KPFA's Landau Responds to PNN Director
KPFA has for the last year run an announcement in the voice of its news director, Aileen Alfandary, saying that the station supports the stringers' strike against Pacifica Network News. The cart has run just before Pacifica Network News is broadcast.
Apparently some discussion took place about the cart between Alfandary and Partricia Guadalupe, PNN's current news director. Reportedly the older cart was removed, but a newer one with different language has been aired by the station. This was apparently unacceptable to Guadalupe, who left an aggressive voice-mail message for Alfandary, in which she said approximately: "About our meeting, and your saying you wouldn't use that disclaimer, you used the disclaimer anyway and I should call you a goddamn liar but because it's Good Friday I won't do that and I'll just say you're a plain old liar." David Landau is a reporter at KPFA, and he responded to Guadalupe below.
April 18, 2001 By Fax
Ms. Patricia Guadalupe
Dear Ms. Guadalupe:
I have now listened, two times, to the phone message at KPFA News wherein you manage - in the compass of a few seconds - to call Aileen Alfandary "a goddamn liar" and "a plain old liar."
If you will be so kind, I would like to say for a start that these characterizations do not remotely accord with my experience of Aileen Alfandary. Whether I've dealt with Aileen in news-reporting matters, or in the charged issue of how to treat PNN, I have found her to be remarkably scrupulous and balanced. If you and she have a difference in a factual matter, I would bet the farm that it's a difference of interpretation. And that's how one ought to couch it. "Hey! You said no more disclaimers! What gives?" That's legitimate conversation between colleagues. "Liar" in any form is not.
Beyond any form of workplace discipline that may be invoked over the use of such language, there remains the larger issue of good manners. To put it plainly, Ms. Guadalupe, I regret I must assert that you've crossed the line.
Speaking for myself, I revile bad manners in any form, and for whatever purpose. We all have the capacity to speak with sharpness and definition while leaving bad manners aside. Unfortunately, such restraint and elegance no longer have a place in our daily customs, and bad manners have proliferated everywhere. I loathe bad manners when they are used against people in Pacifica, and I loathe bad manners when they are used by people in Pacifica. Rudeness erases every differentiation of substance; and all who use it, for whatever reason, touch bottom together. If you cannot refrain from such usages when you address our news staff, I simply request that in the future you spare our co-news directors and convey your comments to me personally.
Very truly yours,
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