Accuracy in Media

Reporter Charlo Greene of the CBS television affiliate in Alaska used an obscenity on the air, announcing she was quitting her job, and revealed that she had been president of the Alaska Cannabis Club even while reporting on it for station KTVA. She then walked off the set.

Greene announced she was going to openly campaign for passage of ballot measure 2, the Alaska Marijuana Legalization initiative, on the November 4, 2014, Election Day ballot.

In a new development, TMZ reports that Greene allegedly smoked so much pot at home that her next-door neighbor’s kid got sick from the fumes. The neighbor complained, was threatened by Greene, and got a restraining order against her.

Whether Green had simply gone nuts on the air, or else was demonstrating the effects of the use of the weed on her own mental faculties, the lesson was clear: the media can’t be trusted to report fairly and honestly on the marijuana issue. We know the media have a liberal bias. But this case caused us to wonder how many “objective” reporters covering the issue are actually secret tokers.

Kristina Woolston, the Vote No on 2 spokesperson, told Accuracy in Media, “We are shocked and disappointed at what has transpired. Our campaign has twice expressed concern to KTVA about Charlo Greene’s coverage. First, we met with the news director and walked him through our issues about her biased coverage of the marijuana initiative. Then Kalie Klaysmat at the Alaska Association of Chiefs of Police sent a strongly worded email to the news director, again expressing concern about Greene’s biased coverage.”

Calvina L. Fay, executive director of the Drug Free America Foundation, commented, “It is not uncommon to hear such inappropriate language used by the advocates of marijuana legalization.  To have used this type of language while on the air, clearly demonstrates a lack of respect for her employer and for the public. It appears that she has no problem violating the rules in the workplace. I wonder if this problem will be carried over in her management style of her company and result in abuses and violations of Alaska marijuana laws—whatever they will be come November. I hope that the media will shift the attention from her towards covering why this proposal to legalize pot is a very bad idea.”

Having come out of the closet as a pothead, Charlo Greene’s Facebook Page now shows her in a group of marijuana plants. She also changed her profile picture to one showing her lighting up a marijuana cigarette.

As shocking as this case was, less attention has been devoted to the more sensational story of Vladimir Baptiste, a psychotic pot user who drove his truck through the headquarters of WMAR-TV in Towson, Maryland. The Baptiste case demonstrates how marijuana is hardly the benign, or even beneficial, substance depicted by its apologists. He is charged with attempted murder, assault, burglary and malicious destruction of property and theft.

Before he stole a truck and rammed the building, a WMAR reporter said Baptiste had come to the front door screaming that he was God and demanding to be let in.

His mother told WNEW that her son’s behavior began changing when he started smoking marijuana. She said he had been a chronic marijuana user for eight years and needed psychiatric help.

WBAL-TV reported that, in the charging documents, “Baptiste said he was a reincarnation of King Tut and Jesus Christ and lives in a world of multiverses [alternative universes] where bad things happen to people, and they disappear because they are not real. He said the disappearance of Malaysian Flight 370 and the kidnapping of the Nigerian school girls were examples of multiverses in that they never actually happened.”

The case is not as unique as you might think. The link between marijuana and mental illness is well-established in medical literature, but has been mostly ignored by the media.

In Florida, meanwhile, a pro-marijuana initiative known as Amendment 2, is backed by famous trial lawyer John Morgan, who was recently caught on camera at a local bar cursing and appearing drunk, while praising “reefer” and urging young people to turn out to pass the ballot measure. The video carries the title, “Unplugged and Uncensored.”

Morgan is the “Yes on 2” campaign chairman. His side calls it the “United for Care” measure, designed to create the impression that it is all being done for sick people who need pot.

In this case, some in the media aren’t buying it. The Tampa Tribune said Morgan’s rant proves that the measure was not intended to help sick people, and noted that the crowd howled at Morgan’s profanity. People could be heard screaming “Smoke weed,” and “Where’s the cocaine?”

Charlie Crist, the former Republican governor of Florida, was a lawyer at Morgan’s firm. He’s now running for governor as a Democrat.

In response to the antics of Morgan and others, the “Don’t Let Florida Go to Pot coalition” has been formed.

The Charlo Greene case, however, is getting the headlines, and the bizarre incident has backfired on the pro-pot forces treating the former reporter as a heroine.

In this context, the Alaska Association of Chiefs of Police has posted “14 Reasons Against Marijuana Legalization,” including the argument that marijuana contributes to psychosis and schizophrenia, addiction for one out of six kids who ever use it once, and it reduces IQ among those who started smoking before age 18.

The IQ problem was clearly evident in the Charlo Greene fiasco.

Dumbed-down marijuana users have been praising Greene for coming out of the marijuana closet. But a liberal website called the Inquisitr said she is “every bad stereotype of the pot community rolled into one.” It explained, “She starts a cannabis club and campaigns for ‘medical marijuana legalization’ yet she shows in a short 30-second clip that she has no tact, no sense of professionalism and no concern for what her future might hold.”

The column went on, “What is so irksome about Charlo Greene and those like her is this: they hide behind the ‘medical marijuana’ argument when all they really want is to get high.”

Where did this pothead reporter come from? She says she graduated cum laude from the University of Texas. She also worked for WOWK, the CBS affiliate for Charleston-Huntington, West Virginia, and WJHL in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Bert Rudman of KTVA-11 News in Anchorage posted a “Dear Viewers” note after her outburst, saying, “We sincerely apologize for the inappropriate language used by a KTVA reporter during her live presentation on the air tonight. The employee has been terminated.”

Perhaps some drug tests are in order for his employees.

As bizarre as it was, the Greene episode could help derail the George Soros-funded campaign to legalize dope in Alaska.

The pro-pot side in Alaska is represented by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, whose top contributors are the Marijuana Policy Project and the Soros-funded Drug Policy Alliance.

But the group also has backers with Republican and Democratic credentials.

The spokesman for the pro-marijuana group is Taylor Bickford, who previously worked for the Republican National Committee, and says he got his start in politics interning for Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski. Bickford is director of Alaska operations for the Seattle-based marketing firm known as Strategies 360.

The group’s senior vice president is Ethan Berkowitz, the 2010 Democratic nominee for governor of Alaska.

Bickford is quoted by the AP as saying, “he hopes Alaska voters look beyond Greene’s salty language” because she has an “important” message about legalizing dope.

At the same time, a relatively new group, Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition, was active at the recent Ron Paul-sponsored Liberty Political Action Conference. The group was founded by Ann and Bob Lee, parents of Richard Lee of “Oaksterdam University” fame. Oaksterdam University in Oakland, California, is also known as “America’s First Cannabis College.” It teaches people how to grow high-quality dope.

Is this America’s future?

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  • Taurnil Oronar

    Hmm the legacy of the 1960s potheads lives on for another generation.

  • irq77

    I’m proud of the news reporter for standing up for what she believes in. Especially when the scheduling of Cannabis has a very dubios past/present of disproportially affecting people of color. Questioning the Cannabis scheduling and looking for alternatives to prohibition is a worthy cause. While I could have done without the profanity, I do support the effort to bring public spotlight to Cannabis prohibition.
    As for this article, calling individuals “potheads” or “dopey” is behavior I’d expect to come from a misbehaving adolescent and not from a credible news site.

    What kind of publication propagates stereotypes and hate when posting the news?

    What about prohibition is working so well we should keep it? With over a trillion dollars spent wouldn’t one expect it to be difficult to procure Cannabis?

  • American Kulak

    Ah, Cliff ‘I am a fat fake conservative NSA/DHS shill’ Kincaid, still railing against demon Mary J and praising the militarization of cops so they can raid people’s houses with machine guns and MRAPs for smoking a plant.
    Alt-Market summed up Cliff’s Paul hating, NSA and eternal Cold War worshipping fascist wing of the GOP here:

    “There is nothing worse than a die-hard neoconservative. Of all the socialist horrors wrought against the American public by the Obama administration and its small but impressively insane group of followers, the neoliberals are at least relatively open about their disdain for the Constitution as well as their intentions to reduce our country to a Third World communist enclave. Neoconservatives, on the other hand, have the audacity to pretend as if they adore the Bill of Rights, posing as freedom fighters and champions of liberty while working intently to administer the same exact despotic policies and socialist infrastructure.”

  • AndRebecca

    Why is Obama for pot and Cliff against, and yet you say they are the same? You potheads don’t seem to understand that Libertarians will do anything for money, including getting you hooked on drugs. But, the Left has been for the legalization of drugs all along in order to take you potheads out of the competition. None of you are going to be a threat to a Leftist takeover of the country. None of you will ever live up to your potential in any capacity. You do make good lap dogs, though. There is no liberty in addiction.

  • disqus_smWiOrvPtd

    Government must promote immorality or government cannot grow.

  • stringman

    The propensity for human beings to abuse any and all available substances is nothing new. While it is theoretically possible to smoke ones self to death during a night of partying, I’ve never heard of a case. But we hear of kids drinking themselves dead often. By far, more people have killed themselves with prescription drugs than all illegal drugs combined. Are we really going to continue this prohibition mentality that makes pot the number one funding device and cause of murder and gang violence? Not to mention the billions spent for law enforcement to fight a war on drugs that has failed to show any results for 50 years. Your kids may be too weak minded to stay clean, but mine aren’t. You cannot legislate morality, intelligence, or just plain sense. Those things come from good parenting and home environment, something that is constantly in short supply.

  • primus108

    WTF is an F-bomb?

  • David Fleischmann

    Ignorant pap. Reefer madness.
    Why anyone would pay any attention to the outdated views of a moralistic, paternalistic ignoramus such as the author is beyond my ken.

  • Tony Aroma

    I always find it funny how the boozers (i.e., people who consume alcohol) never seem to fail to lump all cannabis consumers into a single category. Granted, there are a few that might remind one of an old Cheech and Chong movie, and a few that have not learned appropriate manners. Every group has a few of those. But to judge all cannabis consumers based on the behavior of a few is the dictionary definition of prejudice. Should I assume all boozers are like Otis Campbell, Foster Brooks, or Jim Lahey (or some other famous fictional drunk)? They must be, because I don’t drink, and all I know about people who do I’ve learned from TV.

    In reality though, cannabis consumers are as varied as are boozers. They come from all walks of life, all races, and all levels of manners and intelligence. Reading this sort of thing makes me think most “objective” reporters covering this issue are secretly totally ignorant about cannabis. I’d bet they’ve never even tried it, and only know what they’ve read. And they probably only read things written by people that are likewise anti-cannabis and totally lacking in first-hand experience.

    One other thing, to imply being pro-cannabis is a “liberal bias” is just ridiculous. Prohibition goes against the very foundations of what Conservatives claim to believe in. So while being “pro-cannabis” might be considered liberal by some, being anti-prohibition is as about as Conservative as you can get.

  • Ken D’Ambrosio

    With all due respect, your lack of understanding of what makes a Libertarian a Libertarian is, truly, impressive. Likewise, your willingness to make sweeping generalizations with zero data. If there is any lesson to learn here, it’s that ignorance does not equal intelligence. And, no, I’ve never smoked, nor am I a Libertarian.

  • AndRebecca

    It is O.K. for Libertarians to push pot, like they’ve been doing since the 1960s, but it isn’t O.K. for me to speak up about it. Don’t give me that lack of understanding bull. I’ve been listening to them for years. They are on TV during every election. Pay attention. Learn something.

  • DdC222

    Sounds like Clifford is denying his own bodies essential requirements in Hemp fatty acids and the Endocannabinoid Systems essential lubrication’s. Cannabinoid Abstinence has created Prohibidiots. Developing larger ‘Fear Centers’ in their brains. More willing to follow authority, blindly without question if told. Believers over Logic and Physics. Especially if it brings profits or paychecks.

    A Trillion spent on the Ganjawar is a Trillion in the Pockets of Prohibitionists.

    As the man said, all the money you make will never buy back your soul. The Universe seems to balance out things too. Drug worriers actually believing the gossip spewed by profiteering propagandists find themselves in the same area as over zealous coreligionists. Warping their minds to the point of delusion. Trying to teach kids what they dutifully believe but can never prove due to lack of reality. Along with the constant gnawing fear of going down in the Tribunals and History as murdering morons. Traumatizing 20+ million Americans. Preventing little girls from seizure treatment or not releasing information on censored studies. Forfeiting homes, confiscating cars. Pisstasting, prisons, poisons, rehab asylums and pharma drugs.

    With blinders and enough beer they lie and deceive, kinive and kill. Protecting treatment sales while hiding all signs of cures or prevention. Especially Homegrown without plastic wrapping. More each day know someone helped with Ganja or discover the Nutritional and Industrial value of Hemp. So it’s no surprise their Drugwar Lies are becoming Linked to Schizophrenia. Someday Cliff, Turner, Sambler, Calvina and Sabeteur SAM may require Daily Doobies as a Diabetic needing Insulin. Karma’s a, you know.

  • Uncle Dave

    “Legacy” or “Stupidity”?

  • stringman

    Well that might be a bit harsh. If you consider Cliff and/or his college’s to be so completely ignorant then I have to question why you are on this site. From the years I have spent reading from AIM, I would characterize him as caring quite deeply for the future of the USA and humanity in general. He only wants the best for us and obviously believes marijuana not to be a good choice for people. And in very many cases it is true. But, the definition of conservative thinking is to err on the side of caution. In that he has remained true. Short of evil there is no extremism in the cause of good.

  • stringman

    You bombed with this post, wiseacre

  • AndRebecca

    Oh, I just received a voter guide for my state where the question was asked are you for or against “Legalizing marijuana for recreational use,” and guess what, all of the Libertarians were for legalizing it. Thankfully, there aren’t many of them running, just enough to mess it up for some Republicans, which is about all they are good for, helping out the left.

  • rsteeb

    To keep Cannabis illegal while tobacco and alcoholic beverages are ubiquitous
    would be *MURDEROUSLY STUPID*. [Regardless of the antics of our brave ex-reporter or any others…]

  • MrsCogan

    Even if every single word of this article was true–and it is not–it would still not justify making pot illegal. The damage done by the drug war is vastly worse than anything mentioned here, even the grosely exaggerated stuff.

  • MrsCogan

    If he only wanted the best for us he would be campaigning to end the murderous and bloody drug “war.” Then he can persuade all he wants, as long as he uses the truth. Erring on the side of caution is suppsed to keep government small. There is no bigger government than the sledge hammer of the drug war. It has robbed us of the 4th and 6th amendments and destroyed millions of lives, all while drug use has continued steadily, without interruption.

  • David Fleischmann

    I am on this site to expose the reefer madness this author attempted to present as fact. He is ignorant. That’s not intended as an insult, just a statement of fact: he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He just doesn’t. He is moralistic and paternalistic. This man is not the father of his readers, nor any kind of “moral beacon.” He has no right to moralize on anyone’s choice to use cannabis or not. Whatever you may believe the negative effects of cannabis to be, you have to realize that the prohibition is far worse, completely ineffective at dealing with the supposed problem, and counterproductive in that it robs of our rights, property, freedom and, quite often, even our lives.
    Continued prohibition of cannabis is not “erring on the side of caution,” and it is ridiculous to suggest so. The trillions or dollars wasted or lost, millions of people murdered, for no discernible benefit whatsoever. Those who made it illegal in the first place didn’t exercise a shred of caution, didn’t look at even one single piece if scientific evidence, before condemning our country to a nightmarish prohibition.
    There is no more extremist position than that of these moralistic drug worriers.

  • stringman

    You make some very valid points and mostly I don’t disagree. However, I think we can also agree that Cliff’s biggest concern is that the over use of pot reeks havoc on way too many people. I say that while that is unfortunate, it is in the nature of humans to screw up. More people are killed and maimed from auto accidents than just about anything. But I don’t see us banning the automobile. But I also think we should continue the war on methamphetamine.

  • stringman

    Assuming for second that we legalized pot, would we continue the war on methamphetamine? See reply above

  • stringman

    It does seem that the Libertarian Party has legalization as one of its main tenants. Not saying that rank and file Libertarians agree with that tenant. But if you vote Libertarian, that’s what you’re voting for.

  • MrsCogan

    The war on meth will turn out exactly like the war on pot. Zip. As devastating as meth addiction is, it’s not a patch on the behind of the disaster the war on drugs has been. Millions have had their lives destroyed or ended, the 4th amendment all but repealed and all that devastation has had … zero effect on drug use.

  • stringman

    Well……I don’t think conservatives are going to put a bullet in your head or stick you in an oven or send you to a Siberian gulag for being Jewish or a communist or gay or……you name it. So, yeah, there are a lot more horrible things than conservatives. I think we can discuss these matters without the exaggerated rhetoric.

  • stringman

    OK sweeping revolution just might bring about complete abdication of the war on drugs. ‘Just Might…..’ pretty iffy ….if you ask me. I’m sorry….how old are you? Do you really….really hold a belief in such sweeping change? With the way things are going, there just might be a significant change in marijuana laws…..but that’s as far as I’m willing to speculate. Are you really serious that it could go further? Really? The mayor of realville is thumbs down on that. But believe whatever you wnt. It’s a free country…..sort of

  • MrsCogan

    I really, really, think we need such sweeping change. I’m old enough to know what to ask for and to push for. I want it gone and I want all drugs to be legal to take and possess. I’d be ok for the harder drugs (meth, cocaine, heroine) to be behind the pharmacy counter with an upper limit on monthly purchase set by the individual user. But beyond that, legal. Addiction should be treated like any other lifestyle disease.

    As a country we are very much stuck with doing something over and over thinking it’s going to work if we just do it harder…or something. We spend billions of dollars–10 times what we spent 40 years ago on the drug “war” and addiction has stayed the same. The price of herone has plumeted. In some places it’s cheaper than cigarettes. We have incarcerated 10% of all adults in the US (an increase of 800%) and drug use has stayed the same. No effect whatsoever. Yes, I agree we are probably too stupid as a people to stop doing something that is so destructive and ineffective. But I’m going to keep arguing for it. Thanks anyway.

  • stringman

    Well…..Let’s don’t forget that mere drug possession is a capital offense in at least half the world. And nowhere is it legal for all drugs. So, the point is, American is not much different globally speaking. Pardon the observation but, you’re sounding a lot like a member of the ‘Hate America’ crowd when, your disagreement is with the human race in general. If you’re expecting sweeping changes in human behavior you’re in for a long, frustrating wait. The United States for all it’s flaws, still has a lot more to offer than any place I can name, even Amsterdam. I’ll take my chances here

  • MrsCogan

    “My country right or wrong. If right keep her right, if wrong make her right.” We can’t look to brutal dictatorships as our moral models. We must lead THEM morally.

    You don’t get the changes you want without stating what you want and fighting for it. Drugs are bad but the way we deal with them costs billions, is bloody and brutal and doesn’t work, even a little. We get absolutely nothing for our blood and money. It’s the very definition of insanity–doing the same thing over and over and expecting it to work magically this time. Or next time. Or next year or next decade after we spend another trillion dollars and end another million lives.

    So quote me some more bumperstickers while 5 people die of meth overdose and another 100 people are murdered because meth is illegal.

  • stringman

    I say once again, I don’t disagree mostly. But, if you are expecting logic to prevail on this or any other matter, you’re in for a very long wait. While Americans maybe the most resourceful people the world has ever seen, I don’t believe for an instant that we can overcome the irrational behavior that has lead to this situation. If you want to believe in such a utopian future, you’re certainly not alone. But, such faith is its own form of irrationality. It ain’t gonna happen. Humans are maddeningly illogical. Good luck to you

  • sudon’t

    I was wondering why this article was being run without comment on a site called “Accuracy in the Media.” Turns out “accuracy” here means the same thing as “fair and balanced” does on Fox. I’m sure there must be a name for this kind of deceptive euphemizing, (not that the right wing has a monopoly on it).

  • Ken D’Ambrosio

    Hahah! I just noticed you’d replied. I’m not sure why I’m bothering — it’s clear you don’t actually use rational thought, but instead vastly prefer stooping to insult. But, no: the reason that Libertarians (who would likely bridle at the being labeled “leftist”) are in favor of drug legalization is because Libertarians put civil liberties above just about everything else. Case-in-point: Rand Paul (a Republican with a distinct Libertarian bent) is clearly looking to soften our country’s stance on marijuana. And I have to agree with him: sending someone to jail for a decade for a non-violent, victimless crime is dumb. Not, apparently, that you care.

    As for your insinuation that I’m uninformed, well… nothing I say will prove otherwise, unless I deign to agree with you. But it’s clear, again, that you’d rather toss insults than argue facts. I think that speaks for itself.

  • AndRebecca

    Clearly, I do use rational thought. I don’t know why you’re bothering to reply either, but it must be to prove dopers are somehow above everybody else. Libertarians take sides with Leftists on social issues…those issues make up at least half of the issues…that makes Libertarians half Leftist doesn’t it? If Obama and his Leftist crew are for legalizing pot, doesn’t that mean the Left is behind the push to legalize dope since they out-number Libertarians and have way more influence on the issue?

  • Ken D’Ambrosio

    Holy crow, Batman. You say you use rational thought, and yet your entire house of cards is built upon argument by analogy. By the same argument, you’re Hitler because you breathe air, and so did he. Happening to have overlap in something — like beliefs — does not in any way mean your overall beliefs are equivalent; for you to imply otherwise is disingenuous and intellectually dishonest. Indeed, it’s why there *are* multiple parties: because we believe that there are different approaches to certain aspects. But when you vilify and label anyone who disagrees with you, well, you’re gonna be awful busy painting yourself into a corner.

  • AndRebecca

    Your entire house is built on a garbage dump. Love how you vilify me while claiming I’m doing it to you. Grow up.

  • Ken D’Ambrosio

    I’m sorry: where did I vilify you? Here, let me quote you: “None of you are going to be a threat to a Leftist takeover of the country. None of you will ever live up to your potential in any capacity. You do make good lap dogs, though.” I call *that* vilification, insulting, and so forth. It certainly isn’t making for dialog. It’s base namecallilng, period.

  • Ken D’Ambrosio

    Oh, it certainly is one of their tenets! Shockingly, I won’t vote Libertarian — I’m not one. Nor have I ever used illegal drugs of any sort. (I’m kinda boring that way.) But I prefer that people describe their opponents with words that are both correct and reasonable. That’s the only reason I’ve poked my nose in here.

  • AndRebecca

    Well, at least you admit to pot use. How refreshing. In general, pot users do not live up to their potential and are a drain on the society. They are the Wobblies of today.

  • Ken D’Ambrosio

    Actually, no. I’ve never used illegal drugs; I stick to what the doctor prescribes, or what is sold over the counter at my pharmacy — and I promise you, “pot” doesn’t fall into either of those categories. I found those words vilifying and insulting simply because they *are* — they didn’t describe, or even attempt to describe, me. I’ve worked at (multiple) Fortune 500 firms, technology startups, and so forth — and, while I haven’t used drugs, I’ve known several who have with whom I’ve worked. And they’ve been as on the ball as any. Notable exceptions: I’ve known one alcoholic who simply couldn’t keep it under control; it took her over a decade to turn it around, though she has. (And that one’s legal.) I’ve known one person who did drugs copiously, and had all *sorts* of emotional issues. A truly fun guy (at least, when not depressive), but not someone you could count on to show up at 9:00 on anything like a regular basis.

  • AndRebecca

    Spare me.

  • Ken D’Ambrosio

    I guess so! No need for debate here; you’re clearly set in your ways, and completely unwilling to even stoop to a rational discussion/debate. Fare the well.

  • AndRebecca

    Good riddance.

  • Ken D’Ambrosio

    You couldn’t help but reply, condescendingly, to a *different* thread? You’re a very angry person, aren’t you? You should consider seeing someone about your need for affirmation and validation. Bah; now I’m stooping to your level. You are simply not worthy my time. *blacklists Discus*

  • stringman

    So…….You find my description incorrect or unreasonable?

  • AndRebecca

    A different thread? What are you smoking? This so called discussion has been going on for years. Come up with something new and I’ll respond to it. You trolls are so cute.