Listeners were shocked and dismayed today to find he'd been fired in a bizarre disagreement with the
KUOW management and host Steve Scher as well. The disagreement seemed to be about the station's control over his topics and opinions.
Cliff Mass has been outspoken during his fascinating, educational and engaging weather reports and on his own on such topics as Climate Change, Radar Installations, Math textbooks in Seattle and Shoreline School Districts, and now the internal University admissions policies. (Shockingly controversial! What's even more controversial is that Cliff Mass was able to captivate a dedicated audience of listeners and blog readership, about SCIENCE! What part of "educational" doesn't the UW like, when he's bringing huge listenership to the flagship NPR Seattle station, that is connected to the Campus.)
So, what started out as a dispute and powerplay by host Scher, Katy Sewall and his guest, has now become a media dustup. Some are comparing it to the Juan Williams firing from NPR several months ago. Though, this doesn't seem to be about any political persuasion, but simply about content and Cliff Mass interest in expressing opinions about topics related to education and his weather reports.
But now a petition drive has been started at -
Infrequent listeners to KUOW's have likely tuned in on a Friday and heard famed UW meteorologist Cliff Mass discuss the weather and the science behind it. More regular listeners have probably also heard Mass occasionally venture off the topic of weather and into the realm of education--a subject for which he has both passion and expertise.
From now on, however, KUOW listeners won't be hearing Mass at all. His weekly segment has been cancelled because apparently those forays into education news and opinion were too controversial for public radio.
So you can add your voice to the list.
You can also add your comments to the Cliff Mass Weather Blog, which is now very long (at least 207 commnets! Now that's free speech!) OR to Publicola's comment stream.