[Wpfw-lsb] FW: [alliance] Response to the usual WPFW version of
bredwards at hotmail.com
Tue Aug 17 21:07:13 PDT 2004
>From: John Jakulevicius <bojake at boo.net>
>To: alliance at lists.freespeechnow.org
>Subject: [alliance] Response to the usual WPFW version of reality
>Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2004 17:02:03 -0700 (PDT)
> >Re. These posts from Leslie Radford and "Wendy": why are we continuing
> >to slog down this road of culture v's news & information? Is there
> >that much division in thinking that the two cannot comfortably co-exist
> >in a so-called "progressive" radio station format?
>Three points of observation to those above sentences.
>First culture is culture and music is music. Of course, music is a part of
>culture, but there is no interchangeability of the words - one does not
>"play" culture. Culture embraces all the arts - all forms of the written
>word, graphic art, emotive art, culinary arts, styles of dress, belief
>systems, language usage, and so on. It is a gross imbalance to declare that
>music programming IS "culture" programming. So in the pursuit of open,
>honest dialogue, let us use words and definitions for what they mean, and
>not or what we may desire they mean. Doing so will clarify and delineate
>the issues before us, instead of fogging them over.
>Second, the reference to a position that spoken mission programming and
>music programming cannot co-exist ... that A CHOICE MUST BE MADE between
>ONE or THE OTHER, is a posed FALSE DILEMMA to a position that I hear no one
>favoring or even proposing. Again let's try to blow away the smoke to see
>Third, when I hear someone refer to the anti-war, anti-propaganda,
>anti-racism missions which are the very reasons for the birth of Pacifica,
>... as news and information programming, I hear a person who is tone deaf
>to the music of the Pacifica Missions. A New York jazz musician I witnessed
>at a Pacifica issues meeting said, he loves to come down to play in D.C.
>and when he does, he listens to WPFW. He said also, when he feels like
>hearing the news, he puts on WTOP (the all-news station in D.C.). That
>musician, in my opinion, is stone deaf to my music, while I at the same
>time, can appreciate the beauty and artistry of his music. That doesn't
>seem fair, does it ?
> >As a 15-year music
> >programmer at WPFW, and one who endeavors to mix the music in such a
> >way as to reflect a progressive viewpoint, I've grown quite weary of
> >the continued sniping at the exceptional people who pour heart & soul
> >into delivering cultural programming onto the DC airways.
>With all due respect, interspersing sets of music with calls for peace, and
>why can't we all get along, and what a beautiful word it would be if we all
>respected each other, and saying Peace at the end of two or three hours of
>playing music, is still playing music. You are what you predominately do.
>Do you believe people tune in to hear short homilies between the sets of
>music, or is music the payload ? For me, the answer is clear. (A long time
>music programmer told me music is the hook, and then when you have their
>attention, you slip in a little peace and justice on them. Really ? Is that
>how it works ?? That's news and information to me.)
> > Is there
> >absolutely no sense of WPFW's mission and mandate, which calls for a
> >strong cultural programming schedule first & foremost?
>I call this canard "The legend of the mandate that refused to die." Where
>did this mandate come from ? Which man dated it, and by whose power in
>Pacifica was it dated. Was the original intent from the very start to have
>a music station, and the WPFW founders simply said, sure, sure, we'll do
>mission stuff, don't worry. That could have very well been the case... I'm
>not in a position to declare otherwise with certainty. Grigsby will talk
>about the genesis of WPFW for hours, but one will be no closer to answering
>that question than one was at the start of Grigsby's monologue. If someone
>knows the birth year of this mandate, and who wrote it, they aren't
>talking. If Pacifica mission fever was just a 24 hour flu, and music
>programming a fever lasting twenty seven years, then this is an injustice
>of a quarter century in duration, and continuing. Isn't it time the
>deception be fully aired? It is Airways Robbery from the Pacifica
>Foundation. How did WPFW, alone in the network, get
> its very own mandate, when the other four stations were forced to share
>the same mandate - the Pacifica Mission Mandate?
> >Is there no sense that WPFW was founded largely by African Americans,
> >and that fine balance between cultural programming and news &
> >information is part of the station's mandate?
>If a klansman uttered these words, he would fairly be labeled as racist.
>Blow away the smoke real hard on this one, because it's just loaded with
>stuff, all kinds of nasty sounding stuff.
>First, if a person in Oakland said KPFA was founded by whites, and the
>mission should always be deferential to the racial heritage of the
>founders, that person would be denounced as racist. This concept reeks of
>Legacy Endowment from stem to stern. Say it on Lake WPFW, however, and that
>boat floats 27 feet above the water line.
>Second, then how about this deal ? WPFW totally for African Americans, all
>the other four totally for Whites and Hispanics and Asians- that's sliced
>up pretty much along the lines of total population demographics. Does that
>work for you? And if it doesn't, why not?
>Third, this fine balance of news/information and music programming turns
>out to be 22% "news/information" and 78% music programming. That may seem a
>just "fine" balance to some, but to me, that ratio mocks the word balance
>to it's face.
>Fourth,is this saying that African-Americans favor hearing music over
>message by a ratio of 78% to 22%? That sounds like a horrific stereotype to
>me - one not to far removed from plantation owners taking about the
>"cultural" proclivities of the field slaves. Shame on the very thought that
>African-Americans are more into music than are other Americans, in their
>collective concerns regarding issues of injustice, inequality, and civil
>rights for all of the world.
> >Is there also no sense
> >that in the ensuing years it is cultural programming that continues to
> >be chipped away?
>First, let me say that since the hijackers were stopped in their collective
>tracks, WPFW has seen a positive (in my view) change in programming The
>heavy 8AM hour slot, previously music, now carries Democracy Now, 5 days a
>week. The also choice hour time slot of 6PM, also previously music, first
>carried PeaceWatch, and now a repeat Broadcast of Democracy Now. I
>attribute those changes directly to Ron Pinchback. Bobby Hill, a music
>player on WPFW, whose job, it appears to me, is to keep Ron "honest"
>whenever Ron appears at various meetings, and, again I guess, Bobby is to
>report back to the music crew if Ron is acting like he is about to give
>away any more time slot cookies to the news and information crowd. So I
>would guess that Bobby Hill would feel like music programming dropping from
>83% of programming, to 78% of programming is "chipping away." For Williard
>Jenkins, I don't have to guess - he tells me straight-away that it is.
> >I also find it quite questionable that someone from
> >Houston feels a need to snipe at WPFW in a manner that strongly
> >suggests that this person "Wendy" has little or no sense of the DC
> >community, its historic struggles, and the mandate under which WPFW was
>First, the above comment is a variation and continuation of Askia's coded
>reference to "those outside the community". I'll simply observe that a
>statement by a White person claiming Black people can't understand a White
>community, would be categorized as a racist remark. But one hears this
>tugboat horn blast in nearly every conversation about the issue of
>programming, and no-one even flinches. Wendy's comments may be sniping, or
>they could also be an attempt at dialogue with those who have no interest
>or intention of being persuaded otherwise.
>Second, I have some news & information for you. While you may perceive that
>the struggle is history, millions will tell you that the struggle is very
>much alive, and kicking, and necessary, at the other Pacifica stations. Has
>the Metro D.C. area been transformed into some utopian model of equality
>and fraternity since 1977, and I simply don't realize it ?
>I guess we are doomed to continue this struggle as the
> >lone Pacifica station which was founded under and continues to operate
> >under a philosophy of being more sensitive to the needs of the African
> >American community than any other Pacifica station... and God love it
> >for that!
>This is simply more race-baiting, but I am impressed at the sheer number of
>different forms of trim this boat can display.
>This is yet another iteration of the theme that African Americans need more
>entertaining than other Americans, and that less important to African
>Americans are racism, dis-enfranchisement, red lining, unemployment, and
>other such issues... that they are somehow secondary to hearing music on
>the radio. It would seem to me that being more sensitive to the needs of
>African Americans would involve active participation of programming of not
>just local issues, but of regional, and national discrimination. WPFW is at
>the strategic center of political force in this country, and to say that
>playing music to African Americans is being sensitive to the needs of
>African Americans, not only insults one's intelligence, it insults logic,
>and the very meaning of words. And god may seem generous to supply jazz
>music via WPW, but it would have been more generous of god to supply the
>vote, a good paying job, health insurance, and a nice 401K for everyone.
>That would be a god even I could re
> late to.
> >I imagine I must also, once again with great feeling, continue to point
> >out that the cultural programming -- and in this case specifically the
> >MUSIC programming -- that is aired on WPFW is LARGELY an airing of
> >musical artistry that is totally unavailable elsewhere on our region's
>Well, that is exactly true. But the reason that is true, is that people
>vote for what they want to listen to every time they turn the radio on.
>Unfortunately, listeners, including African Americans in the D.C. Metro
>listening area, vote WPFW's music format dead last. That may hurt to hear,
>to realize, or to internalize, but that is the reality of the peoples'
>choice. The unreal jazz (105.9) blows The Home of The Real Jazz (89.3) out
>of the water in ratings. In fact, the WPFW listening audience is so
>miniscule, it doesn't appear in the ratings when they are printed in the
>Washington Post. A statistician would categorize WPFW's numbers in the
>"Noise" range of readings.
>Given that reality, it is fair to ask Which community is being served - the
>music players, or the music listeners. I think that the repeated numbers
>tell the cold, hard truth.
> >Yes, there is some questionable music programming on our
> >airways that represents an unfortunate duplication of music available
> >elsewhere; goodness knows we have more than our share of DJ wannabes
> >who would be better served on the commercial airways.
>A very telling frame of reference you reveal there - that of the DJ's
>interest, and not of the listener, being served. That is exactly the
>question I raise regarding WPFW's DJs. And how many Cajun's are there in
>the Metro listening area ? And on one show I tried to count how many times
>the DJ's name was mentioned (Cleveland) - and I just gave up, there was so
>many. In my opinion, in the area of music programming, WPFW, is now, and
>perhaps always has been, Vanity radio for a few somehow selected DJs.
> >But for the most
> >part our cultural programmers strive to bring programming which is
> >thoroughly unique to the DC listening audience.
>I remember Errol Maitland of WBAI in New York, a Black activist, say, in
>D.C., that the Pentagon War Planners like to listen to WPFW jazz as they do
>their work across the Potomac River. Right-on Errol. And Ron Pinchback
>heard that observation also.
> >And lest you forget,
> >this is the DC listening audience we're talking about, NOT the Houston
> >listening audience. Let us also not lose sight of the fact that part
> >of the problem with American society today is that we have lost sight
> >of the precious value of culture in this country.
>Well, I both agree and disagree on these points. Michael Jackson is rich,
>rich, rich because of the precious value (over-value some might insist) of
>culture (I don't mean simply music here - I mean style of dress, I mean
>moral values, movies and art - you know ... what culture means)in America.
>And what you are calling a "lost sight" of the cultural time slice you have
>wired in your mind as the ideal for all, has actually evolved through
>gospel, blues, rock and roll, rap, hip-hop, which will be followed by
>something else. It is the way of culture ... styles change, language
>changes, music preferences change. There is nothing more cliched than the
>old person who insists, beyond question, that his/her formative years on
>the time slot of the cultural merry-go-round was the golden age of back in
>the day. Nothing wrong with that - most people feel that way - but, it is
>the work of the self-delusionist to insist, that claiming that a particular
>age is golden, is not a feeing, b
> ut a fact for everyone. Who is one to announce jazz is sacred, and all
>other music less so, or not so at all ? The D.C. community has spoken, and
>it says there are 25 or so more other music stations they would rather
>listen to, than to WPFW. It's hard. It's pain. It's reality. Let's move on.
> >When school systems
> >find themselves in meager financial straits, what part of their
> >curriculum goes first? As a result we are raising generations of
> >cultural illiterates, which clearly impacts our collective thinking in
> >so many areas, and which creates an atmosphere that allows people like
> >our current administration to act with a free, unquestioned hand.
> >Something to think about...
>Well, I agree totally with that interpretation as reality. But I disagree
>with the concept that the Pacifica Mission, that the WPFW mission is to
>flood the day with music programming, for that is simply feeding a person a
>temporary, single course meal and calling it a cultural feast.
>Pacifica, and WPFW have the POTENTIAL power to address and reverse the
>lop-sided spending choices being made by the so-called peoples'
>representatives. That is how to address the insanity of mindless military
>spending at the expense of every woman, jack, and child who doesn't have a
>Legacy Endowment in their future. The answer CERTAINLY is not to play "So
>What" a hundred times a year to the Pentagon War Machine.
> >Willard Jenkins
>News & Information = Peace,
>bojake at boo.net
>OK to repost!
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