Democracy Now! stil not on the air at WBAI
From: Roger M. (wbai.net)
On Tuesday (8-14-01) Amy Goodman reported on www.wbix.org that Democracy Now! had moved their production activities to Downtown Community Television (DCTV) in Lower Manhattan to get away from the hostility and threats of violence they've been subjected to at the WBAI studios. Reportedly "Pacifica" failed to hook up with the new satellite feed. A caller to WBAI said that they were told that Amy failed to show up for work. Amy also said over wbix that management has finally agreed to meet and address Democracy Now!s grievances. "Pacifica" played an archive tape of Democracy Now! about John Lennon
As of today (Friday) re-runs are still being aired. There have been meetings between the Democracy Now! staff and "Pacifica" regarding working conditions. Laura Flanders reports below.
If you can stomach it, "Pacifica" board thug Bessie Wash's statement
Democracy Now! broadcast daily at www.wbix.org 9:00am - 10:00am
go to the dicussion board at:
Oh, Pacifica! Oh Pacifica by Laura Flanders from workingforchange.com 8/15/01 Driving Goodman from the studio should be infamous board's last misstep The Pacifica Board may have bitten off more than they can chew. Tuesday's move not to distribute the network's most valuable national program, Democracy Now! hosted by Amy Goodman, has ignited a whirlwind of activity across the country. To recap: the popular news magazine Democracy Now was broadcast from what Goodman calls a "safe" location Tuesday instead of its usual home at New York's WBAI, where for months Goodman has been subject to verbal and even physical harassment. Tuesday's show was produced live and sent to Pacifica's headquarters in Washington D.C. for distribution via satellite. Managers there refused to syndicate it, airing a rerun instead. Some stations, including KPFA in Berkeley and WMNF in Tampa, did figure out how to broadcast Democracy Now! on their own initiative Tuesday. The show streamed on WBIX, "WBAI in exile" a web-based station. On Wednesday, the airwaves were filled with listener outrage. KPFA even aired an hour's discussion of the Democracy Now! situation during the hour in which the show is normally heard. And protests took place outside Pacifica's stations in Los Angeles, Washington and New York. Dissident Pacifica Board member Leslie Cagan addressed the crowd in New York. "The latest moves only further clarify how out of control the national staff is and how the national board has abdicated responsibility, and in so doing, has given a green light to the staff." The goal of a majority on the current board and of the national staff, believes Cagan, is to "water down the network." It's a process that's been going on for years. "If people didn't catch on as it happened in Washington, in Houston, maybe they'll catch on now," she said. In Washington and Houston, Pacifica's stations have changed radically, broadcasting mostly popular music instead of cutting-edge talk radio. Goodman and her team, meanwhile, were unable to produce a live show Wednesday because they were in meetings with Pacifica lawyer Larry Drapkin, National Program Director Steve Yasko and others about the conditions under which Goodman would return to WBAI and, live, to Pacifica's satellite. Pacifica Executive Director Bessie Wash, in a statement released Tuesday, declared that she was "disappointed that Amy Goodman had chosen not to host the award-winning Democracy Now! from the studios of WBAI," and that she is "trying to bridge any differences." Pacifica handed Goodman a letter of insubordination Tuesday, charging her with refusing to report to work. It is Goodman's understanding that her program will not be aired live to network affiliates from the head office until she returns to WBAI. But as Pacifica activist Denis Moynihan notes, there are several male programmers at WBAI who have broadcast from remote locations for years, including psychologist Armand DeMille and healthy living guru Gary Null. Says Moynihan: "Why does Amy have to be the battered wife of WBAI?" Goodman, for her part, is skeptical of Pacifica's offers. When told by management that her supervisor, Steve Yasko, would guarantee her safety, she and her team said they believed "this is absurd, since it is Mr. Yasko, through his refusal to address any of our complaints who has sent a green light to WBAI management and employees that they can physically and verbally harass us, even assault us, without fear of consequences." Goodman is demanding immediate steps to hold Pacifica managers accountable for their actions. ________________________ http://www.radio4all.org ( forwarded by: http://savewbai.tao.ca )
THIS MEMO WAS SENT ON AUGUST 14
This morning we produced and broadcast Democracy Now! from Downtown Community Television, a respected and fully equipped local broadcast facility. We even invited Pacifica Management to join us. It was a live program on the anti-globalization movement from Genoa to Kenya to Washington DC, and on an important UN report regarding racism in the US. As we do everyday, we linked by ISDN to the Ku satellite for the appointed hour, but Pacifica blocked our broadcast.
We have been retaliated against simply because we took steps to protect our physical safety and the integrity of the program by broadcasting from a safe space.
As we told Pacifica yesterday, we do not feel safe at WBAI.
Yesterday we wrote to the Pacifica National Board, Steve Yasko, Bessie Wash and others describing in detail the months-long campaign of harassment, discrimination and abuse to which the Democracy Now! staff have been subjected. This culminated last Friday in the physical assault against Amy Goodman by WBAI Station Manager Utrice Leid, and again on Monday morning when a WBAI producer and staff member used a master key to open the locked door to our office and verbally harass us as we were attempting to prepare for the morning's show.
Pacifica Management, through its outright refusal to substantively address a single one of our complaints, has made it clear they are unwilling to guarantee our physical safety or protect us from this outrageous abuse.
Yet this morning we were told by Pacifica that we had to continue broadcasting from WBAI, and that National Program Director Steve Yasko would guarantee our safety. This is absurd, since it is Mr. Yasko, through his refusal to address any of our complaints, who has sent a green light to WBAI management and employees that they can physically and verbally harass us, even assault us, without fear of consequences.
Yasko has shown absolutely no good faith in this matter and his assurances to us are meaningless.
It is outrageous that Pacifica chose to air a rerun of Democracy Now. We produced a fully prepared live program with guests in the studio and a clean technical link-up. In fact the technical conditions were superior to those in the substandard editing studios WBAI Station Manager Utrice Leid has forced Democracy Now!, and no other program, to broadcast from in recent days.
We cannot be expected to broadcast from WBAI unless steps are immediately taken to create an environment in which we feel our physical safety is not threatened. In addition, WBAI management and staff must immediately halt their verbal, physical, and technical harassment of the program and us on and off the air. Finally, we demand immediate steps to hold Pacifica managers accountable for these egregious actions.
( forwarded by the list at: http://savewbai.tao.ca )
Date sent: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 11:48:10 -0400 From: Juan Gonzalez email@example.com Subject: Democracy Now! Important Update Tuesday, August 14, 2001 Friends, Today's live broadcast of Democracy Now! was yanked off the air by Pacifica and replaced by a tape of an old DN show. This unprecedented action occurred after all-night negotiations between the management and Goodman broke down early this morning. Goodman notified Pacifica yesterday that she could no longer originate the show at WBAI in New York due to the continual intimidation and harassment she was experiencing at the hands of interim station manage Utrice Leid. She offered instead to originate the program from Downtown Community Television (DCTV) in Lower Manhattan until management could assure her a safe working environment, and she proceeded to do just that this morning. The originating of programming - national and local -- from remote locations is not unheard of. Gary Null's Natural Living and Armand DiMele's Positive Mind show originate in other locations and are fed to WBAI for broadcast. But Pacifica lawyers, who had not responded to numerous letters and complaints from Amy about the increasing harassment she had faced in recent weeks, refused yesterday to either guarantee her a safe work environment or agree to allow her to broadcast from someplace else. The escalating harassment against Goodman included an incident last Friday where Leid physically shoved her during a heated discussion; the removal of Democracy Now! from the main production studio of WBAI, continued on-air personal attacks on Amy by staff members close to Leid, racist and sexist remarks by staff members that are not censured by management, even slanderous statements about Goodman that continue to appear on Pacifica's official web page. No one should be forced to work under such conditions, and certainly not the host of the most popular news program in Pacifica's history. Democracy Now! did air today in a few locations. Pacifica's KPFA in Berkeley aired it at 9:00 am Pacific time today and WMNF in Tampa aired it at noon. If you want to listen to the show, it will be posted to http://www.wbix.org But hundreds of thousands of loyal Democracy Now! listeners were denied the show by a Pacifica management that is growing more irrational and desperate with each day. Please take action today. If you are a listener in a Pacifica affiliate station, call the Pacifica headquarters to complain at 202-588-0999. If you are in one of the five Pacifica listening areas call your local station - WBAI at 212-209-2800, KPFK in Los Angeles at 818-985-2711, KPFT in Houston at 713-526-4000, WPFW in Washington DC at 202-588-0999, and KPFA in Berkeley at 510-848-6767. Also, contact the people listed below. Venceremos, Juan Gonzalez PS Many of you have asked how you might support our work. Tax deductible contributions to the Pacifica Campaign may be made to our fiscal sponsor, a 501 (c) (3) organization. Make checks payable to: Institute for Media Analysis-Pacifica Campaign. Our mailing address: The Pacifica Campaign, 51 MacDougal St., #80, New York, NY 10012. Thanks. **************************** CONTACT INFO Stop the Harassment of Democracy Now! Resign New! Please call, fax and/or e-mail the following individuals. Please contact as many times as you feel necessary for your voice to be heard. You can make one phone call a day over the next five days or five today. Your phone calls are important. Keep the message simple and straightforward. WBAI Acting GM Utrice Leid Tel: 212-209-2800/2820 Fax: 212-747-1698 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Pacifica Executive Director Bessie Wash Tel: 202-588-0999 x 348 or 888-770-4944 x348 Fax: 202-588-0561 E-mail: email@example.com Pacifica Board Vice Chair Ken Ford Tel: 202-822-0228 Fax: 202-822-0369 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Pacifica Board member Wendell L. Johns Tel: 202-752-5355 Fax: 202-752-4281 E-mail: wendell_L_johns@fanniemae.com Pacifica Board member Valrie Chambers Tel: 361-825-6012 Fax: 281-655-0266 E-mail: Valrie.Chambers@mail.tamucc.edu, firstname.lastname@example.org Cut the below list of email addresses, paste it into the To: line of your email composition form. Also go to: http://www.progressiveportal.org/letters/pacifica/resign/ Bmwpacifica@aol.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, KenFordPacifica@aol.com, email@example.com, wendell_L_johns@fanniemae.com, Alfigo@aol.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Valrie.Chambers@mail.tamucc.edu, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
From: Bob Lederer firstname.lastname@example.org Here's the latest info I've pieced together. Amy Goodman's live Democracy Now! program, broadcast today from a remote location for her safety and offered by high-quality phone line (ISDN) to Pacifica for uplink to its satellite, was rejected by Pacifica and not put on the satellite. Instead, Pacifica sent out an old re-run, which was played on all 5 Pacifica stations. Contrary to an earlier report, the new show was not run on any station anywhere. She has not yet been fired, but it appears that Pacifica management has told her she will not be on the air again until she returns to the station. We must respond quickly: 1) Rally at the station tomorrow morning (Wed., 8/15) from 7:00-10:00 a.m., 120 Wall St. Demand the immediate reinstatement of live episodes of Democracy Now! 2) If you can join the round-the-clock vigil at the station, please do so at any time. It helps if folks can commit to at least a 2-hour stint--sign up at www.wbaiaction.org/action or call the hotline at 800-825-0055, leaving the time you're available and your phone no. If you want to drop by immediately and check that signs will be available, call Pete Korakis at (718) 278-3381. The camraderie is great, and the vigil is having a positive effect on producers and staff of all stripes. 3) Flood Pacifica and WBAI with calls of protest (phone nos. at end of this email). 4) Attend a meeting tonight of the Concerned Friends of WBAI Action & Outreach Committees to plan further actions. It's at 6:30 PM, at 74 Trinity Place,north of Rector, 2nd fl. Parlor. Take the 1/9 or N/R to Rector St. or 4/5 to Wall St. 5) Stay tuned for updates to: a) the email list you're reading now, b) the WBAI Goodlights Message Board (www.goodlight.net/wbai -- then go to "WBAI Issues"), c) (if your computer has a soundcard) the audio broadcasts on WBAI In Exile (www.wbix.org), which often provides up-to-the-minute coverage d) the audio broadcasts live on KPFA (www.kpfa.org), particularly the Flashpoints program hosted by Dennis Bernstein and Noelle Hanrahan (which runs from 8-9 pm EASTERN time weekdays), and e) the Concerned Friends Hotline, 800-825-0055. The Pacifica Campaign will be putting out a bulletin later today with other phone nos. to call in protest. You can also check their website at www.pacificacampaign.org later on. Meanwhile, here are the latest reports. Bob Lederer Concerned Friends of WBAI fired and banned WBAI producer
Here are some of the posts from the goodlight discussion board
at noon - Anonymous
KPFA News just announced that Amy and Co. have moved out of the WBAI studios because of escalating harassment and that Pacifica has refused to distribute the program from the new location on their satellite. KPFA WILL BE BROADCASTING THE 'RELOCATED' SHOW this morning (noon Eastern time) and presumably as long as it continues to be produced outside the toxic waste dump that WBAI has become.
Democracy Now! broadcast from Downtown Community Television today. Amy talked about what happened and why they have relocated.
"Even after we closed our door, they used a super master key to break into our office. We had closed the door to stop them from shouting at us. Even the Morning Show anchor Santiago Nieves had to come out and tell them to stop because it could be heard on the broadcast. It is a tremendously hate-filled and hostile workplace. We let the Board and Management know yesterday that we had found a safe harbor in a place on the outskirts of Chinatown. Some amazing people helped us out - Jason, Andy, John Alpert - they have made it possible for us to be in a space where we can feel safe."
WBIX told Amy they were playing a tape on John Lennon and Amy said "Oh then they're playing Lennon's Imagining Peace. We didn't want to just imagine it, we wanted to experience it! Management was not giving us any relief from the tremendous hostility against us, which culminated in physical violence. We told Washington that we had relocated and that it was available on satellite, and so it's their choice whether to broadcast Democracy Now!
Managment has said that they will meet with us to discuss these issues. The hostility is tremendous, and it's not just against us of course, but the many who have been driven out, the banned and the fired."
Note: if the signal stations, affiliates and Pacifica stations decide to carry the program it will be heard. Check KPFA at noon to see they broadcast it. There was an air check today and if they decide to put those air checks up on webactive, we'll be able to listen on the Democracy Now! archives.
PNB, Utrice Leid Steffie
WBAI Acting GM Utrice Leid Tel: 212-209-2800/2820 Fax: 212-747-1698 E-mail: email@example.com Pacifica Executive Director Bessie Wash Tel: 202-588-0999 x 348 or 888-770-4944 x348 Fax: 202-588-0561 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Pacifica Board Vice Chair Ken Ford Tel: 202-822-0228 Fax: 202-822-0369 E-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Pacifica Board member Valrie Chambers Tel: 361-825-6012 Fax: 281-655-0266 E-mail: Valrie.Chambers@mail.tamucc.edu, email@example.com Pacifica Board member Wendell L. Johns Tel: 202-752-5355 Fax: 202-752-4281 E-mail: wendell_L_johns@fanniemae.com Cut the below list of email addresses, paste it into the To: line of your email composition form. Also go to: http://www.progressiveportal.org/letters/pacifica/resign/ Bmwpacifica@aol.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, KenFordPacifica@aol.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, wendell_L_johns@fanniemae.com, Alfigo@aol.com, email@example.com, Valrie.Chambers@mail.tamucc.edu, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
DN! is being produced live right now, from a remote facility in Manhattan. The DN! staff took action to protect themselves from workplace violence, and set up in a safe place.
A high-quality show is reportedly going out over an ISDN line to the Pacifica satellite uplink facility in DC - Pacifica has chosen to censor the program and run an archived show.
Allegations that Amy did not show up or call in are false.
I called, got a reasonably pleasant-sounding man who said Amy did not show up today. He said that he did not know the reasons, and that to say anything more would only be fueling speculation and rumor; but there has been "friction" between Amy and Utrice since December. Also that the info will come out in time, either over the radio or in the newspaper, or through friends. (I am not sure what he meant by this; what would "come out" in the news if it were just a matter of someone not showing up to work?)
Amy is broadcasting from the Independent Media Center here in NYC for issues of safety. A WBAI engineer would need to know how to pick up DN! from the satellite.
The following file was uploaded/updated at
STATEMENT OF BESSIE WASH,
AUGUST 14, 2001 We are disappointed that Amy Goodman has chosen not to host the award-winning Democracy Now! from the studios of WBAI. This is an unfortunate situation that serves only to deprive the show's listeners of programming important to them.
While we maintain a policy that prevents us from publicly discussing internal disputes and personnel matters, we will continue to try to bridge any differences and find a suitable arrangement for those involved. Whatever our differences are, we feel that the devoted listeners of the show should not be penalized. Pacifica apologizes to the listeners of Democracy Now! and is committed to returning the show to the air as soon as possible.
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