By Ann Garrison
Sasha Futran was the first speaker.
Former KPFA Local Station Board member Sasha Futran was the only Save KPFA supporter who attended the Saturday, June 14, 2014 Local Station Board meeting to speak during the public comment period. Futran began by saying that she had written letters to the San Francisco Labor Council and the Gray Panthers, the first two organizations within KPFA’s fm signal area to pass resolutions calling for the return of the locally produced, locally relevant Morning Mix to its 8 am time slot. Those organizations now include ILWU Local 10, East Bay Veterans for Peace, Sonoma County Veterans for Peace, the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, and the Golden Gate Letter Carriers.
Futran said she would go over the main points of the letters that she had written, rather than read them in their entirety, then proceeded to denigrate the Morning Mix and all those of us who had come to speak for its return to the 8 am hour. She is the first speaker in the audio archive of public comment above.
She also said:
“I suggest, and I didn’t put this in the letter, but I would suggest that those people who would like to be hosts go through the apprenticeship program and learn how to do radio, and not start out in drive time, the most precious time of the day.”
Who was she talking about? Tuesday Morning Mix host Dave “Davey D” Cook, who has more broadcast experience and more of a national profile than anyone on KPFA airwaves? Anthony Fest, who has been a KPFA Evening News Anchor for 20 years? Sabrina Jacobs, who graduated from San Francisco State’s broadcast journalism program and has produced news and public affairs at KPFA for at least five years? Steve Zeltzer, who hosted the Labor Show many years before the Morning Mix, and now maintains his own website and Youtube Channel, the Labor Video Project? Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff, the hosts of Project Censored, which has more national and international recognition than KPFA itself?
Or was she talking about Andrés Soto, who became one of KPFA’s most popular hosts almost as soon as Hard Knock Radio’s Anita Johnson brought him in? Andrés opened KPFA’s early morning air waves to voices of Contra Costa County residents struggling with Chevron’s refineries, potentially explosive crude-by-rail shipments from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale, and expanding oil storage infrastructure.
As for Futran’s letters to organizations who have passed resolutions in support of The Morning Mix at 8 am, I can only hope that they’re as thoroughly dissuasive as the bitter, acrimonious letter she wrote to chastise the San Francisco Green Party for endorsing her only as an alternate in the 2009 KPFA Local Station Board (LSB) election.There were at least two women present, Erika McDonald and myself, when LSB candidates came to our meeting to speak and ask for endorsements that year, but Futran claimed that only one woman had been present and that we had made sexist and “incredibly uneducated” choices. She also denounced most of the candidates we did endorse, even though she herself had chosen to run on the same slate with them, at least in 2009.
In the following year, 2010, Futran switched slates for the second time, joining Save KPFA, and she now appears to be one of its most active members. She spends a great deal of time at the station and even appears at staff meetings though she is not staff. When KPFA’s recent Interim General Manager Richard Pirodsky was introduced at a staff meeting, she was there to tell him that he was doing more harm than good and should resign.
Here’s Sasha Futran’s letter to the San Francisco Greens about our process and her own LSB slate mates:
From: Sasha Futran
Date: Sun, Sep 27, 2009 at 2:15 PM
Subject: Re: [SFGP-A] [SFGP CC] From Sasha Furtran
To: Eric Brooks
I wanted to congratulate you on your excellent choice of candidates to endorse for the KPFA board. Just one woman, thank you and, fortunately, you had just one woman there to vote on the selection as well. Good work!
So let’s see:
One of the gentlemen you endorsed was banned from the station for two years because of scenes he caused at meetings and threatened physical violence. You see, he gets very testy with anyone who doesn’t agree with his precise view of the world.
Another is on the board and is prone to profanity and yelling while standing up; he also does that in restaurants and other public places.
Another lied incredible about his work background and KPFA history, and has been known to accuse people of being a government agent on national email lists; they aren’t.
Hmmm, two are on the board are completely silent, always. Never say a word or do any work. Three years and I wouldn’t recognize the sound of their voice.
One is not sure he can be on the board for more than 8 months because he is probably moving
One is so dumb you won’t believe it and, although, he has been running for the board for years now, he still can’t get anything about KPFA straight. He is one of several men you endorsed who weren’t there so you didn’t get a chance to hear him in action.
I think I’ll stop. Makes we wonder about democracy . . . and the Green Party . . .
Did I notice “feminism” as one of the things you support on a poster on your wall? Of course, you didn’t indicate that includes women so one can’t fault you on that score. Let’s have all male feminism. Never thought of that, what a creative idea!
For a group that didn’t go for any Concerned Listener candidates, you did about as badly as you possibly could. Three of the people you selected are ones that the rest of us dread having on the board, even though they are on “our side” of the main issues because absolutely nothing will be able to be accomplished even if we are in the majority. They will be fighting with everyone including each other, and the rest of our “faction” because they hate one another and anyone who doesn’t properly admire every little sound they make.
Just had to share because your endorsements are so incredibly uneducated, strange. the weirdest combination imaginable; simply an unbelievably disparate grouping.
Now, aren’t you glad you didn’t follow the legal, election supervisor’s format for keeping the KPFA election process fair and consistent and instead insisted on doing it your own way? Good for you! A strong man!!! But hey, she’s a woman so what could she possibly know? I’m just a stupid, immaterial woman, too, so I know you will just flick this little email off like a piece of lint. Silly me, that’s what your wives and girlfriends are for . . .
Let us all hope, for KPFA’s sake, that you do not get your wish! Do take me off your alternates list, whatever that is, as I don’t want any part of this.
Ann Garrison is a KPFA and WBAI news and public affairs producer and a contributor to the Black Star News, Black Agenda Report, Counterpunch, Global Research, and the San Francisco Bay View Newspaper.
Article posted: June 24, 2014