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KPFA Endorsement -- BeyondChron = Beyond Credibility
KPFA Slate Formed by Democratic Party activists. BeyondChron used photo of another group to illustrate their point and confuse voters. BeyondChron refuses to look at facts and needs to learn basic practices of journalism. Behavior eally beyond the pale.
Dear BeyondChron Editors Shaw and Hogarth,
I'm truly disgusted with both of you, almost beyond words. The visual you chose has no connection to the slate you are endorsing which is confusing voters by running under another group's name. ("KPFA Election Will Decide Progressive Networks Future," 9/13/2010) Your use of a 1999 photo of a different group is beyond disingenuous.
Not only were people on the slate you continue to promote not members of Save KPFA in 1999, they stand for the exact opposite of what we wanted for the station. (I was a member of the steering committee of the original Save KPFA.) A slate's sudden change to use of another group's name in the current KPFA board election is misleading to voters. You, and they, aren't stupid so I would guess you all know that.
Not only was the photo you chose a misrepresentation, your article was also filled with misinformation.
Several of us currently on the board and still involved with KPFA were organizing activists in 1999 as well and part of the original group. That includes one of candidates running with the Independents for Community Radio, another slate and one with which I am affiliated. Tracy Rosenberg kept the tent city that slept outside the station organized in the 1999 era of demonstrations. Those demonstrations led to a democratic change at the station and ended management's lockout of KPFA's staff. Do not state or insinuate that either Ms. Rosenberg or the rest of us are against the paid staff. Do not malign us with your misrepresentations that are beyond all but right-wing media tactics. Do not attempt to further baffle voters.
Let's look at your first paragraph and description of your favorite slate: "On one side is the Save KPFA slate of candidates, who believe the station should be the voice of the entire progressive community, and must expand listenership to help broaden the progressive base."
Are you sure they can do that with a slate of primarily white males over the age of sixty on a slate put together by a group of Democratic Party activists? Many of their group – both presently on the board and currently running for the board – are also related or work together. I'd be interested in hearing how you think they are representative of the diverse Bay Area and can speak for people not of their generation, ethnicity, political affinity, family and office staff.
On the other hand, Independents for Community Radio is primarily non-caucasian, female, cross-generational and mostly under the age of sixty, not organized by any political party. We are truly diverse including in our skill sets.
Let's move on to what you insinuate we, Independents for Community Radio, want to do – without checking with us; another mistake that an honest journalist wouldn't make – "A victory by the Independents will likely usher in massive downsizing at KPFA, eliminating popular programming and replacing the current paid, unionized on-air staff with all volunteers."
First, let's remember that I already pointed out that we were the ones involved with ending the lockout of staff, paid and unpaid, in 1999.
Now on to the present. The group you are so fond of held the board majority for three of the not quite four years I have been on the board. As such, they passed station budgets that had known spending deficits each year in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. They ran through KPFA's entire cash reserve of a million dollars as a result. They were told by Pacifica to cut spending and instead added paid positions and moved staff around that benefited people on our board and members of their group or supporting them within the station. They ended up with new or better jobs at KPFA. KPFA ended up with more, not less, expenditures.
Today we are dealing with that legacy. This week the station borrowed money from another Pacifica station to meet the payroll. Will there need to be a different budget or can we continue spending at the same rate? The answer should not be beyond your comprehension. Before I forget, I guess that little detail about borrowing money also does away with another of your favorite slate's claims – that KPFA is supporting other Pacifica stations.
Will the now unavoidable budget cuts have an effect on paid staff? Of course, since salaries and benefits are the single largest budget item by far. Will that happen if your favorite slate is in the majority? Of course, since salaries and benefits are the single largest budget item by far. Who brought us to this point? Of course, your favorite slate.
We can't afford this public political board election bickering. Think fox and hen house. You need to move beyond thinking those who have almost killed the station will keep it alive in the future. Every effort will be made to keep as much paid staff as possible by Independents for Community Radio and to remove the foxes.
Your willful disregard for how KPFA got to its present precarious state does not belong in journalism even if it is only on a blog site and pseudo-journalism. It is beyond the pale.
Member, KPFA Local Station Board and
Independents for Community Radio