Thursday roundup: Pacifica standoff gets TV coverage, POV doc travels to Cuba

By Current Staff

• The standoff at Pacifica’s headquarters in Berkeley, Calif., got coverage on a local news program on Oakland’s KTVU. Executive Director Summer Reese is defying the board’s efforts to dismiss her and has camped out at the office, with supporters and even her mother in tow. Watch KTVU’s video and see the barricaded door, an air mattress used by the holed-up staff, and more trappings of this unusual episode.

The report also features Pacifica Board Chair Margy Wilkinson, who is trying to fire Reese. Wilkinson alleges that at some point employees were shredding documents, which Reese denies in an oddly clipped statement in the segment. Commenters in Pacifica’s emails forums have been arguing heatedly about the shredding accusations (and much else). Reuters also took note.

• POV Executive Director Simon Kilmurry will screen the film Getting Back to Abnormal in Cuba April 5-14. The tour marks the third time in less than a year that a U.S. documentary program will be screened on the island, which rarely sees American docs. Screenings were organized by Americas Media Initiative (AMI), a nonprofit working with Cuban filmmakers.

Getting Back to Abnormal, which airs on POV this season, looks at life in post-Katrina New Orleans. After Kilmurry presents at the Young Director’s Festival in Havana, he and Alexandra Halkin, AMI director, will travel to the Isle of Youth and Pinar del Rio for screenings and Q&As.

• Spencer Hall, a writer for sports website SB Nation, has a bone to pick with the PBS Kids series Caillou. “Caillou is a despicable, spineless 4-year-old boy who cannot do anything,” Hall wrote in a Wednesday post inspired by an anti-Caillou tweet by Arian Foster, running back for the NFL’s Houston Texans.

“Children who watch Caillou get whinier after watching the show, and become more like Caillou, and thus less lovable and more likely to wind up abandoned by their parents on a cold Canadian roadside as bear food,” Hall wrote. The writer previously poured Haterade on a pubcasting program in October when he took on A Prairie Home Companion with a fake “News from Lake Wobegon.”

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