The 2023 spring pledge drive for KDFC Classical California has completed, but the station continues to run 15-second solicitation spots reminding listeners that it fell short in funds and asking for more donations. Fans who once supported the classical music station surely value its service of broadcasting symphonies from San Francisco and don’t want it to succumb to lack of funding, but it is possible they value something else even more: truth.
In San Francisco, where KDFC’s studio is located, a vaccine mandate to attend indoor events was ordered in August, 2021. Within weeks of the order, KDFC ran a spotlight in praise of a member of the San Francisco Symphony who got a COVID shot in the middle of performing a symphony. KDFC dubbed the musician’s on-stage jabbing a “boss move” as it promoted SF Symphony’s compliance with the mandate. In relation to the “boss move,” KDFC implied that different medical choices were ”subordinate.”
To the box office, at mandate-compliant SF Symphony, more people vaccinating would mean more people returning to the symphony immediately, so in short-term dollars—in a moral vacuum—why not promote front-of-stage drug injection as entertainment? For that matter, why not pressure the San Francisco Symphony’s star Choral Director, Ragnar Bohlin, out of his job when he had the discernment and prescience, as it turned out, not to get the shot?
The reason “why not” is that musical institutions do not exist in a universe devoid of morality and science. Attentive KDFC community members noticed that studies show mandates for shots, lockdowns/shutdowns, and masks had no effect on “slowing the spread.” Further, according to scientific research, numerous medically serious adverse side effects and reproductive impacts have occurred from COVID injections, as KDFC listeners may be aware. Facts are and always have been inconsistent with favoring or welcoming only those with vaccine cards.
Therefore, KDFC audience members—and past donors—may rightfully expect to hear announcements of contrition from the station for the medical pressuring, before donating again. When Bohlin received his ultimatum, KDFC said nothing in Bohlin’s defense, but for the above reasons should have given him a voice.
Celebrated for his musical direction (public page), Bohlin still has a fan base (private page) who see reflections of themselves in his personal choice and the consequences he faced, and not so much in the SF Symphony’s media gaslighting. KDFC, to this day, has yet to express any disappointment in the Symphony for ushering out such a talent as Bohlin through a coercive decision-making process. Thankfully, Bohlin has avoided the 219% higher risk of Retinal Vascular Occlusion that has been found to accompany the COVID shot, to name just one example. It is difficult for a sighted professional choral director to change mid-career into directing ensembles without eyesight.
Bohlin’s avoidance of risking mid-career blindness seems like something KDFC would acknowledge and laud. To do so, however, the station would have to be as interested in human realization of the truth as classical music has traditionally been. Composers of classical music, holding the expressive power of sound, have long aspired to expand awareness and inspire people to truths.
Today, KDFC is fallen away from this aspiration. Even in seasons when it cannot raise a full basket of funds from the community which once supported it, the station is yet to express remorse for failing the community in regards to the risks of injections. The station’s prejudicial soundbites and support for biased policies were without factual understanding and opposed to the basic rights of citizens to make private medical choices.
Long before KDFC was sinking into budgetary issues in 2023, the station had already succumbed to fear. The true signal about world events that was missed by the broadcasting station was that sensationalistic “emergency” declarations were being transmitted to advance unseemly global agendas of hostile governing systems. The source of the narrative was influenced not by human welfare, but by high amounts of money from the pharmaceutical industry.
From a moral viewpoint, media and event venues in these United States who went along with the emergency powers and mandates were party to subjecting constitutionally free people to abuses. Compliant and supportive organizations of the mandates knelt and abetted dictatorial entities both foreign and domestic.
From a financial point of view, what did KDFC expect would happen if it made some of its listenership into medical underlings? It didn’t have to support and roll over to pressure from officials at SF City Hall and the governor’s administration in Sacramento. The station could have resisted. It ought to have told Bohlin and unvaccinated people’’s side of the story. If it had, maybe the SF Symphony and the San Francisco Bay Area wouldn’t have deprived the community of Bohlin’s talent nor found itself emptying out of businesses and talent. In this vein, to keep his body autonomy, Bohlin says he went to Sweden, where he shares his gifts in Lund, Malmo, and Helsingborg. While cultural gems such as Bohlin are sidelined from San Francisco and California, Miami, Florida, will be welcoming him to direct there later in the year, he revealed.
Commonsense organizational actions would have protected equal rights in music and arts for performers as well as the audience. Instead, thanks to the scarlet letter that KDFC helped put on San Francisco’s truth-seeking music enthusiasts, great consequence has come to the city. Surely KDFC could have foreseen that a past donor who received unfair, intentional treatment from the station and from the SF Symphony might be slow to resume donating.
For KDFC to bounce back—and to come into moral standing—it should correct itself on the record about its irresponsible promotions of pharmaceuticals to the general population. With a little backbone, the station could help un-alienate the people who declined orders that violate the Nuremberg Code and opted out of experimental shots. KDFC has a responsibility to be accountable to the people it ostracized as the station favored one group over another. Announcers on the air should openly express whether or not the station still stands by how it shunned certain audience members and musicians. With its ongoing spots for funds solicitation, the station would have 15 seconds of air time a few times each day to make a statement such as:
Taking responsibility and doing the right thing are more time-honored than classical music. To speak boldly on behalf of the wrongly criticized and excluded citizens who opted to live free from injection is an opportunity to be something even better than a gifted and dependable conductor—a credible and principled leader.
KDFC, it’s your money, your city, and your shot at redemption.