Dennis Bernstein

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Dennis Bernstein is an American producer and co-host of the radio news program, Flashpoints on Pacifica Radio.[1] Flashpoints originates from Pacifica Radio's flagship radio station, KPFA, listener-sponsored, noncommercial FM radio that is also carried on the Internet.

Stopping the sale of two radio stations[edit]

Bernstein was arrested on July 13, 1999 after airing a report on Flashpoints revealing that a new board had been considering the sale of KPFA and Pacifica's sister station WBAI in New York City.

Four hours after the broadcast, and after a talk with then Berkeley Chief of Police, Butler Yeats, Bernstein was arrested.[citation needed] It is unclear what Bernstein was charged with and what was the outcome of that case. Cynthia Cotts, the media reporter at the Village Voice described the dispute with Mary Frances Berry who then chaired the Pacifica national board.[2]

KPFA supporters Alice Walker, June Jordan, Joan Baez, Michael Franti, Michael Moore, the late Grace Paley, United Farm Workers of America founder Dolores Huerta, Ani DiFranco, and others rallied to oppose the sale of the listener-supported radio stations. KPFA listener-members removed the board that had considered the sale and the two radio stations were not sold.


Bernstein writes poetry, which has appeared in The Texas Observer, The Progressive, ZZYZYVA, and The New York Quarterly. Bernstein's poem, Getting Tough, appeared in The New York Quarterly best-of anthology, issue 26, edited by William Packard.

Bernstein worked with Packard to record most of Packard's plays, including Ty Cobb.

Bernstein also worked closely with the late poet and biographer Muriel Rukeyser. Bernstein founded[citation needed] the Muriel Rukeyser Center for the Arts in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, New York a place where Rukeyser said people had “the opportunity to experience the arts where they live and work.”[citation needed] In this context, Bernstein also aired the Muriel Rukeyser reading series, On the Air, which featured interviews with Rukeyser, Robert Bly, Grace Paley, Denise Levertov, Audre Lorde, Quincy Troupe, and Gregory Orr.

Bernstein also produced a series of portrait documentaries of poets including Packard and Rukeyser for the New Letters On the Air national radio show.[citation needed]

Bernstein's books with author Warren Lehrer, 'French Fries and Grrrhhhh: A Study of Social Patterns are a part of the special books collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Louvre in Paris.[citation needed] French Fries was featured and performed at the International Book Art Festival. Grrrhhhh was visualized as a production at the Dance Theater Workshop of New York City.[citation needed]

Bernstein's poetry chapbook, Particles of Light, accompanied a traveling exhibition of woodcuts depicting family life in everyday America. The poems were greeted positively by The New York Times.[citation needed]

Bernstein's essays and writing have appeared in publications such as The Nation, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, Minneapolis Star Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, The Dallas Morning News, Vibe, Helicon Nine Reader, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The London Observer, Utne Reader, Mother Jones, San Francisco Chronicle, Kyoto Journal, Spin, The Progressive, and The Village Voice.

His essays and poetry have been anthologized in The Shape of the Century, Health and Society, Appeal to Reason, the Helicon Nine Reader, and Spud Songs.

He wrote a blues opera, Ann at 94, with singer/songwriter Biaja Solomon.

Politics, education, and culture[edit]

Bernstein co-authored Henry Hyde's Moral Universe: Where More Than Time and Space are Warped and contributed to Impeach the President: The Case Against Bush and Cheney.

He has spoken at the University of California at Berkeley, City University of New York, Columbia University, Rutgers University, University of California Santa Cruz, Claremont College, New York University, The New School and Sonoma State University.[citation needed]

In 1991 he was the co-writer, with Laura Sydell of "Savings and Loan Trading Cards" from Eclipse Enterprises, illustrated by Stewart Stanyard and edited by Catherine Yronwode. In 1995, he and Sydell wrote "Friendly Dictators Trading Cards," illustrated by Bill Sienkiewicz, and again edited by Yronwode and published by Eclipse.

He is the recipient of the Art of Peace Award,[citation needed] the International Service Journalism Award from Friends World College,[citation needed] a Golden Reel from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters,[citation needed] and six Project Censored awards for investigative reporting.[citation needed]

Bernstein's radio program, Flashpoints, offers extensive coverage of the Palestinian refugee camps.

Journalist Robert Fisk quoted Bernstein in the 9 July 2002 edition of The Independent of London as saying: “Any US journalist, columnist, editor, college professor, student-activist, public official or clergy member who dares to speak critically of Israel or accurately report the brutalities of its illegal occupation will be vilified as an anti-Semite."[citation needed]


  1. ^ [1] Archived January 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Cynthia Cotts (1999-07-20). "Free Speech for Sale? - Page 1 - News - New York". Village Voice. Archived from the original on 2012-06-20. Retrieved 2012-04-12.

External links[edit]