Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Grow up, Danny Schechter

A lovely reader named Marcia wrote a kind note in her blog about how I somehow did not properly link to a Counterpunch article. (Often my links are reviewed and fixed in the morning but she jumped the gun, firing her water pistol my way with other words of warmth and praise, questioning my being and more. How sweet!) In case you missed it, here’s the essence of what Iain Boal writes about the dismal state of Pacifica, the free speech network.

That's Danny Schechter attempting catty and failing miserably. Marcia is lovely. That's about all he got right.

His links?

Like anyone else, his links often have mistakes.

Ava and I have a "mistake" in our current TV commentary. Check the address at TV com, it's supposed to be the page for the show but you get an error message. It's not the end of the world.

Did Marcia post about Danny having a non-working link? Did Marcia have nothing more to say than that?

Please. (Insert Keesha's favorite SNL phrase actually.)

"Barack's assault on a free press" is the title of Marcia's post -- on Monday.

Though Danny pretends to be tres concerned with the press, he has yet to stumble upon Tom Eley and Barry Grey's "Obama continues assault on democratic rights" (WSWS). (This is the article Trina's father -- Mike's grandfather -- has asked for a link to and you've seen it at most sites in the community including this one.)

So Marcia's dealing with real issues and Danny?

Marcia mentions that awful crap Danny linked to not because the link didn't work but because it was crap.

Emerging from his faux collective, a Bay Area reject attacks a woman with a bunch of lies and rumors and things that have nothing to do with the job she is actually doing. She's Grace Aaron, Pacifica National Board chair and interim executive director, and whether or not she stopped going to a church or whatever has nothing to do with her current job.

That was Marcia's complaint and either Danny can't read too well or he's being ghost written again. I'm not in the mood for this crap.

Danny Schechter, you are supposed to be a trained journalist.

If you don't grasp that someone's religion or church has no bearing on what they're doing on air, that a cheap smear is a cheap smear, then you're nothing but a joke and please delink from this site.

I'm not in the mood for this s**t. I don't live at the computer. I've had to find someone I can dictate this to after Martha left a voice mail about the e-mails coming in on Danny's attempt at bitchy -- poor attempt. I'm on the road speaking out against the illegal war.

I didn't make a movie on it and try to turn a profit on it, Danny Schechter. I didn't pretend it was the most important thing in my life and that I was haunted by it only to drop the entire topic a few years later.

I've got real things to do and they don't include begging people for money or kissing ass.

They also do not include being silent when you attack Marcia.

You have deliberately distorted her.

YOU LIED about her.

I won't be silent.

Her critique was that you linked to a baseless article.


Here's what she didn't know. The writer? CS Soong's little buddy and Sasha's as well. It's a hit job and Matthew Lazar could probably tell people about that. He's been attempting to tell the true story of the Battle For Pacifica for some time.

It's not the simplistic fairy tale that's generally told.

I do know what's going on at KPFA and at Pacifica. And I warned here and at Third that this would happen. I warned throughout 2007 and 2008. They didn't want to behave like adults -- let alone journalists. Now discipline's being imposed.

And Sahsa and CS and all their little faux radical buddies can try to again play, "We in danger!" No, you're being held accountable.

Now Danny doesn't know that story because he's not tight with the Pacifica Board.

But the fact that the story was a smear on a woman should have bothered him.

Danny, there's a woman that's been e-mailing this site for two months now with various tales about MediaChannel. Should I be sharing those stories?

I considered those to be smears against you and ordered everyone not to communicate with your ex-girlfriend. But if you think smears are okay, I've got those e-mails and we can post them.

Or you can grow the hell up and grasp that whispering someone was forced out a church is not journalism.

It's a smear campaign. And that was used in the so-called 'battle' for Pacifica. Here's the thing, a lot of us who saved it last time (a) are smarter and (b) saw too much lying this go round.

The tatics used last time will not work this time.

We saw too many lies. KPFA's entire management should have been canned just for their stunt in February 2008. You never called them out, did you? Ava and I did.

For those late to the party, KPFA thought they were going to broadcast the Democratic Party presidential debate. At the last minute, they couldn't. They didn't have the rights to it. That right there, announcing the debate would be broadcast and not broadcasting it, should have resulted in some serious cries for accountability. Didn't happen.

But KPFA broadcast two hours of 'analysis.' They brought on gas bags to 'analyze' the debate. It was between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- though they went non-alphabetical for some reason. All those gas bags? They forgot to disclose on air that they had already endorsed Barack.

All those gas bags said Barack won the debate. (Same gas bags also falsely predicted he'd win the Latino vote in Texas' upcoming primary. He didn't. And if Latinos hadn't been disenfranchised in the Texas caucus, he wouldn't have won that either.)

Didn't listeners have a right to know that the 'analysis' was fixed before a word was ever broadcast and it was fixed by booking only those who had endorsed Barack?

Larry Bensky was supposed to take calls. He didn't really. He avoided the calls because the Bay Area (my home) is an area without sexual closets. People are who they are. And Barack's homophobia was already well known in the Bay Area. People were calling in about it and Larry didn't want to take those calls. He also hectored the blog.

KPFA wanted to do a live blog. The live blog was going to be during the debate but then they couldn't broadcast the debate. They still had the live blog.

But 'Free Speech' radio KPFA didn't care for free speech. So people were told that they couldn't share their opinions they could only do this or that. Larry was freaking out over the complaints about Barack on that blog.

It shouldn't have been surprising, Barack wasn't popular. We'd already had our primary in California and Hillary had easily won. She was put over the top by Latino voters, yes, but also by Asian-American voters in the state -- a fact that was too often looked over. But the Bay Area has a huge number of Latinos and Asian-Americans. We also have Gavin Newsom (whom I support as the next governor of California) who came out for Hillary. So for Bay Area listeners, it was appalling to hear one guest after another trash Hillary and slam her and all the time this was supposed to be an unbiased analysis on 'free speech' radio.

Now there are many stunts that were pulled by KPFA and other Pacifica stations but that one had the misfortune of being heard by several Pacifica executives. Two of whom raised it with Ava and I. We didn't listen in real time. But we listened to the complaints that night and we were the ones to point out that Laura Flanders, Tom Hayden, et al had already endorsed Barack. There was already dismay over the broadcast before Ava and I raised that point.

Pacifica can't do that. None of their stations can do that. That's only one example. There's the fact that they buried third party candidates, there's the fact that they tried to be (continue to try to be) an arm of the Democratic Party. That's not allowed either.

CS and Sasha know there are serious problems and they're activating members in their collective to begin smearing a woman. Isn't it funny how the 'Save Pacifica' movement always turns on attacking a woman? And her 'cabal'? That's what it's called in the article Danny linked to.

Along with attacking a woman, the faux radical also attacks listeners. He's furious, just furious, that the 9-11 Truth Movement is getting air time and Pacifica stations are offering premiums. If they're offering premiums, it's because they're making money off the premiums.

And whether you are a 9-11 Truth Member or not (I'm agnostic on 9-11 Truth but wish them all the best), they are a part of the left. Why have they been shut out by Pacifica? (Besides the hissy fit that Norman Solomon threw, why have they been shut out?)

Danny, you believe a conspiracy was behind the assassination of JFK. That's your right to believe it but some people would call you "crazy" for it.

Are you crazy for believing that?

I don't know. I'm always interested whenever you share your JFK talk.

By the same token, refusing to air 9-11 Truth Movement created problems airing it never would have. Airing it would have gotten a discussion going and people would have decided for themselves. Not airing it turned it into a censored subject. It should have been discussed, it should have been aired.

Bonnie Faulkner, one of the few people able to raise money for KPFA, has explored it and has done so with constant attacks and insults from a number of KPFA on-air. They're the idiots, not her. She's provided a place where anything could be discussed calmly and she's trusted that her listeners are intelligent enough to make up their own minds.

That thing you link to? It's trashing the work of Bonnie Faulkner. You should be ashamed of yourself for that.

Bonnie's been attacked and trashed and could have easily had more air time on KPFA if she'd just drop 9-11 completely. She knows that. But she's tried to operate under the belief that free speech matters on free speech radio. She's tried to carry over the things she learned while working with Project Censored. Bonnie's done journalism. Few others at KPFA can make that claim. And I mean: Bonnie has done journalism on air at KPFA.

That article is the whining of the CS Soong and Sasha collective.

The article's offensive and an attack on free speech. It's an effort to create a set of 'bad guys' that the ones now threatened (because they're being held accountable for their actions) intend to rally against. Will it work?

I doubt it. WBAI's already cleared some of their trash and the result has been increased donations and more listeners. Efforts to demonize didn't lead to the big pushback some had hoped.

Pacifica needs to get its act together and that's what's being attempted now. The response to this move towards some accountability results in the unsourced smears that Danny linked to.

Marcia called out an article Danny linked to. He misrepresents her.


And to really drive that home, he doesn't link to her. Or did no one catch that?

Danny, is the only way you can 'win' an argument with a woman to distort what she said and ensure no one can read what she actually wrote?

Again, I'm remembering those e-mails. And their claims. Including why you went to work on Tina Brown's show.

Now we can post those e-mails here if you don't get why Marcia was calling out you, a journalist, endorsing a smear campaign.

Do we need to do that?

I don't know what we need to do but I know you're not going to attack Marcia. I mean, we should be thrilled on the one hand.

An African-American woman finally got attention from some MediaChannel site. We know how rare that is for a woman period, let alone one of color.

But I'm not going to let you attack Marcia. And I'm not going to let you attack the community we've built.

How interesting that Marcia, an African-American lesbian, is your target of choice. But then, MediaChannel has never led on issues of color or issues of gender or issues of sexuality. Why is that, Danny?

You better find an answer for that because your ex-girlfriend is giving 'answers' and if you don't want them to stick, you better offer your own.

The e-mail address for this site is is And I'm not Ruth. She hasn't said one word to me but I damn well know you are the one who initiated a private e-mail 'talk' on sexism with her and I damn well know you did it just to try to get her not to call you out on the sexism of 2008 and how you ignored it repeatedly. I'm not having private conversations, Danny. Each day I avoid calling you out here. You went after, Marcia, and I'm not going to play like that's okay. She's one of our oldest community members -- long before she had a site, she was referenced here repeatedly "as Marcia says . . ." -- Google it. You thought you could distort what she critiqued you on and you apparently thought you could get away with it. Danny, I'm not like the women you're used to. I don't back down and I don't cower.