Amy Goodman expelled from WBAI control room during Democracy Now! 5-14-01
From the list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/freekpfk
12:36 PM 5/14/2001 -0700
Listeners to today's Democracy Now! broadcast heard an in-depth discussion with British journalist Andrew Gumbel about the Oklahoma City bombing case, focusing on the recent revelation of massive suppression of documents by the FBI and the possibility that Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were part of a larger conspiracy of extreme right-wing elements -- contrary to the case that was presented by the prosecution. As Amy Goodman herself announced on-air at the beginning of the program, the final segment was to be an interview with forensic artist Jeannie Boylan, who was called in by the FBI to do the original composite sketches -- a woman who has not previously gone on record about what she learned. She was going to speak about the case publicly for the very first time. Instead, listeners around the country heard an interview with Charles Kernaghan about Salvadoran sweatshop abuses -- a very important issue, to be sure -- but NOT what was originally scheduled for the final segment of the program.
According to Amy Goodman, arrangements for the interview (presumably via telephone) had been made -- but it never took place because she was expelled from the broadcast studio at WBAI by the interim general manager, Utrice Leid.
This was revealed on the air on KPFA during a fund-raising segment with KPFA's station manager, Jim Bennett -- undoubtedly Amy's only opportunity to inform listeners about this latest appalling interference by Pacifica management. She sounded truly aghast at the loss of this crucial interview. Hopefully Ms. Boylan will agree to reschedule the interview very soon. No further details about the incident were discussed on the air.
May 15, 2001
On Monday, May 14, Democracy Now! listeners may have experienced a high-pitched electronic screech during the show. Just before air time, sources say Amy Goodman and her staff, without explanation or warning, were barred from broadcasting in WBAI's main studio by interim general manager Utrice Leid.
Despite Pacifica's so-called push to "professionalize the network," the Democracy Now! team was relocated to a smaller space at WBAI, which is technically not suited to the demands of a national program. The award-winning Democracy Now! is the only WBAI program now required to broadcast out of a smaller editing studio. Because of technical difficulties, the last-minute studio change also forced Goodman to reschedule an interview slated for Monday's line-up.
Steve Yasko, Pacifica's National Program Director, flew to New York on Tuesday, May 15, to support Leid's actions. Reportedly, Yasko said Leid wants to "control the air," i.e., control parts of Goodman's program she may not want local listeners to her. Should Leid alter any part of Democracy Now! locally, the program would still be broadcast without alteration to its national audience.
This latest attack on Democracy Now! is set against the back-drop of a fundraising letter Leid sent to WBAI listeners. The letter, received yesterday, promotes Democracy Now! as one of the programs that should be supported in the upcoming drive which begins tomorrow.
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