Thursday, May 12, 2011
May 11, 2011
I have just listened to another WBAI fund-raising rerun, this one by the insufferable Cathy Davis, who promises to free your mind for a mere slide of your credit card. Yes, she is doing her little "spiritual" thing again, this time pushing DVDs for something called The Earth Center. The asking price at WBAI is one or two hundred dollars, depending on how spiritually cleansed you want to be, but—and dear Cathy doesn't mention this—you can get the same stuff for ten or twenty bucks by calling these people directly. Hey, while you're at it, you might also want to pick up a calendar for the year 409 (or 410, which is out now), books, a magazine subscription, a variety of very special cleansing pills, or stress relievers to combat that which is "very prevalent in the modern colonial lifestyle. It's all "time-tested."
The DVDs? Well they contain calculated, skewed Afrocentricity in the form of homespun lectures by one Neb Naba Lamoussa Morodenibig, the Kemetic Spiritual Master and Healer who founded The Earth Center. He couldn't join Cathy for this infomercial, because he "transitioned" into non-existence back in 2008, when he was 48, but his shallow mumble-jumble lives on, albeit crudely recorded.
I bet these entrepreneurs just love little Cathy and WBAI. Of course, the station—having made its own transition—is a favorite spot for purveyors of cures and conspiracies, so there is competition, but Scott, Trudeau, Null, et al don't mind moving over to make room for one more. Show us your money and we will promise you the moon. Of course, Cathy's routine has worn thin by now, but Tony Bates pops in with a more energetic, equally dishonest bark.
My questions are: When are they going to show us the money? Why is there not a running tally? How is the money divided up between the charlatans and the station?
Truth and disclosure used to be an essential part of WBAI's fund-raising marathons, but that was years ago, when listeners were still regarded as a lifeline. WBAI (and Pacifica stations, in general) used to be there for the listeners—that's how we saw it. Now the listeners are there for the station—more specifically, for those who work or have turf there. Fund-raising marathons (they were annual before they became bi-monthly) are no longer a united effort to keep a vital broadcasting outlet alive—they have degenerated into an internal competition between hosts and programs. Wrong as that is, wouldn't you at least like to know if Tom Wisker has pulled ahead of the sister from another planet? I would.
And what is Reimers doing as Bates runs his show? Hmmmm
If you don't already know your way there, you can get to the NY City Metro Area WBAI Radio Listener Forums (better known as the "Blueboard" via this link.