This was just posted to the Pacifica Radio Supporters group by Andrew Leslie Phillips, former program director at WBAI, KPFA, and very briefly at WBAI again. It contains some dire information about the leadership of Pacifica and their plans for the network. If you care at all about that institution, please read this. As you can see, this does not seem like a promising future environment for Behind the News, since what I do has a lot in common with Ian Masters.
Andrew Leslie Phillips
I understand that KPFA interim GM, Richard Pirodsky is now interim manager of both KPFA and KPFK; that yesterday (January 13th at 3pm) Bernard Duncan stepped down or was moved aside by Summer Reese and very likely given a pay-out to make way for Pirodsky. Yesterday Summer Reese turned up at KPFK with Pirodsky to take the reigns. The respected current iPD, Alan Minsky is also targeted for dismissal by Summer Reese. Minsky is a supporter of Ian Masters, Reese’s nemesis (Minsky) meet Reese in the KPFK lobby yesterday by she refused to acknowledge him – would not even shake the guy’s hand! So his future looks shaky. He was previously paid senior producer at KPFK but that position is now occupied by Christian Blodsdale (who is the highest paid producer at KPFK) but produces nothing. She pitches with Null (and others) flying around the network pushing sketchy infomercial-like product but has minimal radio experience. She is a PR flack – http://www.goodkarmapr.com/team/team.htm.
Meanwhile the current PNB steps down at the end of this month and a new board steps up and apparently will insist that Summer Reese produce her heretofore withheld personal information – details of parts of her background are included in this message. But none of this information has been vetted by the PNB. Perhaps at last it will be. Pacifica is currently led by people who seem to have very little radio background about whom we know very little. How and why has this happened and why has the current PNB not done their job to protect our valuable network?
Ian Masters, who was suspended by Reese for bringing some of this to the air, says his job is also on the line. Anybody challenging Reese faces termination. I certainly know that from my own personal experience. Masters, with no premiums, consistently returns the most money per hour at KPFA. Masters pitches programming.
I understand his story is about to break on major media in LA and The Nation. As of now very few are aware of these shenanigans. It’s time of staff with backbone and certainly the Pacifica membership take the time to learn what is happening behind the curtain and step up to save what’s left of Pacifica’s legitimacy.
Here is Ian Masters plea for a listener intervention including links to Summer Reese’s background. This information has been forwarded by Masters to the PNB. But don’t hold your breath for the PNB to step up unless “feet are held to fire”.
January 3, 2014
Dear concerned KPFK listeners,
Happy New Year and thanks to all of you who emailed me at firstname.lastname@example.org and who visited our new website at listenerpoweredradio.org or Googled save pacifica radio and offered to join in a listener intervention to save Pacifica and KPFK. We are moving ahead but I have been warned by many inside of Pacifica who support this effort that I will be immediately fired by Summer Reese and Gary Null if I post the following on the website…
As we begin this New Year, Pacifica’s future hangs in the balance and will be determined by a background check. And while I am under a strict gag order on “free speech” radio not to say a word about the dire situation we are in, I can share what I know with you even though it may be difficult to convey just how disastrous our new leadership is and for you to realize that on the inside, the “peoples radio” now operates along totally authoritarian lines.
These dysfunctional boards that represent barely 10% of our listener/members, that tend to attract the most extreme among Pacifica’s various factions, were never meant to be a conduit for the one-eyed person in the land of the blind to maneuver themselves into a paying job. We are supposed to recruit professional management from the outside and our Executive Directors are supposed to administer, not hand pick cronies and micro-manage programming.
The lunatics have indeed taken over the asylum and today the Pacifica foundation is already in the hands of someone with such a dubious background, who is so demonstrably unqualified for any job, let alone running a radio network, but yet has shown sufficient bureaucratic cunning that both Stalin and the Koch brothers would be impressed by her “stealth” right wing takeover of America’s only left wing media outlet.
Pending a background check, Summer Reese will be officially in the position she already occupies and, once approved, she will quickly erase any vestiges of journalism and credibility Pacifica has left. News and Public Affairs will become a joke and so-called “health and spirituality” will be elevated to prime time, meaning that conspiracy and quackery will become our brand, if it hasn’t already come to that.
It is important to stress that I have no objection to “health and spirituality” programs and that many of my friends enjoy Lisa Garr and Nita Vallens and find their guests and ideas interesting and helpful. But just as Oprah is on during the day and not in prime time, so too should these programs be segregated from News and Public Affairs which listeners expect to hear in prime time.
A simple Google search reveals that Summer Reese’s only professional experience was as an office manager for a tax avoidance scam artist, Peymon Mottahedeh, who is not a lawyer but runs the Freedom Law School in the California desert that is neither a school or has anything to do with the law except for breaking it through tax avoidance.
As one of their “paralegals”, Ms. Reese’s job was to con people into believing that the $6,000 package they were buying from the Freedom Law School would immunize them against an oppressive and illegitimate government’s efforts to collect taxes they owed.
Like the “sovereign citizens” movement, these far right wing anti-government conspiracy peddlers don’t believe in paying taxes or having social security numbers. According to information gathered so far which sources inside have leaked to me so it is yet to be officially confirmed, Ms. Reese has not paid taxes and does not have a social security number and operates on false identities.
Her other claim at having a professional background is that she was a lawyer for Sirhan Sirhan. Apparently she impersonated a lawyer representing a client who happened to kill Bobby Kennedy and claimed to be one at public meetings where she billed herself as Sirhan’s lawyer before gatherings of RFK assassination conspiracy theorists.
As for the merits of the case she falsely claimed to be presenting on Sirhan’s behalf, he was not responsible for killing RFK because the hapless assassin was a government-brainwashed “Manchurian Candidate”. Need I say more.
With no clue how to address the network’s declining listenership and slide towards bankruptcy, and with total disregard for Pacifica’s 501-C3 non-profit status, Ms. Reese is now turning our airwaves over to “Doctor” Gary Null whose miracle cure “products” are unregulated and whose fraudulent credentials have been exposed as mail order diplomas by the independent consumer watchdog website run by medical professionals, Quackwatch.com.
Gary Null is a private corporation. His annual revenues are $12.2 million. Should Pacifica become Gary Null’s private Home Shopping Network offering dubious products over our airwaves under the guise of fund raising? His fraudulent claims have certainly turned away a lot of our thoughtful and ethical listeners and I am personally disgusted when desperate terminally ill people are conned into spending money on expensive and unproven vitamin cures for cancer and Alzheimer’s.
“Doctor” Null actually claimed Patrick Swayze would be alive today had he taken his products. And then there are the young men who died following the advice of this HIV denier that Gary Null’s products could cure AIDS. So much for the hollow claim made by the “peoples” radio that we don’t take money from corporations. Meanwhile our non-profit foundation status is being placed in jeopardy from the FDA, the IRS and the FCC.
So I suppose it should be no surprise given Summer Reese’s and Gary Null’s similar backgrounds of scamming gullible folks by distracting them with right wing anti-government dogma as they fleece them, that these two are working hand in glove. And while Gary Null is already on all the other Pacifica stations except Berkeley, the reason he did not participate in KPFK’s latest fund drive was because he is leveraging his position to get on prime time at KPFK and to make a better deal in the next fund drive so that he will be in a position to control the network before it goes into bankruptcy.
The experienced professional Program Director at WBAI Andrew Phillips (who discovered Amy Goodman) resigned when Ms. Reese demanded he take “Background Briefing” off the air at 10 AM in New York City to have it replaced by guess who?…Gary Null!
And in cavalier disregard of a petition from KPFK programmers, she has maneuvered to remove Alan Minsky the current Program Director at KPFK to have him replaced by a loyal flunky from Berkeley who, rumor has it, will propose moving the Pacifica Evening News to 5 PM to get “Background Briefing” off the air.
The head of Pacifica’s Jurassic Jazz station in Washington DC has already been replaced by a person with no prior radio experience who comes from a moving company who helped with the relocation of WBAI. Now Ms. Reese is moving to replace the current General Manager at KPFK in the coming months with a compliant functionary who will unshackle the 9/11 “truthers”, the RFK, JFK, MLK assassination ambulance chasers and the “Chemtrails” proponents waiting in the wings with evangelical zeal to get the real truth out.
Meanwhile, based on its latest public audit, Pacifica Radio’s working capital has declined from positive $2,835,309 in 2007 to negative $1,034,153 as of September 30, 2011. At this rate of decline the Pacifica network is probably already bankrupt, given the millions they owe Amy Goodman and the piles of unpaid bills and lawsuits to collect past dues.
While I am merely road-kill and collateral damage compared to the death of Pacifica, you might ask why is Summer Reese on a Jihad to get rid of me? Well apart from the sin of telling the truth on “free speech” radio, my only personal contact with Ms. Reese was when she strongly urged me to read a book about the Fluoride conspiracy.
As you know, four days a week and on Sunday’s I seek out the best experts to discuss domestic and international events and issues of importance. Iran, Syria, unemployment, the decline of the middle class and the downsizing of working Americans, corporate greed, declining education, etc. So I did not follow up on uncovering the government’s Fluoride plot and that’s apparently how I ended up on her enemies list. But therein lies the tragedy for Pacifica; we will soon be no different from Fox News in our denigration of science and our disregard for facts.
Fox propagates “birther” conspiracies; Pacifica mirrors them with “truther” conspiracies. It’s no accident that the Producer of the “truther” Bible, the movie “Loose Change”, is the far right wing sovereign citizen Alex Jones. By pandering to the anti-government sentiment of Pacifica’s left-leaning listeners, stressing the legalization of pot and opposition to foreign wars, “stealth” right wing libertarians like Alex Jones and Summer Reese count on gullible Pacifica listeners not to notice their real agenda. They are careful not to mention their obsession with government plans to take away their guns and that we can do away with government altogether and have the Koch brothers run America.
We have only days left to mobilize every listener, activist on the left, and every liberal and progressive voice in the land, as well as the few in our politics like my friend Bernie Sanders. We all have to wake up and rescue Pacifica from its impending suicidal implosion. If only for the sake of political diversity in America’s already right wing-dominated media. We are about to lose the country’s last tenuous outlet for bottom-up voices and alternative opinion.
I am embarrassed that we even have to talk about this and that I have to explain the grubby antics of these tawdry characters but, in the short term Summer Reese will accelerate Pacifica’s self-marginalization, and then as the network goes bankrupt, Gary Null will pick up the pieces.