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by Lawrence Reyes Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009 at 9:55 AM


shockdoctrine.jpg, image/jpeg, 637x477

Secret Deals and Chicken Thieves: The Raid on KPFK

by Lawrence Reyes

Our station KPFK and the Pacifica Network are being primed for a take over by a collection of Non-Profiteers that was set in motion by the Committee To Strengthen KPFK.

A simple google search will take you to Their website - which illegitimately uses the KPFK Call letters to induce listeners to fund there operations with a PayPal set up, even as the station and the Network struggle to sustain themselves in a time of crisis. Where is the Money going?

Some of us saw it coming. We were running as a loose coalition of candidates for seats on the board of the non-commercial station, and we couldn’t miss what was shaping up as we watched the “Committee To Strengthen KPFK” align itself with the International Center For Humanities to rake in donations to finance their campaigns for the KPFK local station board, even as they curried favor and allies from among and staff and Programmers to take over the board.

In so doing they introduced all of the unfairness and imbalance inherent in unregulated campaign financing into the local political culture – the fishbowl, really - of not- for-profit, progressive community radio.

Other candidates, no matter how qualified, well meaning, honest and experienced, stood no chance against the campaign juggernaut financed by the thousands of dollars the “Committee” used to buy the access to KPFK voter roles - roles that candidates without outside financing could not see or touch. The election was for sale. The list of voters was for rent, and, as always, those with the gold ruled the day.

We see it all of the time in other elections; this is how it comes to pass that the poor, the working class, people of color, and all of the other “Others” are “underrepresented” – disenfranchised is the word. I was one of those “Others.”

Unlike the Committee to Strengthen KPFK, my politics are not of the pro-Democratic Party, neo-liberal “light”, Euro-centric liberal variety. Like many – if not most – KPFK listeners, I’m one of the “dissenters.” Like most KPFK Listeners, I remain an outsider, against my will, and largely unrepresented in KPFK’s supposed “Representative Listener-Democracy.” The Committee to Strengthen KPFK took over the board in a rigged election – and it’s important to look at what they have come to represent. By now, the Committee and its allies on the Pacifica National Board have brought the network to a tipping point.

The future of KPFK and Pacifica as a voice of honest dissent and independent journalism is at stake. Even our flagship national programs - Democracy Now! and Free Speech Radio News have not been paid, and no one knows where the money has gone. In the meantime though, Grace Aaron, the de facto leader of the Committee, has been crying that Pacifica is on the verge of “bankruptcy.”

Without prior warning, out of the blue, it was revealed that a move was underway to put KPFK’s building up as collateral for a million dollar loan to cover the shortfall and avoid the non-existent “bankruptcy.” In the meantime, Aaron and her allies on the Pacifica National Board were angling to use the loan to hire an unqualified group of outside financial consultants- a group with no experience in radio- to overhaul the network and reorient its programming in order to “save” the network.

They also began to push what’s called “underwriting” - the non-commercial commercials that allows sponsors of programs to control programming content while maintaining the appearance – the illusion- of independence for the programming. Karl Rove and the people who have applied the “Shock Doctrine” to undermine and radically re-orient Third World economies and gain control of their direction could not have done a better job. KPFK and Pacifica really are in danger – of losing their role as an independent voice of truth with the freedom to dissent. If The Committee to Strengthen KPFK and its allies hold sway, the station and the network may no longer reign as what Amy Goodman calls “The Exception to the Rulers.” The dissenters to the Committee’s buy–out of the KPFK elections are few in number- but right now, we are all that stands in the way of another hijacking of the network and another betrayal of its purposes. Last time it happened thousands from across the nation organized a listener revolution to take back the network and establish the democracy that has now been betrayed. It’s time to do so again.

A KPFK listener - dissenter,

Lawrence Reyes

I encourage all Concerned Listeners to attend the upcoming KPFK LSB Meeting on Saturday, January 10th, at 1P.M. at the Echo Park Methodist Church at 1226 N. Alvarado Street.

for infogo to (click" LSB ")

"Power Concedes Nothing and it then must be taken by Revolutionary means and for the good of the People:"

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 5 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Ring of truth susan2 Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009 at 11:57 AM
What's Real + What's Fantasy Watchale Monday, Jan. 12, 2009 at 9:54 AM
When AGM, Lafferty Shut down the Web Forums Susan2 Monday, Jan. 12, 2009 at 11:56 AM
who can claim to be soooo RIGHT? sidestepper Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009 at 11:19 PM
Abandon KPFK Fredric L. Rice Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009 at 8:59 PM

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