"New Pacifica's" frontal attack on Democracy Now!

by Don DeBar Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009 at 8:33 AM

After rejecting Cynthia McKinney for ED, Aaron's Pacifica now turns on Amy Goodman

Christopher Condon, an ally of Pacifica's interim director Grace Aaron, last month introduced a resolution at a meeting of the Pacifica National Board's Governance Committee targeting Democracy Now! over allegations that is is being secretly funded by the CIA.

Attached is an assembled pair of audio clips from Condon explaining the purpose of his resolution, in mp3 format. An audio clip of the entire discussion - and votes - can be heard at http://www.kpftx.org/archives/pnb/governance/090917/governance090917a.mp3 from 0:03:32 to 0:41:25. The action, which would require every Pacifica programmer to disclose all sources of funding above $5000 and related contracts, passed the Committee and is before the Pacifica National Board, meeting in Houston this weekend, for approval.

A Counterpunch article by Iain Boal entitled "The New Crisis at Pacifica" provides some of the political context for this attack; it can be found at http://www.counterpunch.org/boal10062009.html

Condon based the claimed need to dissect the finances of Democracy Now! on purported allegations that DN has received "CIA conduit funding" through the Ford Foundation to suppress information about the 9/11 "Truth" Movement.

However, a search of Democarcy Now's website - the place where the voices of such 9/11 skeptics as Willie Rodriguez were first given national coverage - shows many links to 9/11 stories over the past years. See, e.g., http://www.democracynow.org/search?query=9%2F11+&relevance=1

Oddly, Pacifica recently rejected the application of perhaps the nation's best-known 9/11 Truth activist - former Rep. Cynthia McKinney - for the position of Executive Director. In fact, her application was rejected twice - first in June, before the application was even reviewed by the personnel committee charged with conducting the search, and again on September 23, when she received an unsigned rejection notice from Pacifica.

On Condon's resolution, Board member Nia Bediako - a member of the Justice & Unity coalition - sought to table the matter until the assault on Goodman could be reviewed by counsel, but her motion was defeated. Board member Joe Wanzala, another Aaron ally, called the resolution "a matter of due dilligence,"and said he fully supported the motion. And Sean O'Brien, yet another Aaron ally, even opposed - twice - extending the time to attempt to rewrite the resolution, although an extension passed over his opposition both times, with Condon and Wanzala voting against.

A proposed amendment which would have limited the policy to Pacifica's internal paid and unpaid programmers - exempting such syndicated programs as DN! and BBC World News - failed on a 4 to 4 tie vote, with Condon, O'Brien and Wanzala joined by George Reiter, another Aaron ally, in voting against.

In further discussion, Condon revealed another goal of his resolution - to reduce funding of Democracy Now! - the network's most popular program - in future contract negotiations. During this discussion, no recognition was made of the fact that the program is, in actual dollars, the network's largest fundraiser.

The resolution passed 5 to 4. It's full text is available at http://pacifica.org/documents/pnb091009agenda.htm under "Motion on Funding Disclosure."