From: Sam Husseini [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, February 29, 2000 1:57 PM
Subject: FW: Censorship at WPFW
B. Wash's record of censorship....
>From The Alliance for Progressive Radio (www.freewpfw.org): WPFW
Censorship at Pacifica Station WPFW
* On April 19, 1999 - Pacifica station WPFW in Washington DC pulls
CounterSpin, a weekly half-hour program produced by Fairness and Accuracy
in Reporting (FAIR), a media watchdog group. The program includes an
interview with recently fired national broadcaster Larry Bensky.
* On July 13, Pacifica bars KPFA staff and community from the network_s
flagship station, and reprograms its air. Fifty-two arrested outside the
station, including KPFA news directors.
* On July 14, Pacifica managers pull the network's most popular program
Democracy Now! from KPFK, WPFW and KPFA. The main story on the show that
day addresses the crisis at KPFA. Executive Director Lynn Chadwick is
interviewed live on the program and replies to critics.
* Pacifica chief Lynn Chadwick bars the July 14th edition of Democracy
Now! from being put up on Pacifica_s Web Site. Chadwick also blocks the
Pacifica Radio Archives from selling or distributing copies of the July
14th program. The July 14th edition of Democracy Now! is still not up on
* On July 20, station WPFW pulls a CounterSpin broadcast featuring KPFA
local advisory board member J. Imani and media critic Norman Solomon.
* On July 21, WPFW carefully cuts out a story about the KPFA crisis
Pacifica Network News (PNN), leaving the impression of a _seamless_ show,
strangely truncated in length. News Director protests alteration, charging
that it constitutes a fraudulent misrepresentation of authorship and
violates Pacifica_s _must carry rule._
* On July 23, Democracy Now! airs the same PNN piece by Verna Avery-Brown.
Just before the story comes on, the air at WPFW suddenly deteriorates and
an announcer tells listeners that there are "technical problems." Once the
story about the KPFA crisis is over, WPFW returns to the program.
* On July 28, Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman read live on the air a
from The San Francisco Chronicle of the same day about the possible sale
of Pacifica station KPFA. Pacifica station WPFW in Washington DC
interrupts the program and pulls it from the air.
comes at the very end of the one hour show.) WPFW management airs a
disclaimer following the program, saying the contents of Democracy Now! do
not reflect the views of WPFW.
* On July 29, WPFW pulls Democracy Now! for airing a short piece
announcing the re-opening of KPFA.
* Pacifica station WPFW again alters the Pacifica Network News (PNN)
July 29, seamlessly cutting out a piece on the opening of KPFA and
presenting the newscast as if it was normal.
* On Nov. 1, PNN News Director Dan Coughlin is summarily removed as
national news director after airing a news brief on a Pacifica affiliates
boycott of Pacifica programming. Pacifica News Anchor Verna Avery-Brown
walks off the job in protest at the shake-up.
* On Nov. 9, WPFW interrupts CounterSpin in the middle of an item about
the "reassignment" of PNN Director Dan Coughlin. Managers play music over
the story and return to the show once the item is over.
* In early December, WPFW cancels CounterSpin, FAIR's radio show. At
time, WPFW offers no rationale for its actions. Later, a Pacifica press
release says the show did not raise enough money on the listener-sponsored
* In mid-January, 2000, signature Pacifica voice Verna Avery-Brown
officially leaves the network after 11-years as a reporter and anchor.
Avery-Brown decries censorship and the disturbing trend away from
progressive coverage at Pacifica's national news.
* On February 28, live on the air, Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! reads
brief item on changes that took place at the Pacifica Board meeting the
previous day. The full program (which includes interviews with anti-death
penalty activists including Mumia Abu-Jamal) is prevented from going on
the web page.