The sun had not risen out of the desert Tuesday when black-bearded Roy Tuckman, the midnight-to-morning announcer at KPFK-FM, emerged from the control room and headed for the door. The station had just switched to live coverage of North's congressional testimony by its nonprofit network, Pacifica Radio.
"I intend to get home by 6 o'clock," Tuckman said, "so I can see him raise his hand and then perjure himself."
So began a week of intense Iran-contra listening by the staff and subscribers of one of the nation's most politically attuned radio stations. A 12-member team here has been pursuing Iran-contra developments and disgorging reports with a frequency and length matched by few other stations.
All morning, North's voice echoed throughout KPFK's offices in North Hollywood, a warren of stained carpets and coffee cups. Pacifica filled the brief interludes in the hearing with snatches of Jimi Hendrix's acid rock version of "The Star Spangled Banner."
Andy Weiss, 40, a station volunteer and writer from Venice Beach, looked up from marking tapes of North's testimony. KPFK, he said, is "nourishment for our liberal hunger, our liberal growling stomachs."
Behind the scenes, KPFK producers and announcers and the station's many volunteers make little pretense of their distaste for North and much of the Reagan agenda. A wall of the tiny newsroom is covered with anti-Reagan and anti-North cartoons.
KPFK regulars who watched North take the oath for the first time found little new in what followed. Weiss said he was irritated to hear, once again, that "some people really do feel that they know what's best for everyone else."
But North has been good for KPFK. The station's exhaustive coverage has brought a surge of contributions from listeners.