Public Comment

Warren Mar Is Wrong about KPFA/Pacifica

By Mara Rivera
Thursday February 04, 2010 - 08:49:00 AM

I will address just one or two of Warren Mar’s amazing compendium of disinformation in his Commentary of Jan. 28, “KPFA: Heading Toward the Dysfunction of WBAI.” 

Warren presents a picture of the corruption and mismanagement of KPFA and Pacifica by “ultra-left (sectarians)” allowed to govern within the network because of its democratic structure. 

The main flaw in this presentation is that the situation at WBAI, which he deplores was enabled partly by his own faction, the Concerned Listeners (CL), and their predecessors, KPFA Forward. As members of the Pacifica National Board, they colluded with the JUC [Justice and Unity allies] in its devastation of programming and fiscal irresponsibility, which almost brought WBAI and the entire network down. KPFA’s financial straits are also due in part to CL’s fiscal irresponsibility at this station, and note that they want to NPRize the programming as well, as manifested in the cuts to “Flashpoints.” 

They are the “left sectarians” who are not “minding the store” (station). 

  The CL and Warren are upset because WBAI was saved in the nick of time by a new administration at Pacifica, made possible by a listener lawsuit at WBAI which overruled a corrupt JUC tampered election and allowed a ballot recount, which seated its opposition and sent its representatives to the Pacifica National Board. 

Until the recent KPFA Local Station Board election, its governance was similarly in the grip of the CL, which was dismantling the pillars of democratic governance there, finally cutting down its own LSB meetings to every other month. 

Yet it was the workings of the democratic process (flaws in the “Pacifica … setup”), which Warren considers a “problem of governance” and the long overdue oversight of the “mothership of Pacifica” which saved WBAI and Pacifica from the brink of disaster, and are revitalizing the network’s governance, including that at KPFA, partly as the result of a fairer election, which eliminated the CL’s former majority control. 

As one of the “mostly white old folks” activists (“self-proclaimed revolutionaries”) who attend Local Station Board meetings, I can say that I do not confine my activism to this attendance. 

However as an elder, I am a long time KPFA listener-supporter, as I’m sure are many of the attendees mentioned, and as such, we are there to help ensure the continuance of KPFA/Pacifica as a source of truth to inform and enable political activism for a better world.  


Mara Rivera is a San Francisco resident.