Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mark Danner discusses impeachment with Larry Bensky today on KPFA's Sunday Salon

Pacifica is in fundraising mode. It's important that they do the pledge drives. They aren't NPR taking money from big corporations. Drug companies, oil companies, et al, don't donate and then dictate the content. Pacifica is independent radio.

Pledge drive isn't a time to stop listening. Things don't grind to a halt. If you don't listen, you'll miss Amy Goodman sharing some observations on the stories of the day or an interview she did or on the history of Pacifica. She's not the only one fundraising (everyone does) but we didn't realize she was apparently on all the stations fundraising. (We don't have any readers or people contributing to the edition that listen to the DC station -- if you do, write and let us know, represent your station! -- but we know she's on all the others, live. Giving of her time to demonstrate how important independent media is.)

You also get specials during this time period. There was a wonderful documentary on environmental toxins in the home that a number of us heard. We all heard Robert Fisk speaking on Iraq and journalism. You might get an extended interview from Democracy Now! (with stuff that didn't air -- Jim remembers the day Dave Zirin was a guest on the program and, after the program aired on WBAI, he stayed on the air with Amy Goodman discussing sports and their relationships with politics).

If you can't donate, you can't donate. When we started the site, we quickly learned who are readers are. Along with Common Ills members (and we are all members of the community as well) we have a lot of young readers. Not young like Rebecca's -- Rebecca's the talk of several high schools and junior highs, but college readers and college age and slightly older. We know that many of you are struggling. Ava and C.I. make a point to try to review the bulk of Friday's programming because a number of young families have e-mailed to note that Friday's means nothing but sitting in front of the TV due to the fact that money is so tight.

So we're not guilting you, but if you have money to make a donation, without taking food off your table or postponing something needed (dental work, whatever), please consider donating to keep independent media alive. Robert Fisk isn't a voice you'll hear often on NPR. Arundhati Roy isn't a voice you'll hear often. Robert Parry, Naomi Klein, go down the list of your favorites that you wish you could hear and chances are you can hear them on Pacifica.

If you can or can't donate money, if you live in a broadcast area, you may be able to donate some time as a volunteer answering the phones. They are often short handed. (C.I. swears that Philip Maldari answered the phone during one pledge drive. And C.I. didn't realize it was Maldari until after making the pledge and hanging up. "I felt like such an idiot because the polite thing to say would have been to compliment him on the fine work he, Andrea Lewis, all the regular guests and everyone behind the boards do on KPFA's The Morning Show. Hopefully the fact that I was pledging during that time period conveyed that. I was in the car, on the cell and the car was in motion during the call so I was juggling a number of things. The second I hung up, I thought, "I know that voice.") Whether they are shorthanded or have a full slate of volunteers, they are always polite as they take down your information. Our regular readers are caring people and we know they'd do a wonderful job volunteering. (You can also pledge securely online at the Pacifica site or any of the stations sites.)

Maybe you can do one or both or maybe you can't do either? One thing you can do, what everyone can do is get out the word on Pacifica. Independent media shouldn't be a secret (though a book "writer" treats it as such, we have a book discussion going up later this morning).
Everyone can get the word out. And if you're prone to guilting (to use C.I.'s term) and don't have the money and can't volunteer, you should remember that everyone can pass on the word about Pacifica. Try to tell at least one person a week if not a day. If you're circle is limited, we're thinking of one reader who sees only her child and her husband all week, you can e-mail. You can write a letter to a friend talking up Pacifica. If you post at message boards, you can mention it there.

Independent media needs public support to survive and thrive. Before the internet, you either depended upon a short wave radio or weren't part of the Pacifica listeners unless you lived in an area that had a station. Now, thanks to the internet, you can listen from anywhere in the world (provided you have computer access, capabality, etc.). Pacifica is independent media and it is now global media. The impact it has is amazing and your support (monetary, volunteering and/or getting the word out) can help build the network's reach.

If you're reading this and still haven't listened, give it a listen. With it being in pledge drive until the last week of the month (the last Friday may be when regular programming resumes), there's really only highlight we were able to find.

On KPFA today (in less than an hour from when this is going up):

Sunday Salon
Sunday, 9:00am
Hour 1: Mark Danner and others on Bush & Company...
Are their actions impeachable?
Hour 2: Gary Shteyngart in-studio on his latest work, "Absurdistan: A Novel."
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