Ed Murray Channels Al Goldstein Looking For Answers
by Ed Murray
Dateline: Holmby Hills
Please don’t say you aren’t shocked. Playboy Magazine has announced a big make-over of the magazine, including the removal of pictures of nude ladies from the pages of the famous man’s mag. These changes are set to take place in the March, 2016 issue. Since Playboy began, it made its mark on society, and made founder Hugh Hefner a fortune. The big thing that attracted a following over the years has been the nude centerfold. If you think that millions of men bought the magazine just to read the articles, then you are seriously deluded. The probable reason that Hefner put some articles and written material in the magazine was that he had to. In the 1950′s publishing “porn” or magazines with only nudes was risky. Various state and local authorities were prosecuting publishers for publishing magazines that “had no socially redeeming value.” Hence the publishers covered themselves with news, fiction, fashion, or other articles. Things are different now, a lot of porn has moved to the internet or dvd rentals.
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An interesting conversation occurred on Ian Masters’ Background Briefing yesterday, Sunday October 11, 2015. Program Director Alan Minsky was on Ian’s show to pitch for money and support for the latest KPFK fund drive and Masters mentioned that during the recent period when he was ill “a group of people tried to take me off the air.” As the conversation progressed, he asked “Why should I raise funds for people who are trying to get me off the air?” Actually, a relevant question in the light of all the award winning show hosts who have either been cut, or have resigned recently. The feeling among many of the hosts is that the new faction that has taken over Pacifica has some kind of secret hit list for shows they want removed. Some off-the-record talk at some past LSB meetings indicated that Alan Minsky might also be on that list. This could all be written off as just run of the mill criticism that has existed among the different factions. Or it could be real.
Some snippets from the show:
Masters: “…so I could be taken off the air for mentioning the name of the person who runs Pacifica?”
“Here we are, Free Speech Radio and we can’t even mention the name of the person who runs Pacifica?”
Minsky: “You could be taken off the air if you continue this kind of conversation depending on the words you say.”
Masters: “These people don’t appreciate anything I do. They are clearly in a different universe.”…….
“The idea that you could be taken off the air for mentioning the name of the head of Pacifica is so insane.”
Alan Minsky and Ian Masters have been friends for a long time. Minsky said he was a free speech purist, but that Pacifica had rules about disparaging any other program hosts or station officials. The pressure on many of the hosts lately has been intense, especially with an on-going union action and the very survival of the network at stake. Most of us out here in the radio listening audience wouldn’t mind hearing from the hosts on air as to what is happening at KPFK and Pacifica, and what the feelings and opinions of the staff are at this time. After all, we are listening to real-live people, not robots, so anyone who has listened to a particular host for years would want to know their views on the current crises. Possibly there should be a round-table discussion on air, with members of the staff voicing their opinions as to what’s wrong at Pacific and some proposed solutions. From the look of things, the new ruling faction is having a lot of trouble in correct decision-making and maybe some input from the staff would be helpful. Anyone stepping into the leadership of Pacifica is a public figure, and should be ready to receive some body blows from the public for bad decisions. Be ready to take responsibility for your bad or ineffective actions is the rule in business and politics.
What is known, without a shadow of a doubt, that the present ruling faction, going back several years, has made some disastrous decisions. Right now, the most important task is to get the business end of Pacifica in order: the financial mess, the audits, the premiums, the accounting. A station can survive a while with unpopular programming, but blowing the money from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, failure to keep up with F.C.C rules, and the State of California rules, could be a death-blow. Not even to mention what will come of the fiasco with the union.
Democracy Now 9:00 a.m. Morning-Time Show Replaced With Cartoons
by Ed Murray
KCET, a Los Angeles Public Television station has replaced the 9:00 a.m. broadcast of Democracy Now with cartoon shows, starting today, Monday October 5. The show is still broadcast at the early 7:00 a.m. time-slot, but the second re-broadcast on the main KCET channel is gone. KCET has shoved the program to its secondary station KCET-LInk at noon. If you are watching over the air, you should be able to get KCET Link as 28-2 on your television set. The digital revolution in radio and television allows the station to divide its bandwidth into 4 station slots, 28-1 through 28-4.
Attempts to get a statement from KCET PR folks has been unsuccessful so far, maybe they are in meetings this morning trying to figure out which cartoons to show next week.
So instead of getting some real news, politics, and alternative views, its viewers will be able to improve their understanding of world affairs by watching “Wunderkind Little Amadius”, “Bali”, and “Peep and the Big Wide World” cartoon shows. KCET, which used to have a lot of relevant programming, continues to slide down the cultural mountain. When they blew off the PBS shows a couple years ago, the station took a big dip in viewers, according to former KCET President Al Jerome. Now, its schedule has a lot of travel shows, cooking shows, and gardening shows, and almost nothing concerning what’s happening in the Los Angeles community other than mainstream pablum. Their digital 28-4 has a lot of cultural shows about Japan, well-produced by professional Japanese news and documentary film makers. But when it comes to the homeland, there must not be any homies here in L.A. who can make any culturally relevant documentaries for the main 28-1 station. L.A. must be dead-land now. Or is it the station’s management and programmers who are brain-dead?
This might be a revealing moment, however. The question that has to be asked is who is pouring money into KCET to keep the network sloshing out brain-deadening, mind-numbing drivel? The executives working at the station aren’t working for free as far as known; they need donors to pump in enough money to keep the operation going. Is the viewing audience of L.A. so dull-witted that they now would rather watch cartoons than something on world affairs? Or is the money train only coming down the tracks from foundations and big corporate sponsors? Or is there any large chunk of money at all coming in? Maybe they’re living off the big bucks they got selling their great 300,000 sq. ft. studio in Hollywood to the Church of Scientology in 2011?