Thursday, October 2, 2014

Murillo's road to nowhere?

This morning at 7, as WBAI approaches yet another fundraising marathon, the station's interim PD, Mario Murillo summoned the elusive Berthold Reimers to the rented uptown studio, where a clueless Michael Haskins holds forth at that hour.

The purpose was to spend an hour talking about the forthcoming drive and taking listener calls. Reasonable people might well have expected to hear Murillo and Reimers update what little has seeped out regarding the current financial situation, and tell us what was going to be done about it.

No such luck. Again, this was an hour of mostly meaningless blather where one had to read between the lines in order to catch a glimpse of the real situation.

As so often before, I na├»vely hoped we would hear what the new iPD has in store for the program schedule. This PD du jour has been with WBAI before and there were indications that he was ready to tackle an acknowledged series of mis-steps. Thus, one had every right to expect that there would be an initial weeding process to at least initiate program improvement.

Again, that turns out to have been foolish optimism. The truly awful host/producers will, apparently, not be shown the door—in fact, some of them received praise!

Murillo indicates his displeasure with so many programs being imported from outside sources, and he agrees with a caller who bemoans the lack of interaction with the "community". However, he does not seem to feel any need to expand that community, except for adding an emphasis on Central and South America. In other words, WBAI should stay on its narrowed path.

He wants to see more family business take place via social media rather than at 99.5. When the "Talk Back" program is mentioned, Murillo dates it back to the Nineties, when he was the station's Public Affairs person. The truth is that "Talk Back"—under the same name—goes back to the Sixties, when he was a kid.

Reimers mumbles his preference for the written word. This is the alleged GM who rarely is heard on the air, doesn't answer or even acknowledge e-mail, and is loath to take phone calls, because there are "crazy people" out there.

When a caller brings up the station's overwhelming emphasis on all things black and brown—a bias not readily missed by any regular listener—Haskins predictably goes on the defense. As you may have observed, Michael G. Haskins' horizon is quite narrow and dark. He has made it quite clear by his actions and words that membership in WBAI's "community" is determined by ones racial origin. Well, he does allow for the occasional black-by-choice character, like Mimi Rosenberg, who often says the right things, but in such a way that they promptly exit out the other ear.

Listen as Haskins pretends not to understand what the caller is saying, and note Murillo's reaction. And they still wonder why the audience has shrunk down to a call-in few?

Finally, there's this clip, which I have included just to show how utterly clueless the $100,000.00 a year Berthold Reimers is.

I hope you caught Reimers citing premium/product delinquency figures. Remember when he and his cronies attributed his first two years of invisibility to his having worked on the "premiums problem"? He and his inner circle claimed that he had all but put an end to the shipping arrears. That fantasy was later echoed by Mitchel Cohen and others who fought against Reimers' firing. Now we hear him mumble that a later 12,000 item backlog of unshipped "gifts" has been reduced to a mere 3,900! In other words, we were lied to, again. and this is practically on the eve of a new marathon. Not very encouraging for those who plan to send in money after the iPad lottery deadline.

You can still hear this hour in its entirety by going to the station's archive at and selecting the 7 AM entry for October 2. 

What do you think? Am I being too critical?


  1. I thought WBAI was on the left track? Anyway...

    It's amazing how little Murillo seems to know about call-in shows on WBAI. For decades the overnights were primarily call-in shows. They lost the night time listeners because night time listeners want to hear calls, not boom box music. The overnight listener is a different breed than daytime listeners. I'll leave it at that. No need for me to give a history lesson.

    Yes! Expand Hartman and Forlano. Great idea. Let's kill the afternoon audience once and for all. A WBAI enemy couldn't think up a better idea. Now I know who contributes the few Dollars those crappy shows make. No, wait. She just listens probably and expects others to fund her listening to garbage. See, that's how this gimme gimme gimme mentality works.

    Young people aren't going to listen to WBAI. Besides leaving radio in general, they don't want to hear WBAI's shit, That's the simple truth. Sorry to tell people, but young people aren't left wingers like in The Sixties. They are self-absorbed, materialistic bourgeoisie looking forward to the next iphone model. Hang out with them a bit. You'll find out. You'll also learn the meaning of "vapid." They are entitled and only pay for things they can't get for free.

    Murillo is just another WBAI cultist with the same ideas as the other dummies. Haskins is just a moron. Same old same old. They just don't get it. Their station is crap and dying and will continue down to a full six feet under. Notice the voices of the callers? All were at least well into their 40s, if not 50s and 60s. WBAI's financial support is going to literally die off...

    Wait and see if Null's PRN gets a radio station in the New York market. Oh, will they so murder WBAI. Please, Gary, Please! There must be some station that would carry your crap in the area.

    As my father used to say when he had enough with people: "Fuck 'em!"


    1. I don't think anything can make these people "get it." They feed upon themselves and maintain an attitude toward the paying public that reflects your father's erstwhile response to people of whom he had had enough.

  2. Chris - your criticism would have more validity if it did not have a huge helping of racism. Again, you seem to have been asleep for several decades before you woke up and rediscouvered the station. You to have an eagerness to kill the station. Why don't you help in a constructive way by volunteering to send out premiums, talking to producers, etc. Instead, you attack producers, post racist drawings and memes, refuse to recognize the hard work of producers that have toiled for decades. You really are a stooge!

    1. Given the nature of the "premiums" and the dishonesty that has gone into selling them, it would be hypocritical of me to get involved in their disbursement. Hypocrisy is one of the new artificial ingredients that had been added to WBAI when I tuned in after a lengthy intermission—I did not feel that I had "rediscouvered" the station as much as stumbled upon a cheapened bargain basement version of it.

      "Toiling for decades," as you put it, is not commendable if the result is a backward slide. Nor is it racism to recognize such hateful discrimination in a reverse form.

      Perhaps you ought to consider aiming your obvious outrage at people who are, in actual fact, killing WBAI—the moribund opportunists who lowered the station's program standard, discarded its most important principles, and brought it to its present nadir.

    2. As usual, vitriol against Chris Albertson without evidence. Really, Anonymous? You can't point out one piece of hard evidence?

      Political agitators love to use terms like racism (and its smaller brother, antisemetic) whenever they have no facts to argue and wish to shut down any cogent debate. Sorry to burst any bubbles, but WBAI has enough bigots on its airwaves that it qualifies as a hate speech station. If you bothered to listen to the station with a clear mind, you would see this.

      I wouldn't help send any premiums because I couldn't send out untried and possibly dangerous "health" products. I won't be party to possibly causing injury to someone with a product that has not been independently tested by a legitimate agency. It's truly stunning how the same people who want stronger rules governing food and the environment are willing to consume items that have NO oversight to speak of. You simply have no idea what is really in these powders and pills WBAI happily hawks.

      As for the hard work of producers line. Guess what? Many right wing radio nuts have also "toiled for decades." Working hard doesn't make you correct, proper or deserving of respect. Many of the bigots and/or imbeciles on WBAI have simply been around the station due to connections, not talent. That's a simple fact.

      Can you really tell me that when a piece of trash like McLaughlin tells a caller that he commited an act of domestic violence against her because he thought she was a man that she hasn't just belittled every woman who suffers REAL domestic violence? She hasn't belittled every woman who gets the shit knocked out of her by some scumbag? That is a direct question to you, Anonymous. Add to that Murillo expanding the time for this jerk to spew this crap...

      Anyway. I myself have attempted to talk to producers and have been ignored once I proved that they had no support. Go ask Furlano or Dancy. Two cowards just using WBAI to masturbate their inflated egos.


  3. For Black-By-Choice, you forgot to mention the queen, Sally O.- "All Mumia- All The Time".

  4. I think most people would agree that it wouldn't be racism to point out that Wendy Williams reinforces all of the worst stereotypes of black women or that Clarence Thomas is not Thurgood Marshall. So why is it racism to say that certain black and "black by choice" WBAI producer/hosts are nothing more than reverse hatemongers? If anything, I'd say it's an indictment of WBAI that it airs such people when there are well-educated, well-informed, accomplished and articulate blacks.

    Oh, wait: The talented ones won't go anywhere WBAI. When was the last time you heard Toni Morrison, Henry Louis Gates, Neil de Grasse Tyson or Coretta Scott King on the station? Heck, you hardly even hear hip-hoppers like Jay-Z, Nas or old-schoolers like Slick Rick and Kool Moe D, who are well-read and -spoken. Although he could seem pretentious, Hugh Hamilton--one of the producers sacked last year--was much better-informed and adept with the English language than almost anyone who gets his/her hands on a BAI microphone these days.

    1. Yes, and don't forget Cornell West, who downgrades his English to obtain a desired effect!

      Neil de Grasse Tyson was actually heard on WBAI last Thursday morning, but it was a very old Earthwatch--part of Kathy Davis' exhumation project. I had been told that Robert Knight once did decent work... this one fit into that category, but it was outdated.

    2. Back in the way old days, Knight did some good radio, especially in the "investigative journalism" realm. However, he always had a minor case of smugness. As years went on, the smugness grew into an arrogant baseball bat, which he wielded without restraint. No matter, in the early days, I was a listener.