Wednesday, September 16, 2015

KPFK has now also been exposed, partially, slantedly in the UK Guardian.

A recent UK Guardian article emerged about KPFK, that appeared to have been limited researched, and that mostly quoted the 2 most vociferous and angry full-time programmers, who have also had their time and salaries cut in 1/2. The article appears to slant With these 2, only, and does not mention by name nor interview any others also so affected.  Nor are any explanations for these management moves revealed or questioned there.

Selective comments to that article [see URL here below for the full version and the 60 then 'closed' comments that were allowed on Guardian website briefly]  are here reproduced to note  many concerns -  plus information the author neglected or was ignorant about - and to elucidate what has been and is still occurring  at Our Station Now.

Please read  the article, as it has been presented, to then find the selected comments below more relevant and expository than the author, Rory Caroll of LA,  was in his writing.

Here below are a few of the '60 COMMENTS' – as that section was closed by Sept 15 6 am

The story as written was obviously  biased and laudatory of only 2  of the programmers of KPFK affected by recent staff reduction of time [and 3 staffers were dismissed altogether]. 

The others affected in same manner were not mentioned nor interviewed. So the quotes here are mostly self-serving of Ian Masters and Sonali Kolhatkar with their anger  much displayed.  

Tho Lazar, who wrote a book years ago and an article months ago was interviewed, as if he were still part of  any the current affairs at Pacifica, tho that was not mentioned or noted to be so.  

It seems that being a book-author qualified his opinions and words vs. his being inside, knowing of the events occurring throughout the Pacifica or KPFK systems.

Please read the Guardian article with the awareness and  warnings that this is not an open-minded description of what all is happening in the network or radio station, or of  the very many sides of whatever the actual-factual stories are - that may not be identical at KPFK or at Pacifica, tho still the global exposure via the Guardian of this local radio station may resonate to others - located in less permissive nations [than is USA or UK even ] with media twists and turns there too.  
as seen from some distance, the KPFK story seems fuzzy, unclear, unfathomable, and not as fragile as the radio station may actually be in now.......transparency is not one of the organization's virtues


anne garrison :    Regarding this label "conspiracy theorist," are you saying that powerful people do not conspire to do terrible things. If so, I think you're deluded. Unsubstantiated allegations describes a real problem, conspiracy theory does not.

 ....., because only one person, Rory Carroll, wrote this. It did nevertheless sound like a Sonali Kolhatkar and Ian Masters editorial.

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:    People with no power tend to see Everything as a conspiracy.  They also, as a rule, can't imagine how anyone who wields actual power, obtains power, or wields it.     Doubt me?

Listen to a Pacifica or a Pacifica station meeting some time – a bunch of people who couldn't organize a high school dance, passing motions, planning to organize a committee to investigate how to investigate how to plan a committee to discuss the scheduling of the next meeting...

It's impressive in an incompetent, sad, impotent sort of way.   Seen from that place Everything is a Conspiracy – of people who can actually organize, plan, cooperate, and do things.    Pacifica's problem isn't it's structure, it's its people.
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Mario A.  Murillo : ....    BUT, I think Pacifica is not worth saving. The individual radio stations are indeed worth it, and we need to find ways to keep them alive independently from the stupidity, indeed insanity, that has become the Foundation.

.... While
Pacifica serves as an important, useful, perhaps academic example of independent broadcasting in a sea of commercial, militaristic muck, it is indeed a thing of the past. Its leadership for the past 15 years has already missed the train, and now they're permanently stuck in the terminal of irrelevance.
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indigopirate :    You're living in the past. There's this thing called the net, see, and these things called podcasts, and vidcasts, and a thousand other loci of information.
Pacifica sees these only as a supplement to Radio.

Radio has a niche, no more, and a small one, increasingly shrinking.
Pacifica was founded in the early 1950s as I understand it – this ain't then, nor even the Golden Age of 1968.   Anyone with content has access to present it, and to easily network with others, over the net.   If they're bound to the past, well, then... they're bound to the past.  As is quite clear.

At KPFK there are, on the record, unquestionable reports of fraud and embezzlement on the part of staff, including bookkeeping and accounting staff.

For quite a few years and still at present there is both at KPFK and the other units shambolic processes and 'discussions', with no discernible objective progress to date, as deadlines with California authorities, Pacifica's auditors, the CPB, etc, etc, continue to be missed by months if not years, with Pacifica's own auditors rebuking the individual stations and Pacifica as a network for their lack of anything even vaguely approaching tolerable accounting.

The plain fact is that no one knows where the money goes, under whose authority, of why.    Feel free to listen to the archived audio of meetings and it's quite clear.
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pulllease :     These staff members are indeed one of the larger problems with
Pacifica. They do seem very focused on bringing attention to the problems they helped create through their short-sighted, narrow-minded monologues.
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atillathegrape189 :  Decades ago WBAI offered a rich variety of programs and programming, much of it produced by people clearly dedicated to radio as a thing that mattered, as a unique art form worthy of their dedication and commitment, in any and all forms. It offered some of the best news coverage available...

Then, with time, the place came to define itself simply as a voice of political advocacy. Listenership dropped. Its advocacy became more strident. Listenership dropped further. Quack health cures came to be used as fund-raising ‘premiums’ in what was clearly infomercial snake-oil fashion.

Listenership dropped further.    Factionalism became more extreme as self-defined political ‘leaders’ with no discernible following came to enforce their political lines.

Listenership dropped further.   The pattern varies a bit from station to station, but it’s similar at all levels in Pacifica.    The structural issues some point to and the various ‘coups’ and internal conflicts are symptomatic, not causative.

The very simple truth is that this is an institution that long ago ceased to matter to anyone or anything other than itself, which outlived itself and continues to exist, barely, as a refuge for its staffers from the real world, a zombie refuge of sorts – and no one cares, or listens, with good reason.

There is very little to mourn now, and there will be even less to mourn when it finally is sold off to various interests.      This is an institution, a group of people, with nothing to offer, and incapable of redefinition or rebirth.

.....ignore the greater part of the mission statement, which firstly calls for presenting the arts, broadly defined, then in turn on presenting philosophical discussion and debate between differing parties, and instead focused solely on its final portion, which calls for ‘accurate, objective, comprehensive news’ which in turn you’ve implicitly redefined as a clumsily amateurish propagandistic slant ranging from left to far left to farther left to conspiratorial lunatic left.

This is indeed an argument worthy of Pacifica in its present state.
Fatuous self-centered self-referential self-defined ‘logic’ and perspective.
Wonder why it is that KPFK and
Pacifica have essentially no audience other than themselves…
It’s a mystery.       Or is it… a conspiracy!
A conspiracy to suppress The Truth!       Please…
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393393393 :       Intriguing conversation. I've been listening and sponsoring KPFK for over 45 years (scary, huh?). Consequently, I have actually heard the changes, back and forth, through the decades.
I think it is most useful to look back at the history of these stations and the original intent of listener-sponsored radio from a genuine left-wing perspective (as compared to the more modern terminology "progressive").

Especially, please examine the Pacifica Mission Statement.
I do not think, however, that KPFKs' programming has come anywhere near fulfilling the Mission Statement for some time. There is way too much egocentrism, name-calling, vacuous shallow opinions passing for "analysis" in much of the afternoon talk shows, for just one example.

would add that a number of broadcasters are making their "names" and personal income off of the ops they have broadcasting on KPFK, whether they are paid or volunteer programmers. These are not only the "new-age" folks but even some of our prime-time programmers. (The term "journalist" has seemed to decline into a self-defined idiom).

Some of the best programming I ever heard on KPFK over 45 years was done by volunteers who consistently brought creative quality to the air and pushed the envelope of what radio can be. NPR owes a debt to Pacifica for this pioneer work.

Once these radio frequencies are lost there is NO getting them back.
So let's fight to keep Pacifica and and all the stations but return them to fulfilling the Mission Statement...let's not be lazy and unwilling to be bothered because we do not fully understand what we have here and what we will likely not see again ever...or for a very long time.

Mission Statement from the Pacifica Foundation website ( interestingly, this used to be a 3 page document...hmmm)    
"To establish a Foundation organized and operated exclusively for educational purposes no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any member of the Foundation.....

I think the KPFK programming has strayed in a serious and alarming manner.
But better to save it and to set it back on course than to just drown this baby.
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Britt Reid :       I stopped giving to KPFK for two reasons: 1) Their fund drives are endless. 2) Much of their programming no longer appeals to me, especially the "miracle cure" baloney they've been broadcasting.

Management needs to be open and honest with listeners. How much money do they need to balance the books? (In exact figures.)      If I'm going to give again, I need to know where my money is going - how much of it is going for payroll, for equipment, to pay off debt, etc.?
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robbyevans :    This looks like another classic case study of what happens when "the left" tries to run anything: unrealistic idealism, followed by vicious factional infighting ("democracy"), demands for gift money to support the noble cause, with nothing but hot air produced.  Why not let it die with dignity?
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Indigopirate:    There has also been the recent disclosure that the Oakland firm of Siegel & Yee filed a ‘just in case’ creation of a new nonprofit to absorb the assets derived from the sale of frequencies should this be ‘necessary’. 

This particular detail was withheld from the public and from most members of Pacifica’s National Board, and when it was leaked, was characterized as simply a contingency plan should it be necessary to ‘save’ KPFA and/or Pacifica.

A Program Director at a Pacifica station once said, on the record, in a brief moment of candor with respect to the audience, that the ‘the station is *not* what people think it is.’ The stress on that particular word, ‘not’, was sharp, deliberate, emphatic, and of his choosing. This observation may, I think, reasonably be applied to Pacifica as a whole.

We all, both as individuals, and as organizations, fall short of our ideals.  Pacifica, however, has long been and continues to be an absolute and unalloyed disgrace.

NOTE:  The comment's author is listed as was on Guardian website.  Excerpts of comments are re-posted here- mainly when relevant to KPFK. 

Contact with those authors, and the UK Guardian article writer can be located there separately. 

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