Democracy Now! Harassed 8-8-01
From: Eileen Sutton firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Democracy Now! Harassed
Sources say that minutes before air time this morning, and without explanation, interim general manager Utrice Leid once again threw Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! (DN) out of the master broadcast studio and into WBAI's Studio 3--a small, sub-standard broadcast space not suited to a national program. Leid last moved the show into Studio 3 this past May, when Democracy Now! was taken off the air for 3 weeks in New York.
Technical challenges abound. Studio 3 cannot accommodate multiple phone guests, and the clock--a critical component of professional radio production--has been broken for months. The clock in Studio 3 is in fact covered with gold foil. When Goodman commented on the clock to Leid, sources say Leid sarcastically told Goodman to go buy one. National program director Stephen Yasko (a staunch promoter of Pacifica's professionalism) also happened to be at WBAI this morning when the DN staff was racing to prepare. Goodman asked Yasko for a clock. He then brought her one without numbers.
Other morning producers laughed as they watched Goodman and her staff hurrying to prepare Studio 3 for a complicated show. Sources say Leid mocked them by saying, "Watch them run. Watch them run."
When a Democracy Now! producer asked Leid if DN would in fact be broadcast to the New York audience today, sources say Leid got right up into the producer's face and, in a highly agitated state said: "You do not talk to me. You are a producer. You do not question me. You do not interrogate Utrice Leid."
Goodman has been warned repeatedly regarding her "Banned and Fired" sign off. Sources say that because of how bad conditions still are at WBAI, she still ends her show with a pointed reference to the results of the Christmas Coup.
From: Bob Lederer email@example.com
The anonymous email below, posted this morning on the WBAI Goodlights Message Board, is the latest of many pieces of evidence that Amy Goodman is in serious danger of being fired very soon, ostensibly for refusing to stop saying "From the studios of the banned and the fired" etc. In order to be prepared, the Action Committee of Concerned Friends of WBAI last night decided on the following contingency plan:
If you tune in at 9 am and do not hear Amy's voice on Democracy Now, we will rally the next day (unless it occurs on Friday) from 7:00-10:00 a.m. in front of the station at 120 Wall St. If that occurs on Friday, we will rally at noon on Saturday in front of the station. If you hear an old re-run of her show, call the Concerned Friends hotline at 800-825-0055 for the latest information on our response. If Amy is removed from the air, we will announce a phone/email pressure campaign on specific Pacifica officials, as well as a town meeting within several days to involve many people in mobilizing a broad range of actions.
In the meantime, remember Bernard White's words, "Stay strong and pay close attention."
UNCONFIRMED RUMOR THAT YASKO AND WASH ARE IN NY
I just got an email from a friend of mine who is peripherally connected to the pacifica office in Washington. she says that yasko and wash have gone up to NY to lower the boom on Amy this morning. It makes sense to me since they just got rid of Knight and Lederer and now their going after the last real survivor. my friend says they realize this will cause and uproar and theyve planned for it. There will be big holes in the schedules of all the stations that will need to be filled ASAP. they also have a contingency plan for how the staffs might react (strike?) and how listeners in NY and Berkeley will take it.
This now is mostly speculation but my friend said they may just jack david corn in starting on thursday morning to start hosting "Democracy Now" from washington or they might play repeats of Amy for a week or so.
August 8, 2001
Leid Banishes Democracy Now! From Master
Sources say WBAI's interim manager Utrice Leid has permanently banished Amy Goodman and her staff from producing Democracy Now! in WBAI's main broadcast studio. With no explanation, the decision to interfere with the production of Pacifica's most popular national-news show was handed down to the DN staff today by Pacifica's National Program Director Steve Yasko, who is in New York (see post below).
The smaller production space is limited technologically, and could seriously compromise the production values of Democracy Now!--notwithstanding management's so-called fierce campaign to professionalize the network.
Sources say Yasko informed Goodman he would send up a clock.
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