Friday, July 13, 2007

Ten reasons why KPFT 90.1 is backsliding

posted by Free Press Houston @ 9:09 AM


By Belligerent me


Don’t get me wrong. I have love for KPFT and the great work it does. But 90.1 just ain’t living up to their mission as ‘Radio for Peace’ or ‘community radio’. Cronyism, cliques, and personal beefs have set the station on a crash course with a giant pile of poop. I mean yucky, stinky poop.


Flashpoints booted.
Imagine: KPFT booted the only show they had with actual journalists on the ground in places like Iraq, Palestine, Somalia, etc. Flashpoints, hosted by Dennis Bernstein, had his show pulled last year without even being notified. The shadowy entities that govern programming at 90.1 did not even give dear old Mr. Bernstein a call. And get this: The rock star Noam Chomsky himself writes KPFT and owner Pacifica to urge them to re-instate Flashpoints! No response!

Radio for Twang?

During every KPFT pledge drive you can hear them ask for donations for ‘Radio for Peace’. I find that rather disingenuous considering the chokehold Country/American-a/Blues music has a hold on the station. Consider this: Morning Drive time is dominated by ‘The Morning Mix’, a saccharine folk/country/American-a/aging hippie show, from 6-8AM. Think about it, this is the one daily opportunity the station has to both reach exponentially higher amounts of people and counter the disinformation most folks get from the various other media sources (including Free Press!). I take my son to school during that block and would love for him to have the chance to hear Amy Goodman, BBC news, or anything other than poorly written acoustic drivel that serves no other purpose then helping bad songwriters get through mid-life crises. PUT SOME NEWS ON DURING DRIVE TIME!


Death by Baseball Cap?

For those who did not read about it in the Chronicle, long time peace-activist and KPFT Board Member Ken Freeland has been banned from station property on the perplexing grounds that his ‘ball cap bumped Tucker Bradley’s head’ as they argued over Bradley’s alleged misconduct as Elections Supervisor. Several witnesses say that Bradley took her buddy Mike Martin’s candidate application far beyond the time limit. The time limit was then re-established by Bradley (no relation to Tucker Bradley ). Cliques pervade everything at KPFT; so much that elected Board Members can obviously be booted for political reasons on erroneous grounds. Despite several witnesses that corroborate Freeland and a refusal by HPD to prosecute this as an assault, Freeland is still not allowed on property and is in litigation with the station manager Bradley. To make matters even more spooky and weird, Mike Martin is the acting attorney on behalf of Bradley.



Monster truck voices?

Heard the voice of the new afternoon News Hour announcer Steve Jolly? Remember the voices on the ‘Monster Truck Show’ commercials? “ Saturday! Saturday Only! ” Are they trying to drive away young people? And Geez, the amount of time this dude spends on traffic just makes me insane. Here we are, ‘Radio for Peace.’

Cronyism.

Luke Jones is another new voice on the afternoon show. Besides the pre-teen kid’s utterly weird voice, his presence is strange also because of his mother’s alleged love affair with Program Director Ernesto Aguilar. That’s right, Cronyism and cliques reign supreme at KPFT and the programming shows it.




Closed door policy.

KPFT use to be the type of place I would ride my bike to and hang out, pick up flyers, and talk with other neighborhood ‘progressive’ types. The doors were often wide open and there was an air of friendliness. No More. The doors are always locked at the station and one must be buzzed in after being quizzed by their phenomenally un-friendly receptionist Oxeye.

Pledge Drive Schmedge Drive

Is there anything else KPFT can do to raise money other than beg for money on the radio four times a year for a month long? Events? Bake sale? Whatever? Anything is better than the “money-maker-gets –best-show-slot” protocol they got going now. Also, there is the point that KPFT has gone off the mark by becoming ‘the cause’ as opposed to ‘facilitating causes’ as a radio show should. Know what I mean? I mean that people only have so much money to give and too much of it goes to KPFT instead of the causes they purport to support. They need to stop raising money for themselves and fight the good fight for some sick kids, homeless women, and hungry men.




Democracy When?

Democracy Now, KPFT’s flagship show, is aired at 9AM when everyone has left their car and their workday has already begun. As a clever ruse, station manager Duane Bradley flipped the show to an earlier time last year when host Amy Goodman came to town to sell her books and raise money for the station. As soon as Amy left, the station reverted Democracy Now to it’s crappy 9AM slot.



Sunday Blues

Fuckin-A. On Sundays, the station plays Blues from 8 AM to nearly 6 at night! This means a whole fucking day out of the week is all blues!? Radio for Peace? Considering the blues uses the same 1-4-5 12- Bar progression every time, they could conceivably play one constant shitty blues piece from morning till’ night.




Secret Programming Council

I guess the programming council thinks they are the Council of Nicea. This group of board and listener members make all programming decisions without any input from their constituencies or board recommendations. Are these the guys we have to thank for near constant hillbilly, blues, etc.? Is there any way actual listeners can take part in the programming other than with their checkbooks?