The implosion of the once-proud and progressive Pacifica radio network, which includes WBAI, KPKF, and KPFA, would be comical if it weren’t so appalling. The current psychodrama involves the lame-duck board attempting to impose loyalty measures, which is just the thing for a leftie radio network founded on the principles of freedom of expressions and dissent, wouldn’t you say?
Drafted by allies of KPFA board member Tracy Rosenberg, the “loyalty” measure bans those who dissent from serving on local or national boards [with] references to “harmful or malicious behavior,” including “breaches of loyalty” and “fiduciary care.”
The self-destruction of Pacifica has been going on for years and is accelerating. Programming is deliberately being dumbed-down. Fund raising is near constant, which is not surprising since the audience is vanishing. Junk science and dubious medical remedies are touted on air.
Pacifica owns five radio stations in major metro markets worth about $200 million. I asked Marc Cooper and Doug Henwood about that on Facebook some months ago. Both have had long-running shows on Pacifica and know the internal politics well. Could it be, I wondered, that a determined clique is trying to grab Pacifica so they can sell the stations and profit mightily? Both were adamant in their replies. No. It’s not a conspiracy. Rather, the destruction of Pacifica is entirely due to lunatics taking over the asylum and at this point, the network probably can’t be saved.
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