Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! - on KPFK too

Many listeners consider the news at KPFK to be sporadic, bits thrown in from various slants in different programs - each intended to promote their own viewpoints. 

The main '6 pm news' is not revelatory, nor much appreciated, as their re-hash from other sources tends to be dulled and monotoned in this radio broadcasting too.

So the early mornings of 6am with a rebroadcast at 9am of the same program of DEMOCRACY NOW ! With Amy Goodman as the key person and most valued commentator has been repeatedly lauded as a Key Broadcast Highlight of all KPFK's programming. Fancier words are used to claim this 1 program as their connection to success and relevance -- and thus to funding too hopefully.

Yet, many  differ & contend with various versions of *how * KPFK launched her show -- or if Amy Goodman  had stolen the slot that Goodman continues to use currently .    And still, her name recognition is also used to validate the radio station repeatedly by all KPFK loyal audiences.  

The actual factual version of origins and  how all thereafter happened is hard to find or even, to stay as a stable 'real story'. Apparently Amy Goodman was initially a NYC [WBAI]  news show slot...and then....

So below are a few excerpts found - that differ in "how she got to be..."  so prominent, at Pacifica stations and KPFK too : 


A long-time participant at Pacifica's twists & turns, who remembers this about Democracy Now!'s beginnings says:

"....the Democracy Now contract. was brought it to the PNB [Pacifica National Board]  board for ratification. Some were unhappy with it ,  did vote to ratify it.  Then,  DN [ Democracy 
Now! ] has been the best program from the Liberal/Left/Progressive during these last years. And  it possibly would not have survived  without the base  & support of being in Pacifica, thru it’s own program...      

"It has also been a big benefit to others across this country – Amy Goodman has been  getting news and information out there- much that is rarely covered by other media.  So this program has been developing a huge audiences, and expanded into TV and Public Television, plus other events connected to the radio programs.       

"Their  initial contract was only for 5 years.  

"And during that period Democracy Now brought in about  $2.5 million/year in income to Pacifica then, and yet cost approximately more or less $500K.  ]     So, tho other's make other claims, that intense, up-to-date, alternative news focused programs  didn't deplete Pacifica’s budget.  Instead, DN saved Pacifica.  It is more possible that the Pacifica organization would have gone bankrupt without DN in it’s first years.           

"Yet later,  the contract should not have been extended for a 2nd  segment of another 5 years.    

"Some people claim that renewal  was a  mistake.  But since the program was well launched by then and didn't need Pacifica's money to continue, it grew and became more independent  - while thriving within Pacifica’s umbrella, as well as developing outside too .”

"...basically no attention was given to the fact that audience was dropping ….       “Some tend to take their frustrations about lacking actual political power and play them out in internal Pacifica matters”…… sentiments come from some [on local or Pacifica boards]  who are self serving  - or others - who are ill-informed about the inherent power of being on a 50,000 watt station that reaches out 50 miles into a market of 16 million. …. 
" A refocusing of energy to positive and creative outcomes is needed….."        ###

{Note: a few editing for clarification was included above}


And then  a  different aspect and story of how unresponsive Democracy Now! acts - outside of their broadcasts :

A KPFK stakeholder also  wrote  2x  to  Amy Goodman at “Democracy Now“'s  website - at her “contact” page there - on Feb 7,2017.   But with no answer, no acknowledgement, no automatic msg. to "thank you"  =  ..,no nutin'  to 2 attempts to 'contact' anyone there :     

The second follow up to the first 1= complimentary-only email, reads: 

  re:     no reply from you, ever? "      
" We wrote a complimentary email a week ago and there is no acknowledgement, no reply,no thanks, no nutin.

no matter how "busy" Amy or any staff may be, this
negligence is unexpected and not acceptable...

tho criticisms and complaints may elsewhere be unappreciated,  but our compliment?  

the time, good will and effort from us, who gain no salary or other benefits to write you is a gift  - that remains as if  our words were not done / sent.    

what is wrong there ? Is this the behavior you may decry and dislike Elsewhere but then you do the same ?  so sad. 
 FYI          from:  "a KPFK donor & 50 yr subscriber". "

This 2nd email sent later again & had absolutely no acknowledgement nor maybe was even read ? 

So much for responsible communities holding together. 
A disappointment that those who are so 'important' and self-focused on selling their info-viewpoints-spins-slants and who are sometimes valuable for 'alternative' points exposed, are just as distant and dis-interested in their audiences. 

A revelation, unexpected and dismaying to the writers of complimentary, generous time-effort spent, in trying to communicate.  hmmmm


 then noted at DN's website is this - in their promotional words:


 "Democracy Now! is a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. Pioneering the largest public media collaboration in the U.S., Democracy Now! is broadcast on Pacifica, NPR, community, and college radio stations; on public access, PBS, satellite television (DISH network: Free Speech TV ch. 9415 and Link TV ch. 9410; DIRECTV: Free Speech TV ch. 348 and Link TV ch. 375); and on the internet. DN!’s podcast is one of the most popular on the web.

"Democracy Now!’s War and Peace Report provides our audience with access to people and perspectives rarely heard in the U.S.corporate-sponsored media, including independent and international journalists, ordinary people from around the world who are directly affected by U.S. foreign policy, grassroots leaders and peace activists, artists, academics and independent analysts. In addition, Democracy Now! hosts real debates–debates between people who substantially disagree, such as between the White House or the Pentagon spokespeople on the one hand, and grassroots activists on the other...

"Democracy Now! is funded entirely through contributions from listeners, viewers, and foundations. We do not accept advertisers, corporate underwriting, or government funding. This allows us to maintain our independence.."   ##

Interestingly, on her website Amy Goodman barely mentions Pacifica and in her own description [here: 


There is no mention of beginning at Pacifica, nor acknowledgement of the origins, opportunities she had, associations or other ways the program and host gained prominence - in it's early origins of this now widely-heard news program. No Acknowledgements. No recognitions of what may have contributed to the beginnings that launched a courageous career

Tho it is common practice, the cliche wordings are used too often:  "award-winning" as if any un-named minor award was enough to confirm value and added-value - to any person thus claimed. This un-evidenced or revealed claim then makes readers eyes glaze and blur over the rest of any adjacent sentences too. 

                                         Democracy Now! logo.svg[borrowed from Wikipedia page]

Reviewing what else may be revealed or learned on line now:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Now! :

The main blurb on Wikipedia does not mention Pacifica at all, until the section on "background" is read:


" Democracy Now! was founded on February 19, 1996 at WBAI-FM in New York City by journalists Amy Goodman, Juan Gonzalez, Larry Bensky, Salim Muwakkil, and Julie Drizin.[4] It originally aired on five Pacifica Radio stations.......

And then 1 more sentence only:

 "In June 2002, Democracy Now! separated from Pacifica Radio and became an independent nonprofit organization..."

Plus this: "   Studios -      Democracy Now! began as a radio program broadcast from the studios of WBAI, a local Pacifica Radio station in New York City. In early September 2001, amid a months-long debate over the mission and management of Pacifica, Democracy Now! was forced out of the WBAI studios..."

End of any references to being involved or complicated in Pacifica's emergence in those long ago early years, although the Wikipedia website here also refers to:    

" On February 19, 2016, "Democracy Now!" marked 20 years on the air with an hourlong retrospective look back at "two decades of independent, unembedded news," with highlights chosen from over 5,000 episodes.  

"Amy Goodman also published a book entitled "Democracy Now!: 20 Years Covering the Movements Changing America,"..."  

"Democracy Now! is the flagship program of the Pacifica Radio network."

"When Clinton called WBAI on Election Day 2000  for a quick get-out-the-vote message, Goodman and WBAI's Gonzalo Aburto challenged him for 28 minutes with human rights questions...   "   ###

so maybe ? then in her own-written book Goodman includes more than a mere reference to Pacifica - as a source or launching area for Amy Goodman's future stardom ? 
(c) bbt 2017 


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