Saturday, July 5, 2014
Random notes: July 2014
July 5, 2014-You may have heard the announcement of a Sunday morning shuffle that adds an hour to "High Praize", follows that with a 60-minute "special," and, at last, moves "Through the Opera Glass" to a reasonable time slot: Noon to 3 PM.
The original announcement of this deckchair rearrangement suggested that it was triggered by "Beyond the Pale" opting out of the schedule. That is true, but why did one of the station's good shows no longer wish to be aired? I bet its producers were reacting to amateur Reimers' banishing the show to a mid-night limbo. That's what made Sheldon Walden exit in a huff a few days ago, so such shifts are not always detrimental to WBAI.
Apropos WBAI's ludicrous schedule, here is a parody from Sydney Smith's blog. He does not name the show in question, but were the sand in Reimers' head gold dust, I would not hesitate to bet it on "Where We Live," a single-minded seance conducted by Sally O'Brien.
That show, which is heard 3 times a month, does justice a disservice as it wraps itself in a rather transparent veil of Goebelbabble. That's my word for the kind of racist fact twisting that is currently prevalent throughout the station's shifty-cum-shifting schedule, starting with Haskins' morning amateur show. It is imperative to point out and cover the corruption that is tearing down what is so naïvely dubbed “the American Dream” and pushed as “democracy,” but Pacifica also has a mandate to tell the truth, to be honest with its listeners, and to not become a soap box for personal political agendas. Deceit and race-baiting only serves to put the protesters on the same side of the fence as those against whom the outraged is directed. I heard a rather disgusting exemplar of that today as "On the Count" had someone named Robin McGinty celebrate the Fourth with fizzling fireworks.
With so many current wrongs needing to be brought above the fold and scrutinized, spending hours and hours of air time rehashing (and embellishing) the grim, distant past may fuel anger, but it is a wasted opportunity.
Some of what McGinty, Sally O’Brien, and the other wrongheaded ideologues say on WBAI’s air has a basis in fact, but even when the truth is sufficiently outrageous to demand change, they find it necessary to lace it with lies and redirect it with omissions. Such calculated dishonesty is what propaganda is made of and it would not have been very effective in Pacifica's early years, but it riles up a dumbed-down listenership created by decades of unconscionable programming. It is why intelligent people no longer tune in, it is slanted information that ultimately does the cause of justice a disservice. This approach has defanged and all but killed WBAI, so one might ask why we should worry about a group of opportunists preaching to themselves? I think the real cause for concern lies not so much in what these people spew, because hardly anyone listens, as it does in their theft of New York's only true voice in the media wilderness. They earn our condemnation for rigging what Nat Hentoff once called "the only game in town."
Even the most savory peach loses its flavor when served in a sauce of compost.
More to come, but don't wait for me—I want this to be a singalong, so add your voices.