Thursday, May 29, 2014

Gary Null's semi-secret monologue...

Last Monday, on his PRN FM online podcast station, Gary Null devoted over two hours on an assessment of the current WBAI/Pacifica crisis, the events that led the Foundation and its stations to this nadir, and possible solutions. He clearly agrees that any solution will require major changes in personnel and rules, but while he urged people to continue supporting WBAI, he also bared enough outrageous management collusion and chicanery to discourage any prospective donor. Null also knows that we will never see Lew Hill's concept completely restored, but he seems to feel that a semblance of the old, dedicated Pacifica might emerge. I seriously doubt it, and I suspect that—deep inside—so does Null.

Mr. Null decided not to archive his live monologue, but his PD said it was alright to post it if we could find it. As it turns out, Nalini captured the entire podcast as she worked in her kitchen, so we owe her our thanks for making it available. That brief background noise near the beginning is Nalini making a latte, but you can still hear what Null has to say. I think you might want to listen to the entire two-hour speech. However, the first part is familiar Null stuff (of the verbal kind), so, if the thought of two hours overwhelms you, you can move forward to about 23:45, which is where he specifically addresses the Pacifica situation. You will come away from it with new knowledge as well as supported, if not confirmed, suspicions. 

I look forward to reading your comments.


  1. Thanks for making that available.

    That said, though, it certainly was *l o n g* enough, wasn’t it. I think I literally nodded off at a few points, so forgive me if I’m somewhat wide of the mark, as I so often am, but it seemed in many ways to be over-concerned with historic background – which in a theoretical sense may matter in that it led proximately to the present place – but in another sense matters little if at all, because the situation is what the situation is – and I think most of us know, pretty much, what that is (could I possibly use the word ‘is’ one more time?).

    I did find the relatively explicit statements as to outright fraud with respect to Null’s premiums interesting. Though they’re not entirely new, I believe these are the most specific representations as to alleged details as yet presented. One does indeed wonder why Null hasn’t gone to the FCC and relevant legal authorities.

    Dispiriting, on the other hand, was his rambling presentation as to ‘steps that might be taken’ going forward – it’s simply the same old same old and I see it as pointless and doomed.

    Indeed, the whole situation seems to me to have at some indefinite point in time quite a while back reached a point of no return (not in the navigational sense where ‘point of no return’ simply means, of course, the more-or-less halfway point from which, if there’s a problem you don’t turn back but instead continue to move forward (perhaps with fingers crossed)). This one long ago crossed a point of no return in the sense that the situation became essentially unsalvageable.

    A Black Knight could do it, but I don’t see that as likely, though I suppose one can always hope, at least in a Hollywood Ending sort of way.

    Don’t know what Pacificans know about Black Knights and White Knights in M&A (Merger & Acquisition) speak (feel free to watch Danny Devito in Other People’s Money to get the idea, it’s a fun pic). Basically, a White Knight is an entity that takes over an organization (often but not always one in trouble) and is more-or-less supportive of the existing board, thus the existing board often invites or at least welcomes the White Knight. A Black Knight, on the other hand, wants the existing board or at least most of to be kicked the hell out.

    So in theory a Black Knight that wanted something worthwhile, perhaps at least roughly along the original foundational lines, could, when they look to sell WBAI, offer to throw some money at them, take over, throw everyone out, and make something worthwhile.

    I doubt that will happen, though.

    Has anyone asked what she was cooking?

    ~ ‘indigopirate’

  2. As usual, Null is articulate and long-winded and as usual, Null is self-serving and self-congratulatory. What is most interesting is how he repeatedly uses the word 'factions' but never speaks to what type of people comprise the factions -- their political/social outlook or their demographics. He hints but never says anything outright -- probably because he -- like the rest of the left -- is fearful and under the iron grip of pc.


  3. I'm out of the loop, so pardon me if I am being ignorant here. In the old days there was an independent WBAI listeners' organization called Friends of WBAI (or something like that). Does anything like that exist now? If not, maybe it's time for another go at something like that.


  4. I dealt from the staff side with The Friends at the time of ‘The Crisis’, and for a few years beyond that.

    As a self-defined independent group they presented certain challenges (which of us doesn’t?), but they were on the whole thoroughly sane.

    They were supportive of and dedicated to WBAI/Pacifica’s mandate of free speech and a truly wide range of programming.

    In the aftermath of the national and local board’s directives to direct and dedicate the station principally to the advocacy of ‘leftist/progressive’ politics and a focus on particular ‘minorities’ at the expense of ‘petty-bourgeois-elitist’ programming, to which end Samori Marksman was put in place as program director, the Friends faded and as I understand it subsequent comparable groupings became ever more like the various advisory boards which have existed for these last many years – political hack/wannabes and opportunists with no other opportunity.

    The Friends of WBAI was, however, I can attest, originally sane.

    ~ ‘indigopirate’

    1. Thank you for that information/observation. I remember that The Friends... seemed to be a VERY diverse grouping of people. Maybe that is what helped in keeping them from tipping too far to one side and going nuts. However, they did seem to have the interest of keeping WBAI as a forum of free form, informative radio with a wide variety of programming as their main interest.

      When I did a show up there, I was co-host with an old timer. We used to chat off air about the history of WBAI a lot. When I told him I liked the 1978 to pre-Marksman becoming bossman days best. He said, "Yes... The programming was good... But it didn't bring in as much money..."


    2. Was more money coming in under Marksman or was it that the sale of The Church and the move to 505 8th Ave combined with the profit from the sale of the church improved the cash flow?

      Only asking, I honestly don't know.

      ~ 'indigopirate'

    3. I don't know. I do know they were a bit better off for a while financially. However, taken in context of the times, you had a more loyal left wing, the "send us money or else!" threat still worked, people got the Folio, you had a greater feeling of being part of the station, etc. Now if you want to feel like you're a part of WBAI, you have to keep an eye over your shoulder so you don't get a sledgehammer on your head...

      Also, I think getting rid of some of the programs that had next to no listeners helped. The replacements probably brought in more cash. Even though I liked Iris Della Cruz and her show geared at sex workers in NYC, it wasn't anything more than an extremely fringe show that probably wouldn't have drawn more than a few subscriptions.

      No matter what the exact final tally, WBAI wasn't in the straights it's in now.


    4. Your observations all make good sense to me.

      As for their currently being in far-more-dire straits at this point, there’s little doubt, of course – I suppose the clearest sign of that fact is that even *they* are beginning to get the picture.

      It can’t get much clearer than that.

      ~ ‘indigopirate’

    5. SDL, do you remember the name of the show by Iris De La Cruz? This topic is of great interest to me, so her show sounds like a historical gold mine. Thank you.


    6. @APN
      From the January 1980 Folio. Link is

      5 pm BREAD AND ROSES
      Street Walkin' Blues with Iris De La Cruz
      of PONY (Prostitutes of New York)

      It was a monthly show that was actually part of the community affairs Bread and Roses program. I remember that Leonard Lopate once claimed he got her the gig because she had been a guest on his show.


  5. Ahhh, finally... I read a report from a totally different source (google public radio vs community radio for the article), where it was alleged that Amy Goodman/Democracy Now! has HIRED paid activists and organizers to harass the NPR network stations to carry the DN! I am not sure if this came after or concurrently with the Goodman's campaign to take control over Pacifica.

    Gary Null does not get into specifics or mention names. I wonder what he is afraid of, or why would anyone be afraid to talk about Summer Reese (whom Null characterized as not too enthusiastic about protesting Monsanto), but what we can deduce is that there were two factions, the banned and the fired, who carried Amy Goodman, and the OTHER faction. Null hints that the other faction, whom he accuses of a quiet takeover, is somehow associated with the US Democratic Party organization. Well, we can deduce that Siegel and Margy are the pro-Democratic party establishment faction, the banned and the fired/Democracy Now! crowd is not, they are the LEFT-WING opposition to the mainstream democrats.

    And now comes the part that Gary Null failed to point out, the alien ideology who have been taking over the Pacifica, are not the Democratic Party Organization Establishment faction, and not the Amy Goodman left wing the banned and the fired, but the anti-establishment fringe elements, which embraces the miracles cures, the grand conspiracies, is paranoid about the mainstream American life, and tends to embrace the extreme right wing ideology. That is the new ideology, that is alien to the white left wing intellectuals and to the Afro-Caribbean Marxists.

    I think that the same extreme Left faction at Pacifica has hatched and supported a number of individuals, who hold unusual beliefs, which do not typically coincide with the Marxist and progressive thinking. Grace Aaron, the scientologist, who seems to have spent the Pacifica foundation money to see if the Democracy Now! is not affiliated with the CIA; Summer Reese, who seemed to have seriously suggested to Ian Masters, that he should read a book on the water fluoridation conspiracy in the US; Christine Blosdale, who supports the 9/11/ truthers, but can not support a balanced perspective on the subject. Summer Reese has also publicly disclosed working as an office manager for Gary Null as her work experience prior to getting involved with the Pacifica Foundation. Another interesting detail, is that Blosdale, Reese, and Null have all had minor (unsuccessful?) involvement with Hollywood, prior to getting involved with Pacifica. All three of them have minor credited listings at IMDB (Internet Movie database).

    These are just some trends and patterns to think about. I don't think that Gary Null is totally candid, though he is revealing, and the factions and interests today are not the same as the ones in 1999-2000 coup that he is talking about.

  6. What is Basir Mchawi's real name?

  7. What does that have to do with Gary Null? What makes you believe it is an assumed name? Is it important?

  8. I will greatly appreciate if you could tell us whether you know
    of a place where one can listen to Gary Null's monologue
    either by streaming a file or by downloading a file?
    My essential conder here is to avoid using flash.
    I have already tried without success.
    I have only found Null's The Natural Show, but it could
    be listed somewhere there, perhaps under some unusual name.

    In spite of the fact that I have been a wbai listener since
    the late 1990's, when we lived in eastern Suffolk county
    in Long Island and Utrice Leid was the Talk Back producer,
    I still fail to understand how Mr. Null could have become
    so influential within wbai.

    But the fact is that somehow I have found harder and harder to
    listen to wbai. First there seems to have been a significant
    increment in the amount of time devoted to alternative medicine
    cures, which I personally find of little interest.
    Also, it is my perception, perhaps wrong or exaggerated
    that wbai seems to have started distancing itself from
    Lewis Hill's idea of a radio station for the specific
    purpose of promoting peace. For example I remember
    hearing calls for a US invasion of Dafur,
    Efesaren News and Goodman's Democracy Now often sounds
    to me biased in favor of the current military attack
    on the Syrian government, and Asis, the producer of Tahir,
    literally celebrated on the air the bloody military coup
    which overthrew the elected government of Egypt.

    I am still a wbai member, and while I still listen to
    Off the Hook and other programmes, I find myself listening
    more and more to kpfa or some other Pacifica station.
    I would like to see Hamilton's Talk Back reinstated.
    Letters and Politics is an interesting program but
    I could already listen to it on kpfa. I think that
    bringing Mr. Hamilton back will help recover some
    of the lost listenership.

    1. I don't understand the problem you are having in accessing Gary Null's monologue. If you scroll up to the attached audio bar, one click on the triangular start symbol will bring you a recording of it.

      While Hamilton's agenda eventually wore thin and I was glad to see him go, I generally agree with your assessments. I used to look forward to Amy Goodman's program, but I now find her to be near-unbearable.

      Thank you for adding your comments.

    2. Chris, he is saying he doesn't use Flash player which you need to listen to that stream you put up. I too would prefer an actual downloadable file, to listen to on my mp3 player. If you or anyone could upload the file also to a file hosting site like bayfiles, I would appreciate it:

    3. Thanks for explaining that. See if this works, and please let me know.

  9. That is exactly what I needed. Many thanks to Mr. Albertson,
    and also Nikephoros for clarifying my previous garbled writing.


    1. You are very welcome, and there is nothing garbled about your writing—my fault for not reading your comment correctly. I have learned something, so it is I who say thanks to you both.

      I hope you found the clip interesting.

  10. I found this page about Gary Null on the Encyclopedia of American Loons blog. Pretty much to the point. Just thought I'd share...