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To WBAI interim dictator 9-1-01

From a listener...


Hello fellow fighters for Pacifica and WBAI!!

This e-mail is intended for our intrepid ListMistress Lyn Gerry. It is the text of an open letter to Utrice Leid sent Aug. 18. We have not received a reply.

My name is Curly S (on the Goodlight Message Board), and this open letter was written by my partner, Warren Smith, who is a percussionist who has been a listener since 1960.

Please post this letter-- I think it's a great one and it addresses a place where Ms. Leid is quite vulnerable: her standing in the Harlem commuity.


Utrice Leid
Interim General Manager/WBAI
120 Wall Street
New York, NY

Dear Utrice,

I am a Harlem resident, a senior citizen, a retired schoolteacher, and a long time listener to radio in general. I came to New York in 1957 to live permanently. Shortly thereafter I became aware of WBAI and became a regular listener. I have participated as a performer on many fundraisers for WBAI and performed live on air on many occasions.

In spite of this involvement, I have never before been moved to write a letter of this nature. I have seen favored programs come and go, but always seemingly replaced by something of substance. At this point, I have come down to listening to Democracy Now regularly as the most high quality program currently dispensing anything concerning current events about the world at large. With a rogue president in the white house bumbling and stumbling through foreign policy, this was the only show on "BAI" or any other network seriously covering and reporting such information.

I continued to listen thru the rude and distasteful harassment of Amy Goodman by Clayton Riley and others, less dramatically than he. But the last straw came as I saw this program and its producer obviously persecuted and moved about like some discarded raggedy-ann doll. But then when this important and vital source of information to us all (who have our eyes open to the real evil in this world) was produced, and yet not broadcasted on its home station, we are all doubly deprived. The station instead chose to broadcast an old tape of Amy Goodman's excellent reportage.

This actually surpassed most of the current programming now coming out of WBAI, but we need to know and WBAI listeners want to know what is happening today and yesterday. We've heard about last year.

I know you don't like it, but you are responsible for quality journalism, and you are preventing it from happening. That you hide under the veil of attack from white supremacists, to justify arrogant aggression toward any producer who disagrees with you, reminds me of the futility and destructive actions of Jonas Savimbi. You must know that the community does not buy your argument. And such behavior as you have recently displayed has destroyed most of your personal credibility within the Harlem community. Do you really not want black people to know what is going on in the rest of the world? It won't work. You are shooting yourself in the foot and your mouth off. You are becoming less of a person in our eyes. I had much more respect for you than to think you were capable of such behavior. I hope you don't prove me wrong.

Warren Smith

Pacifica Board Vice Chair Ken Ford
kenfordpacifica@aol.com, kford@nahb.com

Pacifica Board member Valrie Chambers

Pacifica Board member Wendell L. Johns

Pacifica Board member Bob Farrell

Pacifica Board member Bertram Lee
800 25th Street NW
Washington, DC 20037-2207
(e-mail unknown)

Pacifica Board member John Murdock

Pacifica Board member Pete Bramson

Pacifica Board member Aaron Kriegel

Pacifica Board member Tomas Moran

Pacifica Board member Rob Robinson

Pacifica Board member Leslie Cagan

Pacifica Board member Beth Lyons

Pacifica Executive Director Bessie Wash


------- End of forwarded message -------


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