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On July 22 this year, nearly two years after Trump’s election and the rise of “The Resistance,” I tuned in to KPFA-Berkeley’s Sunday Show and heard host Philip Maldari speaking to The Nation’s national affairs correspondent John Nichols. Philip Maldari: John, just last Monday we had this fabulous press conference in Helsinki, Finland, where these two heads of state [Trump and Putin] had a chance to speak to the world. Do you want to decode what happened there? John Nichols: Do I want to what? PM: Decode – explain.
Tracy Rosenberg is the executive director of Media Alliance, an action and resource organization in Oakland advocating just, accountable and diverse media. She has been a listener representative on the KPFA Local Station Board since 2007 and a member of the Pacifica National Board of Directors since 2010. We asked her to comment on the situation from her perch as an insider. Here’s what we talked about.
For the past six months the people behind “KPFAWorker/SaveKPFA” have run a relentless, dishonest and destructive PR campaign – both on and off the air – against KPFA and Pacifica over the layoff last November of two KPFA staff members: Brian Edwards-Tiekert and Aimee Allison, the former co-hosts of KPFA’s Morning Show.
Over the past 10 years, any KPFA manager who attempted anything that did not meet the approval of a small core group of staff members – the foxes in the henhouse – met with so much hostility and non-cooperation that the job became nearly impossible to do.
I want us to do good radio. I want people to listen to us because we are doing dynamic programming. I want communities to feel that they can tune into the station and hear someone addressing the issues that are important to them.
I am writing to give clarity and to correct the misinformation that you have been hearing for the past three months from some of KPFA’s paid staff. John Hamilton has not been "laid off." Brian Edwards Tiekert bumped John to take back his job.
We applaud broadcasters, artists and fans of KPFA who have come together to make sure that there is a station called KPFA in 2011. I want to be up front with why we have discussed protesting tomorrow night’s event. It is a principled stand against police terrorism in the Black community, cronyism to the Bush regime and the lack of Black public affairs programming on KPFA.
Two years ago, Brian Edwards-Tiekert reported to the Pacifica National Board that staff layoffs were imperative at WBAI in NYC and KPFK in LA even though those laid off would push back. Today at KPFA, Brian is the one being laid off and pushing back.