KPFA cancels Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now

KPFA, part of the listener-supported Pacifica chain that includes WBAI in New York and KPFK in Los Angeles, is also now taking corporate money. Both these decisions were done with no input from listeners, local boards, or anyone else.

Democracy Now is a hugely popular show as well as major fundraiser for KPFA so this is a unsually nonsensical move, even by the lunatic standards of KPFA. Pacifica management has been jacked by a faction seemingly intent on destroying the chain, which is currently nearing insolvency.

The five stations in Pacifica could probably be sold for a few hundred million. Who would get the money if it sold? Current management? Yes this is a conspiracy theory. However such a plan would require rational long-term planning and calculation, something the shriekingly psychotic internal politics at Pacifica has never had much of. “Never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.”

KPFAWorker has continuing coverage of the ongoing train wreck that is Pacifica.

Pacifica management lays off entire staff of KPKA Morning Show

The purges continue. The lunatics have taken over Pacifica

Doug Henwood (his superb show on WBAI was killed last week)

The idiots and maniacs who are now running Pacifica have decided to lay off the entire staff of the excellent KPFA Morning Show and to take it off the air: The show is the station’s most popular, and its best fundraiser. But its quality comes at a price: much of the staff actually earns a salary, with benefits.

KPFA faces serious budget problems, but the union has proposed a way to deal with them. It looks like a faction of the local board has won the ear of the network’s executive director, Arlene Engelhardt. Their dream is to turn the station into an all-volunteer “community” station, which means an endless revolving door of amateurs who have no idea what they’re talking about.

Among other things, this means rants by those who says HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, deeply round the bend conspiracy theories, junk science – and virtually no intelligible political coverage. (Amy Goodman runs her own show and is separate from Pacifica)

I’ve about had it with the whole Pacifica scene. It’s going down—and Engelhardt & Co. are helping.

Yet the stations are probably worth several hundred million. I smell a rat.

The lunatics are taking over the asylum at KPFA

From Doug Henwood. His excellent show, Behind The News, on Pacifica affiliate WBAI is probably in peril too.

No doubt many of you are sick of the whole Pacifica mess, but this is really important: if these layoffs go down, it’s gonna be 9/11 and chemtrails. From the excellent historian of Pacifica, Matthew Lasar: How the KPFA Morning Show almost killed me (and why I want it to live) | Radio Survivor.

Pacifica to cut 25% of KPFA unionized staff, and irony of ironies, there will be picket lines outside KPFA.

This isn’t about budget cuts that must happen, it’s about a lunatic fringe at Pacifica that is bound and determined to kill the few good shows KPKA has left and replace them with what Lasar calls “their soap box routines on, a program that I generically call the 911Truth-Vitamins-Cure-AIDS-Zionists-Control-the-World-Who-Really-Built-The-Pyramids Show.”

Look, there can be genuine disagreement as well as reasoned discussion about 9/11, and parts of the official story certainly make no sense to me. But Pacifica, rather than focusing on politics, the economy, and organizing (as a good leftie radio network should, especially now) has instead gone into Looney Tunes land, embracing the most extreme of conspiracy theories along with seriously deranged junk science. At a time when a left alternative on the radio is sorely needed, they’ve abandoned their mission, and the ongoing destruction seems almost purposeful.

Their five stations are in major metro areas and would probably sell for several hundred million. Who would get the money if Pacifica went bankrupt and sold the stations? Just wondering. And while one should never underestimate the ability of the far left to shoot itself in the foot, the collapse of Pacifica at a time when it should be surging seems highly suspect to me.

KPFK and KPFA circling the drain

Marc Cooper, who was purged a while back from KPFK, explains how now it really does appear that Pacifica Radio is about done for. There are snarling (and endless) internecine feuds, cratering numbers of listeners, and even a 26 day long pledge drive.

Do you know what 26 straight days of fundraising does to your audience? It obliterates it. A decade ago, KPFK had gotten its annual on air fund raising down to about 30 days a year… three drives of about 10 days each. Now it’s up to four, or is it five, drives per year of 20 days or more! Unreal. And the real moneymakers continue to be truther-like conspiracy premiums and quack cancer and medical “cures.” Disgusting.

This is symptomatic of the far left in general. In too many ways, it is rudderless, adrift, paralyzed by dogma, unable to act in any coherent way that resonates with the public at large. So it fights itself.

Contrast that with the Tea Partiers. Love ’em or hate ’em, they grab media and mass attention, something the hard left is having little success with lately.