Saturday, September 13, 2014

She's the ask-me-another "iED"... but she has a social security number!


Over at Nalini's place, Pacifica Radiowaves, the back and forth nonsense rages on. Since even the tallest tales are adamantly allowed to live on, no subject is ever closed, so the lies and counter lies, name-calling, etc. live on in a cycle. 

The shocking revelation that Summer Reese does not have a Social Security number still makes normal breathing difficult among the Siegel Gang, who continue to heap high praise upon Margy Wilkinson, the septuagenerian ├╝berclerk they covertly sneaked into office as interim Executive Director.

She plays a somewhat shy lady who stays in the background, or so it seems, but the script calls for her to materialize at meetings, such as the one held last Monday by the National Election Committee. There, Houston representative Teresa Allen asked a perfectly valid, pair of important questions, but, alas, they were not among the many Ms Margy had in her script. Here's the result:

19 comments:

  1. What? Sounds like Reimers' same spiel: neither time nor information.

    SDL

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  2. They're certainly their own sad, hapless, bitter little worlds...

    ~ 'indigo'

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    1. Small minds, small world.

      Ever heard of an executive director who didn't know how much money there is in the bank and how much is budgeted? Ever hear of one who couldn't at least say "let me get back to you with those figures?"

      Ma and Pa Cifica had better get their act together so they can at least go down knowing what happened.

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  3. I hear it differently. She's simply acknowledging that the doesn't have the figures at hand. Geez, you can get jumped on for anything at Pacifica, it seems. Why not give her the benefit of the doubt?

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    1. You don't hear it differently, you interpret it differently. The simple fact is that she didn't have the foggiest and this is something she should at least be able to give a ballpark answer to.

      That said, short of citing these figures as one of their many secrets, or making up figures (two ploys not so uncommon in that ersatz inner circle), what choice did she have but to acknowledge her ignorance? As I said, if she just didn't have the figures "at hand," someone within her reach presumably did.

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  4. I thought they hired a permanent director. What happened to him? Margie has a better work history than Reese. She WORKED for 40 years. I respect that better than a home schooled street corner flower vendor who has no social security number so as to avoid paying taxes.

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    1. It's hard to tell reality from intention when it comes to this bunch. Think of how many times Berthold Reimers has announced something that came to nought without any explanation given. I think that's because there is so much fantasy going on, on both sides, that even they can't keep up with it.

      I don't know if you have looked at the Pacifica Radiowaves list lately, but they are posting away, like mad, and getting nowhere. The latest dispute is over a long-since gone office holder who may or may not have slapped someone. It's so totally ludicrous what these people are doing while the whole organization sinks deeper and deeper into the mire/ But, of course, you know all that, BB.

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  5. You claim to be open to posting other viewpoints, Mr. Albertson, so consider this: you take on a job of compiling financial data that exists as piles of bills in various locations around the office, books that may or may not be current from 6 different locations, legal actions to collect bills years overdue-- unopened and not responded to, payrolls computed by persons unavailable for clarification and not through the service that generates reports and tax accounting. You do this for free, full-time, for three months, and you come to the dispiriting assessment of just how profound the problems are and how long clarity will take. In addition, you attend weekly (if not more frequent) 4+ hour phone meetings with people who do what they can to prevent any action being taken. In such a flagrant way as to make it a derisive question why anyone would have anything to do with the organization.

    When you have similar exemplary service to Pacifica to your credit, I'll grant you standing to level criticism (let alone cheap shots) at the one who HAS done all that.

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    1. I know that you had Margy Wilkinson's endorsement when you ran for a listener rep position on the KPFA LSB, so I can understand your coming to her defense, but I think you need to dig just a bit deeper before you bestow sainthood on Margy and point a wrathful finger at me.

      Let's start with Ms. Wilkinson. I do not for a moment doubt that she was faced with a financial nightmare when y'all pushed her into a position for which she, herself, admitted to being unfit, but who created the mess? What do you think Summer Reese inherited when she was legally voted in? Mind you, I am not an ardent Reese supporter—in fact, if you peruse this blog you will see that I have been rather harsh in my critique of her. You see, difficult as it may for you to grasp such a notion, I come to this sad Pacifica scenario without any pre-set allegiances. Amazingly, I am among those who value the future of Pacifica above that of any of this drama's players.

      I do not claim to have the "exemplary service" to Pacifica that, in your mind, might grant me the right to criticize it, but neither am I a contrarian who bounced in on a bone of contention. In the six or seven years of my intimate association with WBAI, I worked as a volunteer, announcer an producer before Pacifica President Hallock Hoffman appointed me the station's manager.

      I like to think that I contributed some good radio to the program schedule, but I find a few decisions to be more noteworthy:

      1. I hired the first people of color to our paid staff, including Joanne Grant, as News Director.
      2. I won back the interest of Lou Schweitzer, whom my predecessor had alienated. Lou had donated WBAI to Pacifica, but he had stopped supporting the station financially.
      3. With Lou's help, I applied to the FCC for license to increase our power, purchase a new transmitter, and moved it from the top of a relatively low neighborhood roof to the top of the Empire State Building where WBAI became one of the first stations to hook up to a new super antenna. This increased WBAI's listening area considerably and more than paid for itself in terms of garnering new listener-supporters.

      4. I also came up with and introduced the concept of having a fund-raising marathon. It was an act of desperation (I, too, inherited a fiscal mess)m and it worked so well that Pacifica had me conduct the first such events at KPFA and KPFK—they also worked.

      Today, that fundraising concept has been abused to the point where it takes up much of the Pacifica stations' air time and is conducted like an endless series of infomercials hawking highly questionable, even illegal "premiums." This relates directly to indiscriminate factionalized hiring of opportunists and the inferior, stagnant programs they foist upon a shrinking audience instead intellectual decline.

      You don't need to list Ms. Wilkerson's Pacifica accomplishments, but you are, of course, welcomed to do so.

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    2. I'm afraid my "complicity" with Ms. Wilkinson goes even deeper than your source informs you: I only ran for the LSB upon the request of her coalition of listeners and staff. I only knew of their existence after Arlene Engelhardt abruptly cancelled The Morning Show, to which I was a daily listener. My radios-- car, home, and work-- were tuned to KPFA; they were turned on most of the time, turned off for the (then) few programs of little interest or appeal to me. I was one of the people who rallied to the call to BOTH support the subsequent fund drive AND pledge a further amount to restore the MS. We were told it was a simple matter of money, so we dug deep and sent checks to be held in escrow pending accumulating enough to fund the show through the end of the year. We had a big meeting to celebrate achieving that goal; there I met the other SaveKPFA folks, and started attending the LSB meetings as often as I could, to understand how things had come to such a shocking pass. This was no small matter-- 40 miles each way in a 20+ year old car, with my aging reflexes. To spend 5 hours listening to a bunch of people doing their best to prevent the station from functioning and fundraising well, in favor of affixing blame to the "proper" people from the prior decade. It is the "Independents/United for Community Radio" I am indicting here, with their leader, Tracy Rosenberg.

      We know how pledging the money turned out: "the fiscal crisis" was a pretext and we were told-- first-- that the pledges would not be accepted to restore the MS. The checks went void. Some months later, the propaganda revved up: Save had collected and diverted money. One of the loonier tunes among UCR brought suit. (He lost, but the issue remains as part of the PR sewage stream in perpetuity)

      What puzzles me about so many New Yorkers is that WBAI is the textbook case of UCR policies and their results. If anyone has cause to see how big a failure it is to dispense with staff, foster contentious, do-nothing governance, retain poor management, and gripe endlessly about how it is all the fault of those people on the other coast-- it is you and your compadres. So why not do a thorough analysis of WHO has been in charge these last several years, WHAT policies they have pursued, HOW that has affected the station-- and whether a positive change of any magnitude can be made or "harm reduction" is as good as it gets. The rejected initiatives of Andrew Leslie Phillips and others had the virtue of looking reality in the eye. All the endless bemoaning and blaming, going back a decade, isn't getting you anywhere.

      Unless "where you want to get" is 100% smug certitude about WBAI and Pacifica being completely screwed, and endless bar talk about whodunit, back in the day.

      (As an aside, I believe that the "fundraising marathon" was a bi-coastal tie between you and a past KPFA development director.)

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    3. I have no quarrel with your criticism of WBAI—in fact, we can probably agree on most of the points you make. I have concentrated on WBAI, because it is the station whose inner and outer voices I am most familiar with. I had not tuned in for many years when I checked it out in 2009 and received a shock, to put it mildly. Lew Hill's extraordinary concept was being violated left and right by people whose interest in themselves was so obviously far greater than any the had for the station. I loved the WBAI and Pacifica I joined in 1961, which is why I eventually gave up a better-paying, more secure position at a very successful commercial station, WNEW.

      As for the fundraising marathons, there was West Coast person involved. We implemented during the six o'clock news an idea that came to me while having lunch that same day. Hallock was so impressed when he saw that we had not only reached our goal quickly, but exceeded its amount in actual receipts. This is why he asked me to write a marathon manual based on our experience, and do a repeat at KPFA and KPFK. I don't know where you got the notion that there was a West Coast "development director" involved. I wasn't aware of any of the three stations having such a position. We operated on a very different structure fifty years ago—no factions, no clawing to get at the microphone, no false feeling of having proprietary rights. Was everyone an angel? No, but there was a healthy common purpose the goal of which was to deliver honest, intelligent, quality radio programs to what FCC Chairman Newton Minow called "a vast wasteland."

      Believe what you will, but that is the truth.

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    4. Let me chime in and say that I blame WBAI first and foremost for its problems. Pacifica gets some blame for allowing WBAI to be a criminal enterprise (like a parent who lets a child run wild), but WBAI gets most of the blame.

      SDL

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    5. SDL-- and Mr. Albertson-- it's not a matter of my blaming "WBAI"; that descriptor includes both those whose ineptness or downright malice have brought it down, and those who have valiantly struggled against the decline every step of the way, and the horrified bystanders. What I am expressing puzzlement about, is how readily you seem to credit the line of obfuscation, misdirection, hysterical propaganda pieces that blame those at other stations for what has happened to your station, and overlook the obvious: you credit Andrew Leslie Phillips as well you should. He calls them as he sees them; in his earlier incarnation as Engelhardt's imposed and imported guy at KPFA, I had occasion to be quite vehement about some things he said along the party line. But he was honest enough about his perceptions and about requiring results that he redeemed himself in my eyes-- and earned the deadly enmity of UCR/Rosenberg/Reese. So I would suggest a closer look at what he has told you: all parties are NOT equally to blame; the plan that has been implemented at WBAI to disastrous effect-- is exactly the plan, implemented by exactly the same people, that we continue to fight against at KPFA. Think about the duplicitous Steve Brown and Gary Null (with his particular opprobrium for KPFA where we are NOT having his snake oil) and the contentious people they have installed on your boards. Not everyone at WBAI is equally to blame; not everyone at any other station, or in the PNB, is equally to blame: as Utah Phillips said, "The [organization] isn't 'dying'-- it's being murdered. And the people murdering it have faces and names." There is research to be done.

      And then, reform.

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    6. Again, we basically agree. I was willing to give Summer Reese the benefit of my doubts, but she failed to impress me when she made a couple of appearances on WBAI's air and completely lost my trust when she thwarted the promising efforts of Andrew Phillips (who was the personification of one of her better decisions). I think it is doubtful that Andrew could have restored WBAI, but he was trying and his approach gave me hope.

      I do't blame any of the other stations for the deplorable state of WBAI, but Pacifica has to bear much of the blame for having made damaging hires and allowing the abuse to go on for decades.

      Reform? I wonder if it isn't too late for that, at least at WBAI, which is thoroughly infested.

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  6. Actually, I don't. I can't make sense of Nalini's pages or their threads. I don't much follow the story beyond your blog. My curiosity was peaked with the ascent of Summer Reese, because it seemed to me, and still does, that she was an aggressive outsider trying to take over. On the side note, Gary Null Associates appear to have bought the best and most expensive mansion in the Golden Gate Estates, a working class suburb of the wealthy Naples, Florida. The property was worth about 10 Million, but has been declining in value since. It was also listed for sale since its purchase. I guess they were trying to flip it.

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    1. Ball of confusion describes it, I think,

      As for Null, that's a lot of green stuff!

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    2. I guess Null was a flop at the Carleton Sheets no money down real estate course...

      SDL

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  7. Nalini's blog is full of angry, confused and nasty people who aren't very thoughtful. Very few people actually read it. Nalini herself has taken highly contradictory positions, and seems to have a personal vendetta against Amy Goodman. A bit nuts.

    I check in here now and then but find the nastiness directed at those trying to rescue Pacifica, such as Ms. Wilkinson, really disheartening and juvenile. Chris, in your position as a smart former station manager, you potentially have much to offer, but silly graphics attacking people's reputations doesn't add anything.

    Ms. Gowen's comments reflect those of many of us honestly working to save our stations from the financial and political shenanigans of Reese, Rosenberg, Null, etc.

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    1. I don't agree that Nalini is "a bit nuts," but I think you have described her lists-erv well in your first paragraph.

      I take no side in this silly dispute other than WBAI's, and I think you will find that my graphics reflect that—take, for example, Reese and Wilkinson, neither of whom have been made to look saintly by my illustrations. People make their own reputations, I have nothing to do with any but my own.

      Ms. Gowen's comments also, for the most part, reflect my own desires for WBAI/Pacifica. Both factions (and I am sorry that it has come down to that) have attracted good and bad people up to a point where I, personally, see the future as dim. With so much infantile fingerpointing and animosity, so many selfish motives, such disregard for the original concept of Pacifica, and such mismanagement of funds, I really don't see a happy ending. I used to think that possible, however.

      So the best I can do is to provide a forum for honest discussion and post details as they are furnished to me. In other words, I try to paint an accurate picture of the current scenario and I encourage visitors to add their comments. Sure, I don't hide my own feelings, but I like to think that they are flexible.

      Your last sentence indicates clearly that you have taken sides and it implies that those who disagree with you are being less than honest. That tends to take away from your message, I think—as does your anonymity. I am not against people posting anonymously, but I tend to take more seriously critique aimed at me when I know who is making it.

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