Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Yeah, we had Aida and Carmen, but let's make it real "community"!


As most of us know, one reason for WBAI's drastic drop in listenership is its failure to deliver good, listenable radio and a well-planned weekly schedule. There are many other grounds for divorce, but the programming is key to the success of any radio station. 

Several attempts have been made to make the offerings more palatable and intellectually stimulating, but cronyism and  brings these miserable programs on the air and moral bankruptcy helps to keep them there year after year. The criterium is never to remain faithful to the original Pacifica mission or to present intelligent original programming that make the station worth the listener support it relies on. The goal is to stay on the air and be personally rewarded in several ways, most of which are of no benefit to the listener.

Program Directors have come and gone at short intervals, but what the listener hears and flees from remains virtually unaltered. Well, actually, we have seen the station become more unlistenable as new attempts are made to emulate commercial radio and old programs are either removed, exiled, or allowed to stagnate. As I always say, there are still good people turning out good programs on WBAI, but tin-eared, tasteless dilettante management is chopping away at them.

The most recent such lunacy is Reimers' decision to borrow a current program, "High Praise," from WHCN and run it as "High Praize" from 5 to 7 on Sunday morning. That same program (minus the "z") will then continue on WHCR from 8 to 11 AM. The host is one Daulton Anderson (pictured above—click on illustration to enlarge it). If you can tell me what the point is, please do so. In protest, Ivan Hametz, host of the now truncated "Through the Opera Glass", and Chris Whent, the thoroughly professional and equally knowledgable producer/host of "Here of a Sunday Morning," say they will quit WBAI. I should mention that both programs do well during fund drives (without the help of "premiums") and neither has its equivalent on another NYC station.

Is it any wonder that 2014 will see the end of WBAI as a Pacifica station? Will anybody be surprised to see Pacifica itself disappear? These people are truly idiots.

16 comments:

  1. Either this guy is incredibly stupid or maybe the bible beaters promised him something!

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  2. This might be the worst blow yet. As I said in an earlier post, any station with Reimers as GM, folks like Kathy Davis and Geoff Brady as producers and Gary Null as its bellwether doesn't deserve people like Hametz and Whent.

    I just might stop listening to BAI altogether.

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  3. Someone has to say it like it is -- this is about race, not religion. The only 'bible beating' allowed by the left is when it's blacks -- they would never and I mean never - air a program featuring white gospel music. And, opera is dead white European male dominated and therefore, it has to go.

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  4. Commentary like this discredits this website.

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    1. As WBAI/Pacifica came to redefine their purpose as leftist/progressive over the years, and abandoned the free speech/educational foundational values for those of the belief in and the airing of the propaganda of resentment, fear, bitterness, loathing, and pure hatred, racism was inclued in the mix and became, by chance I think, a dominant theme.

      Well… hatred tends to breed anger, bitterness, resentment and in turn, in time, in many cases, hatred.

      It ain’t helpful, it ain’t pretty.

      ‘They that sow the wind…’

      ~ ‘indigopirate’

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    2. Reimers and his coterie of opportunists discredit WBAI. His decision to foist Dalton Anderson on the evaporating listenership is another big step in that direction. Carolyn Birden pointed out today (on the Pacifica Radiowaves list) that intelligent black Americans are appalled by the mere fact that WBAI would carry such a program as High Praize. I responded to that, as follows:

      Daulton Anderson’s abomination is nothing more than on-air promotion of recordings made and sold by local church amateurs to people who have bought into the greatest con on earth. The music is absolutely the worst and the whole thing is so transparent that the dense can see it. However, being generally unenlightened, they allow con artists like Anderson to operate.

      Apropos ignorance, this two-hour melange of faux chri$tian worship is one of Berthold Reimers’ not-so-bright ideas, a flickering lightbulb screwed into a sucker socket. Frankly, this horror show comes close to making me appreciate Kathy Davis’ homeless, homo-friendly angels, Geoff Brady’s aura-snatching reptilians from another planet, that powerful little drop of Double Helix Water, the “gifts” that remained un-given (albeit paid for), “Mumia” reciting old Reader’s Digest observations with the pomposity of a “Hamlet” ham, Null pretending that he and his vast staff of scientists and historians can save humanity, Mimi Rosenberg in blackface, Bob Fass falling asleep on the mute button, Amy—having had a bit too much of her own special organic coffee—racing through her credits recitals, Reimers mumbling his mumbo-jumbo while handing out rose-colored glasses from under his desk, etc.

      Are thinking black people embarrassed by this “community” ebonization effort?

      You bet they are.

      Cornell West is the new "Stepin Fetchit,” but Mr. Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry’s madness was methodical and his income earned honestly (if somewhat awkwardly).

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  5. Not at all. BAI is considered a "black station" in terms of programming. I heard the host of Sojourner Truth refer to it as "the only black station" in the context of "donate or it will be gone", and I also heard people, who never listen to BAI dismiss it in conversation by saying - 'Isn't BAI a black station"?

    And then you got actions of Reimers and the JUC speaking for them.

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    1. BB is right about WBAI being regarded as a "black" station. It comes through repeatedly when black staff and hosts discuss the station. Pitches and, indeed, promotions are directed at "the brothers and sisters," "black and brown people," "our community," with emphasis on "our," etc. I alluded to this when I put "community" in quotes, because at WBAI that mis-used term has become a metaphor for people of colorThere is absolutely no doubt about it—a group of black people who personify WBAI to the listener consider the station to be black. That many listeners have the same notion is not at all surprising, because black voices and issues dominate the air 24/7. Even many of the white people on WBAI focus on black issues. I hate to say this, but racism (and it is that) forms a big part of the problem that is sinking the station. The notion that one cannot broadcast to black audiences without lowering a program's intellectual content is absurd, idiotic and...yes...racist. .

      That said, I do not wholly agree with the anonymous comment that attributes the Reimers program decision to racism alone. It may certainly be a factor, but—as Reimers and his cronies have demonstrated before—incompetence and bad judgement is prevalent at the station.

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    2. They still fired Hugh Hamilton, one of the best black hosts on BAI.

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  6. Democracy Now includes the obligatory daily story of a black film maker, a black convict who was unjustly convicted, a black transsexual who was beaten up by police in Oklahoma, failing schools in black neighborhoods, and black victims of sub-prime loans. These are not unimportant news items, but I wish these problems would be examined in their wider contexts: police violence and police impunity; the destruction of our public school system; and financial criminality. Coverage of the dangers of GMOs, the insanity of American foreign policy in the failed Ukraine state, and the outrages of charter schools are just a few of the topics that don't get enough attention because of the focus on black issues.

    TPM

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    1. Perhaps I'm wrong in drawing the line between DN! and WBAI, but—the financial tangle and concept origins notwithstanding—I tend to separate the two broadcast entities, blaming neither for the other's good or bad points. I believe that neither Pacifica nor Amy has any say-so in the other's production decisions. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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  7. Amy does a lot of fundraising for WBAI, has tried to renegotiate her financial arrangement with the station--only to find that nobody is home, and panders to the new WBAI audience of black chauvinist half wits.

    TPM

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    1. Don't you think Amy is sufficiently savvy to know that the pitiful size of WBAI's audience renders it unworthy of pursuit? Pare that down to black listeners and any effort spent attracting them becomes even more ludicrous.

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  8. There is racism and discrimination, and there is reverse racism and reverse discrimination. The civil rights people dislike it, the politically correct, including Amy Goodman, are afraid to use it, but I was introduced to the concept by serious left wing Sociology professor, who was a scholar of Marx and Engels. The people most vulnerable to reverse discrimination in educational opportunities are the white working class and working poor Americans. American born students, of any race, are at a disadvantage for getting into grad school when compared with foreign grad students from abroad. Hard work and higher motivation of someone seeing education as a way to stay in the US is only a part of it, the other part is the institutional structure of education. And it is not just here, same situation was on the other side of the Iron Curtain, in a slightly different environment. In essence both states tried to export their way of life all over the world at the expense of their own people.

    Amy Goodman and Pacifica staff are politically correct and leave their balls at the door, when dealing with issues of reverse racism, and I think that it was a part of the reason that Pacifica did not fiddle too much with the BAI and the DC station to make it appeal to a broader audience.

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    1. There is no such thing as ‘reverse-racism’ or ‘reverse-discrimination’. Any bias, whether positive or negative, any prejudice, whether positive or negative, which is based on ‘race’ is racism. Any discrimination, whether positive or negative, which is based on ‘race’ is racism.

      Claims to spurious legitimacy as to the ‘right’ to selectively employ these words as tools of political correctness, intimidation, influence and control, are precisely that.

      Orwell knew what he was talking about.

      ~ ‘indigopirate’

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  9. Point well taken, Indigo, but we are talking about a specific instance of prejudice in American society, and it goes by the name of reverse discrimination.

    As to Orwell, apparently he worked in the British propaganda department during WW2. It was an exclusive club, which he was privileged to enter. He was caught sleeping with an underage girl, and lost his reputation at work. That famous 1984 Orwellian bit about the clock at the office showing 13, was not an artistic invention on Orwell's part, the wartime propaganda department, where he work had a clock that was showing military time (i.e. 1300 hours instead of 1 PM) in keeping with the war fever that engulfed London during the Battle of Britain. Orwell mentions in his novel as an inside wink to his former co-workers, that the Ministry of Truth that he was writing about, was really their office.

    Orwell's non-fiction - Homage to Catalonia and Down and Out in Paris and London was his more interesting writing, I think.

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