imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Tell the NSA: StopWatching.US

Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles
link:

View article without comments

Pacifica Radio: FREEDOM TO SPEAK LARRY BENSKY'S LANGUAGE!

by Joseph Anderson Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2004 at 1:12 PM

Many people in the KPFA listener community in the San Francisco Bay Area have asked me, Joseph Anderson, for a copy of my UC Berkeley "Daily Californian" newspaper guest column on Pacifica Radio's KPFA character Larry Bensky. At the time of its original publication, I knew nothing about Bensky other than how he came across on the air. I guess it is time for a confirming retrospective. Bensky hasn't changed a bit. This was written during the Pacifica Radio crisis of 1999, when Bensky was fired (thanks to *me*, now it can be told!). I immediately notified and talked to Mary Berry, then, about his insubordination and symbolically offered to let her have Bensky in exchange for Pacifica Radio back. But, it was still nice to have someone Black shut *Bensky* up!

-

UC Berkeley "Daily Californian" newspaper guest column regarding Larry Bensky:

The Daily Cailifornian

June 15, 1999

FREEDOM TO SPEAK BENSKY'S LANGUAGE!

– by Joseph Anderson


I am writing in regard to the recent articles on KPFA in the Daily Californian. I find it ironic to hear of veteran announcer Larry Bensky's hypocritical pieties about free speech, given his own history.

On his radio programs, Bensky demonstrated a notable lack of respect for the free speech of Black KPFA listeners and others with whom he disagreed – especially those more progressive than he. Bensky freely censored or summarily dismissed more progressive thinkers.

Many white Berkeley liberals simply won't tolerate any analytical criticism of their heroes. They typically try to isolate or marginalize Blacks who do. But, Bensky's anti-intellectual and unprincipled tactics were easy to recognize for anyone who cared.

For example, however concise the inquiry or comment, Bensky would abruptly cut off, undermine or otherwise subtly censor the most compelling Black perspective. Yet, he would permit even incoherent, fumbling white male callers to meander on, seemingly, indefinitely. He shielded white interview guests from accountable, critical inquiry.

Even when a Black guest was especially resonant to an incisive question from a Black perspective, Bensky would often try to block the question and pre-empt the guest's answer with his own.

Furthermore, it is evident that Bensky has an intellectual deficit in grasping many multicultural issues. He was usually irritated by incisive perspectives, and would often interject with inane non sequiturs. Bensky clings to a white male sentiment of what is and what isn't important – even as a 'progressive.' Even some white women from different Pacifica stations regard him as a gigantically egotistical male.

Of course, he's forced by circumstances to treat prominent Black guests with a certain respect – so they're usually not on to him. [Prominent local Blacks are, like author Ishmael Reed or feminist writer/academic Barbara Christian.] However, even then, he usually tries to orient the interview and call-in questions to more shallow, white semi-liberal sentiments.

The "progressive" Bensky once partly excused police atrocities on the grounds that "they [the police] have difficult jobs." This retort was right after Bensky was presented with myth-busting national labor statistics revealing that there are many more jobs far more dangerous than police work.

Bensky censored criticism against a white educational "liberal" (Herb Kohl) who said, 'though Blacks were not genetically inferior, they were culturally inferior.' Such genteel racism represents views also often held by KQED radio's glib, pedantic and pseudo-liberal Michael Krasny, whom Bensky also defends – his alter ego. I, for one, am tired of white-supremacists masquerading as "liberals."

Though Bensky has fooled as many Bay Area liberals as Clinton once did, I am far from the only person (Black or white) who has taken note of Bensky's behavior. In fact, many Black listeners regard Bensky as nothing more than a pseudo-'progressive' racist.

Our own UC Berkeley, recent MacArthur "Genius Award"-winning African American author, Ishmael Reed, has repeatedly noted Bensky's behavior. Unlike Bensky's vocal fan club, many Blacks, including many media and community activists, regard Bensky as not a true progressive – just "a legend in his own mind." Many Blacks once thought that Bensky was finally gone before – but like Nixon, he keeps trying to come back.

While Bensky basks in his fifteen minutes of 'stardom' as a "martyr" to free speech, many of us know better.

I challenge KPFA staff and supporters to examine their own ranks when they complain about gag rules, censorship, and disrespectful treatment. Instead, whenever minorities complain, many white liberals scream, as Martin Luther King, Jr., often observed, that, "Now is not the time!" Then in times of white liberal crises such whites want, "in the spirit of (whatever), to all pull together."

However you support KPFA, Bensky's departure was long overdue.

Joseph Anderson
Berkeley, CA
___________________________________________________________________
Joseph Anderson is a member of the National Council for African American Men.

-
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


LARRY BENSKY -- THE BILL O'REILLY OF KPFA!

by Joseph Anderson Monday, Nov. 15, 2004 at 5:52 AM

-

CROSS-REFERENCE

See article:

"Jeff Blankfort: Time to Take Back KPFA?"
– by concerned KPFA listener, Tuesday, Oct. 05, 2004

And SEE comment post:

"LARRY BENSKY -- THE BILL O'REILLY OF KPFA!"
– by JA, Friday, Nov. 12, 2004 at 1:27 AM

http://www.indybay.org/news/2004/10/1697924_comment.php#1705203

-
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


More on Bensky

by KPFK Listener Monday, Nov. 15, 2004 at 6:13 AM

I really haven't followed Bensky and so cannot generalize about his career or programming, but I did happen to tune in to his program last Sunday and was quite appalled to hear that his entire presentation was from the perspective of how the U.S. could have succeeded better in its imperialistic aims. That is, he criticized U.S. policy as ignorant, heavy-handed, short-sighted, but never as imperialistic or even as unethical. Nor did he focus at all upon how peoples' movements could take advantage of the stupidities that Bensky and his guests were pointing out.

The entire show was, like, "Oh, they didn't see Ayatollah Khomeini coming in Iran, how dumb could they be? Oh, they don't understand that attacking Fallujah will just alienate the entire world from their policies, how dumb is that?" Well, Larry, why not send a nice letter to Dick Cheney pointing out his mistakes so that he can be a more effective imperialist? Maybe he can get you a position as a commentator on NPR. Because I don't know why you would waste the time of a bunch of Pacifica listeners whose main goal is bringing this imperialist system and its wars to a halt.

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

Families Protest Abusive Foreclosure Practices of Wells Fargo Bank A26 10:37AM

How is CCSA's Ref Rodriguez hiding his billionaire and ideologue contributors? A21 12:08PM

What drives charter profiteer Ref Rodriguez? A21 12:04PM

Los Angeles Artist Threatens 40 Million Dollar Law Suit for Public Storage Illegal Auction A20 4:08PM

RAC-LA Community Center Grand Opening A20 1:44PM

KPFK and Pacifica- woes unrelenting... A19 4:20PM

RAC-LA Community Center Badly Needs Your Support A14 10:09PM

Meet Green elected school board members, Sunday, March 29 in LA - 4pm M26 2:36AM

Californians Shame Regulators For Teaching Big Oil How To Skirt Law and Pollute Our Water M25 5:28PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Abduction, Torture and Summary Killings of Palestinians by Hamas M26 10:44PM

Risks and Opportunities for Consumer Welfare, 56 pp M26 10:47AM

Mission Creep in Syria M26 10:46AM

Netanyahu's Sham Settlement Bloc Boundaries Proposal M26 10:25AM

China's Military Strategy M26 7:27AM

The Battle for Jobs M26 4:43AM

Sham Yemen Peace Conference Postponed M26 4:33AM

Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation M25 11:05PM

USA, fbi, et al Crimes Against Humanity M25 9:19PM

Netanyahu Appoints Right-Wing Extremist to Head Israel's Diplomatic Corps M25 11:33AM

Venezuelan/Palestinian Relations: Based on Brotherhood, Solidarity and Mutual Support M25 9:27AM

Propaganda Accompanies Kiev's Buildup for Escalated Aggression M25 7:35AM

Washington Created the Islamic State (ISIS) M25 4:45AM

Paraphysique de la naissance M24 11:15PM

fbi/Gestapo M24 12:34PM

Netanyahu: Hate-Mongering Racist, Mass Murderer, Serial Liar M24 11:27AM

US-Supported Islamic State Terrorists Seize Palmyra M24 9:31AM

Grand Theft Poroshenko M24 7:35AM

Hillary Clinton Endorses GMOs M24 4:54AM

Margaret Sommers - Public Storage's "CUNT OF THE YEAR" M23 5:09PM

Memorial Day Dishonor and Disgrace M23 12:13PM

Russians Traveling Abroad Risk Lawless US Abduction M23 9:51AM

Obama Supports Nuclear Proliferation, Opposes Disarmament M23 7:25AM

Global March Against Monsanto Day M23 2:44AM

Endless Nakba M22 11:37AM

Jail torture trick M22 8:56AM

Obama's War on Yemen Rages M22 7:02AM

Heading Toward Financial Maidan in Ukraine? M22 4:01AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy