Friday, February 28, 2014

BAI? Pry it from my cold dead hands...


"Hello, everyone..." In case you missed the February 27th Gary Null Show, or its encore this morning, you might be interested in hearing the following excerpt.

Although the were in separate studios, picture Mr. Haskins seated on the knee of his pupeteer du jour, his facial expressions morphing from awe to bewilderment as he mutters his echoes. At one point Haskins admits to not "getting it," but listens carefully to Null's words and you might conclude that—valid points notwithstanding—neither does he.

What do you think?



BTW - The bad cut in the intro is not mine.

21 comments:

  1. To my ear and in my judgement this clip suggests several things:

    Null is very much concerned that the probability of an LMA/PSOA or straight sale is very high – this clip is essentially quintessential anxiety (listen closely on decent speakers or phones to the character of his breathing) – followed by a transition to fearful macho chest-pounding bluster and threats of lawsuits from his ‘pit-bull’ lawyers who ‘never lose’.

    Note that what he fears most is precisely that Pacifica, in order to attempt to save itself, will shed WBAI, WPFW, and KPFT, which is precisely what the financial realities strongly indicate, irrespective of internal rhetoric and internal feuds. Null understands the financial realities – hence his extreme anxiety.

    The fact that Null is this concerned as to the probability of the loss of WBAI as an asset for him, given his connections to management, supports the general sense that an LMA/PSOA or straight sale is indeed quite probable.

    The chest-pounding bluster as to his killer lawyers is precisely that, and no more. If Pacifica were to choose, as owner, of WBAI, to enter into an LMA/PSOA or sale, it has that right. The nonsensical ‘it’s our station’ rhetoric is simply empty rhetoric.

    If he wants to sue, he can sue. He has no legal standing in the event of an LMA/PSOA or straight sale, and if he wants to spend his money in a pointless exercise, he can pay for the privilege of learning that simple fact – he won’t, he knows better, and so, I presume, do his lawyers – he’s bluffing.

    ~ ‘indigopirate’

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  2. As usual, your reading between the lines is perceptive. I, too, had to wonder on what grounds Null could sic his pitbulls on Pacifica. He has a habit of grandstanding and inflating fact that is inconsistent with his otherwise skillfully crafted public persona.

    I don't recall if I included it in the audio fragment, but at one point he speaks of the station having a vast and loyal listenership, then waxes optimistic about WBAI's future, almost sounding as if his script had been prepared by Reimers and Mitchel. I love Haskins' reactions, they conjure up images of Dorothy.

    Amazing, too, how—almost overnight—Reimers went from being inept to brilliant.

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    1. The reference to a ‘vast and powerful audience’ was indeed included in that clip. It was part of his portraying attacks on him as actually being attacks intended to undermine and destroy WBAI by Evil Californians willing to sacrifice WBAI, WPFW, and KPFT in order to attempt to save KPFA and KPFK.

      The other factor he cited as motivating criticism was evil capitalist corporations, of course.

      I’m not infallible by any means, but I read Null as running scared.

      With respect to your point about Reimers suddenly becoming more intelligent, I used to joke about 9/11 increasing George W’s IQ by at least 40 points. He was generally regarded by most of the populace, whether they were for him or against him, as to put it politely not very bright until 9/11, at which point fear and the need for a Leader made his intelligence increase by at least a standard deviation or two or three. It was quite remarkable. Within a very few days the US had a Leader (Führer), Homeland (‘Heimat’) and the accompanying desperate need for a national security state. No need to ask how the Germans turned to Hitler, the same or a very simmilar process was instantly manifest in the Good ‘Ol US.

      But that’s another subject… ;)

      ~ ‘indigo, pirate’

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    2. Honestly, I believe this was always the plan by the west coast. I believe Gary was right on that account. Tony Bates job when he arrived from the West Coast was the hatchet man, though he claimed otherwise. During his short time , he managed to eliminate many programs that brought in considerable funds. If the station was economically challenged as some claim when he took over, WHY then would you push out or eliminate money making shows. It makes no sense. It only makes sense, it you were sent in to insure the station's money making capability was hindered

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    3. If that was the case, one might say that Bates succeeded. Of course, they had not figured on the sexual harassment and resulting petition to fire him.

      It's difficult to figure out what they want to do or if they are following any plan. What we have is a bunch of amateurs playing a business game in a field few if any of them know. I think many of the extraordinarily stupid mis-steps boil down to nothing more than gross ineptitude on the part of some and opportunism on the part of others. There is a randomness about all of this, but also scheming. What would you call the Washington, DC PNB maneuver where a Chief Financial Officer, fired for incompetence is covertly flown to Washington and hidden in a hotel room until a slightly rearranged Pacifica Board pops him out of the box and rehires him.

      One really can't make this sort of stuff up, can one?

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  3. Gary Null is lying yet again. Notice that he didn't mention the back breaking contract that they BAI owns to Democracy Now! He beats his chest and pitches to be the only show doing health premiums. Notice a pattern: They let go Andrew Phillips, and then stated pitching BAI on a stick. They fired Bob Hennelly, and now Null is proposing diversifying the programming to increase the listenership. What we have here, is the local faction, Reimers, Haskins, and others I don't know about, trying to save their positions at BAI, and actively keeping out the outsiders. It wasn't their ideas, fundraising was just as excuse. Andrew Phillips was a fine program director, though himself probably corrupt and ambitions, having tried to get his finger as a producer into both, Democracy Now! and Nulls radio streaming website. One of the mysteries is why Reese and Co keeps the hands off the local inept management at BAI and the DC station. Reese fired, then re-hired Reimers. Was she afraid that Reimers might sue, if he was fired, or is it that Reimers is useful in fundraising. And if Null and Goodman are so wealthy and successful, why don't they bail out the BAI and set up, say a half a million dollar endowment?

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    1. Brooser Bear writes: "Andrew Phillips was a fine program director, though himself probably corrupt and ambitions, having tried to get his finger as a producer into both, Democracy Now! and Nulls radio streaming website." What the hell are you talking about? You may call me "corrupt" but where is the evidence. And "ambitious, having tried to get his finger as a producer into both Democracy Now and Null's streaming website". What are you talking about? I check on this blog now and then to catch the gossip and Mr Brooser Bear you, sir are full of unsubstantiated gossip. I brought Amy to WBAI in 1986. She was my assistant for some months and then moved on and since then I've had naught to do with her nor DemNow. I have no interest in Null's streaming website. Get you facts straight mate and watch you ass going around calling people "corrupt". I know a lot of the back stories and have shared on Facebook - Pacifica Radio Supporters. I don't know Albertson or why he has reincarnated himself here. But he keeps me somewhat informed on goings on at WBAI. But please Mr. Brooser Bear - you who will nor reveal your identity - calling somebody "corrupt" demands authentication. And you have none.

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    2. I have not previously heard anyone say that Andrew Phillips ever sought to become a producer for DN! or Gary Null. If that is so, I don't see why it should be held against him—it's what one does when one works in the broadcasting fields and seeks to avoid such stagnation as characterizes present day WBAI. Ambition is not a dirty word, it can be overdone, but it is something any career person needs to have in the mix. Corruption is quite another matter and while the qualifier, "probably" makes it more of an assumption than an accusation, I think the term is ill-chosen when not supported by evidence.

      That said, my "reincarnation" is nothing more than an inability to quietly sit back an watch as WBAI, a fondly remembered milestone in my own career, is destroyed by self-serving opportunists,

      Finally, if we are going to ask that a veil is lifted, perhaps that ought to be plural. :)

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    3. Mr. Phillips,

      Brooser Bear is the latest avatar of one Paul Di Rienso.
      Calumny is his specialty.

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  4. Null said: "I will pull out all the stops I have to keep the station viable".
    So how about giving the station the premiums it owes without charge?
    How about Null using his staff to make sure premiums go out - as he made the listeners think he was doing during the last fund drive?
    I laughed when I heard Haskins report to Null that he saw Reimers personally go out to pick up the Null CDs and bring them to Brooklyn.
    Getting Reimers to leave to office and actually DO something is a positive thing, but how will that fulfill Null's promise to have the CDs mailed out the same day?
    I expect in a few weeks we'll see a post from Jim D. talking about how his volunteers finally got the Null CDs packed up and they will go out as soon as the station finds the money to pay the postage...

    I lost track of the various "factions" but I learned this from this that Null's faction is out of power on the PNB.
    Time for a Steve Brown mailing?

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    1. Notice the mysterious disappearance of the iPod Nanos, an Apple laptop and an iPad that were dangled as an incentive for listeners to buy a "buddy" sustaining membership.

      BTW, the "Fascism, Inc." 10-DVD set Null has been pushing is available;e on his own site for $50.

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  5. That Apple giveaway thing would be hilarious if it weren't so sad.
    (So who in Hollywood is prepping a show based on Pacifica? Lots of great characters...)
    When they announced it I was naive enough to think that if they made the announcement it must mean someone donated the devices and the station had them on hand, Silly me, of course it turned out that not only they had no deal to obtain the prizes, they had to scramble to find money to buy them!

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    1. Which they apparently never got around to doing. They seem to feel that receipt of pledge money wipes out their obligations. There is definitely an abundance of material for a book, series or film in all of this. My own preference would be a well-researched, well written book. The destruction of WBAI somehow seems too sad and serious to be treated in a lighthearted way, but sometimes we have to laugh to keep from crying.

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  6. Did you hear Ivan Hametz this morning? He sounded as if he knows he's on a sinking ship.

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    1. I rarely miss his program—he really loves the music and he has been refreshingly honest when speaking of the station's mismanagement.

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  7. I enjoy this insider info so much. I liked Andrew.

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    1. Late though it was, Andrew eventually gave me hope, but, knowing the vacuousness at Pacifica, I should have see that red flag.

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  8. Anonymous, aka Phillips (?),

    I heard you speak on BAI, where you claimed that you were among the first to identify the potential of Amy Goodman and of the Democracy Now; you also mentioned in the same broadcast, that you helped Null with the setting up of his internet broadcasting. I did not claim that you were trying to be the producer of either, only that you may have been involved in the development of both. Hearing that broadcast, my impression remains, that you probably encouraged Goodman to set up her own network. I also heard, that while a manager on the West Coast, you put Blosdale into heavy rotation to pitch the premiums. It was probably done out of necessity, but you do see, how the outlandishness of those premiums affect the overall quality of the broadcasting? This also shows that you were, for a time, at least, a part of the establishment that relies on the Nulls and the Blosdales to raise funds for Pacifica stations.

    Corruption, within the context of Pacifica, means acting in accordance with the dictates of the Pacifica internal politics to the detriment of the stations themselves and of the listeners. If, while working on the West Coast, has reached out and helped Amy Goodman establish her own network to the detriment of the local BAI station, then you would have been acting in a corrupt fashion with regards to BAI as part of the Pacifica National Board. This is if we assume, that Pacifica took the most profitable show from BAI and established it as an independent entity, and then profited from the syndication of that show (DN!) back to the local stations. This premise can all be wrong, of course.

    Another poster has indicated, that Pacifica signed up Amy Goodman at the behest of the triumphant local station boards and the coalitions similar to the BAI's Justice and Unity. It still doesn't explain the huge cost of that show to Pacifica and by extension, to its listeners, almost like reparations or something. Why would any Pacifica/BAI manager in their right mind sign that contract with the Democracy Now, so kleptocratically disadvantageous to BAI and its listeners, especially when DN! was getting major grants from large non-profit charity foundations?

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  9. Brooser Bear - Yes this is Andrew Phillips. Your facts are wrong on all counts:

    1) I introduced Amy Goodman to WBAI in 1984 I believe it was. She was my assistant at the time. I had naught to do with establishing DemNow though I brought Goodman to the morning in early 90's which in some ways precipitated DemNow. I also created the Contragate program with Dennis Bernstein in November 1986 before Robert Knight came on board - just setting record straight.

    2) When I left WBAI in mid 1993, I started my own radio distribution outfit - The Virtual Radio Network - and distributed Null and Micho Kaku amongst other programs. That lasted about two years when my biz went belly up and I left broadcasting until 2011 when Pacifica called me back to manage KPFA. I had/have nothing to do with PRN.

    3) I do not know Christine Blodsdale and have never put anything of her's on air - nor would.

    Check your facts!

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    1. Thank you for setting the record straight, Andrew. What you say jibes with what I have heard. Let me also personally think you for attempting to put WBAI back on track—sounds like there may be forces who don't want to see that.

      BTW, I am delighted that you have joined in the discussions here.

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  10. Andrew--I want to thank you for the great work you did and your valiant attempt to right the BAI ship.

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