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[Nettime-bold] RE: <nettime> Followup report on WBAI and Democracy Now
Jon Lebkowsky on 21 Feb 2001 03:07:12 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] RE: <nettime> Followup report on WBAI and Democracy Now

> >Ronda, your message is somewhat misleading. "Democracy Now!" was
> never "off
> >the air." You can listen online, the archive is at
> >http://www.democracynow.org/archive/index.html.
> It was no local issue - it was an effort to try out censorship by cutting
> the program out definitely in NYC that day.

You say it was 'no local issue,' then you go on to say it was a local

> WBAI is a local NYC station. To cut the program in NYC where people have
> been fighting against the attempt of Pacifica Radio to change the nature
> of local stations is the issue.
> >The program is broadcast by over 30 stations - the list is at
> >http://www.democracynow.org/stations.html.
> But if the program was cut off where its home station is -- that is a
> deliberate act on the part of someone to test the waters for censorship of
> it. Its interesting that instead of recognizing that and being glad that
> someone from NYC is pointing out what is happening, there is an effort to
> deny the reality by pointing to secondary issues.

Secondary issues? Don't get that. The issue is this: WBAI is one of 30+
stations that carry Democracy Now, and it's also broadcast over the web.
WBAI dropped the program for one day for reasons neither you nor WBAI have
clarified (you've posted only suppositions that it was "censorship," but
this appears to be opinion rather than fact supported by evidence.) I would
say that your position is alarmist.

If Democracy Now had disappeared from the web and all stations on Friday, I
would be more inclined to accept your viewpoint.

> I don't know whether the program was carried by any other station
> elsewhere the day it was cut from NYC broadcast. But the fact that if a
> program is cut off from its local audience, to say that that isn't
> censorship -- that seems to try to create the misleading notion that the
> NYC broadcast doesn't matter and the fight of people in NYC to challenge
> the efforts of Pacifica's board to take over the local WBAI station.

What was broadcast in its place? Did they announce that it was going off the

> >Even if WBAI stopped broadcasting the program, that wouldn't mean that it
> >was "off the air" if it was broadcast by 30+ other stations.
> But the program is created at WBAI. If it isn't allowed to be heard on
> WBAI that is censorship.
> And as I am in NYC I don't know if it was heard anywhere else.

You can hear it now, over the web.

> But the point is it is appropriate to challenge any efforts to take it off
> WBAI as censorship.

Was there an effort to take it off the air? I can't find anything to
indicate that this was the case.


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