Thursday, April 3, 2014

Babble Berthold's Listener Report

Obviously cashing in on his memorable Sunday morning dance with Ivan Hametz and Chris Whent, Berthold Reimers returns to give us more upon which to ponder and wonder. I had hoped for a discussion of the programming, including the latest on that indescribably bad "gospel" show, the one that sparked last Sunday's confrontation. It was brought up, but briefly and it left us—typically—no wiser. Mainly,  Reimers did his usual head-in-the-sand, stretched optimism skit.

Andrea Katz made a better impression. She is articulate and informative. I wish, however, that she had been more truthful when promoting the WBAI site, which is the work of a close relative and remains hopelessly stagnant (they still list Haskins and Hennelly, for example). Apropos Haskins, he took over at at several points, using a critique of his morning show to morph himself into the GM—it was over the line, which is where he tends to go. 

The callers included Mitchel Cohen, Fred, the perennial  Fass caller from upstate, and a lady named Sarah Smith, who is a long-time WBAI listener/volunteer. I usually find Fred quite boring on Bob's show, but he is good here. Mitchel makes me squirm a bit when he praises Reimers, but it was a disagreement with Reimers that prompted him to call in. Mitchel, shares my annoyance at Reimers' failure to lay the cards on the table and speak frankly about the station's financial situation—he tries to make himself look good by exaggerating WBAI's fiscal status, giving the false impression that financial security is near, when it is far from it. He was doing that during this report, so Mitchell grabbed the phone. Below, you will find an audio segment containing Mitchel's call and Reimers' response, followed by the afore-mentioned lady's call, which ended the 2-hour program. As you will probably notice, the lady has a streak of that certain something that tends to make one regard frequent callers with a bit of the old salt, but she says much that makes sense and her complaints are widely shared. Holding nothing back, she admitted to missing some of the awful disappeared hosts (Hamilton and Armah), but—for other reasons—she is not so eager to send in more money. While I have little regard for Armand Dimele and his "Positive Mind" program, I loved the suggestion that therapy sessions with him might give Reimers a sorely needed personality. I don't think it would help, but he certainly needs something.

I have also included the 2-hour report in its entirety, complete with less interesting calls and Michael Haskins' annoying interferences. Someone should remind him that he is a board operator/announcer, not the captain of the ship.
Remember how he censored Null a few days ago? Keep that in mind as you hear him get worked up when a caller brings up the subject of phone cut-offs.

To sum it up, you may cringe, as I did, but you should also learn some things, as I did—both good and bad. I like Mr. Fred's sound advice and it's good that he mentioned the new Brooklyn studios; we were told last year that they were being wired, but now we learn that this was just another Reimers pipe dream, voiced prematurely. Looks like the Brooklyn site is not going to contain studios any time soon. Let's hope that Ms. Katz wasn't dreaming when she mentioned that she has actually been trying to raise money on the outside. She was working in the dark, for WBAI's front office remains woefully uninformed even after all these years.  If you listen to any of this, please share with us your thoughts.

Here are Mitchel Cohen's and Abby Smith's phone calls:

 And here is the Report in its entirety:


  1. Again, I'm shocked at how incompetent and often incoherent Reimers is. Would anyone -- except those living in a prog dreamstate -- ever hire this man to run any business or handle their personal finances? He's a dissembler, propped up by a gang of enablers...nothing more.


    1. Yes, it is embarrassing. I would be curious to hear what you think of the lady who made the last call, near the end of the second hour.

      BTW, Frank LeFever (perennial Board hopper) is proud of having played a prominent part in selecting and recommending Berthold Reimers. He said that he was picked from a group of 60 applicants! One has to wonder what flaws the others had.

  2. So these clowns haven’t got walls that go to the ceiling, haven’t consulted with any architects, acoustic experts, sound engineers, and haven’t even roused themselves to find out if the structure can support the weight of studios…?

    ~ ‘indigo’

    1. Isn't that in keeping with the rest of what they do or do not do? At one point, we were told that Tony Ryan and another guy, G-----something, were hard at work on the wiring. If they keep these lies up, we just might see a salt shortage.

  3. Chris--I hear the Atlantic is now a freshwater pond.

    In response to one of your other posts, someone said that the problem is that the WBAI brass thinks that it has the same listenership it had in 1968. Actually, the problem is that most BAI listeners actually are the same folks who were listening back then--minus those who've died, moved or stopped listening for other reasons.

    1. I listened to Haskins—you know, our "radio guide"—this morning. He had another hissy fit of intolerance. I could not resist posting it to start this day, April 10, 2014..