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Response to Lila Garrett

by Jim Lafferty Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2007 at 6:11 PM 818-985-2711

My response to Lila Garret's "HAIL to the Jews"

November 26, 2007

Dear Lila and Other Friends of KPFK:

It always saddens me when someone I have great respect for does or says something with which I must take exception. Such is the case with your/Lila’s long e-mail accusing the station of tolerating anti-Semitism and losing audience and financial support.

As Lila well-knows, there is a world of difference (at least there is in my mind) between “anti-Semitism” and “anti-Zionism.” And while I am very aware that defenders of Israel often fail to note the difference; that they, in fact, sometimes promote the idea that the two are one-and-the-same, that does not make it so. Indeed, some defenders of Israel have been very effective in crying “anti-Semitism” whenever someone sharply criticizes Israel, or Israeli policy or practices. I can vouch for this fact because I have been called “anti-Semitic” on occasions when I have criticized Israel. In simple terms, it’s a “cheap shot.” Certainly there is room on KPFK for genuine, non-anti-Semitic criticism of Israel and Zionism.

Now, Lila has claimed to me, in person, on more than one occasion, that one programmer or another on KPFK has made anti-Semitic remarks on the air. And on the last occasion when she made this claim (once I was here in my new capacity as Interim General Manager of KPFK), I told her that: 1) I was, of course, completely opposed to there being any anti-Semitic programming/remarks on KPFK; 2) and, that if she would be good enough to point me to the actual show where the remarks claimed to be “anti-Semitic” were made (and we have transcripts of every show and so can easily check) I, and others, would listen to the show in question and if I/we thought the remarks were, indeed, anti-Semitic, I would immediately take corrective action and impose station-authorized discipline. To date, Lila has not done that.

Finally, on the matter of Lila’s claim that listenership has gone down at KPFK, as has our revenues. I have no idea why she would say that. Let me give you the facts: The peak number of listener/members during the tenure of the General Manager prior to Eva Georgia, who just left the station, was just under 14,000 (13,800). The number as of last May, under Eva Georgia, was 17,760…an increase of about 20%. Listener financial support is up from an annual amount of ,745, 000 under the General Manager prior to Eva Georgia. Under Eva Georgia is has reached ,120,000. That’s about an 80% increase! I am also informed that KPFK has increased listenership more than any other station in the Pacifica network. (Obviously, I take no credit for any of this since it all happened prior to my hire on November 1st of this year.)

A couple of final points. Certainly there were programming changes here at KPFK under Eva Georgia. No doubt some of those changes have worked out better than others. In this regard, some listeners have complained about the fact that we now carry Spanish language programming on KPFK. Frankly, I have never understood this complaint. After all, KPFK is a public radio station and one that prides itself on being a community-based public radio station. In a City like Los Angeles, with its now majority Spanish-origin population, doesn’t it seem only just and proper that we would have at least some Spanish language programming? I am proud of the fact that I am now employed by a station that does so, unlike any other public radio station in town!

Finally, Lila is certainly entitled to promote those candidates running for the Board she deems best qualified. Personally, although I deem it improper for me to actually endorse any of the candidates, I can say that as I look over the names on both slates and on the list of independent candidates, I find well-qualified candidates on all lists. Perhaps more to the point, I wish we could all get beyond name calling (and I agree with Lila in rightfully calling out others on this serious offense; I do the same), and recognize that our differences do not make us enemies. No, none of the fine people working and doing programming here at KPFK are “the enemy.” Our enemies are Corporate America and U.S. imperialism, and racism and sexism and…well, we all know the long and sorry list. Indeed, in all of the years that I have been associated with KPFK, I really cannot recall ever meeting anyone associated with the station that, no matter what political differences I might have with them, did not strike me as someone who loved the station as much as I and wanted only the best for it. Certainly, I know that this is true of my old friend Lila!


Jim Lafferty,

Interim General Manager, KPFK

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 27 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
I agree. Meanwhile we have an election. Hymie Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007 at 12:06 AM
What this signals is... Tejano Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007 at 2:22 AM
Poor Eva Meyer London Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007 at 5:00 PM
GEE, mEYER, WHEN DID THEY PUT you ON STAFF kpfk vet Friday, Nov. 30, 2007 at 12:49 AM
GEE, mEYER, WHEN DID THEY PUT you ON STAFF kpfk vet Friday, Nov. 30, 2007 at 12:49 AM
rabid defender of Lila Garrett Meyer London Friday, Nov. 30, 2007 at 1:37 PM
Rabid kpfk vet Saturday, Dec. 01, 2007 at 12:55 AM
Simply Rabid kpfk vet Saturday, Dec. 01, 2007 at 1:31 AM
L.G. Meyer London Saturday, Dec. 01, 2007 at 10:18 AM
sexual harassment Meyer London Saturday, Dec. 01, 2007 at 10:30 AM
sexual harrass case result? sidestepper Sunday, Dec. 02, 2007 at 6:33 PM
red herring Paul Tuesday, Dec. 04, 2007 at 8:12 PM
Never Again? BDS now, for Israel and Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007 at 8:32 PM
its very telling native gardener Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007 at 8:29 PM
hidden? nada Monday, Dec. 17, 2007 at 7:55 PM
Hey Nada watchale Monday, Dec. 17, 2007 at 9:32 PM
Look here watchale Monday, Dec. 17, 2007 at 9:37 PM
Why did she not do fundraising? nada Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007 at 2:29 AM
a note to sidestepper Meyer London Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007 at 3:38 PM
kinda hard on 'em don't cha think? wow Thursday, Feb. 07, 2008 at 12:53 PM
Celia is a Naive Person Murf theSmurf Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010 at 12:56 AM
Celia is a Naive Person Murf theSmurf Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010 at 1:00 AM
I'll go for mental illness mental definitely! Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010 at 9:54 AM

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