WBAI: Beijing Radio, New York

Cutting a Congressman off the Air

Major Owens's congressional speech was televised on C-SPAN, but I do not believe any New York stations mentioned it—probably because of the longstanding disinclination of radio and television stations to criticize each other.

But interestingly, at WBAI itself, there are staff members who keep doing their jobs, even though they know Utrice Leid has fired dissenters. Bob Fass—who has brought me many hours of wit and unique perception—broadcast Major Owens's speech in Congress on his night show on WBAI. News staffer Andrea Sears ran part of it, and later an account of Owens's press conference on the WBAI evening news of March 12.

The next fundraising marathon on WBAI is likely to be in May. Listeners will then decide whether WBAI is worth supporting under its present management. Meanwhile, there is a call for a national boycott, a request that listeners not pledge money to Pacifica stations. I greatly respected Lewis Hill, who created Pacifica; if he were still around, he might be picketing the place.

At one point, it was announced on WBAI that Major Owens was not cut off—that he had hung up. They do that sort of spin control better in China.

Related article (Voice Web exclusive):

Brooklyn Congressman Slams WBAI on Capitol Hill
by Wista Jeanne Johnson

« Previous Page