In the recent past, KPFK – Southern California’s original listener sponsored station – has graced the pages of the Los Angeles Times only in times of internal upheaval. It was a relief then to read something positive about “radio powered by the people” in the Calendar section of yesterday’s paper regarding the good news of Rosanne Barr’s new show. The Emmy-award winning comedian, actress and television icon was the subject of the LA Times “Quick Takes” which alerted readers to the fact that Barr now is in the hosting seat of Wednesday’s “Beneath the Surface” program every week from 5-6 p.m.
Barr’s debut yesterday afternoon took on the hottest button issue of the Israeli assault on Gaza as she spoke with an LA based organizer with Jews for Justice as well as a Free Speech Radio News correspondent in Gaza. The show ended with Barr’s candid interaction with listeners who called into the show to chime their opinions on the dire situation in the Middle East. As a first at bat on KPFK’s FM dial, Barr’s debut was funny, entertaining, and abashedly opinionated. Suffice to say, she possesses the personality necessary to command drive time radio. As for any rough edges, KPFK listeners are forgiving in that area and I’m sure things will polish up in the coming shows. In any case, it will be exciting to listen in. Barr’s presence on KPFK’s airwaves will bring in a new audience and activists who bust their ass day in and day out trying to effect social change will have a greater opportunity to be heard. That can’t be but a good thing.
Folks outside the listening range of the station can tune in live at kpfk.org or check out the audio archived version of the show there as well.