Thursday, April 10, 2014

Only tell me what I want to hear...

You may have heard here an audio clip of Michael Haskins fading down and out a statement by Gary Null that was critical of Pacifica and WBAI. Null was broadcasting from his own studio, otherwise I seriously doubt that Haskins would have done this, because the two have seemingly developed a "rapport" when united in pitching for funds. 

That is part and parcel of Haskins' modus operandi, I don't really believe that he holds Berthold Reimers in high esteem, but whoever occupies the top position at WBAI is assured Haskins' loyalty. There are many names for that sort of thing, but "boot licking" is among the politer ones, so that's what I'll call it.

All WBAI workers have a mandate to respect the station's listeners. That includes listening to what they have to say and showing them common courtesy. When Haskins wants listeners to buy a product or become a so-called "buddy," he is quick to sing the praises of WBAI, the station that carries no commercial advertising, offers programming not likely to be heard elsewhere on the dial, and values free speech. Of course, WBAI does advertise products and services for sale, they just call them "premiums," but he is right about the uniqueness of some of the station's programs—he just leaves out an important fact: much of what is heard on WBAI in any given 24-hour period can not to be heard elsewhere, because it is radio of the lowest order, radio that other stations don't consider fit to air. As for free speech? Well, that sounds great, but it, too, is a lie.

Caller Abbey is not alone when it comes to having been a victim of hypocritical intolerance, nor is Haskins the only WBAI host who tries to stifle rather than discuss criticism of the station or its management. He, however, has gained prominence, thanks to Reimers and his own unabashed self-promotion. He is particularly touchy these days when truth surfaces and his fairytales are challenged. One truth is, of course, that he has low tolerance for serious criticism.   Here's what happened when Abbey Smith called him this morning. Notice that he vehemently denies cutting anybody off and even goes so far as to falsely claim that WBAI is not technically equipped to do so!


  1. These fossils have been decrying the rise of ‘Fascism’ in the United States for decades. When Reagan was elected they were literally warning that Concentration Camps were already being built.

    Granted, government construction projects often proceed on CPT [Clinton-People Time] but, still, it’s been rather a while and so far as I can tell none have been completed (other than in A51, of course).

    ‘Fascist’ seems to have become essentially a free-floating negative-indicator, eg, ‘The weather is really Fascist today’, or, ‘I think the milk has turned Fascist, it’s undrinkable.’

    To free associate a bit on a related theme, one of the things that’s most amusing about WBAI/Pacifica is that though they loathe capitalism and ‘Wall Street’, none of them seem to have even an Econ 101-level of understanding of macroeconomics.

    Like their use of the term ‘Fascism’ they simply sling it about as a free-floating negative indicator as to their sentiment.

    As in so many areas it’s not difficult to see why they have the audience they (don’t) have.

    As for the dreckishly-inimitable Haskins, let me be a bit cheeky, Chris – given the Devil’s Choice, would you rather have a Haskins in that position or a Steve Post/Larry Josephson?

    Please, don’t pot me down now!

    j/k, of course,

    ~ ‘indigothefascistpirate’

    1. That's a tough question, Indigo. Had I that choice to make, I would have none of them. Right now, Haskins is a hare-brained chameleon, but I remember when Josephson and Post were beginning to smell opportunity where they shouldn't have. Their path to the microphone was made easy by Frank Millspaugh, who traipsed around in his mescaline world and was as alien to broadcasting as Reimers—eminently manipulatable. Haskins is not convincing in his role as a good guy..None of these people really grasped the real opportunity before them: the chance to make a significant difference.

      Don't get me started on the creepy crawlies of this rising "crick."

      And I'm not J/K. :)

    2. LOL

      ~ 'indigo'

  2. Haskins was recommended many years ago by the notorious thief and thug Dred Scott Keyes. He is a former NJ Transit bus driver who was fired for reckless driving. He will do ANYTHING short of murder to keep his job - he has no place else to go. One cannot blame him for toeing the party line - he needs his job and he will not do anything to jeopardize it. Cut him a break, Chris!

  3. Haskins is a passive aggressive, sort of a friendly doorman smiling for a tip even as he flips a bird inside his coat pocket. He is a moral midget and nothing more can be expected of him, because his livelihood depends on listener donations. There, she named the entire BAI establishment - Paul Martin, Sean Rhodes, Jim Dingeman, Janet Coleman. And it is Coleman's supreme hypocrisy that she shot down Abby, and was herself acting even worse during the Pacifica National Board meeting. Coleman, at least, is in the Reese camp, and she will keep the BAI the way it is, so long as it keeps selling premiums. Bad news is that Margy is for station autonomy, and so the local BAI gang is safe with either faction.

  4. R. Paul Martin was over 30 minutes late this morning for his program. This is not the first time he has come in late or in the habit of showing up at the very last minute without leaving time to do so much as an aircheck. If it's such an ordeal for him to get to the studio, why doesn't he step down and forfeit the airtime to someone who would appreciate it? Why does R. Paul get away with these antics when other producers have been taken off the air for lesser infractions, or for being late only once? I thought he was such a stickler for rules and regulations. Just another example of "do as I say, not as I do".

    1. For several years, I have thought it best for the station (and listeners) if he didn't show up at all. His show is really a total waste of WBAI's air time and not in any remote way in keeping with Pacifica's mission. Neither, of course, is the censorship he practices.

      I want to say that I don't know why management puts up with him, but then I remind myself of the sad fact that WBAI is run on cronyism. You may have noticed that only the worst producer/hosts play up to Reimers.

    2. The "Union" R. Paul Martin ran for years was a management union. The producers who thought they were dealing with a confidential union were in fact talking with management. Producers and workers were hosed for years until AFTRA replaced his "union" as an honest broker. No one trusted R. Paul to represent their interests fairly. He was and is a stooge.

    3. That does not surprise me—it isn't insight nor artistic talent that keeps R. Paul's association with WBAI current. He knows how to play the game as far as management goes, but others see him as an unsightly pockmark on the station's image.

      He has just about killed the BlueBoard, only the tumbleweed of cling-ons rolls through it these days, and barely that.

  5. All the more reason to end this tragedy and have the BAI transmitter sold or leased out in its entirety.