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Democracy Now! January 7, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! January 7, 2002
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 
PZ0450.071
Description: 

DEMOCRACY NOW RETURNS TO PACIFICA'S AIRWAVES. Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, Dick Gregory, Juan Gonzalez, Bernard White, Leslie Cagan, and the spirit of Pacifica founder, Lew Hill. Meanwhile, the banned and fired producers prepare for the first face to face meeting of the Pacifica National Board this weekend.

9:01-9:06 HEADLINES 9:06-9:07 1-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:07-9:20 DEMOCRACY NOW! RETURNS TO PACIFICAS AIRWAVES AFTER FIVE MONTHS IN EXILE: A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION WITH FILMMAKER MICHAEL MOORE, PACIFICA BOARD CHAIR LESLIE CAGAN, BOARD MEMBER DICK GREGORY, FORMER DEMOCRACY NOW! CO-HOST JUAN GONZALEZ AND FORMER WBAI PROGRAM DIRECTOR BERNARD WHITE Today is the first day that Democracy Now! returns to the Pacifica airwaves after five months in exile. At its first meeting just over one week ago, Pacificas new interim national board voted by a 2/3 majority to bring back Democracy Now! immediately. But some individual station managers have not made it clear whether they intend to follow the boards directive well find out as todays show proceeds. Pacifica Radio has been in turmoil for the last few years. Starting in 1999, the old Pacifica board majority voted to change its bylaws, so that board members would no longer be chosen by the five local advisory boards, but would rather be chosen by the national board itself in other words, the national board became self-selecting. One of the most vocal opponents of this move was the station manager at Pacifica station KPFA in Berkely, Nicole Sawaya. She was promptly removed. Massive protests erupted there, and Pacifica management chained KPFA shut for three weeks in July 1999, provoking the largest protests that city had seen since the Vietnam War. 15,000 people marched in the streets, and the station re-opened. Pacifica management moved their headquarters to Washington, D.C. A year later, Pacifica management moved in on New York station WBAI. In the middle of the night during Christmas weekend, 2000, producer Utrice Leid entered the station, announced on-air that she was the new station manager, fired and banned three long-time employees including the old station manager and the Program Director Bernard White, who joins us here today. Leid enforced the move with lock changes and security guards. We were met with police and threatened with arrest if we entered. Since then, dozens of long-time producers have been fired and banned. Within months, Democracy Now! was verbally and physically harassed out of the station. Since then, we have been broadcasting from Downtown Community Television in lower Manhattan. Every day, KPFA in Berkeley aired Democracy Now! in Exile and put it on the satellite, making it available to all of our affiliates. While in our new studio, we also began broadcasting on cable access and satellite television, shortwave radio, and the internet, becoming the largest public media collaboration in the country. After September 11, we expanded to a two-hour War and Peace Report. Last month, an historic settlement was reached between Pacifica and the listeners, dissident board members and local advisory board members who were suing the foundation. In exchange for dropping the lawsuits, Pacifica agreed to reconstitute the national board. Five people from the former board majority, five dissident board members, and five people from the local advisory boards (one from each station area), became the new interim board. The board held its first meeting last week by telephone, and elected former dissident member Leslie Cagan to board chair. The board also voted to return Democracy Now! to the Pacifica airwaves immediately. But the conflict is far from over. Dozens of producers and hosts remained banned from their stations, and more are banned every week. More than 150 freelance journalists from five continents are still striking against Pacificas national news for censoring its broadcasts. The striking journalists have formed a remarkably successful alternative, Free Speech Radio News, which airs on fifty stations nationwide. Meanwhile, many affiliate stations have dropped their contract with Pacifica, and Pacifica Foundation is between $3-4 million in debt. GUEST: JUAN GONZALEZ, former co-host of Democracy Now! GUEST: LESLIE CAGAN, chair, Pacifica interim national board GUEST: MICHAEL MOORE, filmmaker and author. His movies include "Roger and Me" and "The Big One." GUEST: BERNARD WHITE, fired WBAI Program Director GUEST: DICK GREGORY, new member, Pacifica interim national board 9:20-9:21 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:21-9:40 DEMOCRACY, NOW RETURNS TO PACIFICA, PART II: FILMMAKER MICHAEL MOORE CALLS WBAI PUBLIC AFFAIRS DIRECTOR TO ASK WHY HES NOT ON WBAI 9:40-9:41 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:40-9:58 DEMOCRACY, NOW RETURNS TO PACIFICA, PART III: THE MISSING VOICES OF PACIFICA RADIO, WITH NOAM CHOMSKY ON THE SO-CALLED WAR ON TERRORISM GUEST: NOAM CHOMSKY, activist, author, and professor of Linguistics at MIT

Date Recorded on: 
January 7, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
January 7, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
Keywords: 
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Distributor: 
WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. January 7, 2002
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