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Saturday, Mar. 17, 2001 at 7:00 PM
A live debate on DemocrayNow! between a lead Pacifica hijacking board member John Murdock (of the union-busting law firm Epstein Becker and Green) and Juan Gonzalez, the co-host of DemocracyNow!, was censored by Pacifica Executive Director, Bessie Wash, who is also the general manager of Pacifica's DC station WPFW.
Juan Gonzalez recently resigned, on-air, in protest of the increasing censorship, the bannings and firings of NYC station WBAI staff members, and the current members of the Foundation's board continued course of inflicting damage on the listener-supported Foundation.
While Mr. Murdock (an attorney) claimed he was an advocate of free speech and repeatedly stated that he has always been looking for dialogue, WPFW, under the control of Ms. Wash (an other Pacifica Board hijacker) showed that their *actions* continue to be quite different, by preventing the WPFW listeners and contributors from even hearing the debate. WPFW very cannily choose a previous DemocracyNow! show to air, and when host Amy Goodman cut to the WPFW signal, and pointed out this act of censorship, Mr. Murdock attempted to show that since some past episode of DemocracyNow! was airing, her concern was misplaced.
Mr. Murdock is, no doubt, a very clever and skilled propagandist. That is how he earns a living. (One example of this is how he points to one article in The Nation which he claims calls for more dialogue, but fails to mention other, and more recent and long overdue calls from The Nation against him and his band: November 13, 2000, or from Robert W. Mcchesney "comment" of February 12, 2001 "But in the past few years matters have changed. The newly aggressive national management has shown minimal respect for fair play or the values of community broadcast and little interest in preserving Pacifica's distinctive dissident and independent political focus.", and "The authoritarianism at WBAI is highlighted, as it was at KPFA, by the unwillingness of the Pacifica management to speak fully and honestly about its strategies and plans. To the limited extent that Pacifica has attempted to justify its actions at WBAI and KPFA, it has been on the grounds that these stations need to expand their audiences dramatically." Make no mistake about it though, the unfortunate complicity of The Nation and some of its contributors have contributed to us all being in this present mess. That is a subject for an other day.)
The continuing practice of bannings and firings over the chilling, the censorship, and the harassments continue to be converted in his doublespeak to confidential and personal personnel matters. Arrests of listener contributors are irrelevant to him. That hundreds, if not thousands of listeners and contributors are asking Mr. Murdock and his merry band of hijackers to simply go away, to leave Pacifica alone, telling them that they are not wanted does not seem to indicate to him (or to the other board members) that that is what they want, that they are intelligent adults fully capable of making this decision for themselves, and that he should consider abiding by it, today, if he in fact gave any credence to the mission of the Foundation. That he instead chooses not to resign, and to continue to squander the Foundation assets, if only through his bringing on the boycott, and the drop in contributions this will entail as long as he remains, speaks loudly for itself.
Mr. Murdock has the gall to further insult the intelligence of those involved in the struggle, by claiming, under the new "kinder gentler" face first exhibited at the recent board meeting Houston, to have always been open to "dialogue". Listen to the board's past meetings to see how open these people are to "dialogue". Mr. Murdock has had more than enough to for dialogue. His sudden call for dialogue is a tactic of attempted damage control of the Board's disgraceful record of actions, now that they know that both the public and the courts will be judging them.
To use a current obvious and *non-perfect* example, the government of the State Of Israel also continues to claim that they want a "dialogue" with the people that they are in illegal occupation of, but that the behavior that they see as, well, naughty, must cease first. Of course the government (and its many press agents) make no mention of their illegal occupation, their illegal actions, the "facts on the ground" that they continue to create, which of course is exactly what is causing the other side to behave in such "naughty" ways in the first place. They do not want any dialogue, as the word is defined.
What both of these occupying forces want is their agenda, and only their agenda, and they will use whatever means that they have at their disposal to achieve it.
The more these people talk, the less they really say, though Mr. Murdock sounds quite smooth and sonorous. In any case, it is their *actions* that remain to be focused on. And it is their actions that betray them, as they continue to betray the original mission of the Pacifica Foundation.
It is their actions that they are now beginning to realize they will be held accountable for in the court of public opinion, and in the Superior Courts of the State of California. They are beginning to understand this, and they are beginning to fear the power of it.
Like all occupation forces, they are illegal, immoral and they are going home, whether they are intelligent enough to realize it yet, or not. FIGHT ON!
BOYCOTT PACIFICA AND STATIONS FUND DRIVES- Do *NOT* pledge to Pacifica or any of the Stations, until the Board resigns or is removed. If you did pledge, and you send in money, your contribution may wind up in the coffers of the anti-union, anti-worker, anti-health care law firm of Epstein Becker & Green, or otherwise used to aid the hijackers and those few sad confused (and unconfused) souls at some of the local station who are their minions.
*Do Contribute* to the actions to remove the Board, including the lawsuits, and democratize the organization instead.
Call Pacifica and your local station to voice your concerns. (In Washington, D.C.- WPFW- Radio Contact Bessie Wash .. General Manager and ask her why she routinely censors Democracy Now!
202-588-0999 Ext 348 FAX : 202-588-0561 bmwpfw@AOL.COM
2390 Champlain Street NW 2nd Floor Washington, DC 20009)
LINKS TO PACIFICA AND WBAI INFO:
New excellent site collecting much information of the Struggle to reclaim WBAI and Pacifica
Committee to Remove the Pacifica Board (sponsoring the "listeners' lawsuit")
National Campaign To Oust The Thieving Pacifica Board And Democratize Pacifica
Outstanding background on the national struggle. Names and addresses of Pacifica national board
Read more about 3 suits against Pacifica national. Address here for contributions.
Excellent Pacifica background, as well as audio and text archives of many WBAI shows since the take-over.
Coalition for a democratic Pacifica New York - WBAI Listener Network
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