We have been very vocal in our opposition to the involvement of Peace Fresno and other progressive organizations in the promotion and co-sponsoring of this event, both in email and on the internet. The Great and Powerful Mike finds it vexatious that we would dare to challenge his vast wisdom on this issue, so he has determined that we must be shunned. Which is double weird, because we’ve never been paid a nickel for any of the ad copy that we’ve prepared for the Alliance, so the Great and Powerful Mike isn’t hurting us, he’s hurting the people we serve.

So in conclusion, let me say again that this is all about politics and those who would challenge the Great and Powerful Mike. His take on free speech seems to have shifted from “say what you want” to “say what I want”. The “Voice of the Progressive Movement” has developed a speech impediment.

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