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About the boycott 4-23-01

off the newpacifica list

Date: Mon Apr 23, 2001 2:36 pm
Subject: Re: [NewPacifica] Re: Campaign to de-fund Pacifica

I appreciate your post below because it outlines the key arguments that the boycott activists must make to the contributing listeners.

The argument that Pacifica management will make repeatedly to contributing listeners during the next fund raiser will come down to the threat that "If you do not contribute to the station, you will lose the station." This is a persuasive, but false argument which plays on the fear of the contributing listener that if he or she does not contribute, he or she will have been responsible for the loss of the station.

Pacifica's argument is false, and the boycott activists must show it is false if the boycott is to be effective.

Pacifica's argument is false because:

(1) The listeners are not contributing to the station; they are contributing their money directly to Pacifica management. Pacifica management has complete control over all the listener contributions received, and complete discretion over how that money is disbursed to operate each of the Pacifica stations. Programmers who tell listeners that they are contributing to the station are telling a half-truth.

(2) Because Pacifica owns the station license, controls all of the listener contributions and controls all the money disbursed to operate a station, any "loss" of the station (e.g., its sale or acceptance of corporate sponsorship) would be the result of an explicit decision by a majority of the Pacifica National Board; it would not and could not be the result of a listener boycott, no matter how effective the boycott is. Pacifica would have enough money to pay the rent and electric bill for the transmitter equipment, no matter how effective the boycott, and so would have no justifiable excuse for any decision it makes to "lose" the station. Although the Pacifica National Board majority might lyingly try to use the listener boycott to excuse to the listeners its decision to "lose" a station, the fact is that the Pacifica National Board majority does not need to excuse its decisions to the listeners because it is now self-appointing and unaccountable to the listeners.

(3) The listeners are already in the process of "losing" the station -- a process set in motion by a self-appointing and unaccountable Pacifica National Board, expressed in the gag rule policy of Pacifica management, and implemented through the firings and bannings of station programmers and other notorious acts of censorship.

(4) Based on the actions of Pacifica management and the Pacifica National Board majority, does the listener trust Pacifica management to use his or her funds to protect the free-speech mission and tradition of the stations that make up Pacifica?

(5) The fact is: the more listeners contribute, the more likely it is that the station will be "lost". If a listener truly does not want to "lose" the free-speech radio station he or she cares about, the listener should contribute his or her money instead to the listener lawsuit.

Erik Kvam
a WBAI listener

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