It has been confirmed that Stephen Yasko, National Program Director of the Pacifica Network, has resigned effective September 15, 2001.
Mr. Yasko has been the primary Pacifica Management person who has been pressuring Amy Goodman and the other workers on Democracy Now! for almost a year. He was also part of the Pacifica Management that suspended Ms. Goodman and the other Democracy Now! workers without pay.
Mr. Yasko's reference to homophobia below is to an E-mail put out by the Pacifica Campaign. It refers to a Web site that Mr. Yasko maintained under the pseudonym “Mike Bilt.” Whether their E-mail was informed by homophobia or not, however, the Pacifica Campaign showed Mr. Yasko's free spending ways with listener sponsors' money. Mr. Yasko has gone back and edited some of his reviews, so they may have a different air about them now. It should also be noted that unless Mr. Yasko is claiming that Pacifica Management is firing him for having produced an amateurish Web site, or for being gay, his claims about homophobia relating to his resignation make no sense.
Mr. Yasko was reportedly suspended without pay for two weeks in March 2001, by Pacifica Management. So it appears that he has had a previously existing rocky history with the Pacifica Foundation. Mr. Yasko was hired as of August 14, 2000. Here is Mr. Yasko's own description of himself on the Epinions Web site, “I'm a 38 year guy who lives in Maryland and been stuck in the Washington, DC area for way to many years. Originally from Northern NJ (no jokes unless you live there), I'm a politicaly incorrect gay guy living the suburban nightmare.”
Mr. Yasko's Web site is no longer accessible, it is assumed that he has taken it down, as well as editing some of his reviews to remove cavalier references to expensing pricey items.
Given the unrelenting, homophobic smear campaign that has taken place in this forum, I am announcing my resignation here so the news will spread fast and you all can go on to your next activity.
Effective September 15, 2001, I will no longer be the National Program Director of Pacifica. Before you all gloat too much, I did not make this choice because of your attacks on me. I made this decision because Pacifica cannot move forward until it is free from persecution. This persecution is executed by people who say they are champions of free speech and tolerance, but use the tactics of hate and bigotry to achieve their ends. I donít know what drives you, but I choose not to be a part of it. Unfortunately, that choice means I must also not be part of an organization that has the potential to change the political discourse in this country.
To the Pacifica Theft Page.
To my home page.