"How dare we criticize Bill Clinton?" : Political Censorship of Democracy Now!  
- from May 1997 presentation by Samori Marksman to the WBAI Advisory Board
WBAI Board Member Andy Norris reports

Date sent:       Fri, 02 Apr 1999 16:33:28 -0800
From:            andy norris <norris@rci.rutgers.edu>
Subject:         Samori Marksman, May 27, 1997

There was heated discussion about the recent national board bylaws debacle at the WBAI LAB meeting March 30, 1999, .  There was also homage paid to the late great Samori Marksman.   It was in this sad but determined atmosphere that Anne Emerman read the following directly from the minutes of the WBAI LAB meeting of May 27, 1997.   (Note the national director referred to is Pat Scott).

"Samori Marksman, BAI Program Director was invited by Nan to present.  He and staff are deeply concerned.  Something is terribly wrong when a staff member is told to "shut up, you're not a board member", something is wrong
when we are not permitted to question fundamental contracts.  The station's product is its programming.  Come and see how hard the staff works.  When contempt and arrogance rule, Pacifica loses its soul, its purpose, its values.  The very essence of Pacifica is being compromised. Are the people running the Foundation losing sight of its principles?
Samori aded that he's getting calls from the press (including Alexander Cockburn of the Nation) and from listeners who give lots of money.  They sense that the direction of Pacifica is changing.

"Samori continued, the national director's attacks on "Democracy Now", her criticisms about the coverage of East Timor and statements like "how dare we criticize Bill Clinton", and the tenor of national news bothers him. Why is Pacifica trying to remove the voice of Mumia Abu-Jamal?  Does the board and the chair have a position on this?  Are Frank [Millspaugh] and Cecelia [McCall] representing the LAB to the National Board or representing the NB to us? We are having a crisis of leadership."

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