The Clinton era version of book burning

Germany - May 10, 1933. Nazis stage the burning of 'subversive' books
California - July 13, 1999. Clinton appointee engineers the collapse of 50 years of free speech radio

July 15, 1999

The WHOLE Story: Pacifica, KPFA, and the burning of 50 years of history

" get any real art or any significant communication, one must rely
entirely on individuals, and must resign himself to accept not only their
uniqueness but the possibility that the individual may at any time fail.
By suppressing the individual, the unique, the industry reduces the risk
of failure (abnormality) and assures itself a standard product for mass
consumption." - Lewis Hill. Founder of Pacifica.

Some facts for the confused:

1. The Pacifica Board does not own KPFA. The Pacifica Foundations does.
The board are mere custodians who are supposed to be serving the 
interests of the foundation which includes the pursuit of its highest 

2. The Pacifica Foundation was founded by Lewis Hill in 1949. Hill, a  
pacifist who registered as a conscientious objector at the outbreak 
of World War II, worked as a Washington  DC correspondent before moving
to California where he founded KPFA. He served as Pacifica's head until
his death in 1957.  He stated his intentions for the form Pacifica stations
should take very clearly. More on this later.

3. Pacifica is the oldest listener supported radio system in the US and
was a pioneer of the "talk radio" format which invited live listener call

4. For the last 50 years, Pacifica radio has been one of
the very few broadcast outlets that accurately reports on
the war-based economy of the United States and its effects
both at home and abroad. In exchange for providing this unique
reporting, listeners have funded the operation of Pacifica
stations with donations as well as substantial amounts of
volunteer labor - for 50 unbroken years.

Pacifica stations have also widely reported on the details
of government corruption including but not limited to the
sponsor of terror in the Third World and the tolerance of
drug trafficking by US allies and in some cases government
employees.  The rampant criminality of the Clinton administration
has  been covered at length and in depth as well.

5. The current Board of Trustees -  headed by Clinton's
appointee to the US Civil Rights Commission - has decided that
the system that has produced this uninterupted stream of
information for the past 50 years is theirs to be manipulated
in any way they see fit without answering to anybody: the
staff, the volunteers, or the listener-supporters.

When people talk about Pacifica being "corporatized" or refer to
the current conflict as a "labor dispute" they are greatly understating
what is taking place.  The correct term is "censorship." Programs,
reporters, producers, and an entire culture of ethical, listener
sponsored journalism, is, at the hands of the current board, in the
process of being gutted station by station.

The destruction of these stations is a public disaster of serious
proportions for all Americans who value free speech.

The past 50 years clearly indicate the nature of  Pacifica and
what its overall goals and methods are. Only a mob lawyer -
or Clinton appointee - would propose that the station's board
has leave to destroy the fruit of 50 years of labor in order to
replace it with their personal "vision" of public broadcasting, one
that, not so coincidentally, is less diligent in pursuit of information
about  the misdeeds of the administration to which the board's chair

Not only are 50 years of history against the destructive
actions of this board, so are the clearly stated intentions
of  Pacifica's founder who was quite explicit about how he
believed Pacifica-owned stations should be run.

Hill intended not only that individual hosts and commentators be free to
speak their mind, but that the very structure of the stations be designed
to insure that they are free to do so.

"The answer of the KPFA project on this point is not necessarily the
only good answer, but it is explicit.  It requires that the people who
actually do the broadcasting should also be responsible for what and
why they broadcast. In short, they must control the policy which
determines their actions... "

"The (KPFA) The schedule has two sources in almost equal
balance as to their importance and influence.  On the one hand, these
happen to be subjects of primary interest to people working at KPFA.
On the other hand, they happen also to represent the articulate
interests of well-defined minorities in the audience of the San
Francisco Bay Area." - Lewis Hill

To systematically undermine these values, established over 50 years,
and then attempt to portray the current conflict as a "labor dispute" is
gutter politics in a silk suit. It's a cynical, dishonest strategy worthy
of a member of the Clinton administration.

The board does not own Pacifica. At best, they are custodians.
But Mary Frances Berry, an appointee to the most indicted
administration in US history, has decided that she has the right,
by virtue of her chairmanship, to destroy the decades long effort
of thousands people,  producers and listeners, to create, as Lewis
Hill so clearly stated:

"a radio station fully supported by subscribers who have not responded
to a special gift offer, who are not participating in a lottery, who have
not ventured an investment at 3 per cent, but who use this means of
supporting values that seem to them of basic and lasting importance."


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