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Sharon Kyle's L.A. Progressive features #MeToo Garrison Keillor: Whither Pacifica?
by Sheila Hamanaka
Tuesday Jul 6th, 2021 11:29 AM
Sharon Kyle's for-profit L.A. Progressive is featuring #MeToo MPR reject Garrison Keillor.  Is this Kyle's idea of a "New Day" for Pacifica?  Vote NO in the Pacifica bylaws referendum if you don't share the #MeToo vision.
Note:  Today, July 6, 11:59pm Eastern Time, is the deadline to request an e-ballot.  Go to elections dot pacifica dot org for info. e-Polls close July 7, same time.  Undecided?  A No vote is the safe way to go!

SHARON KYLE, New Day Pacifica's self-appointed Chair for their "New" Pacifica National Board, owns the for-profit L.A. Progressive.  L.A. Progressive has been described as being a "KPFK without the 110,000 watts."  Well, if Sharon Kyle becomes Chair of the Pacifica National Board, might she and L.A. Progressive then have those 110,000 watts? Did someone say, "conflict of interest?" 

The L.A. Progressive is now a platform for GARRISON KEILLOR, MPR's #MeToo reject.  Just how principled is Sharon Kyle?  Is it possible she is courting Keillor so Pacifica can cannibalize reruns of his shows, to bring in the mega bucks, New Day Pacifica's #1 campaign promise?

When you prioritize money over local, marginalized voices---New Day's Yellow Brick Road---the sky's the limit.

And that sky is very white.  Do a search for KPFT WhiteWash and you'll see what New Day supporters are doing to BIPOC programming at KPFT.  

In debate after debate, you'll hear New Day spokespersons like Teresa Allen of KPFT and Jim Osborne and Beth Kean--all white---demanding that Pacifica dump the shows that don't bring in the big bucks.  If they happen to be BIPOC shows, well, that's pure coincidence.  They then trot out Sharon Kyle, who immediately tells debate audiences that she is Black, to prove they are not racist.  Meanwhile, to show how diverse New Day is, Jim Osborne pointed out that Akio Tanaka, New Day's pick for Treasurer of Pacifica, is an "oriental."  Excuse me?  An ORIENTAL?  (KPFT bylaws debate, July 2, 2021 @ 8 am.  Listen to Osborne's closing remarks, around the 40 minute mark.)

THIS IS HOW INSTITUTIONAL RACISM WORKS---NO ONE HAS TO BE RACIST

Take a look at those stats on KPFT WhiteWash, a brilliant analysis of racism in radio by KPFT producer Rodrigo Bravo.  Read his story.
If you look at the surface, at the four "diverse" faces of the New Day transition team,  you could make the common mistake of thinking, "Oh, I see a person of color.  Therefore there is no racism."  Sorry.  Anytime you have a REDUCTION of local representation, you are going to have racism.  Suppose someone looked at our cities.  "Oh, look at all that fighting on the City Council!"  Let's face it.  What are people fighting about today?  Racism.  Sure, if you shrink your City Council, there will be less fighting.  Should we shrink Congress, to stop the fighting?  When you reduce local representation, you are supporting the continued control of people on top.  And who's on top?
As Mumia Abu-Jamal points out, centralization is always about control.  And it hurts the marginalized and the oppressed.

New Day wants to centralize control so it can hire "professionals" (like John Vernile, the corporate, mainstream media veteran who raided WBAI).  To pay for the professional Executive Director, and Executive Assistants, and Development Directors, New Day is going to hit up rich donors, and get rid of shows that don't appeal to them or that don't bring in the big bucks.

Take a look at KPFT.  The management there, backed by Bill Crosier (the WBAI coupster) recently fired or sent to digital hinterlands over 25 shows produced by unpaid BIPOC programmers.  Now KPFT's prime time is 95% white.  New Day supporter Bill Crosier, when he was temporary Ex. Dir., called the cops and had them drag out KPFT's only Black General Manager).

Do a search for KPFT WhiteWash

New Day openly disses "shoe string, grassroots" radio.  They uphold KPFA as a model, and their mantra of "professionalize, professionalize" appeals to staff who want to be aired nationally at the expense of local programmers.  (New Day is backed at KPFA by a largely white paid staff.)  It may be invisible to you, but according to unpaid staff who have been fired without notice, KPFA is a company town.  Many programmers are afraid to openly oppose New Day.

Yes, there is argument on KPFA's Local Station Board, just like at the other stations.  But these arguments, just like in the US Congress and City Councils, is often about race and privilege.  And that's a good thing.  

In March of this year, at a meeting of the KPFA LSB, two pro-New Day LSB members spent twenty minutes on a bizarre diatribe against Green Party Council members who also sit on the LSB.  But later, when another LSB member attempted to introduce a motion to denounce anti-Asian violence, the LSB chair (also a New Day supporter) said, “We don't take positions on public issues.”  This was so outrageous and racist--in the midst of vicious attacks on Asians---that New Day later tried to alter the minutes of the meeting.  But they were caught.

But how can New Day be racist?  Akio Tanaka is their appointee for Secretary of the PNB.  Unfortunately for Tanaka, who claims Green Party leadership on his resume, the Green Party of his own Alameda County, plus the Green Party of San Francisco AND Oakland are all urging Pacifica members to "Vote NO!"

But back to racism.  KPFA is in an area that is 35% Asian.  But KPFA only has one show for all those myriad Asian Pacific Islanders.  (And btw, no LGBTQ shows.)  Hey, the important thing is to have shows that MAKE MONEY.  That's the rationale behind the racist firings at KPFT Houston... where, oddly enough, producers who supported New Day did not get their shows chopped, in fact, some got better time slots!  Poor communities do not buy $150, $250 and $500 premiums!  No money, no show!

Some radical programmers call this "firing the listeners."  It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  And anyone who's been in any kind of media know this is an age old rationale for the exclusion of marginalized voices.  By definition, they are on the margins.  Margins means no money, no voice, no nothing.  Not worth it.  Why does New Day have a small chorus of "star" producers honking their horns for New Day?  They are actually trying to escape Pacifica.  If they were honest,  they'd tell you they see NPR or BBC in their horoscopes.  They're not like the producers at WBAI who quit after WBAI hired NPR's trash, Leonard Lopate.

For those who think New Day's Yellow Brick road is gold, think again.  Lopate flopped on WBAI, but he and his producers are still getting paid.  Wait, I can just hear Sharon Kyle say that everything bad, even spoiled milk, happened because of the CURRENT BYLAWS!!!  No, Sharon, no, New Day, correlation does NOT equal causation.

The cause is racism.  It makes you hire big white stars, even if they are #MeToo trash.  It makes you tell unpaid producers from marginalized communities--including the disabled, LGBTQ, undocumented immigrants, non-English speakers---to put up or shut up.  We need waaay better bylaws.  And they are nothing like the self-serving, centralized, institutionalized racist plans embodied in New Day's bylaws. 

Vote NO!  Check out Pacifica Fight Back and WBAI Fight Back. 

Note: If you mistakenly voted "Yes," you can change your vote to "No."To do this, contact the National Election Supervisor Renée A Peñaloza at nes [at] pacifica.org or call (510) 993-0320
 
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