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Bessie Wash Suprise Visit to KPFA 4-9-01

( Recieved from the http://savewbai.tao.ca list )

This report from KPFA Program Coordinator Matt Martin

Pacifica Executive Director Bessie Wash, accompanied by Pacifica National Development Director Joanne Meredith and accounting consultant Greg Holloway (who is helping Pacifica switch its finance office from LA to DC), made a surprise visit to KPFA on Monday, April 9. KPFA General Manager Jim Bennett had not been informed of the visit and was not even on the premises when Wash, et al. came calling. While they waited for Bennett, Meredith talked to KPFA computer personnel about the foundation's new membership database. Flashpoints producer Noelle Hanrahan asked Wash why she was at KPFA and asked her to appear on the show to answer questions about Wash's statements about violent attacks on Pacifica employees broadcast over Democracy Now! and Pacifica Network News on March 27th. Wash refused to say why she was in Berkeley (or to identify Holloway) and said she would be making no public statements and would not appear on Flashpoints. When Bennett did make it to the station, he and Assistant General Manager Phil Osegueda held a short meeting with Wash, et al. outside the station. Bennett and Osegueda characterized the visit as a "service call" to deal with a series of forged checks written on KPFA's account last week.

This is yet another an example of Pacifica's policy of dropping in unannounced in order to keep station staff and community members off balance. If the purpose of the trip to Berkeley was indeed to talk about a few forged checks, it's another fine example of how cavalierly they waste listener money. Another possibility is that they made the visit to demonstrate their "fiscal responsibility", which is facing a stiff challenge in court.

Word is that this is part of a tour of Pacifica stations by Wash, et al. We know they have already been in Houston, so New York may well be the next stop. Keep an eye out.

Matt Martin
Programming Coordinator, KPFA

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