1) From Esther Iverem, Lies told about CMS and how we are saving our station
John Hughes says that CMS is made up of disgruntled former programmers upset that they were taken off the air:
- a. No, to the contrary, CMS is made up of hundreds of supporters of the station, the majority of whom are longtime listener-members who have contributed their hard-owned dollars to the station. Programmers, those on the air and not on the air right now, are also members but do not constitute the majority, or anywhere near the majority, of members.
- b. CMS represents the best effort of listener- and staff-members to have a voice in what happens at our station in the face of on-air censorship, as well as manipulation by members of the Local Station Board and management.
- c. Contrasted with Hughes’ failed two-year effort to find a suitable new home for the station, CMS has developed, in less than two months, several options for a new home that don’t involve getting in bed with Clear Channel or moving out of the nation’s capital. CMS and the LSB will share this information directly with the PNB and not through Hughes.
- d. Hughes’ claim of sour grapes ignores the fact that long before these current management, programming and relocation crises, the programmers sent a “letter of no confidence” in Hughes to Pacifica in November 2011. So, no sour grapes, just no confidence.
John Hughes says that programmers were removed because of their programs did not perform or were somehow poor.
- a. This is another blatant lie. Long-running shows that were successful both in content and fundraising were removed, mostly in a haphazard fashion, to make room for the syndicated programming the John Hughes wanted to put into place.
- b. Most of the programmers John removed were reinstated in an equally haphazard manner, into unfamiliar timeslots. Were they reinstated because they suddenly had changed or raised more money? No. They were reinstated because of community pressure.
- c. Despite his statements, Hughes still has not restored the grid per the vote of our Local Station Board.
John Hughes and his minions say that the success in the recent fund drive is proof of the community embrace of the current grid:
Another untruth. The fact is that programmers—who are the ones who listeners respond to and follow—made an appeal to save the station from going dark under Hughes’ leadership. Veteran, successful programmers such as Miyuki Williams and Tom Cole, who oppose Hughes and what he has done, went to bat to save the station and raised money to do just that.
The Concerned Members and Supporters (CMS) program committee would appreciate as many listeners of WPFW as possible taking the time to review the attached draft “Listeners Bill of Rights.” (The programmers’ committee has also developed a complementary draft “Programmers Bill of Rights,” which is now being circulated among the programmers for their feedback. Once their feedback has been included, in about two weeks, listeners will also have a chance to review the “Programmers Bill of Rights.”)
We would like to see any additions or changes you would recommend to the Listeners Bill of Rights by April 6, two weeks from the day you should be receiving this document. Please email your recommendations to one of the program committee’s coordinators, Kwame O. Abayomi (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Starr Bowie (email@example.com). We will also be soliciting public feedback on the draft on the CMS website, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you know any listeners who may not be in CMS but who may be interested in reviewing the document, please be sure to forward this note and the document to them or direct them to the CMS website.
Once we have had them reviewed by as many listeners as possible, we will submit the documents to the Local Station Board (LSB) for processing there. We believe that the comprehensive review process will help us create the best document possible to present to the LSB for approval. We hope that listeners will more readily exercise the rights in the documents once they learn to recognize their value in the course of contributing to their development. Only by demanding transparency and fair treatment of all connected with the station can we hope to resolve the current crisis and maintain the station as the voice of the voiceless.
We thank you in advance for your participation and eagerly look forward to hearing from you.
Kwame O. Abayomi
Co-coordinators, CMS Programming Committee
download attachment listeners bill of rights
After a brief discussion during community comment of the idea of the CMS’s assuming 501c3 non-profit status, which was introduced at the CMS general organizing meeting at Takoma Station last Saturday, March 16, several attendees asked for further information on the implications of such a step. Accordingly, I have compiled some materials (attached), which I am forwarding, in order to assist us all in making a fully informed decision on our future as a democratic grassroots movement. Because of a lack of awareness of the ramifications of this step, plans are very far along to make it a reality. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that all CMS members have a chance to weigh in as soon as possible on the need to have more comprehensive discussion within CMS before the decision is fully implemented. Please share your thoughts, after reviewing the attached materials
Please note that, although the attached materials do not discuss the measures, there are ways of establishing fund-receiving and dispensing entities that do not entail the restrictions on democratic activity that characterize groups having formal non-profit legal status.
Many fine progressives embrace taking the step of making their groups non-profits because the corporate world has successfully marginalized voices that challenge the idea that a government-sanctioned legal status confers a kind of mystical universal legitimacy. Unfortunately, there are strong arguments that such status confers legitimacy only in the eyes of corporate funding groups who correctly see the non-profit as a “safe” way to look charitable and progressive because the non-profit status by its very restrictive nature hamstrings the activity of the progressive group and can even influence it to behave in ways that subvert its purposes.
Significantly, the conference on this subject that was sponsored by INCITE!, was not covered by WPFW in 2004, even though it drew hundreds of participants from around the world, spawned a very-well reviewed book, The Revolution Will Not be Funded, and generated much attention in progressive circles and media at the time. WBAI, a Pacifica sister station in NYC, did cover the conference.
Thank you for your consideration of this urgent request that you take time from your busy lives to at least scan these materials.
Starr Bowie, Co-coordinator, CMS Program Committee*
*Organization for purposes of identification only