San Francisco Bay Guardian
June 29, 2005
The text in italics was edited out of the
published version of my letter. -MN
The recent Bay Guardian article on KPFA reveals more about the increasingly confused politics of the Bay Guardian than what's going on at KPFA. As the article says, the country is being run by barbarians, and the political situation is dire – that is exactly why we must expect better from our "alternative" media.
For example, the article blithely dismisses the fact that the current treasurer at KPFA, Marnie Tattersall, is also the chief financial officer of ABC/Disney's KGO and KSFO (the home of Rush Limbaugh and formerly of Michael Savage). Imagine what the Bay Guardian would say if she was a corporate executive at PG&E. Then the article dismisses the suggestion that, just maybe, the US government might want to "sabotage KPFA through a covert COINTELPRO-type" operation. Heavens to Betsy! The Bush-Cheney crowd would never stoop to that.
In an incredible bit, the article approvingly quotes complaints that money is being spent to support KPFA and Pacifica's directly elected governing boards – one of the chief victories won after the meltdown and listener uprising of 1999. It seems that democracy must be too expensive.
But, according to the Bay Guardian, the ongoing refusal of Pacifica management to open up financial records to the elected board members, in open defiance of California law, is a nothing-burger – even though we know that hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe millions, have been blown on consultants and bloated staff expenses, in true you-scratch-my-back, I'll-scratch-yours style.
And nowhere does the Bay Guardian acknowledge that the current KPFA general manager, Roy Campanella II, was chosen in a process manipulated by the old-boy staff network, with the ever-present Marnie Tattersall running interference as head of the Personnel Committee. That the entrenched staff now finds itself in a knock-down, drag-out fight with its own chosen boss demonstrates just how spoiled some of the big-heads at the station really are.
We need much better, both from KPFA and from the Bay Guardian.