Friday, November 22, 2013

WBAI: Dying, but in labor...

The rumor was correct, Robert Hennelly, Haskins' sidekick on the ever-changing morning show has been appointed interim Program Director. Reimers and Reese appeared on the show this morning to make the announcement. She giggled a lot and didn't say anything of consequence or interest. He only spoke briefly, expressed surreal optimism in regard to WBAI's future, and mentioned the "December fund drive"—this is becoming quite monotonous.

Hennelly, who is a shameless ass licker, called Reimers a "hero." He is, of course obeying the issued talking points, which call for deification of Reimers, suggesting that this is version 1.01, a factory refurbished GM. Sure didn't sound like it this morning. We'll see. I predict that this opportunist will continue to play up the union angle while Haskins swishes around in the studio, thanking everyone "so very much." Remember when Haskins was on the paint-it-black team? Now he will hop onto the Hennelly bandwagon....until they both fall off.


  1. I haven’t heard him on air, so you have a better sense of him. From his background on virtual paper he seems a sensible choice for a Pacifica and WBAI which have had progressive politics as their overwhelming focus and reason for existence at least since the revolutionary hero Samori Marksman.

    That sort of shallow political advocacy (whether of the left or right) is of no real interest to me, but that’s what they’ve understood themselves to be for a very long time now.

    Whether they survive or not, and what such survival would even mean, I have little idea.

    As has been noted, the younger cohorts simply don’t listen to radio, nor are they likely to. Five, ten, or twenty years from now…

    The brand of ‘progressive’ politics is already represented on the net, of course, and that’s where both the present and the foreseeable future lie. It’s possible to argue that WBAI and Pacifica ought to use their stations as central branding loci as they develop a meaningful web presence with various strands dedicated to various interests and audiences. That’s an abstraction, though, in that I’m not aware of any reason to believe that Pacifica is capable of doing that. Amongst other things, they’d have to compete with many capable players already established in that space, as well as new entrants to that space as they arrive. I’m not aware of any reason to think that Pacifica could even begin to compete.

    So it seems the soap opera will continue, unless and until it doesn’t. Surprise. Likely more sense of the PSOA option by later tonight, I suppose.

    I have to wonder, though, speaking only for myself, if any of this matters. There’s an older cohort that recalls what the place was, and therefore what a new incarnation might in some theoretical sense be, but there are older cohorts that also remember steam engines, and a thousand other things, as we well know.

    Radio is fairly clearly simply subsumed within the net, and the net would seem to offer most if not all of what WBAI once represented, more diffuse and therefore less emotionally identifiable.

    There are broader areas of cultural decline, I think, but that’s a whole other topic.

    The circus moves on….

    ~ Indigo Pirate

  2. I've given up on the place. I just want my money so I can leave the City.

    1. I know how you must feel, Sydney, but I hope you stay in NYC and find a healthier outlet for your talent. Maybe WBAI can be it, but in entirely different hands, of course.

      Whatever you decide, I wish you the best, and hope you will stay in touch with us fans.

  3. The trouble with WBAI is that it is like a radio station with a broom up its behind. Because the radio station often points out correctly where we have been misled, it automatically has the mistaken idea that it always gets things right. Not true. Sometimes all sides of an issue can get something wrong for a number of reasons. Take the Palestine/Israel issue. On BAI it's Palestine good Israel bad. Truth is it is not that simple. One would have to go back to World War to truly understand it, but that is something WBAI would never do. Nor would it ever talk about How Bush people paid for Nader ads when Gore was running for President against Bush, as I am sure the Republicans gave lots of money to the green party last time around. WBAI needs to have people who know how to talk and truly know how to research for the truth of what they are talking about. not my bs vs your bs, which in too many cases is what we have today on bai.

    1. They don't like presenting more than one side of an issue: their own. That eliminates real discussion and makes the program uneventful and dull. When listeners call in to express their disagreement, they are often rudely gotten rid of. The same hosts who hang up on callers expressing contrary opinions tend to also engage in fundraising in the name of "free speech."

      What WBAI has needed for years is a policy of honesty—it's there, but too inconvenient, I guess..