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“NIMBY-ism, but with microphones”

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The LA Weekly‘s piece about the decline of Pacifica is a really terrific read. I’ll pick out a few choice bits at random. First, the ratings:

Pacifica has a long and storied history, and still features such leading liberals as Amy Goodman, the widely known host of Democracy Now! (on which journalists Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill are frequent guests), but it has fallen on hard times of late. Listenership, according Reese, is “extraordinarily low.” During an average 15-minute period, just 700 people listen to its Los Angeles station, 90.7 FM KPFK, for at least five minutes, according to Nielsen Audio, which monitors radio ratings.

For L.A.’s other public radio stations, KCRW and KPCC, that number is 8,000 and 20,000, respectively. KPFK draws roughly one one-thousandth of all radio listeners in the Metro Los Angeles area.

Pacifica’s New York station, WBAI, is even worse off, with too few listeners to register on the Arbitron rankings, and is all but bankrupt. Last year, most of the staff was laid off, including the entire news department.

Facebook and twitter followers will have heard me complain incessantly about the local NPR station’s pledge drives, which rather than what might think is the mutually beneficially arrangement of interspersing the pledge drive with listenable content like news updates, consist of nothing but people asking for money for days on end. (Does anyone listen to this for more than 3 minutes at time?) But, at least, we’re spared Alex Jones-caliber conspiracy theories:

A National Public Radio fund drive, such as those heard in Los Angeles on much bigger KCRW and KPCC, is a mix of cloying boosterism, promises of tote bags and begging. A Pacifica fund drive, meanwhile, sounds like a never-ending infomercial for products created by a street-corner lunatic.

Take, for example, a five-DVD set titled “The Great Lies of History,” which includes five documentaries by Italian filmmaker Massimo Mazzucco: The Second Dallas; The New American Century; UFOs and the Military Elite; The True History of Marijuana; and Cancer: The Forbidden Cures. Cancer features Dr. Tullio Simoncini, an Italian doctor who claims to treat cancer, which he says originates with a fungus, with sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda.

“There was a woman [diagnosed with] cancer of the uterus,” Mazzucco recently explained to KPFK producer Christine Blosdale on air. “She tried the Simoncini method. She healed by herself by simply doing douches, washing with sodium bicarbonate. The cancer’s gone, and now she can have babies. Of course, that’s one less patient the cancer industry had to milk from.”

I now feel slightly better about academic meetings:

Board elections cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $200,000 — no small price for a network with a $13 million annual budget. The meetings themselves cost about $20,000 each to fly in 20-plus people and put them up for the weekend, and they’re dominated by bickering. Members regularly invoke Robert’s Rules of Order, and can take half an hour simply to approve the minutes of a previous meeting.

And lest you think the only relevant actors in the farce are the ultraleft, former Pajamas Media associate Marc Cooper makes an appearance to compare other factions at Pacifica to both Nazis and the Khmer Rouge and call Amy Goodman an “evil bitch.”

[Via DJA.]

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  • NewishLawyer

    At the risk of outing my real identity, I worked as one the local elections supervisors for Pacifica’s WBAI when I still lived in New York. I was the second person to work as a local elections supervisor from start to finish at WBAI. The rest had either quit or been fired. My election lasted longer than the others because of a lawsuit.

    WBAI always had a reputation for being the most problematic of the Pacifica Radio Stations as far as I can tell. When I did my second interview, I was told there were two factions. These factions were described roughly as dividing along racial lines but were fairly diverse/mixed in reality. There were also issues between the staff and listener-sponsors.

    As far as I can tell, the factions arose from some kind of radical schism during the 1960s and 70s and never recovered. WBAI suffered financially because anti-Semitic programming drove away a large number of people who gave and they were working with a rapidly aging audience base.

    WBAI is where I heard people declare on the air that the Nation was too right-wing.

    People in their 20s and 30s do not listen to Pacifica as far as I can tell. They might be aware of it. They might have parents or grandparents who remembered Pacifica from their 1960s heyday but that is about it.

    The NY Times will run an article about the woes of WBAI every now and then and they always seem to be woes. Last I heard, WBAI needed to fire their entire paid news staff and vacate their financial district office for backrent. They also didn’t have enough money for the rent of their radio tower IIRC.

    • Barry Freed

      Hah, I may have voted for you in one of elections. What year? Have you ever posted to the (bleepin’) Blue Board?

      • NewishLawyer

        I ran the election and was hired via Craig’s List. I thought it was a good job to do during my last year of grad school because it said 25-hours a week in the want ad. I was hired specifically as an outside and because I was not part of any Pacifica faction. I didn’t even listen to the station, I just remembered my mom talking about how much she loved Julius Lester in the 1960s. Julius Lester also spoke at our shul once when I was growing up.

        Interestingly, he said some anti-Semitic things on air during the 1960s during the Brownsville teacher strike and eventually converted to Judaism. He came to my shul to speak about converting.

        This would be during 2007-2008. I heard some very nasty things were said about me on the Blue Board but I never checked.

        • Barry Freed

          I do remember you.

          My days on the blue board were in the early aughts, I pop in every now and then to check things out but it’s a mess though a bit better now that R. Paul Martin took it over (though that may have changed. He does good radio too.

          The anti-Semitism is what drove Mike Feder away, one of the most riveting monologists I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to.

          The elections were a huge error. IIRC, they were a result of a lawsuit brought by some listener-sponsors and were an attempt to fix other serious endemic problems that resulted in periodic crises, notably the Christmas Coup of 2000. Unfortunately, the cure has proven far worse than the disease, a fact which has been acknowledged even by some of the parties who brought the lawsuit in the first place.

          In many ways the station never recovered from the untimely death of program director Samori Marksman. He had a real vision for the station, was very charismatic and brought all the factions together. Just one example, it was he who gave Doug Henwood his radio show, the current regime is the one who drove him away.

          Failure to involve younger generations is definitely one of the problems. I think a turn away from politics all the time would be good and a return to much of the arts programming that characterized all the Pacifica stations in their best days is both necessary and desirable. BTW, they used to have a really good comic books show, but they killed that off too. Amy Goodman is great and all but too much is bad too.

          • NewishLawyer

            Oh joy, I’m remembered.

            I think there were a few times I lost my temper on the air or at town meetings and immediately regreted it because it was like playing to the hands of trolls. Both factions caused me to lose my temper at times. Anytime I tried to impose discipline or enforce the rules, I was appealed and overturned. Honestly, I’m surprised I lasted.

            There were also people on both factions that I really liked.

            I remember R.Paul Martin. He wore suspenders if I recall correctly. He was never a key player during the elections but was one of the candidates.

            The article makes it clear that the elections were a concession from the early aught issues. I would agree that they were a mistake.

            • Barry Freed

              You have my sympathies. You were placed in an impossible situation with a lot of very passionate and more than a few crazy people thrown in the mix. Not an enviable place to be.

              • NewishLawyer

                Merci.

          • NewishLawyer

            Some of my biggest issues were also with the staff that were anti-election and tried to undermine the process as well. I understand why they would be anti-election but it did not make my job easier.

  • Aimai

    Yikes. This all makes for fascinating and depressing reading.

    • FMguru

      Reading that provided a lot of clarity as to how and why the Occupy movement ended the way it did.

      • DocAmazing

        Occupy wasn’t burdened with Robert’s Rule of Order, though. Give them that much.

        • Gregor Sansa

          In some cases, Robert’s Rules would be a step up for Occupy.

          Working together as a group is hard. Roberts rules, “consensus process”, whatever: the ideal way to have meetings is not to.

      • JL

        By getting beaten up by police enough that people got burned out pretty hard, and running into a lot of stupid and destructive internal drama, but still managing to change national narratives around income inequality, affect local politics in some cities, train a lot of new activists who are now organizing in various movements, and create some useful institutions?

  • Most Favoured Commenter

    I’d gladly pay more taxes to support public radio and TV, despite not having a TV and listening to public radio about half an hour per year.

    Ad-supported programming is a market failure as most people would pay more than the advertiser would to not listen to the commercial (maybe 5 cents per commercial minute per person), but there is no practical way to do this apart from taxation.

    A counterweight to corporate media is the other benefit of course.

    • BlueLoom

      I once suggested to the general mgr of one of our local public stations that they could raise good money by auctioning off rights not to hear certain things. For the classical music station, I would have paid good money to have a whole year without Ravel’s Bolero. Others would certainly have bought shares in a number of weeks in December free of The Little Drummer Boy.

      • Davis X. Machina

        Commercial classical, in the pockets where it still exists, is even worse. For years I haven’t heard anything on my morning commute (the inland fringe of tourist-coastal Maine) that I can’t name in 5 seconds.

        Exception being baroque audible wallpaper from people like Telemann who was clearly on piecework.

        • Hogan

          He had thought that his prey might be one of the guests, the newly appointed Head of Radio Three, who was sitting opposite–but unfortunately he had already been ensnared by the Music Director of the college and a Professor of Philosophy. These two were busy explaining to the harassed man that the phrase “too much Mozart” was, given any reasonable definition of those three words, an inherently self-contradictory expression, and that any sentence which contained such a phrase would be thereby rendered meaningless and could not, consequently, be advanced as part of an argument in favour of any given programme-scheduling strategy.

        • Richard Hershberger

          I periodically see obituaries for classical music that routinely cite the absence of commercial classical radio stations. I am always bemused by this, because within my lifetime the universal characteristic of commercial classical radio stations is that they suck, running the gamut from Beethoven to Tchaikovsky, one disconnected movement at a time. There are some bad public classical stations out there, but the bottom of the public is the top of the commercial range. In the meantime, if you want to write an obituary for classical music you need to choose your facts carefully: emphasize commercial radio and big symphony orchestras, ignore internet classical feeds and small ensembles.

          • NewishLawyer

            I don’t think it a lack of commercial radio. Many people in my generation did not seemingly grow up with classical music.

            My parents played the Beatles, the Stones, the Dead, Paul Simon, etc but they also took me to Young People’s Concerts at Lincoln Center. Many of my peers did not seemingly grow up with this and have a hard time sitting through clasical music unless it is videogame and movie night.

            There is also the fact that there are still a lot of classical music fans who sneer at popular music from rock to hip-hop and rock concerts are way more casual. You can come in late, dance, drink alcohol, make out, and no one will criticize you. Classical concerts demand showing up on time and attention and often dressing up (or being willing to receive stares).

            Though I don’t know if you could make the classical concert as casual as a rock concert (I wouldn’t let people up and leave during the middle of a symphony). I wonder how it would look if a symphony orchestra did a show in street clothing to make it less formal. Also allow people to dress casually. Though dress up seems to be part of the appeal for many.

            • Ruckus

              My dad listened to classical and opera. Loved it really. I can’t and never could stand it. It seemed pompous, snobbish. Maybe that’s the dressing up and having to compare 12 different presentations of the same piece, looking for the slightest differences, rather than just enjoying the performance and the effort/skill of the players, perfection being so overrated.
              Now all that said I saw a video of a “flash-mob” somewhere in Europe, playing a classical piece and it was great. Little girl came out and put a bill into a jar and the one man started playing. As the piece developed more and more players came out and joined in. All dressed casually, the people out walking loved it and so did I. So maybe it isn’t the music.

        • DocAmazing

          I think our local commercial classical station is owned by Sir Neville Marriner.

          • Bloix

            I grew up with this image of “The Church of St Martin in the Fields” being in some bucolic village setting, when it’s in downtown London.

        • NewishLawyer

          I don’t even know if SF has a commercial jazz or classical station. I think both are non-profits here.

          • DocAmazing

            KDFC is a non-profit? I hear enough ads on it…

          • Vance Maverick

            KDFC is terrible. For regular classical music I listen to KUSC, which isn’t all that great, but is about 10x as adventurous.

      • Hogan

        I would give a lot to see the movie reviewer on our local public TV station bound, tortured and killed during a pledge drive.

        • junker

          I give this snuff film two thumbs up.

      • Aimai

        I used to make this suggestion regularly to my child’s school. I would absolutely pay them to throw out most of my child’s “artwork” before making me take it home. In fact it would end up being about the same as the money I gave the annual fund, if they offered to frame two good pieces and toss the rest.

    • Pseudonym

      Isn’t that the idea behind satellite radio? Or does that still run ads? How much do kids these days with their iPods and iPhones listen to the radio?

  • Most Favoured Commenter

    I am not far lefty and don’t understand them well, but it is sad to see their energy wasted on hopeless and unimportant causes, and even worse being counterproductive by making the mainstream left look bad with Free Mumia/Bush=Hitler protesting.

    We could actually retake the US House by putting up ballot initiatives in MI, PA, and OH that reverse those states’ crazy gerrymanders. In all of them, Obama won the state but the GOP controls nearly all of house seats outside of urban areas. For example, Ohio’s house delegation is 12 republicans and 4 democrats.

    In California, restricting is fairly neutral, but with the large Democratic majority, we could gain 6-8 seats by having a partisan democratic gerrymander.

    Add these all up, and there are about 20 new fairly safe Democratic seats. But this would require people from other states to support these campaigns, as well as the incumbents in these states to give up their current supersafe Obama 70% seats with Obama 55-Romeny 45% seats they’d have to work a little to keep.

    • I am not far lefty and don’t understand them well, but it is sad to see their energy wasted on hopeless and unimportant causes, and even worse being counterproductive by making the mainstream left look bad with Free Mumia/Bush=Hitler protesting.

      I am far more left then and don’t at all mind what you’re taking issue with, but every time I tuned into Pacifica it was stupid conspiracy theories, and somehow those conspiracy theories are way more boring than Art Bell. So I had no idea there might be useful contributors to Pacifica, and listened to recordings of souls in hell and people talking about the face on Mars.

  • NewishLawyer

    When I was at WBAI, some young artists came to be interviewed. These were cool, young, downtown, avant-garde artists that Pacifica would probably love as regular guests and interviews. Before going on air, they spent a good amount of time chuckling at the names of many shows which were always a super of extremely literal and specific and for a very narrow set of interests.

    The LA Weekly article is spot on.

    • tonycpsu

      You’ve got to give us some examples of these shows, if only so we can come up with some good parody versions.

      • NewishLawyer

        One was devoted to weapondry like a fandom kind of show where the host geeked out on it. That one got a lot of sniggers.

        I believe this one also received some eye rolls:

        http://www.morc.info/

        Moorish Orthodox Radio Crusade, an Anarchist show.*

        • Barry Freed

          Weaponry in its heyday was a great show. It was informative and different. Imagine Farley with a radio show. It was a lot like that. I think the host has run out of energy and just sounds depressed and rambling theses days but back in the 90s it was really good.

          MORC was fascinating when Peter Lamborn Wilson (aka Hakim Bey of TAZ fame) who created it was the host. Annemare Hendrickson, another host was also entertaining and really smart with awesome musical and literary tastes, a flair for language and lived one hell of an interesting life. Imagine Belle Waring of Crooked Timber with a radio show. It was that. If they sniggered it was like those rightwingers who cherry pick names of dissertations to hold them up to ridicule without ever reading much less comprehending them.

          BTW, these shows ran overnight, MORC was Midnight to about 1:30 AM and Weaponry ran from 1:30 AM to 3:30 AM one night a week. This was not drivetime programming. But when it was good it was riveting radio. They were WBAI at its best.

          • Pseudonym

            I imagine Farley with a radio show would involve a lot of pledge drives featuring his book. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

            • Aimai

              Hard to imagine Loomis’s radio show. I don’t see how dead horses would translate to an aural medium. Decay is pretty quiet.

              • Hogan

                Condiment rants and Wobbly songs. Brought to you by Grey Goose.

                • N__B

                  Most songs are wobbly after sufficient Grey Goose has passed by.

              • junker

                WJWL: all Jewel, all the time.

              • Davis X. Machina

                Lots of muffled thumps.

              • Bloix

                Buzzy flies. Steps on crunchy gravel. In the distance, a steam train mournfully sounds its whistle.

          • NewishLawyer

            Possibly but it is interesting to see how much things have changed since the 1960s.

            • Barry Freed

              This was in the 1980s through 1990s btw. A lot changed for the worse after Samori Marksman died.

        • PSP

          I used to work in, and often drive thru, WBAI’s listening area in NJ. Moorish Orthodox Radio Crusade could be entertaining.

          On the other hand, that Gary Null heath nut guy and the 9-11 truthers were positively painful.

      • Hogan

        Full list here. Go nuts.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          a half hour sounds about right for a “time of useful consciousness”, but the morning would be better, personally

          • Aimai

            Joy of Resistance needs moar sex.

        • junker

          This is Thought for your Thoughts. I’m your host, Derry Murbles.

  • Barry Freed

    I’ve watched this closely for decades now. I’m a former subscriber and I’ve been listening to WBAI since I first accidentally stumbled across the station as a kid in the 70s. It was magic in those days, John Goodman and John Lithgow did radio drama. There were reat programs on movies by Paul Wunder, science/speculative fiction and fantasy by Jim Freund (still running last I heard), monologist Mike Feder, and many others besides.

    Bob Fass worked absolute magic on the air, having musicians, artists, poets, etc, in the studio, live performances, half a dozen or more phone callers on the air at one time (it worked) and that deep, sonorous voice that just reached out over the air and spoke directly to you like nothing else. I’ve listened as he had programs celebrating some long forgotten folk singer from the early 60s Greenwich Village scene only to have her son, visiting Manhattan from overseas for the first time in years call in, an hour later another folkie and former lover calls in and shares memories. Pure magic. And it was a regular thing

    To get an idea of what it was like (and still is in bits and pieces here and there, usually late night) I highly recommend the documentary “Radio Unnameable Movie” (after the name of Bob Fass’s show).

    Even the air felt different when you dialed in.

    So it causes me pain to listen to it today and for this past decade, with all the snake oil pitches and conspiracy theories. I’ve even heard Bob Fass endorse the idea of corporate underwriting if it would save the station from the hucksters who’ve taken hold of it now. There have been several crises in the past, around 1979 when Fass and other programmers barricaded themselves in the transmitter room at top of the Empire State Building and in 2000 with the infamous Christmas Coup but nothing has ever seemed as bad as this. What’s more is thatif and when they finally sell the station (WBAI is a 50,0000 Watt station right in the middle of the dial – 99.5 in the biggest broadcast market in the country, so it’s easily worth over $100 million, maybe as much as a quarter of a billion dollars) it will seem like a relief more than anything else. It feels like it died a long time ago.

    • “Even the air felt different when you dialed in. ”

      Me to, Barry – I felt the same thing.

      I miss those olden golden years of the 70’s and earl 80’s, back when WBAI still had some influence.

    • NewishLawyer

      Lots of the paid staff wanted corporate underwriting and sponsorship when I was working at WBAI as an independent contractor. A good number of people were also against it because they felt it would take away the Pacifica from Pacifica.

    • Sev

      I haven’t listened much in years, though volunteered a few times when they were still on 62nd St, and paid dues for many years. I think the ‘crisis’ was Feb 77, Barry, since I remember being burned out of my building at the same time.
      Even in recent years, they’ve broadcast some memorable things at times, perhaps re-broadcasts. A few years ago they had a several hours long documentary on the Armenian genocide, by far the best broadcast I’ve ever heard on it. And of course they were a voice against the Iraq debacle.

      • Barry Freed

        I was a kid then so I don’t remember well. It’s covered in that Radio Unnameable documentary I’ve recommended several times in this thread. There are still some good things there but there’s a lot of dross and still more crap and the 9/11 conspiracy truther shit they use during fund drives is embarrassing at the very least. the late night programming has always been more interesting to me and has largely escaped some of the worst of it.

  • Most Favoured Commenter

    “WBAI suffered financially because anti-Semitic programming”

    Israel/Palestine is a great example of an issue the left should just forget about. The reality is 100% of the GOP and 85% of elected democrats are strong supporters of Israel’s partial occupation of the West Bank, and there is 0 chance of this changing in the next decade at least.

    The apartheid/divestiture noise coming from the fringe left on this issue however is enough for the GOP drive a wedge into the jewish voting block and appeal to Hasidic and Orthodox Jews.

    Meanwhile, the New York state senate remains in Republican hands, despite a Democratic majority, because the left can’t get its act together enough to primary the 4 disloyal Democratic state senators, who include an embezzler and a wife-beater, and vote for Republican leadership.

    • NewishLawyer

      This wasn’t Israel/Palestine. This was programming that declared that the entirety of Judaism was somehow involved with the 19th century slave market. Keep in mind that most Jewish-listeners of Pacifica probably did not have their ancestors come to America until 20-40 years after the Civil War ended. These were people who could remember Yiddish-speaking Eastern European grandparents.

      • Most Favoured Commenter

        How does it happen that left-wing activists with a lot of energy decide to devote their time to such crap?

        • NewishLawyer

          http://harpers.org/archive/1964/11/the-paranoid-style-in-american-politics/

          This is not just an issue for the right. There is plenty of quakery on the fair left and the far right.

          This is the sort of stuff we talk about here. There is a faction of the American left which would probably consider me to be more of an enemy because I choose to stay in the Democratic Party and my politics are more in-line with mid-century welfare state regulation politics. This faction wants more of a radical change.

          My European friends like to tell me that in their countries, I would probably be considered a moderate or center-right kind of guy but in the US, I am rather left to most Americans.

          • Hogan

            I’ve occasionally had the experience of going from the room where I’m the socialist nutbag to the room where I’m the bourgeois sellout.

            • jim, some guy in iowa

              that would be the contrast between my ‘real’ and ‘internet’ lives

            • NewishLawyer

              I think that universal healthcare is becoming more of a mainstream possibility in American politics but I’ve roughly experienced the same thing if in not so many words.

              My girlfriend is far from conservative but she still pokes fun at my left-wing of the Democratic Party politics. She is more of a Clinton Moderate Democratic supporter. In a saner world, she might even count as a Rockefeller Republican, socially liberal but economically moderate.

              Though I wonder where Rockefeller’s economic policy would be counted today.

            • Davis X. Machina

              See! Both sides Hogan do does it!

              • Hogan

                With one hand!

          • LeeEsq

            The paranoid style probably traces back to the extreme fear of Catholicism and hatred of Catholics that gripped English speaking society in the 17th century. If you read anti-Catholic rants from the period, they do not sound exactly out of place. If you change the subject matter and update the grammar, you can imagine them from some of the paranoids today.

          • joe from Lowell

            My European friends like to tell me that in their countries, I would probably be considered a moderate or center-right kind of guy but in the US, I am rather left to most Americans.

            They’re wrong.

            If you were living in a European country with a national health system, for instance, you wouldn’t be advocating for replacing it with the ACA. You do that because you’re operating in a context. In a different context, you’d be supporting the platform of the largest viable left party, too.

            Similarly, if your European friends were in the United States, they’d almost certainly be Democrats.

            When I see people claiming that the Tories are actually to the left of the Democratic Party, because the Tories are too afraid/smart to openly campaign for the elimination of the NHS, I just shake my head and smile.

        • dougr100

          This and the outbreaks of ODS sure don’t help.

          • NewishLawyer

            ODS?

            • jim, some guy in iowa

              obama
              derangement
              syndrome

              (guessing but pretty sure)

              • NewishLawyer

                I would say that is an example of the Paranoid Style rather than a separate issue.

        • Pseudonym

          How is it that people who devote their time to such crap get to be considered [representative of] left-wing activists?

          • LeeEsq

            Its a combination of factors. For one thing, the political enemies of the left make a lot of efforts to paint this people as representatives of leftist activists among the general public. Its an obvious and legitimate political strategy just like how liberals and leftists like bringing up the worse of the right and attempt to make them representatives. What makes matters worse is that a lot of Americans are more than a little skeptical of activists if not outright hostile so there is a tendency to see the worse as being the most representative.

            The paranoid left also likes to declare itself to be the true left in the same way that the paranoid right sees itself as the true right. The left doesn’t devote enough time to correcting this and ostracizing the paranoid left.

            • DocAmazing

              …while the right harnesses the energy of the paranoid right and works the refs.

              • LeeEsq

                That isn’t very accurate. During the mid-20th century, the Far Right made a conscious decision to work within the Republican Party rather than outside it. This was even though they viewed the GOP with the same level of disdain back than that the Far Left views the Democratic Party with back than and now. The Right harnesses the energy of the far and paranoid right because the latter opened themselves up the former by identifying with it. The Far Left made a conscious choice to not work or identify with the Democratic Party so naturally the Democratic Party does not have much use for them.

              • junker

                I’m not sure if this is meant to be a critique of the Republicans or the Democrats or both. Do you want 9/11 truthers in the fold in the same way that birthers get folded on for the GOP? Sorry if I misunderstand, but this reads as wistful for the idea that Democrats should accommodate their crazy extremists in the same way that Republicans have.

                • LeeEsq

                  I’m not sure if your referring to me or Doc but no, I don’t want to 9/11 truthers in the Democratic fold. I’m just merely pointing out that the Doc has his history backwards. Republican leadership can harness the power of the paranoid right because the paranoid right first decided to identify as Republican. The paranoid left or even most “real” leftists in the United States made the choice not to identify as Democratic, rendering themselves un-important in Democratic politics.

                • DocAmazing

                  The crazy extremists of the Right have been agitating for shall-issue concealed firearms carry laws and abortion restrictions, and winning. The crazy extremists of the Left agitate for miltary drawdowns, strong oversight of police, and public control of public resources–and threaten the Democrats’ donor base in ways that the crazy extremists of the Right don’t.

                  Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but save for a few (mostly social) issues, the crazy extremists of the Right are making gains, while liberals and moderates are losing ground. Might wanna look into some alternate strategies.

                • DocAmazing

                  (By the way, the crazy extremists of the Right identify as Republicans because they were invited in and are still being actively courted. The crazy extremists of the Left get shooed away if they’re lucky; the FBI takes a very active interest in the crazy extremists of the Left and has to be prodded to action against the crazy extremists of the Right.)

                • junker

                  It was Doc. His comment is ambiguous as to whether or not he thinks it’s a good thing for a party to harness the crazy side.

                • LeeEsq

                  DocAmazing, by crazy extremist we are talking about the people that devote a considerable amount of mental space to conspiracy theories; whether its Obama is Muslim-Kenyan-Socialist Spy or 9/11 truthers. We aren’t talking about people who hold political positions outside the American mainstream like public control of public resources.

                  What we want to know is if you think its a good idea to harness the energy of people prone to some rather twisted and hateful fantasies? I think the GOP has demonstrated that its at best a mixed blessing. On the plus side you get people that are willing to devote a lot of passion to elections. On the negative side, you might get a lot of politicians that can not compromise, which is kind of necessary in our system, and are willing to inflict lots of suffering in order to get what they want.

                • joe from Lowell

                  The crazy extremists of the Right have been agitating for shall-issue concealed firearms carry laws and abortion restrictions, and winning.

                  If you define “crazy extremists of the Right” as “people in the center of the Republican Party,” then yes, they “crazy extremists on the Right” have more influence with the Republicans than people whose ideas are radically at odd with most Democrats have with the Democratic Party.

                  I’m not sure what this comment is supposed to prove.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Oh, btw, the crazy extremists on the right are also passionately opposed to NAFTA and similar trade deals.

                  I provide this piece of data for the purpose of distinguishing between the efficacy of the paranoid right in swaying the Republican Party on issues where it splits with the party’s mainstream, as opposed to issues where it is line with that mainstream.

              • joe from Lowell

                …while the right harnesses the energy of the paranoid right and works the refs.

                The paranoid right is much larger than the paranoid left, by an order of magnitude or two, and includes several billionaires.

                Which is to say, the paranoid right actually have power to harness.

            • joe from Lowell

              The left doesn’t devote enough time to correcting this and ostracizing the paranoid left.

              Which makes it all the more amusing that the paranoid left spends most of its time howling about being persecuted and hippie-punched by the more normal left.

      • Barry Freed

        Yes, it was an extremist Black Nationalist faction that was responsible for that.

        • LeeEsq

          Its kind of funny because if you ever read the manifesto of the Black Panther Party, they approvingly refer to Israel demanding and getting reparations from Germany* for the Holocaust as a justification for reparations for slavery.

          You can write volumes on the long and somewhat tortured relationship between Jews and African-Americans in the United States. Around 1992, there was a CUNY professor that produced a really out there book that divided the world between the good Sun People, people of color and evil Ice People, basically whites, and the Jews were the whitest of the white. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. wrote an editorial denouncing it in the Times.

          *This wasn’t a decision without controversy. Lots of people were opposed to reparations on the grounds that it would essentially act as apology accepted and they thought that no apology should ever be accepted.

        • NewishLawyer
    • JL

      Except that American Jews consistently vote Democratic. If it’s a wedge issue for the GOP, it’s a pretty terrible one.

      Also, a lot of the people working on BDS, Israel Apartheid Week, and other slightly-escalated-beyond-J-Street anti-Occupation stuff are Jews and work on this issue because they have an emotional investment in the character of Israel. It’s a bit douchey to tell them they should knock it off and focus on something else.

  • Sly

    I thought to myself, “PJ Media? Yeah, this Cooper guy is probably gonna come off like a dickhead.” But wingnuts constantly surpass expectations:

    Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman joined the fray, siding on the air with the revolutionaries, signing petitions and giving an open microphone to the boycott of the network that was paying her comparatively handsome salary. She essentially became the public face of a movement that was targeting board members and posting leaflets in their neighborhoods, which read: “Wanted for criminal theft of a radio station.”

    “These [were] brownshirts,” Cooper says. “And Amy was their leader and she knew it. And I told that to her face: She can fool a lot of people a lot of the time, but I know she’s a thug.” (Goodman did not return several calls for comment.)

    Because what we remember the Sturmabteilung for was their overly aggressive use of leaflet-delivered hyperbole, which was only stopped by an internal Nazi purge known as “The Night of the Long Drum Circle.”

    • FMguru

      The article’s biggest flaw is that it leans heavily on quotes from this Cooper guy. And man, are they ripe.

      “The Berkeley station is like an ethnic radio station,” Cooper says. “It speaks Berkeley to everybody with a ponytail and long hair.”

      Cooper has plenty of bitterness about Pacifica but saves his real vitriol for Goodman: “Amy’s an evil bitch. Amy would be perfect in the [New Jersey governor Chris] Christie administration. She’s a brass-knuckles fighter.”

      “They create this sweeping narrative: ‘They’re going to corporatize Pacifica and sell off KPFA!’ ” Cooper says. “It’s really science fiction, and the left is so stupid that they bought into it.”

      Lasar, however, says otherwise, citing an email that Pacifica National Board member Michael Palmer accidentally sent to an outside group, speculating about the sale of KPFA’s powerful radio signal and estimating it could net up to $75 million.

      One sign read, “More activists, less authors.” Cooper says: “That’s about one step removed from Pol Pot. It’s like, ‘Let’s kill everyone with glasses.’ ”

      Pacifica must be doing something right, if they gave this shitwizard the boot.

      • Dr Ronnie James, DO

        Cooper was also a longtime reporter for the LA Weekly – and as I recall, a leftist, not sure how he fell in with Pajamas, except that he had Kaus-like tendencies. Not sure how that may have colored this. But the man’s radio show was unlistenable

        • Scott Lemieux

          He tells the tale here. Admittedly, he bailed after 2008. But still, about this media project founded by Glenn Reynolds and Roger Simon: “I knew its center of gravity was going to lean somewhat to the right, but the promise was that it would be iconoclastic, non-dogmatic, and open to all rational ideas.” Jesus, you’re walking blind without a cane, pal.

      • Scott Lemieux

        Yeah, besides all the Jonah Goldbergisms what comes across is that he and Goodman were involved in similar internal politicking and Goodman was just a lot better at it.

        • Bloix

          But if the narrative is correct, Cooper wanted to build a billion-dollar left-liberal media enterprise (the licenses alone are worth $500 million) while Goodman just wanted to extricate her own show from the wreckage and walk away.

          So Goodman is a better in-fighter and Cooper is a flawed leader, and as a result Goodman saved DN and destroyed Pacifica.

          The shame is that in a better world with a different Cooper and a different Goodman, they would have been allies and we could have had both.

          I guess this demonstrates that I’m hopelessly in thrall to the Great Person theory of history, to which I plead guilty.

          • Tristan

            The Great Man theory. If you call it the Great Person theory you’re missing the whole point.

    • The prophet Nostradumbass

      Marc Cooper is not a wingnut, by any standard.

  • Richard

    I stopped listening to KPFK a couple decades ago when a friend of mine who hosted a Saturday morning show there playing vintage blues and hillbilly recordings was given a directive that he couldn’t play songs which were sexist or condoned violence. This basically meant he couldn’t play blues and hillbilly songs.

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    this must be where they find “leftist” anti-vaccine people

    • Aimai

      Yeah. Its where the left and right meet in cruncy granola big pharma conspiracy theories with a little laetrile and aura washed “rainbow children” thrown in for good measure.

      • Dr Ronnie James, DO

        Exhibit A: the Portland de-fluoridation campaign, coming to a city near you (Philadelphia’s is now starting down the runway).

        • Well, not de-fluoridation. Portland never had it in the first place. The Philadelphia campaign is novel.

  • Dr Ronnie James, DO

    That KPCC gets 2.5x as many listeners as KCRW floors me, given the higher local & national profile of KCRW as an arbiter of musical taste, etc. guess those 8,000 are just very influential/ wealthy.

    In the 90s, I managed my college radio station & had to go to national non-profit radio station conferences. After a while, if during the course of normal small talk, someone just started randomly spewing hate-filled bile at you, inevitably they worked at a Pacifica station.

    • NewishLawyer

      When I did the election, we were told that the D.C. audience just really wanted their jazz music and nothing else. D.C. often had to extend their election because of a failure to reach quorum.

      • Dr Ronnie James, DO

        OMFG

        • LeeEsq

          I don’t know, just wanting to listen to jazz seems like a perfectly fine way to listen to radio.

      • Sharon

        I listened to WPFW as a kid and I loved that station. The blues and jazz programming was terrific.my favorite show was The ‘Bamma Man.

        • Bloix

          Jerry Washington, the ‘Bama. Yes, indeed, he did a fine show. Hard to believe he died 20 years ago. I still have a ‘Bama mug (my Free Gift!) in my kitchen cupboard.

    • FMguru

      KCRW’s 99 cent iPhone app (multiple live streams, archives of recent shows, full playlists, etc.) is pretty much the best purchase I’m going to make all year.

      • Dr Ronnie James, DO

        I left LA a few years ago and as much as KCRW’s all-consuming Santa Monicality grated at times, I really miss it, especially Elvis Mitchell, Garth Trinidad, Tom Schnabel, Liza Richardson, Jason Bentley, etc. if the app allows you to block Ruth Seymour, I’d buy it twice.

    • Ian

      I was surprised, too, especially considering how similar some of their programming is: both carry the big NPR shows and news, but on KCRW you also get some amazing music. I listen to KCRW most of the time, or KUSC, which is still quite a wonderful classical station. (I used to listen to KKJZ constantly, but what was a first-rate jazz station has become a toxic waste dump of “easy listening” much of the time.)

      • MattT

        At least when I lived in LA, KPCC was really the only way to get anything resembling coverage of local news. The LA Times wanted to be a big national player and had no interest in bothering with covering Los Angeles. Local TV news consisted of car chase reality shows.

  • Most Favoured Commenter

    The “near bankrupt” seems wrong, since it has hundreds of millions worth of airwaves.

    Maybe the solution is for MoveOn to have its members take it over, remove the fringe and quackery types, sell one of the stations, and use the resulting $150 million to endow the remaining ones to allow better programming and fewer pledge drives. The income on $150 million invested in t-bonds would be about $6 million a year, or could purchase a 30-year annuity paying $9 million a year, almost covering the entire budget.

    • Aimai

      Great idea. Interesting proposition really. How many people would it take to take it over, do you think?

      • Most Favoured Commenter

        I have not been a member for years, but my memory is that members propose ideas, they get voted on by the e-mail list, and then everyone is supposed to take the 5 minutes or so of action on the winners of the vote so there is some critical mass.

    • NewishLawyer

      Maybe the best way to describe is that they are asset rich and cash poor.

      The problem is that they don’t want to sell any of their assets and probably could not reach a quorum to decide to do so.

      The books are probably so incoherent and mismanaged that very few people would want to sort through them.

  • Bloix

    Cooper (not Copper) argues that Amy Goodman threw her considerable influence behind a group of insurgents who took over Pacifica, and in return was rewarded ownership of Democracy Now! (Pacifica’s most valuable property) for free and a contract that pays her paid $650,000 a year. Out of Pacifica’s $3 million debt, $2 million is owed to Amy Goodman. That is, Cooper claims that she is a major cause of Pacifica’s decline and that she has become rich by destroying the network.

    Cooper believes that the insurgents Goodman supported are loony-leftists and New Age hucksters who have run Pacifica into the ground while missing the great opportunity of internet radio and video. He contends that if Goodman had been less interested in cutting a deal for herself and more interested in good management for the network, Pacifica could have survived and thrived. Its demise is now virtually certain. For the latest freakshow development, see http://www.current.org/2014/03/pacificas-executive-director-ignores-boards-firing/. (My own Pacifica station, WPFW, of which I’ve been a member for a couple of decades, could be a successful jazz and news station, but it can barely keep itself on-air due to the infighting locally and at the national level.)

    You describe Cooper as a “former PJ Media associate.” You might have more helpfully described him as current contributing editor to The Nation, the former public affairs director at KPFK and an on-air host of an excellent weekly news show for 11 years, a professor at the Annenberg School, and a winner of the Sidney Hillman Award for his reportage on El Salvador. (He was also Salvador Allende’s personal translator, which might give him some street cred among certain aging lefties.)

    Cooper’s anger and bitterness gets the better of him in this article, and his language in describing Goodman and others is both sexist and incendiary. But are his factual contentions true or false? If you think that his allegations are untrue, say so. Don’t denigrate him with a silly smear that will work only among people who have never heard of him.

    • Aimai

      I think this is a good point. Cooper’s quotes are intemperate but if what the article says about Amy Goodman is true, well, she’s more hard nosed and business sensible than one gave the left credit for. And she is definitely the only person pulling a profit from the radio station. If its going down, and she’s profiting, that’s a pretty serious charge.

    • Dr Ronnie James, DO

      It’s kind of a 2-way street though: how much credibility would Pacifica have left as a news operation without Goodman?

      • Most Favoured Commenter

        Great point. She’s the most identifiable and professional content going on these stations.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Cooper’s anger and bitterness gets the better of him in this article, and his language in describing Goodman and others is both sexist and incendiary.

      Precisely my point! And I think that when someone who reaches for misogyny and comparisons to Pol Pot you can see why they might take Roger Simon seriously, even if they’re capable of good work.


      But are his factual contentions true or false? If you think that his allegations are untrue, say so.

      What about my praise for the rest of the article makes you think that I think that Cooper’s factual allegations are untrue?

      • The prophet Nostradumbass

        Would you describe David Corn from Mother Jones as a “former PJ Media associate”?

        • Scott Lemieux

          If he was comparing people to Pol Pot and the Nazis for being on the other side of internal squabbles, sure. (And did Corn stay at PJM until 2008? Or believe that Roger Simon couldn’t be the reactionary all of his writing suggested he had turned into because he had written the “very good” Scenes From A Mall?)

        • DocAmazing

          What’s Corn got to do with PJ Media?

          • Scott Lemieux

            Corn was involved with PJM at the beginning, part of the PJM attempt to create a Potemkin “balance.”

            • I actually know david corn. His reporting is good but i wouldnt trust him farther than i could throw him.

              • Warren Terra

                I don’t know him, but I used to listen to his Bloggingheads podcasts with some smarmy winger or other, and it was clear that he was a born sucker for false and disingenuous bipartisanship.

  • Bloix

    Pacifica’s most valuable property – should be its most valuable on-air property. Its licenses are its most valuable property.

  • Barry Freed

    There is a real gawking at the awful train-wreck aspect to this it is true. But this is not something that should be pointed at and sniggered over. It was a beautiful, powerful, incredibly moving and amazing half-century old experiment that has foundered and is breaking up.

    See the Radio Unnameable movie for a taste.

    • Aimai

      Well sure, its terrible. But its a case of “make room! make room!” You either have a way to transition from an old guard to a new guard or you don’t. There’s nothing surprising about a consensus based model breaking down into internecine fighting that kills the organization. It happens all the time.

  • James E. Powell

    From where I’m sitting, the biggest right/left difference is that, unless one is actually wearing a white hood or a swastika, being a right-wing lunatic will not cause one to be shunned or ostracized.

    In contrast, anyone with any association with fringe lefty stuff, especially the S word, is immediately barred from any public role other than as a punch line or a shorthand expression of condemnation.

    • Aimai

      If some of these fringy left people were more in the public eye the left would be even more discredited than it is. We are still paying for the fact that ANSWER was ostensibly leading rallies that were really organized by grassroots anti war people and United for Justice With Peace. People complain about “the professional left” but christ on a pogo stick if the left had any professioanlism at all it would defenestrate these cranks itself.

      • DocAmazing

        While the left is at it, it might want to address totebaggerism. Putative liberals who give their money to a network that likes to broadcast McMegan are definitely not helping.

        • NewishLawyer

          Does she have a radio show now?

        • I dont give money to npr because they employed juan william. Let alone megan mccardle.

      • witless chum

        How are we paying for ANSWER leading antiwar rallies? Seems to me that made not a whit of difference to anyone, but was just a useful point of attack for people who dislike anti-war rallies because they were anti-war and would have used some other line of attack if all pro-North Korean groups had been kept locked in the basement.

    • Ahuitzotl

      even actually wearing a white hood or a swastika isn’t always enough

    • LeeEsq

      I think that recent Senate elections prove this thesis wrong. The GOP base nominated some rather extreme people and these people were both mocked and challenged in the media. Even some of their elected officials are getting to be challenged more for the lies they spew. Its just that there happens to be more Americans whose worldview aligns with the paranoid right than the paranoid left still so you can get away with saying things aligned with the paranoid right worldview because of demographics more easily.

      • junker

        Is this really true though? Solid red states run crazy people all the time and aren’t punished for it. The only ones who get mocked tend to be those running in blue states. And, of course, at the state and local level there are loony far right extremists packing state houses across the country.

        • LeeEsq

          You might have a very good point. You probably have an excellent point. I think even in red-states, the Republicans have to trend at least somewhat carefully. They can’t use openly racist or sexist language like they did in the past. Openly homophobic is unfortunately still fine but everything else has to be dog-whistled. Oh for a world, where the GOP took its cues from Nelson Rockefeller rather than Goldwater. And even Goldwater is a lot better than the current crop, infinitely better.

  • Warren Terra

    I don’t think I’ve ever listened to Pacifica Radio, though I may hve tried at times to find it. For a couple of years in the early W administration I listened to Democracy Now daily or nearly so, over the internet. I didn’t always agree with or even like some of the people, but I had a great respect for Goodman and for the effort and passion that went into the show. Honestly, though, I couldn’t really find anything else Pacifica-associated on the internet that seemed remotely worth my listening to.

    It is suggested upthread that the worst craziness that has tarnished the Pacifica brand has been encouraged, fostered, and even mandated by Goodman. If so, this is a shame – especially as it would seem to me that in our modern internet age the obvious answer would be to salvage for internet distribution the remaining worthwhile parts of Pacifica, which would seem mainly to consist of Goodman’s Democracy Now.

    • Bloix

      Just to be clear – I don’t know if Cooper’s story is accurate or not. He was a participant not an observer and boy does he have an axe to grind.

      Matthew Laser’s “Uneasy Listening” says that Cooper and his allies didn’t like Goodman – she was too doctrinally left for them. For example, they hated Democracy Now’s obsessive focus on the Mumia case. They wanted to “modernize” with programming that was less strident, more “professional,” and appealing to liberals, not radicals. They thought they could compete with NPR, which was moving right in response to political pressure. But there was a faction at Pacifica who didn’t want an audience of anyone who would even think of listening to All Things Considered. Goodman allied herself with the anti-modernization (ie anti-Cooper) faction – and she won.

      Here’s Cooper saying “I told you so” in 2009:

      [KPFW] has the strongest signal in the western U.S. with 112,000 watts and its footprint covers a signal area of more than 20 million people. But at any given moment only an average of 1800 people are tuned in… Current listener levels are half of what they were in 1994. And just over 1/4 of what they were in 2001…

      In the late 90s, precisely in response to a successful strategy of modernization, professionalization and growth, the entrenched, ossified programming faction (long accustomed to lax management that tolerated crappy programming) invented the bogeyman of the creeping “corporatization” of Pacifica. Overstepping every ethical and moral boundary, programmer Amy Goodman used her popular Democracy Now! show, abusing her presence on the air, to fuel a “boycott” movement of her own network… [The result was]a vastly more incompetent and ideologically strident and narrow management…

      Amy Goodman made out just fine. She struck a sweetheart deal with the new mgmt made up of her pals. Democracy Now! which was created by the network was privatized and handed to Amy as her own personal enterprise with a guarantee of well over a 1/2 million dollars a year in no-bid contracts from the network. Since then, Democracy Now! has raked in millions, literally, in foundation grants and other donations and is sitting on a pile of cash as the network from which it was born, and which it helped boycott while it was still part of, is now quickly evaporating into the ether…

      http://marccooper.com/pacifica-radio-plunging/

    • Bloix

      “the obvious answer would be to salvage for internet distribution the remaining worthwhile parts of Pacifica, which would seem mainly to consist of Goodman’s Democracy Now.”

      Yeah, Goodman has done that. Most of DN’s listeners are by podcast. But Pacifica doesn’t own DN anymore. Cooper’s allegation is that she used her Pacifica airtime to drum up support to oust Pacifica’s management. Then the new management as a quid pro quo gave her legal ownership of the show for free and then contracted to pay her to be allowed to broadcast it.

  • Jay Ton

    The corporatism of the late-90’s Pacifica stations (mine is KPFK) did need a corrective (I’m sure what Marc Cooper misses most about his 90’s stint is dishing the conventional horserace wisdom with noted progressive Pat Caddell) but the truther/new age quackery filled the void all too quickly when the elections started, and talented broadcasters who sound like normal human beings who maybe (gasp) own a TV get ridden out on a rail pretty regularly.
    Me i think a few well-placed billboards at ANY point in the 00’s would have improved listenership several times over by now, guess I’ll give the bumper-sticker-on-vw bus strategy a few more years to work its magic.

  • Tyro

    they’re dominated by bickering. Members regularly invoke Robert’s Rules of Order, and can take half an hour simply to approve the minutes of a previous meeting.

    The problem with obsessing over whether “everyone’s voice is heard” is that you create a niche for people who just want to be heard rather than people who want to get stuff done. One thing I dread about attending meetings of the various liberal activist groups I am a part of is having to listen to lots of lonely, alienated people drone on and on and on.

    • LWA (Liberal With Attitude)

      There is this aspect of liberal groups with which I have been associated, Occupy most prominently, to place overweening emphasis on the rights of the individual, to the exclusion of majority rule.
      Not in the big-picture libertarian way, but in the assumption that it is impermissable to tell someone to sit down and shut up becase we took a goddamn vote and you lost.
      The rhetorical power of someone claiming that they “just want their voice heard” should be dialed back just a tad, IMO.

  • The internet killed Pacifica. Just like it killed the newspaper and the Post Office.

    • Ridiculous.

    • Warren Terra

      Has the internet really harmed the post office? It killed the personal letter and some small parcels, but those (especially the former) weren’t necessarily a big profit center. Meanwhile, the post office handles a vast number of packages from Amazon, Ebay, and all the rest, and contracts to do the home delivery for FedEx and UPS in many areas.

      The post office is getting killed, all right, but mostly because (1) it has been mandated to pre-fund the pensions of postal workers not yet born, and (2) its prices are set not by realistic considerations but by Congress and lobbyists thereto, with special pressure to subsidize the delivery of periodicals (there’s a lot to be said for that idea, but Congress doesn’t fund the idea.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        not only its prices also its operating expenses. the post office wanted to close some small town offices a while back to save $ and of course everyone pitched a fit. including our allegedly erstwhile governor who, coincidentally enough, owns a few buildings that he rents to the post office. so they’re still open

    • DocAmazing

      The Internet killed the video star:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zx5tSmOY_iM

      • LeeEsq

        Good concept but the execution needs improvement. I prefer the original version.

    • Scott Lemieux

      The internet killed Pacifica

      How “the internet” explains how Pacifca is doing much worse than other comparable radio networks is…not obvious.

  • efgoldman

    My first radio job, as a work-study student, the manager was Wil Lewis, who later took over whatever the Pacifica station in the SanFrancico area was, and became [in]famous for having the Pentagon Papers read on air.

  • indy

    I was in activist groups, anti war, per 9/11 IMF protests, and so on in college. When I graduated in 2005 and moved south, I subscribed to the Democracy Now podcast. It was horrible. I had no prior experience with pacifica, but it was this ash grey woman with ash grey skin, ash grey hair, and ash grey clothes staring straight into the camera and reading in a dead flat ash grey monotone. It wasn’t just boring, it was horrible. The War and Peace report was a selection of horrors, terrible crimes read at you in a completely flat monotone.the closest cultural comparison to Amy Goodman is to get soaked in a thunderstorm and then visit the DC holocaust museum.

    I do an imitation, it goes something like “today in Peshawar, 15 schoolgirls were set on murdered, raped, and set on fire while their parents watched, for the crime of learning to read. At the top of the hour, we have an investigative article. Did Monsanto and the FDA conspire with the pet food industry to give your cat cancer”

    Lack of a question mark is intentional. You have to say it in a completely inflection less monotone.

    Amy Goodman and Neil Cavuto- two people who completely deserve each other.

  • pacifica is a failure because it is fakeLeftism. It’s the same reason why american “leftism” is a failure. Fakeleftism.

    Leftism is necessarily oriented towards the largest single bloc. The largest bloc in america is the white blue collar class, the white working class. But Pacifica (and the dems) are oriented toward the upper middle class and white professional women. This is not the largest bloc. Therefore this is not Leftism. It’s fakeLeftism.

    In fact Pacifica (and the Dems) hate the largest bloc. THey despise white working class culture. Hence the mess america is in. We have no Left.

    • witless chum

      You sure about your demographics there?

      And the Dems are a big tent party, trying to please a base of secular educated professionals of all races and blacks and latinos of all classes. Seems to me that problems with the lower and moderate income whites have a lot to do with the blacks and latinos part as much as the with the educated professionals part. Among the non-college educated white people I interact with regularly, I hear a fair amout resentment against anyone who’s not white, so it’s pretty easy to blame the Dems for white privilege being worth less and less and to pretend that falling incomes and economic insecurity are part of the same process and proceed from the same cause.

  • kenjob

    (Does anyone listen to this for more than 3 minutes at time?)

    the amount of WAMC fund-drive “programming” i’ve listened to is measured in months. it is generally more lefty/liberal than their regular schedule.

    there are in fact news updates and they do play npr programs during the fund-drives, though clearly the object of the exercise is to get.the.money.

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