The Challenge in Challenging the Rhetoric

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By Cheri Roberts, of Challenging the Rhetoric and Cheri Speak

Now that the dust has settled and I have made a few decisions in what I want to do with this site and the entity, “Challenging the Rhetoric”, it’s time to start picking back up the challenge and hopefully, do it right. In today’s media — not just “corporate” and including social media; and quite frankly in our own daily conversations, rhetoric is so pervasive perverse that up is down and down is up in a confusing world where right is always wrong and wrong is all there is left.


Am I wrong?

Let me (Cheri Roberts) do a little house-keeping here first and then we will all hopefully move on and let this be the first and only time I need to address what happened to the show and Anita Stewart with the fans and followers. I’d like to get back to more important things than wonder and speculate on what I don’t really know about something that isn’t all that important in the big picture.

The Burning Question, What Happened To the Show, etc.

Anita Stewart and I struggled to get on the same page from the beginning. Instead of “challenging the rhetoric” in today’s media, Anita chose to espouse rhetoric of her own via her weekly “articles” pumping her personal pet-causes and other (in hindsight) personal “entities”. Yes, there are always at least 3-sides to a story and I am not here to tell tales, but let’s just say, “Challenging the [corporate media’s] Rhetoric” is a really stupid name and projected concept if no real rhetoric is ever challenged and all you are doing is spewing more rhetoric of your own and calling it “news”.

We had both hoped CTR would eventually become a revenue stream and I was adamant in what needed to happen before CTR was a viable, sponsorable, meaningful and most importantly, LEGAL, i.e. legit entity. I was also a stickler about putting forth a prepped, polished and professional product. Scheduling and treatment of guests was also a priority. She left many guests hanging, including, Guy McPherson.

I have worked in broadcast and print media for more that 20-years (mostly corporate, i.e. Viacom/CBS, etc.) and my professional reputation matters to me as much as my reputation as an activist and journalist does. Unfortunately, I was the only one who cared about and invested the time into the things that lends the credibility to what we were doing. The more I pushed to make CTR legitimate the more Anita knew I wasn’t going to stick around and be used for something that became apparent was little more than a “hobby” to her to use to collect donations and direct readers and listeners to her other domains and prop up the Green Party.

Weekly she agreed that she still wanted the same things we’d agreed upon prior to starting the show and would promise to do the things that needed done. But, from tech to production to guests to documentation to promotion and everything in between, I was doing it all, including at times from a hospital bed while she was at local bars watching live music to write reviews. I was lucky if Anita Stewart submitted an article to CTR before each week’s show. When she did, most often I’d receive it for formatting, editing and promotion mere minutes before the show would go live. Although a step-by-step bullet list of how to format and edit her pieces had been provided to her from the beginning, Anita always submitted poor-copy and left me to do it for her while making weekly excuses why she couldn’t. Half of her pieces were submitted days after they were already discussed and promised on the show; days after they were timely newspegs and sometimes, she’d never finish them or submit them at all.

Prior to CTR’s 6-month anniversary show in April — a show meant to acknowledge the life and (1-year anniversary of his suicide) death of investigative journalist, Michael C.. Ruppert, the man who brought Anita and I together. Anita secretly and cowardly redirected this website’s URL (the original CTR site) to another page she’d made under the same name. This “mirror” site was created months prior according to the “Who Is” database proving Anita’s act was premeditated and she had been sabotaging the show and undermining me for some time while having me continue to do all of the work (SEO, text content, graphics, etc) that she was literally stealing via copy/paste for this other site.

On show-day, April 15, 2015, I woke to a Facebook notification from the CTR FB fan page; it was an announcement by Anita (although the page says the post was made by CTR) that there would no longer be a show/podcast and that to please continuing reading “our” stories on the site leaving the link which she had by then redirected to her secret website. She provided ZERO explanation to the friends, fans, readers and followers of this site, the fan page and the show (people who came mostly through me) as to why there would be no-show nor did she mention what she had done or made any indication that I myself was not a part of this change. She didn’t even mention it was a different website altogether and was initially using my logo, branding graphics and words pretending it was the same site. In fact, Anita presented the changes as “we” meaning me as if I were a part of them and has done nothing to correct that misrepresentation she’s made to the public while blocking me from making any statement of such on the pages I created.

In addition, Anita took the GoFundMe and PayPal donations sent by my own personal physician, Dr. Vivek Sahgal (who made the donation specifically to re-compensate me for the website upgrade I had just purchased from my own pocket and was implementing on this Challenging the Rhetoric website as well as the donations made by my personal business partner, E. Michael Silakowski.

Again, more documentation shows, Anita and I discussed these donations live on the show several times (which as of this writing are still archived under her CTR account on Blog Talk Radio that I was also locked out of). Point being, although she has refused to acknowledge any of her fraudulent activity with these funds, they are clearly evident and forever documented verbally by her own mouth and the donation accounts as well as in various written texts. She personally thanked Dr. Sahgal and E. Michael Silakowski for their donations on the show and acknowledged what the donations were for. The two men involved both filed fraud complaints against Anita with GoFundMe and PayPal. To this day, these individuals have not received their money back and their direct inquiries have gone completely ignored by Anita as has any means of communication I myself have tried to make with her.

If anyone has ventured over to her “new” CTR site they will find very little that resembles what CTR is and will mostly find things about her causes, music, art or Pagan happenings and although you won’t find my name on any masthead, she continues to allow you all to believe I am a part of it even though I have nothing at all to do with her new missadventure. I do wish her well and hold no personal ill-feelings towards her.

That being said, even though I could go on, I won’t. This is pretty much all I have to say about Anita Stewart other than to advise that she continues to use the CTR name illegally. That will be addressed via my union attorney soon since I do own the DBA (aka the “doing business as” name or “Assumed Business Name”, ie ABN). Anita owns the “.com” URL only. I own the “.news” URL.

So, Now What?

I am not Super Woman and although I’d love to pretend that I was it would do little to help the momentum I wish to create here. The facts are such that maintaining all of this as I had been to the extent that I had been throughout CTR’s initial 6-mo. run really is a challenge. That doesn’t mean that I no longer see the same value I saw in the beginning because I do, which is exactly why I am reaching out to all of you to help me make this happen.

Why Am I Telling You This?

There is SO much potential with this entity that it’s growth and success depends on more than just my own efforts.

Maybe I should have made an announcement sooner, but I had hoped Anita would have done the right thing and done so herself as well as refund the donations to the donors. She has not, so after more than 3-months I feel pressed to make a statement in order to continue on with this project as I intend to.

I want to get the CTR podcast back up and running again (soon) before adding a co-host again. What I do need is a few writers who would like to contribute to the site. I will be revamping the writer’s guidelines soon to make the process much easier and the needs more clear. I would love to have regular contributors, but because this is a 100% a non-profit site at this time, I am asking for volunteers. The guidelines will outline what value contributors will receive in lieu of a cash payment for their work. When or if CTR becomes a viable revenue stream I will gladly offer cash payment at that time. The same goes for other volunteer opportunities with the site and show.

Aside from the podcast, what I publish here on CTR will have a more regular rhythm and be less sporadic than in the past [barring any personal emergencies]. Because it is just me [for now], I will be choosing my contributions wisely in the hope of having the broadest reach for the biggest potential positive impact with what I write. Of course I will try to cover breaking news as I can, but one person cannot cover everything on their own and I want to be sure I am not over-promising anything here. It will take a little time to get the podcast going, but I will start writing and publishing here again soon.

If you believe in everything I have done since the beginning of CTR and before (if you were a previous reader/follower of mine) than you know, I am a woman of my word and I care deeply about the things I write about. I care greatly for the problems in our world, particularly society itself. The growing lack of humanity and the ever-increasing distance between truth and lies buried in endless media and government rhetoric makes me vomit in my mouth. I cannot — however much I’ve tried, sit back and pretend, “it’s all good”.

It isn’t.

I know it. You know it.

I look forward to hearing from you. Feel free to leave a comment below or contact me directly through the site. Let’s make something beautiful happen here together?



Thank you! If you like this or other Challenging the Rhetoric articles, please share. Don’t forget to follow the website, Facebook page and/or@CTRNewsFeed on Twitter and of course listen to the LIVE show every Weds. @ 6pmPST/9pmEST. You can also pick one from the archives or on YouTube.  If you would like to make a PayPal donation in support of the show, it is appreciated.

Checkout these other recent articles by Cheri Roberts …


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