Public Comment

What? You Thought it Was Over at KPFA? ...

By Virginia Browning
Thursday October 22, 2009 - 11:35:00 AM

I just finished listening to Sasha Lilley the Program Director “until recently” as she says on the show—is she resigning—on KPFA’s program “Against the Grain” which often includes in-depth analysis about the economy, culture, etc. 

Today the program was a slanted piece that reiterates lies about Pacifica’s new (and soon to be gone) Interim Executive Director, Grace Aaron. It was one of those pieces sophisticated Berkeleyites and others will have come across with much truth presented sweetly, to give credibility, and some zinger untruths. 

I just want to concentrate on a few untruths as time is short this week: 

The main one is the pointing to and praising of an article by Iain Boal published now all over the place called “The New Crisis at Pacifica.”  

You see–sorry Planet—there’s another KPFA election next year, and campaigning has already begun. Another campaign, in case the management-recruited slate should have the upper hand, is to excise the bylaws created in 1999; and even if they get a majority of local board members, listener support for this is crucial. 

I happen to agree that the bylaws need to be re-examined. Many listener activists who generally support “democracy” at the station do also. One step towards this would be at least ONE bylaws-mandated townhall meeting. Interestingly, neither this nor any other of the POSITIVE aspects of the “democratization” process were mentioned in this propaganda airing today—with Aileen Alfendary and Matthew Lazar, in other words, a range of commentator opinions from A to B alphabetically-speaking. 

The show today replays audio of Chris Condon, a national Pacifica Board member, proposing what Boal denigrates as “a resolution expressly designed to find out whether Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! program is getting CIA funding through covert channels like the Ford Foundation for suppressing the “truth” about the 9/11 “over-up.”  

The first of many untruths in the show today is that this board member is endorsed by Grace Aaron. As Aaron has made perfectly clear in her request to Boal for a public apology, she does not endorse Condon or any other candidate in the election. 

The KPFA “objective” team today chose to ignore the quite reasonable and, under the circumstances, restrained public reply Aaron made to Boal and to those who have published it. 

Perhaps Lilley et al are cruisin for a bruisin: publicly lying about the now-effective national board in order to force a “gag” order and then cry foul. Doubt that will happen. I think Aaron should have at least published her response on the Pacifica website, it’s not there. The other idiocy I will mention is Boal’s snide critique of Aaron’s supposed religious affiliation, which of course is no one’s business, but which Aaron answers gracefully as it were in her reply which you can read in indymedia  

The last thing I want to say is that just because Willie Ratcliff, Bayview publisher, SAYS a bunch of people agreed to support what he wants them to, doesn’t mean they did agree to that. This I’m sure Lilley, Alfendary and Lazar know well, as they know Ratcliff. However, Ratcliff-wish was also announced as “truth.” 

And so it goes. 

I realized another benefit this new “Local Control” campaign has for KPFA management. But more about that later. 

Virginia Browning is a Berkeley resident.