Thursday, March 20, 2014

Scenes from "Exit Left?"

So you're in Berkeley and the door to 1925 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way has had the padlock removed. You spot a grandma-type lady about to enter, so you discretely land on her silver hair. Now you're inside and there's a group of people who don't seem to get along with each other, so you park yourself high up on the wall...

Departing white-haired lady: Margy Wilkinson
Voice from above (departed?): Summer Reese

Click to become the fly on the wall 

You might also scroll to the frames above, and click on HDV8. It shows Ms. Wilkenson's exit and the ensuing cheers of joy.

As always, I highly recommend reading the comments that follow most posts. In this case, I find Indigo's second comment especially noteworthy.

March 20, 2014   (from Tracy Rosenberg)

For Immediate Release

New ED May Be Resigned LA Manager Occupation Continues Into 4th Day in Berkeley

Berkeley-The Pacifica National Board, which attempted to terminate Executive Director Summer Reese only 7 weeks after signing a 3-year contract, and still has stated no reason for the rushed vote taken with no legal consultation, is floating a familiar face as her proposed replacement: a recently-resigned manager in their own network, Bernard Duncan who was the general manager at the LA station KPFK until a few months ago. Duncan, a New Zealander, had announced his intention to relocate back to New Zealand in the spring of 2014 months earlier in an email sent to the LA radio station's staff. Duncan's resignation came after the station's business manager was found to have been conducting a second job filling out tax returns for H&R Block using the radio network's computer equipment and after the Pacifica National Board made a human resources intervention into a program director hire that dragged on for almost two years with accusations of unethical behavior. KPFK, the network's LA outlet and one of the largest radio licenses west of the Mississippi River, was recently warned by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that it would lose national funding due to listenership not reaching the minimum level for the signal and market size required to maintain funding.

In the meantime, the illegitimate termination continues to be resisted by Reese, the national office staff who work under her direct supervision, and many KPFA (the nation's Berkeley outlet) local board members, staffers and members, several of whom banded together to create a statement that begins "We the undersigned members of the KPFA Local Station Board, staff and listeners, strongly believe that the members of the Pacifica National Board acted improperly at their late-night telephone board meeting on March 13, 2014, when they voted to fire Executive Director Summer Reese without due process". The full text of the statement can be found here. [see attached]

National office employees have had to clear gauntlets of board members to enter and leave their workplace. The office continues to be protected by local members and staffers who have manned it 24 hours a day since 6:30am on March 17th to allow the locked out employees to return and do their jobs. Video from the occupied site is available here and here. National office employees have expressed concern about the upcoming annual audit that was scheduled to begin on March 27th amidst the chaos, although the employees did manage to file CPB renewal paperwork remotely during the period of time they were locked out. The board members executing the coup seem highly concerned about gaining control of the network's bank accounts and have made numerous inquiries of confused staff and vendors, (including the auditing firm) for bank account numbers and signature permissions, which has left staff and vendors concerned about who to give what information to.

The National Board has produced no minutes or formal record of its activities for the past seven weeks. The woman claiming to be the board chair, Margy Wilkinson, only received 11 votes, or 50% support of the board and was placed in the chair position by a quick vote after one opposed director left the room briefly. The vice-chair was forced to resign a position as an elected official in DC after fellow board members pointed out that the organization's bylaws forbid elected officials on the board and he had not disclosed his elected political position is his candidate statement. The secretary has been banned from the premises of WBAI-FM for physical encounters with other volunteers.

A rumored secret negotiation with an entity associated with MSNBC for the New York outlet WBAI appears to be linked to one of the lease bidders in a request for proposals issued by the network at the end of the last year. Reese is believed to have been not particularly favorable to that proposal and if forced to consider a lease operator, more favorably inclined towards another. It's unknown what role the uncertainty over WBAI's future as a left megaphone in one of the biggest media marketplaces in the world is linked to Reese's attempted ouster. This article in NY's Villager describes some of the going-ons from the East Coast perspective

The attempted firing looks likely to be adjudicated by a California court, but in the meantime the Pacifica National Board plans to meet in a secret closed session this evening at 5;30 Pacific, 8:30 Eastern.


  1. Absolutely hilarious – thanks so much for posting this.

    It would make a wonderful ‘reality’ show if only anyone knew of or cared what’s become of Pacifica.

    ‘In the next episode…’

    ~ ‘indigopirate’

    ps: So far as I can tell, Ms Reese has the stronger position, particularly with respect to questions as to the disputed board election and even more with respect to the financial questions she’s raising – if, as she threatens, the AG is brought in, this may all prove even more entertaining.

    1. I agree on both counts, Indigo. This is definitely core material for a reality show—unreal though it seems—and Summer definitely had the best lines. I hope they allow cameras in court.

  2. This is preposterous. This board is incompetent. Possession is 90% of the law. The Board should have padlocked the door and posted security to keep trespassers out. Then they engage Reese in conversation when they should have taken steps to evict her. Obviously she is forcing her way physically and bullying. You do not engage that sort of an opponent in conversation. You destroy them. Morally, legally, emotionally, physically.

    Funny, how Summer Reese keeps invoking the court system in general and the Attorney General's office in particular. Problem is, the Attorney General, or any prosecutor, does not act on the behalf of anybody, except the State, and before he does anything, state or federal law enforcement bust establish evidence of violations of criminal law. So, did Summer Reese go to the police or some other regulatory government organization? I doubt that. This is just a part of her bullying and blackmail, she way she is holding the accounting discrepancies over the board members heads, while forgetting that she too, was a part of the same board. This is part of her bullying and manipulativeness of her leadership style, and no amount of competence and managerial effectiveness will offset her hypocrisy, arrogance or her toxic leadership style. The Pacifica National Board might be corrupt and incompetent, and with Reese they must have bitten off more than they can chew.

  3. Irrespective of the outcome, they've unquestionably bitten off more than they can chew – which is likely limited to granola.

    If Ms Reese contacts the AG they likely have a great deal of trouble, just as would, say, WBAI if the NYS AG were brought in. Reese is in a position that would likely compel the AG to investigate the allegations – you are quite wrong that an AG can't act until other branches first establish evidence of a crime. An AG is particularly charged and empowered to investigate, and if an AG finds reason to do so she or he will do so.

    There have been persistent reports of serious accounting irregularities at a number of the stations. That's absolutely legitimate as a reason for an AG to look into the allegations – particularly given that Ms Reese is in a credible position to raise the matter.

    If you find her manner 'bullying', your standards for bullying are other than mine – I have no problem with anyone forcefully and aggressively arguing their position.

    It's perhaps important to recall, too, that the validity of the election that Ms Wilkinson argues made her legitimate Chair was by no means clear at the time, and that was never addressed. For her to have acted precipitously without first having established reasonable clear claim to the legitimacy of her election and thus her claim to authority raises real questions, and would do so for any impartial judge or observer – it does raise serious questions.

    If Ms Wilkinson wishes, she is free to go to court to attempt to secure a court order calling for the premises to be vacated. If and when she makes that attempt her claim to the Chair and to authority will doubtless be challenged and the court will make that determination.

    She would have been wise to go that route in the first place rather than placing a padlock on the door, and then presenting herself as she did, saying the things she did, with camera rolling. She *really* ought not to have said the things she said in that video.

    ~ 'indigo'

    ps: I particularly liked the comment one of the members of Ms Wilkinson's faction made in a message to Pacifica Radio Waves that an action isn't illegal until it goes to court – try saying *that* to a judge some time, and see how it goes from there – a court determines whether or not an act or alleged act was in fact illegal, but an act is legal or illegal in and of itself. Duh..

    1. Why do you say, "the validity of the election that Ms Wilkinson argues made her legitimate Chair was by no means clear at the time", what is the source of your claim that "the validity of the election . . . was by no means clear at the time"?

      I ask, not least because the above Pacifica Radio In Exile statement claims that the minutes of this meeting have not been compiled - along with the other National Board meetings of the last seven weeks or so.

      On why the National Board haven't gone to court there are other possible reasons, such as a political reluctance to use the state, or a financial reluctance to spend money.

  4. What's striking is how relatively placid the behavior is compared to what would go on at BAI in the same circumstance --- there would be physical threats (sledgehammers?), screaming and of course, shouts of "Nazis!", etc. Ah, they just don't know how to do it out there on the left coast.

    And, like her daughter, isn't Mama Reese a piece of work?

  5. Perhaps "Brooser Bear" is more familiar with the left coast and other parts of the Pacifica "network"-- some of the rest of you seem to be wearing remarkably parochial glasses as you peer through all the murk. There WAS, in fact, standard padlocking, etc. procedure followed. The crucial omission was having security present to prevent the ensuing padlock-cutting and barring access to the office to the Directors attempting to monitor the former iED's actions. KPFA's history has made people there extremely wary of involving the police.

  6. To date, Ms Reese legal position is by far the stronger, and to date she is playing her hand properly with respect to both legal and public relations considerations. Consider:

    There is an abundance of objective evidence, hours and hours of it, with respect to it not being clear as to whether or not the ‘election’ of Ms Wilkinson is valid. There are endless hours of confusion on tape as the board meets where people are clearly and objectively deeply confused as to what the voting procedures are. Questions are raised as to the vote count. Questions are raised as to the validity of considering votes placed after skipped positions on the ballot, etc – and the actual (disputed as to actual count) numerical vote is very close. There is then a fairly lengthy discussion where many board members argue over proper procedures for determining a Chair in the even of a tie vote. There is at no point any outside advice or council, only internal debate.

    So, Ms Wilkinson’s first substantial problem: It simply isn’t objectively clear whether or not she was elected Chair.

    Then link this critical problem to the fact that there is a vote in executive session without any advance notice in any form, to terminate Ms Reese. It’s objectively clear even from the open session immediately preceding the executive session that many board members are sounding warnings that it’s vital that legal counsel be sought. These warnings are overruled by Ms Wilkinson, with the backing of her faction.

    Proceedings then move to executive session where, if we are to judge from public statements following, Ms Reese’s contract is simply disregarded – abrogated – and Ms Wilkinson now declares that she is Interim Executive Director.

    This is literally a fiat declaration.

    Now, there are of course various arguments and ‘reasons’ offered by both sides, but those are, so far as I can determine the objective facts – it’s objectively absolutely clear, for example, that Ms Wilkinson’s election was not merely confused, but aso disputed, and there were numerous statements from board members at the time saying that it would have to be subject to review to determine whether or not it was valid.

    On the other hand, there’s literally no question that Ms Reese has a valid, signed contract, executed by herself and the previous board – the legitimacy and authority of which has not been subject to any challenge.

    One cannot simply literally declare a valid contract invalid post facto, and declare oneself by fiat to be ‘in charge’.

    Arguments of the ‘Well, you don’t speak for the community, I do’ form, as offered by one of Ms Wilkinson’s supporters not only won’t fly in court, they will prove extremely counterproductive.

    Mysterious ‘We know things you don’t know’ will prove every bit as ineffective and counterproductive.

    Note that in the taped confrontation Ms Reese is carefully presenting her legal and public relations positions: That Ms Wilkinson was not legally elected Chair; that in addition, Ms Wilkinson and her faction chose to simply literally choose, again by fiat, to declare a contract to be ‘invalid’ and act as if that decided the matter; that she (Ms Reese), as Executive Director has fiduciary responsibilities she cannot and will not ignore merely because Ms Wilkinson has decided that she (Ms Wilkinson) may declare a contract ‘invalid’ rather than follow the contractual terms for review and possible dismissal.

    There;s a tendency with most of these people to argue about their various claims for morally superior motives.

    Those are completely and utterly irrelevant.

    Also, given the noise we’ve heard about financial affairs, there should be very deep concern as to the consequences if Ms Reese does indeed turn to the California Attorney General.

    ~ ‘indigo’

    1. You speak of "Ms Reese's [employment] contract": what evidence is there that she had a written contract? Yes, her supporters have published alleged paragraphs from a document that they claim is her contract. But I read that the employment contract had never been signed by the other party, the authorised signatory, or signatories, of the National Board. Is there a minute of a National Board meeting on this matter?

  7. Forget about Reese going to AG, just go to the IRS and report Reese not paying her income tax as well as Null and Guile marketing their wares in the guise of fund-raising to possibly violate Pacifica's non-profit status. AG is great, but s/he is an elected official and have a greater discretion in what matters to pursue as opposed to civil service bureaucrats.

    My objection to Reese heading Pacifica is her power climb through local and national boards to get herself nominated the Executive Director, he lack of scruples, her apparent Bible-thumping and ties to the right wing and libertarian extremist sovereign citizen movement, and her peddling of conspiracy theories at exorbitant prices that ideologically support that movement. You do not want her in the progressive radio, unless you support the militia movement types in the 1990's.

  8. Our perspectives and judgements would appear to diverge to a certain degree. To compare thoughts, then:

    Firstly, bear in mind that many of the personal characterizations offered with respect to Reese and her background are uncertain. Let’s assume, for this brief moment, that they’re essentially close to the mark:

    If Reese has managed to get by without a Social Security number thus far, that seems to me something of an accomplishment in practical pragmatic terms – I’m impressed.

    We have no way of knowing, so far as I know, as to what taxes she may or may not have paid, in fact. If she’s managed to avoid paying the IRS while having had a reasonably high profile for some years that, too, is an accomplishment that speaks to her falling in the non-fool category.

    Climbing to power through more-or-less the means necessary comes with the territoy unless one is born to priviege No one hands you power. Ever. You take it, if you will, if you can.

    I’ve seen her quote the Bible. To date I haven’t seen or heard ‘Bible-Thumping’. If she’s a Believer, in religious terms, then I don’t share her Belief. That doesn’t bother me, in and of itself. Far too many ‘virtuous’ secularists are people I would oppose, and far too many ‘religious’ whose beliefs I do not share, are people I can work with on matters of common ground.

    The alleged ties to the right-wing extremists are also unclear to me as to their character. To date I have no way of knowing the extent of her sympathies with those with whom she’s represented and those with whom she’s allied. At present she’s risen the ranks within a bunch of obscene lunatic ‘progressives’. What does that tell us? Who knows?

    As for the peddling of scam cures and conspiracy theories, she made quite clear in a number of interviews that she is not at all keen on that and wants to get away from it, and ultimately out of it. I’m inclined to believe her. If you don’t, that’s fine – neither of us can see the depths of her soul, so far as I know. That’s a trait traditionally reserved for the Maker in this culture, and since, as a non-believer I don’t believe in a Maker (in that sense), I have no way of knowing the truth of her soul. As for her actions in these areas, I was favorably inclined to Andrew Phillips, but she acted swiftly to kill his approach to fund raising when it was clear that – at least at that point – it was proving catastrophic. It was worth a shot, but WBAI’s programs is so… what’s the word…? oh. yes. ‘Shitty.’ That’s the word… that there was no money coming in, and that meant the station would implode in short order. So she overruled him. He was furious and resigned in protest. I respect her for firing him, and I respect him for resigning in furious protest.

    What passes for reality is tricky shit, what can I say?

    As for ‘progressive’ radio: I agree with most (non-lunatic extremist_ leftist (by Amuhrican standars) and progressive values – but I was opposed to WBAI’s abandoning and betraying its dedication fo free speech, education, the arts, music, children’s programming, and simply caring about Good Radio in order to become a chicken-shit toy of brainless, mindless hacks and -self-delusional would-be ‘revolutionaries’. They have succeeded in demonstrating that politics is often the enemy of thought, sound judgement, and reality.

    Is Reese imperfect? Of course. Are there matters where, if I were a player in this squalid little game I’d likely get in her face? Yup.

    None of that means I have any probem backing her, particularly considering the alternatives… which mean certain death.

    She’s a desperate chance, and I’ve said for some time I think she’ll fail – because the situation is too ugly and, more importantly, too far behind the curve of the possible.

    Churchill famously said, when criticized for allying with Stalin that he’d ally with Satan if that was what was necessary.

    He wasn’t the first pragmatist to voice that sentiment, and he won’t be the last.

    For very good reason.

    ~ ‘indigopirate’

    1. ps: That was in considerable haste. I apologize for the various typos, solecisms and the like. Tried to note that as a ps on the original post, but that exceeded the character limit. Thus, this.

      ~ 'indigo'

    2. But Indigo, even your typos usually make sense! :)

  9. Too kind, sir :)

    ~ 'indigopirate'

  10. You don't seem to understand, that listener sponsorship in lieu of Public Radio underwriting is the model of choice for Pacifica, so that it could broadcast substandard and poorly produced garbage in the guise of free speech either to promote Blosdale's clients, Null's products, or radical and unsubstantiated journalism.

    I have a problem with criminals, sociopaths, and opportunistic scam artists getting into non-profits and political organizations. Look into Reese's involvement with the Peymon Mottahedeh and his Freedom Law Tax School, why don't you look into his clientelle? Secondly, Reese is a hypocrite. She forces her way into the building by breaking and entering, and yet, she threatens personal lawsuits if anyone touches her. Our views are indeed divergent, Indigo, you see some kind of a heroic rebel, I see a sociopathic opportunist, likely a con artist.

    1. Point the First: The listener sponsorship model was of course foundational, and long antecedent to its later abuse by the scum you refer to – it was not adopted for that purpose, as you state; rather it was seized upon and corrupted to that purpose.

      Point the Second: I most certainly do not see Ms Reese as a hero. Amongst other considerations, I’m older than five – I don’t have heroes. I do not, on the other hand, in my judgement have reason to see her as a ‘sociopath’. Anyone of any ambition not born to power will play devious and rough. That, per se, doesn’t trouble me. It’s either that or sit on the sidelines.

      Ms Reese strikes me as capable and, yes, ambitious. Her opposition seems to me far less capable. In the absence of god-like ability to read the soul of either Ms Reese or her opposition, she seems preferable to me.

      Perhaps most importantly, she is playing her hand in the current situation far, far better than her opposition. This would alarm me enormously if I were opposed to her, as it ought to alarm her opposition. As I’m neither opposed to her nor allied with her opposition, I’m favorably impressed.

      However you hear it, that’s a neutral observation.

      It may be wrong. It may prove to be wrong. It is nonetheless essentially neutral.

      I have no stake in this game.

      ~ ‘indigopirate’

  11. Indigo,

    I agree with your value neutral assessment, that she is a dangerous and effective opponent, and that she even might run Pacifica more efficiently, except that she will transform Pacifica from a progressive voice to an infomercial network of marketing to the fringe. I think that you might be mistaken in thinking that Reese was nit born to power. She was raised and home schooled by her mother, who supported herself by trading her wealth on the stock market. That's according to Reese's own statement, which means that if not born power, she is the scion of wealth, if not privilege.

    Reese's sociopathy shows in her street activist tactics of filing frivolous actions in Court, which mean nothing to the police, and are used as a threat against her colleagues on the PNB, of whom she was once a chair, you might recall. I willing to bet money, that Reese is NOT paying her taxes and she is hiding her tax information, lest we know more about her wealth or lack thereof. U.S. Army defines toxic leadership, as abusive, emotionally manipulative and deceptive practices by a leader on his or her subordinates in order to advance one's personal agenda. If you are a US Army officer, and you leadership practices are determined to be toxic, you WILL get counseling and monitoring, and your career WILL be on hold, and in a hyper-competitive environment, where a single reprimand is an appointment voiding blemish, to be counseled for toxic leadership means a career ender. If you look closely at how Reese handled the situation at the DC radio station as part of the pursuit of her own agenda, you will label her leadership style as toxic. In addition, her relationship with Null, where she stabbed Phillips in the back (as opposed to working with him to bring Null on temporary basis), casing him to resign in a show of good sense, whether in recognition of a what backstabber Reese is, or of what a quagmire BAI finances are, or both, and then of using Null to raise funds, then getting rid of Null and being coyly dismissive about it, is a good illustration of sociopathic behavior. That, and arrogance and deceptiveness, and using the trappings of power and authority, in this case of being paralegal and being able to file motions in Court. Read some clinical literature on psychopathy and compare it with Reese's tenure on the Pacifica boards, and make your own assessment. You might surprise yourself.

    I am older than five and I still have heroes. One should not confuse the admiration for heroes with hero worship, though. I like Miyamoto Musashi as a warrior, generals U.S. Grant, W.T. Sherman, of course, Russian generals Zhukov, Chuikov, Kornilov, Suvorov, Tsar Alexander the Ist, the civil society heroes like Beckett, James Webb among the modern politicians, Byron, Hemingway, and Tobias Wolff among the literati.

    Reese might have the directness and activism of John Brown, the abolitionist, problem is, Reese's action are guided by her personal financial gain, and in my opinion, Pacifica deserves better than Nulls, Blosdales, Reeses, and Goodmans.

    1. Merely making one’s living by trading doesn’t necessarily indicate anything I’d regard as ‘wealth’ – I’d have to know more to judge whether or not I’d regard her as coming from financial privilege.

      If her mother was able to make a living as a trader, more power to her.

      I don’t share your assessment that it’s probable she’s not filing taxes so as to protect her wealth. Any income from trading (the reference you made to her mother) can’t be hidden for more than an instant.

      In any event, as an activist, with past associations to tax-avoidance people, and with her association with Pacifica, she ain’t invisible – if the IRS thinks she can be had, and with a bit of publicity, she’d have been taken down long ago – unless she has magical powers.

      You seem to cite USA leadership criteria frequently. So far as I know, she isn’t USA. Also, if it’s news to you, traders of any level of success are aggressive as fucking hell – they’re essentially streetfighters since it’s shark v shark at any serious level (no, I’m not talking idiot amateur ‘day-traders’).

      As I said, I have no heroes, though I’ll certainly offer the Sword Saint a bow – now there, incidentally, was a man with absolutely no use for what others regarded as a ‘fair’ fight.

      Your loathing for Reese is clear. Frankly, I think it clouds your judgement.

      What do you suggest as an alternative?


      ~ ‘indigo, pirate’

  12. Indigo,

    I may loath Reese, where you may be enamored of her, and your judgment may be clouded as well as mine, but we can stick to the facts in this case.

    Living as trader or a shop-keeper, does not necessarily make one wealthy or privileged, but a for a single woman to raise her daughter on the upper West Side in the mid 1980's and to support yourself financially by day trading on the stock-market, puts you well above the working poor and most people struggling for middle class-dom. I did not mean to say that Reese's mother was a stock-broker, merely that she had enough money to believe in libertarianism and to support herself financially by playing on the stock market.

    If a single woman can raise an assertive and independent daughter, I think that's cool and more power to her, just as I think it cool that the Pakistani Air Force goes further than the US Air Force and trains women pilots to fly combat missions in their US-built supersonic aircraft.

    Absolutely, Musashi was a killer and a murderer, and he did not play by the rules. What makes him great is that he killed 65 people in single combat and never lost a duel. What also makes him great is that he practiced what he preached, and he specifically admonishes not to substitute killing as a metaphor for other endeavors, such as business or internal politics at Pacifica.

    I am citing US Army standards as an example of the modern day positive standard in professional work environment, that I fully expect a genuinely progressive community to match or surpass, and instead we have impotence, egotism, childishness and arrogance, and most significantly, lack of professional management at the top, in a oat where nobody seems to have a good standard to aim for.

    Reese is not trader, and she is not a progressive, that I am aware of. She is an entrepreneur, who may have worked in marketing, including possibly for Gary Null. Her involvement with the Freedom Law School scam was the type of activity, that her entrepreneurialism has taken her, and this is accidentally. By her own admission, when she was trading stock on Wall Street, she was preaching end of the world apocalypse mindset to the stock-brokers. This is not progressive or even pro-social mind-set. This is a delusional fantasy of the "World-is-going-to-end-I-am-getting-a-gun-and-I-am-getting-the-government-and-everybody-off-my-back", it never worked historically, and it matches the thinking of a fund manager or two that I am aware of, who ride around the Southwest in an SUV with an assault rifle and think themselves so cool and independent. This has never worked historically, and in the Apocalyptic times, folks of that sort have had a short run. This is not a coincidence, that she approached Ian Masters, I think and tried to get him a book about a 9/11 Conspiracy. Remember, how Ian Masters said in the interview, how there are public affairs journalists faction and the "Health and Spirituality" pushers, who raise most of the money and look down on the journalists and the public affairs programming? The Health and Spirituality fringe marketing is Reese's faction. She is not just marketing fringe premiums, she actually believes this stuff, and wants to share her faith with the others.

  13. Another interesting Reese observation is that she is not a lawyer, but a paralegal, and lacks formal education. Before you play the proletariat card, I want you to consider for a second - a household that can afford to live in Manhattan's upper West Side in the 1980's, support itself by trading stocks, and the mother chooses to home-school the child. Christians, who typically home-school, they reject the modern American society and they don't want their children influenced by the modern world. Later on, Reese rejects formal education and instead of, say, nursing, or social work, she chooses MARKETING, as her field of endeavor. This is not rejection of capitalism, folks, this is a rejection of society! Reese is no anarchist and no progressive, she is an opportunist and an entrepreneur. She has her left-wing activist bona-fides by working for a left wing lawyer, who handled Sirhan-Sirhan's case, but time and time again she chooses the lure of marketing as a way to riches as opposed to service oriented work, doing nursing, social work, teaching, or working with the environment. There is a period in her life, where she drives about 100 miles each way to Pacifica board meetings after her corporate job doing marketing. Methinks that Reese saw an opportunity in Pacifica, either for self-aggrandizement or for self-enrichment.

  14. What do I suggest as an alternative?
    Before I go into the fantasy land, I have to mention a few caveats.
    An unscrupulous person like Reese is an advantage with the folks like Pacifica National Board, for the same reason, that Pacifica National Board let the former Black Panthers provide security at the BAI, instead of letting NYPD clear them out; Folks at KPFK are don't like getting the cops involved. Reese has no such scruples and freely invokes the Attorney General.

    For the same reason PNB settled with the local activists and squandered the listeners' wealth on endless elections and litigation. Unfortunately, BAI is great at begging for money from old folk by selling them false premiums, but they have zero respect for the listeners' dollar, since nobody donated their salary and switched to part time basis. The cool thing for the BAI management would have been over the years to transition to other work for financial support and to gradually cut the paid stuff salaries until the times improved. They lay offs would not have been necessary then. The principle or Common Good and Public Service that BAI management team just doesn't get.

    Then there was this really pathetic action, of letting Goodman go solo, and later of syndicating her. What became Goodman's Democracy Now! was initially a Pacifica endeavor with FOUR anchors. Goodman outmaneuvered them and forced them out. A competent board should have never let that happen.

    When BAI as we know it dies, Justice and Unity will go with it. Null and Goodman may take hits, but maybe able to exist, not so the JUC and the New Havana crowd, which won't come back. Had there been a stronger board dedicated to Pacifica mission, it may have done a better job preserving JUC and the alternative medicine voice, by giving each an unobtrusive time slot.

    Another indication of what a failure the Pacifica National Board has been, was their inability to influence in a meaningful way the format or the programming of the five local stations.

    Having said that, and having had time and money to reinvent Pacifica, I would:

    Lawyer up, and hire CPA and strategy consultants, and grant writers to work in Pacifica's National Board's interest.
    Establish the absolute power of the board over the local stations.

    In the current situation:
    Outright sell one of the stations that contributes the least to Pacifica mission and use the funds to buy time to reorganize.

    If that happens,
    Retool the BAI to the broadcasting power appropriate to its audience.

    Conduct a market research study to see who makes the potential audience that would be left of NPR to see if such exists, what their interests and agendas are. Pacifica no longer listener supported and awards grants and premiums to listeners for dedication and contribution and volunteer work.

    Align the Pacifica as an educational/broadcasting foundation with the genuine progressive professional community in the US. We are talking left leaning think tanks, PIRG's, Council on Foreign Relations, Green Party etc.

    Secure grants and endowments from places like Soros foundation to develop cultural and public affairs educational programming in harmony with the progressive causes.

    You are competing for the intelligent, diverse, younger and modern audience that is served by NPR/PRI and can only succeed by covering the gaps left in the NPR. Detailed public affairs programming is one NPR weakness that I can see.
    Cultural programming and diversity is NPR's undisputed strength.

  15. This will be brief, and I will offer no reply – you are welcome to have the last word, and I will offer no rebuttal:

    The Upper West Side in the 1980s was dirt cheap. It was also violent, drug-ridden, run-down, dirty, and just plain dangerous. The schools were horror shows. No great or even ‘middle-class’ income was necessary to live there.

    You clearly have absolutely no idea about trading or running money, in any form. You conflate and confuse trading, day trading, and the brokerage side of the business. I can’t imagine you know long from short, a straddle, a strangle, or a butterfly if your life depended on it.

    Military standards are appropriate for the military – and nowhere else.

    You confuse my seeing Reese as a capable player and as the preferable choice in the present situation with being ‘enamored’.

    I simply see her as a capable player, to date seemingly more so than her opposition – neither more nor less than that – the opposition seems to me simply far less competent, far less capable.

    When, in the context of that thought, I asked for your choice, you went into a blue-sky reverie of if-there-were-money-and-time form.

    What could possibly be less relevant?

    The immediate choice as to one’s preference is between Reese and her faction on the one hand and Wilkinson and her faction on the other hand.

    (Not that any such ‘choice’ means a damn thing in any world other than the impotence and irrelevance of an online discussion board (or of Pacifica), of course.)

    I am not a ‘progressive’, and I have no use for ideologies other than as tools to manipulate others. To take ideologies seriously is to live and die a fool.

    You are more than welcome to the last word, sirrah,

    ~ ‘indigopirate’

  16. Upper West Side in the 1980's was a mixed bag - there were expensive high rise apartments and tenement slums among them. You fail to address the simple fact, that no working poor or working class person whom I know has ever been able to avoid working and support themselves by investing in the stock market. By same token, I never knew a stock broker, who wasn't making a good living.

    When it comes to promoting hard work and merit, harassment free work place, and a positive work environment, and professionalism, the US Military is as worthy of emulation of its standards, as the work environments at Microsoft and at my alma matter grad school, where students and faculty get free day care for their kids. So, how is a healthy work environment not appropriate to civilian workplace, or to BAI/Pacifica?

    Yes, Reese is a capable player, so was Hitler, Stalin, and Ghenghiz Khan, does that mean you would have them as your boss?

    You are hopelessly naïve, if you think that my strategy is a blue-sky reverie. Infusion of capital is essential to any renewal and new beginning. Whether from sale of the assets, from a loan, or underwriting, or from a merger with a larger partner. Selling off of a Pacifica radio station may be inevitable and may be forced, when it goes bankrupt and the Receivers order some of the assets leased or liquidated to make Pacifica financially viable. Bankruptcy may be the preferred option, since an outside overseer will do a better job making professionalizing Pacifica broadcasting than a sale or transmitter lease by the Pacifica Board and the ensuing squabble over the spoils of the sale or lease deal. Hopefully also, the Court appointed board of trustees will do a better job keeping the Nulls and the Blosdales, as well as fringe conspiracy experts, as well as bullies, psychos, and would be radical revolutionaries including Bernard White away from the money and the Pacifica stations. See where I am going with this? If Pacifica and BAI is to survive, there will be a financial reset of some sort. The big question is, will the powers that be hire the necessary professionals to do it as I outlined.

    You might not be progressive and you may not have any use for ideologies, but there is a left wing and the right wing media in the free world, in the US exemplified by the Fox News and MS NBC, and Pacifica falls on the progressive side of the spectrum. People who tune into Sean Hannity and WABC do not as a rule listen to NPR and BAI.

    1. And for once why don't you come clean about your resentment of Amy Goodman, PDR? When she was driven out of the WBAI studios by Clayton Riley, who assaulted her and her crew, and by Utrice Leid, it was you and your lame crony, Santiago Nieves, who were assigned to replace her.

      You made wild, absurd claims about Amy--including that she had never been to East Timor; that you and Nieves were as competent and experienced as she was. You were ridiculed and excoriated by the Democracy Now audience to the point where you couldn't even take phone calls.

      I don't listen to DN anymore. It's become too much like Ian Masters, Marc Cooper, and The Nation magazine.
      But I respect Amy Goodman's character more than I respect that of opportunists like yourself. Amy has corage, convictions, and integrity.

      Your accusations about Amy's ambitions and her treacheries ignore her loyalty to her colleagues at WBAI.
      She used to end every broadcast by referring to WBAI as the home of the banned and the fired; this led to friction with the coupsters and the unscrupulous second line talent that replaced the producers that Berry's puppets fired and ex-communicated.

      You're one of the most dishonest, two-faced, people I've ever encountered. No one with whom I've had contact with at the station--including producers, volunteers, and ex-GMs have ever had anything good to say about you. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  17. NPR sucks. It is bland, boring and corporate. It is not "progressive".

    It is a final resting ground for mediocrities like Margo Adler, Cokie Roberts, Lenny Lopate, and many other second and third rate “journalists”.

    Because it accepts funding from corporate scumbags like Monsanto, Entergy, The Waltons, The Eli Broad Foundation, and The Gates Foundation, its reporting is compromised.

    You will never hear about research on the dangers of GMOs from Jeffrey Smith, William Engdahl, or Dr. Arpad Pusztai; nor the broader dangers of corporate control of our food supply and the use of toxins like Round-Up from Doctor Vandana Shiva, or from authors Marc Lappe and Britt Baily.

    Don’t expect to hear comprehensive analysis of the insanity of nuclear energy from Dr. Helen Caldicott, Karl Grossman, Harvey Wasserman, Arnie Gunderson, or from Stephen Wing — who documents the untruth of the claim that there were no deaths as a result of the disasters at Chernobyl or Three Mile Island.

    Don’t expect to hear Jonathan Kozol or Danny Weill dismantling the lies of Arnie Duncan and the destroyers of public education; don’t expect to hear Cecilia Farber, John le Carré, Peter Duesberg, or Rebecca Culshaw challenge the AIDS paradigm.

    And you’ll never hear real journalists like Utrice Leid, William Blum, the Parentis, Bruce Dixon, or Glenn Ford, challenging the blatant lies of Obama and his spokespeople like Hillary Clinton, John Carey, Samantha Powers, and others about American foreign policy — may they rot in Hell with Condoleezza Rice, Henry Kissinger, and Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski.

    1. This anon sounds shudderingly like a fusion of Null and Knight, Not a good combination in a real world.

    2. Yeah, my first thought reading that tripe was "Hi, everyone. I'm Gary Null..."

    3. Hey nitwit,

      This says more about you and your decoding and inferential reading skills than it does about my NPR post.

  18. Addendum from a letter to the AVA 12 March 2014:

    We tried listening to NPR, but their news people are so glib and slick, and give the news exactly like the corporations want us to hear it. You could be listening to any commercial radio station. We are so turned off by NPR that we don’t turn on the radio in the morning, and we have just come to forget about turning it on at all. But hey, who cares about us? We’re just one family, and we hear that you have many, many NPR lovers, and they donate the Big Bucks! I guess most of your listeners don’t care about local news. We feel it’s a great loss, but have moved on.
    Nancy MacLeod

    PS. To say that “On The Media” is a fair replacement for “Counter Spin” is, in my opinion, inaccurate. “Counter Spin” actually took important stories and showed how they were manipulated to give people an incorrect idea about the truth of the matter. “On the Media” never critiques an NPR story, and the critiques they do offer never go into the corporate agenda that is behind the news.
    PPS. The following is my opinion; you can agree or disagree. I am not interested in debating anyone about this… Let me try to explain to you why it bothers me that KZYX, our public radio station, is dominated by NPR. Three hours of NPR news a day play at the prime news times: 7-9 in the morning and 5-6 in the evening. This news is dominated with promoting what they call “American Interests.” What are “American Interests”? Whatever benefits our large corporations, particularly the oil, engineering, financial and military sectors. (The same people who now “own” our government…)

    When KZYX first added more NPR, I listened. And I would hear stories that simply did not jibe with what I understood to be true. Going to the internet and researching, the Corporate slant of NPR became so obvious. They simply relate the news the way the corporate powers want you to hear it. At least with Democracy Now right next to the NPR news, one could more readily draw one’s own conclusions. But the “alternative” news views are scattered around, a little here, a little there, not easy to remember when, and certainly not at prime time, when most people can listen. This corporate slanted news, along with their “pablum,” is what all the major “for profit” radio stations play. I expect our “public” radio station to offer news that is beneficial to the People, not the Corporations. So, I choose not to waste my time listening to the corporate slant.

  19. NPR is great. When Russian security apparatus assassinated an investigative journalist in Chechnya (Istimerova), and her two understudies were in the US, Brian Lehrer gave her 45 minutes of high quality interviewing. I followed this obscure in the West story and found something new in it. Amy Goodman's coverage was sound-bites. Coverage of Russian Olympics and of Russia was fairer and more objective on NPR and absent from BAI, and I didn't hear it on DN! The only guy deeper than NPR on current affairs is Ian Masters, what BAI offers is editorializing. Most of BAI broadcasting is the left wing equivalent of WABC its pop-conservative entertainment. On top of that BAI news-talk is deceptive. Barbara-Numri Aziz falsely claimed that "Aghan Arabs" were an indigenous ethnic minority in Afghanistan as opposed to foreign Islamist guerilla fighters, which they were. BAI staff failed to report, when FARC guerillas took over the Colombian Supreme Court building, destroyed its files and murdered its justices at the behest of the Colombian drug cartels. Pacifica pro-Cube crowd covered the trial of five incompetent Cuban spies in Miami, advocating for their amnesty, however, when a US Army NCO stationed in Pentagon was arrested, tried, convicted, and got a lengthy sentence, Pacifica remained silent about that story.

    Then, we have Amy Goodman. Did you read the LA Weekly article, about how she privatized what was supposed to be the Pacifica's national news-service and outmaneuvered the three other news anchors to be in the lead? Are you aware that in the initial stages of her network she took massive underwriting form the major non-profit foundations a la Soros? Are you aware of her practice of charging BAI listeners and arm and a leg via a sweetheart contract and broadcasting her show for free everywhere else? How about that fact that Amy Goodman hired professional agitators and organizers to try and strong-arm the Public Radio stations (traditionally affiliated with NPR) to carry her community radio content? It backfired on her show, and deservedly so. There is nothing wrong with ambition. I despise the lying and hypocrisy.

    Finally, I heard the Amy Goodman interview Bill Clinton. Clinton was great. I read white papers and policy analyses on historical events that interest me, and Clinton was up-front, honest, and did a very good job explain the US position in the Middle East to a layman. No lies, no deception. Amy Goodman then proceeded to move away from the topic as he was in the middle of explaining something, she got confrontational about something inane so fast that he didn't even have enough time to formulate a reply, the Amy Goodman escalated the confrontation and quickly ended the interview. As if she was trying to shut him up. Strange behavior for a journalist, until I realized that she did it for notoriety and to boost her radical cred. I walked away respecting Clinton more and Goodman less.

    Have you ever notice, how there is no opposing point of view given in any of its content. No balance. There is less and les actual journalism and more editorializing and opinion talk, which cost nothing, just like WABC. Except ABC air commercials and BAI sticks it to the listeners. You do realize, that professionalism and production values of the shows is better at NPR, and also, NPR is a whole lot more diverse, it has people from all over the world, literally, including broadcasters from my neck of the woods, for whom English is a second language. Just like it says in the Tao Te Ching - NPR has diversity, and therefore never insists on diversity, BAI and Pacifica lacks diversity, and never loses sight of its "community".

    NPR is not mainstream, nor is it like commercial journalism. NPR gave a less jingoistic coverage of the Sochi Olympics, than did Fox and MS NBC, and on top, they added cultural coverage of Russia, that the commercial news outlets lacked, and Pacifica outlets failed to cover altogether. So, you are very wrong to paint NPR as part of the corporate news media, because it is not.

  20. Finally, you have to realize, that Amy Goodman is not practicing journalism, she is practicing advocacy, preaching to the converted. When Amy Goodman was covering the execution of some convicted murderer in Georgia, it came as a complete surprise to her and her listeners, that the execution has taken place as it was supposed to. She did no coverage of the actual crime or the trial, I did my own inquiries, the guy was guilty and got what he deserved. Goodman didn't even try to be objective. Finally, I watched world trade center burn and collapse on 9/11. I have seen the site, and I have no problem understanding, why and how the towers collapsed. I had the pleasure of listening to a British 9/11 Conspiracist making false statements about what was and was not on the site after the collapse. He got a free reign at BAI. When he was at NPR and he was interviewed with another person holding a different point of view, he started making up facts. He was called on it and was told that this was inaccurate. He tried the same bullshit again, and his interview was over. Apparently the BAI interviewers do not have the same passion for accuracy, objectivity, or presenting the opposing point of view. Second, there was another 9/11 conspiracist, a woman with a PhD, who claims that an energy beam from outer space destroyed the towers. I first saw her on a U-tube video giving a presentation to some graduate students from the American Association of Scientists, I think. They questioned some of her calculations, and her analysis was really flimsy, based on some aerial photos. This professor started sputtering and grinning angrily. Her speech shut down and she couldn't speak in complete sentences, and she didn't finish with her presentation. Of course, she is used to preaching to the choir and Gary Null prominently featured her, and of course, he did not really question her. For some reason the BAI and Pacifica journalists forget that a Ph.D does not make you an expert on anything except your field of expertise. I have seen a Psychiatrist fall for a cancer cure fraud, and a number of hard science and biology Ph.Ds fall for cultish and pseudo social theories and political ideologies.

    I appreciate the exposure that Amy Goodman gives to people like Gabor Mate and Noam Chomsky, but NPR does better journalism and news reporting overall, and as I found out, Goodman does more sound-bites, than NPR. NPR is mot as corporate as you would like to believe, and they do better journalism. Consider coverage of the Immigration Dream Act activists at Pacifica. Listening to Pacifica, you would think that the Immigration Amnesty was a done deal, and you had the local activists telling lies, such as that there are as many illegal Canadians in the US as there are Mexicans. Okay, the activist can say that, but it is the job of the BAI journalist to point out his mistake to the listener, and also to convey the listening audience, that the Act is not likely to pass. "Community Journalism" suffers from the same Groupthink Syndrome that the Bay of Pigs planners in the Kennedy administration, who lent their name to that phenomenon.

  21. Brooser Bear -- thank you for such informed and articulate posts -- a pleasure to read :)


    It would be exhausting and time consuming to deal with this torrent of misinformation, blatant lies, half truths, and self serving interpretations of American foreign policy--which is heinous. But let's get to the center of the problem: your personal animosity toward Amy Goodman and the Democracy Now audience which is a result of theirr utter rejection of you and fellow clown Santiago Nieves. You were laughed off the air

    Your rabid ravings are reminiscent of the trash one used to read in THE READERS' DIGEST or listen to on RADIO FREE AMERICA, which is to be expected of someone nostalgic for the days of Russian feudalism and the dominance of the mythology of The Eastern Orthodox Church.

  23. Anonymous 1, thank you for the compliment, much appreciated!

    Anonymous 2, For one, if BAI/Pacifica was depending on me for support, I would do it as a volunteer, for free, you know what I mean? Like charge them nothing! Unlike Null or Goodman, who make money off BAI listeners, who are mostly retirees. How can you justify Goodman taking $650,000 from BAI for the reruns of her show during fundraising. And why wouldn't Amy Goodman forgive the Pacifica the accumulated debt that it owns her company? You talking about Amy Goodman rejecting me? You are WRONG, NAMELESS WORM!!!!!! I REJECT HER and her ilk, pretending to hold the moral high ground while being commercial to the core. Is there anything more vulgar than the way she was trying to sell her book at a college peace rally? If you want to support Edward Snowden, buy my book!

    Funny, how for all your delusions of being a progressive, you are so quick to stereotype me as longing for feudalism and to trash the Eastern Orthodox Church. What I have been saying in my previous posts contradicts your thinking. This goes to show, the low grade quality of you reading diet, including Democracy Now!

  24. Now, now Paulie, control yourself.
    It's not Amy that rejected you--she doesn't know you exist. It was her audience that rejected you and drove you out of WBAI.
    And grown men who call themselves Brooser Bear and use pictures of
    teddy bears should not be calling other posters "Nameless Worm".

  25. Not a teddy bear, shows more of your ignorance.
    Must suck to be you, since your life is governed by notions of what you should and should not be doing, and you aren't even conscious of it.
    Why do you keep trying to shift the focus of this discussion away from Democracy Now and the financial corruption that brought it into being? What bothers me is not that Amy Goodman got the large foundations to underwrite her TV show, but that she would later claim that she did it all by listener support.
    I don't care for posers. Also I don't think that it is cool to be extracting your cash flow for a failing and floundering radio station that lives off donations that it extorts from its audience, most of whom are old, alienated, and on fixed income. Sorry, but I will be embarrassed if I had to collect my salary from a place like BAI. You couldn't be that morally bankrupt, not to see the flaws in the way that Amy Goodman and the Democracy Now Production is financing itself?

    1. Okay, guys, we get the clashing observations. That's what makes the dialogue move, but could we please refrain from name-calling when communicating poster to poster? I don't think any of us want to see this blog become as disreputable as the blue board. Disagree ferociously, but try to do it with some civility. Please?