Links and notes about The Media's Coverage and reaction to KPFA/Pacifica
Compiled by Michael Costello of The North Bay for KPFA Media Affinity Group
Here's the earlier section of Media Review...
Here's the just recently ('till November) earlier section of Media Review...
11/30/00 - The Los Angeles Times - Steve Appleford
This is a story about the fundraising concert put on at the Troubadour in Los Angeles by friends of the Larmans. The Larmans recently lost their 30 year old show on KFPK to General Manager Marc Schubb's bogus "Y2K" scam. Unfortunately, this article barely makes reference to KPFK. There is no mention of the reason their show has been removed from the KPFK air. There's lots of quotes from famous folkies regarding their relationship with the Larmans. I happen to know that roughly 500 people attended and that all of them were handed fliers detailing mis-management at KPFK and urging people to get involved in protesting Pacifica policies.
Rating: Appleford should have gotten into the meat of the problem
11/17/00 - The Los Angeles Times - Calendar Section
This is an announcement of a benefit concert to help "Howard and Roz Larman pay for legal expenses incurred in trying to resolve their dispute with KPFK management." The article explains the situation thusly, "After a 30-year run, the Sunday night show was canceled last month because the Larmans refused to sign an agreement that they felt essentially ceded ownership of the program's content to KPFK."
Rating: Good continuing coverage of bad KPFK management
11/9/00 - The Houston Press - Richard Connelly
Here's a short piece noting the demonstrations outside of KPFT over the threats made to Democracy Now! The heart of the story concerns the fate of George Reiter who was fired by KPFT operations director Edmundo Resendez for taking part in the demonstration. There appears to be some good news - "Resendez says simply that Reiter's show will continue, and that 'there are issues that need to be resolved, and one of them might be' Reiter. The two plan to talk soon, they both say, in hopes of ironing things out."
Rating: Good - in that there is coverage in the Houston Press at all and that George Reiter may get his show back.
11/9/00 - The New York Press - The Mail
Here's a letter to the editor from Bernard White, WBAI Program Director, in response to Norman Kelley's revealing article of 10/31. See:
Rating: Good insight into the workings of WBAI. Check it out
11/9/00 - The New York Daily News - David Hinckley
Here's nice little subjective piece on the Amy Goodman/Bill Clinton election day radio confrontation. I like Hinckley's analysis. He ends his article with this, "It will be interesting to see how this interview — which is available as audio and transcript on democracynow.org — plays with WBAI's parent Pacifica Foundation, some of whose officials have criticized Goodman's and Juan Gonzalez' award-winning show as strident and something of a loose cannon." I would add that some of these officials are firmly in Clinton's pocket. Interesting indeed.
Rating: Good coverage and interesting reportage
11/8/00 - AlterNet.org - Don Hazen
Here's an interesting relation of the now famous Goodman/Clinton radio show. Hazen dwells a bit on Clinton's political skill in his answering and dodging of Aburto's and Goodman's questions.
Rating: Short but sweet
11/8/00 - The Washington Post - The Reliable Source - Lloyd Grove
This is the Post's version of a gossip column. In this instance Grove is reporting on Amy Goodman's confrontational interview with Bill Clinton yesterday. Here's the entire item:
"THIS JUST IN...
Pacifica Radio correspondent Any Goodman whose questions during the Republican convention made Newt Gingrich lose his temper, did the same thing yesterday to President Clinton when he called in to WBAI, Goodman's New York City station, for some innocuous get-out-the-vote chat and Goodman grilled him for half an hour on everything from NAFTA to Ralph Nader. Clinton exploded: 'Every question you've asked has been hostile and combative, so you listen to my answer. Will you do that? . . . Now you just listen to me. You ask the questions, and I'm gonna answer. You have asked questions in a hostile, combative, and even disrespectful tone.' Afterward, Goodman was unapologetic. 'These are the kinds of questions our listeners are concerned about.' she told us."
Rating: Interesting, we'll be waiting for fall out.
11/7/00 - In These Times (11/27/00 issue) - Laura Flanders
In These Times finally breaks their silence on the Pacifica crisis. I had given up on ITT and decided that they occupy a well worn space on the fence with Saul Landau and all his friends. Too bad it took a direct attack on Democracy Now! to stimulate a little editorial interest in our struggle.
Flanders relates the details of the attack memo that she says was leaked by a member of the PNB. There are some good statements from Leslie Cagan and, remarkably, a threatening statement from John Murdock.
It would be wonderful if In These Times would make an effort to mobilize their readers in support of the retaking of the Pacifica Network.
Rating: Excellent. Highly recommended
11/4/00 - The Los Angeles Times - Letters to the Editor
Saturday, November 4, 2000
We are writing this out of sheer frustration in response to the correction that The Times published on Oct. 30 regarding the earlier article about our dispute with KPFK-FM ("The Day the 'FolkScene' Music Died," Oct. 27). At issue is how you define ownership of our program, "FolkScene." Whatever you want to call it, the real issue is control.
It's true that in the agreement KPFK wants us to sign if we are to continue broadcasting there, it states that "KPFK recognizes that 'FolkScene' is a name trademarked by the programmers and that aspects of the program are the intellectual property of the programmers." (According to our attorney, the word "aspects" could mean we own the name "FolkScene" and nothing else. No attorney in his right mind would let anyone sign something as vague as this.)
But elsewhere in the agreement that general manager Mark Schubb wants us to sign, it says this: "Unless there is an explicit written agreement to the contrary, for the purposes of copyright, all work performed for programs and programming at KPFK is a 'work for hire,' whether such work or services are paid or unpaid. All rights to content and all copyright interests in any and all material produced under this Policy Agreement are assigned to Pacifica/KPFK."
The issue here is a moral one. Does Mark Schubb have the right to own a program that was developed 30 years ago and is the "intellectual property" of the unpaid volunteer producers of "FolkScene"?
ROZ and HOWARD LARMAN
* * *
Thank you for the story ("Protests Planned Against Pacifica
Network," Oct. 25) on Pacifica's apparent plans to fire Amy Goodman, who,
in my opinion, is this country's finest and most fearless political reporter.
Unfortunately, your reporter, Steve Carney, does make a serious mistake in saying that Amy's co-host, Juan Gonzales, is "not involved in the current controversy." On the contrary, Gonzales has officially protested Goodman's treatment. In her letter to the board of Pacifica, Goodman writes: "This punishment [interference with her coverage of the Democratic convention] was such an unprecedented act that it prompted my co-host and award-winning veteran journalist Juan Gonzalez to write an official protest to Steve Yasko, the new program director, the content of which Yasko never responded to."
10/30/00 - Current (biweekly public broadcasting newspaper) - Steve Behrens
Here's a truly uplifting report on the three lawsuits pending against the Pacifica Board, plus the two from fired employees. Current has finally reported on this. Behrens has written a very supportive article for our movement. This is what Pacifica dreads, accurate reporting in industry publications.
Rating: Terrific, highly recommended
10/30/00 - Current - Mike Janssen
This is an article regarding the attack on Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! There are good quotes here from Amy, Juan Gonzales, Tomas Moran, Jeremy Scahill, Garland Ganter, Leslie Cagan, Dave Adelson and many others. Current has covered Pacifica for many, many years and Janssen incorporates history very well into this article.
Rating: Absolutely great, a true must read
11/1/00 - The New York Press - Norman Kelley
Two year WBAI volunteer producer (City in Exile) Norman Kelley spills the beans on the inner problems of BAI. He paints an ugly picture of the personality clashes and racial disharmony that are tearing the station apart. He then nicely rips into Pacifica management. No one is immune. He has no respect for "the activist community that comes through WBAI [and] pimps off the station."
Rating: Harshly honest and sobering. A must read
10/31/00 - The Contra Costa Times - Joaquin McPeek
This is a story about the coordinated national demonstrations in support of Democracy Now! McPeek covers the back-and-forth between Amy Goodman's leaked letter and Pacifica's posted response including quotes from each. Some obligatory history follows. Also, some good quotes from demonstrators. The story ends with this sober statement, "The show still remains on the air for the time being."
Rating: Not too bad a report, recommended reading
10/31/00 - The Washington Post - Frank Ahrens
Mr. Ahrens has written a fairly fair report on the confrontation between Pacifica and Democracy Now! He makes the situation look reasonable at first but then alludes to the value of Democracy Now! thusly, "The show has a twofold value: It focuses on topics usually outside the view of the mainstream media; and in the increasingly homogenous radio industry - with its ever-shrinking news budget - the mere fact that it exists is important."
Some quotes from Amy and some from Yasko and mention of a 30 person demonstration in front of WPFW on Wednesday last.
Rating: Not bad for the Washington Post where any Pacifica coverage is rare.
10/30/00 (11/13 issue) - The Nation - Nation Editors
This short editorial signals a slight shift in the Nation's attitude regarding Pacifica's management practices. The treat to Democracy Now! appears to have created enough wind to blow the Nation's editorial staff off the fence where they have been firmly planted. "Our main concern is that Democracy Now! be preserved under Goodman and her current co-host, Juan Gonzalez."
While praising Amy Goodman's work, the Nation still withholds solid criticism of Pacifica management. Rating: Half-assed effort to support Amy Goodman herself. Worth a read.
10/27/00 - The Los Angeles Times - Jon Matsumoto, Special to The Times
This is another unusual [for the LA Times] story concerning the situation at KPFK in LA. It seems to take the loss of a deep tradition to attract the attention of Los Angeles media. In this case two programs with a long history at KPFK have been removed from the air or quit over refusing to go along with Mark Schubb's bogus "Y2K" agreement. Details on just what this involves are well covered in this article.
" 'The folk community is totally freaked out [over the loss of the show],' says Leda Shapiro, a 'FolkScene' supporter and an organizer of local folk dance events. 'I don't think anybody could get on the air and do what the Larmans do. They have 30 years of experience knowing people in the community.' "
Schubb is given space to explain his point of view. "People use radio like an appliance. If they find something they enjoy listening to, they'll listen to it. It's a wonderful time slot. Whatever we put there, we'll find an audience." California Traditional Music Society's Elaine Weissman doesn't believe the local folk community will accept a substitute for the Larmans. "I wouldn't want to be the person who got into that space," she says. "I think it would be total anger, total rejection."
Rating: All in all, a good report. Highly recommended
10/13/00 - Law.com online legal magazine - Ross Hanig
Here's an interesting reporting for the legal community on the three lawsuits that have been filed against the Pacifica Board. Lawyers representing Pacifica respond to the points in the lawsuits and are responded to. Many excellent quotes. An interesting detail unknown previously is that "Adelson [LAB lawsuit] is currently in the midst of discovery." You would think that those who have donated thousands of dollars toward this lawsuit would be made aware of this fact.
Rating: Important and apparently accurate, recommended
9/22/00 - The Contra Costa Times - John Simerman
This is a well written story of the filing of two lawsuits against the Pacifica Board. Good information from Rob Robinson's attorney, a spokes person from Lockyer's office, Carol Spooner, David Adelson and others. We are spared a long rerun of the history of the problem.
Rating: Apparently accurate and informative, highly recommended
9/21/00 - The Berkeley Daily Planet - Judith Scherr
This article gives us details of the director's lawsuit filed by Rob Robinson and Rabbi Aaron Kriegel of the PNB. There is great dialog between the Daily Planet, the director's lawyer and Pacifica's lawyer. Good detail.
Rating: Highly recommended
9/21/00 - The San Jose Mercury News - Nicole Wong
Here's a nice piece announcing the filing of not one but two lawsuits against the Pacifica Board of Directors. One small detail is incorrect, Rob Robinson is from Washington DC not Los Angeles and Rabbi Aaron Kriegel of Los Angeles is co-plaintiff in this suit. Lots of quotes from David Adelson of the KPFK LAB, Tracy Rosenberg of Media Alliance and Les Radke of the CdP. One down note at the end from a UC Berkeley professor who says he doesn't give money to KPFA because he doesn't know how it will be used. Perhaps he can donate to the lawsuits?
Rating: Terrific, great news, must read
9/19/00 - Communications Daily - Shawn Nelson
This is an article in a broadcast industry publication. There is no link unless you are a subscriber. Essentially this is read by people who might be interested in the health of Pacifica and its attractiveness for a buyer. This article announces that "California Attorney Gen. Bill Lockyer granted listeners of Pacifica public radio stations right to proceed with lawsuit to have board removed and have some held accountable for allegedly violating its founding purpose." This should serve notice to prospective buyers that Pacifica Radio stations would be a bad investment since they belong to their listeners.
Rating: Excellent coverage, unfortunately there's no link
9/18/00 - The San Francisco Chronicle - Matthew Lasar
This is a story in which Lasar discusses the National Association of Broadcasters Year 2000 Convention in San Francisco. He covers problems that have occurred since the Telecommunications Act passed in 1996 and media consolidation began in full force. Half way through his article he begins to focus on the problems between KPFA and Pacifica. I have a little problem with his version of why programs were purged in the mid-nineties.
Rating: Excellent except for my disagreement, highly recommended
7/29/00 - The Fresno Bee - Rick Flores
This is a good explanation of the situation at KFCF in Fresno. Some history of the relationship between KPFA and KFCF is presented. This article is a bit one sided if you consider both sides to have even standing. A good argument is made against recalling the current directors of KFCF.
Rating: Well written and worth reading
7/26/00 - The Santa Rosa Press Democrat - AP Wire
This is an article noting that Kahlil Jacobs-Fantauzzi has filed a civil rights lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the city of Berkeley, Police Chief Dash Butler and several other officers. Jacobs-Fantauzzi alleges the he was assaulted and arrested without cause, denied medical treatment and taunted while in custody.
Rating: Good news, will justice be served?
7/26/00 - The Sacramento Bee - Cal Report - AP
This is another rewrite of the same story reported above. Good to see that this is still considered news.
7/26/00 - The Modesto Bee - State News - AP
The same story as above. Not even rewritten.
7/26/00 - The Oakland Tribune - Josh Richman
This is a much more elaborate rewrite of the AP story. Mr. Richman does some fleshing out of the details. Some good statements from John Burris, Kahlil's attorney.
Rating: This is the article most recommended to read. Good coverage.
7/14/00 - The Contra Costa Times - Tony Hicks
Here's some nice coverage of the 7/13 gathering in front of KPFA as the station broadcast live from the sidewalk. This article points out that Pacifica gave KPFA 6-12 months to improve its rating numbers. "Jim Bennett said the station has since improved vastly in the ratings. He said KPFA never surpassed a 'one share' in quarterly surveys -- representing one percent of the Bay Area's total listening audience. The station, at 94.1 FM, scored a 1.3 share this past spring, he said." Also quoted are Kris Welch and Curt Gray. There is a lot of pretty good information and historical coverage here.
Rating: Very good, highly recommended
7/14/00 - The San Francisco Chronicle - Photo caption
This appears to be a photo caption. The photo itself is not available on line as far as I know. Here's the caption: "BERKELEY -- KPFA-FM talk show host Kris Welch (center-right) broadcast her show yesterday from a sidewalk outside the Berkeley station as she and other employees and station supporters marked the first anniversary of the start of a 23-day lockout of workers by Pacifica Radio, which owns KPFA. One of Welch's guests was Matthew Laser (right) who has written a book about the station. Longtime listener Rudy Posch (foreground) of Los Altos wore a paper hat supporting the station and other causes."
Rating: Any positive coverage is good, right?
7/9/00 - The Contra Costa Times - Karen Hershenson
Here's quite a wonderful announcement regarding the showing of a new film "KPFA On the Air." This film by Oakland filmmaker Veronica Silver captures the history of KPFA. "Selver (along with co-producer and writer Sharon Wood) has compiled amazing archival clips -- both visual and audio -- that capture the station's humanist mission. Launched in 1949 by diehard pacifist and World War II conscientious objector Lewis Hill, KPFA has from the beginning encouraged "voices and sounds found nowhere else on the radio dial." One narrator even comments, "I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that the people who started KPFA wanted to save the world. "That didn't exactly happen, but they did create something that doggedly offsets the drone of contemporary airwaves. Nowhere else could you hear an entire program devoted to the role of chickens in different cultures, or to doo-wop music."
Rating: A nice, sweet article
6/28/00 - The Washington Post - Peter Carlson
This is a fun story about Caroline Casey whose show "The Visionary Activist" is broadcast weekly on KPFA. Since Caroline is appearing in Sebastopol on July 7th to aide the Town Hall Coalition (tickets available at Copperfield's), this might be of interest to Pacifica activists.
6/17/00 - The San Francisco Chronicle - Benjamin Pimentel
Here's the Chronicle's story of the release of the Wildman Committee's report on the behavior of the PNB. It must have been very difficult in an election year for a Democrat-dominated committee to issue a negative report on a Democrat-dominated non-profit foundation with close ties to the Clinton Administration. Under a steady barrage of demands that this report be published, the California State Legislative Audit Committee has released a report that is generally critical of the actions of the Pacifica National Board but stops well short of demanding or even recommending legal action by the state. As always, the Chronicle finds that members of the PNB are not available for comment.
This article ends with some quotes from Larry Bensky who has, the Chronicle notes, a lawsuit against Pacifica for breach of contract.
Rating: Accurate and informative
6/14/00 - The San Francisco Examiner - Marianne Constantinou
This article announces the release of the long-awaited California State Legislative Audit Committee's report on the Pacifica Board. Highlighted are these conclusions that the Pacifica Board's actions:
-- Seemed to contradict the foundation's stated mission.
-- May have violated union contracts with station employees.
-- Misused the station's donor-generated revenues.
-- May have violated the California Corporation Code when the foundation removed the voting rights of local advisory boards.
-- Failed to keep its board apprised of issues fundamental to the board's fiduciary responsibilities.
-- Engaged in poor management practices that may have damaged its credibility. There are some remarks from Barbara Lubin and from Wildman himself.
Rating: Finally, some good news. Read it and get happy for a change.
6/5/00 - The Washington Post - Avram Goldstein
This is a story about the Mayor of Washington D.C. removing four members of a board of directors whose job it is to run the D.C. General Hospital and its satellite clinics. It would appear that hospital system is in a deep financial crisis. One of the four board members, who were originally appointed by Marion "crack smokin'" Berry, is no other than our new Pacifica National Board member Bertram Lee. This article basically infers that the four members who are leaving were not asked to stay on. Maybe they weren't a "good fit."
Rating: Great to see quality people on the PNB. Read it and weep
5/30/00 - The Editor and Publisher Magazine - Joel Davis
This is a story of concern to news editors and publishers. Here's the critical quote - "Contempt charges against Tribune chief photographer Ron Riesterer were dropped after defendant Kahlil Jacobs-Fanauzzi (sic), 24, on trial for a protest at Berkeley public radio station KPFA, withdrew the request." A few details on the trial etc. follow.
May/June 2000 - The Non Violent Activist - Editorial
This is a publication of the War Resisters League. Turns out that Lew Hill was a member of the War Resisters League. The League considers Pacifica to be their "stepchild." Although this is a good article, in my opinion, they miss the mark somewhat. This editorial councils all sides to cool it. When we are dealing with one group who has the support of the US Government, while the other side is basically powerless in defending their free speech radio station with anything other than their voices and their bodies, how can the weak be called upon to cool it? This is the sort of "voice of wisdom" that misses the urgency. The editors run through the regular questions of independent funding, dirty laundry, quality of programming etc. Their true, and certainly most important, concern is the loss of Pacifica as a tool for supporting the new decentralized radical movement. They lay the blame for the current problems at our feet as well. It is clear to the editors that the progressive community allowed the PNB to be taken over through our own negligence.
Rating: Good article, important to read this one
5/18/00 - Personal Observation - Michael Costello
Even though this story has been covered by papers all over the country, the Oakland Tribune, which was directly involved by refusing to provide photographs of Kahlil's arrest for his defense, has not published one word regarding this trial. Amazingly, this trial took place in Oakland. Could this be just a coincidence?
5/18/00 - The Contra Costa Times - Staff and Wire reports
Here's a straight forward story of Kahlil Jacobs-Fantauzzi's acquittal. Jacobs-Fantauzzi said videotape of his arrest proved his version of events -- something he said other protesters charged with similar crimes don't have the advantage of. "It's good to know that jurors were clearly able to see the truth -- all 12 of them."
Rating: Good news, now let's ask about police perjury
5/18/00 - the San Francisco Chronicle - Henry K. Lee
This is a fair recounting of the not-guilty verdict in the trial of Kahlil Jacobs-Fantauzzi. One glaring error - "The KPFA demonstrations last summer came after the Pacifica Foundation, the radio station's parent company, fired a popular station manager who had complained on the air about management. I don't recall that Nicole Sawaya ever "complained on the air about management." Deputy DA David Lim said "We had a reason to go forward, and we stand by our decision to prosecute." What that reason was remains to be openly declared.
Rating: O.K. except for the error involving Nicole
5/18/00 - The San Jose Mercury News - Community in Brief
Same story as above.
Rating: Good coverage
5/11/00 - The San Jose Mercury News - Local and State
This is an even shorter rewrite of the AP Wire piece. Rating: Still more coverage
5/11/00 - The Los Angeles Times - AP Wire
This is a rewrite of the same AP story below. Yesterday the NY Times and today the LA Times.
Rating: Great that this is getting such coverage
5/10/00 - The San Francisco Examiner - Examiner Staff and Wire Reports
A rewrite of the same AP wire report below. Nothing new here but important to note where this story is reaching.
Rating: Same-o but great
5/10/00 - The San Jose Mercury News - Breaking News
This is an article about the behind the scenes pressures that apply when the police want to set an example. In the trial of Kahlil Jacob-Fantauzzi just such a situation exists. There can be no other explaination for the continued prosecution by the Berkeley District Attorney.
Kahlil's judge, Jacqueline Taber, reviewed photos of Kahlil's arrest and ordered the Oakland Tibune to turn over all the photos that they had of this event. Citing California's Shield Law, The Trib's chief photographer Ron Riesterer refused.
This story has also been covered by the Sacramento Bee and the Modesto Bee. Interesting that the story doesn't seem to be covered in the Oakland Trib.
Please see the URL to read more.
Rating: Seemingly objective and important
5/10/00 - The New York Times - AP Wire
The headline of this article is "Oakland Tribune Found in Contempt." This is the same story that appeared in the Mercury News above but considerably shorter. At least it's mentioned in the NY Times.
Rating: Brief but accurate
5/4/00 - The New York Daily News - David Hinckley
This is a story about Bernard White the new program director at WBAI. This reads as a bit of a puff piece on White. He was chosen for his position by the station manager over the recommendations of many of the staff. Regarding the trouble with the PNB White has this to say, "I don't subscribe to everything Pacifica has done. We're a different dynamic from KPFA. We didn't have to go to the street. Though we're in solidarity on many issues, WBAI won't go the way of most of the rest of Pacifica. We will never become a music station." Here's where he shows his lack of true understanding of the situation, "Tensions will fade, he hopes, 'once the name-calling ends and we all sit down together.'" He redeems himself a little with this comment, "I also think the station has far more listeners and influence than Arbitron thinks."
Rating: Interesting, good to keep track of the whole network
4/26/00 - The Washington Times - Editorial
In the interest of keeping track of Mary Berry and her reputation I am monitoring her actions as head of the Civil Rights Commission. There is some reason to suspect that she is scheming for a position in Gore's cabinet should he be elected. I think this would not be in the best interests of the country.
The Washington Times (Rev. Moon) editorializes thusly, "Considering the politicized state of Miss Berry's commission, whose 'bipartisan' condition is now clearly suffering a far worse fate than merely being in 'disarray,' Congress should immediately address the deteriorating situation not only through its oversight functions but also through its hold on the purse strings."
The truly unfortunate effect of all this is that it gives the conservatives in Congress a valid excuse to eliminate a potentially valuable commission. Under Berry's leadership as is true of her Pacifica chairpersonship, the threat of destruction of the Civil Rights Commission and the Pacifica Network is raised. Or, maybe, that's been the plan all along?
Rating: Important insight into the D.C. scene, recommended
4/21/00 - The San Jose Mercury News - Alexander Cockburn
This is an excellent examination of the how NPR and the National Association of Broadcasters teamed up to scuttle the ruling by the FCC to allow new Low-Powered FM broadcasting. Here's the critical tie in to the Pacifica situation:
"There's another, more sinister, factor in NPR's opposition. Both the boss of NPR, Kevin Klose, and the boss of the Public Broadcasting Corporation, Robert Coonrod, come from careers in U.S. government propaganda abroad. Klose ran Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. Coonrod oversaw Voice of America and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting -- both Radio and TV Marti. As Peter Franck of the National Lawyers' Guild Committee on Democratic Communications puts it, 'Klose and Coonrod come out of the National Security State. Their instinct is to see public radio as an actual or potential propaganda arm of government, and they're terrified of independent voices.' And indeed, Coonrod has been intimately involved in efforts to curb the independence of stations in the non-commercial Pacifica Network, such as KPFA in Berkeley. And now, Klose has been working the Hill alongside lobbyists from the NAB."
Rating: Excellent, upsetting and highly recommended
4/14/00 - The Washington Times - Dave Boyer
This is another piece dealing with Mary Berry and her apparent selective use of the United States Civil Rights Commission. MFB donated $250 to the election campaign of Hillary Clinton and now, through the Civil Rights Commission, she is calling for action against Giuliani. This provoked this comment, "It's clear the chairman of the commission is a Mrs. Clinton supporter," said Giuliani spokesman Juleanna Glover Weiss. "The timing [of the report] is suspicious, to put it mildly. We believe it's clearly politically motivated." Looks like MFB has no shame when it comes to political self promotion. The interesting thing here is how she can use a very legitimate problem to get a rise in her personal profile.
An interesting detail - The law says the Civil Rights Commission cannot be made of a majority of either political party. In order to get around this MFB has listed herself as and "independent." In several other places she has listed herself as a Democrat. Just a wee bending of the rules.
Rating: You can't know too much about the foe
4/19/00 - The Oakland Tribune - Letters to the editor
Here's a good reply to the idiocy written in the letter below. Soula Culver, of Richmond, makes it clear that she doesn't think James Gillett's letter was one bit funny.
"The person who wrote this knows naught of what he speaks. Larry Bensky and Robbie Osman had been on KPFA for considerably longer than the decade during which this person claims the station changed for the worse, and the membership has grown considerably, especially since the publicity of last summer. Also he reiterates misinformation about micro-radio interference."
Rating: Recommend reading the letter below and replying as well
4/12/00 - The Oakland Tribune - Letters to the editor
This is a letter from James Gillett of Oakland that starts out like this, "THANK YOU, Lynn Chadwick, for trying to clean up the cancerous mess at our Berkeley radio station." When he's done complaining about the "takeover of KPFA by a group of red-diaper, whiner, extremist types" and "these whining people (like Benske and Osman), he complains about low power radio "interrupt[ing] the radio reception of small radio stations by those of us radio buffs who enjoy diversity of opinions and fine music."
After describing himself as an older "lifelong" KPFA listener, he finishes his letter with this observation, "Will someone please clean up the progressive mess (progressive like a bad cancer) at KPFA? Just spin the records and save the loony liberal half-truths for someone else. Radio listeners are free to go to Camp Agnos in San Francisco to hear wackos any time we want. There is no reason to be subjected to it on public airwaves."
Cool eh? Perhaps he could tune into another station???
Rating: A letter from one confused fellow
4/14/00 (5/1/00 edition) - The Nation Magazine - John Dinges
Mr. Dinges writes a VERY long and inaccurate appraisal of the Pacifica situation here. Unfortunately, he reflects the view that is continually spun by Mary Berry herself, that the Pacifica Network needs to grow audience regardless of the effect on radical content. Some of us suspect that the effect on radical content is the whole point.
This is such a long and distressing article that I can't come close to condensing it here. You should force yourselves to read this and be sure to click to join the discussion about Pacifica. Information and education about this subject is critical.
Rating: Too long and way too inaccurate, full of half truths and misused statistics.
4/11/00 - The Washington Times - Dave Boyer
Now it looks like Mary Berry is trying to suck up to Hillary. She has directed the Civil Rights Commission to attack Giuliani and the NY police department. It's obvious that Giuliani and the Bushes need attacking but, there are many horrendous assaults by police that have been investigated by the Civil Rights Commission and absolutely nothing has come of it, no reports issued.
Again, this is an interesting parallel example of Berry's management style. This is such a blatant political use of what is supposed to be a non- partisan commission that she is getting roundly criticized for doing something that under normal circumstances badly needs to be done.
Rating: Worth reading for those who are curious
4/5 and 4/7/2000 - The Washington Times - Dave Boyer
Now that Clinton is on his way out, looks like Mary Berry is cozying up to Gore. These are two articles in two days that deal with the US Commission for Civil Rights decision to condemn Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida's plan to end affirmative action in education.
In the first story Mr. Boyer writes that the Commission is conducting a "poll vote" of its members. "The vote by the ostensibly bipartisan agency will take place one day before a court hearing in Tallahassee on a lawsuit by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People that challenges the Florida plan."
"The commission's 10-page statement also takes a swipe at Mr. Bush's brother, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, for a poor record on affirmative action. One of the Democratic commissioners, Christopher Edley, is an adviser to the presidential campaign of George Bush's opponent, Vice President Al Gore.
"Mr. Edley is also an ardent defender on affirmative action who ghost-wrote a book for President Clinton on race relations."
A source close to the commission said the vote is "a political ploy to attack both Bushes. It's timed to embarrass both Bushes and intervene in a judicial proceeding."
The second story contains reactions from various Congressional Republicans to the Democratically dominated commission's action.
"This is nothing more than a political hatchet job," said Rep. Charles T. Canady, Florida Republican and chairman of a House panel that oversees the agency. "It is clear that a majority of the commission is just playing a nasty, partisan political game."
By late Thursday, the commission had yet to release its vote or its final statement. A spokesman said the vote had taken place, but he had no further information. Repeated calls to Chairman Mary Frances Berry were not returned.(Does this sound familiar?) Commission sources said a report is likely to be released early next week.
"Republican appointees Russell Redenbaugh and Carl Anderson voted against the statement, which is not legally binding. The Democratic majority routinely falls in step with Miss Berry." (familiar again?)
"Mr. Canady, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on
the Constitution, said it was a 'disgrace' for the commission to take the
vote without an open discussion. (Welcome to Berry's style) 'All of this
affects their credibility,' Mr. Canady said in an interview. 'There is a
partisan majority dedicated to carrying out a partisan agenda. They're
simply looking for an opportunity to launch a partisan attack on the
governor of Florida and the governor of Texas."
"The Gore campaign did not return several phone messages about the matter."
For a commission that doesn't seem to be able to accomplish anything of
importance, this blatant political act looks like a career advancing move to
Rating: Interesting parallels in the way Berry runs the Civil Rights Comm. and the Pacifica National Board
3/24 and 3/29/00 - The Riverside Press Enterprise - Op-ed section
Before Mary Berry turned tail and cancelled her appearance at UC Riverside, she sent this letter to the local Riverside newspaper. She runs down her usual rational for her Pacifica efforts. When the pressure looked to be growing, Ms. Berry discovered that her mother had just undergone "emergency surgery" in Nashville and that she would be unable to make her engagement. Rafael Renteria wrote a wonderful response that was also published in the local blurb. There is no direct link to these articles but the savepacifica site has them both available to read.
Rating: Highly recommended
3/28/00 - The Houston Chronicle - staff writers
This is an article about the beating and arrest of Errol Maitland, WBAI reporter and producer. The news here is that the Committee to Protect Journalists has decided to investigate this situation. The CPJ, which responds to attacks on the press all over the world, said the nonprofit group rarely focuses on the United States but was "taking these allegations seriously and following this case."
There are details on mayor Giulian's highly questionable behaviour surrounding this event and events leading up to the demonstration where Maitland was beaten.
Rating: Apparently accurate - recommended
3/28/00 - The New York Daily News - Juan Gonzalez
This is a report on the aftermath of the arrest of Errol Maitland of WBAI. Juan reports on eyewitness accounting of the horrors of the Giuliani storm trooper police army actions in crowd manipulation. Poor Errol handcuffed to a bed in the intensive care unit. How far can all this go? This is an absolutely important column to read.
3/22/00 - The Press-Enterprise (Riverside) - Jeanette Steele
This article concerns the protests targeting MFB at the UCR women's event this weekend. "Some UCR professors have challenged the selection of Mary Frances Berry, head of the U. S. Civil Rights Commission. They said she is a poor feminist role model based on her actions as chairwoman of Pacifica Foundation." In a written statement sent to UCR Berry says, "I am as committed to women's rights, civil rights and progressive causes today as I have ever been." She goes on to defend all the actions of Pacifica management over the past year.
This is followed by details from a letter to event organizers written by and signed by many feminist academics. The letter warns that Berry does not "share our core feminist values of inclusion and equitable use of power." It criticizes Berry's tactics in the Berkeley controversy as "dictatorial, autocratic and repressive " A student group will hold an on-campus rally in support of Pacifica and against censorship at noon today (3/22). Berry has refused to withdraw from the event and the university will not cancel her appearance because, "the university signed a contract with Berry last fall, before the opposition surfaced."
Rating: Interesting and exciting
No link available yet
3/6/00 - Current, (The biweekly newspaper that covers public TV and public
radio in the United States) - Steve Behrens
This is a story about the recent Pacfica National Board meeting in Washington D.C. Mr. Behrens covers the changes to the makeup of the board with comments from the departing members. There is lots of discussion of the stubbornness of the board vs. the fury of the listener activists. Mentioned are quotes from Alice Chan and Kyle Crosson of North Bay for KPFA who travelled to Washington with several others to witness the meeting and give a message from those who remained here. Behrens gives us quite a bit of detail on the ratings numbers and the differing interpretations of their importance. There are many statements from various board members and audience analyst David Giovannoni. Also mentioned is a letter written to the board in the Fall of 1999 condemning the actions of the board. This is followed by mention of the infamous Saul Landau letter and the progressives who signed it.
Rating: An excellent report - Important point of view
http://www.current.org/index.html (scroll down to select from the story)
3/3/00 - Z Magazine - Michael Albert
This is an excellent analysis of the situation at Pacifica with equally excellent suggestions of solution. Albert's article is far too involved to adequately condense here. Anyone involved in the movement to reform Pacifica needs to read this.
Rating: Excellent, a must read
3/7/00 - The Berkeley Daily Planet - Judith Scherr
Looks like Garland Ganter got a nice plum for all the hard work he did last summet baby sitting KPFA while it was under armed guard. Bessie Wash, the new Executive Director of the Pacifica Network, and station manager of WPFW in Washington D.C. has appointed Garland to be Interim Pacifica Program Director while also acting as station manager of KPFT in Houston. That's one way to save money and no doubt make big improvements in the network. Quotes here from Bernstein and Ganter. Wash is not available for comment.
3/7/00 - The Washington Post - Frank Ahrens' media column
Scroll down through Mr. Ahrens' column about half way and you will find, "Pacifica Shake Up." This very short, three paragraph story is just a basic announcement of Berry's and Chadwick's resignations and their replacements. No opinion given by Frank. He does point out the unbelievable figures given by the questionable Arbitron rating system that show that WPFW's jazzy, inoffensive format gives WPFW the highest listenership (182,000) of any Pacifica Network station.
Rating: Oddly non-opinionated reportage, just the basics
3/2/00 - The MOJO (Mother Jones) Wire - Letters to the Editor
Here's another series of letters to MOJO in response to the infamous Saul Landau letter.
First is a short letter from Susan Cook. Susan points out that there seems to be some problems with Pacifica's management plan. She also is concerned with Saul's legs as far a having any to stand on.
Next is a letter from Norman Solomon. Norman points out that Saul's letter essentially runs "interference for a board majority that has shown itself to be anti progressive in its Pacifica-related actions."
Lastly, a letter from Evan Davis points out that the Pacifica Board has "betrayed not only the listeners but the Pacifica mission itself." Evan also makes mention of the fact that the Pacifica Board has swollen to "an unprecidented 19 members many of whom have no histories in broadcasting or progressive political activism."
Rating: Excellent letters - all please read them at
3/1/00 - The Oakland Tribune - Cecily Burt
Ms. Burt points out what a hollow victory the resignations of Berry and Chadwick is for KPFA loyalists. Phillip Maldari has this to say, ""I think we have to say this is a victory. Lynn has only been on the job 16 months, and she masterminded most of the disaster. For Mary Frances Berry to not seek a second term is obviously good news also, but certainly we're not out of the woods." There's good quotes here from Maldari, Aileen Alfandary, Tomas Moran and Barbara Lubin all expressing thoughtful opinions on the recent changes.
Rating: Very good reportage
http://search.newschoice.com/storydisplay.asp?story=/newsarchives/angtr/loc/ 20000301/167007_t1bs401.txt&storypath=d:\inetpub\wwwroot\newsarchives\angtr\ loc\20000301\167007_t1bs401.txt&PUID=557
3/2/00 - The New York Daily News - David Hinkley
This article makes it quite clear that the recent changes in the makeup of the Pacifica Board is going to reinforce rather than change the direction in which Pacifica is headed. Hinkley gives us some detail on the unfortunate changes, new board members, shifts and such. There is also slight mention of one of the most divisive events in recent progressive history - the Saul Landau letter of Pacifica Board support.
Rating: Apparently Accurate, read this to learn more
3/1/00 - The Press Democrat - AP Newswire
This is the AP version of the resignation of Chadwick and Berry. The AP says "their exact reasons for leaving were not disclosed, and calls to Pacifica were not immediately returned..." Is anyone surprised? The story is short and all about the two ladies except for the usual brief history. There is one slight inaccuracy - the story states that Berry "will hand over the reins to another board member in October." I believe she is not the Chairperson of the Board as of last weekend. David Acosta is now the chair. Berry will continue to exert her influence from behind the scenes until September.
Rating: Pretty much the way it is
Unfortunately, no link is available
3/1/00 - The Sacramento Bee - Cal Report - Staff Writer
This is a short simplistic report on the "changes" at Pacifica. Mentioned are Chadwick and Berry's change of position. Berry's to a behind the scenes manipulator and Chadwick's to "consultant". One positive detail in the story, "In August, Berry pledged "corrective action" if KPFA's ratings did not improve.
Pacifica's latest statement, however, reports that ratings for Pacifica's five community radio stations have indeed increased." This is unusually accurate.
Rating: Short and bland except for the ratings mention
2/29/00 - Reuters News Service through Media Central - Staff Writer
This article provides some of the better history of KPFA and Pacifica that I have read in the news in some time. Good definition of Pacifica's place in the media spectrum. Reasonable explanation of the Pacifica Board's motivation. Good finishing quote from Andrea Buffa.
Rating: Good solid article worth reading
2/29/00 - The San Francisco Examiner - Malcolm Glover
This is the Examiner's take on the reshuffle of the Pacifica Board. The article centers on the actions of Chadwick and Berry. Also noted is the fact that the new Pacifica Chair, David Acosta, a CPA from Houston, supported the sale of one of Pacifica's stations last summer. This is mentioned regarding Bessie Wash who will be replacing Lynn Chadwick - "while WPFW, under Wash's management, has censored numerous Pacifica journalists and programs that covered the Pacifica/KPFA crisis as a news story."
Rating: Another reasonably good article on the latest, read it
2/29/00 - The Berkeley Daily Planet - Judith Scherr
Here's another excellent article about the events that took place at the Pacifica National Board meeting. There are several quotes from Barbara Lubin and a little from Les Radke. Barbara praises Tomas Moran for his efforts to unsuccessfully introduce several resolutions to the board and shares her recollections of the weekend.
Rating: Interesting and worth reading
2/29/00 - The Berkeley Daily Planet - Judith Scherr
This is a companion piece to the one above. Mostly deals with the new members of the board and a lot about Moran. Chock full of details on who the new members are and how they got there.
Rating: Lots of good information, recommended
2/28/00 - The MOJO (Mother Jones) Wire - Letters to the Editor
Here's two excellent letters in response to the article of 2/25/00 by Pam Squyres. The first, from Norman Solomon, emphasizes the make up of the brand new Pacifica Board as representative of the true direction Pacifica is headed in. Without mentioning the authorship of Saul Landau's letter, Solomon responds, "Our only hope is clarity. And hopefully strong progressive unity - not through a facile "stop bashing Pacifica" line but through acknowledging what's at stake in the big picture."
The second letter is from Evan Davis in response to the same article mentioned above. Mr. Davis asserts that Landau's letter has only served to complicate the Pacifica situation. He also cites the fact that not only has the Pacifica Board become further removed from progressive interests but has swelled to "an unprecedented 19 members."
Rating: Excellent, highly recommended
2/29/00 - The San Francisco Chronicle - Debra Levi Holtz
This story highlights the changes to the Pacifica National Board that took place this last weekend in Washington D.C. Mentioned are the resignations of both Lynn Chadwick and Mary Berry. Chadwick will depart immediately. Berry will remain on the board but not in the chairpersonship until September. Larry Bensky is quoted - "They're railroading this through. It's clear they're planning to sell one or more of their stations and create some other kind of broadcast entity."
Berry annointed David Acosta from Houston as her successor. "In August, (1999) Acosta proposed a sale of KPFA in a teleconference board meeting -- and other board members supported the idea, according to board member Peter Bramson of Berkeley." All this bodes ill.
Rating: Very important to read this
2/29/00 - The San Jose Mercury News - David Ferris
also - The Contra Costa Times - David Ferris
This is another revealing story on the "new" Pacifica Board. There are many good quotes such as this from Tomas Moran in response to the closed meetings where the membership of the new board was decided. [The executive committee's secrecy] "creates the impression of stacking the board. It's unconscionable to me that as a board member I shouldn't be privy to this information."
"Berry ally and Maryland board member Ken Ford said the closed-door selection is 'the way we've done it in the past.' Ford called the move 'just the normal progression of things' leading up to the end of Berry's term."
Something is seriously amiss here.
Rating: Another must read
2/25/00 - The MOJO (Mother Jones) Wire - Pam Squyres
This is a disturbing article about a letter that Saul Landau recently wrote to the progressive community. Here's some of the disturbing part, "While the letter calls for reconciliation, it also castigates the network's critics for 'Pacifica bashing' and calls a recent strike by free-lance contributors to the Pacifica News Network 'unconscionable.' Other prominent signers include Oakland mayor Jerry Brown, actors Ed Asner and Mike Farrell, and David Corn, Washington editor of The Nation."
Mr. Landau has a problem with the PNN stringers striking over what Landau doesn't consider a traditional labor issue. Robin Urevich, one of the leaders of the strike responds, "'Many strikes don't have to do with working conditions and wages, but have to do with workers' ability to have some control over their work,' she says. She compares the striking free-lancers to nurses who strike out of concern that patients get good care."
Rating: Very Important to read and respond to those confused over this issue.. like Jerry Brown.
2/23/00 and 2/24/00 - The San Francisco Examiner and the Chronicle - Obits
This deserves mention here because Roland Schembari not only helped to start the San Francisco Bay Times, "the first newspaper in the city to be jointly published by both gay men and lesbians," but he also became "one of the first staff members of the Berkeley radio station KPFA program 'Fruit Punch,' the first gay-themed radio show in the nation." Roland was a valuable activist in the gay community. He died of cancer cancer of the esophagus and liver.
2/22/00 - The Oakland Tribune - Nat Hentoff
This is the same column that appeared in the Washington Times reported below. I include it here to record the distribution of Hentoff's views.
Rating: Terrific again!
http://search.newschoice.com/storydisplay.asp?story=/newsarchives/angtr/edt/ 20000222/156453_ophent22.txt&storypath=d:\inetpub\wwwroot\newsarchives\angtr \edt\20000222\156453_ophent22.txt&PUID=557
2/21/00 - The Washington Times - Nat Hentoff
Now here's a great column by one of the more even handed columnists around. Nat Hentoff's column is syndicated in scores of newspapers and this column will spread his message wide and far.
Hentoff gives the reader a little history of the KPFA/Pacifica problem. A few details are not quite right but all in all it's O.K. He focuses on the PNN stringer's strike. He captures the core of the situation with this quote, "a largely listener-supported network that professes to be above alleged commercial broadcasting limitations on free speech would seem to be gravely compromising its principles when it places a gag rule on any discussion on the air of criticism of its plans to change its direction."
Mr. Hentoff makes this impressive pledge, "Not that anyone has asked me, but I will not appear on Pacific News Network during the strike. Solidarity forever — or at least so long as Mary Frances Berry is in charge." Take that Saul!
2/19/00 - The Los Angeles Free Press - Ed Pearl
This is a story about the relationship between Marc Cooper, host of Radio Nation that plays on KPFK and Mark Schubb, GM of KPFK. Many gruesome details are shared here. Interesting insight into the reason for Dan Coughlin's removal from his position as news director of the Pacifica National News. For those who can stand to read about another "leftie" who just had to sell out, this is for you.
Rating: Accurate but disheartening
2/20/00 - The Washington Post - Letters to the Editor
Here's two letters in response to Frank Ahrens' column of 2/8/00 in which he mentions the Pacifica fiasco and suggests that Pacifica begin taking corporate underwriting.
The first is an excellent letter from Anthony Reeves of Madison, Wis. He mentions the fact that Pacifica spent more than $350,000 closing up KPFA. This great statement follows - "Perhaps the best way to balance Pacifica's books would be to replace current management with people who don't feel a need to barricade themselves in Fortress Pacifica against their workers, the community and the rest of the world."
The second letter from Robert Elwood of Bushwood, MD is less impressive. He condemns Mr. Ahrens for disclosing Pacifica's suicide during the WPFW pledge drive. "How many would buy stock in The Post after seeing the headline 'Influential Newspaper Continues Slow Self-Immolation'?" Gee, too bad Pacifica isn't concerned about details like this. Mr. Elwood continues - "Mr. Ahrens is wrong in his appraisal of Pacifica's status; we must hope that his prophecies are not self-fulfilling."
Rating: Half excellent, half blah.
2/12/2000 - The Washington Post - Letters to the Editor
This is a fine letter from Katharine Gale of Berkeley in response to Frank Ahren's article of 2/8/00. She makes the simple point that Amy Goodman's story "Drilling and Killing" about Chevron's crimes in Nigeria could never have been done if Chevron was "footing the bill." Do people? People do.
2/8/00 - The Washington Post - Frank Ahrens
It's great to see anything in the Post about the Pacifica crisis but... Even though Mr. Ahrens wrote a sympathetic note recently about how heavy handed the Pacifica management has been, he is drifting far off base in this article.
After warning of Pacifica's apparent attempts at suicide, he relates a brief history of the past year in which he describes the beginning of the crisis as a "labor struggle." This is followed by some disrespectful references to "wild-eyed zealotry" and Mr. Ahren's impression that "much of the time, Pacifica reporters are howling into the wind. Many of them are still waiting for the revolution."
He values Pacifica as a news source that mainstream media listens to and goes on to praise Amy Goodman. After criticizing Mary Berry, he begins to drift off into the land of modern media. This is where things fall apart. I suppose, as a media reviewer, he cannot resist the lure of ratings competition and the misplaced importance attached thereto. We saw this recently in Bill Mann's column in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
Mr. Ahren's solution to all this is for Pacifica to accept corporate underwriting. He argues that the influence and strings attached to such funding can be controlled. That would be a first.
Rating: Subjective but a must read
2/5/00 - The Oakland Tribune - William Brand
This is a great story about the Free Speach Movement and about the official opening of a cafe at the Moffitt Undergraduate Library at U.C. Berkeley. The cafe is dedicated to preserving the memory of the founding of the FSM. In the cafe is an electronic message streamer displaying Free Speech information. And a bulletin board to keep students up to date on Free Speech issues. "Currently, the board is covered with information about the struggle between Berkeley radio station KPFA and its parent corporation over the right to cover the news."
http://search.newschoice.com/storydisplay.asp?story=/newsarchives/angtr/loc/ 20000204/132782_s3bs204.txt&storypath=d:\inetpub\wwwroot\newsarchives\angtr\ loc\20000204\132782_s3bs204.txt&PUID=557
2/4/00 - The Washington Post - Black History Month Events
"LecturesTalks W.E.B. DUBOIS SYMPOSIUM -- ' 'Souls of Black Folk' in the 21st Century: Implications of Race, Culture and Pan Africanism in the Global Village,' Saturday 9:30 to 5, with remarks by Bernice Johnson Reagon and Mary Frances Berry. Reservations recommended. Carmichael Auditorium, Museum of American History, 14th and Constitution NW. 202/357-4176."
Not much time here. Mighty short notification. I hope someone can get a group together to great Mary at the door.
2/2/00 - The San Francisco Bay Guardian - Travis Loller
This is the BG's take on the PNN stringer's strike. All in all a good report. This amusing quote from Mark Bevis, apologist for Pacifica National Board policies - "PNN has not been censoring any stories .... I don't know why they removed Dan Coughlin. I wasn't there, and even if I did know, I couldn't talk about it."
Rating: Great stuff
2/2/2000 - The Washington Post - Kerry Flag
This hot news from WPFW - "Public Radio station WPFW seeks volunteers for its Winter Membership Drive, which runs through Feb. 12. Volunteers will take incoming pledge calls, assist with data entry and send daily reminder mailings. Weekday, evening and weekend shifts are available, and refreshments will be provided. For more information, call 202-588-0999, Ext. 344." I wonder what they're serving? This is of interest because of the close connection between WPFW and the Pacifica National Network now that they are planning to move into the same offices together. The amount of money they can raise not only in the WPFW pledge drive but also from private donors is crucial.
2/1/00 - The San Francisco Chronicle - Debra Levi Holtz
This is a story about the beginning of the PNN stringer strike against the Pacifica Network News. Quoted here are Aaron Glantz, Aileen Alfandary and, surprisingly, Lynn Chadwick. Glantz says, "The strikers -- from as far away as Moscow and Israel -- are responsible for 70 percent of the stories that are broadcast on Pacifica's daily network news program and sent to 70 affiliate stations across the country." Chadwick replies, "many of the reporters who signed the demand letter are not key contributors to the network news and their boycott should not be considered a strike because Pacifica has its own unionized staff." She conceded, however, "that the network relies on stringers because it is short of staff reporters." And so, the game goes on.
Rating: Great information
2/2/2000 - The Washington Post - Kerry Flag
This hot news from WPFW - "Public Radio station WPFW seeks volunteers for its Winter Membership Drive, which runs through Feb. 12. Volunteers will take incoming pledge calls, assist with data entry and send daily reminder mailings. Weekday, evening and weekend shifts are available, and refreshments will be provided. For more information, call 202-588-0999, Ext. 344." I wonder what they're serving?
2/2/2000 - The Los Angeles Times - Judith Michaelson
This is a story about a demonstration in front of KPFK in Los Angeles on Jan. 29th, the same day as a demonstration in front of KPFA. The demo at KPFA was in support of the PNN stringer's strike and the demo at KPFK was in protest of censorship at KPFA and Mark Cooper's remarks about Mumia. There are great statements by John Martinez - ex KPFK programmer, countered by lame spin by Mark Schubb general manager of KPFK. Well mentioned are details on censorship claims against Pacifica and Schubb and details on Cooper's outrageous comments on Mumia.
Rating: Quite surprising for the LA Times, a first
1/28/00 - San Francisco Examiner - Corrections
This is a correction to the story headline of 1/27/00 in which at was stated that KPFA went on strike against Pacifica. Here's the correction: "A story Thursday, Jan. 27, 2000, incorrectly described a conflict last summer between the staff of radio station KPFA and its parent organization, Pacifica Radio. Pacifica locked out the staff after a series of conflicts over on-air content."
Rating: Well done
1/27/00 - San Francisco Examiner - Ray Delgado
This is a story about the threatened strike by Pacifica National News stringers. About 40 of PNN's employees are demanding an end to consorship that is still prevalent in the network. If Pacifica doesn't guarantee an end to the censorship, staffers pledge to go on a 3-month strike. Some good quotes from Aaron Glantz, KPFA's Sacramento bureau chief. Surprise, Mary Berry did not return calls. The headline of this story is inaccurate, claiming that employees are "again" threatening strike. This should be corrected.
Rating: Informative and accurate except for the headline
1/28/00 - The San Jose Mercury News - Local and State Column
This is a very short announcement of the threatened strike by "employees of the Pacifica Foundation." Contains a good details.
Rating: Accurate but too brief
1/17/00 - The Oakland Tribune - William Brand
This is an uplifting story about the donation to KPFA and the Stanford University Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project, of a fantastic recording of the 1965, 53-mile long Civil Rights march, from Selma, Alabama, to the state capitol in Montgomery and events surrounding this historical moment. Dennis Bernstein will begin playing the tape on his "Flashpoints" program which airs daily at 5 p.m.
http://search.newschoice.com/storydisplay.asp?story=/newsarchives/angtr/loc/ 20000116/109665_t1bs416.txt&storypath=d:\inetpub\wwwroot\newsarchives\angtr\ loc\20000116\109665_t1bs416.txt&PUID=557
1/11/00 - The Washington Post - Frank Ahrens
In the usually conservative Washington Post, this article suddenly appears... Mr. Ahrens writes a column about radio in the D.C. area. At the end of a fairly long column concerning ratings of various stations, he mentions Pacifica's move to Washington. This is a terriffic report. So terriffic that I will quote the whole thing here:
"West Meets East Quietly and suddenly, the troubled Pacifica Foundation radio network has moved its headquarters from Berkeley, Calif., to Washington. The leftist public network, which has five stations across the country, has been besieged by a nasty labor struggle over the past year, pitting the foundation's board of directors against its employees.
The conflict has included the firing of longtime air personalities and frequent censorship of its own news programs that have tried to cover the troubles. WPFW (89.3) here in Washington has been among the most egregious censors. The network says it has moved east to put its staff closer to federal agencies and public-interest groups based here. But consider this: Last summer there was a 10,000-person free-speech march against Pacifica in Berkeley. Here in the District of Columbia, WPFW has been relatively unbothered. Do the math."
One small questionable detail; there is a lot more than a labor struggle involved here. Welcome to Washington.
1/7/00 - The Oakland Tribune - Cecily Burt and William Brand
This is the best story I've read on the abandonment by Pacifica of their relatively new offices in the relatively new KPFA building in Berkeley. Great quotes from Barbara Lubin, Aileen Alfandary and Sherry Gendelman. Lynn Chadwick makes herself available for a change to spin as best as she can. In this story is some of the best short term history I've seen in a mainstream newspaper. Very objective.
Rating: Excellent, highly recommended
http://search.newschoice.com/storydisplay.asp?story=/newsarchives/angtr/loc/ 20000107/98390_t1bs407.txt&storypath=d:\inetpub\wwwroot\newsarchives\angtr\l oc\20000107\98390_t1bs407.txt&PUID=557
1/7/2000 - The Contra Costa Times - David Ferris
Here's the first of several articles in several papers regarding the after dark move by Pacifica from Berkeley to Washington D.C. Contained herein is lots of discussion about the reason for the move. Lyn Chadwick spins the move as meaningless. "The move allows the national staff easier access to agencies and public interest organizations headquartered in the nation's capital" says she. Quotes from Aileen Alfandary and Tomas Moran spar with Chadwick's. Some familiar history at the end as always.
Rating: Good reading, bad news
1/7/2000 - The Sacramento Bee - Cal Report - Bay Area Briefs
This is a short version of the AP wire report on the Pacifica move. Same quotes as above but condensed.
1/7/2000 - The Modesto Bee - State News
The same AP wire report as above. Presented to give the scope of coverage of what Bill Mann considers to be the "most ludicrously overblown story in local media in 1999."
Rating: Same O.K.
1/7/2000 - Business Week Magazine - Robert McNatt
Just to have a break in the Pacifica moving articles, here's one regarding Net Radio. Business Week is a national magazine and at the end of this long article Mr. McNatt says, "And for eclectic tastes? Two that I like are www.kut.org and www.KPFA.org. At the University of Texas-based KUT, I've heard Eastern European music followed by rockabilly. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but then Texas is a big state. And the original outlet of the iconoclastic Pacifica stations, Berkeley-based KPFA, is a numbing mix of left-wing politics and cool music. Very Sixties."
Rating: Great exposure
1/7/2000 - The San Francisco Chronicle - Staff Report
This is the same moving story with some minor modifications. Also mentioned is the incredible news that Lynn Chadwick will keep her job. She was willing to move to D.C. The other Pacifica staff in Berkeley resigned their jobs rather than move. This story points out that after 50 years in California, Pacifica has, according to Aileen Alfandary, "turned tail and ran after the heat they received last summer." I hope they don't lease their offices out for a long term. They will have to be ready to move back in when we get rid of MFB and the gang.
12/31/99 - The Berkeley Daily Planet - Rob Cunningham
This is a great short item about what in the Daily Planet's opinion was the Story of the Year. Mr. Cunningham goes right to the essence of the events. He thanks the Pacifica Board for resurrecting many of the emotions, slogans and faces of the protest movements of the 1960s through their actions both on and off the air. I share his feelings on this. If it weren't for the hamfisted management styles of Lynn Chadwick and Mary Berry, they might have succeeded in totally subverting Pacifica.
1/2/2000 - The Press Democrat - On Q - Bill Mann's Television/Radio Column
At the end of every year Bill Mann lists his best and worst TV and Radio shows, personalities, issues etc. The week before New Years he listed his national yeahs and nays. In this issue, he lists his local media evaluations. This is all well and good and boring as hell until he bothers to mention the events surrounding KPFA. I doubt that there is a link to this so I will quote him verbatim:
"Vegetarians at the Gate: Our award for most ludicrously overblown story in local media in 1999: The KPFA controversy, a tempest in a very small teapot. The Berkeley leftist station's ratings are miniscule - but its listeners are loud. In Sonoma County, according to Arbitron, even KRCB-FM has more listeners than KPFA."
What can I say?? Apparently, Bill Mann would dismiss the Boston Teaparty due to the small number of participants. I would like to evaluate the accuracy of Arbitron some time. Understandably, a guy who makes his living watching T.V. doesn't have a big clue about things like freedom of speech, coporate media monopoly, truth in the news, propaganda and entertainment substituted for information, the fact that most of the country is brainwashed into apathy over issues that threaten our very existance on earth, etc. etc. etc.
I don't know if this guy even deserves enlightenment from us. What's the point? If there is a chance that a well crafted letter in response to his statement would see the light of print, it might be worth the effort. Some may need to respond from a sense of honor.
Have at him at - Newsmann@aol.com ....or perhaps a letter to his boss at: firstname.lastname@example.org
or write to:
Letters Editor, Press Democrat
P.O. Box 569
Santa Rosa, 95402. Fax: 523-8073
or Readers can also call PressInfo, 523-8080 and punch in 2500, the category code for Let the Public Speak.
1/2/00 - The Contra Costa Times - Marc Albert
Here's an interesting review of last year called "How Berkeley Can a Year Get?" Fair to mediocre coverage of the events surrounding KPFA/Pacifica from March through August. In all fairness, this story is about Berkeley. In many people's opinions, the KPFA/Pacifica story is the news item of the year.
Rating: Interesting and worth a look
12/29/99 - The Oakland Tribune - Josh Richman
Here's the Oakland Tribune's take on the fund raising mess. This article gives a much better picture of the KPFA/Share Group situation. The statistics from the AG's report are mentioned but in this article an actual reply from Lynn Chadwick says: "the figures are inaccurate because of the state's deadline for reporting fund-raising proceeds. She said Pacifica's records show The Share Group raised $167,036 in telemarketing income for KPFA from Oct. 1, 1997, to Sept. 30, 1998, and was paid $107,182, or 64 cents for every dollar raised, for its efforts."
Rating: Apparently accurate at last, sad nevertheless
http://search.newschoice.com/storydisplay.asp?story=/newsarchives/angtr/loc/ 19991229/88411_s1bs329.txt&storypath=d:\inetpub\wwwroot\newsarchives\angtr\l oc\19991229\88411_s1bs329.txt&PUID=557
12/29/99 - The Contra Costa Times - Andrew LaMar
Here's another mention of the fundraising report from the California Attorney General's office. Along with a lot of interesting information regarding the rip off of charities by professional fundraisers, there is a correction by KPFA assistant General Manager Phil Osegueda of the report on KPFA's fundraising results. "The state report said KPFA only received $96 of the $38,148 that The Share Group raised on its behalf in 1998... In fact, the station received $77,000 from $167,000 raised that year by The Share Group, Osegueda said. A contract between the station and the fund-raiser entitles The Share Group to receive 50 percent of the money donated, he said."
Rating: Very interesting..and well straightened out
12/28/99 - The San Francisco Examiner - Robert Salladay
This is an article about an investigation of private fundraising firms being conducted by the California Attorney General's office. Unfortunately, the first example used in the article is KPFA's use of a Massachusetts based funding solicitation firm. The article points out that the KPFA community sent in checks worth $38,148 but KPFA got only $95.82. The rest allegedly went to the fundraising firm. This claim was challenged by Phillip Muldary on the 12/28/99 KPFA morning show. We should expect a retraction or a correction very soon. Let's hope the figures cited were extremely inaccurate.
Rating: Hopefully inaccurate http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/examiner/archive/1999/12/28/ NEWS10952.dtl
12/27/99 - The San Jose Mercury News - Business and Stocks - Michelle Quinn
"The biggest public relations disasters of 1999 involved duplicity, myopia, paranoia, sloth and overkill -- cardinal sins when dealing with the public, according to Fineman Associates, a San Francisco public relations firm."
This article announces Fineman's annual list of the year's biggest public relations blunders. At the end of the list he says this: "There were many incidents this year when organizations seemed to blunder in a way that they didn't have to." Good public relations, he said, is part art and "part common sense."
Quinn comments: "Fineman should know. His firm presided over its own PR meltdown this year. Pacifica Radio, owner of public radio station KPFA, locked out its entire air staff, sparking weeks of street protests. Fineman was called in to perform spin control."
Rating: Excellent and Ironic
12/21/99 - The San Jose Mercury News - Local and State Column
Out of desperation for any mention of KPFA in the papers I am including this wee mention of the poster show at the Berkeley Art Center. There is no mention of how long the show will last or exactly where the Art Center is. Oh well.
Rating: A drop of water after a long drought
12/2/99 - The New York Daily News - via Paul Schaffer
This is an article announcing the lawsuit filed by the Committee to Remove the Pacifica Board. I notes that three WBAI listeners are among the plaintiffs. No mention of KPFA or North Bay for KPFA but good coverage anyway.
Rating: Good news
I can't find a link to this story, sorry......
11/24,26,29/99 - The Berkeley Daily Planet - Judith Scherr
These are three articles featuring two interviews. The first is an interview with Karolyn van Putten, one of three new members of the Pacifica Board. The next two are a two part interview with Tomas Moran. Tomas Moran is another new member of the Board. Both van Putten and Moran come from the KPFA signal area. These interviews shed needed light on the history of these two. Education, occupational history and a lot of philosophy is revealed.
Rating: Highly recommended
11/24/99 - The Press Democrat - Staff and Wire Reports
This is a story about the filing of a lawsuit by the Committee to Remove the Pacifica Board. Lynn Chadwick was served with the suit on Friday. As usual, she is not available for comment. Carol Spooner of North Bay for KPFA, has been working on this suit for several months. There are lots of good details in this article but the Press Democrat has not provided a link to get to it electronically. If you live in Sonoma County, you must read this since KPFA gets so little coverage in the Press Democrat.
Rating: A bit simplistic historically but good coverage of the suit
Sorry, no link
11/24/99 - The San Jose Mercury News - Lisa Fernandez
This is essentially the same story as the Press Democrat's with more detail. It's interesting that the sub-headline mentions electing the Board by subscriber vote. This is a nice touch for those interested in democracy at Pacifica. Same mention papers being served on Chadwick and her unavailability BUT.... This is the first time I have seen the name - Wendy Post - mentioned as the official Pacifica spokesperson. Further on there are some details on the potential involvement of the California Attorney General. Pacifica has two weeks to prove to the AG that the lawsuit is without cause. All this is followed by the same old history and the usual insufficient explanation of what all this is about.
Rating: Fair, accurate on the lawsuit but innaccurate on the reasons.
11/15/99 - Current - Steve Behrens
This article begins with details on the removal of Dan Coughlin as news director of the Pacifica National News. Also mentioned is support for Dan from some of the remaining staff. Some description and history of the "dirty laundry rule" is provided. There's lots of quotes from lots of people. The article finishes up with a description of FAIR, their slate of 11 to take the place of the current board and the censoring of their show "Counterspin" on the Pacifica Network.
Rating: Apparently accurate and informative
11/19/99 - The San Francisco Chronicle - Rona Marech
This is mention of the Berkeley Art Center's presentation of "Stay Tuned: The Revolution Will Be Broadcast: Documents from the KPFA-Pacifica Struggle of 1999". There's a lot of detail here concerning where all those wonderful posters and signs came from during the marches and protests surrounding KPFA this summer. This article makes clear how creative the KPFA listener community is and how important the expression of this creativity is to the ongoing struggle. Matthew Lasar says several things here. This one struck me: "I wish could say that I too enjoyed marching around. I suppose I was exhilarated by marches and speeches. But the prospect of losing KPFA hung over my head and tempered whatever adventurous pleasure I might have gotten out of it. . . . Some didn't see that as possible, but I did. I still do."
Rating: Excellent, a must read
11/16/99 - The Village Voice - Josh Goldfein
In a rare light note, this story is about an odd audio "war" between radio B-92, a Net-savvy renegade radio station that recently resumed broadcasting from a makeshift studio after the Milosevic government, angry at critical news reporting, seized its offices and equipment, and WBAI in N.Y. Originally KPFA was going to participare but was derailed by "technical difficulties". B-92 is the Serbian station that set up a website to support KPFA at the same time as they were being bombed by our government. Remarkable! The weaponry of this cacophonous "war" was cartoon sound effects. Unfortunately, this internet broadcasting battle took place last Sunday. Oh well.
Rating: Just fun
11/13/99 - The Berkeley Daily Planet - Judith Scherr
This is a story about the "reassignment" of Dan Coughlin from the directorship of the Pacifica National News to a position on a bogus, non existent, "task force". Noted, is the unhappiness of Verna Avery Brown, Pacifica Network News anchor; Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! Host; and Juan Gonzalez, Democracy Now! co-host. Also noted is the fact that Lynn Chadwick is not available for comment.
This is not a surprise.
Included are details on the dismissal and what happened to provoke Chadwick to do this and some brief history of events leading up to the present. One of the truly new items cited is a contradiction of M. Berry's lies concerning KPFA's ratings numbers. Berry continues to state that KPFA's ratings have shown a decline. She sent out a press release declaring same. KPFA countered this with a press release of their own. In it, Abby Rose, the station's subscriptions director, said the number of listeners has grown. "Citing Arbitron figures, Rose said there were 122,200 listeners during the summer of 1996; 132,500, an 8.4 percent growth, in the summer of 1997; 139,700, a 5.4 percent growth, in the summer of 1998; and 146,000, a 4.5 percent growth, in the summer of 1999, 'despite a 23-day lockout in July.'" A little more important and useful information: "Rose also touted the recent fund drive that 'broke all records.' The station's fall drive, with pledges by 7,420 listeners, totaled $650,000. Donors included 2,599 first-time donors to the station."
Rating: Most excellent
11/13/99 - The New York Daily News - David Hinckley
This is a short report in a media column that notices that Pacifica has fired national new director Dan Coughlin. Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez are quoted as saying "what has transpired has shaken our confidence in Pacifica to the core." Now, if they would only do something on the air. Verna Avery Brown's absence from the air since Nov. 1 is also noted. Here's something seldom mentioned in print "Concerned about issues that include union representation, Foundation structure and programming philosophy, activists have been calling for the Pacifica board to step down."
Rating: Short but sweet
11/6/99 (11/12/99 edition) - The Texas Observer - Michael King
Here's three articles from the Texas Observer that bills itself as "The Biggest Little Muckraker in Texas, since 1954". The first is an interview with Larry Bensky that took place before the Pacifica Board meeting in Houston. The second is an historical piece with a Texas sort of viewpoint, also written before the Board meet. The third is a good report on the events surrounding the meeting and good mention of those who attended as concerned parties. Mr. King points out "Jeff Cohen of FAIR told the Observer that he believed informal private discussions were proceeding in an attempt to persuade the board it should step down for the greater good of Pacifica. Judging only from these proceedings, the discussions must be very private indeed. If the many calls from prominent progressives for the board's resignation had been heard, there was little visible effect."
Rating: Apparently accurate and entertaining, except for the tragic part
11/5/99 - The East Bay Express - Paul Rauber
Here's a nice little detailed story of some of the more outrageous events at the Houston Pacifica Board meeting. He points out quite accurately that KPFA supporters may have made one step forward but lost at least two steps in the backward direction. Described clearly is the enormous control Mary Berry has over every detail of board activities. Nothing happens without her blessing and all the sheep trail along behind. Awesome. One correction, I believe it was Ken Ford not Micheal Palmer who tore up the Steering Committee letter presented by Alice Chan of North Bay for KPFA. Nice note of how Lynn Chadwick celebrated her contract renewal by firing Pacifica National News director Dan Coughlin. I bet that made her feel real good.
Rating: Insightful and upsetting, you should read this anyway
11/4/99 - The San Francisco Chronicle - Staff Report
This is a short report that notes the irony of Mary Berry continuing to claim that KPFA is on a downward slope yet the station has received an all time record $640,000 in pledges. One must ask at some point just what Mary Berry really wants. I suspect that if the audience grew yet the pledges declined, as might be likely if Berry got her "larger diverse audience", she would still be dissatisfied with station performance. So what is really going on?
Rating: Short but sensible
11/3/99 - The San Jose Mercury News - Local and State News
This story notes that KPFA raised another record amount to donations during their recent fund drive. Over $640,000 were raised during the two week drive. Normally $400,000 is raised. "Meanwhile, Pacifica on Monday issued a press release saying KPFA is the only one of Pacifica's five stations to lose listeners between July and September. The release, which gave no numbers, said three of the other stations -- KPFT-Houston, WPFW-Washington, D.C., and KPFK-Los Angeles -- gained audience share while WBAI-New York held steady." As ususal, "Pacifica officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday."
Rating: Brief but interesting
11/3/99 - The San Francisco Bay Guardian - S. Clay Thompson
This is an excellent, first person report on the Pacifica Board meeting in Houston last weekend. Lots of gritty details on the arrogance of the board members starring Mary Berry and featuring Lynn Chadwick. A bit of obligatory history but mostly up to the minute detail. Mr. Thompson point to what some see as positive outcomes of the meeting when he notes, "KPFA backers won several concessions. The board passed a resolution barring Pacifica from selling any of its stations' broadcast licenses – a relief to the KPFA crowd, who feared the network would move to unload the valuable airspace and shed the troublesome staffers." He also notes that Pete Bramson was promoted to the executive committee and that Tomas Moran won a seat on the board. The KPFA backers I have spoken to are not so excited about any of these events. For example, the resolution to not sell KPFA's broadcast license could be reversed in a moment, there's nothing binding about a "resolution".
Anyway, this is an important article to read to get the best picture of the current relationship between those who pay the bills and those who spend the money.
Rating: Excellent, another must read
11/1/99 - The Contra Costa Times - Tom Lochner
This is quite an interesting story. Contained herein are several opinions on what went on in Houston. Dennis Bernstein, Mary Berg and Van Jones are all quoted. Mr. Lochner does a good job of presenting the highs and the lows. Since there is a link to this story, I will recommend you read it and will not go into detail here.
Rating: Very good, highly recommended.
11/1/99 - The San Jose Mercury News - Chris Fletcher
This is the same AP story that appears in the Press Democrat. Details below. Rating: Same as below
11/1/99 - The San Francisco Chronicle - Janine DeFao
This is a short aricle about the demonstration in front of KPFA yesterday and a little about the Houston meeting. The crowd size at KPFA is estimated at 200. "A group of 32 local representatives from KPFA as well as Berkeley activists attended the board meeting in Houston." I don't know if these numbers need correcting. Mary Berry gets her standard quote into this story, "What this dispute is about is whether there will be change or stagnation within Pacifica, we have asked all of the stations to grow their audiences, because we have minuscule audiences, . . and to diversify their audiences. We want to meet the needs of the community." Larry Bensky anwers this one, "This is about preserving community-controlled, democratically controlled free speech radio. We don't care how arrogant and dismissive (Pacifica leaders) are of our voices. We will not shut up."
Rating: Yet another insight, recommended
11/1/99 - The Press Democrat - AP wire - Chris Fletcher
This is a short follow up on the Houston Meeting of the Pacifica Board. Mr. Fletcher gives us an upbeat take on events. A quote from Van Jones, "The board listened to us, which is more than they have done before." Also noted, "the board adressed one major concern of protesters by resolving not to sell any of its stations....Three new board members were seated, including two the protesters favored....Several blasted the board for renewing the contract of Executive Director Lynn Chadwick, whom they blame for the turmoil in Berkeley."
Rating: Apparently accurate
No link available
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