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WTVP - At Issue - Moms for Liberty - November 9, 2023

Watch the Panel Discussion:  WTVP At Issue

At Issue with Mark Welp, S01 E06: Moms For Liberty

WTVP At Issue with Mark Welp


  • Virg Cihla, Chair, Moms for Liberty of Tazewell County
  • Dee Fogal, Vice-Chair & Community Outreach, Moms for Liberty of Tazewell County
  • Heather McMeekam
    • Co-President, Peoria IL National Org for Women (NOW) Pronouns: She/They
    • Manager at Digital Media Advocacy, Consulting, & Services, LLC
    • Past President & Founder at Democratic Women of McDonough County IL
  • Bryan Groth, co-president of Morton Illinois Equality Task Force

Mark Welp originally wanted an interview with Virg Cihla which would be aired on At Issue along with an interview of someone on the other side.  Virg responded that he was not interested in giving the naysayers a platform to criticize Moms for Liberty of Tazewell County for these of reasons:

  1. Another local TV channel, WEEK channel 25, did a similar segment with video footage of Virg Cihla and Heather McMeekam. The segment aired on the evening of October 20 and on the morning of October 21.  Heather McMeekam’s video was aired in all 5 programs, Virg Cihla's video was aired once.
  2. Naysayers use language very similar to the Southern Poverty Law Center criticism of Moms for Liberty.  Moms for Liberty of Tazewell County feels that the SPLC's criticism is ethically flawed because a great deal of it is guilt by association and much of it is just that Moms for Liberty's mission and goals are different than SPLC’s.
  3. Virg told Mark that he would appreciate the opportunity bring Dee Fogal so that she could discuss some early victories that Moms for Liberty of Tazewell County chapter has achieved, in order to demonstrate what we are really focusing on.

Mark said two Moms for Liberty guests would be a significant change in the format of At Issue and that he would get back to us.  He did and scheduled Virg and Dee at WTVP at 10am on November 2.

It turns out that Mark had decided on a panel discussion with the four people named above.

Moms for Liberty of Tazewell County leaves the analysis of the actual discussion to the viewers.  Without a doubt, it was lively.

Dee Fogal and Virg Cihla did feel that Mark Welp provided a fair hearing of our organization’s purpose and a fair hearing of the community outreach successes we’ve achieved so early in the life of our chapter. 

Additionally, Virg Cihla was grateful for the opportunity to refute Heather’s statements in real time.

Disappointed - Prior to taping, Mark Welp promised that the panel discussion would be aired without edits.  Perhaps time constraints were the reason that Heather's comments signifying approval of 3rd grade boys masturbating was not aired.

Enthusiastic - At Issue with Mark Welp had two previous episodes reporting on the Illinois State Board of Education's Report Cards on three City of Peoria High Schools.  The contrast of part 1 with Paul Vallas versus part 2 with Beth Crider may be the best reporting on the enormous chasm between opposing viewpoints.