Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Retrograde rescue?

Last night I tuned in to "In Other News," and heard Geoff Brady listen, agree with, and not once question a batty Brit's ludicrous theory that our Fourth of July celebrations—and, indeed, the Statue of Liberty and American flag—are, in fact, the living relics of a mystical rite that has sinister origins in ancient Egypt. The gist of this man's transatlantic rant was that we are all, somehow, being bamboozled. That wonderful line from a TV classic came to mind, "It's a cook book!"

Brady obviously admired this fellow nut and told him, by way of encouragement, 
that several previous guests on his show had made similar observations. 
Brady did have one thing right: only on WBAI could one hear this revelation.

I bring this up, because it is one reason why people don't bother to listen 
to the station anymore. Another reason would be Esther Armah's breakfast 
racism, which she served in a generous heap this morning, and, earlier on, Z. Starman's astrology/numerology scam. This morning, he told Max Schmed 
that listeners are asking him about the "pink slips" received by WBAI's paid 
staff. Schmed confirmed this, adding that he can't say much about it since the 
station's management has isolated itself from the staff and no information 
is given out. Even the severity of WBAI's debt had been kept a secret, he 
pointed out. The resident astrologist told him not to worry, because some 
planet is in retrograde and that means everything will be honky dory by the 
20th. Before the end of the show, Starman urged people to call his personal 
business number for "a consultation, or whatnot," and gave the number out 
9 or 10 times.

So, tonight we have two warring factions, one more deluded than the other, 
meeting separately to solve WBAI's problem.

Laughable? Yes. Pathetic? Even more so.
WBAI needs to exercise the "free speech" it so falsely claims as a proprietary 
feature, and open that microphone to people who know what the story is and 
are not afraid to tell it. This won't solve the problem—it is already far too late 
for that—but at least WBAI will go under with a smidgeon of credibility intact.


  1. So - are you the famous Chris Albertson? Regarding the post about "In Other News" I actual listen to this show (likely one of the very few that do) because I find it perversely entertaining, like what will he (or his guests) say next? One thing I find amusing is that the show often features extreme right wing conspiracy nuts but the host doesn't seem to realize where these people are coming from politically. Although I actual listen to this show I actually think that it is emblematic of what is wrong with WBAI now. Say what you want about Null (and believe me I am no Null fan), but at least he has an audience, which is more then can be said for some others. I have an interesting anecdote that reveals, I think, about how the general public views the station now. About a year or maybe more ago I was having lunch with two people. One of them had lived in NY but now lived far away, and has for some time. The other guy is a curren NY resident. Anyway I happened to comment that BAI was in the midst of a factional struggle. The guy from out of town said, "so what else is new" and the guy from NY said, "yes, there are two factions, bad and worse". Well I guess tha is what things have come too!

    1. Famous? No, but I agree with your comments, and thank you for posting them.

      What you say about Geoff Brady is sadly true, but I cannot imagine that his knee-jerk approval of even the most outlandish statements is pure naïvité. The man is either deluded beyond belief or he seeks attention at any cost to whatever integrity he might have. I also find myself listening, but for the same reason I sit through Florence Foster Jenkins singing Mozart's Queen of the Night aria. Some things are just so bad as to be good.

      Null is a smooth talker and good businessman. He did, I believe, set WBAI on its quack-strewn course and he does generate money for them, but he, himself, is the ultimate benefactor.

      Thank you, too, for sharing that lunch story—"bad and worse" perfectly describes the factions.

      Take care.

  2. I have not listened to BAI much for years (I live far from NYC these days) although I greatly valued it in the 70's and even early/mid 1980's.

    My first inkling that something was seriously amiss was the de facto firing of Ralph Schoenmen and Mya Shoen and the termination of their excellent weekly show "Taking Aim":

    They were a rare example of Marxist class-based systemic political analysis. This must have been intolerable for the current breed of identity-racialialist based individuals who came to ascendancy not only at BAI but throughout the wider pseudo-left opportunist milieu.

    These are deeply reactionary and disoriented people who in reality serve as props for the established order. They will serve up wackadoodle right-wing conspiracy memes at the drop of a hat but are incapable of offering class-based analysis. They proliferate as well throughout the contemporary "Anarchist" and "Progressive" movements, such as they are.

    NYC itself has the most egregiously radical divide between the super rich and the grindingly poor (which of course cuts across all races) and the state of BAI is undoubtedly bound up with this reality as well. It also sits atop prime FM-bandwidth real estate undoubtedly worth millions.

    1. I agree that they should bring "Taking Aim" back. Perhaps they will, now that the station has rid itself of several hours of pap and posturing.

      Thanks for commenting—please keep doing so.

  3. To Chris Albertson and MarioRadio,

    My understanding is that Chris is a WBAIer from some
    time back, and it's certain that Mario has taken on a
    time-consuming and difficult position at the station as it
    now is. Tuning in yesterday, Monday the Sixth of October,
    expecting to find some amusing silliness, it was found that
    there was a preëmption by a severely unentertaining
    exercise in bamboozling the gullible sight-impaired (itself a
    repeat of a program from earlier yesterday). Sadly, an
    unsurprising event.

    With fund-raising programming of that sort, how surprising
    should it be that WBAI's audience progressively diminishes
    and, lacking young newcomers, ages? Perhaps more to the
    point is, has that trend become irreversible? That may be the
    unfortunate reality.


    1. Sadly, Claude, this is current reality. I have mixed feelings when it comes to seeing Mario Murillo as a light at the end of the tunnel, but even if his approach to restoring respect to WBAI were honorable and right, he only has a short time left at the station, it being what he is spending a sabbatical on.

      I do believe that the station's problems are irreversible at this point, and there is no hope for a satisfactory solution as long as Berthold Reimers is free to roam and make decisions. Another major stumbling block is the dysfunctional and, quite possibly, corrupt current Pacifica National Board. --Chris