03
Apr
08

Enough of WHYS

WHYS is broadcast on KALW in San Francisco. Quite a few KALW listeners like us. We know because you tell us. But not everyone. Here are some emails that have been critical of us. See if you think they have got a point. Below them, I have posted the reply I sent to KALW’s programme manager.

EMAIL 1
I think World have Your Say has had a fair trial. If they had more input from people with some special knowledge about their chosen subjects it might fly. As it is it is just another call-in show; it’s only difference being the breadth of the calling audience. I find they don’t even define the question of the day very well. When they were discussing the UK effort to require the destruction of deaf embryos they couldn’t define whether the discussion was about destroying embryos or deafness being a culture.

EMAIL 2

As I long time listener and supporter to KALW, I must tell you that I find the British program world have your say not worth listening to? I think KALW under Nicole Sawaya was perfect, and I suppose programming must change from time to time, but this program call in is just awful.? More like AM radio talk shows with British accents controlling content? I still like KALW, front left and center, As It happens? When it comes through, and many other programs? But the Brits are really talking down to us in this program.

EMAIL 3

Hello there,

I love K.A.L.W. but am really disappointed with the program World Have Your Say. I have tried listening over many months though I had an initial dislike of the sound of the program. I have to say however that today’s show was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. Below are the comments that I sent to that programme in case you are interested in the feedback.

‘I have no interest in having my comments read over the air. I just wanted you to know how terrible your show is. I’ve tried listening via K.A.L.W., with an open mind but I find what you are shoving out over the airwaves to be tripe. I work in public radio and am dismayed at the pro-Chinese slant that you have had every time the subject of Tibet has come up. Also in general the show seems so conservative and biased towards the world’s superpowers.

What is the point in having this conversation when the people speaking in this instance are uneducated and brainwashed by the Chinese government?

Could you not find a single Chinese dissident to speak to for an example?

I am sorry but I am disgusted by the lack of balance and depth. I am choosing not to listen your program any longer. It’s a shame though because this is my favorite station and I don’t really want to have to tune out just for your show.

I have other objections to how this issue in particular was handled but I don’t want to waste your or my time.’


28 Responses to “Enough of WHYS”


  1. 1 Ros Atkins
    April 3, 2008 at 12:19

    This my reply to KALW.

    Hi. Sorry for late reply. I have been off til today.

    The students we have on WHYS are far from brain-washed – or does that apply to everyone who doesn’t subscribe to the West’s view of China? I wasn’t on last week but all the students we’ve spoken to before are bright, engaged and passionate people. The show about Tibet featured numerous people who criticised China, including the Dalai Lama’s representative. We have to be careful on this issue – the Western idea of a balanced view of China is not necessarily held around the world.

    As for the questions, of course we can always reach for better ones, but the programme about deafness took in both the issue or deafness as a disability and desirability or otherwise of a world without deaf people. I don’t think we were trying to choose between the two issues your listener raises. We were talking about both. But yes we always need to be vigilant about communicating what we’re talking about and we don’t always get it right.

    I don’t know what we can do to combat the AM accusations. If you don’t put value on the opinions of regular people and don’t want to hear them (which of course is anyone’s right – it’s not everyone’s cup of tea) then you’re always going to struggle with WHYS. There’s only so much we can do about that. The idea that we just chuck people on air is far from the truth (I know we’ve told you the long process we go through).

    Cheers,
    Ros

  2. April 3, 2008 at 13:32

    This isn’t the first time that WHYS is receiving critical comments. There were others, to which I responded earlier stating that the BBC views [WHYS] as second rate since none of its seasoned journalists present it.

    Contributing to WHYS doesn’t imply making a report on a certain situation but giving one’s opinion about it. As the name of the show shows, it’s about views from different parts of the WORLD. So it is possible that some can be shocked by some views, especially those who can’t interact with opposite views.

    Email 1 complains about the fact that “More like AM radio talk shows with British accents controlling content”. This complaint sounds queer as what matters is what people say and not in what voice or accent. Apart from the presenters and some contributors, on the show there are accents from different parts of the world, especially Africa and the USA.

    The show may lack depth from time to time. But this also depends on the expectations of the listener. WHYS is by no means a show to lecture on an event inviting just academics and other specialists to capture listeners without giving them a chance to state what they think. An in-depth show requires experts and a preparation taking weeks if not months. There are 30 minutes BBC programmes like “assignment” which must take the presenter at least a week to make search, interviews, editing etc.

    But WHYS is a show in which listeners speak to one another about their personal views and experiences. It’s a show done live on the spur of the moment. Listeners and presenter can’t know what’s going to be told next by the contributor speaking live. What matters is that they stick to the subject.

    WHYS remains a unique show as its content is made by and for the listeners. It is also an occasion to raise different questions which can have a follow-up on the blog. The fact that is podcast extensively shows its popularity. Just in the past three months, from November to January, the monthly downloads exceeded 143,000. As for January the download reached 41,959 (see the link) http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/siteusage/

    So Mr Ros even if you receive a thousand emails complaining about the show, there are more thousands who will come to its defence. I hope that it will last longer and longer. I hope it won’t be closed as it happened to its sister program Have Your Say , which has been shelved as an archive after being broadcast for more than 25 years first as weekly a radio show before becoming also broadcast on television and online.

  3. 3 VictorK
    April 3, 2008 at 12:59

    I doubt if there can be many programmes that address as broad a range of issues as WHYS. It would be a valuable programme for that reason alone.

    And I can’t be the only one who enjoys listening to and reading the range of opinions – good, bad and ugly – on those issues. Again, surely something that few other programmes can manage?

    I do think that the first and third emails have a point, though. There have been some notoriously imbalanced episodes. The lack of balance relates to your studio guests, but on one occasion to the behaviour of a WHYS staffer.

    This is not commonplace with WHYS but it really shouldn’t happen at all. I’m thinking especially about the Castro programme, where you might just as well have had his son and daughter in the studio, each vying to tell the world how wonderful their Socialist Papa was. That was truly appalling: a propaganda riot where we’d expected a debate, and where there was plenty to debate too. And WHYS really seem to have made an extraordinary effort to find a pro-Chinese point of view on Tibet. While this might seem consistent with what I’ve said about the need for balance, in this case – for anyone who knows even a little about Sino-Tibetan history – it’s a little like going out of your way to achieve balance by searching out the case for paedophilia. There are people who could argue in favour of the Holocaust – or against it having happened at all – if you gave them a chance: this is the kind of balance that it is not really necessary for us to have.

    Your programme on multiculturalism should really have been broadcast on April 1st:- a panel of guests who unanimously praised the virtues of diversity, one of whom even stated that countries that didn’t appreciate diversity should have it forced on them so that the whole world could be uniformly diverse. And I still remember how Alan Dershowitz skewered the presenter in the programme about Israel-Palestine. Your guests on that occasion were weighted heavily in favour of supporters of the Palestinians. Dershowitz was the only person introduced as having an axe to grid, being described by the host as ‘a supporter of Israel’ (or words to that effect). His response to that was spot on and unanswerable: it was an attempt to undermine his credibility before he’d even spoken by presenting him as the only guest who was in any way partisan. It wasn’t a shining moment for WHYS. Your failure to link to the Fitna video, and subesquent linking to a piece that was critical of it, did nothing to dispel the suspicion that you tread carefully when it comes to Islam (but when it’s a case of real axes being ground that’s perfectly understandable).

    On reflection ‘balance’ is probably not the thing I’d like to see from WHYS; it would be more a matter of giving a platform to all tenable views of a subject falling on the right side of sanity.

  4. April 3, 2008 at 13:19

    For Ros Atkins and BBC WHYS:

    As a long time listener of the BBC and a recent listener of BBC WHYS, I will respond to the criticism of KALW. I have had enough of KALW and the US Mainstream Media since they do not cover different viewpoints.

    I would like to thank BBC WHYS for covering my viewpoint on Cuba [in which ALL sides are to blame and that Castro, Moscow, and Washington wroked together with the help of their puppets], my viewpoint on the USA [the Republicans and Democrats are hypocrites in talking about freedom while excluding Libertarians and Greens from the political process with discriminatory election laws].

    The US Mainstream Media and KALW loves to say that the Latin Community in America or that other community is intolerant but the E Mails have proved the levels of intolerance that exists within them.

  5. April 3, 2008 at 13:20

    PS: I forgot to finish by saying I support BBC and BBC WHYS.

  6. 6 selena
    April 3, 2008 at 13:25

    “On reflection ‘balance’ is probably not the thing I’d like to see from WHYS; it would be more a matter of giving a platform to all tenable views of a subject falling on the right side of sanity” VictorK.

    Selena: WHYS is a much need program. We are living in a “Global Village”, as they say. So, there is a critical need to hear from all people, no matter if they agree or disagree. For too long , we have been brainwashed into one way of thinking.

    I would differ with VictorK on one point, however. The more insane we think the views, the more they should be aired, in my view. Who defines what is sane or not sane? We do know now that the world is not flat!

    Keep up the good work, Ros.

  7. 7 John van Dokkumburg
    April 3, 2008 at 13:29

    The WHYS program in my prospection has to use the questions what everyone have , about what is rich, the envirement our the way we look to each other, the power of our material world as the truth, sickness – what is this ? , love for the nature , how far it goes .. And more of the morals kind .

  8. 8 Brett
    April 3, 2008 at 13:33

    I doubt if there can be many programmes that address as broad a range of issues as WHYS. It would be a valuable programme for that reason alone.

    And I can’t be the only one who enjoys listening to and reading the range of opinions – good, bad and ugly – on those issues. Again, surely something that few other programmes can manage?

    I completely agree with VictorK on this point.

    WHYS does a GREAT job doing what they do. The accusation that its ‘just another call in show’ is weak. I listen to plenty such programs on NPR and the like and they rarely have the experience that WHYS brings to each debate (whether it be a professional in whatever subject they are speaking on, or sides directly involved or affected by the days topic).
    I love my NPR, but I’ll switch the dial any day to catch the hour that WHYS is on.

    Keep up the good work.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  9. April 3, 2008 at 14:30

    Hi to all of you my Precious friends. In my opinion as a loyal Baghdadi listener to the WHYS programme, the real power of the WHYS programme comes from the fact that the ones who are setting its agenda and the ones who are mainly contributing to it everyday are real and ordinary people from all around the world, people that you may never have the chance to meet and mix with personally. But thanks to WHYS now you’re able to meet them, talk to them, get to know them, and debate their opinions in a civilised and respectable way. If you decide to be a regular listener to WHYS, then you should be able to listen to and tolerate the ‘OTHER’s opinions no matter what those opinions are, you should be willing to understand the ‘OTHER’ before judging ‘HIM’. I’m so proud to say that the WHYS’s big global family is my family, and the supermarvellous WHYS team are my good friends. Guys, you’re the best ! Please don’t let anyone bring you down ! With my love. Yours forever, Lubna.

  10. 10 Xie_Ming
    April 3, 2008 at 14:48

    The strength of WHYS is the international diversity of opinions.

    This is something an individual with a “mind-set” cannot be comfortable with.

    Selena (originally from rural Canada?) always has original and reasoned views.

    Another individual constantly introduces biased statements concerning Israel and its apologists- no matter what the topic
    These lengthy postings are interesting only as illustrative the mindset and the probable propagandistic intent.

    I found Chen’s analysis of our objectives concerning Tibet to be an acute (and typicaly Confucian) contribution.

    The simple declarative statements of young persons indoctrinated in Islam are also informative of the World in which we live.

    The call-in often has weaknesses: for example, the British Foreign Minister came out for increased membership in the UN Security Council and did not address the question of whether a degree of sovereignty should be surrendered to the UN. Was the “moderator” unable to comprehend the importance of the point or was the moderator trying to be complaisant to power?

    Once the participation becomes more extensive, then more attention can be paid to filtering and quality.

  11. 11 steve
    April 3, 2008 at 14:48

    VictorK: If WHYS had linked to the Fitna video, they would likely have received death threats. I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly not prepared to die over my job, let alone get death threats. They were smart not to post the link. Anyone with two working brain cells can figure out how to use “the google” on the internets machine and find it themselves. It doesn’t take a “rocket surgeon” to do that… I do agree with you that WHYS isn’t always balanced, but many times it is.

  12. April 3, 2008 at 14:59

    I find WHYS a very helpful platform for discussing global issues with a global audience.

    Email 1: in almost every discussion WHYS has specialists or people arguing from different points of view. Now in some debates it is hard to find people to argue all side a good example being china. I was fortunate enough to do a work experience at WHYS back in the day, and they were reporting on china and human rights abuses. Proof I think that the coverage that China gets from WHYS is not always positive.

    Although i do wonder if they will be discussing the imprisonment of human rights activists in china recently.

    Email 2: if you think we are talking down to you because of our british accents then you are mistaken. Firstly i wonder if you could define a British accent. I can guarentee that Scottish, welsh, english and northern irish people all sound very different. If you think we are talking down at you then engage in the debate and talk back to us.

    Email 3: I have already answered in my first question. But the point on i don’t want my questions read out on air… well if you work in public radio you should realise that a prestigious interlectual program like WHYS is not going to roll over and ignore your comments. Obviously they will appear on the blog and probably in the program

    rant over… and its such a shame since there was a recent news story that the world is becomming more warm and fuzzy towards america. I meet many interlectual and interesting americans, but some of these comments seem ill thought through.

  13. 13 Pravin
    April 3, 2008 at 15:33

    Keep going WHYS, we are with you.

  14. 14 steve
    April 3, 2008 at 15:48

    Complain as you want about WHYS, it’s much better than the regular BBC. I just heard the most biased news report ever, just now about 5 minutes ago on the news. There was a report about brazilian “migrant workers” talking about giving up the american dream, and returning to Brazil, or talking of going to Canada due to work drying up, law enforecement, and difficulties in getting drivers licenses. From the description, they were talking about illegal immigrants! The story was made to look like America is hell on earth and that foreigners want to leave. These were people who are illegally here, aren’t allowed to have drivers licenses because they are illegally present. They interviewed a Brazilian who returned to brazil, who spent 7 years in the US, and he wasn’t even speaking in English to the BBC, yet has worked in the US for 7 years? come on.. So Canada, they say they are interested in you now!

  15. 15 Janet T
    April 3, 2008 at 16:08

    I think we in the US forget often forget there ARE other viewpoints in the world that matter- we tend to be very insulated and self-centered- I love reading Lubna’s postings- very brave and smart, and the polar opposite of my life here in Oregon. It is important to remember we are not alone on this planet and there are many different cultures and histories out there-WHYS makes me think of what is going on in countries I often give little thought to. Keep up the good work Ros and company!

  16. 16 Scott Millar
    April 3, 2008 at 16:42

    People often want things two ways, when it simply isn’t possible. Bringing together the opinions and anecdotes from people around the world is a messy business by definition. The “complaints” from KALW are banal and obvious. Its like pointing out surgery is a bloody event.

    There is a fine line between balancing the conversation and controlling it. This is similar to the inherent problems of democracy. Democracy is great on paper, but it isn’t always equitable because the people that make it happen are imperfect and flawed creatures.

    Sure WHYS has its problems, but these are kept at a thoroughly acceptable level, especially considering the task at hand. I ask: How can mainly-uncensored conversation from around world, during one hour – by phone, email, text and blog, be kept pretty and symmetrical? Its an asymmetrical world! These collisions of voices and opinions, objectivity and subjectivity are the nature of the beast! Don’t blame the messengers – it’s the world having its say… .

    -Portland, Oregon

  17. April 3, 2008 at 18:01

    No matter what you say you cannot find any more range of views in popular media than this show: you’ve got Steve pounding away on the keyboard with all his might and Lubna holding the Koran softly in hand. What more can you ask for? I’ve been at my wits end with the moderation on this show being pathetically elitist and aligned with their “highness” backing. There is even a certain contingent there that seems to want to shun my opinion and then there are others that will always give me the floor. But if you find a way to get on the air somehow it’s really a better way – and you may gain some knowledge on the subject.

    In terms of KALW you cannot do programming better. Whether you like it or not the BBC is a huge crowd draw. And those of you who would criticize it here’s a question: Would you rather listen to major NPR news stations that stop and omit portions of programming for weeks on end? KALW has an enlightened view to understand that not interrupting programs for needless “pledge breaks” will ultimately get more support. The same people will always be public radio supporters even without asking and if you listen to it you should support it. This year I donated the same amount to KALW as I paid for XM radio, but I listen to KALW probably 10x more. That to me is a bargain and I can hear WHYS on this station with a laptop instead of firing up my XM receiver.

  18. 18 Ana Milena, Colombia
    April 3, 2008 at 18:31

    WHYS copes with worldwide issues in a way that not only experts but also ordinary people contribute with their knowledge, opinions, experiences and expectations.
    It comes to be neutral, enriching and informative and, of course, we might disagree with the point of view of some participants. Yet, the idea’s not to listen to what we want to listen, but to keep in touch with other people’s points of view.
    Plus, there’s no point in saying it’s biased!

    I wish there was a show like this in my country, where information is dreadfully manipulated!
    I’m with you, WHYS! :-)

  19. 19 Mark
    April 3, 2008 at 18:33

    BBC’s WHYS is the best thing that’s happened to KALW, in my opinion. I consider myself liberal, but I’m exhausted by the knee-jerk reactions of many liberals here in the Bay Area. I’m thirsty for complexity. If I want dogmatic confrontation, I can watch Fox, CNN or listen to KNBR. And the last thing that I want is a liberal version of any of those.
    Listening to WHYS has given me hope that there are actually many intelligent, thoughtful and open minded people out there in the world – whatever their political or religious stripe.

  20. 20 George USA
    April 3, 2008 at 18:47

    Where else can you read-hear-discuss events around the world with people there, from Iraq to Kenya to Russia- maybe even China (they don’t say).

    WHYS is something significant: grass roots discussion with some experts tossed in, but the grass roots are everywhere.

    In Texas we call that a- Humdinger.

    Why that is as good as Bluebell Ice cream with Pecans (almost).

    Therefore (here comes my punch line)-

    whatever human factor of bias, which is inescapable, that takes place in WHYS,
    is minor, and outweighted by the fact that people from around the world are having a conversation together on many topics.

    I do not agree with everyone in the conversation from around the world, which is fine, we are talking, discussing, and I come away seeing their point of view. Naturally I hope they swing around to my own views which are correct :).

    Good work WHYS. Thank you BBC.

  21. April 3, 2008 at 18:56

    If there is anyone who is the most eulogistic about the show it’s me!

    But can’t the writers whose emails sparked the debate find someone who can stand by them? They must have cursed the day they sent their emails if not at least they should respond to the avalanche of comments published so far in praise of WHYS and its team.

  22. April 3, 2008 at 23:24

    Scott’s point was great and should be emphasized as should the others so far:

    “The “complaints” from KALW are banal and obvious. Its like pointing out surgery is a bloody event.”

    Only someone who listens to AM talk shows here in the US would compare that trash to WHYS. I find that the callers and writers into WHYS ask far more interesting and a far broader range of questions than any reporter on, say, CNN or FOX would. WHYS is a great show, and I listen to the BBC World Service on-line all the time (which even has American accents at times, too!). From listening to WHYS, I get the impression that much of our problems could be settled if there were more chances like it for “common” people to debate and discuss. One thing in particular I have been surprised by is that on WHYS you can hear people talk to each other who would never have that chance otherwise, and not just how respectful they are to each others views, but how often they seem to take away from it a better understanding of the complexities of any given problem (embryo/deafness is a good example). I just wish the show was longer at times, especially that one. It was a great discussion. WHYS actually restores a bit of my faith in humanity.

  23. 23 Will Rhodes
    April 4, 2008 at 01:03

    I have been on one show – would I do another? You bet ya! The only complaint I would have is that I couldn’t come back on the guy who said something about Wales and PC and something else – I would have liked to respond to him but time ran out, as it does on radio.

    I read a lot of the BBC – I have for years, not that I am indoctrinated with the Beeb – it is just that I find it the most unbiased media outlet, agree or disagree, I really don’t care. Being in North America you get CNN a lot, it is still not as good as the BBC, but it is trying.

    Am I critical of the BBC, sometimes, but that means I have a opinion on something and someone else has another, that is just the way the cookie crumbles!

    On to WHYS – whomever wants to criticise the show I have one thing to say to them, don’t listen!

    The questions are brought about by the news and what people are asking to be asked – how is that unbalanced? It is one of the few programs that DOESN’T lead by what is the vogue question of the day.

    Are the questions worded correctly – does that really matter? What DOES matter is that people respond to them in the ethos of that question. A question can be direct, I would suspect the one about deafness was questioned in itself because it wasn’t as direct as they would have liked. They would have preferred should deaf embryos be murdered? As with the mail stipulating destruction. Yet the question was asked in a way that opened the whole subject to discussion – funnily I always thought a discussion radio program was just for that, discussion.

    Keep up the good work WHYS – I will still keep listening, if you should ever become sensationalist I will turn off – but that is my choice.

  24. 24 George USA
    April 4, 2008 at 01:36

    Abdelilah–

    Ok, I will take the non- eulogistic side just for balance.
    ……………..

    Keelhauled!

    Yes, barnacles are what each person at WHYS deserve who does not agree with my own very nearly bright remarks.

    How dare anyone post a question which is offensive, mainly to ME (capitals indicate center of the universe).

    And while your are at it- denigrate each person who does not agree with my answers.

    …………….

    Abdelilah does that cover it?

  25. April 4, 2008 at 05:45

    What is wrong with those people in Sna Francisco? I have not heard any otehr program that is engaging like WHYS. MAy be Africa HAve YOur Say has been incrediblee for AFRICa BUT WHYS wraps up all the discussion. I am addicted and I listen in daily from Kampala, Uganda. If those guys dont want to listen in, then they are missing a lot and I know they’ll one day come tot heir senses and view the program as very educative and informative.

    I love everyone on the WHYS Team. You guys are great.

  26. 26 Dennis Cote
    April 4, 2008 at 09:45

    In my opinion, the US media tells the viewers/listeners what to think.
    WHYS allows the listeners to voice their own opinion.
    It’s a refreshing program, that gives ideas and throws it out to see what the world thinks, and allows the listeners to come up with topics, rather than telling the world to think.
    Not all topics will suit the likes of the listeners,but something can strike a nerve and get a response, which is the point of the program.
    The world has a lot to say, this program is the perfect forum for it.
    You’ll never see this in the US media without censorship.
    Cheers to WHYS, and keep up the good work!

  27. 27 Katharina in Ghent
    April 4, 2008 at 11:33

    It must be really difficult for some people to realize that there are other people and other opinions out there that just their state-sanctioned own… The truth always hurts, and opinions expressed about the US on WHYS aren’t always favorable, so therefore WHYS is clearly a bad show – for them.

    I love WHYS, I have listened to it for four years now and I can’t get tired of it. It’s the only show where I can actually hear what other people around the world think about a certain topic, which is often very enlightening. I had the honour to contribute twice to the show, and the second time, about multiculturalism, the speaker after me had precisely the opposite opinion of me. Biased??? I don’t think so.

    Keep up the good work, I would miss you very much!

  28. 28 Mark
    April 5, 2008 at 22:09

    “We have to be careful on this issue – the Western idea of a balanced view of China is not necessarily held around the world.”

    BBC has to be careful about China because if it were thrown out of China the way it was thrown out of Zimbabwe, it would be a disaster for it. BBC is intimidated by China. Sometimes it seems even the Congress of the United States of America is intimidated by China. There is no reason for this. The US may owe China a trillion dollars but it makes trillions in return on profits from investments in business which could not be operated with such indifference to human life in America. Besides, China will be paid back with much cheapened dollars after the Treasury turns its magic printing presses on.

    KALW has to be careful also. Unlike BBC, it lives in large measure on the voluntary contributions of private donors large and small. If it irritates enough people with blatently anti-American propaganda, the usual bill of fare on BBC, it can go out of existance.

    BBC has demonstrated repeatedly the incompetence and bias of its journalists. It doesn’t know or care about the difference between reporting the news and editorializing. In its editorial viewpoint I don’t think it comes even close to representing the mainstream of the British body politic. Its interviews are sometimes so pathetic, the interviewee has to correct the interviewer because the premise of his question or comment was clearly false. Of particular note was one airing of “Politics UK” in which four journalists spent half and hour in an early post mortum disparaging the tenure of Tony Blair because they disagreed with the war in Iraq without ever mentioning that Britain was the only major economy in Europe early in this decade to prosper. This was typical. Most reports about America are superficial, ignorant, or just plain unrepresentative. I’m waiting for Justin Webb to comment about how undemocratic it is to have super delegates in the private political parties in the US so we can compare them to the House of Lords which is about the public government and see where democracy really fails. BBC is also noteworthy for its anti-Israel bias and I do not for one second believe Alan Johnston was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists. I think he went with them willingly as part of a ruse to garner attention for his private cause. There is not one shred of objective evidence including his demeanor to suggest that he was kidnapped.


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