Thursday, July 5, 2012

From the BlueBoard desperadoes...

The following are responses to frivolous messages posted in the Blue Board forum by resident trolls who do not share my respect for the new Administrator and the work he is doing. I post them here, with a link on the BB, because I am trying to do my part for that forum's survival.  

Somers submitted (Knight generated):

"That's even more than his saboteur predecessor Edwin Johnston managed! 
Incessantly stalking and demeaning Robert Knight, and every other good thing about WBAI, hoping to destroy reputations and ultimately the station he so badly mismanaged -- A HALF CENTURY AGO! Post, Koch, Lasar, and others have well documented Albertson's reactionary politics and notorious misadventures in censorship. 

Yet Albertson somehow persists, to the detriment of the good and constructive souls who flee this poison-pit in astonishment and terror. Is this a proper or dignified way for an octogenarian has-been to so prolifically waste his bitter dotage -- and burden the rest of us with the demons of his own past doings? " —Robert Knight (very likely)

My Response:
Hate to correct you Mr. Anchorman, but I actually left WBAI in better condition than I found it:

1. Integrated staff (25 salaried).
2. More diverse programming.
3. New transmitter atop Empire State Building.
4. Increased power license.
5. Return of Bob Fass.
6. No serious debt.

Was it my "military intelligence" training, or was I just lucky? Who knows? The fact is that you and other opportunists whose career braked at WBAI many years ago still reap the benefits from my tenure there. Unfortunately, people of your ilk have been rather destructive over the years, but let's. hope that will be remedied.

You might not wish to compare the station I left to the one you stagnated in,but perhaps—when you are finished downloading and dusting off the "cutting edge" material for next week's comic strip, I might persuade you to present us with the alleged "documentation" of my "mismanagement."

You could always make up something—you're good at that.

This is more from Robert Knight and his cheerleader. Actually a rehash, but that is what they do.

I pop it in here FYI, but it does not warrant an answer from me. Any moderately intelligent person can see this for what it is, because it is, literally, outrageous beyond belief. If you think it merits serious attention, I suggest that you ask Knight and Somers to produce the "documentation" of which they speak. Better still, contact the mentioned writers, Jesse Walker and Matthew Lasar. It might not be a bad idea to talk to Chris Koch, but you would be wasting your time with Steve Post—he invented most of this stuff in a failed effort to make his book on WBAI interesting. Many of you don't seem to realize it, but WBAI is saddled with a delusional, self-serving guy named Robert Knight and his incredibly dense lackey. If you think the JUC was bad for WBAI (and it probably was), I think the group these two identify with is far more destructive.

Who is Chris Albertson - Really?
A short-term WBAI manager who, in 1965, sided with the anticommunist fervor of the times, and personally censored one of Pacifica's finest productions -- WBAI reporter Chris Koch's groundbreaking first-hand reports from Hanoi during the Vietnam war.

Following a staff revolt over his censorship, Albertson was run out of WBAI and, ever since, has been prolifically, verbosely, and revisionistically self-praising his brief, failed WBAI "management" tenure - and of course, "defending" his notorious blows against "anti-war" journalism and "free speech radio."

Nevertheless, Albertson's contentious and censorious time at WBAI has been documented by radio historian Jesse Walker, as well as the far-more-popular former WBAI station manager Steve Post - whose challenge to Albertson's censorship earned him (and others) Albertson's eternal enmity.



  1. Good General Managers and good Program Directors do not always make a lot of friends.

    Samori Marksman was a great PD who made WBAI a force in the late 1990s. But he demanded a lot from producers and a lot from himself. That's why he died young in 2000. He was not well liked by the staff and producers at WBAI.

    What came after Marksman was a series of internecine wars that continue today to the detriment of the station.

    You did a good job at a difficult time in the station's history. You made friends, but also made enemies. I don't think that being liked by everyone was ever a priority for you or for Samori.

    The WBAI of today would benefit from having both of you. Although I'm sure the flak on the
    blue boob board would be coming in hot and heavy against you both. And I'm sure there would be friction between the two of you. However, I believe you'd both have transcended personal disagreements for the good of the station.

    Re. Mr. Knight. For a long time, EARTHWATCH was one of my favorite programs. I thought his reporting on the Iran- Contra scandal was first rate. I criticize him now because I believe he's sold out to get a sinecure. FIVE O"CLOCK SHADOW has been, for the most part, second rate.

    Then again, as a retired teacher, I have a pension, social security, and a health plan which enables me to have a comfortable life.
    Knight is about my age, and maybe feels that's he's entitled to some kind treatment by the station after so many years of service. Who am I to judge him?

    I guess what irks me is that there are many people at the station, who like Robert Knight, have contributed a significant part of their lives for the station and don't get a damned thing. Two of these people are friends. What I regret more than whatever salary Bob Knight gets, is that mediocrities like Tony Bates, Berthold Reimers, Kathy Davis, Ife Dancy, and Esther Armah get generous salaries. They never worked their way up and "paid their dues" like Michael G. Haskins has. He's not my favorite person in the world, but has been at WBAI forever doing important work for which he was not always paid.

    I've said many times that having a two tiered system for employees, one tier paid, the other not, is a lousy idea. Either everyone should get paid, or no one at all.

    Don't lose sleep or energy about attacks on the blue board. If I ran the damn thing, I'd permit people to say anything. I don't like censorship of any kind. Your resume is solid and there is no need to lose sleep over the insults of dwarves.

    The Pacifica Maven

    The Pacifica Maven

    1. Thank you for another fine set of comments and insights. I never heard Knight's earlier work, but had gathered that what I have been hearing represents regress. Sinecure seems an apt description. My only beef with Haskins is when he goes beyond his normal duties to abet scammers. I also find his promo spots to be well produced but meaningless, and we hear these things all too often—linking them together to create long fillers brings WBAI mighty close to replicating a commercial annoyance factor.

      I have sympathy for those who linger on and maintain the spirit that once was Pacifica's, but I'm afraid I cannot muster up any sympathy for someone like Knight, who—whatever grasp he once may have had of Pacifica's aims—has become an abuser. He
      should have sought work elsewhere, and may well have done so, but I see no evidence in his current work meriting even an unpaid position. He is exceedingly disingenuous and almost farcical, as I hear it, and he adds nothing to the station.

      As for the two-tiered employee system you mention, I don't think we will see the day when everybody is on the payroll, but those whose presence is required rather than just welcomed ought to get paid. That's how it used to be at WBAI , and it worked.

      I am with you when it comes to abhorring censorship, which makes Somers & Knight's fantasy stories all the more preposterous, but I do believe that any public forum needs reasonable guidelines. I am not bothered by the hateful attacks that come my way on the BlueBoard, but I think there comes a time when it is not unreasonable to ask that some proof of outrageous allegations be presented. Post's book is hardly proof of anything but his own shortcomings. So, rest assured that I am not losing any sleep over that nonsense.

      I will post a link to you comments on that board, which—I find—has improved under R. Paul Martin's moderation.