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KBMF terminates the deejays Sevier

Created on Saturday, 12 September 2020 Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 September 2020 Published Date

September 12, 2020

COVID-19 recently killed something in Butte, not a person, but the affiliation of Dark and Ainsley Sevier with KBMF.

In a Sept 9 letter to the Seviers,  KBMF Station Manager Clark Grant wrote, “Your recent conduct has demonstrated to me that your volunteer relationship with KBMF must come to a close.” The Seviers were longstanding deejays at the low-power station.

That conduct included questioning official COVID-19 mask guidelines and expressing criticism aimed at the station, documents received by the Seviers from Grant noted.

Grant pointed to a dozen listener complaints about the content of the Seviers' show, “Post-Orthodoxy.” Specifically, he leveled criticism at the August 30 broadcast that aired on KBMF.. “The message that you were delivering on August 30 was one that downplayed the severity of this pandemic,” he noted. 

The termination of the relationship included ending the children’s show that Ms. Sevier hosted on Thursdays.

The Seviers argued that the cancellations had less to do with the content of their shows and more to do with censorship. In a statement issued on September 10, the Seviers pointed to a meeting that they had with Grant on September 4. They said that Grant told them that it was their responsibility to not air any information that ran counter to “local, state, or federal US government mandates or guidelines....”

On the subject of censorship, Grant disagreed. “These volunteers were asked to make reasonable changes to their talk program where they were discussing the coronavirus. They mistook our commitment to following public health guidelines as  a censorship campaign. They have since decided to malign our organization and myself and were subsequently asked to leave the station,” he said in an email.

Dark Sevier was the station’s original music director, and he and Grant once co-hosted the “Clark and Dark Show” on KBMF. The two traveled together  to South Africa with other staff members to the home of Sbo Zulu, a Zulu prince. The prince managed a radio station in Nongoma, and he initiated an exchange between the two stations and the two cultures. Prince Sbo and two friends had traveled to Butte the previous year, a visit that became the basis for the film “Zulu Summer.”





0 #1 Post-Orthodoxy 2020-09-12 18:19
It was not a request, it was a written dictate under threat of termination. It is absurd for Grant to disagree with his own written determinations. This is a very serious precedent for a community media outlet, and “social justice & education” organization.

Sharing our critique and fears about documented precedents being set by the station manager and organization is not maligning those parties- pointing out a hole in the boat is not maligning the boat.

We do not publicly promote any position on the health mandates, but analyze the debate itself. Claiming that this is not censorship amounts to gaslighting the public. Clark Grant claiming we “mistook” what he said in writing is gaslighting or delusion. Claiming that we “maligned” this important community organization by calling attention to a slippery slope precedent, is spinning our valid concerns negatively. We care deeply about KBMF and the community it serves, otherwise we wouldn’t bother.

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