Radio Killed the Radio Star Does WPFW stand for We Prefer Fewer Watchdogs? Accused last summer of censoring critical reports about the Pacifica radio network, the D.C. affiliate’s programmers were allegedly at it again last week when they muffled Counterspin—a public affairs show run by the media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. A press release from the group says host Janine Jackson had just started a report about the Nov. 1 firing of Pacifica News Director Dan Coughlin when WPFW engineering wizards hit the cross-fade button and segued into 50 seconds of jazz. When the report ended, the station miraculously repaired its glitch and returned to Counterspin. Steve Rendall, who runs the New York-based watchdog group, says this is the third time that WPFW has censored Counterspin’s coverage of the fractious network. Rendall thinks station bosses fear angering Pacifica’s national leadership. But he can only guess: “WPFW’s management haven’t returned our calls for seven or eight months,” he says. Station Manager Bessie Wash refused to address the allegations, referring calls to Pacifica chairwoman Lynn Chadwick.
Reporting by Jessica Dawson, Guy Raz, Amanda Ripley, and Michael Schaffer.
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