From an LMA, that is?
The last thing any of us wants is the sale of the station or the leasing of the station. If we lease the station you have to ask, why would anyone want BAI? Well they'd want 99.5 and the 50,000 watts. They don't want WBAI, there's nothing there. We're flatlined in terms of our audience, we'd have no value there. And then they would bring in some corporate Democrat liberal group like MSNBC, and that would justify it for most people. Oh, they're from the left. No, they're from the Clinton left, the Obama left. Is that what you want? I don't. I won't be a part of it. So let me make this very clear: the day that happens is the last day I'm on BAI, because I will not support that.
But in any case, our goal now is to support the station, to keep it alive, to keep it viable, and we're given an opportunity to do it right now. So that's why we're doing this, we're pulling out all the stops to do everything to get good programming on, new programming.
Luanne Pennesi, who does a regular segment on Gary's PRN show, had something interesting to say a few days ago (on 12/9). This is an opinion, and we don't agree with everything Luanne says about Amy Goodman here, but we think her suggestions for avoiding the LMA Option are food for thought.
Luanne Pennesi: The other day I had mentioned information about Amy Goodman: the truth about Amy's empire, the fact that she stole Democracy Now! from Pacifica, and is even being paid by them. And she even uses the word "Pacifica" in her title. Well I got such a flood of feedback - emails, phone calls - from people who never realized what she did. And really, Gary, her audience according to the statistics and her fund-raising is very small. And she even took a chunk of Pacifica's audience to her TV show. Now I'm not judging her in terms of the quality of her journalistic talents at all. But look at some of the things - she supports the official AIDS theory, she supports Big Pharma, and even with the facts about the 9-11 conspiracy she doesn't support that at all. And people are really responding to this.
So here's a positive solution for helping Pacifica save millions of dollars immediately. It's a way for the foundation to become fair, transparent and really democratic in a positive way. How about this to clean up Amy Goodman's bad karma?
Number one, forgive the debt that Pacifica owes her. I think they owe her about 2 million dollars at this time. She can afford that, she's a very wealthy woman. Her salary is almost $150,000 a year, her Democracy Now! corporation, of which she is CEO, earns 6 million a year, of which 20% or 1.2 million is profit. Her corporation has - are you ready? - 13 million dollars in net assets.
So how about if she donates about 2 million dollars to Pacifica, the very foundation that made her who she is? That would pay off all of Pacifica's debt. She's drawn over $10 million from this foundation. I would say, cancel her contract with Pacifica. I mean, what is the criteria for her getting paid for a show? And what's the criteria for not getting paid for a show? Most all the other producers at Pacifica work without pay for the good of the station. I mean it's not like she's the top fundraiser for the station either.
So it would be great if she'd just step up and do these things immediately, so that would prevent the need for these ongoing fund drives that happen all year long. And just one more thing, in case the audience doesn't realize it -- nobody else that I know of has used Pacifica's lawyers to represent them in order to negotiate a private contract between her and Pacifica. The same lawyer that represents Pacifica is representing Amy Goodman. Now you tell me, is this a conflict of interest?
Gary Null: I don't know. I don't know who represents her now. I just knew that the lawyer at the time that she was given Democracy Now! and this contract, I know that he represented Pacifica and negotiated on her behalf. That was not a transparent deal. But I think the idea of forgiving Pacifica's debt is a good idea. And I believe that if you have a foundation and you have 13 million dollars and you could contribute to Pacifica to help it with 1 - 2 million that would be terrific. Or to help it raise funds beyond what it's capable of doing, those are positive. So those two ideas - to forgive the debt and give a donation - those are very positive, and I would hope that something like that actually happens.