(KBOO is the Pacifica-type FM in Portland, Oregon)
If you expect KBOO to behave like an open forum on the 911 issue (and on a cluster of other issues), you may be asking more of your “community” radio station than it is, institutionally, capable of delivering. When 911ers demand an honest airing on KBOO, they are asking for no more than what the station promises. KBOO raises expectations of liberality, openness, and candor. But my thesis here (as one frustrated 911er) is that the station is being hypocritical, because, institutionally, it cannot deliver such openness. Expectations notwithstanding, KBOO’s political bandwidth cannot embrace such candor. KBOO is not that free.
This is a limitation that KBOO cannot acknowledge up front, but one that a listener might take note of. If you want candor on 911 or some of the other censored issues, tune in elsewhere.
I write as a (nonmember) listener, not as another disillusioned KBOO volunteer. Consider this a consumer advisory.
Since September 11, on its few telephone forums, KBOO talk hosts have been persistently urged by callers to do justice to the perception that 911 was an inside job.
If Osama did it, we are in one political situation, but if 911 was an inside job, we are in quite another. Our take on 911 carries with it fundamental implications about our true existential political condition and about how the ruling system really works. Perceiving a phenomenon like 911 for what it is can revolutionize one’s mind like an LSD trip.
Much human energy is being expended in trying to expand KBOO’s consciousness on 911. Callers regularly petition the little elite that hosts morning drive-time talk, as if the problem were personal to a Joe Uris, etc. I contend that the problem is not personal but institutional, that it’s not just a contemporary matter but perennial, and that this petitioning of KBOO to do justice to the truth is a great waste of energy.
Such energies might better be directed elsewhere, like creating our own media, instead of waiting for Mother KBOO to come around.
Over the years since 911, pressure on KBOO has steadily built up: from the callers, from the fact that locals have organized, that Portland Indymedia has long provided an open forum and a special 911 department on its website, that 911 revelations have been all over the internet, and that a prodigious library of literature has accumulated on the subject. Under these cumulative pressures, there is evidence within KBOO of stress and strain.
Appreciate that, within a few weeks of September 11th, there was enough revelation on the WTC controlled demolition itself to close the case. The controlled demolition evidence alone is enough to make the case for 911 being an inside job, hence a coup. However, in the court of KBOO, that evidence has long been inadmissable.
Word has leaked out that there is debate now on 911 among KBOO regulars. Presumably this debate is driven by station people embarrassed by the situation.
Recently, a prominent volunteer and 911 activist, in an attempt to get an honest airing of the issue, stepped out of line and got himself suspended.
Evidently, even some of the station’s own people have a problem comprehending the institutional situation, a situation that must, of necessity, go unacknowledged. Most involved with KBOO, however, have the wisdom to keep their mouths shut and to toe the line.
KBOO covers its ass
KBOO’s response to its own little 911 crisis has been to cover its ass. At pledge-drive times, the station has aired, with much self-congratulation, a few token minutes of Michael Rupert and David Ray Griffin (in my opinion the two most compromised spokes for the movement that one could find).
In an attempt to hold its hypocritical head up in town, KBOO has also sent emissaries to local 911 discussion-group meetings. The meetings themselves are the outgrowth of a series of academic lectures conducted by a KBOO disk jockey and based entirely on Griffin’s book, The New Pearl Harbor. (See my “911 Griffin Reconsidered.”)
Thanks to the syndicated “Coast-to-Coast AM” show, many more hours of 911 candor have aired on Portland’s 50-kilowatt AM station KEX (which is owned by Clear Channel and is the home of Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura) than on liberal KBOO.
While largely banning the topic from its microphones, KBOO has lately gone pro-active on the issue in the local political scene. The station was even willing to identify itself as sponsor of a couple of 911-truth events organized by the local 911 discussion group (a partnership that I protested). These events featured speakers who made politically incorrect, conspiracy-theory-type utterances that KBOO had never put out on the air. (The KBOO clique seems to want hegemony on all of the issues in town, even the ones they must stay officially silent on.)
On December 21, ’05, the dam broke, and KBOO, for the first time, on a show called “People Rise Up,” allowed a one-hour segment that focused on the WTC controlled demolition. It was an interview with the authors of a very belated 911 book, entitled, interestingly, Waking Up from the Nightmare.
The segment aired four and a third years after the fact, as 911 was becoming a matter of academic history, the agenda of the perpetrators well on its way to being a fait accompli.
The dam at KBOO having been breached a bit, on 12/23/05 another of the volunteers at KBOO who has been agitating for 911 exposure (and has not been fired yet) succeeded in squeezing in a half-hour interview with author Eric Huffschmid, one of the earlier and better researchers, whose book is loaded with photos demonstrating a controlled demolition.
Were there any particular revelations in late ’05 that clinched the case and prompted KBOO to break silence? No. Actually sufficient evidence to make the case for controlled demolition, and hence inside job, was at hand and well organized and published within a few months of the crime. To many of us the truth was self-evident anyway on day one, because the collapse looked exactly like other controlled demolitions we have seen on TV and because the melt-down cover story contradicted instinctive physics. The published material included the famous editorial in Fire Engineering Magazine, as well as the HERA (not-a-melt-down) engineering report, which were out within weeks of the event.
I had sent a print copy of my own NBC Spins 911, which contains the Dawson-Perry explosives-in-the-towers report, to various KBOO people in the early spring of ’02. The Wednesday-morning host, Barbara Bernstein, took note of my work on the air. She glibly dismissed it as “conspiracy theory.”
For more than four years, KBOO has continued to endorse the absurd Arab-terrorist cover story, including the scientifically insupportable WTC melt-down theory. Thus KBOO has done its own little patriotic part in reinforcing the mass-media big lie. On the basis of that lie, a blank check was granted to the same fascist government whose conduct KBOO thrives on criticizing.
In the KBOO evening news of 12/21/05, the day the unprecedented controlled-demolition interview was aired, the well-trained newscaster, as is customary, once again referred to “the terrorist attacks of September 11th.”
KBOO can be expected to continue to reinforce the old propaganda.
KBOO not alone
Would that the problem of left-media silence were limited to KBOO alone. But have you noticed that the same taboos on 911 that KBOO honors are also honored by a bunch of other left media? Do you hear any of the 911 candor you’re hungering for from Air America or “Democracy Now” or from “Counterspin” or from Norman Soloman?
What about the traditionally more risk-taking medium of print? Do you recall reading anything that contradicts the official story in such magazines as The Nation, Z, or Mother Jones? What about The Progressive or In These Times? And what about the local Alliance (whose publisher has unusual access to KBOO’s public-affairs microphones)? The Nation could not even handle the 911 Lite of Griffin and panned his New Pearl Harbor as the work of a conspiracy nut.
Evidently, we have a little club functioning here: some exclusive milieu, a gentleman’s agreement, an etiquette of silence.
In early ’02 I also sent my NBC Spins 911 to Michael Alpert, editor of Z, as a probe, a test of the attitude among these publications that was becoming apparent. I told Alpert that NBC would make an excellent article. Of course, he declined to publish, but he could give no substantive reason, rather he was declining for reasons of “editorial policy.” I went patiently back and forth by e-mail with Alpert for a couple of weeks in an attempt to get a clarification, but he became progressively more uptight and finally lost his temper. The very subject makes Alpert, and the other gatekeepers defensive and angry.
Solidly in The Club, KBOO’s “Well Read Red” reads down to us every Monday morning from the above-named handful of approved magazines, and only from these. If you believe that is being well read, then you will make a happy KBOO volunteer.
a common denominator
What do all of the above broadcasters and publishers have in common? Fact is that not one of them is running a business that can pay its own way just by selling ad space, air-time, or subscriptions, if they sell these at all. Instead they all get funding from the same network of foundations, which has names like Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Soros.
In “The Gatekeepers: Foundations Fund Phony Left Media” you’ll find a flow chart showing how foundation dollars trickle down to the KBOO’s. (Note that the CIA is among the players in the game.) Pacifica Radio is shown in the flow-chart with arrows flowing down to it directly from the Ford Foundation and also from the Soros foundation and from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
KBOO has acknowledged in pledge-drive chat that it receives substantial matching funds from CPB. KBOO’s website gives not a clue about either this or foundation funding. Officially, it does not exist. Budget data cannot be found on KBOO’s website. (The Pacifica site does provide, in miniscule type, income data for KPFA, KPFK, and WBAI, which are clearly affiliates; but KBOO’s relationship to Pacifica is vague.) Is there any funding flow-through from Pacifica to KBOO? Answers are not easily available to outsiders. To what extent do foundations like Ford and Soros match pledge-drive funds under matching-grant arrangements with KBOO? What are the tacit strings attached to these arrangements?
“We take no foundation funding,” insists KBOO.
OK, granted. Then what obligates KBOO to align with the Nation and the complex — on 911, global warming, peak oil, AIDS, bird flu, swine flu … on all the orthocratic campaigns that play the left? Why, at the station of “diversity,” is there such a consistant line with no deviation? What accounts then for this stultifying conformity?
Now you see why in the first paragraph above “community” is set in quotes. How can you be a community radio station when you are secretly obligated to large institutions way out of town? KBOO’s ultimate community is that of The Nation and the rest, a community ultimately tied to Ford. This is your “noncorporate listener-sponsored radio station.”
An “etiquette of silence?” Let’s say it: an organized censorship. Call it the Foundation-funded Left Media Complex. It is a filter, a censor.
To conduct a pro-active big-lie propaganda like 911, it is necessary to control all of the media. There can be no leaks, certainly none running 23,000 watts. That the media subculture of the Nation, including the KBOO’s, could be relied upon to stay silent was a prerequisite for the successful execution of the 911 coup.
No wonder all of these media steer clear of conspiracy theorists. They are themselves a conspiracy!
(Running 23 kw of power is one of KBOO’s problems; it’s likely KBOO could afford far more candor back when it started out at only 10 watts.)
So the corporate establishment funds the Complex, a phony dissident media that calls itself “progressive.” The Complex includes magazines that American intellectuals have been conditioned to look up to as a respectible alternative source, one that is supposed to offset the official truth according to NBC. Thanks to the largesse of their foundation benefactors, these publications have some economic muscle, can meet the challenge of today’s postal, printing, and paper costs, can publish slick and punctually, and are able to fulfill the ruthless contract requirements of the magazine-distribution monopoly. The magazines of the Complex have been around for decades.
The very existence of the Complex is a discouragement to truly independent publishing, the publishing that can be conducted by non-corporate presses who know how to do the business of publishing, make some profit, and are self-supporting. The complex occupies many niches in media that more honest entities might occupy, including local political newspapers, and the Complex sends to would-be independent publishers the discouraging message that out-of-the-mainstream media can only survive under the patronage of Ford.
The resulting media lack passionate direction, live in fear of spontaneity, in fear of intensity, in fear of originality, and above all in fear of saying the wrong thing.
The same discouragement goes for would-be pirate and low-power broadcasters. The KBOO’s displace such activity.
The Complex shall be the only media to publish and broadcast the alternative voices, and there shall be no other.
It is tempting to court the Complex. One does not want one’s cause to be rendered invisible. But the phony left is a political pathogen. Do not let it infect your cause.
The Complex defines the American culture of political dissidence, dictating the editorial boundries of what is discussible and what is not. The Complex projects a distorted world view. The political influence of the Complex extends to the profit-making “alternative” urban weeklies, like Willamette Week and The Mercury. The Complex defines the fashion parameters of political correctness, and left-liberal editors everywhere take the cue.
Playing the politics of gesture
with a full minority deck
Maybe you speak Spanish, but why would any radio station (or publication) in its right mind weaken itself by dividing into multiple languages, as KBOO’s been doing since the early 1980’s? “One language at a time” would be at the very top of any professional’s list of the rules for broadcasting. Surely this programming must be induced by foundation grants. Is it a Spanish-language grant that is determining this most idiotic of programming? If it’s political correctness only, that would be even more sad.
While Spanish is the dominant alternative tongue at diversity-minded KBOO, several other foreign languages also play at odd hours. This self-debilitating division into multiple tongues is just the grossest manifestation of KBOO’s diversity game. KBOO plays the politics of gesture with a full minority deck. It ingratiates certain distinct population groups, as a politician cultivates constituencies: a token nod to this minority group and to that, an hour here, a half-hour there. Are 911 activists now becoming another minority for KBOO to shuffle into its deck and make gestures at?
From noon to five talk-radio programming ceases, resuming from five to seven. In the many remaining hours, KBOO “diversifies” into the hispanic programming and also into hours of music. As a music station KBOO is an excellent noncommercial FM choice for hip-hop, reggae, bluegrass… The station’s hispanic programming may also be superior on the band. But why fragment the community station into three? Another way to stay weak?
If a station is hot, it will attract diverse listeners and feedback from them, naturally, without design. Racism could be defined as making the distinction. Ditto ethnicism. It is a racist mindset that chops the population up into groups, be it the intrusive Census Bureau, a profiling police bureau, or a self-righteous radio station.
What listeners want is radio that offers some surprises, some spontaneity, some intensity, some edge. We want a coherent integral (monolingual) local radio coming from a human, rather than institutional, center.
KBOO has no perspective. Any one fashionable issue has equal weight with any other. Excuse me, but I think there are some overriding issues, the 911 big-lie being at the top. Focus, please. Diversity-minded KBOO is helping to turn Portland into the dilettante capital of the world.
We need radio that is capable of candidly reflecting our true political condition. We need radio that can contribute to the community organization Portland will need to defend ourselves against scenarios like the Katrina number that was just run on New Orleans, a radio that is interested in our civil defense. Instead, we listeners get an unfocused amalgam of multifarious, undistinguished parts that do not make sense as a whole, except as a phenomenon of the Complex.
If you want to get a program slot on KBOO, it helps to be Black or Hispanic, some “person of color,” or gay or transsexual or disabled or Native American or some minority or other. (Somehow us seniors are excepted.) I would guess that KBOO’s audience is white, largely middle class, and educated. The Arbitron demographics on KBOO would make interesting reading.
KBOO’s mission statement (quoted below in a footnote) commits to diversity, but also to being “a model of programming.” Is this a model for the effective programming of any radio station?
Where was KBOO on 911?
Where will it be next time?
What was KBOO doing with its 23,000 watts of FM power on September 11, 2001, the big day itself, when 911 was breaking news? Did the station’s news department arrange for some stringers to report by cell phone from on the ground in New York? Did KBOO tie in with New York’s WBAI coverage (if indeed that Pacifica station carried any on-the-ground reporting of its own)? Did KBOO offer any dissenting commentary in contradiction to the absurd mainstream Arab-hijacker, box-cutter propaganda initiated that day? No, no, no. KBOO bought the Osama script then and there, just like Fox and NBC. That is still the story, and KBOO along with the rest of the Complex is still sticking to it. (My recollection is that KBOO on 911 was in Spanish playing Mexican music when I tuned in that day. True? Check the archives.)
KBOO fears on-the-ground unfiltered spontaneous breaking news reporting and cannot afford to do it under the prevailing institutional circumstances. Before it can move, it must wait for the official spin to come down from the Complex.
This may be disappointing, but we should not expect from KBOO what it, institutionally, cannot deliver. We need to develop other media.
(The redeeming exceptions on KBOO, in this listener’s opinion, are “Labor Radio,” “Prison Pipeline,” “Veteran’s Voices,” and “Circle A Radio,” four shows that dare to get down on the ground and to air some spontaneous voices, instead of the usual phone-interviewing of well-behaved college professors from out of town.)
KBOO insiders must know in their bones the rules and the tacit etiquette of the Complex, and how certain utterances could threaten the money flow and lead to default on the power bill or rent, and they regulate their own behavior (and consciousness) accordingly.
Listeners need to adjust their expectations to this reality, or to move on. When regarded from the perspective of issues like 911, KBOO has only a little more freedom than its foundation-corporate-funded next-door neighbor, NPR.
sheep to the slaughter
Would that 911 was the only blind-spot for the Complex. Actually any conspiratorial view of current events is taboo, and anyone advocating such perceptions is not honored as a researcher, whatever the substance of his work, but rather is dismissed as a conspiracy theorist, the big put-down in the lexicon of the Complex.
Almost daily we see chemtrailing aircraft conspicuously spraying stuff into our airshed from 50,000 feet. But, according to KBOO and the Complex, no such phenomenon exists. They are committed to engendering a false comfort. Many innocents believe that if such a phenomenon as chemtrails existed, Mother Jones or Mother KBOO would surely tell us.
Lately KBOO and the complex are joining in again with the mainstream media in the propagandizing of Bird Flu, a phony scare, one that could lead to forced injections, quarantines, martial law, and something like the ugly New-Orleans-Katrina scenario.
Oh, it could never happen here, right? The possibility cannot be acknowledged in the world of KBOO.
Interesting that, while the WTO is totally suspect, propaganda from the far more menacing WHO, the World Health Organization, gets complete respect and cooperation from the Complex. KBOO news people regularly read, verbatim, stories off the wire based uncritically on WHO-generated press releases. The same blind respect goes to any story from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) or from the other so-called Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and UNAIDS. That entire alphabet is sacred and untouchable, according to the rules of the Complex.
The same is true across the board for any and all official consensus science, medical and otherwise, however mythical and hidden-agenda-driven. Like 911, no questions are allowed about this most scandalous scientific thought-control dimension of both national and global government.
No wonder KBOO bought into and advertised the WTC melt-down theory according to authorities like “Nova.” As a member of the Complex, of course, it had no choice, and, like 911, all dissident voices get screened out.
KBOO was right on board when the SARS scare rolled through, and KBOO is a big promoter of the campaign called AIDS, faithfully reading on its news shows the latest gay or African scare statistics contrived by bureaucrats in Geneva at WHO. The AIDS-as-fraud activist movement, like 911’s, is well developed, and it has been cooking world-wide since the mid-1980’s in spite of the handicap of being rendered invisible by the mass media and the Complex alike. This genuine brand of AIDS activism does have some visibility and strength in SF, in LA, and in New York. But the critique is totally shut out here in politically correct KBOO-dominated Portland, all of the station’s hours of trivial gay-minority programming notwithstanding.
Thus KBOO, by again reinforcing the standard propaganda, has helped to conduct many an innocent into HIV testing and into the debilitating and fatal chemo programs contrived by NCI and CDC.
Given its history, when the Bird Flu campaign gets rolling, KBOO can be relied upon again to honor its true masters, be true to the propaganda, and to lead its community of sheep to the slaughter.
KBOO’s Mission Statement
“These are the guiding principles behind KBOO Community Radio: KBOO shall be a model of programming, filling needs that other media do not, providing programming to diverse communities and unserved or underserved groups. KBOO shall provide access and training to those communities. KBOO’s news and public affairs programming shall place an emphasis on providing a forum for unpopular, controversial, or neglected perspectives on important local, national, and international issues, reflecting KBOO’s values of peace, justice, democracy, and human rights, multiculturalism, environmentalism, freedom of expression, and social change. KBOO’s arts, cultural, and music programming shall cover a wide spectrum of expression from traditional to experimental, and reflect the diverse cultures KBOO serves. KBOO shall strive for spontaneity and programming excellence, both in content and technique.” – from kboo.org