LETTERS TO NEW PACIFICA PR SPIN DOCTORS FINEMAN & ASSOCIATES

(The Disney PR firm)


We have been asked to impress (emphatically but courteously) on Michael Fineman why he should drop Pacifica as his newest public relations client.

Below, to make use as you see fit: 1. My letter to Fineman (contains a lot of links to info on the Web) 2. Fineman's first reply 3. My response to his reply

>> -----Original Message----- >> From: Steve Freedkin [mailto:Steve@InternetAddress.com] >> Sent: Friday, July 23, 1999 12:52 AM >> To: Michael Fineman >> Subject: Why You Should Turn Down Pacifica >> Importance: High >> >>

>> Dear Mr. Fineman: >>

>> It is my understanding that you have been approached to take on the >> Pacifica Foundation as a client. >>

>> It would be a shame if you had to list your own client at the top of >> the 1999 "top 10 p.r. blunders" list, followed in the #2 spot by >> Fineman and Associates for taking on this client. >>

>> If you are considering this prospective client, you have looked into >> the current crisis. No doubt you have read the materials at the >> below-listed Web pages and seen what any Pacifica-hired P.R. firm >> would be up against: almost universal condemnation, not just here but >> across the country. >>

>> Very clearly, even as skilled a firm as yours cannot make the public >> perceive favorably the terrible actions of Pacifica's top management. >> Nor do I think Odwalla, Clif Bar, Vitasoy, the Jewish Museum of San >> Francisco, Foster Farms or your other clients would prefer to be >> associated with a management that hires thugs and arrests its own >> staff at what was founded as Free Speech Radio. >>

>> Respectfully, >>
>> Steve Freedkin
>> Berkeley
**********************************
>> http://www.fair.org/press-releases/pacifica-leadership.html >> (^Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting calls on Pacifica leaders >> to resign)

>> http://www.fair.org/media-beat/990617.html >> (^F.A.I.R. column on Pacifica actions)

>> http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/examiner/archive/1999/07/19/NEWS8391.dtl >> (^Pacifica seizes KPFA staff notes, tapes; videotapes staff in bldg.)

>> http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1999/07/15/MN64513.DTL >> (^Chronicle: Pacifica seizes KPFA, Alice Walker and hundreds protest)

>> http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/1999/07/16/state2104EDT0107.DTL >> (^AP report: community Board members at Pacifica stations sue Pacifica)

>> http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1999/07/16/MN95131.DTL >> (^SF Chronicle: top legislators seek investigation of Pacifica)

>> http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/examiner/archive/1999/07/16/NEWS3595.dtl >> (^SF Examiner story on the same) >> http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/ramhurl.cgi?file=1999/07/19-kpfabattle_kronv.rm >> (^KRON-TV video report on same, in RealPlayer format)

>> http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/examiner/archive/1999/07/21/EDITORIAL7626.dtl >> ^Examiner editorial by KPIX anchor Bill Scheckner, saying that >> listener-supported radio started with KPFA)

>> http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/examiner/archive/1999/ 07/21/STYLE8191.dtl >> (^SF Examiner report on Joan Baez benefit concert and unity of local >> political leaders in support of local control of KPFA)

>> http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/1999/07/1 >> 9/national1652EDT7005.DTL >> (AP story covering the suspension and arrest of entire KPFA staff)

>> http://www.sfbg.com/kpfa/union.html >> (Service Employees International Union statement supporting KPFA)

>> http://www.sfbg.com/kpfa/chat.html >> (KPFA programmer describes scene inside the station under siege)

>> http://www.sfbg.com/News/33/42/edkpfa.html (Bay Guardian Editorial)

>> http://www.sfbg.com/kpfa/index.html (Bay Guardian Feature)

>> http://www.mercurycenter.com/justgo/columnists/ear/docs/715.htm >> (San Jose Mercury-News column, armed guards at Pacifica news conf.)

>> http://www.mercurycenter.com/justgo/columnists/ear/ >> (follow-up column with readers writing in)

>> http://www.glib.com

>> http://www.users.interport.net/~rpmartin/pac_theft_menu.html

>> http://www.counterpunch.org/pacifica.html (Alexander Cockburn)

>> http://www.savepacifica.net

>> http://www.kfcf.org/

>> http://www.radio4all.org/freepacifica/index.html >> http://www.savepacifica.net/0411_wbai.htm >> (^ Staff at Pacifica's WBAI statement supporting KPFA staff)

>> http://www.radio4all.org/freepacifica/kpfkupdates.htm >> (^Protests at Pacifica's KPFK in Los Angeles)

>> http://www.radio4all.org/freepacifica/kpftupdates.htm >> (^Protests at Pacifica's KPFT in Houston)

>> http://www.radio4all.org/freepacifica/wbainews.htm >> (^Protests at Pacifica's WBAI in New York)

>> http://www.radio4all.org/fp/0623grc.htm >> (^Six Pacifica affiliate stations protest)

>> http://www.kmud.org/ >> (^Pacifica affiliate in Humboldt County carries much >> programming re KPFA) >> >> Steve ****************************************************************

Steve -- >

> You can be sure that our heart and our ethics are in the right place. We > are dedicated to providing sound counsel and advice to help bring this > situation to a fair and peaceful resolution. Our professional code of > ethics mandates that we counsel honesty and that we recuse ourselves if we > see that path not being taken moving forward. > > We wish all parties to this issue the very best for a quick and equitable > outcome. *************************************************************************

Hello again, Michael --

Thanks for your prompt response. I do hope you will examine the resources I provided in my first message (reproduced below). I'm certain that an honest and ethical assessment of your new client will force you to recuse yourself in short order.

Lynn Chadwick says she shares KPFA supporters' goal of "listener-supported radio." Getting donations from the public is hardly the goal of KPFA, historically or now, nor of its listeners. The goal is the free exercise of speech to present a progressive view and information unavailable elsewhere. Simply getting money from listeners is hardly the rallying cry.

The highly respected Fairness and Accuracy in Media has called for the resignation of Chadwick after much deliberation because her personal agenda of power grabbing and her political agenda for Pacifica cannot be reconciled with the goals of the foundation or the understanding of its donors.

You need to consider carefully that:

1. Chadwick personally conducted citizens arrests of a dozen protesters after the City Manager and Chief of Police of Berkeley spent an hour pleading with her not to.

2. Chadwick hired a notorious union-busting "security firm" to police KPFA, and that firm has spent its time policing against KPFA's staff, not any real threat from outside.

3. Chadwick has ordered Amy Goodman to submit her Pacifica Program, "Democracy Now!", to daily censorship for the first time in the history of Pacifica. Pacifica has excised mentions of itself from several other broadcasts, including a speech by Helen Caldicott, with no on-air mention that these items were censored. Professional news outlets from CNN to Microsoft's MSNBC carry news that is critical of the outlet's owner. No honest professionals go to the extremes of censorship that Pacifica does. This is entirely opposite the historic purpose of Pacifica.

4. Chadwick brought in Pacific Bell management to circumvent a Communications Workers of America picket after regular Pac Bell staff (CWA members) would not cross the line, to install equipment at the KPFA Berkeley transmitter allowing Pacifica to pipe in programming from elsewhere and completely circumvent local programming.

5. Under Chadwick's leadership, all but three hours a week of local issues programming has been eliminated at KPFT in Houston, which is now nearly all music; at KPFK, where staff have been told they'll be fired if they discuss these issues on-air, off-air, or privately, one staffer was fired for using Spanish pronunciation for Spanish words. This is all under the guise of seeking more "diversity" at Pacifica radio.

6. Chadwick has brought Pacifica to a point where the leadership of the Legislature has called for investigations to consider revoking Pacifica's tax-exempt status for abusing its public trust; the Governor has expressed concern; the mayor of Oakland and the city council of Berkeley have expressed concern; unions throughout the area have expressed outrage at Chadwick's tactics. So have the managers of six Pacifica-affiliated stations, and the unionized staff of Pacifica-owned WBAI in New York.

7. Pacifica's calls for mediation were disingenuous until they were forced to the table by the nationwide public outrage (including large demonstrations weekly or more often at Pacifica's stations in Houston, Los Angeles, and New York). Pacifica called publicly for mediation but refused in fact to come to the table until this week.

The only real solution to the crisis includes the resignation or ouster of Chadwick and Pacifica chair Mary Berry and the restoration of democratic control of Pacifica, which existed before it was usurped by the current cadre earlier this year. I am afraid that hiring you is a further abuse of Pacifica's listener-donated funds. You MUST heed the political and grassroots leadership and constituents throughout the area, and recuse yourself and your firm from any work with Pacifica while the current administration is in place.

By now, I'm sure you're beginning to receive a torrent of complaints, some perhaps less courteous than mine (for which I am sorry). Please don't "get your back up" in response to some of the anger that must now be coming your way. It is important that you look clearly and objectively at the "p.r. blunder" that would ensue from your continuing to work with Chadwick and company.

Respectfully,
Steve Freedkin

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