Thursday, March 13, 2014


Yesterday, Berthold Reimers announced that the severance pay owed 19 fired staffers since last summer would be paid today. He is probably right this time, but even payment in full cannot fix the dent in WBAI's image created by such mismanagement. Having to pay additional sums of money to former employees like Cathy Davis and Robert Knight is tantamount to rubbing salt into the wound. Neither was an asset to WBAI, both contributed to further draining of respect earned in the station's past. Of course, that is now water under the bridge, but one hopes that it can serve as a lesson. Serve whom? Well, whatever future WBAI faces will most likely be in the hands of other people—this crew and its recent antecedents blew it with their insatiable egos, static ignorance, and wrongly estimated self-importance. 

As WBAI disappears into the smog of a polluted dream, and becomes the subject of widely contrasting memories, Pacifica itself is coming apart, showing ever-widening cracks as the polarization within becomes increasingly evident to those who view it from afar. The flaws are streaming, the true supporters mourn, and the current perpetrators, already fractionalized, split into even smaller cells of discontent. Panic, long shrouded in veils of denials and delusions, comes to the fore as benefactors, the listener-sponsors—who, perhaps na├»vely, kept WBAI on the air during its long descent—face the facts and begin to speak up.

WBAI does not listen to its supporters—there is only symbolic "free speech" for them. Here is an example from this morning's (March 13) 7 AM show. Notice how Haskins just doesn't get what the first caller is saying, labels him "anti-Null," interrupts him, and hangs up. The second caller, who is in agreement with the first, is also stifled as Haskins again demonstrates how clueless he is.

The next caller was more to Haskins' liking. She drank the Kool Aid and urges the station to add a show hosted by Alton Maddox, the disbarred lawyer who played a leading role in the Tawana Brawley hoax.

We saw an example of internal panic earlier this week when Jim Dingeman, who heads the so-called Community Advisory Board, reacted to an R. Paul Martin BlueBoard post reiterating news of the impending severance payment. 
"That is great and all I can think of right now is at last these people are going to get their bread. I also think of all the assholes here who NEVER DID A FUCKING THING to help this happen but instead endlessly bitched about it not happening rather than help make it happen."
This is typical of Dingeman's inability to grasp the difference between an abettor's blind faith and a principled supporter's refusal to participate in unethical activity. Another poster put him straight and offered sage advice:
"You think you're a hero, but you're just a loser. Yes of course management owed staff severance, but there were so many ways to reallocate funds. Fire Berthold! Underwrite your shitty programming! Raise money off-air! Management could have paid this severance in many ways that didn't involve moral and political compromises such as AIDS denialism, snake oil, conspiracy theories and all the other literally deadly bullshit that has become synonymous with this version of WBAI. This WBAI is indefensibly horrible and deserves to end. Move on and get a life."
Dingeman responds in typical fashion, calls the poster a a-hole, commends Reimers who "sure as hell rode this mess out since Sandy...", and flies off on a characteristic tirade that includes the following:
and you are a FUCKING ASSHOLE also…fern whoever you are really.. I have been on that jihad a lot longer than whoever the FUCK you are behind your punk ass nom de plum's (sic)..that goes for all of you shucks.....there simply needs to be a REVOLUTION in the programming which will be hard and tough to do but no thanks to any of you worthless dickheads who constantly palaver in the spirit of nattering nabobs of negativity.. and actually have the collective balls to think you are doing something except for real only engaging in keyboard self masturbation flagellation constantly...."
There's one thing to be said for self-masturbation: you don't need an assistant.

Apropos the BlueBoard, you may know that I have been added to that forum's growing list of the banished. Earlier in the week, a poster complained that the joint was "boring without Albertson" and suggested that Herr Kommandant give me re-entry, perhaps for "time served." It was an innocuous one-liner comment, but R. Paul Martin was not amused, so he promptly removed it. A little man makes a small move.
Herr Martin issues a decree.

Finally, as the garage sale continues in its extended Null mode (it's now mid-March and the brakes have yet to be applied to the February drive) and Black History Month (long thought short-changed in a 28-day month) is stretched right alongside it, Pacifica has released some preliminary sales figures. The goal, we are now told, is $470,000 (as opposed to $500,000) and all but $42,000 has been pledged. That does not jibe with the daily figures posted by WBAI, but it looks like the goal will be met, at least in pledges. Another fact to consider is that this goal was set for the end of February, and invoices do not tend to be suspended by the creditors.

All in all, a humdrum week, but at least people seem to be waking up—unfortunately, the ones on the inside, the decision-makers, are still in a coma. Personally, I still see 2014 as the year it all goes down the drain at Ninety-nine-point-Null. What do you think?


  1. Listening to those calls and such is stunning -- a cult that flies the flag of the sledgehammer and sickle. And, that Dingeman dude is one angry leftist. He needs to sip some green stuff and put on a Null dvd to relax to the wisdom of Maddox, Mason, Sharpton and Brawley. What? Null hasn't done that dvd yet? Well, give him time... He's only one man and there are sooooo many conspiracies for him to solve...

    1. Null is, after all, what author Clifford Browder calls a Profit of Doom. :)