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by IAIN BOAL
Friday, Oct. 09, 2009 at 6:48 AM
An unholy alliance of truthists, sectarians, and voting system fanatics, led by an unwilling reject of the Church of Scientology, have used the new governance structure to take control of the commanding heights of Pacifica’s management.
From Farce to Tragedy
The New Crisis at Pacifica
By IAIN BOAL
On September 17 the Governance Committee of the Pacifica National Board passed a resolution expressly designed to find out whether Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! program is getting CIA funding through covert channels like the Ford Foundation for suppressing the “truth” about the 9/11 “over-up” The author of the resolution, Chris Condon, made it clear that he wrote a motion on funding disclosure specifically to find out "where the hell Amy Goodman's money is coming from".
Condon’s campaign for reelection to the KPFK Local Station Board in Los Angeles is endorsed by the current interim Executive Director of Pacifica and chair of the Pacifica National Board, Grace Aaron. Despite being thrown out of the Church of Scientology, Aaron still publicly identifies herself as “a follower of the teachings of L Ron Hubbard”.
What on earth is going on here? Listeners to the largest independent radio network in the US, whose broadcast signals are powerful enough to reach a fifth of the entire population, are no strangers to faction fights among staff and local boards, especially at the largest stations, WBAI (New York), KPFA (Berkeley), and KPFK (Los Angeles). But veterans of the now legendary 1999 crisis could be forgiven for thinking that Pacifica had safely resumed its mission of promoting understanding between peoples and individuals through peaceable dialogue. Many will be dismayed to learn that Pacifica is once again on the edge of the abyss.
In some ways it’s 1999 redux, when a faction under the leadership of Mary Frances Berry, then chair of the Pacifica National Board and former chair of the US Civil Rights Commission, staged a power grab that involved intimidation, lockouts, secret surveillance, armed guards, firings at the local stations, and a barrowload of lawsuits. The takeover triggered a grassroots campaign to save Pacifica, with its epicenter in Berkeley (a “rat’s nest”, declared Berry) but vitally dependent on the strategic sense and tactical savvy of a trio of campaigners on the East coast, Juan Gonzalez, Dan Coughlin and Denis Moynihan. The obstreperous street-level resistance came as a shock to the chair of the Board, who knew little about radio and even less about the original vision that impelled the founders of Pacifica.
Their idea of exploring the springs of human conflict through radical dialogics was born in the camps and prisons that housed conscientious objectors to World War 2. The invention of “listener sponsorship”, the Cold War rhetoric of “free speech” and the identitarian fetish of “community” all came later. Pacifica’s deeper, intertwined taproots were anarcho-syndicalism and Kierkegaardian poetic witness. NPR…not.
A history of the airwaves reveals their special attraction to junior military officers, state propagandists, authoritarians of various stripes, and people with something to sell. Many of the footsoldiers in the 1999 putsch at Pacifica did indeed have their eyes on the microphones, but there was another far larger prize now in sight, although publicly denied – the broadcasting licenses themselves. The network’s five licenses were immensely valuable in the newly deregulated media market, the result of Clinton’s Telecommunications Act of 1996. The New York license alone, with its powerful transmitter on the Empire State Building and massive earprint across a vast metropolitan area, was reckoned to be worth up to $250 million in the hot new radio market. Seize the Pacifica airwaves in order to sell them: a very neoliberal coup!
The 1999 takeover ultimately failed, after more than a year of fierce struggle, thanks to the efforts and energies of thousands of listeners and supporters across the country, and an outpouring of support from around the globe. The coalition was ad hoc and fragile but at the end of it, everybody agreed that such a thing should never happen again. The banner under which many fought to defend the network was “democratize Pacifica”, whatever that was taken to mean.
Ironically the “new democracy” installed at Pacifica, following the debacle of 1999, has resulted in the very outcome it was intended to prevent. Under the revised governance structure and byelaw changes, a small number of listener-subscribers and staff elect biannually a 25 member Local Station Board. The logic of such “democracy” entails a tiny fraction of listeners electing a board with a great deal of power. In the name of proportional representation, through the liberal mechanism of the single transferable vote, a disproportionate weighting is given to the esperantists, propeller heads, world government paranoiacs, and stranded Maoists who are regularly elected with as few as two hundred votes out of the many tens of thousands of listeners at each station. A case of crackpot electoralism beyond parody, the last election cost upward of $700,000, including the inevitable attendant lawsuits - a grotesque misuse of listeners’ money, who expect their subscriptions to go to programming.
If the Save Pacifica movement of 1999 included some exotic creatures from the wilder shores of American political culture, this time around an unholy alliance of truthists, sectarians, and voting system fanatics, led by an unwilling reject of the Church of Scientology, have used the new governance structure to take control of the commanding heights of Pacifica’s management.
The results are dismal. The current regime at Pacifica champions fiscal responsibility, but the reality is quite different. Since Aaron’s cabal has come to power, the financial situation has markedly deteriorated. Spending on salaries and consultants at the Pacifica National Office has jumped by 40 per cent; these positions have mostly gone to board cronies without even a pro forma gesture towards open hiring. Pacifica is behind in payments to Free Speech Radio News and Democracy Now. In just the month of July, WBAI (where the General Manager doubles as Pacifica’s Chief Financial Officer) was almost $50K over budget.
Under Aaron’s tenure, the stations have been under serious pressure to increase listenership and fundraising by offering miracle cures and 9/11 conspiracist DVDs as donor “thank you gifts”. Pacifica station WBAI in New York made tens of thousands of dollars on gifts promising protection from fungus-causing aerosols that the government is supposedly spraying on its population. It is also symptomatic that at the same time that Aaron favors depoliticized self-help shows, she is reported to fulminate against “pro-Palestinian, pro-immigrant” public affairs programming on the network.
Notwithstanding elements of farce and a descent into snake oil peddling, there is an enormous amount at stake in the struggle for the soul of Pacifica. Despite the ascendancy of the internet, radio is still the most accessible mass medium, and the Pacifica network is the only mass medium in the US that belongs to antagonists of the present order. For this reason alone, if we care about the fate of “the left”, then we should care about Pacifica as a space of opposition to capital and empire. In a commercial desert, it has over the years been a beacon of the radio arts, and it continues to be home to such oases of passionate analysis and lucid exchange as C.S.Soong and Eddie Yuen’s Against the Grain and Doug Henwood’s Behind the News. Nowhere else could Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan, veterans’ eye witness accounts of the occupations, have been aired. Even in its weakened state and in the face of further plunder and enclosure of the spectrum and the fading of the high hopes for indymedia, Pacifica is worth fighting for.
To be sure, the battle for Pacifica is being fought on ground not of our own choosing. The entire landscape of communications needs to be contested. The major historic defeat, resulting in wholesale privatization of the spectrum, happened back in 1934. I stand by remarks I made in front of the Federal Communications Commission [reported in CounterPunch, May Day 2003] at a hearing on media ownership in the wake of the fresh round of looting of the public airwaves that followed the 1996 Telecommunications Act: “The FCC is not the cause of this disaster; in its current condition it is just another symptom…Regulation at this stage is disreputable; it is like demanding regulation of the slave-quarters, instead of abolition. The 1934 Act was bad enough; the1996 Telecommunications Act is a scandal. The whole thing stinks; the corpse is rotten. Let us take it out for burial, and start over.”
My conclusion before the commissioners that day seems no less true now: “The flourishing of life in this country and around the planet now depends on the reappropriation of the commons, and that includes - because the means of communication without limits is the very condition of possibility of all else - the seizing back of the electromagnetic spectrum, the de-commodification of the airwaves.”
Iain A. Boal is a historan of the commons, associated with Retort, and co-author of Afflicted Powers: Capital and Spectacle in a New Age of War (Verso). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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by akpfker some more
Friday, Oct. 09, 2009 at 3:21 PM
these are some quotes of much written above to address here :
"Under the revised governance structure and byelaw changes, a small number of listener-subscribers and staff elect biannually a 25 member Local Station Board. The logic of such “democracy” entails a tiny fraction of listeners electing a board with a great deal of power."
"...led by an unwilling reject of the Church of Scientology,"
"Since Aaron’s cabal has come to power, the financial situation has markedly deteriorated."
"...these positions have mostly gone to board cronies without even a pro forma gesture towards open hiring"
"Notwithstanding elements of farce and a descent into snake oil peddling, there is an enormous amount at stake in the struggle for the soul of Pacifica."
Questions and concerns :
" electing a board with a great deal of power."
There has been a big to-do about the LSB, getting voted on, or who gets to represent [no one anyone can name as] a legitimate KPFK group, and hoping to affect the programming or get a program of one's very own...
but it has also been questioned just how much "power" is given or available to the whole LSB, and how ineffective that group is, maybe mostly because of the intense factionalization, continual distractions, the rebellious outbursts that often interrupt any work presented. And all theo bstructions that keep it's own members from provoking dramas for t heir own image making rather than dedicating their energies to producing benefits for the station and it's management.
So the question of how "powerful" other than in name is to be explored, investigated and surely questioned seriously.
Then repeated references to the iED Aaron attempting to malign her by some extraneous label and describe her work as "led by an unwilling reject of the Church of Scientology". Does this mean she is not even qualified for that unpopular organization and it's believers ? Or that if she is a Scientologist, she certainly cannot belong or be rational and effective working for the stations ?
Or what does that reference intend anyhow ? And who is going to verify that this is current, or what the prior circumstances of her life was that now makes her unqualified or inept ?
Another great declaration: " Since Aaron’s cabal has come to power, the financial situation has markedly deteriorated."
Who has determined that she is in any way a cause or contributor to Pacifica's continual money troubles and not a solver or working to improve that forever-impoverished condition ? And is the word "cabal" a negative implication or a description of whom and what ? It appears to be another attempt to demean, discredit and allude to Ms. Aaron's person and colleagues also.
Is that statement verified somewhere that was not included in the historical article above ? Does the public information of the financial condition mean it is to be kept secret from it's stakeholders and those concerned about the stations'
Or does this big implication only mean that the iED has so much power now, more than any ED just prior to her becoming a temporary one, that she alone can make and break Pacifica's banks? Huh ? Explain please, with actual direct causal facts, not just hearsay and rumor or deliberate malignments.
Let's get real here. Indymedia is hopefully not just a place to vent and rant and rage and hope someone else might agree and then act in your behalf.
Another statement : "these positions have mostly gone to board cronies without even a pro forma gesture towards open hiring" Can this be shown, proved, verified ? What are the rules for open-hiring at Pacifica ? What does a manager do when there is no one yet visible who is qualified or hire-able permantly and the work needs to be done ? Use a temp agency maybe ? Or put up an ad on Monster Board ? Or find someone to fill in until all can be done properly, knowing everyone who is not "in" will accuse and complain for sure, and loudly so.
The competition for any of these stressful positions is strong, and the in-fighting with accompanying stress must surely deter many qualified individuals from joining such wildly buffeted organizations.
And while there is much more to question and answer for above, this quote : "notwithstanding elements of farce and a descent into snake oil peddling, there is an enormous amount at stake in the struggle for the soul of Pacifica."
So where can one find the "soul" of a non-profit NGO like Pacifica ? How did a soul [however defined even in Wiki if need be] ever get into such a changing of leadership corporation ? And how did it then evaporate or escape from it's cubby hole?
And the farce that is an eternal Pacifica drama - yes, that many enjoy without even paying their pledges to support this theater of the absurd- continues.
Here some of us agree that "farce.... struggle... " are more useful descriptions, meaning there is more drama and theatrics than actual working towards a goal in LSB and maybe other board or committee meetings. Many love and
make provocations and shout-matches to produce these intense and involving theatrical experience.
Just like the old Greek dramas but in an odder modern version with ' any minority defined as victim to get an immediate defense' and so the next power-struggle for poorest victim to be saved' forms the basis for the next diversion from managing business that must get done.
To be sure, the battle for Pacifica is being fought on a ground not of our own choosing. The entire landscape of internal communications , in Pacifica and it's station, and from the author above, needs to be clarified, and made more factual. Or else everything said and written must be contested and questioned.
Some phrases above are well said and there is some agreement about the concerns of how and by whom all is handled.
Oh, yes, and thanks to author for not being hidden behind a pseudo-name, tho some of us who live locally and try to help affect and improve our local Pacifica station do NOT TRUST the individuals who fractionalize and vent and act-out in some angry ways those who do not just 'agree' and defer to their righteous views. [self-righteous to enhance some demanding very smart people who dedicate enormous amounts of time and energy to doing something for or against their preferred station
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by former kpfk member
Friday, Oct. 09, 2009 at 6:21 PM
Whenever I hear one of the new age health shows, like today's about homeopathy, I tune out. It's nonsense.
There are things that make sense, like some aspects of what Gary Null says, but then he goes on and on about some snake oil he's invented. I'm sure it's healthy, but the prices are like highway robbery. And he seems to be on a lot.
Instead of having shows where they say eat this and this and that, because a study said this chemical is awesome, and these ingredients contain the chemical, how about discussing the study?
Get specific about dosages, how it was administered, and the effects. Omit all that, and it's just a covered wagon medicine show.
Also, a while back, there was a lot of hype about The Secret. I saw the video. It was junk. It was hollow and selfish. After that, I tuned into KPFK a lot less.
Before The Secret, there was a lot of hype about Zeitgeist (and now the followup).
We're in a huge economic crisis. Where's the "Economic Crisis Show"? Where's the "Social Worker's Show" where social workers could tell people about social services.
There's a fight for healthcare. Where's the "Healthcare Show"? Where they deal with policy issues and political struggle for social medicine.
There's a bunch of ICE raids going on. Where's the "Immigration Issues Show"?
We are desperate for information and analysis. In this internet age, we need some simple titles that will come up in web searches, and lead us to shows we can download (and donate for).
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Friday, Oct. 09, 2009 at 9:19 PM
Ian Masters has supported Grace from the beginning.
As interim director, Grace has moved forward with all these remedy shows.
Ian has attacked these shows supported by Grace, as if they were coming from the anti-Masters segment of the listening audience that Ian has been ranting about for years as being out to get him.
Yet he continues to shill for Grace.
What is going on? After all his shouting, why hasn't Ian broken with Grace over them?
Is Ian following orders from somewhere to support Grace whatever she does?
Is Ian so dense that he doesn't see the connection between these programs and the who he supports?
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by akpfker some more
Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009 at 1:24 PM
referring to Oscar’s comment above:
Some people get one thought or rumor or idea in their heads and everything else afterwards needs to match up to that older version of reality.
Could it be that Ian Masters has his own likes, agendas, alliances and makes some of his own choices ?
Could it be that Grace Aaron has views, opinions, friends, alliances and plans that are not connected to Ian at all ?
Why keep trying to link old versions of whatever is convenient to repeat and repeat and repeat ...when they may have not fit together well before, and may have no connection or value now ?
The intention is often to malign, to rumor, to hurt, or to make allusions that are negative and to make a point against someone or two...so the linking is intentionally done to 'hint' that there is some shenanigans going on, or that people are colluding against others.
Suppose that is not true or real or current ?
Suppose that the same old same old attempt to make Grace Aaron the Pacifica Villain and Ian Masters becomes the..whatever ... ou pick him to be For YOU...is no longer of any value ?
But because here on Indy we can say anything that is NOT accurate and is dis-informed , because someone is going to buy it just because it sounds rebellious .
and many KPFK people and Indymedia people like and are proud of whatever seems to be in OPPOSITION to someone or something ...and they love to believe that version of a varied reality w/o any further fact-checking.
Oh well, what do we expect from a free website that has no monitors except when it a political stance that is different than the Indy volunteers prefer...ahh. then they do censorship then...but mostly, anything goes here and a lot of allusions to how bad and corrupt and stupid is Anyone - anyone who has any position at Pacifica.
Could it be competition, envy, or just someone who has more to pick on to bring them down ?
Why all the hate-them who work so hard to keep KPFK and Pacifica afloat..for just a little bit longer ? huh ?
Is it just for the fun of connecting ..not the dots...but connecting all the bad guys and gals you dont like together ...to prove "it is all corrupted" and you know someone else should then " legitimately" take it all over ? huh ?
Why all the continual accusations and negative implications on personalities, people you may not like or appreciate, or are there better reasons not apparent here ?
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Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009 at 11:03 PM
akpfker, who always seems to know more than he or she is willing to say, or admit, and on whose identity I will not speculate, said:
>Could it be that Ian Masters has his own likes, agendas, alliances and makes some of his own choices ?
>Could it be that Grace Aaron has views, opinions, friends, alliances and plans that are not connected to Ian at all ?
>Why keep trying to link old versions of whatever is convenient to repeat and repeat and repeat ...when they may have not fit together well before, and may have no connection or value now ?
>Why all the continual accusations and negative implications on personalities, people you may not like or appreciate, or are there better reasons not apparent here ?
Because as a KPFK and Pacifica donor and voter I want to know the truth about who in the organization is pursuing what agenda for what reason and, because as a donor, I think I have a right to know the agendas of the people who are spending my money and what outside influences these people are operating under, such as outside money.
Both Aaron and Masters have consistently made me doubt their true intentions and the consistency of them with the goals of Pacifica, and neither has done anything to relieve those doubts.
I have and will continue to call for the truth about what is happening inside Pacifica and KPFK, including who is financing the slate mailers.
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by Frank LeFever
Monday, Oct. 12, 2009 at 10:48 AM
helpwbai (at) yahoo (dot) com
What a convoluted mix of whole truths, half truths and nowhere near the truth!
As a neuroscientist, I also would prefer a better selection of premiums -- indeed, a better model for fundraising.
What Boals does not understand, however, is that Pacifica's rescuers (not too strong a term) are inheriting what has been ubiquitous but is NOT inheriting the staff that would be required to make fundamental changes. It is truly an emergency operation.
That is especially true at WBAI, whose displaced turf-protectors are describing Pacifica's intervention to correct the melt-down of a station it owns and whose debts it is responsible for as a "coup".
For some details of how WBAI has gone downhill in listeners, members, and financial support, see analyses I and other reformers have prepared: http://www.takeforwardwbai.org/wbaifinancialdecline.html
This is probably the most dishonest of Boals' paragraphs:
"...The results are dismal. The current regime at Pacifica champions fiscal responsibility, but the reality is quite different. Since Aaron’s cabal has come to power, the financial situation has markedly deteriorated. Spending on salaries and consultants at the Pacifica National Office has jumped by 40 per cent; these positions have mostly gone to board cronies without even a pro forma gesture towards open hiring. Pacifica is behind in payments to Free Speech Radio News and Democracy Now. In just the month of July, WBAI (where the General Manager doubles as Pacifica’s Chief Financial Officer) was almost $50K over budget..."
 The law REQUIRES that the Chair of the Board act as interim Executive Director until a successor is recruited and hired. "Pro forma gesture"? How about advertising and SEARCHING for replacements for ED and CFO? That is what the Pacifica National Board has done.
 Jumped by "40%"? Big f***g deal --- 40% of what? Forty-percent of $800K would be a lot, but forty-percent of $80K would not. National office staff was decimated in staff cuts during the past year (staff cuts which the turf-protectors at KPFA, chief opponents of Aaron's efforts) refused to do, pushing the Foundation closer to fiscal meltdown. I understand, bytheway, that iCFO LaVarn Williams' part of the "central office increase" is offset system-wide by her NOT getting extra salary for her impressive and arduous work as WBAI's iGM.
 Boal is especially dishonest when he insinuates that WBAI's being $50K over budget in July indicates some failure on the part of the iED or iGM: the GM who was moved out of his position had NEGLECTED TO PAY THE RENT on the studios (4 months in arrears) and the TRANSMITTER/ANTENNA installation (two months arrears). We were threatened with eviction TWICE (3-day notice in December, repeated in March). The "deal" this ex-GM cut required WBAI to pay TWO months rent every month -- with income which (duh!) had been inadequate to pay ONE month's rent every month! In other words, we are having "increased expenses" because we have begun to pay our bills.
Besides manager's mis-management, there is the little matter of embezzlement. What we know of is chump change, but $2,500 here, $65,000 there, and it adds up; especially when it is only the visible tip of an iceberg.
This issue and numerous mismanagement issues are being obscured by charges of "racism", to the inevitable decrement of Pacifica's credibility in the progressive community: see "Kicking Pacifica When It's Down" at http://www.takeforwardwbai.org/pacificakickingdown.html
and see also "Bernard White Defends Himself" (against charges of embezzlement) at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/09/24/18623114.php?show_comments=1#18624269
For an overview of collusion between KPFA "Concerned Listeners" [sic] and WBAI "Justice & Unity" [sic] turf-protectors that enabled Lonnie Hicks (ex-CFO) and Dan Siegel (ex-sometimes Counsel, sometimes -- crony-named -- iED) and several BAI GMs to obscure who was paying WBAI's bills, see http://www.takeforwardwbai.org/thebigpicture.html
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by Frfank LeFever
Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009 at 7:57 PM
helpwbai (at) yahoo (dot) com
Reply to Mr. Iain Boal Regarding His October 6th Article in CounterPunch Entitled
"From Farce to Tragedy, The New Crisis at Pacifica"
October 12, 2009
Dear Mr. Boal,
I would like to request a formal retraction of your article in CounterPunch entitled "From Farce to Tragedy, The New Crisis at Pacifica" http://www.counterpunch.org/boal10062009.html
as it contains libelous statements about me, personally, and distortions, half-truths and false information about Pacifica.
In paragraph 1 of your article you reference a motion that was made by Chris Condon, a KPFK Local Station Board member, in a Pacifica National Governance Committee meeting, of which he is also a member. It passed that committee by a 5-4 vote. It has not yet been considered by the Pacifica National Board. I have copied that motion below my signature in this email and hope that you will include it in a retraction so that CounterPunch readers can make their own judgement about its merits.
In paragraph 2 of your article you state that: "Condon’s campaign for reelection to the KPFK Local Station Board in Los Angeles is endorsed by the current interim Executive Director of Pacifica and chair of the Pacifica National Board, Grace Aaron." This is false. I have not endorsed any candidate at any station in this election.
In paragraph 2 you also say: "Despite being thrown out of the Church of Scientology, Aaron still publicly identifies herself as “a follower of the teachings of L Ron Hubbard”." To set the record straight, I don't consider myself a follower of anyone or any one religion, ideology, group or subject. I consider myself an independent thinker. I pick and choose what I find valuable from a wide variety of sources.
Are you aware that CounterPunch Editor, Alexander Cockburn, defended Scientology on a number of issues in articles in the Nation magazine as well as other publications?
Later on in your article you state: "the last election cost upward of $700,000, including the inevitable attendant lawsuits." This is a gross exageration. The election cost less than half that amount, including lawsuits.
You further state: "Since Aaron’s cabal has come to power, the financial situation has markedly deteriorated. Spending on salaries and consultants at the Pacifica National Office has jumped by 40 per cent," This statement is also partly incorrect and partly misleading. The absence of a paid Executive Director for about 6 months from October 2008 to February 2009 did, indeed, mean less was spent on salaries at the National Office level, but this lack of senior management exacerbated an already dire financial situation. Fund drives were failing, membership and listenership declining and virtually nothing was being done to resolve a host of legal suits mainly related to human resources. Should current management be faulted for hiring a very qualified interim HR Director to investigate and handle complaints? Knowing that hundreds of thousands have been paid out by Pacifica to settle such cases? Should we continue to allow stations to operate in the red without senior management in order to save money at the National Office? Don't forget, when I assumed the role of interim ED on Feb. 2, 2009, and Ms. LaVarn Williams became the interim CFO, our NY station WBAI was $1.2 million in debt to the National Office, was spending over $30,000 per month more than it was bringing in in income and was 4 months in arrears on its office rent and 2 months in arrears on its rent to the Tower that houses its transmitter. In fact, that rent owed came to almost $300,000. WBAI has since seen a tremendous resurgence in fund drive performance, is now able to pay its bills, is current on its rent and will be able to pay its Central Services fees to the National Office after its Fall fund drive for the first time in over a year. KPFK (Los Angeles) and KPFT (Houston) are holding their own in a very tough economic climate and are paying their Central Services. KPFA (Berkeley) failed to make budgeted cuts that had been scheduled for fall 2008, months before my and Ms. William's tenures, and they are consequently faced with a 2009 budget shortfall. WPFW (Washington, D.C.) is recovering from senior management neglect which allowed that station to decline over a 2 year period. WPFW now is in the hands of very competent, new management and should also perform much better in its fall fund drive.
Fall fund drives at KPFK and KPFA have not only met their budgeted goals, but KPFK's drive came in $62,728 over its goal and, in fact, raised $1,212,728, which is the highest amount ever raised in a KPFK fund drive.
I will not comment at this time on how we raise money in our fund drives except to say that it is easy to take pot shots without deep analysis. I have not pushed certain types of premiums on any station nor suggested any. We have, however, utilized the successful, tried and true fund drive techniques at one station, including sharing staff support between stations, to improve fund drive performance. Criticism of any one premium in a drive should be specifically made so that the exact premium can be investigated.
The statement that "she is reported to fulminate against “pro-Palestinian, pro-immigrant” public affairs programming on the network" is untrue. I have a long track record as a peace activist on those issues and I consider this an unfounded smear on my reputation. I have been a board member of the Los Angeles Branch of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, agree with that organization's strong and wise stand about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I have helped put on symposia highly critical of the treatment of Palestinians for WILPF http://losangeles.wilpf.org/documents/WILPF_Bulletin_10.06.pdf
. I have also produced cable TV programs on the subject that can be viewed at www.SocialUplift.org. See especially the video Israel & Palestine: An Insider's Perspective that can be viewed there or at http://www.lajewsforpeace.org/Essays.html
. I have also worked on this subject as the Board Chair of Peace Action of Southern California in the mid-80s and early '90s and agree with Peace Action's public statements about that conflict. I also participated in efforts to bring peace to that region with such groups as the American Friends Service Committee, Pax Christi, New Jewish Agenda, the Muslim Public Affairs Center, Women in Black http://www.afsc.org/ht/d/EventDetails/i/52516/pid/16705
, and other activist groups. To repeat, this is an unfair slur on my past activities and character. A couple of years ago as a member of a local Amnesty International Group I strongly supported the publication of Israeli human rights abuses by Amnesty.
I do agree with you, Mr. Boals, when you say "Pacifica is worth fighting for." There is little else I agree with in your article. Your efforts to identify me with past personalities and events in Pacifica that are not similar to the present situation as a way to denigrate me by guilt through association is unfair. I have a deep and abiding love for Pacifica that grew out of my young adult years listening to WBAI as a Vietnam War protester. And yet you try to portray me as ignorant of Pacifica's past by identifying me with someone else.
Your journalism regarding Pacifica is very flawed. You have only to peruse our website at www.Pacifica.org to see clear evidence that our listenership and finances had been declining for at least 4-5 years, well before I was even on the Pacifica National Board, let alone in my present position. Our current National Board, senior management team and radio station staffs should be highly commended for having the courage and tenacity to turn this network around. I request that you examine the facts more closely and write a retraction of your article.
Chair of the Pacifica National Board
Interim Executive Director of the Pacifica Foundation
phone: (310) 286 - 1011, cell: (510) 734-3496
1925 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704-1034 * www.pacifica.org * tel: (510) 849-2590 * fax: (510) 849-2617
Motion on Funding Disclosure Passed 5-4 no abstentions.
All programmers, program providers, collectives, and/or independent
production companies who have a program at any station of the Pacifica
Network and which recieve outside (i.e. non-Pacifica) funding from any
source in excess of $5000 per year for the production of their program
will be asked to disclose to the GM of their respective station the source of that
funding, the amounts of money received or promised, and any contractual
or grant agreements related to that funding for that current year. The
GM shall forthwith report that information to the Pacifica Executive
Director who shall hold such information in trust as a public record.
Any programmer, program provider, program collective and/or independent
production company whose program is syndicated or shared by more than
one Pacifica station and who receives outside funding from any source in
excess of $5000 per year for the production of their program will be asked to
disclose to the Pacifica ED the source of that funding, the amounts of
money received or promised and any contractual or grant agreements
related to that funding for that current year. The ED shall hold that
information in trust as a public record.
In the case of a programmer whose outside funding is in excess of
$25,000 for the current year, such disclosure should be for a period of
not less than three years prior to the date of the passage of this
motion by the Pacifica National Board, provided they have been a
programmer or program provider for that period.
Any waiver to this requirement must have the written consent of the GM
of the respective station, and the ratification of that consent by the
respective LSB, such as in the case of a purchased or syndicated program
where compliance is not practical, or the written consent of the ED and
the ratification of that consent by the PNB when appropriate in the case
of a program aired on more than one Pacifica station.
(Presented to the Pacifica National Board for consideration from the
Pacifica National Governance Committee)
[reposted by F. LeFever]
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