Why KPFA Cancelled the Richard Dawkins Appearance (UPDATED)

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Why KPFA Cancelled the Richard Dawkins Appearance (UPDATED)

by baldilocks

Yes­ter­day at Hot Air, John Sex­ton posted a piece about a radio station’s can­cel­la­tion of an appear­ance by pub­lic athe­ist Richard Dawkins. The station’s rea­son? They say they don’t sup­port “hurtful/​abusive speech” and are unwill­ing to give it a plat­form. Hurtful/​abusive speech, in this case, is code for speech crit­i­cal of Islam, which Dawkins has been offer­ing of late.

His response to the can­cel­la­tion:

I am known as a fre­quent critic of Chris­tian­ity and have never been de-​platformed for that. Why do you give Islam a free pass? Why is it fine to crit­i­cise Chris­tian­ity but not Islam?

I think we all know the answer to Dawkins’ rhetor­i­cal ques­tions but this is a much more com­pli­cated sit­u­a­tion than mere fear on the part of the broad­cast­ers in question.

Sex­ton and oth­ers have referred to the radio sta­tion — KPFA — as a ‘Berke­ley sta­tion.’ But that isn’t quite an accu­rate descrip­tion of the station’s foun­da­tional aspects. Yes, it has always been located in Berke­ley, but it isn’t a stand-​alone sta­tion. It’s part of the Paci­fica Foun­da­tion cre­ated in 1949 by paci­fist Lewis Hill and is part of the foundation’s radio network.

Sta­tions included in the net­work are KPFA, KPFB in San Fran­cisco, KPFK in Los Ange­les, WPFW in Wash­ing­ton D.C., WBAI in New York City, and KPFT in Hous­ton. There are also dozens of affil­i­ate and affil­i­ate trans­la­tor stations.

In short, Pacifica’s KPFA is the flag­ship of a fairly old pro­gres­sive institution.

(Per­sonal note: in the nineties, when I was a com­mu­nity col­lege stu­dent, one of my pro­fes­sors advised us to lis­ten to KPFK in order to hone our crit­i­cal think­ing skills. I took that advice and lis­tened for years after­ward. The professor’s advice was very use­ful, but prob­a­bly not in the way that he intended. Lis­ten­ing to KPFK helped me dis­cover that I was not a Leftist.)

Pacifica’s sta­tions bill them­selves as independently-​operated by local broad­cast­ers and as listener-​sponsored. Both are true, but that last part is only half-​true. These sta­tions receive grants from sources like the Ford Foun­da­tion, the Carnegie Foun­da­tion, George Soros’ Open Soci­ety Insti­tute and…the Cor­po­ra­tion for Pub­lic Broad­cast­ing. From the latter’s web­site:

CPB is a pri­vate, non­profit cor­po­ra­tion cre­ated by Con­gress in the Pub­lic Broad­cast­ing Act of 1967.

CPB is the stew­ard of the fed­eral government’s invest­ment in pub­lic broad­cast­ing and the largest sin­gle source of fund­ing for pub­lic radio, tele­vi­sion, and related online and mobile services.

CPB’s mis­sion is to ensure uni­ver­sal access to non-​commercial, high-​quality con­tent and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions ser­vices. It does so by dis­trib­ut­ing more than 70% of its fund­ing to nearly 1,500 locally owned pub­lic radio and tele­vi­sion stations.

Empha­sis mine.

(From what I recall of KPFK’s fund dri­ves, the size of the grants depend on the size of the haul each sta­tion takes in dur­ing its fund drives.)

In other words, Paci­fica sta­tions are funded by vol­un­tary dona­tions from sup­port­ers, big-​time left-​leaning, one worlder foun­da­tions, and invol­un­tary “dona­tions” from Amer­i­can tax­pay­ers – none of which has pre­vented the over­ar­ch­ing Paci­fica Foun­da­tion from hav­ing finan­cial and per­son­nel drama through­out its exis­tence, but there you go.

Back to the Dawkins con­tro­versy: it’s clear why his appear­ance was can­celled. Oh, sure, Paci­fica is afraid of get­ting blown up, but it’s more than that. Islam is the new Dar­ling of the Left; all the old flames: blacks, Spanish-​speakers, women, homosexuals…and atheists…have been kicked to the curb and the new Dar­ling must be pro­tected at all costs.

And, to, once again, step out on the predict-​the-​future limb, the Orga­nized Left is prepar­ing for the day when Christ’s earthly Church here in Amer­ica will be under the type of per­se­cu­tion sim­i­lar to that of our broth­ers and sis­ters in the Mid­dle East.

The Orga­nized Left is merely pick­ing a side, once again.

And, kudos to Dawkins for his lack of hypocrisy and for his bravery.

(Thanks to Ace of Spades HQ)

FOR­GOT TO ADD THIS: Here’s a very inter­est­ing link about the life of Lewis Hill and the upbring­ing of his baby, Pacifica.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was pub­lished in 2012. Her sec­ond novel ten­ta­tively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Fol­low her on Twit­ter and on Gab​.ai.

Please con­tribute to Juliette’s JOB: Her new novel, her blog, her Inter­net to keep the lat­ter going and COF­FEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Inde­pen­dent Journalism!

UPDATE DTG: This story dove­tales per­fectly with a series of posts of mine from which con­cludes The com­mon thread of the left is the destruc­tion of Judeo Chris­t­ian cul­ture, stan­dards belief and If you start from that posi­tion it all makes per­fect sense.

Update 2: Insta­lance Thanks Glenn, well done Juliette


This blog is a ven­ture in cap­i­tal­ism. If you like the work Juli­ette and our other Mag­nif­i­cent Seven writ­ers do you can help finance them by pick­ing up my new book Hail Mary the Per­fect Protes­tant (and Catholic) prayer now avail­able at Amazon

A por­tion of every sale will go to WQPH 89.3 Catholic Radio) or show your approval by Hit­ting DaTipJar




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by baldilocks

Yesterday at Hot Air, John Sexton posted a piece about a radio station’s cancellation of an appearance by public atheist Richard Dawkins. The station’s reason? They say they don’t support “hurtful/abusive speech” and are unwilling to give it a platform. Hurtful/abusive speech, in this case, is code for speech critical of Islam, which Dawkins has been offering of late.

His response to the cancellation:

I am known as a frequent critic of Christianity and have never been de-platformed for that. Why do you give Islam a free pass? Why is it fine to criticise Christianity but not Islam?

I think we all know the answer to Dawkins’ rhetorical questions but this is a much more complicated situation than mere fear on the part of the broadcasters in question.

Sexton and others have referred to the radio station—KPFA—as a ‘Berkeley station.’ But that isn’t quite an accurate description of the station’s foundational aspects. Yes, it has always been located in Berkeley, but it isn’t a stand-alone station. It’s part of the Pacifica Foundation created in 1949 by pacifist Lewis Hill and is part of the foundation’s radio network.

Stations included in the network are KPFA, KPFB in San Francisco, KPFK in Los Angeles, WPFW in Washington D.C., WBAI in New York City, and KPFT in Houston. There are also dozens of affiliate and affiliate translator stations.

In short, Pacifica’s KPFA is the flagship of a fairly old progressive institution.

(Personal note: in the nineties, when I was a community college student, one of my professors advised us to listen to KPFK in order to hone our critical thinking skills. I took that advice and listened for years afterward. The professor’s advice was very useful, but probably not in the way that he intended. Listening to KPFK helped me discover that I was not a Leftist.)

Pacifica’s stations bill themselves as independently-operated by local broadcasters and as listener-sponsored. Both are true, but that last part is only half-true. These stations receive grants from sources like the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation, George Soros’ Open Society Institute and…the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. From the latter’s website:

CPB is a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.

CPB is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting and the largest single source of funding for public radio, television, and related online and mobile services.

CPB’s mission is to ensure universal access to non-commercial, high-quality content and telecommunications services. It does so by distributing more than 70% of its funding to nearly 1,500 locally owned public radio and television stations.

Emphasis mine.

(From what I recall of KPFK’s fund drives, the size of the grants depend on the size of the haul each station takes in during its fund drives.)

In other words, Pacifica stations are funded by voluntary donations from supporters, big-time left-leaning, one worlder foundations, and involuntary “donations” from American taxpayers – none of which has prevented the overarching Pacifica Foundation from having financial and personnel drama throughout its existence, but there you go.

Back to the Dawkins controversy: it’s clear why his appearance was cancelled. Oh, sure, Pacifica is afraid of getting blown up, but it’s more than that. Islam is the new Darling of the Left;  all the old flames: blacks, Spanish-speakers, women, homosexuals…and atheists…have been kicked to the curb and the new Darling must be protected at all costs.

And, to, once again, step out on the predict-the-future limb, the Organized Left is preparing for the day when Christ’s earthly Church here in America will be under the type of persecution similar to that of our brothers and sisters in the Middle East.

The Organized Left is merely picking a side, once again.

And, kudos to Dawkins for his lack of hypocrisy and for his bravery.

(Thanks to Ace of Spades HQ)

FORGOT TO ADD THIS:  Here’s a very interesting link about the life of Lewis Hill and the upbringing of his baby, Pacifica.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

UPDATE DTG: This story dovetales perfectly with a series of posts of mine from which concludes The common thread of the left is the destruction of Judeo Christian culture, standards belief and If you start from that position it all makes perfect sense.

Update 2: Instalance Thanks Glenn, well done Juliette


This blog is a venture in capitalism. If you like the work Juliette and our other Magnificent Seven writers do you can help finance them by picking up my new book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) prayer now available at Amazon

A portion of every sale will go to WQPH 89.3 Catholic Radio) or show your approval by Hitting DaTipJar




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and if you really want to help for the long term consider subscribing and get my book as a premium


Choose a Subscription level



And as I’ve said if you can’t spare the money I’ll happily accept your prayers.