Death throes at a pillar of the American left

Thomas Lifson
I confess to indulging myself in schadenfreude over the decline and fall of Pacifica Radio, one of the major organs of the media left. You may not have heard of the 5 station radio network, but Pacifica created the very first nonprofit radio station in America, KPFA in Berkeley, becoming the godfather to NPR (now a much more important liberal-dominated media organ and one that enjoys taxpayer support to boot, but with no organizational ties to Pacifica).

Pacifica’s ownership of licenses to broadcast high-powered FM signals in 5 of the nation’s largest  media markets (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, and Houston) give it a value well into nione figures, if operated as a commercial outlet. But because Pacifica is operated by leftists with an absolute conviction of their own, personal moral superiority, combined with a lack of any self-awareness, the network has degenerated into near-insolvency, moral bankruptcy, and endless strife.

In years past, I have covered other internal disputes at Pacifica, which I find highly amusing. But things have degenerated even further.  The LA Weekly has a long and highly amusing account of Pacifica “sliding into the abyss.”  When left to their own devices, leftists inevitably fight among themselves viciously, become utter hypocrites, and destroy wealth. It works that way in North Korea as mucnh as it works at Pacifica. Here are a couple of samples, but if you enjoy reading about the folly of the left, indulge yourself in the whole thing.

On March 13, after weeks of rumors, Pacifica Radio's board of directors voted to fire its executive director, Summer Reese, during what was essentially a conference call. But nothing is as simple as all that in the oldest and oddest public radio network in the country.

Four days later, Reese sent an email to the entire Pacifica staff announcing that she was not recognizing the board's authority: "I want to assure you that I am in possession of a signed and valid contract for three years of employment from the board of directors and that I fully intend to complete that contract."

And so it was that Reese marched to the Pacifica national office in Berkeley on March 17, bolt cutters in hand, removed a padlock placed on the front doors over the weekend, and essentially occupied the building. When newly appointed interim executive director Margy Wilkinson showed up, Reese and 12 of her compatriots — including Reese's mother, a longtime anti-war and civil rights activist — refused to let Wilkinson, her husband and two of her allies pass.

"You're all going to be personally liable — and I'm going to enjoy your houses!" Reese shouted at them, according to former board member Sasha Futran, who backs Wilkinson.

I just love it! Threatening people’s property, and glorying in seizing their wealth. Leftists are greedy despite claiming altruism. Phonies.

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.

That is one one-thousandth of the LA radio audience. For a station with clear and strong signal. Pathetic.

"What you're seeing right now is the death rattle, because there's no way it can be viable," says Marc Cooper, a former host and news director at KPFK, now a professor at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. 

Yep. And how does Pacifica pay the bills?

…KPFK holds a monthlong fund drive every three months — meaning one out of every three days is a pledge drive, days full of DVDs and nutritional supplements and get-rich-quick schemes such as the "Wealth Propulsion Challenge," an online course that promotes "how to get rich holistically" — and quickly — via "subconscious reprogramming."

"Meanwhile, I'm supposed to talk all this happy talk — 'We're a great station! We don't take corporate money!' " Ian Masters says glumly. "It's a moral issue. We're ripping off the public."

Much of the money raised in a recent WBAI fund drive came from Gary Null and Monique Guild, a so-called "business intuitive and wealth builder," who was hawking "prosperity workshops." Various sources estimate that Guild and Null take between 30 and 50 percent of the money paid for these "premiums" — the gifts and items they sell to listener-supporters. Many suggest this may actually be illegal, since Pacifica is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Illegal hawking of questionable stuff. That just about sums it all up. Fake frauds flogging fallacious flim-flams.

Leftism is bankrupt.

Hat tip: Instapundit

I confess to indulging myself in schadenfreude over the decline and fall of Pacifica Radio, one of the major organs of the media left. You may not have heard of the 5 station radio network, but Pacifica created the very first nonprofit radio station in America, KPFA in Berkeley, becoming the godfather to NPR (now a much more important liberal-dominated media organ and one that enjoys taxpayer support to boot, but with no organizational ties to Pacifica).

Pacifica’s ownership of licenses to broadcast high-powered FM signals in 5 of the nation’s largest  media markets (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, and Houston) give it a value well into nione figures, if operated as a commercial outlet. But because Pacifica is operated by leftists with an absolute conviction of their own, personal moral superiority, combined with a lack of any self-awareness, the network has degenerated into near-insolvency, moral bankruptcy, and endless strife.

In years past, I have covered other internal disputes at Pacifica, which I find highly amusing. But things have degenerated even further.  The LA Weekly has a long and highly amusing account of Pacifica “sliding into the abyss.”  When left to their own devices, leftists inevitably fight among themselves viciously, become utter hypocrites, and destroy wealth. It works that way in North Korea as mucnh as it works at Pacifica. Here are a couple of samples, but if you enjoy reading about the folly of the left, indulge yourself in the whole thing.

On March 13, after weeks of rumors, Pacifica Radio's board of directors voted to fire its executive director, Summer Reese, during what was essentially a conference call. But nothing is as simple as all that in the oldest and oddest public radio network in the country.

Four days later, Reese sent an email to the entire Pacifica staff announcing that she was not recognizing the board's authority: "I want to assure you that I am in possession of a signed and valid contract for three years of employment from the board of directors and that I fully intend to complete that contract."

And so it was that Reese marched to the Pacifica national office in Berkeley on March 17, bolt cutters in hand, removed a padlock placed on the front doors over the weekend, and essentially occupied the building. When newly appointed interim executive director Margy Wilkinson showed up, Reese and 12 of her compatriots — including Reese's mother, a longtime anti-war and civil rights activist — refused to let Wilkinson, her husband and two of her allies pass.

"You're all going to be personally liable — and I'm going to enjoy your houses!" Reese shouted at them, according to former board member Sasha Futran, who backs Wilkinson.

I just love it! Threatening people’s property, and glorying in seizing their wealth. Leftists are greedy despite claiming altruism. Phonies.

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.

That is one one-thousandth of the LA radio audience. For a station with clear and strong signal. Pathetic.

"What you're seeing right now is the death rattle, because there's no way it can be viable," says Marc Cooper, a former host and news director at KPFK, now a professor at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. 

Yep. And how does Pacifica pay the bills?

…KPFK holds a monthlong fund drive every three months — meaning one out of every three days is a pledge drive, days full of DVDs and nutritional supplements and get-rich-quick schemes such as the "Wealth Propulsion Challenge," an online course that promotes "how to get rich holistically" — and quickly — via "subconscious reprogramming."

"Meanwhile, I'm supposed to talk all this happy talk — 'We're a great station! We don't take corporate money!' " Ian Masters says glumly. "It's a moral issue. We're ripping off the public."

Much of the money raised in a recent WBAI fund drive came from Gary Null and Monique Guild, a so-called "business intuitive and wealth builder," who was hawking "prosperity workshops." Various sources estimate that Guild and Null take between 30 and 50 percent of the money paid for these "premiums" — the gifts and items they sell to listener-supporters. Many suggest this may actually be illegal, since Pacifica is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Illegal hawking of questionable stuff. That just about sums it all up. Fake frauds flogging fallacious flim-flams.

Leftism is bankrupt.

Hat tip: Instapundit