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A Letter from the Interim GM of KPFK

by Jim Lafferty Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2007 at 6:47 PM
jlafferty@kpfk.org 818/985-2711

The current state of KPFK and our commitment to continue providing programming of benefit to the progressive movements in and around Los Angeles

November 21, 2007

Dear Indymedia Readers:

This is Jim Lafferty, the Interim General Manager of KPFK and the Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild in L.A.

I’m a big fan of Indymedia, and so I’m happy to see it being used by our listeners to discuss and debate the issues impacting the station. In this regard, I thought it might be helpful for your readers to know how I think the station is doing at this time of transition.

First and foremost, your readers should know that the staff, paid and
un-paid at KPFK, are a wonderfully dedicated, progressive, professional and inspiring bunch of people to work with. Every day they give their all to the station; in the case of the paid staff, for far less money then they deserve.

Second, given the growing monopolization of the mainstream media, the frightening increase in governmental repression, and the ever-expanding state of permanent war, there has never been a time in U.S. history when KPFK and Pacifica are as essential to our well-being as now. I shudder to think of where the broad movement for progressive social change would be at in this City if we were to lose KPFK. To borrow a phrase from Mumia Abu-Jamal, today KPFK remains a rather lonely, “voice of the voiceless.”

Third, there is so much that KPFK has to be proud of, and that makes me so proud to have this brief opportunity to be of service to the station. I am proud of the fact that ours is the only largely English language radio station in town (and one of only two among all radio stations) that carries breaking news of ICE raids and check-points. I am proud of the fact that ours is the only radio station in town that carries, live, anti-war rallies and other progressive events. That regularly reports on the San Francisco 8 Black Panther case. That followed from beginning to end the story of the valiant struggle of the South Central farmers. That is the only public radio station in town with Spanish language programming. Or that regularly reports on the Bus Riders Union. The only station that regularly brings you the voices of activists from the immigrants’ rights movement, women’s movement, civil rights movement, labor movement, LGBT movement, and many other progressive movements virtually shut out from the mainstream media.

And I am proud of the fact that KPFK and Pacifica are the only radio stations in the nation that provide their listeners with a voice in the over-all direction of the station, through an elected listener-sponsored Local Station Board. Mind you, we know we still have a ways to go to handle these elections as well as we should. But we do conduct them! And they are under the direction and control of a National Pacifica Elections Supervisor, not the local stations. And whatever mistakes are made are not made because anyone is trying to make them. Or because someone favors one candidate over another. Indeed, in the case of this year’s election, while I cannot for obvious reasons declare my favorites amongst the candidates, I can say that I, personally, find many worthy candidates on all of the various slates and on the independent list of candidates.

Besides, irrespective of the outcome of the LSB election, I can assure your readers that KPFK will continue to provide the same kind of programming and coverage of the progressive movements that we have provided throughout the last few years. This is not only my commitment, but, I can assure you, a commitment shared by the KPFK staff, as well.

Finally, it truly saddens me when one or more members of the “KPFK family” question the bona fides, or motives, of another member of the family. In my experience, while I sometimes disagree with staff members, or Local Station Board members, or candidates for the Board, or volunteers, to this day I have not encountered one of them who I did not feel was motivated by a sincere love of the station and a desire to improve it as they deemed best. So, while we may all, from time-to-time, disagree as to what’s best for the station, we are not one another’s enemies. Rather, as we debate the issues and work to improve the station, let’s remember who our real enemies are: The war mongers. The racists and sexists. Corporate America and the global media giants. (And the list goes on and on.)

So let the debate continue, but let it continue in the spirit of Lew Hill, our founder, and in the spirit of mutual respect for one and all!

Warm regards,
Jim Lafferty,
Interim General Manager, KPFK
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Jim in damage control mode

by Jim in damage control mode Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2007 at 7:30 PM

Jim in damage control mode

It seems to me that Leslie is at the extreme end of the spectrum and Jim is at the other extreme end. If I have to believe somebody, that would be Leslie.

It is difficult to believe Jim's assertion that everything is lovy dovy at KPFK.
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Re: Jim in damage control mode

by Leslie Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2007 at 8:14 PM
lradford@radiojustice.net

Frankly, I don't think Jim is countering me, since I agree with just about every word he says. It's what he doesn't say that I am saying. It's the definitions, the differences, that are missing in Jim's letter: of "progressive," of "deemed best." But, in the middle of an election, these are not his to define.

I haven't heard the ICE raids reports yet, but I hear they're in the works (after months and months of struggle). I wouldn't say beginning to end of the Farmers' struggle, unless he meant that very intermittently. But generally, in my brief observation, it seems to me that Jim is doing an outstanding job.

"Enemies" is a heavy word, and one I'd like to save for the enemies Jim describes. I'll settle for "different visions." Vote accordingly.
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Re: Jim in damage control mode (a lengthier response)

by Leslie Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2007 at 8:44 PM
lradford@radiojustice.net

Frankly, I don't think Jim is countering me, although "damage control" of the election problems in general might be part of this.

In Berkeley, the slate with the mailer, the Committee's counterpart, won six out of nine listener seats. What that portends for the future of money in Pacifica elections frightens me--how do you run independently, how do you run without using money that could go to the station, how do you run without spiraling the cost so high that all the candidates need backers to run? At WBAI in New York, where they historically have not won control of the LSB, the slate parallel to the Committee had a judge seal the ballots before they were counted.

But I agree with just about every word Jim says. It's what he doesn't say that I'm saying. It's the definitions, the differences, that are missing in Jim's letter: of "progressive," of "deemed best." But, in the middle of an election, these are not his to define.

"Enemies" is a heavy word, and one I'd like to save for the enemies Jim describes. I'll settle for "different visions for KPFK." Vote accordingly.

If you read what I've written carefully, you'll notice that I haven't ascribed intent for the elections violations, much less motive, and I think Jim reads that, too. But I won't deny that I see a pattern that favors the slate, and I haven't seen remediation to the harmed parties and penalties for violators. I haven't seen anyone on the slate that advocates for financial transparency accounting for the campaign financing, even after the PNB rebuke and the LSB's concerns.

The differences I have with Jim's letter are not about the staff's hard work and low pay, or the monopolization of mainstream media, or the radical Spanish-language programming (even to my limited-Spanish ears), or that elections are good. I haven't heard the ICE raids reports yet, but I hear they're in the works (after months and months of struggle). I wouldn't say beginning to end coverage of the Farmers' struggle, unless he meant that very intermittently. Really, small disagreements, when all is said and done.

In my brief observation, it seems to me that Jim is doing an outstanding job. I'd vote for Jim if I could.
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ICE Raids +

by mous Thursday, Nov. 22, 2007 at 3:28 AM

I'm not really understanding how people are using the information, but it was exciting and frightening to hear the information on the air Tuesday morning. KPFK is taking the internet/mobilephone/radio integration to a new level. Kudos to the activists who pushed for this.
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about the ICE raids report?

by debbie Thursday, Nov. 22, 2007 at 8:55 AM

about the ICE raid report that went on KPFK yesterday, i am curious of what was the outcome of that? was that a confirmed report, or an over-effort on KPFK's part to make up for all the times they didn't report on known ICE acitvity?

just curious, was it every confirmed ice activity there or just a random call that got alerted on kpfk? i do think, as any of us working on the raids hotline responses, we are generally clear about the "confirmed" or "unconfirmed" postings along w/ our alerts.
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Enemies at KPFK

by Listener Thursday, Nov. 22, 2007 at 8:25 PM

Well, Jim will get the feel for how the winds blow, and I, for one, am very happy to have a man who's stood up for Mumia, who got hit by a racist's car at a demo against the Minutemen, and who has been on the front line of many key struggles over many years as interim GM at KPFK. JIm's a hard guy not to like, for most anybody, and he can't be targeted the way they targeted Eva Georgia, and if they were to try, I can't imagine Jim cutting the kinds of deals Eva struck with her enemies to stay in power. I can't imagine him betraying his friends or distancing himself from honest radical activists. And for all that Jim is, of neccessity, putting out an official line here, he is no one's fool.

Of course there are enemies at KPFK. They may not be THE enemy, of course, but, there are people who, for example, loathe Spanish Language programming among the "dedicated staff" and who join with their like in the election - buying "slate" in wanting it completely off the air. There are those who hate the radical programming from the African American community, those who will not willingly abide open criticism of Israel, including well established programmers. There are people on the Local Station Board who are enemies of affirmative action, enemies of sharing the station with LA's non-white majority. There are enemies on the LSB of enfranchising the poor in KPFK"s elections, like Terry Goodman and LaMont Yeakey of the Committee to strengthen KPFK slate.

You know, the republicans and Democrats are "enemies," even though they are all imperialists working for what they see as the good of the Empire. We have enemies, too. It's not a dirty word. We don' t have to be "nice white liberals" about this.

Some people at KPFK do not put any kind of actual priority on the interests of the poor or the oppressed nationalities, just like some don't put any emphasis on the well being of the Earth. just like some drive SUVs. Some of these people actively work _against_ the interests of the poor and the oppressed nationalities, and some work _with_ people like Marc Cooper, the sidekick of Mark Shubb, the manager who went along with the hijacking, carried out the mass purge of radical programming, who eliminated virtually all programming for communities of color, and who initiated the behind the scenes effort to drive out Eva Georgia. Nalini Lasciewitz, (SP?) of the Committee to Strengthen KPFK, Is one of them. Sonali Kolhatkar, host of Uprising and a Committee member, is another. Sonali aligned herself early on with Schubb's "hitmen" in the station, and hated Eva Georgia with a burning vengeance, long before Georgia even had time to make any serious mistakes in management.

So yes, as Radford said, VOTE THE FUCKERS OUT. It's not a crime to stand up for what's right, and to oppose the buying of the election by the same old crowd, the "antis" I've described here, VOTE AGAINST ALL MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE OT "STRENGTHEN" KPFK.

vote them out.

It's that simple.

vote FOR the independents, the real street level activists
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Re: letter from Jim Lafferty

by Diana Barahona Monday, Nov. 26, 2007 at 1:45 PM

I invite you to visit my blog at http://www.kpfk.blogspot.com/ for some information about the former GM, Eva Georgia. I would only add to Jim's letter that ignoring the fact that Georgia was a terrible manager who got Pacifica and KPFK sued for sexual harassment only perpetuates the problems, one of which is a total lack of accountability and transparency. Leslie Radford was a big supporter of Georgia, which means she can't be allowed back onto the board.

KPFK is a corporation first and foremost, which needs to be run by responsible people. Whenever the opportunists and kooks get the upper hand, KPFK's survival is in jeopardy. All of the more-radical-than-you crowd need to get this.
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KPFK is NOT "FIRST and FOREMOST" a CORPORATION"

by tejano Monday, Nov. 26, 2007 at 4:14 PM

Diana Barahona says above, "KPFK is a corporation first and foremost, which needs to be run by responsible people."

The outlook of the supporters of the "Committee to Strengthen KPFK" could not be put more simply and clearly.

This is what they mean by "Strengthen."

In a word, "Strengthen" means CORPORATIZE AND MARKET.

This is EXACTLY the outlook and ideology that drove the "Hijacker of teh Pacific network in recent years. This is EXACTLY the outlook that drove those we took the station BACK from. They were guided by the outlook of a government plan called "The Healthy Stations" project.
It demanded the corporatization and "professionalization of public radio across th board, and tied govt funding to that project, forcing community stations across the US to cut radical programming and appeal to a more mainstream audience. Everyone arounfd KPFK knows this. Supporters of the "Committee to "Strengthen" KPFK" just think YOU don't know it.
See http://www.johntarleton.net/kopn.html

I am amazed that Diana Barahona has such contempt for the actual knowledge base of others that she actually went so far as to let the cat out of the bag, apparently thinking no one would notice.
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what is ICE and what was raided?

by sidestepper Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007 at 5:04 PM

apparently everyone who is anyone knows all the words and sounds and any other readers beware, but what in the world are ICE and raided for what and by whom?

can we share information on this site as well as Indymedia for ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL who can compute and not just in-talk to exclusive know-it-all groups?

come on, share...

KPFKers claim they want information to be equalized and then act as elite and aloof and exclusive as those they love to shout at and criticize.

ICE like in a drink ? duh.....stupid as I seem, I am not.
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sorry

by Leslie Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007 at 7:29 PM

ICE = Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the folks from the federal government that are sweeping people up and hauling them away. A KPFK Local Station Board task force has been struggling to get breaking news of the ICE raids on the air. First one aired on Tuesday. Not KPFK lingo--fed. gov. lingo.
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Rescind your ballot, get a ballot

by Leslie Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007 at 7:41 PM

You CAN request a new ballot if you do so by Friday, November 30, if you want to change your vote.  And if you lost or never received your ballot, you can get one if you request it by that deadline.  Write to ballot@pacifica.org to request a new ballot.

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