Friday, March 14, 2014

As one door opens...

Word has it that
Pacifica's Executive Director, Summer Reese
has been fired! 
Can you say "Severance pay"?

This more detailed message from Tracy Rosenberg replaces the one that I originally posted here. It adds some interesting details, as well as Ms. Rosenberg's advice to Pacifica subscribers who feel that their contributions have been mis-used. —Chris


Kathy Davis's show for the dub-intelligent today made it's debut on Gary Null's online "radio." They deserve each other!

Berthold Reimers—the failed GM who never communicated honestly with WBAI's listeners and only made inarticulate, delusional cameo appearances on two alleged Report to the Listener broadcasts—is now posting on R. Paul Martin's BlueBoard, where he should feel quite at home among the trolls and other crawlers.

Reimers has pronounced the current two-month fundraising marathon a success, giving a total of $497,704.97 raised so far. The drive is apparently scheduled to run until the end of this month, followed—according to Michael Haskins—by "a few weeks of programming." Of course, as I pointed out many times, we never get a real total, which would be the net sum of money actually received. One has to wonder where that 97¢ came from.

I really hope that some skilled, honest writer has been taking notes for a book chronicling the Pacifica farce.  —Chris

Here is easier access to the link Indigo posted in his comment to this post. 


  1. Have the laid-off staffers received their checks? Cashed them?

    I ask because I can't help but to wonder whether Reese was fired just so Pacifica would have an obligation to her--which the organization could use as a rationale for not paying severance to the laid-off staffers.

    Although I am as apalled as you are at folks like Kathy Davis and Robert Knight getting payouts, I am willing to abide that if it means that people like Andrea Sears (who is seriously ill) and Rebecca Myles get theirs. I hope they--yes, even Ms. Davis--don't lose what's theirs because of Summer Reese.

    1. I gather that "the check is in the mail," but so, allegedly, were hundreds of premiums. This is, after all, WBAI/Pacifica, neither of which entity is known for forthrightness.

      Like you, I am happy for Andrea Sears and her faithful friend, Mary, as well as Rebecca Myles, Sidney Smith, et al. Let's hope Reimers' dog didn't eat the outgoing mail.

      The roller coaster finally eased its way up the hill, only to face an even steeper, endless slope. People like Dingeman, Frank LeFever, Mitchel Cohen, and others who cling to hope are either feigning optimism or in for a mighty confrontation with reality.

  2. There have been numerous allegations of past theft, fraud,and various scams at WBAI and Pacifica. I have no way of knowing, or even hazarding a meaningful guess as to, their veracity.

    There is also much speculation as to the motives for the recent firing of Ms Reese, a good deal of it along lines suggesting the desire to sell the license of WBAI, as well as, quite possibly, WPFW and KPFT, and a good deal of that speculation is that the motive for so maneuvering is not simply to attempt to save what may be saved but to siphon profits from the sales into private hands and/or private interests.

    The Washington Post ran a solid bit of investigative journalism a few months ago titled 'Inside the hidden world of thefts, scams and phantom purchases at the nation’s nonprofits'.

    It seems to me that if anyone has meaningful information along such lines with respect to WBAI and Pacifica they might want to give that piece a read, and to contact the reporters involved.

    ~ 'indigopirate'

    1. Thank you, Indigo. That's a rather lengthy url, so I have placed a simple link at the top of these comments. I think it should surprise no one were it to turn out that this and other recent Pacifica/WBAI moves are fueled by personal gain.

  3. Thanks for placing the simpler link, Chris.

    I don't post on the Pacifica Yahoo group, but I know you do. If you happen to be inclined to share the information with respect to the WP article, and that the reporters may be easily contacted via an email link on the WP investigative piece, please feel free to do so :)

    ~ 'indigo, pirate'

  4. Who is Dan Siegel? Who is Jose Luis Fuentes? What faction do they represent? Which faction does Summer Reese represent? If they are willing to sacrifice 300K severance pay to Reese, then the Pacifica stewardship is valued at a lot more money. The big faction is who is on the side of the BAI Establishment? It seems that the Pacifica National Board that fired Reese is on side of Reimers, Haskins, and Co, because they can still bring in infomercial revenue. Have you heard Blosdale pushing Boku nutrition this afternoon, with their own version of the Green Stuff?

    I don't think that Haskins is clueless or merely a lackey, I think that he wields more power behind the scenes at BAI, as do many broadcasters, who serve at the helm of their own production companies. I think that Haskins is dishonest and disingenuous, since as Null supporter, he never once stood up to Hennelly and contradicted him on Haskins and Hennelly. That makes Haskins a spineless worm in my book. The truth is, he will broadcast anything for anyone to anyone so long as he keeps his job. The reason for Reimers staying power is that he knows how to support the fundraising by pitching premiums at BAI, and while he raises revenue, he will stay on as a general manager.

    The political and cultural radicals who run the BAI station will pitch premiums for eternity in exchange for getting their message across. The interesting question is whether the BAI core audience is the one buying the premiums, or if these are two separate demographics. I found by chance, that Null and Associates did a little over 12 million in sales in 2011, I believe. At that level of cash flow, Null could have saved the BAI as a tax write off! Obviously, he doesn't, since he sees the listener supporters as his buyers and is happy with the arrangement.

    I heard Skahill labeled a radical as a opposed to a progressive or a left wing journalist, by way of explanation as to why his documentary film did not win at some film festival. That would explain the silence of the few professional journalists, when it comes to examining the politics and factionalism at BAI and Pacifica. BAI/Pacifica is a major media outlet for them, and they dare not criticize it.

    Another rumor I seen on Ian Masters article attacking Null, I think, was that Steve Brown gave BAI a 30-60K donation to have Andrea Sears' brother hired as a webmaster without due process. This is one case, where listener support does not buy journalistic freedom for all the premiums that the listener pays.

    Hey, Jim Dingeman! Your BAI is nothing but a Home Shopping Radio that fancies itself progressive!!!! You hear me, MORON?!!!!!!!

  5. Afraid you're all mixed up. Summer Reese and Tracy Rosenberg are "on the side" of Reimers, as they're are the ones who kept him employed all this time. Both back Gary Null. Reese even used to work for him. And both were the power behind Arlene Engelhardt and her preposterous reign.

    Instead of speculation, why don't you wait until the facts come out? They are a lot more straightforward than the stuff that's circulating on the internet, put out there by Reese and Rosenberg, who are desperate now that their grasp on power is severely weakened.

    1. It is difficult to keep up with the alliances du jour at WBAI and Pacifica, becaue, basically, it's each opportunist for him or herself. Reese fired Reimers, it did not work, for some reason, but she wanted him out. As for waiting for the "facts" to come out, that easily becomes an exercise in futility—one person's fact is another's delusion.

  6. Ok, well, then, sadly, your blog will become pretty unreliable and unreadable. You'll gain readers if you make sense of things, not throw everything but the kitchen sink out there as equally credible. If there's too much junk and confusion, who wants to waste time on it?

    1. The purpose of this blog is not to "gain readers"—unless otherwise credited, the opinions expressed are mine. The information I post does not run through any kind of filter—some of it may be wrong. Hypothetically, I can tell you that I heard of something having taken place last Tuesday, but that is no assurance that it actually did, just that I heard of it. So, what you can take as a fact is my having heard of it, and then you have your own options as to whether you find it credible. Were you lied to? No, but I may have been. All I did, as concerns you, is give you something to think about as you ponder a rumor's veracity. If you insist upon "reliable" sources, perhaps you should stop wasting your time (to use your own terms) listening to WBAI.

      Think of my blog as food for thought, generously sprinkled with my own opinions. If you don't like that recipe,be glad that you were not being force-fed. If you can figure out who is telling the truth at WBAI and Pacifica, why not step out of you anonymity and start your own blog.....the facts, ma'am, nothing but the facts. :)

  7. Anonymous, if I am mixed up, and you know the truth, why not share it with us, in a spirit of an open forum and a friendly discussion? To me personally, BAI watching is turning into a favorite pastime, like Kremlin watching, but on a less grander scale. I appreciate accurate information as much as any objective observer, but in the absence of it, I love hypothesizing and speculating, and why not? Once in a while I dig up something interesting.

    For instance, why is there an echo chamber effect whenever I bring an issue involving Amy Goodman?

    BTW, Chris, there IS a book written about Pacifica, Uneasy Listening: Pacifica Radio's Civil War, by Matthew Lasar. Any idea who he is and if he is worth reading?

    1. All I know about Matthew Laser is that he is a West Coast Pacifica guy who is sometimes referred to as the "Pacifica historian," but what I have seen of his work in that respect is marred by sloppy (or no) research.

      The Chris Koch incident, for example is something he took from Steve Post's book, which was a study in irresponsible reporting. We who chronicle history will inevitably make mistakes when relating events second, third or fourth hand, but there is no excuse for inaccuracies when first-hand accounts are but a phone call away. As you well know, we also should not state as fact anything that we know might not actually have occurred.

      I recall a time when Whitney Balliett covered a recording session I was producing. At one point, two musicians (Roy Eldridge and Jo Jones) got into a mild but interesting argument over trumpeter Jabbo Smith's status. Whitney was taking it all down on his non-electrical pad and when I checked his account against the tape—which had been running—not a word was missing or out of place. I was very impressed. His magazine, The New Yorker, had an amazing fact-checking department. I was never interviewed by that publication without receiving at least one follow-up call.

      So, to answer your question, I did find some interesting and accurate details in Lasar's book, but there was always that grain of salt within my reach.

  8. Wow! I didn't know that genteel New Yorker magazine had such strict standards in fact checking. I guess I was taking the journalistic quality for granted.

    Lasare's book deals with the BAI/Pacifica and factionalism up to 2005. How relevant are factions circa 2005 to the factions involved in the BAI and Pacifica politics today?

    1. I am, of course, talking about The New Yorker as it was before Tina Brown got her hands on it.