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

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