Tuesday, October 24, 2017

"uneasy listening" still same at KPFK...more on Matthew Lasar's book

                    This is PART 2 

with quotes taken from Matthew Lasar's book about 
           "Pacifica Radio's Civil War" (c) 2006.

Prior selected quotes [ in a recent post here - with our emphases added occasionally ] was shared mostly for others too to notice how Lasar's writings about Pacifica's conflicts and battles in 1999  are still continued now ... though his book had events assumed to perhaps have ended, or maybe it was his chosen reporting of a time-selected-period 1999 to conclude his part as of 2001.

Surprising  - or dismaying - is that most of what was occurring so long ago are continued.  Barely different tho the players may have different names or pay statuses or positions. 

Many who were involved in Pacifica from those in 1999-2001 remain loyal, involved, are important, and revolve in-out-around the boards of each station. 

Perhaps the new comers have picked up the scent, the mode,  and just stayed on-course - 

repeating 'the-usual-ways-we-do-things-here !'.... 
thus, continuing patterns of what has been at various times a barely financially-viable network org.... 
but it is still surviving.... anyhow.

Yep, all the way to 2017.

Notice all the similarities of old problems, the continuations, the chaos-es,  the repeats, and the very same patterns / ways & processes - that still live on - NOW too. 

A lot had then to do with NY's WBAI.  And this is the very same radio station that continues to currently dominate Pacifica's serious financial troubles - that most recently was revealed and is again, now, payable-due. 

Do all the networked stations then become involved in that repayment ?

Or some be mortgaged for a loan ?

Or what happens if one station like WBAI fails ? 

Do the other 4 survive ? Poorer ? In Debt ? or How ?

Money debts now that may endanger all the other 4 radio stations across country - we ask:  who ends up paying or mortgaging or tapping their funds to pay WBAI's negligences -- that now must be 'paid up'. 

So selections from Lasar's book here are to show how much has been learned or changed or improved, or NOT.

                               "CHAPTER 8 - Frequently Asked Questions"    [p382]

                            [selected quotes are typed up for KPFK listeners' review here]

"..."Did Pacifica's leaders cause the organization's crisis by trying to move the network toward the corporate sector....?"

"...Dissidents repeatedly leveled this charge against the foundation....

"..."They knew what they wanted from Pacifica, and it wasn't just an open debate on the air, it was promotion of their social and political views, their programs, their friends and their businesses, which were tightly interwoven and economically interdependent."

"..."Why did the Pacifica network experience a social explosion from 1999 through 2002 ?"

"...history as 2 stories moving through time, constantly influencing each other....the organization's internal life - always contradictory, volatile, and unstable....ways that people who paid attention to Pacifica defined the network's purpose...made the situation much more challenging....

"....the contradictions Pacifica's founders structured into the organization in the 1940's and 1950's... Lewis Hill and his felow conscientious objectors came out of the Second World War determined to use radio to bring their radical ideas to a mass medium....to break through the marginality to which pacifism had been confined during the war...

"... Hill saw listener-supported noncommercial radio as essential to this task...keep the content of his radio station  free from the influence of advertisers....[then] saw his future radio station's listener-subscribers as a potential source of unwanted pressure...  fear that if they [staff]  shared political power with ...listeners, they ran the risk of being voted out of office....

"... Hill created a structure that gave the franchise to the foundations staff but cut out ..listener-subscribers from any formal role in governance...[he] came to distrust even staff presence on the board....[that] hurt the organization in the long run...

"...WBAI/ KPFA/ KPFK was 'your radio station', listeners constantly heard staff tell them over the air waves...rarely questioning its logic...[as] station answerable to no one other than its own listener-sponsors.. KPFK declared in a public statement in 2001 ...

"...In reality the opposite condition prevailed. KPFK...answered legally to the FCC, the CPB [Corporation of Public Broadcasting], the IRS and the Pacifica national board - in other words, everyone but the frequency's listener-subscribers...

"... in fact, creators of Pacifica's 2nd radio station, KPFK, did not even want to join the foundation... reconstruction of the organization...came with a significant internal price tag....dislocation of hundreds of programmers....[who] had no equivalent venues to which to transfer their broadcasting activities ....

[ as programmers had no other access to broadcast on-air freely, as they did at Pacifica - they had an elite, special position of power that was not even then admitted as such, but used for their benefit  - as well as sharing  their biased, selective information on air ]

"...By 1999 Pacifica .had become a social explosion waiting to happen.  Pacifica, not the stations OWNED THE STATION'S LICENSE.  ...actual truth came [out] ...all the money and work they [supporters ] had given for years meant nothing....a naked power struggle now ensued in the streets and the courts....

[p.403]  ".... they lost any sense of the values they sought to promulgate elsewhere - openness, democracy and free speech. ...[p.409]    

"...founding regulators of U.S. broadcasting told us in their Radio Act of 1927. 
 "Broadcasting stations are licensed to serve the public...and not for the purpose of furthering the private or selfish interests of individuals or groups."....     ###

The book quoted above is available at Los Angeles Public Library and at other book sellers also.   

                       Image result for lapl logo

There are more details, stories and concerns in the book of 430 pages. We wish there were others now willing to do that much work: collecting, sorting, organizing, recording and writing as honestly as possible of what does happen in this unique USA radio organization. 

There does Not seem to be anyone else willing to exert themselves  & to record facts, events neutrally and truth-fully. 

To tell us all what happens to "our radio station" as stakeholders, as donors, as sustainers, as payers 

-- and what consequences there to the secret silences of what is occurring to our KPFK - and all who  have dedicated attempts to OPEN and share what reasonably can be achieved to end the  constant claims of poverty. 

All of us,  freedom-claiming-loving folks want to stop hearing the pity-party-stories on air and all the obvious biases and strident angry attacks on all /any others ....

so that there may be some harmony, some agreements, acknowledgements and appreciations - also of what is not available on KPFK airwaves. 

So that all those well intended words & plans can INCLUDE more than the seriously slanted versions heard here : 
of what are  'facts' instead of 'let me tell you The Reality'  or the  we-know-the-"Only-Truth" claims - which are old-tired-cliched lines - repeated everywhere else too. 

And why these actions keep stations eventually stuck and repetitively re-cycled into the continual money-problems we hear about too often ?  

And recognize from how the repeated excessive-fund -$$$- begging sessions actually distance any radio listeners, even tho the intent is to keep them at the Pacifica stations - like big-transmittered  KPFK - but then doesn't.  Many turn away.

(c) mj   2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

KPFK is part of Pacifica which networks 5 radio stations, so.....

Many loyal people who have long worked and dedicated too many hours and efforts to Pacifica, KPFK or any of the other radio stations also, have expressed their dismay and concerns about the latest ' bad news' - the NYC radio station owes a huge debt to it's landowner and who all ends up PAYING the bills if WBAI in NYC cannot pay is still not clarified....at least not to us. 

Some have written their thoughts, questions, concerns and there are quotes, mostly edited and selected to address the issue [and avoiding personal identifications or rants read too].

A few interesting tid bits are included below, for sharing information that may affect all / any KPFK donors / stakeholders too.  That may be costly and unexpected, especially when KPFK staff repeatedly Claim loudly that they are on the verge of...........[you've surely heard it repeatedly....]

                    + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

from a Questionner re WBAI debt –    

"I still dont know how much KPFK will owe on that debt from way across the continent? "

 ".... and the * secrecy* surrounding it for several years,  *obscured* the scale of the problem. By the time the lawsuit was filed.... , it  was too late. ....       the law does not often protect from the consequences of poor decisions, and it did not do so in this case. But Pacifica is in the position that its assets are larger than its debts.... . 4 real estate properties in 3 different cities total at least $10 million dollars in value and 5 major market broadcast licenses represent at least $150 million....... “         

[  while each stations claims destitution, being so poor and 'sky is falling' continually and at least 4x/ yr each ? huh ? ]

another knowingly wrote: ........" Any proposed broadcast license transfers would be subject to a .... vote by the network's donors, in addition to the governance  board. The summary judgment, if not paid, would open the Foundation to eventual collection efforts, which could take the form of bank account sweeps or real estate liens, so action will have to be taken fairly soon to avoid that. ....."  

and the former continues : [so when have any DONORS been notified, informed, asked to vote on  anything of essence at Pacifica or KPFK even ? ever ? How does that work - do they go back how far, how many years? how big a donation counts for a say ? who decides what are parameters set to insure that they get the vote-results they want... just as data-stats areoften  formulated around carefully calculated perimeters to get to the preferred # and msg the statics-quoter wants to present- mostly biased but with their hidden methodology , of course ]

More has been written re WBAI lawsuit - imagining how to pay for Empire State Bldg for renting the transmission tower  there. The basic are this:

Total defeat for Pacifica. Judge granted Summary Judgment of, I think, $1.8 million, to ESB. Rejected our "unconsionable" argument.”

A reporter wrote in Sept:   RE WBAI - and she is usually correct and reporting mostly ‘facts’   - so ABOUT:     what happens if NY debts then affects all 4 stations too, Is there a financial sybiosis [?] are all stations being $$$ tied together ? or stuck with each others’ problems that then spill over easily…? do they ?

  “For clarity.    WBAI did not sign the 2005 lease agreement with the  Empire State Building. Pacifica did. WBAI moved their transmitter to the  Empire State Building in 1960 and has paid rent to that propertyy for half a century. In 2004-2005, a lease expired and the renegotiation was impacted by the dramatic loss of tower rental space elsewhere in the NY Area after the destruction of the World Trade Center. 

At that time, neither 4 Times Square nor the Jersey skyline had the tall buildings and tower capacity they have now,    so the market was essentially a monopoly for full range radio broadcasting.    
 "Empire State took full advantage and tried to sign as many of their existing clients as they could to long-term licenses with very large annual rent increases that would not make any sense in a competitive market. That is how supply and demand works, not to the buyers advantage when there is no other supply. There was no other deal to turn down.

"The negotiations were handled by ...but felt that any other option which would have severely reduced WBAI's signal was at that time a severe economic threat to Pacifica, as WBAI at that time accounted for $3.5 million in annual revenue - 22% of Pacifica's total - including it's largest CPB grant.  

"..... believed or hoped that either Pacifica would grow enough in the ensuing decade that the increased expense would become affordable or that the addition of competition to the tower market in the coming years would result in the lease being adjusted by the landlord. Neither of those two things occurred and WBAI became weaker over the years, not stronger.
Pacifica did try to move to another tower location. It didn't seem to be a priority until the 2009-2010 period, but I worked on it quite a bit in  2011-2012 and and eventually there was an offer to move the transmitter  to 4 Times Square at 1/4 the rent and financing assistance for a transmitter replacement.            Pacifica has been unable to execute on that  much better option for the past four years because the existing lease  does not expire until 2020 and the Empire State Building has not been willing to let Pacifica leave early. I pointed out for several years that the lease allowed for subletting the space, but no one acted on it. After more competition came online, there were not too many other customers for a sublet transmitter space costing 4 times the market value. ....[maybe] but it was the only way out of the lease....., and it did not materialize.  

"It's better to be reality-based in what you say. “

A repy partly said

"But simplistic “you broke it now pay for it” sermonizing will not address the issue..:  this is a contract, and must  be re-negotiated to take into account the reduced circumstances of one of the parties.  Stop trying to make it into a religious cause. ..."

And another  contradicted & wrote:  

 "....WBAI did NOT rent the ESB space in 1960 ! We had our antenna hookup on a rooftop in midtown (a much lower building, a less powerful transmitter). I made the decision and worked with the FCC (and an out-of-state station on the same frequency) so my knowledge is first hand. I don’t know where you got your information on this, but you had better check them out.     I’m not even sure that the ESB had installed their multi-antenna system in 1960. We were among the first stations to sign up....  "

also other writings said:    

 "We have to suddenly do things differently if we are to survive        ‘the fundamental and not paid attention issue to deal with is why the amount of people listening per hour declined steadily for over twenty years at WBAI and frankly every other Pacifica station….
NO avoid dealing with the implications of what that means.;.... a sudden end to all the obstacles of experimentation and augmentation to the existing grid must happen...the existing grid is at present incapable of making anything beyond the amount of money it has generated for the past few years not only because of premiums issues but more importantly impact issues...it no longer has large amounts of people listening...trying to get more money is exhausting .
"We need to reinvent and revolutionize  what we are doing..that has been needed for years  with a different tone, content and excitement we would be able to attract people with money to help....We do need immediately a practical means of audience involvement..."          

More pertinent quotes here about clarifying how Pacifica's bylaws are used, to elucidate some more about who pays whose debts, like WBAI's current ones :  

 “ PNB has authority to interpret the Foundation's bylaws where they are ambiguous, and no such authority where they are not ambiguous. …..he Pacifica Foundation owns all five radio stations and is ultimately responsible for all station debts.... The law does not recognize the individual Pacifica stations as distinct financial entities.... some months ago tens of thousands of dollars were seized from a KPFK bank account to satisfy or partially satisfy a court judgement awarding attorney fees for a case involving WBAI.                                     For internal accounting purposes, KPFK has probably billed WBAI for reimbursement, but WBAI is unlikely to ever pay that bill…        

"In practice, a dispute on bylaws interpretation typically won't be brought to the Board's attention unless a Board Member raises a Point of Order claiming that bylaws are being misinterpreted....[ paragraph 2] make inconsistent rulings to the advantage of whichever faction has a majority when an individual case is presented…Most attempts at bylaws amendment in Pacifica fail to received approval,… bylaws do not identify the Parliamentarian as an officer on the national or local boards, and the Rules say that the only officers allowed are those specified in the bylaws...(so are ) are advisory only.... ..

Repeating of Questions needing factual information - here noted:  

 "...how  are any/ all of the other 4 radio stations financially liable for any 1's failure, debts, misfortunes,  or bad decisions?   Is that written down in by laws or elsewhere ?   what are the factual obligations ?   and who pays ?    has this happened before too , historically?        

"Q 2. Who is ultimately responsible for supervising  the managements/ head staff at any  and all radio stations?  [ instead of a large disparate group:  called PNB?  ]       Does anyone actually have any enforcement power ?    and allowed to use it when needed?    like if:    strange attitudes/ behaviors repeatedly are noticed by many who are involved & concerned...and also:    who recommends or authorizes any kind of Reliable Evaluation on that person ?       Or asks for drug testing ?     or insures that everyone else involved at that station or other ones are not then left to pick up pieces strewn around ? 
"Q 3.  The interesting part of this group's writers are the very different styles, views, opinions, historical references about themselves and even bits of rants. But what is honest-trustworthy-reliable actual-Information here ?     How to sort thru the many 'voices' shouting, a few more politely than others, but everyone demanding to be "right" .. so asking:   how to sort out what is believable finally  ?      It gets confusing... or is that how
 'it is suppose to be" ?    and admittedly, this all also  is  fascinating.... 
we need to learn so much ..."

“do they have a fiduciary to the member //listener to -----  answer to ------  right now any hired and elected official can be personal sued ,,, for the liability coverage has elapsed and not sure ?    ..[and more. ] "
                                                          - - - - - - -  - 

Any actual solutions as to who/ how/ what and when the monies owed by a NYC radio station are to come from any other radio stations across the USA has not been clarified to those who are not part of the inner circles of the Pacifica Nat'l Board nor  from the interim Executive Director's words - yet.

The local worries and concerns about "KPFK is going to...." fail or go bankrupt or whatever implications can be made from all the fund-drives, money-grubbing claims of being on an edge or soon-to-be-extinct give rise to Questions not yet revealed.

"The KPFK public", just like "the American People "  are not actually given full or actual/ factual information, only repeatedly asked to believe-all-we-say and pay-up, in IRS / state taxes or in station-donations. Same attitude prevails. 

Those who pay $$$ are EXPECTED to comply and generously and on-time, repeatedly. Those who know what else is going on inside [the govt, the US treasury, the KPFK budget or financial status or even how it is being managed] is not revealed. It is a SECRET, of course.

That is also the sign of all dysfunctional families, communities, nations and even the UN or other more broad organizations  all play the same routine blithely. 

An educational & older book that spoke  relevantly to some of these systemic [organizational] dysfunctions are also here:
please see amazon site for book cover image = not able to copy, after all. sorry.


(c) mj 2017

Friday, October 13, 2017

KPFK infomercials, sales for mdse., exaggerated claims for premiums 'offered'. huh ?

                        Image result for money imagesgoogle images

We all hear and understand the basic 'facts' - yep, the  repeated daily - and weekly - and more than 18+ times during long, dreary "fund drives"  -that then drive regular listeners away, to listen elsewhere...

All exclaimed with dire implications and with constant pleas and claims:  that " KPFK NEEDS MONEY " now & always ... staff and programmers each claiming KPFK is on brink of dissolution... or going broke.... or sumptin ... 

"the sky is always falling..." fast and furiously... dangerously... unless... yep,  listeners must send them more & more & more & more money. NOW!  and later again, another 'now' sounds off loudly, repetitively...

Maybe true.  That their finances are either in dis-order - OR the management may be not so professional nor well functioning - OR that their expenses are budgeted to be higher than actual income [ as $$$$ previously given is never enough.] 

So was any money given by [many of the same old repeat-stakeholders]  donors, was any invested ?  Was any $$$ saved ? Was there also any $$$ emergency-funds ? 

OR was every dollar gained already spent - and now KPFK is in dire debt ?  again ? 

Maybe some listeners cant tolerate the barrage of pleadings and pre-recorded-promos and demands for money and then don't hear any on-air actual info or data given to explain why the same story so tragically repeats, every season, every years, for decades, back to....1959 when KPFK emerged? ?

The premium providers are on-air SELLING their stuff, with proddings and compliments from the iGM saying the "VALUE" is "thousands of dollars" and KPFK is only requesting a $250 or more investment to get the 'gift' - traded item sent electronically to email now.  

And who questions Values when like stocks or store sales "50% off " of some made-up price raised to then discount to make-a-sale seem real ?

Of course, the open internet provides better info that was perhaps less available in olden days when anything in writing or uttered on radio waves had to be believed because the Library was far or closed for the evening/ weekend. 

And even then the librarian was busy with "there are 3 ahead of you, can you wait? " 

Now ? easy.   Profits created big info sites and sales warehoused businesses. Selling most of the same items, if they are legit and not [self-made only for Pacifica duped customers] . 

NYC radio station [WBAI] still uses [and promotes]  such a promo-man and his health-claimed-items at high prices to try to survive past it's past-due-bills and debts...barely. 

      1 simple search for an items just heard on KPFK :

Is this the same premium KPFK advertises to raise funds ? It may also be  sold on Amazon - $15 for 1 DVD or  $62 for 3 DVDs in a series, that looks like the same cover as what KPFK offers for much more cash. 

[Tho since KPFK doesn't charge  for shipping or tax,  then those are discounts ? ]

While the Premium Price at KPFK for 1 DVD is $100 at KPFK or 5 for $250  ?

 Do the people at station strangely assume that their dedicated listeners do not know how to research and find stuff ?

Well, some people understand better than most others, who do not buy a premium at the station, even though the on-air trailer [like movies and TV series do all the time, repeatedly too ] ...
that they are 'really paying KPFK" to maintain it's business, and to stay on air, even when money is the not the main theme, just a side-issue repeated too.

Of course, the radio station needs to earn it's keep and keep it's audience, but the same-old-same-old method has worn thin and bare and the complaints also arise that there are not many "new listeners" who sign up to pay up. 
                      Image result for money images google images -love 'em 

And the old & older loyalists who devote their left-liberal-progressive-political-stands to whoever can repeat their confirmatory-biases best...and KPFK does that ...repeatedly. 

So the old repeat-payors are taken for granted, tho thanked ...anyhow.

And  these regulars are still not the ones the staff wants most to pay money - to show their interest - in the [same-themes same-biases, same-programmers -- and remain stuck in slot from many years on air - while holding tight to their own pgm access...so, there is no room for changes or improvements - any 'new' or 'different'  or varied programs.]  

Interesting to look further than what anyone in any media now claims - as 'fake news' and 'alt-rt or alt-left or antifacist or pro-anything-else-other is shouting and claiming:

"let me tell you what is real"....
"believe me" ....  
"trust me".. 
"The Facts are...." 
"The Facts of this matter are..." 
and so on claiming they must be the ones believed....
even if not trusted.

So all the money pleas lead to doubt and further searches and more questions about all that is claimed or heard, on-air, by the same slot-holders.

"Believe ! "   hmmmmm?  "Give ! "    hmmmm?   

Of course, why fix it if it ain't broke ? Because KPFK keeps on claiming on air that they are broke ! duh......

*  see all the '14 reviews' on Amazon,as all but 1 was from before 2015 and few claps heard online. Interesting how different the KPFK promo- interviews are than what else is on a huge business sales website. 

and a really EXPENSIVE premium for Only $250 - that has recepies and more goodies-beauty stuff in pak  ???? How can those high premium prices be really honest values and not promotional/ infomercial/ commercial / glib sales & advertising ? see or listen to on-air titillating exciting chit chats.... 


(c) btt 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017

18 years ago, Pacifica –and KPFK included – had the same problems as now…

Looking, searching, seeking… for what is barely available – how did Pacifica or KPFK get to be this way [chaotic, conflictual, factional, racially-biased, secretive, with continual constant ‘in-fighting’, especially with the LSB [local station board] and it’s main umbrella “Pacifica Radio Foundation”‘s  board [PNB].

1 book found – available thru some libraries, Amazon or book sellers.

           Uneasy Listening: “Pacifica Radio’s Civil War” 

                  authored by Matthew Lasar, Ph.D.

Strangely, this was published not in USA, but in  UK, in 2006 by Black Apollo Press, which publishes  “non-fiction titles in media studies….”   see : 


Starting not on page 1 or even 100, but on page 289, Chapter 6 “In Defense of the Realm, 1999-2000” with a clever quote by Saul Landau : "How are we going to get past this?” . The question still remains valid and unanswered.

Some selected bits & phrases are quoted here to see how little change or improvements have been achieved in these last 18 years [ and not counting the years from 1949's first innovation to KPFK's  beginning in 1959 - historically].

                         Image result for flags half image[google images.]

Tho Pacifica seems to not feel neither patriotic nor liking this nation's symbols of identity [tho other nations' are preferred on various programs and most programmers] , the question has been asked :    how such dysfunctional, conflict-full, never-resolved problems could be sustained  at KPFK, as a corporation or organization - in  any less open nation - elsewhere.    While the continued criticisms and complaints made by all liberals of  "never getting 'enough' " and wanting to define what "Should Be Done..because WE know, they / you don't " are never-ending. 

Then the stakeholders of Pacifica/ KPFK are using those symbolic USA $$$$ - and deeds and certificates of incorporation -  to sustain and still survive.     Maybe some  better/ fancier symbols - representative of what those who donate to KPFK , not the staff, programmers -  can be created: artistically, elegantly and more than a mere microphone [a sterile and mechanical] representation. 

Where are any creative artists who want to make KPFK appear or symbolize the more beautiful ?

Bit & quotes are here:


“ 1999
onward, Pacifica’s civil war expanded into 2 stories…a struggle to maintain authority & control…contributed to the…dissident movement…

“…to explain the Pacifica struggle to a mystified general public….They constructed narratives of the conflict that varied depending on their political perspective of stake in the institution’s future… within organization…were dissidents…senior staff of KPFK saw fight differently…from northern California….a detour on road…to a more effective Pacifica radio network….”

”….2 narrative explanations competing for the attention of the public: …a relevance narrative…went back to the very beginnings of the Pacifica org…..Lawsuits became central to their strategy ….Dan Siegel…KPFA [Berkeley, not LA ] staff had been locked out of their building…impetus for the suit came from David Adelson,  ….[he] joined KPFK’s local advisory board in 1990’s and followed purges at station with alarm….[re ] pan-africanist programing ….[when KPFK’s then mgr Mark Schubb] removed…[a radical disturbing program ].

“…. Adelson quickly absorbed the intricate history of Pacifica’s bylaws and plan to centralize the board. …. began calling prominent progressive journalists…write about controversy. He appealed to Molly Ivans, Jim Hightower, and David Corn [all had been on-air guests, hosts, programmed on KPFK too then and later ] to no avail….

“…the [UCLA] biologists’ 22,300 word backgrounder…”Neutering of Pacifica” essay…anticipating Pacifica’s plan to create a self-appointing board…. he learned [CA Corporate Code …raised funds for lawsuit & attorney]… Pacifica had violated state corporation law, because the foundation had “failed to submit the proposed bylaw changes to members of Pacifica’s local advisory board for their consideration & vote…”

“… Siegel filed David Adelson et al. vs. Pacifica in Alameda County Superior Court"….TV news reporters filmed him… [meanwhile] Carol Spooner …paralegal, on her way to becoming a lawyer…heard dismissal of Nicole Sawaya …went to ‘freepacifica.org' web site, found…”

“… David Adelson's lawsuit…it did not go far enough…no demand removal of the Pacifica board of directors for breach of trust”…so …”I have to do it….decided on class action lawsuit…”

“….Spooner needed…attorney, money…standing……listeners-subscribers were not members of foundation in any legal sense…Only board of directors and LAB members enjoyed that status..."

….only until February 1999…[they] had to win “realtor” status from CA attorney general, which was rarely granted…a long shot…1,000 signed …a petition …[plus other actions, actors got involved too ] demanding a ‘listener-subscriber-election national board.’ “

[someone else] ran an ad in New York Times demanding resignation of Mary Frances Berry and Lynn Chadwick… you have done…’weakened Pacifica to point of collapse …’ “

“…70 academics, organizers, politicians  and artists signed the statement, including Jerry Brown…Barbara Eherenreich …Danny Glover..  Angela Davis and Juan Gonzalez…but…larger national discussion overshadowed and created the anxieties that fueled this protest….”

“…mid 1990’s liberal and progressive Americans felt a deep sense of powerless about the rightward drift…newspapers and broadcast media…discontent…[p. 296 :]  …Pacifica’s crisis raged…demand for books on media bias and conglomeration appeared …the warlike over the peaceful….Fair ….Counterspin [emerged then]….Indymedia…   many lowpower FM stations…operated as democratic collective…”

“…While KPFK threatened with expulsion hosts who wanted to talk about the network’s policies over the air…”  Pacifica Fdtn had to broaden  its governance structures , and it to 

become a more transparent organization….”

“…the Free Pacifica
movement’s...narrative…a tale of slow corruption and silent collusion with outside influences that had only recently shown their true face…John Whiting…wrote a book about …Pacifica and KPFA “ Pacifica in Vincula” … like Rousseau…recalled a golden age of the organization, the 1950’s and 1960’s….” the indeterminate mass of the general public…Lew Hill could ignore with impunity the size of KPFA’s audiences because…[he had] no way of measuring them.”

“…To Whiting, the poverty of KPFA endured ennobled its cause…staff...”worked for peanuts and the shells were often empty” ….Idealists came to work, usually unpaid, remained…went on to other employment…staff made decisions as Lewis Hill had first intended, as a democratic collective…[p. 299]”

“This led to ‘delusions of grandeur’ for Pacifica….Ambition led to greater expenditures… KPFA’s new headquarters in 1991…with a huge mortgage… More chat. Same programs every day. …Purges began… Then came secrecy, private board meetings, relatively well-paid managers, the curtailing of the station Folio, and a more rigorously enforced gag rule. “

“…later 1990’s, community radio had succumbed to the blandishments of power and now paid the price as a soulless bureaucracy…when nonprofessional, predominately volunteer staffs ran the Pacifica stations…different from both commercial and institutional radio though it overlapped in certain ways with both…”

[p 300 continued]....Corporation for Public Broadcasting [CPB] funding…came w/a price...a demand that its grantees hire s minimum number of paid staff, achieve a baseline level of listenership measured by Arbitron ratings, or demonstrate a certain amount of community financial support…before community stations got by on listener pledges and local underwriting…”

“…more prominent writers…Alexander Cockburn…focused on contradiction between the democratic rhetoric promulgated on the air and its undemocratic system of governance…
Solomon said …governance of the medium is the message….”

“… David Barsamian …”they [management at Pacifica ] have more power over those 5 Paciifica stations than Rupert Murdoch has over his enterprises…because they don’t have shareholders to account to”..."

“..worried McChesney…’”there’s more secrecy around Pacifica than you’d find at the CIA....”easier…to ask them what they’re doing...than it is to find out what Pacifica’s board’s plans are for their stations.”

“…Marc Cooper…wrote “Whose Pacifica? ” [article in The Nation  & another in LA Weekly ]..a bit of gallows humor…“Fueling the conflict is a tension between 2 visions of what Pacifica Radio can and should be “….support ..to stop occupying only the fringe…willing openly to ask questions ….others would only discuss in private.”

“.... [re :KPFA] …the discovery of an email …by a member of the nat’l board proposing the sale of KPFA…advocated the shutdown of KPFA…expulsion of the KPFA staff….Pacifica had fired their gen’l mgr and replaced her…. Private pleas to advisory board had been rendered powerless to do anything at all meaningful at Pacifica….”

“…Pacifica Network News [PPN ] director…was 1/2 hr news-feed produced in Wash DC…..[1999] serious tensions had emerged …over Democracy Now!’s coverage of issues…   KPFK’s GM Marc Schubb disliked the program….a fight quickly polarized nat’l staff already deeply divided over the approach that Pacifica should take to news and public affairs programming…”

“…scandal was in progress…for breaking the ‘Dirty Laundry Rule’....a headline in Current magazine …Pacifica manages now reserved the right  not only to remove employees for breaking the gag rule, but for running news stories they found displeasing….”

“…a PNN stringer…got a call from KPFK based reporter Robin Urevitch….[she] had been barred from KPFK’s newsroom for publishing in a local nspr a piece about the Pacifica crisis that had angered Mark Schubb…”

“…[p 316] PNN …issued a public statement… [re stringers’ strike] the action wasn’t a strike..it was a boycott. Pacifica wouldnot recognize it…many saw as censorship into news judgment… audience research analyst David Giovannoni wrote …”for most Americans, Pacifica simply does not exist…The organization has lost its influence…the time for polite euphemism is over. By any objective measure of public service, Pacifica has crossed the line from ‘under-performance’ to ‘irrelevance’....”  

“…Saul Landau claimed that most of the strikers did not produce anything for PNN ....

‘Stop the Pacifica Bashing !’ …Landau’s statement conceded that Pacifica had made “mistakes”. But so had the dissidents…Pacifica’s shortcomings should be seen as such:....  ‘not betrayals and conspiracies’ ...."

“… 43 prominent scholars and activists signed the document….Barbara Erenreich and Jerry Brown…the appeal for what it was – a partisan statement couched in the language of reconciliation. Landau’s petition made no specific demands on Pacficia management, only on the opposition…after appeal came out, stringers tabulated detailed chart of the stories they had contributed to PNN… 22 reporters filed stories since July 1999… now on strike against the service…”

“… Landau’s call for a truce…resonated with the enormous frustration and confusion progressives felt over Pacifica’s worsening civil war…Was it ever going to end? …Landau could not find the answer he wanted…an untrackable number of protest groups throughout the Pacifica organization….it was morphing into something that frightened them, something that had moved to Washington DC , talked about selling radio stations….”

“…only 1 remedy: the overthrow of the present board and establishment of something that had never before existed, a listener-subscriber-elected network…was their exist strategy.[1999] Cooper wrote…organization is full of shit, but it’s our organization….[others said ] that the rhetoric of moral ownership was nothing more than sweet talk, Pacifica radio was not their organization…[thru p 326]” 


More can be copied, quoted and reviewed from this book later in another posting - because the essences found from 18 years prior to now appear all too similar - and repetitive… 

That's making many of us loyalists wondering Why ? 
and How?  - can true CHANGES and IMPROVEMENTS be made  - if the past keeps on replayiing repetitively. Thus it is all stuck in quick-sand-mud-sameness, in scary ways.

The entire organization - all parts of Pacifica included - and  KPFK too,  are obviously not moving into any more :

viable, trustworthy, stable, professional or transparently & honest organization. The ‘non-profit’ aspect is not giving KFPK et. al any purer image or any stability benefits either. 

(c) mj 2017