Pacifica manager’s anti-worker comments; AIDS denier being considered for KPFA show

Workers at some of Pacifica’s stations have been speaking out about what they say is censorship, including political journalist Bill Weinberg of New York City’s WBAI. Weinberg’s show was taken off the air by WBAI’s interim general manager Tony Bates, who has removed or marginalized dozens of other programs, including left economist Doug Henwood‘s Behind the News.

Postings by Bates on his Facebook page this week display an alarming anti-worker bias. (Bates wrote as “Tony Beezy” to KPFK staffer Zuberi Fields).

“The Pacifica network should not tolerate this sort of behavior from any manager,” said Margy Wilkinson, chair of KPFA’s local board. “Arlene Engelhardt is this guy’s boss, and she needs to take strong action immediately.”

Meanwhile, over strenuous objections from AIDS activists and physicians, Bates also replaced some of WBAI’s local programming with a show by vitamin salesman Gary Null, who denies that AIDS is caused by a virus. Null openly markets his own products on the air, including one so badly formulated that, by his own account, it nearly killed him.

Critics say such programming is downright dangerous  to the millions who live with HIV and AIDS, as well as other health conditions, and could put Pacifica in legal jeopardy. On World AIDS Day last December, bay area activists protested Null’s show outside of Pacifica’s Berkeley offices. | KPFA News report on Null protest

Pacifica executive director Arlene Engelhardt and newly-appointed KPFA interim general manager Andrew Phillips are currently considering bringing Null’s program to KPFA.

Outraged? Let them know by writing KPFA here, or by calling Engelhardt at 510-402-9880 and Phillips at 510-848-6767 ext. 203. Or if you prefer, you can use SaveKPFA’s write Pacifica page and we’ll forward your email to boards and managers.