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Program Information
 Updates for Pacifica Affiliate Stations 
 
 News Report
 
 Smithy  
 For non-profit use only.
Producer: lyn/smithy smithy@mindsping.com
Uploaded by: vman@baymoon.com
Here is the Text Version:

This is the Pacifica Update for the week ending August 12. I'm [...]

The systematic harassment by Pacifica management against Amy Goodman and, Democracy Now!, which began more than a year ago, has reached a crisis stage.

Last week, Pacifica National Program Director Steve Yasko came to New York from Washington and was at the WBAI station moments before Democracy Now staff were about to begin a live broadcast of Tuesday's DN!. With Yasko looking on, Leid ordered the DN! staff out of the station's main studio and made them broadcast from an inferior sub-studio, one without a clock and terrible phone lines.

The show has now been permanently relegated to this sub-studio without
any explanation by either Leid or Yasko as to why. Sources say that Yasko and Wash had planned to fire Goodman that day, but had backed down in the last minute, apparently choosing to continue the campaign of harassment meant to wear her down.

This latest action is part of a concerted campaign by Pacifica management to fire Goodman. On August 2nd, Yasko, , ordered her in an official memo to stop signing off each day with the words she has used since the infamous "Christmas Coup" of last year: "From the embattled studios of WBAI, from the studios of the banned and the fired, from the studios of our listeners!"

Yasko had been pressuring Goodman verbally for weeks to discontinue the
sign-off, but she has steadfastly refused his demands as an overt
attempt to censor her work. She has told management that she
will gladly end the sign-off when they stop the banning and the firing,
but to remain silent would compromise her integrity.

When Goodman continued to use the sign-off the next day, Yasko notified her
in writing that she was guilty of "deliberate insubordination" and her
union representative told her that she could be fired at any moment.

Neither Yasko nor Goodman's union representative seem to be aware of the fundamental principle on which Pacifca Radio was based: that the individual broadcaster must be free to choose her own words, motivated by her desire to communicate about matters of conviction. Pacifica founder Lew Hill was explicit on this point as a result of his experience in commercial media where the announcer was a larynx for hire to voice management-dictated content.

the democracy now crew has now also been forbidden to enter the station over the weekend, or at nights which critically effects their ability to pre-record interviews with guests not available during the time of live broadcast. The expensive security system installed at WBAI enables card key passes to be programmed to only work for certain people at specific times of day.

In addition, the open hostility against Goodman by WBAI General Manger Utrice Leid's loyal followers at the station has reached the point where some have taken to shouting her down at staff meetings and physically intimidating her to leave. Goodman's written complaints to Pacifica management about racist and sexist remarks made by Leid and her loyalists, and the violent undercurrent, are routinely ignored. Her complaints about Leid's sabotaging of Democracy Now! by denying producers access to the main studios have gone unanswered.

Meanwhile, Pacifica's new PR firm Westhill partners has assigned an employee Debra Hayes to monitor the internet communications of the Pacifica resistance movement. Hayes has a background in "corporate communications' and has served a congressional press secretary.

On Friday August 10th the Pacifica board sent notice of a meeting on
September 12th for the purpose of electing new directors. No names were
given, and plaintiffs have heard that some of the people proposed last month
have withdrawn their names from nomination. However, the rumor is that Executive Director Bessie Wash wants the board to elect former Washington DC Mayor Marion Berry Chair of the board

Plaintiffs will be filing a new motion to prohibit any elections of directors until after trial or summary judgment to determine whether or not such elections are legal under the Pacifica bylaws. They believe there is a good chance of success in preventing the election Trial is set for January 7th.

For more information on how you can get involved in the struggle to take back Pacifica, contact the Pacifica Campaign at www.pacificacampaign.org














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