When it comes to dissidence and democracy, nobody does it better than KPFK, KPFA, WBAI and their sister stations in DC and Houston, and more than a hundred eighty affiliates.
We can make a strong case that Pacifica Radio, the bastion and bulwark of listener-funded media for well over a half century, has done more to protect our lives and liberty, and has done it better, than the Department Of Homeland Security.
In plain fact, there is probably no other uniquely American institution in our times that has done more to watch our backs.
KPFK in my home town L.A. and its parent Pacifica Radio, nationally, both as my long-time Democracy University on-the-air, have done more to educate and enlighten me than any other source I've known, including Youtube and the rest of the new media universe.
And so it should come as no surprise that for the past three years, as has happened a number of times before in its storied past, there has been an intense putsch and ongoing coup to loosen up and appropriate Pacifica's licenses, and hence to drive it off our cultural and political landscape.
Starting in 2013 at its flagship station in Berkeley, Pacifica Radio has been put through the most convoluted fifth column-style shenanigans, now recently culminating with the new CFO there, Sam Agarwal "anticipating" a 60 day deadline for recommending the liquidation of WBAI in New York and WPFW in DC. The two East Coast stations, the closest to the national centers of power, would be put up for auction or sale, due to their being a number of months behind in network payments (although in recent years both famed California stations, KPFK and KPFA, had fallen behind in the same way, and for longer periods, without them being offered up for liquidation at that time).
Summer Reese, the executive director, was fired only six weeks into a three year contract two years ago, as she began to audit the stations and crack down on alleged piracy in NY. She and stalwarts occupied the national office until forced to decamp by court order. At the time, Reese said she was "occupying to stop the breakup of the network".
Those words look prescient today.
Gary Null, a very popular muckraker and host at WBAI with a high national profile in the dissident community, says he has had forensic evidence of illegally-copied premium products, both his own and those of others, even as all kinds of malfeasance from the usual suspects are proliferating across our landscape.
Roy of Hollywood, aka Roy Tuckman, host of KPFK's most popular broadcast, "Something's Happening", had his show recently trimmed from its perennial schedule ~ maintained for the past forty years from midnight to 6 AM ~ to half that, now starting at the very wee hour of 3AM, as an apparent consequence of his raising the alarm on the air at KPFK, with his staunch efforts resulting in a crucial success for the stations' listeners in recent elections, through a majority of independents for Pacifica being voted into office on the LA local board. (I have been fan and listener to his show, "Something's Happening ~ Dynamite Radio for Night People" since its inception in 1977.)
Meanwhile, there are Tea Party affiliates and millionaires pulling all kinds of strings to try to wrest control of the stations and boards, gaining entrance to their affairs through a variety of Trojan Horse incursions. Can you say, "Operation Mockingbird" or "COINTELPRO" or the 1% trying to buy out "Radio for the 99%"?
Coincidence or Conspiracy?? We report, you decide.
For a more comprehensive calendar of all the derring-do, see this article "A Timeline of the Coup" at http://pacificainexile.org/archives/1817 .
We don't expect all readers to have a complete grasp of the blow by blow of this 15 rounder. But we ask all lovers of free speech, civil liberties, and American media democracy (i.e., the free flow of information) to write Pacifica at PNB@PACIFICA.ORG and sound the alarm at the mere mention of so dastardly a deed as liquidation of these unique and singular franchises of freedom.
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