May 29 2001

Let Democracy Now! Be Heard:

FAIR activists came to the aid of Democracy Now!– one of the best examples of investigative journalism in U.S. broadcasting– when its award-winninghost Amy Goodman was facing pressure from the Pacifica radio network whereshe works. Thousands of emails helped persuade Pacifica management to backdown. Now Democracy Now! needs your help again, as the show has beensilenced at Pacifica/WBAI in New York, the station where the programoriginates.

Apparently seen as insufficiently loyal to the new station management thathas fired or banned numerous broadcasters, the show has been off the air atWBAI since the station launched its current fund drive on May 16. In thepast, such “temporary” removals during fund drives have been a prelude topermanent cancellations at Pacifica stations.

Democracy Now! still airs on other Pacifica stations– live broadcasts of the show returned to L.A.’s KPFK on May 24 after a protest campaign there– but technical problems undermine the broadcasts because WBAI management has pushed the Democracy Now! staff into a second-rate auxiliary studio.

Amy Goodman has faced harassment on-air and off at WBAI, especially since Pacifica’s national leadership abruptly imposed new station management last Christmas. She was recently fired from WBAI’s popular morning show, Wake Up Call, after hosting the show with fired program director Bernard White since 1992. (Wake Up Call was cancelled following a “temporary” removal severalmonths ago.)

ACTION: FAIR urges supporters of Goodman and Democracy Now! to contact WBAI in New York and Pacifica management, calling for Democracy Now!’s immediatereturn to the air.


Utrice Leid, WBAI interim managerTel: (212) 209-2820,

Bessie Wash, Executive Director, Pacifica RadioTel: 888-770-4944 x348, Fax: 202-588-0562,

Contact Pacifica Board members:

David G. Acosta, Chair, Pacifica National BoardTel: 713-926-4604, Fax: 713-921-2780,

Ken Ford, Vice ChairTel: 202-822-0228, Fax: 202-822-0369,

Andrea Cisco, Secretary, Pacifica National BoardTel: 718-624-6105, Fax: 718-624-6287,

Bertram M. Lee, Pacifica National BoardTel: 202-248-1896

John M. Murdock, Pacifica National BoardTel: 202-861-0900, Fax: 202-296-2882,

Karolyn van Putten, Pacifica National BoardTel: 415-771-1160, Fax: 603-699-0715,

Wendell L. Johns, Pacifica National BoardTel: 202-752-8193, Fax: 202-752-4281,

Bob Farrell, Pacifica National BoardTel: 310-514-2052, Fax: 310-514-0967,

Valrie Chambers, Pacifica National BoardTel: 361-825-6012, Fax: 281-655-0266,