Sunday, August 14, 2016

Cha Cha Nooga, anyone?

Since it came under faux "democratic" rule and was Robbied by an extraordinary succession of self-serving amateurs, Pacifica has been moving on a steady downhill course at a snail's pace.

Today, PNB members—some legitimately seated—make up a ruling majority of corrupt schemers and mindless followers. Thus, even when Pacifica or any of its stations are faced with life-or-death situations requiring immediate attention, the disruptive majority will create an artificial gridlock by shifting the focus to discussing discussions, setting low-priority agendas or just strewing verbal tacks on paths not yet taken.

One example of opportunistic obstructionism was the recent decision to increase air time for Spanish programming equally at all stations, not considering whether there is a network-wide need for such a change.

Programming at Pacifica stations was designed to meet the intellectual needs of their respective audiences while also offering an alternative to commercial media's daily dose of pap. Popularity was never a priority if it did not contain substance not found elsewhere on the dial. For example, a program of ethnic music was probably inherently delightful, but Pacifica's early PDs knew the value of authoritative presentation—that added touch which often separated our stations from the rest of them.

There are numerous reasons why Pacifica stations in recent years have experienced drastically declining listener response. Fund drives are conducted with a callous lack of integrity, having become fraudulent frenetic exercises in greed. Although as basic as water being wet, the lesson never learned by these dilettantes is that one redesigns and improves rather than force feeds upon the consumer such faulty products as dominate Pacifica's current weekly program schedules.

The PNB plurality instinctively lends a deaf ear to any sound suggestions as it incants a convenient mantra: MaƱana!

"Problems" are rarely pinpointed and almost always lessened by diversion rather than tangible solution. Opinions—whether potentially beneficial, or not—were obstructive inevitably ephemeral Always deteriorating  aIn recent months, there has been some discussion in and around Pacifica's largely dysfunctional National Board

Time spent by these Boards and Committees squabbling over non-problems should be devoted to eliminating much dross and raising the over all program standard. It will not happen—these opportunists will continue squabbling until the fat lady sings.

Kevin White who experienced an unsuccessful attempt to keep him off the KPFT LSB earlier this year, has written an open letter to the PNB expressing his thoughts on the recently implemented escalation of Latino programming.

Kevin makes some good points, so I hope you read his letter as posted below. In the meantime, the Norseman in me has me wondering how Houston's Eskimos feel about KPFT's country music offerings. 

Here is Kevin's letter:


After doing a bit of research around the network I can say that none of the Spanish-speaking programming is grabbing an audience and is certainly not paying for itself at cash-strapped Pacifica radio.

While we have programming that we're proud of, such as KPFT's seminal Spanish literature program, Nuestra Palabra ( which is ground breaking here in Houston, but creating random blocks of Spanish programming right in the middle of the English programming is way too jarring and it makes it difficult for Spanish Language programming to find an audience and it drives away the English speaking audience we have.

Furthermore, in Modern Houston, there is no need to "give a voice to the voiceless" to Hispanics who frankly do not need our rather patronizing help. These are not your grand parent's Latinos. There are many many Spanish-speaking sources of unique and original programming, created and controlled by the Latinos themselves, who are already established, from radio, newspapers, television, and to dozens of cable channels that offer a wide variety of Spanish cultural packages.

Suddenly dropping one language and switching to yet another is not a very professional plan to build audiences. And the Spanish speaking shows we do have do not pay their bills.

And again, it's patronizing. it's just as insulting as having a monthly KPFT committee where a six foot tall white guy explains oppression to some rather shocked people of color. It's comic at best, but in the end is extremely colonialist and sends a negative message that KPFT feels it needs to "help out these poor, helpless Spanish speakers who are like children and need us to give them a hand out." There is nothing of the kind needed. Spanish-speakers are the fastest growing minority in Texas and have proven over and over that they don't need a second-rate hand out from us.

There is an independent spirit among Latinos that we need to respect at Pacifica. You see white people and black people begging on the street, but you hardly ever see a Latino doing it. They have a culture where they do things for themselves. We should learn from them.

These new Spanish programs that have been ordered by the PNB have not done well financially. While the shows are ignored by LA's Spanish speaking audience, they have been killing off their once lucrative time slots.

Yes, it's shameful that KPFT's demographic is "white men from 55 to 64 years of age," but if you really want to save KPFT, we need to open up the microphone to a much younger and hipper demographic. Pacifica is young-people Kryptonite. We need younger programming.

More Spanish programming right now at our stations would just be falling into the Siegel/Brazon plan to scuttle the foundation so they can be sold off to the highest bidder. They don't care for Latinos, they just want to profit selling off our licenses. That's why they worked to get WBAI's license renewed. It's for profit.

—Kevin White


  1. Similar sentiments could be said about Spanish language radio on WBAI in NYC as there appears to be several Spanish language FM radio stations in NYC. See

  2. Lydia has been trying to push this through for ten years - or more. It's clear this is an ideological choice on her part with the only ones who will benefit being her and her cronies. The public? Not even a consideration. Good business practice? Not even a little.

  3. I am Latino and started to listen to WBAI in 1966 while living in East Village communes. It was a delight listening to Lynn Samuels, Larry Josephson, Steve Post, Bob Fass and so many other great talents. I stopped when it became a Black Nationalist Cesspool. Its unbelievable that the likes of Utrice Leid, Bernard White and the those other Black screwballs were allowed to even enter the station. Having grown up in Harlem it has been my experience that "A LOT" of Black Folks feel entitled to brow beat & even physically beat up anyone that disagrees with them. I saw it growing up in Harlem and you just have to look at the murder rate in Chicago to realize the truth of what I'm saying.
    Everyone knows there is a major mental health problem in the Black community but are afraid to say anything about it. Can you imagine the insanity that would take place if Black people ever ran this country??? ROTFLOL!!
    I feel that well meaning liberals shot themselves in the foot when they they allowed these racist Blacks to get a foothold at the station. Instead they should have brought in more creative Asian and European producers & managers. You all know that if they had done so the station would not be in the situation it is in right now.

    Anyway, When WBAI finally goes under, you'll probably be able to find many of the producers selling bean pies & incense on 125 street..... lol

    1. "I feel that well meaning liberals shot themselves in the foot when they they allowed these racist Blacks to get a foothold at the station. Instead they should have brought in more creative Asian and European producers & managers. You all know that if they had done so the station would not be in the situation it is in right now."

      You make good points, but, in all fairness, let us not generalize. WBAI management's mistake has been to open WBAI's door (and microphone) to racists, PEROD! Most of these have been black, but you will find them in all stripes and colors, including Latino. Bringing in "more creative Asian and European producers and managers" is a good idea, but not a criterion for success. Respect and significance can only be restored to WBAI by keeping out hateful, ignorant opportunists of all ethnic backgrounds, raising the level of intelligence, and instilling in programmers the importance of aiming for the truth.

  4. It's Fidel Castro's 90th birthday. Where is Sally O'Brien? Havana?


  5. White says it well.

    Pacifica is just out for money from Hispanics, and they will be in for a surprise when they don't get a return on the investment. Do you know how many Spanish radio stations there are in the same cities where the Pacifica stations are? Many! Hence, this isn't a matter of putting on a language not being served, but in competing with well established Spanish radio stations already existing. Dumb move.

    The Pacifican idiots would be better served with sign language programs about slavery and reparations because then we wouldn't have to actually hear them.


    1. Yes, it is a bull turd heap of giant proportions.

      I spot-checked Kathy Davis this morning, delivering a monologue in which she reveals the profound findings of her research. Based in good part on the current edition of the Bates scam, it is the sort of thing one might find emanating from the dank basement of a lunatic asylum. The fact that people like Bates and Davis are free to roam, given microphone access, and encouraged to prey on under-educated victims is as criminal as the deeds themselves.

      One of these days, a complaint to the authorities will be taken seriously and put an end to Pacifica's perpetual scam.

      Silence is sanction.

    2. Maybe the first underwriters for WBAI can be Creedmoor and Bellevue psychiatric wards? Cake Davis can do the promos.

      Listen, throughout history, there have been many origin of civilization stories concocted. WBAI is trying to push the one they currently are because the handful of listeners they have are Black nationalists. You know what it actually reminds me a lot of? Have you ever studied Nazi occultism? It's a very similar mix of racial stuff.


    3. Haven't studied it, but seen a couple of documentaries, so I have a general idea of what you mean.

  6. As White and others point out, Pacifica's implementation of Spanish-language programming is incredibly patronizing--and won't bring in money.

    As I mentioned in my comments on another post, one problem with the plan (if it can be called that) is the underlying assumption that because programming is in Spanish, it will serve the whole "Hispanic community" (a term only a white liberal would ever use). My Spanish isn't the greatest, but it's enough to hear that different Spanish-language stations here in New York serve different communities or, at least, cater to different interests. Puerto Ricans and Dominicans have been here in NYC longer than Mexicans, Guatemalans, Salvadorenos, Venezuelans, etc, and thus have different concerns and a different relationship to this city and other nationalities and races within it. Also, they speak the language differently--again, I know just enough to know that Ecuadoreans sound nothing like Puerto Ricans or even Cubans, for example.

  7. Mario Murillo was the chief Latino @ WBAI for several decades. Unfortunately, he spent a lot of time asking staff members for sex in his office.


  8. Another problem that many Spanish language outlets have is being owned by giant corporations. Doesn't matter if it's TV, radio or print; the same censorship happens.

    Jorge Ramos used to work for one of the biggest TV stations in Mexico City. He didn't like what he said was censorship by his news editor. So he quit, almost sold everything and moved to LA. Started in local TV and is now in Miami working for Univision. He also works for Fusion TV (a Disney/Comcast partnership) that's losing millions. Which means that even tough he's hyped as "The Most Powerful Hispanic Newsman in America", even he has limits. He says that you have to be a rebel. But also, when you're being paid millions, even rebels have limits. Go beyond that, and he'll be back working traffic accidents in LA.

  9. I've been listening to a lot of the Spanish news on KPFK and KPFA. Much of the time, it sounds like they're ripping and reading AP copy. I'm not hearing a lot of ground breaking, hard hitting investigative reporting. If this is the approach that Pacifica management wants to take, I'll just go someplace else.

    Actually, a lot of KPFA's Spanish public affairs stuff is better than a lot of their news.

  10. Another obvious problem is the fact that the program lineups of all 5 outlets are almost copies. BAI has a Computer Show. So KPFK and KPFT do the same. The NPR outlet in Houston has a woman host with an English accent. So KPFT says we must have the same.

    While we're at it, drop Ian Masters on KPFK. Every time I've listened to him or read his interviews, he's ALWAYS trashing Pacifica. If he hates it so much, why does he stay there?

    Because he thinks he has lots of power there. Which he doesn't.
    Because he's the greatest host there. Which he's not.

    Once I called KPFK's "Listener Forum" where we could make comments or complaints on-air. I brought up how (IMO) Masters was totally destroying not only KPFK's audience potential but Pacifica's overall. The GM at that time and the host just laughed at me.

    You wanna be treated as a joke? No loss to me.

  11. I don't know what part of Houston White lives in. But where I live, I see the full range of people struggling. Begging on the street. Trying to survive on food stamps so they don't have to use any other benefits that would go to pay for their rent, medication and more. All kinds of battered women trying to escape their abusive partners who just want to track their ass down and then kill them.

    Yes, respect all people. But also, don't lie about reality that you don't see but IS there. I see it every day. His lying about it is dissing Latinos.

  12. Like I said, Pacifica doesn't realize they are going into competition with big media corporations for the Hispanic listenership. Ain't gonna work, chumps.


  13. Some advantage of watching Jorge Ramos on Univision. Aside from immersion to help my Spanish, they actually aren't afraid to say that racists like Trump will actually try to deport all 11 million illegal Hispanics. They give the perspective of Latinos both here in the US AND in Mexico. Pacifica on the other hand (sorry to say) is recycling what we already know. Kind of like Greg Palast running around saying that there's voter fraud! Yes we know that. Where's the specific proof? Just repackaging the obvious isn't journalism.

  14. Fundraising from a Spanish speaking audience is difficult. Radio Bilingue used to try and found they didn't make any money. Part of it is the poverty of their audience. I notice that the United Farm Workers is going to a commercial model, trading a station in Central California with a Christian (K-LOVE) station that can be changed to a commercial station. I have had a number of Spanish speaking people from Mexico not understand the concept of public radio pledge breaks. They seemed to have a hard time making it past the concept of public radio not being 100% funded by the government, as is the case generally in Mexico. The proposal for Spanish language programming that the PNB passed was written with a list of qualifications that pretty much meant that the Spanish language programming from KPFK would be the only eligible program to be carried at the other stations. The resolution was also written in a manner that it was unclear if it was 5 hours a week or 5 hours a day would have to be added at each station.