God help the American labor movement, for I am one of its leaders. In fact, for a brief time, I was a union president. I am a proud member of AFTRA, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. AFTRA represents actors, singers, dancers, game show hosts, stunt performers, comedians, voice-over artists, models, news anchors, reporters, editors, producers, disc jockeys, announcers, play-by-play sportscasters, meteorologists, and recording artists. Tom Brokaw, Susan Lucci, Norah Jones, Jay-Z, and George Clooney are my union brothers and sisters. AFTRA looks out for the stars, but it’s the rest of us who really need AFTRA.
I left NPR after collecting a sizable amount of NPR money obtained for me by Ken Greene, who works in Washington for AFTRA. The big names in broadcast journalism have personal services contracts with their employers that are negotiated by personal agents. At NPR, I had no such star power. I remained close to the lowest-paid NPR news employees by being part of the labor contract negotiated with NPR by AFTRA. So Ken Greene, in effect, is the agent for hundreds of NPR employees. When I got yanked off Morning Edition, Ken went to bat for me. NPR made huge mistakes, and Ken Greene took advantage. When NPR smeared me and lied about me, Ken Greene took the matter to NPR’s Ken Stern and got me more money. Stern was a formidable foe to Greene when the AFTRA contract was negotiated every three years—