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 mopst recent section of Media Review...
10/31/99 - The San Francisco Examiner - Jim Herron Zamora
This story is mostly about the problems at a Saturday meeting of the Pacifica Board. "The meeting was adjourned and Houston police ushered out the audience when Berkeley City Councilman Kris Worthington attempted to address the board. Throughout the public portion of Saturday's meeting, protesters interrupted directors on several occasions but were not allowed to speak." Following is a lot of good detail on our team. Then a lot of blah, blah history we've read a thousand times. "About 90 percent of listeners are white and most are over 45," Berry said. "So we've asked them to change. . . . Change is often accompanied by conflict." This followed by "KPFA supporters, including a separate group of non-white employees, have repeatedly contested her claims. They have cited several KPFA programs geared to the 'hip-hop generation'."
Rating: Seemingly Accurate, recommended
10/31/99 - The Houston Chronicle - Allan Turner
This seems to be a fairly even handed report on the weekend Pacifica Board meeting in Houston. Since I wasn't there and haven't received any first hand reports yet, this is as close as it gets. Anyone interested in what went on in Houston should read this. Mr. Turner gives us some great quotes, this one from Van Jones is an example, "Never underestimate the power of proud people who have been insulted." Highlights in the story: the Double Tree Hotel relents and allows public access to Pacifica Sunday meeting; no listener raised money will be spent to pay for the station closing costs etc.; no Pacifica stations will be sold; the gag rule will still be in effect but left to the discretion of the station managers.
Rating: Apparently accurate, recommended reading
10/31/99 - The Press Democrat - AP wire - Chris Fletcher
Some recent events in Houston are covered here. A little about the fire at KPFT. A bit more about the demonstrators from all five Pacifica cities. Some quotes from Van Jones, David Adelson and Mary Berry. Berry just keeps singing the same old song, "What this dispute is about is whether there will be change or stagnation within Pacifica". The same old questionable statistics are cited by Berry, "KPFA ... has about 146,000 listeners but its signal reaches 9 million people." Does this mean 9 million people should be interested in truth? If that were only so.
Rating: Pretty good coverage
No link available
10/30/99 - The Houston Chronicle - Carol Christian
I understand that Ms. Christian is the third reporter assigned by the Chronicle to cover this story. She attempts to make some sense of the events of the recent past and the situation in Houston. She presents opposing viewpoints from Duane Bradley, former KPFT program director, and Garland Ganter, current KPFT station manager. There's a lot of historical stuff and "reasons" for this and that. Here's a great quote from the article, "Ganter told the TV reporter that his impression was that Pacifica board members were always willing to discuss the issues but that some protesters were not." Say what??? I recall consistant notations that Lynn Chadwick or Board members "were not available for comment".
Rating: All in all a good article and well worth reading!
10/30/99 - The San Jose Mercury News - Local and State Column
In the third item down we are alerted to FAIR's 11 Pacifica Board members in waiting. Names are listed. This short article points out the problematic fact that these people were "selected" by FAIR. Some would love to see a democratic process involved in selecting new board members whether interim or not.
Rating: Just coverage, nothing exciting
10/29/99 - The San Francisco Chronicle - Breaking News
This is a report on the fire in a gagage behind the KPFT studios in Houston, Texas. Local fire officials suspect arson. This ties in neatly with the arrival of concerned listeners from around the country who intend to make their concerns known to the Pacifica Board. The Board is meeting this weekend in Houston. There is some subtle and not so subtle effort to equate this fire with the shots fired into Pacifica offices in Berkeley. It seems mighty coincidental and provides lots of PR for Pacifica to justify their paranoia. There are some surprising inaccuracies for a Chronicle article. Here's one, "Mary Frances Berry, chairwoman of Pacifica's board, helped forge a delicate truce in July and the station was returned to its employees." Does anyone remember that happening? I remember her being forced to back down. The effect of all this is "Security was expected to be beefed up at the uptown hotel where the meetings are scheduled."
Rating: Some blatant inaccuracies
10/30/99 - The Contra Costa Times - AP wire story
This is the wire story from which the Chronicle story was written. Same stuff and the origin of the make nice Mary Berry part.
Rating: Same inaccuracies
10/28/99 - The Houston Chronicle - Allan Turner
This is a story about the upcoming Pacifia National Board meeting in Houston and a little history "lite". There are some details on various meetings of Pacifica listener groups who have come together in Houston to witness the goings on and make their voices heard. A little mention is made of the 11-member panel of "well-respected figures in the progressive community" that has been assembled by FAIR to replace the existing Pacifica Board. One member of the 11, David Lopez of Houston, has this to say about the struggle between existing Pacifica governance and those who are dedicated to grass roots democratically elected Pacifica governance, "There is much more commonality of interests than is apparent to either side. I hope we could get together and work out an agreement." This suggests that someone hasn't been paying attention.
The same old Berry/Chadwick PR ploy is repeated again, "Although it broadcasts in a market of 6 million potential listeners, she said, its market had dropped to 146,000 listeners a week." What does this mean? As usual, "Top Pacifica officials -- including Berry, who also heads the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and Executive Director Lynn Chadwick -- were unavailable for comment."
Rating: Annoying but interesting
Please send corrections to: email@example.com
10/25/99 - The Chicago Tribune - Salim Muwakkil
This is an odd little story. Some history of events we are all familiar with. The author then attempts to make sense of Mary Berry's strange conflicting history. He makes note of her deceptive statements regarding station sale and blows the diversity issue away as well. He points out that this is all about radio ratings and audience share. The story ends with this perceptive statement, "If the value of media is based on gauges of popularity, what happens to unpopular opinions? As a civil rights veteran, Berry understands that question better than most. But as chair of the board she has to give the wrong answer."
Rating: Accurate in an odd way, coddles Berry a bit too much.
10/20/99 - Salon.com - Letters to the Editor
Apparently the 10/12/99 article in Salon by Judith Coburn upset a lot of people in the establishment. There are five letters in response to "There's Something About Mary". Every letter is in support of Mary Berry, supports the Civil Rights Commission or condemns KPFA's actions. The first letter is from Mary herself. She seems to have mellowed just a tiny bit in her rhetoric. She continues to defend her efforts to reach a larger audience and her methods in that regard.
The next letter is from Ruby Moy, the staff director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Her letter is, again, very supportive of Mary. The third letter is from Roger Wilkins, Professor of History at George Mason University. He recalls Mary in the old days when she apparently had her head on straight. He says "I don't know enough about the Pacifica problem or about the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to comment on those portions of Coburn's story. But I do know Mary Berry, and I do have an example of Coburn's journalism. Hands down, on all counts, I put my money on Mary. There's something about her that's splendid."
These letters are followed by one critical of KPFA and one critical of the use of the term "Race Card". The first from Mel Baker, criticizes KPFA's actions thusly; "In what other form of media would employees be allowed to use the medium to complain about the boss? For those of us who work and have worked in broadcasting, the on-air complaints about Pacifica were mind-boggling."
The second, from Roland Poindexter, expresses his concern about the prevalence of racism in all corners of our society. He defends Mary Berry's concerns over racial balance at KPFA. I think both Mary and Roland are just not completely familiar with the actual attempts to make KPFA the most diverse radio station in the country and that Mary Berry's concerns over diversity are, in fact, just a justification for controlling and molding Pacifica into a corporate image of success. Please let Salon know how you feel about these matters. The letters published above are extremely one sided and I'm sure Judith Coburn would appreciate support.
Rating: One sided but interesting
Letters to Salon: firstname.lastname@example.org
10/19/99 - The San Francisco Chronicle - Debra Levi Holtz
Here's the first big announcement of an alternative fund collecting donations from those who don't trust Pacifica enough to donate in the current pledge drive. Some may chose to donate to both. North Bay for KPFA is prominantly mentioned as one of the groups who set up the fund.
Jim Bennet says KPFA cannot accept money from the alternate fund. "Bennett said, however, that if a nonprofit group is found to administer the fund, KPFA could apply for a grant." At this point KPFA has apparently been pledged $300,000 through conventional means.
There is a little bit of history and a bit about how confusing this has been for the staff and the listeners. Rating: Accurate and interesting
10/99 - La Monde diplomatique - Barbara Epstein
This newspaper is apparently published by La Monde (major French newspaper) for the non French speaking diplomatic types. Ms. Epstein is an author and a lecturer at UC Santa Cruz. This article begins with an extensive history of recent events at KPFA. Toward the end of the article she addresses the "what is this conflict about?" question. This is one of the best explanations I have seen anywhere capturing what this is all about. YOU MUST READ THIS! I will give you just the last three sentences to whet your appetite. "The fight to save KPFA is about retaining a radical voice in the commercialised American media. It is about opposing the spread of the corporate model of power and the market values that accompany it. This is an important struggle."
Rating: Excellent!! A MUST READ!!
10/14/99 - Extra! Update (FAIR) - October/1999 edition - Editorial
The title of this editorial is "Selling Off Pacifica". This is an excellent analysis primarily addressing the threatened sale of KPFA. There are several quotes from the infamous Palmer memo followed by a chronological history of Mary Berry's lies and distortions regarding the potential sale of Pacifica stations.
There's a bit about Berry's contradictory statements concerning her association with Pacifica, "I also do not, though, intend for this organization to destroy my reputation. If it ever appears to me that being associated with this organization is about to destroy my reputation for credibility, for candor, for honesty, for responsibility and integrity, then I will resign. I'm telling you that right now." This is followed by her recent statement made at WBAI, "If you want me to stay, I will go. But the minute you ask me to go I am here forever." These contradictions have caused me to question Berry's mental stability.
The organization FAIR called for Pacifica's leadership to step down in a July 16 press release.
Unfortunately, there is no link directly to this story. I recommend that all reading this subscribe to Extra! by join the FAIR organization.
10/12/99 - Salon.com - There's Something About Mary - Judith Coburn
This is a terriffic story capturing Mary Berry's political history from the Carter administration to the present. Just tons of details about her handling of the Civil Rights Commission. Lots too about Lynn Chadwick and her relationship with the CPB. Too much here to do justice to, so this is a must read. Please read it.
10/12/99 - The San Francisco Chronicle - Debra Levi Holtz
Ms. Levi Holtz attempts to address the problem of donating to KPFA during the current fund raising drive without supporting the corrupt Pacifica Board. We are reminded of the incredible squandering of hard raised funds after the last pledge drive.
A petition has been circulated by Assemblywoman Dion Aroner, D-Berkeley, and Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, signed by more than a dozen state and local officials urging listeners to pledge money to support KPFA. Officials also promise to oppose any attempts to sell the station.
Philip Maldari speaks for KPFA, "If we don't raise the money, Pacifica will say, 'Here is your list of layoffs.'" Philip's statement regarding alternatives for donating funds is not completely accurate according to my understanding. "Before the latest fund drive, KPFA staff explored whether it could set up a separate account for listener donations during the current campaign to keep the money away from Pacifica. But legal experts concluded that an alternative fund would not be legal, according to Maldari."
Rating: Interesting but questionable. Anyone who knows accurate details about alternative accounts should write in and correct this information.
Write to: email@example.com
10/3/99 - The Oakland Tribune - Letters to the editor
This is a letter from Rev. Stacey L. Archuleta-Bart and William L. Bart, Esq. from Oakland. These folks tell a story about their change of mind over the Pacifica/KPFA battle. They were on Pacifica's side until Pacifica demanded "reimbursement" for their thug expenses. Now the Barts are "outraged".
Rating: Just great!
10/5/99 - In These Times - 10/17/99 Issue - Letters to the Editor
There is a letter from Mark Mericle, KPFA News Co-Director, regarding a previous ITT mention of Mark's comparison of Nicole Sawaya's firing to Nixon's invasion of Cambodia ("Mixed Signals", Sept.5). He says he was comparing the public's reaction to the two events and not the events themsel
ves. Next, there is a letter from John James of Santa Cruz. He says that Mr. Connors' article, ("Mixed Signals" again), is off base on the issue of local control. He further states "The irony is that KPFA now knows how the Kosovar Albanians felt when Belgrade took away their autonomy."
Finally, there is a response from Mr. Connors himself. He notes that his quote from Mark Mericle is accurate and cites it. He goes on after defending himself,
"It is a measure of how far KPFA has strayed from Lew Hill's original ideals that so-called progressives can only find meaning in an idea of themselves as eternally persecuted victims of war."
I think Mr. Connors needs a better example of local progressive thought that does not rely on comparison to war victimization.
Rating: Interesting and worthy of reading and response
Unfortunately, there is no URL to these letters. You can find this issue in the library or purchase it. You can respond by e-mailing to:
9/27/99 - The Contra Costa Times - Joe Garofoli's Column
This guy just can't write a serious story. Apparently he finds the efforts we have put into saving KPFA a source of endless humor. He does seem to be fairly impressed that KPFA got back on the air. Here's how Joe says it "So congrats, KPFA. Power to the people and a Ravi Shankar-to-you-too." Cool huh?
Most of Joe's column is just too irritating for me to write about at the moment so you'll have to read it yourselves.
9/27/99 - The San Francisco Chronicle - Matier & Ross Column
Here's the clarification of just who is responsible for the lockout, guards, and general mayhem at the KPFA building. M&R were way off base in their column on 9/24. Apparently they got calls from over 100 KPFA listeners, staff, etc. demanding a retraction and clarification.
Rating: Great to see an actual correction in any paper
9/26/99 - The Oakland Tribune - Letters to the Editor
This is a letter from Peter William Brown of Oakland. He recounts the changes that have taken place at KPFA. From his point of view, "It seemed like the station lost about 50 IQ points overnight". He mourns the loss of long time programmers "what had once been a hard-edged intellectual program day was turned to mush."
Rating: Interesting and sadly true
9/27/99 - The Press Democrat - Lori Carter
Here's a story about the Listener's Convention at the SRJC on 9/26. A fairly upbeat view of the event. I counted a little over 100 attendees but why contest an inaccuracy of 10? For those who didn't attend, this article makes it sound productive.
9/25/99 - The Contra Costa Times - City Beat
This is just a brief mention of KPFA's status in the How Berkeley Can You Be Parade tomorrow. Larry Bensky will be the grand marshall.
9/24/99 - The San Francisco Chronicle - Matier & Ross Column
You will need to scroll down quite a ways to get to the part of this column that speaks about KPFA. Unfortunately, M&R have their facts a bit off. They make an amazing error confusing the Pacifica Board with KPFA the radio station.
Throughout this column are errors such as "Earlier this year, the onetime lefty station shut out its workers", and "Not only did the station switch from $13.75-an-hour security guards to $70-an-hour security guards". These guys must have been on vacation all summer. You can encourage them to correct their grievous error at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
9/23/99 - The Washington Post - Brian Braiker
This is an interesting article about WPFW, the Washington D.C. Pacifica Station.
I have heard that there are serious efforts on the part of the Pacifica Board to undermine the Alliance for Progressive Radio's attempts to bring democratic reform to WPFW. This article describes a public relations event bringing together volunteers for a "family photo". This event "was the climax of Saturday's 'Family Affair' party, which the 10 full-time paid staff members at WPFW threw for their 100-plus volunteers as a show of gratitude." This all sounds nice except for the fact that WPFW listeners are organizing to take their station back. It is very unusual for WPFW to be covered in the Washington Post except in the most superficial way.
Rating: Important for understanding the whole of the Pacifica Network.
9/23/99 - The Nation - 10/1/99 edition - Robert McChesny
Mr. McChesny gives us a terriffic explanation of the history and reason behind the lack of financing and relatively small listener base of public broadcasting in this country. The moral of this story is in this quote "The point is not just to democratize the margins but to battle for the very heart and soul of our whole nation." Here, Here! Robert McChesny is the author of "Rich Media, Poor Democracy".
Rating: Most Excellent absolute must read
http://www.thenation.com/index.shtml scroll down to "From Pacifica to the Atlantic"
9/23/99 - The Oakland Tribune - Webnews - Feedback
Here's a letter from Jonas LaMattery-Brownell. He is thankful for Brenda Payton's column of 9/14. As an elementary school teacher in Oakland he is aware and also thankful for the voices of community and youth on KPFA.
Rating: Nice letter
9/22/99 - The Oakland Tribune - Webnews - Feedback
This is a letter in response to Brenda Payton's column of 9/14. It comes from Norbert Farrell of Oakland. He makes the point that Pacifica's actions make no sense unless they were for destructive purposes. A good point.
Norbert's letter is followed by a letter from Joe Sodja from San Jose. He also praises Brenda Payton's column for pointing out the outrageous behavior of the Pacifica Foundation. He says "the national Pacifica Board has gotten too big for its britches". Another good point.
9/20/99 - The Contra Costa Times - David Ferris
This story is about the dueling reimbursement demands between Pacifica and the City of Berkeley. Pacifica wants $390K for protection costs and Berkeley wants $200K for police overtime. A short and simple story.
Rating: Accurate, but old news
9/17/99 - The Contra Costa Times - David Ferris
It's fascinating to see this story move around from paper to paper. Who scoops who? Who writes it so late that it isn't news anymore? Who covers details that keep the story alive? The same basic stuff is covered well in this short article. I guess lots of people only find out about this when their local covers it. The fun part of this is the always predictable - "Chadwick could not be reached for comment."
Rating: Accurate but used news
9/16/99 - The Berkeley Daily Planet - Judith Scherr
This article reports the decision by the Berkeley City Council to turn Lynn Chadwick'e request on its head and ask for reimbursement from Pacifica for the expense involved "due to the public nuisance created from your continued mismanagement." The new news is the city "may decide to join a lawsuit, instituted by KPFA's local advisory board and other Pacifica stations' advisory boards." Further, "The council requested that the attorney and city manager review (the question of joining the suit) and report back," Mayor Shirley Dean said.
Rating: Great stuff
http://www.savepacifica.net/index.htm select "media clips"
9/17/99 - the 10/4/99 issue of The Nation - Letters to the Editor
This is a series of letters to the editor in response to the Nation's handling of the Pacifica/KPFA issue. The details and opinions are far to interesting for me to try to capture. Be sure to read this.
Rating: Most Excellent!
9/16/99 - The Oakland Tribune - Cecily Burt
This is a little retelling of Berkeley Police Chief Dash Butler's reaction to Lynn Chadwick's well blown demand for $390K from the City of Berkeley. The fun part is...the Berkeley City Council rejected Pacifica's request and instead asked Pacifica for repayment of $200K for police overtime etc. Such a funny turnabout, yes?
Rating: Some new details well presented
9/14/99 - The Oakland Tribune - Brenda Payton
Apparently, Ms. Payton had a copy of the Pacifica Board's relinquished records right in front of her. The details shared and the manner in which they are revealed is awsome to say the least. We've read of the amounts spent on guards, public relations, plywood etc. etc. but to see the specifics is deeply disturbing. To see how our donated monies were squandered so lavishly on highpriced, unnecessary and overinflated services is devastating. "Chadwick has said management hopes to increase revenues for the nationwide network. Throwing away a half a million dollars seems like a curious means to that end." Here! Here!
Ms. Payton finishes her report with this observation, "The way management handled the lockout and the unbelievable amount of money it wasted are the clearest indications the organization needs new leadership, both in management and on the board of directors." Here! Here!
Rating: Excellent, revealing and educational
http://www.newschoice.com/newspapers/alameda/tribune/ search for Ms. Payton
9/14/99 - The Berkeley Daily Planet - Letter to the editor
This is the actual letter written by Chief Butler of the Berkeley Police Dept. to the editor of the Daily Planet and sent to other Bay Area media. I personally found this statement, in which Chief Butler describes his department's actions, to be the most significant - "in order to assist in providing for peaceful dissent following Pacifica Foundation management decisions - some of which sparked large, emotionally charged demonstrations that brought people from all over the Bay Area to Berkeley." Kudos to Chief Butler.
Rating: Excellent, recommended reading
9/15/99 - The Village Voice - Nat Hentoff
This is an interesting story about talk radio. Specifically, Hentoff is talking about WABC, the Disney owned station in NY. There is a lot of detail about a situation at WABC where a listener harrassed a talk show host via fax and the staion management reacted in an unfortunate way. "for the staion to allow the filing of criminal charges without even considering an alternative is not only contrary to WABC's self-advertising as a free-speech station, but also, as I've noted, could infect the management of other talk stations with the virus of punitive censorship, with intemperate listeners facing summary arrest." He continues, "After all, we already saw recently that the re-nowned civil rights activist Mary Frances Berry-head of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission- called the cops on dissident staff members at Pacifica-KPFA in Berkeley."
Rating: Very interesting, recommended
9/10/99 - The Greenwich Village Gazette - Carol Spooner
While this isn't really a news article, it more than deserves notice here. This is and ad placed by the Committee to Remove the Pacifica Board. Great editorial statement accompanies the ad, "The Gazette Supports the workers at Pacifica KPFA and WBAI in their Struggle, and will stay on top of this story, in Solidarity!-Editor"
9/10/99 - The Greenwich Village Gazette - Bill Mandel
What can I say? This is the story of KPFA written by the best source alive for this information. Mr. Mandel writes elequently yet briefly of the history of KPFA, what made it great and what makes it great today. Great details of the march for KPFA on July 31st. He very dearly shares what KPFA means to him and what he sees in the future. Hint - Scroll down and click on the words "The Pacifica Crisis"
Rating: Highly important to read, excellent and moving
9/10/99 - The East Bay Express - Paul Rauber
This story contains the well dispersed details of the cost of the KPFA shutdown. There is some discussion of Lynn Chadwick's attempts to spin her mistakes and get the City of Berkeley to share costs. "Mayor Shirley Dean denied that 'Berkeley was in any way responsible for any of the costs you incurred at any time during the period of the protests.'" Paul Rober gives us some more insights into Mary Berry's visit to WBAI stressing the real danger of a sale of KPFA.
Rating: Excellent, another must read
9/9/99 - The San Francisco Examiner - Bay Area Datelines
Nothing much in this story. A very short announcement of the amount spent by Pacifica on the lock out at KPFA.
Rating: The amounts move up and down a little but otherwise, seems right.
9/9/99 - The Contra Costa Times - Bay Area Roundup
This is a word for word repeat of news appearing elsewhere. I am only including it here to keep track of coverage of the Pacifica/KPFA crisis.
Rating: Redundant and blah.
9/9/99 - The Sacramento Bee - San Francisco Bay Area Briefs
This is indeed a "brief" report. Mentioned is $400,000 spent on security and $10,000 spent to board up windows, replace broken glass and install security locks. Fortunately, Lynn Chadwick is quoted in order to make this story totaly one sided. If you would like to make it two sided, write to:
Rating: One sided in the Pacifica Board's favor and way too "brief".
9/8/99 - The Oakland Tribune - Cecily Burt
This is just the opposite of the Sacramento Bee report. Ms. Burt's report is full of details. We learn that "Pacifica Foundation, KPFA Radio's parent organization, paid a public relations firm $58,315 for 10 days work and shelled out $370,000 for armed guards to protect the station and its radio transmitter for six weeks -- at $70 an hour." We learn that "The (Audit) committee will determine if Pacifica compromised its nonprofit status by directing more than $500,000 in listener donations to pay for 'special investigators,' and hire the high-priced public relations firm Fineman Associates, whose principals earned $300 an hour." We learn that the Pacifica Executive Committee approved these expenditures. There's much more here for the detail curious.
Rating: Excellent and detailed
9/8/99 - The San Francisco Chronicle - Debra Levi Holtz
This story reviews details of the recently surrendered documents requested by the Legislative Audit Committee from the Pacifica Foundation. There are plenty of quotes from Lynn Chadwick in this report. Chadwick attempts her usual spin on the events claiming the expenses were "clearly necessary and appropriate". A quote from David Landau, KPFA staff member, "This is a nonprofit entity where the ethic is you spend money carefully and do your best to minimize expenses . . . but these people were going for top dollar. These costs are off the chart for what a nonprofit might do." More spin from Chadwick, "In short, these costs seem irrelevant to any legitimate governmental inquiry, entirely appropriate, and certainly within the business judgment of the directors."
Rating: Appears accurate and revealing. Recommended.
9/7/99 - The Contra Costa Times - David Ferris
This article reveals details contained in the 88 pages of bank statements, invoices, phone bills and balance sheets turned over to the State Legislative Audit Committee by Pacifica. In a cover letter, Lynn Chadwick summarizes,"The costs from the invoices you requested total about $500,000." This does not surprise most of us who have been following the situation but, as David Landau says, "to see it on paper is pretty shocking." The big question remains as to where the funds will come from to pay for this folly. Chadwick says "the funds will come from some mix of Pacifica's three sources of revenue -- listener contributions, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and funds from foundations and bequests."
Greg Campbell from Assemblyman Wildman's office says, "The legislative committee looking into the conflict will probably not study the documents in detail until next week since it is busy with the legislative session, which ends Thursday." Finally, it is announced, "On Friday, Chadwick named Jim Bennett, KPFA's operations manager, as interim station manager, replacing Nicole Sawaya whose firing in March precipitated the conflict. KPFA staff sent Chadwick a letter saying Bennett would be an acceptable choice for them. Chadwick said Pacifica is recruiting a permanent replacement."
Rating: Excellent and informative. Highly recommended reading.
9/6/99 - The Contra Costa Times - Letters to the Valley Times
This letter from Rick Sterling of Walnut Creek, responds to the editorial in the C.C. Times - 8/6/99. Mr. Sterling straightens out the misguided opinion from Joe Garofoli and points out that this dispute is far from over. This is a good example of letters that should continue to be written by as many of us as possible.
Rating: Hopefully inspirational
9/4-6/99 - The Berkeley Daily Planet - Judith Scherr
This is a very up to the minute story about the first details emerging from the disclosure of Pacifica's expenses. There are too many details in this article to even begin to summarize. The Daily Planet got hold of a faxed copy of a letter from Lynn Chadwick to Assemblymember Scott Wildman's office. The authenticiy of this fax has not been established but appears to be real. Real enough to make the Daily Planet.
There are a great number of quotes from Lynn Chadwick as she attempts to spin the crisis in her predictable way. All her claims are refuted by Mark Mericle and by the facts themselves. There should be lots of revelations revealed in the next few weeks and the big question is what will the Audit Committee do with this information?
The National Labor Relations Board has just reversed an earlier decision and decided to exclude unpaid staff from WBAI's union. Speculation is that Pacifica spent tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars of subscriber's funds to accomplish this. We shall see.
Rating: Apparently accurate and important to read.
9/5/99 - The New York Times - Art and Leisure - Letters to the Editor
Two great letters in response to Charles Shere's commentary that appeared in the NY Times on August 15th and was reviewed in this space. The first letter is from Jack Fleck of Oakland. Mr. Fleck gives us his historical view point as "a straight, white guy who came to Berkeley from Peoria, Ill., in 1970". He quite nicely describes KPFA diversity at that time and notes that diverse messages "are important to everyone". He further points out, "Providing a voice for the voiceless has been KPFA's invaluable service; the silencing of that voice by the short-sighted, uncomprehending Pacifica board in the interest of 'broadening appeal' would be a terrible loss to the cause of building a just society."
The second letter is from Lyn Gerry, who, as the Times points out, is "the editor of the Free Pacifica and Radio 4 All Web sites (www.radio4all.org), and is a former sponsor and staff member of Pacifica station KPFK in Los Angeles."
She defends KPFA's use of its powerful transmitter against Mr Shere's contention that the small community's diverse interests do not deserve such a strong signal reach. In one paragraph she nails it, "Currently, 99.9 percent of the nation's powerful transmitters are given over to corporate propaganda, commercial pandering, religious indoctrination, unquestioned government pronouncements, context-less historical soundbite news and ill-informed loudmouth talk show hosts. And all of it floats in a sea of musical offerings from media conglomerates that serve the mission of increasing their owner's wealth and influence. That's the real waste!" Further on Ms. Gerry wraps it up with, "Far from being a waste, Pacifica radio is an antidote to the alienation and passivity fostered by the way mainstream media present news."
Rating: Excellent! Go back and read Mr. Shere's letter and then read these.
9/1 - 9/7/99 - The Pacific Sun - Newsgrams
This is a very short report on the forum and rally at the college of Marin last weekend. It begins "If you thought that KPFA in Berkeley and Pacifica Foundation in D.C. were patching up their differences, you are dead wrong." It is noted that more than 200 KPFA supporters attended the event. "Station staffers and supporters said the current truce simply disguises Pacifica's plan to sell the station." Also discussed was "whether it's a good idea for the staff alone to decide programming, which had been the case." I would think this story deserved a little more space.
Rating: Better than nothing
Sorry, no link available
9/3/99 - The Oakland Tribune - Cecily Burt
A very interesting short article regarding the issuing of subpoenas by the "State Legislative Rules Committee". Good detail on exactly what took place in the exchange between the Leg. and Pacifica. "Pacifica reluctantly agreed to provide the records, but not without first requesting a guarantee of confidentiality. That condition didn't sit well with legislators." "The rules committee didn't appreciate having conditions and voted to issue subpoenas," said Hans Hermann, an aide to Assemblywoman Dion Aroner (D-Berkeley), "(Pacifica) was putting us in the position that if something leaked out, the legislature would be held accountable." Good stuff!
Rating: Great News!
9/2/99 - WPFW Website (Pacifica Washington DC Station) - Sam Husseini
There's no news yet today but... This is an interesting article appearing on the WPFA website. Mr. Husseini covers alot of historical ground leading to the "lockout". He then gets into some details on the inner workings at WPFW. We learn who the manager is and what his attitude is. Some great insight into WPFW's program manager, Lew Hankins. After censoring portions of the Pacifica Network News, Democracy Now and Fair's Counter Spin, he says, "we're not putting that garbage on our air." A lot of this article is old news to many of us but I would highly recommend reading this for the WPFW and the Washington DC point of view, and local details found nowhere else.
Rating: Very good and interesting
9/2/99 - The San Francisco Examiner - Venise Wagner
The central issue of this story is the threat of sale of KPFA. Ms Wagner goes into considerable detail to address the latest rumors swirling around an alledged offer from Hispanic Broadcasting Corp. Chuy Varela says, "If (Pacifica) put it on the market, he said they would pay $200 million for it....I don't blame (Hispanic Broadcasting). They're a business looking at opportunity."
Peter B. Collins, a Marin-based radio consultant says "The market pressure is there. The KPFA signal alone is conservatively worth between 35 and 55 million dollars. It's likely they have been receiving escalating offers over the last five years."
From the mouth of Lynn Chadwick, "Over the months I've been executive director, there have been many people who have approached us about the sale of the station, and we've told them, 'No, thank you.' There are brokers out there, and it's their business to find stations. But it's not on the market. All the hoopla of KPFA means I get more of these phone calls." Chadwick denies Hispanic Broadcasting has contacted her. No mention of Mary Berry. There are more quotes from Dennis Bernstein, Mimi Rosenberg, and lots more from Chuy Varela.
Rating: Very interesting but lacks reasons that would make the sale very difficult. Therefore, a bit alarmist.
8/19/99 - Random Lengths - Robin Urevich
This is the story that just got Robin Urevich fired from KPFK. I searched all over for this and got it today from radio4all. Thanks. Robin relates the amazingly heavy handed way that Mark Schubb has censored the programming broadcast by KPFK. She runs us back through the evolution of this mess with lots of good detail. She mentions -"The union recently filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board that alleges station manager Mark Schubb retaliated against staff members for presenting him with a petition protesting the harassment of a staff member." It would be great to know the response of the NLRB to this complaint. Also mentioned is the intriguing concept of subscribers putting their pledges in escrow accounts to show their desire to support Pacifica stations while registering their protests against the current regime.
Rating: Very accurate and very interesting. Highly recommended.
9/1/99 - The San Francisco Bay Guardian - Adam Clay Thompson
This is a very short story with details of Mary Berry's visit to WBAI last week. Several quotes from Mimi Rosenburg. A little detail on WBAI's threat from Berry to "monitor" their programming. Notes that the SFBG couldn't reach Berry or Rosenburg for comment. Rating: Apparently accurate, but nothing new here.
9/1/99 - The Contra Costa Times - David Ferris
This story takes a "who knows" approach to every detail. "It is not clear, however, what, if any, power the Legislature holds over Pacifica, which continues to dispute the committee's jurisdiction over its affairs." There are quotes from Dan Rapaport, Pacifica's local attorney saying it will be "'a matter of days at most' before Pacifica sends internal documents to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee." Krishna Toolsie, apparently an aide to Mary Berry says, "(Berry) did say some time ago she was willing to respond to requests in writing, so the board is cooperative in this matter," "State legislative aides and KPFA staffers said they considered Pacifica's cooperation good news, but they were guarded in their hope that Pacifica would provide all the requested documents." This emphasizes again the neccesity for the Leg. Comm. to continue with the subpoena proceedure regardless of Pacifica's apparent cooperation. The article ends with the Times take on the two issues involved.
Rating: Interesting for the small amount of news. Otherwise, blah.
9/1/99 - The San Francisco Chronicle - Debra Levi Holtz
This article gives us some interesting details about Pacifica's response to the request from the Joint Legislative Audit Committee to examine Pacifica's books. New details include: "Mary Frances Berry said that Pacifica, parent of listener-supported KPFA-FM, will provide most of the documents requested by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee 'as long as they keep them confidential.'" and ..."Assemblywoman Dion Aroner, D-Berkeley, who spearheaded the inquiry into Pacifica's management of KPFA, said yesterday that the committee has already begun preparing subpoenas for the documents because Pacifica missed the Monday deadline. By late yesterday, Aroner said she had still not received official word from Pacifica."
This article makes it quite clear that this is still up in the air. Will Pacifica turn over all the requested documents? Will they stall until after the 10th of Sept. making it impossible to get the go ahead for subpoenas? Will the Audit Committee keep the information "confidential".
Rating: Enlightening and thought provoking, another must read
8/27/99 - The Houston Voice - D. L. Groover
This article begins with coverage of a demonstration that took place in front of Houston's KPFT last week. Since there is no link to this story I will quote;
"KPFT hasn't really been living up to the tenets of Pacifica's credo for many years now having been turned into 'The Sound of Texas' in a soft coup d'etat in 1995 that saw the demise of most of its local, provocative programming, such as 'Breakthrough', a lesbian/feminist show and 'Peace, Pipes and Vision' a Native American show."
Former co-host of "Breakthrough", Pokey Anderson says "It was deemed from on high that they would be replaced by a mish-mosh of more middle-of-the-road programming, mixing all styles and all beliefs into one big glob." The notorious Garland Ganter makes some lame excuses claiming they now have a larger audience. He further attempts to spin the problem; "I know there are some people who will disagree with me, but basically, what's happening with our sister station out in the Bay area is a labor dispute. It's a power struggle of who gets to be on the radio and who doesn't." Does this sound familiar? This is right from the talking points created by the hired PR guys some time ago. Groover goes on; "What might at first glance be a typical fruits-and-nuts California skirmish could well become an all-out war that engulfs our own Pacifica station, KPFT, 90.1 FM, whose programs 'After Hours' and 'Lesbian and Gay Voices' give our community a friendly home to their lone voices in the wilderness." Ganter replys: "'After Hours' isn't going anywhere, 'Lesbian and Gay Voices' isn't going anywhere. If I can toot our horn, we got our most recent audience data about a month ago and 'After Hours' has a huge audience. For Saturday night, it is one of the largest audiences in Houston radio. People were demonstrating and organizing in response to what's happened out in the Bay area, but it's not going to happen here."
You can let the Houston Voice know how you feel about Pacifica and Ganter at: http://www.houstonvoice.com/ select: "Write the Houston Voice"
8/27/99 - LA Weekly - Letters to the Editor
Here's a tremendously interesting series of letters in response to Marc Cooper again. In his vicious article of 8/13 in the LA Weekly he stimulated a pretty impressive response. Read these letters, many of them from Northern California, and be sure to select previous letters from the bottom of the page.
8/27/99 - The Contra Costa Times - David Ferris
BIG NEWS! This article begins with: "A state legislative committee will likely force the Pacifica Foundation to hand over revealing financial data about its operation of public radio station KPFA if Pacifica does not volunteer them by Wednesday, the committee chairman said Thursday." This is excellent news! The first I have seen that quotes Wildman directly. The article also contains news that the Alameda County District Attorney's Office said that charges will likely be dropped against all but 5 of the 66 protesters arrested.
I would remind all to keep the phone calls and e-mails flowing into Burton, Villaraigosa and Hertzberg urging them to approve the subpoenaing of Pacifica.
Read this and cheer up some.
8/26/99 - The East Bay Express - Paul Rauber
This is an excellent article that confronts Marc Cooper head-on. A little history of his earlier journalistic efforts under Larry Flynt of Hustler fame. Mr. Rauber then goes on to expose Cooper's efforts to support the Pacifica management. Specifically, he corrects the inaccuracies in Cooper's LA Weekly article of 8/13/99 in which Cooper so savagely attacks Dennis Bernstein. The last sentence of the article: "Cooper's services to Pacifica assure, at least, that his own paid job with the network is secure." If anyone had any doubts about what really happened when Dennis was pulled off the air, this article will clear them up.
Rating: Accurate and another must read
8/26/99 - Z Magazine - Edward S. Herman
Mr. Herman addresses head on the "neutral" approach The Nation magazine has taken on the Pacifica/KPFA issue. He discusses Marc Cooper's "name calling" articles and his strong pro-management rhetoric in contrast to the excellent articles by Alexander Cockburn. Essentially he describes the slow self-destruct of this once influential journalist. Also covered is the exchange that took place on the pages of The Nation on 8/19 between Cooper, Bernstein, Mandel and the "listener" Peters. Another well written and important article.
Rating: Accurate and another must read
8/19/99 - The Nation - Letters to the editor ?
This is a spirited exchange starring Dennis Bernstein, Marc Cooper, Bill Mandel and a "listener" from Palo Alto named Nate Peters. As the Nation editors say : "We've been swamped with mail, most of it angry, on our coverage of the situation at Pacifica. We hope to print more of it at a later date."
Mr. Peters brings up some sobering questions. We must maintain credibility. So much of what we consider reality depends on our point of view. It's never too late to improve. Hopefully, this crisis is what KPFA/Pacifica needed to stimulate democratization.
Rating: Stimulating, confusing and a must read
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