The termination of local programming at WBAI, by a faction of the Pacifica National Board (the “PNB”) who, with no notice, initially locked out WBAI’s employees, jerry-rigged the station’s broadcasting system so as to allow only national programming to go out over WBAI’s airwaves, is the sort of anti-worker and anti-listener behavior associated with corporate media take-overs; behavior that is totally inconsistent with Pacifica’s mission statement, and with the spirit of Pacifica since its inception. Such behavior can’t help but make WBAI’s listeners wonder about the motives of those who would act in such a way.
There can be fair debate over how serious WBAI’s recent problems are, and over the best way to solve them. Indeed, the same can be said with regard to all of Pacifica’s current problems, financial and otherwise. But those who have effectuated what amounts to a coup at WBAI have made that debate impossible so long as their undemocratic and, I believe, illegal actions are allowed to continue.
The first corrective measure that must be taken is to again air WBAI’s local programs. And to have a fund drive to recoup the several hundred thousand dollars lost by the actions of those carrying out this coup. And there must be no further actions taken without the vote and approval of all members of the PNB. And the lawsuits that have been filed must be dismissed. Only then can an honest, meaningful and fair debate and discussion take place regarding making WBAI…and all of Pacifica…once again the grand station and grand network we all love and cherish.
host of KPFK’s The Lawyers Guild Show for the past 27-years; former KPFK LSB member; and former iGM of KPFK
Jim Lafferty for the past 27 years has been the host of The Lawyer Guild Show heard on KPFK radio in Los Angeles, the sister station of WBAI within the Pacifica network. He has also served as a KPFK Local Station Board member and is a former Interim General Manager of KPFK.