Last night, the Station Manager/"Navigator" took 90 minutes of air time to explain her positions regarding KBOO. Although the listing for the show indicated that calls would be taken, no live calls were broadcast. There is another hour-long show tonight; the kboo.fm website says "your chance to ask questions live on air on KBOO."
Lynn Fitch, the Manager, indicated she had little choice regarding her stance with Bullard. She reiterated that "change is hard." Several times per day, her "Station Navigator Report" is broadcast on the air. It's a full-court press.
Here's why this should draw your attention. Ask yourself: what is the most brutal thing to be done to an employee, short of actual violence? Every employer and employee knows the answer: one may be fired--cast into the ranks of the unemployed. We as Americans have grown so accustomed to this that we feel anger at those who do not immediately submit to it. That's pitiful, actually; an entire nation cowed by the Boss. Every slave resents the free. But the reason the standard of living is so much higher in places like France, Germany, and Denmark is that people don't put up with that shit. At KBOO, we have been able to count on Staff (with a couple of ornery exceptions) to throw themselves into every Pickathon, every Blues Festival, every membership drive--because there has been a certain reciprocity, and an acknowledgement that we are all in the struggle together. The mass firing attempt changed that. And I want the real KBOO back--because only the real KBOO can move forward in the post-crash economy--and because we have always been right to resist.
CORPORATE? WHY YES
The Manager first arranged with the Board Treasurer to change the check-writing protocol at KBOO, so that the purse-strings would change to their hands. The plan failed, for reasons that will be revealed at a later time; but we now know that it was to be a classic lockout. (Surprise! You're all fired! The Manager insists that they would be gently "laid off" and thus would receive unemployment benefits. The outcome is the same for KBOO.) The reason I keep saying this is a "corporate takeover" is that Bain-style tactics were put into use versus KBOO Staff--and now, we hear from the Manager's mouth, that despite an outcry from the Membership, no apology is forthcoming. The confrontation will continue.
PROGRAM CHANGES? WHAT PROGRAM CHANGES?
Bullard Law, still representing KBOO versus its Staff, is notorious for its deceptions and stratagems versus the working class. They are the front line of corporate brutality. Your member donations are paying them. So though nothing specific is put forward toward program changes, there is no way that the one-two punch--(1) de-emphasizing/eliminating drives for individual member contributions, and (2) cozying up to the business community after destroying Staff solidarity--will not enervate the programs. Should the Old Mole, and the KBOO news, and public affairs, and my own program participate in covering up aggression versus workers under our noses? We would be forced to continually denounce our own station. What a sad situation--and no, it was not the "will of the membership."
THE NEW NORMAL?
Naomi Klein warned about this sort of tactic in her book "The Shock Doctrine." This sort of anti-worker thinking comes from a deluded selfishness that is still very much in vogue in corporate America. But we are used to being kicked around--or are we? There is a Board meeting at 7PM Monday, June 3rd, at KBOO, 20 SE 8th. Members will be present to respectfully demand that Bullard shall be banned, that the Staff shall receive basic respect, that KBOO remain a voice for the community.
I will be there, and I will ask that the Board restrict Lynn Fitch to development projects for the remainder of her term. I will ask certain members of the Board to resign. I know I will not be alone.