An Exchange of Letters Between a Listener and Pacifca Board member Ken Ford

This is the only example we have received  that I am aware of, of a lengthy response from Pacifica National Board member Ken Ford from Washington, DC on the issues. Several other other listeners have reported either no response, or in two cases very brief replies of "get a life" and "fuck you." Ford gives a version of events diametrically opposed to the common understanding.  --LG


From:            "Jean Ogden" <>
To:              <>
Subject:         Pacifica Debacle
Date sent:       Thu, 15 Jul 1999 03:05:31 -0700

Dear Mr.. Ford:

I have just finished reading a number of transcripts and a great deal of other information, both pro and con, about the events now taking place with regard to the Pacifica Foundation and its radio stations.  I have never been what anyone would consider an "activist" for any causes, nor have I ever written to a stranger about anything until now (I've never even written to any of my elected officials before - but after what I've read tonight, I will be contacting all of them about this issue!!)

Your conduct in this matter is utterly reprehensible, quite probably illegal, and possibly criminal;  I can only say that I hope, in the final analysis, you are held, at a minimum, financially liable for your actions and you are left completely penniless, you lose your position on the Pacifica Board of Directors, and that you NEVER serve in any position of authority whatsoever in either government or the private sector for the rest of your life.  Anything less would not be punishment enough for such egregious behavior as yours.

Mrs.. J.L. Ogden



-----Original Message-----
From: Ford, Ken <>
To: 'Jean Ogden' <>
Date: Thursday, July 15, 1999 1:31 PM
Subject: RE: Pacifica Debacle

>MS. Ogden,
>For someone who has never written a stranger, you appear to wish a great
>deal of misfortune for me in the future.  I am not sure what information you
>have read, but I am absolutely sure it is not truthful.  I agree with you,
>the situation is utterly reprehensible, however do not and I repeat do not
>cast your venom toward the Pacifica Board.  We are stewards of not only your
>radio station but 4 others as well and inspire of what bias propaganda you
>have access to, we are performing our duties in a truly professional manner.
>Your local situation is not our fault.  It is the work of a group of local
>community people who bear a grudge against Pacifica.  Since April, you have
>listen to KPFA staff crapping about how they were being victimized by
>Pacifica management.  Ever wonder why you never heard from Pacifica
>management?  Simple fact is that the staff took control of the airways and
>put out tons of  dis-information and out right lies as to what was going on.
>Lynn Chadwick attempted to stop this action and was especially told to take
>a hike.  She and  Dr. Berry were not allowed to go on the air of a station
>that they are responsible for. Imagine telling the person who signs your
>paycheck and is your boss that they can not utilize the assets of the
>network.  Why don't you tell your boss something like that and see what
>happens.   How crazy is this?  It took us 3 days of negotiations with the
>ringleaders of this coup for Dr. Berry to do her call-in broadcast a few
>months ago which the staff later sabotaged.
>They have called for mediations.  Well, we started the process 7 weeks ago
>with the union that represents the staff.  They were FORCED to leave the
>bargaining table by those, in your community, who are out to destroy KPFA.
>They want this valuable assets for their own purposes and not the
>communities.  Our mission is to continue to provide original local
>programming.  Right now we have to sort things out and find out who wants to
>work toward that goal.  Please read the following for a better perspective.


Dear Mr.. Ford:

Unfortunately for you and the rest of the board of Pacifica, I am a resident of Southern California (San Diego County), and don't even listen to the Berkeley station, which means I'm actually unbiased in this matter. (I
do, on occasion, when I am in their broadcast area, listen to the L.A. station.) In addition, I am a university educated, upper middle class woman with little prior knowledge or any stake in your stations.  However, my
opinion of the unconscionable behavior of the Pacifica board is based mainly on the transcripts of several board meetings published on the web.  You and your associates have behaved in a condescending and high-handed manner throughout those transcripts, which is certainly not what I would describe as "performing your duties in a professional manner" to quote your e-mail. These are public radio stations - not your private little fiefdom to run
as you and your cohorts so choose!  What I am trying to tell you and the rest of your cronies is that your behavior cannot be justified to people who are not personally involved in this matter.

Dr. Berry may "sign the checks" as you so quaintly put it, but the radio stations are publicly funded - a concept the current Pacifica board doesn't seem to be able to understand, and which includes having to account for expenditures to your contributors.  For instance, I am wondering what the justification is for hiring non-uniformed "security guards" and the manner in which that was handled.  (In the private sector most people aren't in their offices on Saturday to read memos about a new security force starting Monday morning!)  Imagine if you arrived (unaware) at your office on a Monday morning only to be greeted (or should I say accosted) by a non-uniformed and surly security guard demanding to know who YOU are.  I would demand that someone I knew in authority explain who HE was to be questioning me! And I believe you would do the same.  (I listened to a recorded encounter with one of them.)

Mr.. Ford, the bottom line is that if the board was truly doing their job in a professional manner, this matter would NEVER have escalated to this point in the first place.  Perhaps you should carefully ponder that before you
continue to try to justify your position any further.

In conclusion, "crapping" isn't the kind of word I would expect a "professional" person such as yourself to use in what is essentially business correspondence with a stranger - if this is a reflection of the way you normally conduct yourself, it is simply further evidence that you lack the skill, tact  and vocabulary necessary for a successful executive.  (It wouldn't be acceptable from any of my employees or colleagues.)

Mrs.. J.L. Ogden

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