Al Huebner's "Dirty Laundry"
broadcast (his last) on KPFK, February 10,1995

He was removed from the air as a result. His engineer, Neil Connor, was also threatened with suspension for not cutting Al's mike.

.....Well, we're nearing the end of the hour, and I must tell you it's getting more and more difficult to come in here each week and try to do the program. There are three reasons, essentially, why this is so.

First, the dismissal of the station's manager and program director several weeks ago was done so crassly, that had it been done by people on the right, it would have been attacked long and hard by people who tend to be the supporters of this particular station. Instead, the psuedo-political people who pulled it off apparently had not the slightest misgiving.

Station employees here can't be expected to do much about the injustice because they need to earn a living. They need their salary at the end of each week, but the station runs on wall-to-wall volunteers. With a few exceptions, I've seen pathetically little reaction on the part of those notable exception, of course, has been Bob Young [who resigned from his program, Thursday Lunch, in protest].

The second reason I have: the reasons given for those firings were both late in coming, and worse yet, they were highly contradictory. In particular, listener-sponsors, who should have been the first to be informed on the matter, were instead left to read one description in the press, an entirely different description many weeks later in the folio and then, I suppose, what was left for them to do was to try to guess at what the truth of the matter was.

Third, there is the matter of the new format. The decades old problem on this station of improving the credibility of the programming, it seems to me will now be, it seems, necessarily compromised. One difficulty is the sheer speed with which the changes have been made. Another, and in a way more formidable problem, is not having people available who have the depth that allows them to do an evaluation of the credibilty or, the non-credibility of programs. And this, of course, I've always found, to be especially true in the area of health programming.

Whereas before there were reasons for perhaps not making sharp judgements or whatever, it can only go in that way, it seems to me, in the immediate future.

On this point, by the way, I was informed by a member of the new management that the changes were being made because the listeners wanted those changes. I've talked to numerous listeners, many of them subscribers, in the past several weeks. I've been inviting phone calls. I haven't found anyone who knew about the changes until very recently, much less who had suggested those changes to management, be it management past, or, management present. Incidentally, that same management person who told me that, on Monday night's quaintly named program, "Report to the Listener," said that in June 1993 she was handed the plan for what was to become the new format. The important point however is: who handed her that plan and where did it come from? Certainly, it did not come from subscribers.

There's much more that could be said, that should be said, and that in all probability won't be said...but I see that I'm just about at the end of the time, and so let me thank Neil Connor for his assistance this evening. Stay tuned for Thursday Lunch...and until next week, this is Al Huebner. The program has been the Health Department.