Friday, November 14, 2014

November 12, 2014 LSB eavesdrop

If you listen to WBAI with any kind of regularity, you have undoubtedly heard their shameless self-description as the "Peace and Unity" station, where speech is ever so free but listening is not. Haskins will play "We are family" every weekday morning, having just told a handful of listener leftovers that he is very "excited," because the station is rising from the ashes, yes, the very ashes he previously had failed to see.

What most of us see is a once proud and significant radio station being reduced to a propaganda machine  that mostly addresses itself and the occasional like-minded dial drifter. The exceptions are also there, but they are few and mostly buried in what has to be the New York area's worst program grid. One might say that these programs are a sparse sprinkle of truffle on the Twinkie.

If you want to hear how the WBAI Local Station Board bozos, their management figureheads, and those whom they attract conduct themselves at family unions, thank Mitchel Cohen for bringing along his little recording device when he attended the LSB meeting of November 12, 2014.

Mitchell apparently recorded it all, but posted somewhat selectively. He does not hide that fact, but one wishes he had also made available an unexpurgated version. Still, there is enough damning dialogue/monologue here to illustrate WBAI's moral deficit and how it may even exceed the current financial one.

Before you listen to Mitchel's recording, you ought to read the preface he gave it when he posted it to the PacificaRadiowaves list. Mitchell has his own agenda and rose-colored glasses, but his naïvité is, I believe, just that—not of the deliberate devious variety. I think Mitchel could readily co-exist with people holding opposite viewpoints, but such "tolerance" has no place in the race-riddled agendas of the self-tagged "community" members. Black is beautiful, but it can also be given a darker meaning...

Here is Mitch Cohen's preamble:

"Here's a somewhat condensed version of the WBAI Local Station Board meeting of Nov. 13, 2014, as I recorded from the audience. 

Sitting next to me in the audience was a fellow named Ed Manfredonia, whom the police had removed from a local Finance Committee meeting last year and banned him from the building, and who has written numerous letters to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the IRS targeting WBAI's (and Pacifica's) funding. Fortunately, he's made (and continues to make) such wild accusations that even a government official would be hard pressed to give them any credence. You'll hear his comments near the beginning of the recording.

While I shortened a lot of the procedural discussion (dramatically speeding it up) I left the interim Program Director's and the General Manager's reports pretty much intact.

It's not suitable to be aired because of some of the vulgarities. (I removed a couple from the iPD's report, but I didn't get them all.)" 


  1. rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

  2. Thanks for posting - Mario is trying his best, but he keeps repeating how eager he is to leave. Mario realizes he is in shit and he needs to leave before he is drowned.

  3. At that same meeting, Berthold told a staffer that Andrea Clarke, host of "Sister form Another Planet", was the person who called the police on Sidney.

    1. I have of course wondered what might be hiding ,neath those fast forwards. I hope Michel sends me the unexpurgated version so that I can make it available here. how about it, Mitchel?

  4. Mario Murillo is a wind-up motor mouth but I did not hear one thing concrete that he was planning to do.

    1. hE has no legitimate excuse for not taking some of the worst programs off the air. he claims that it takes time to find replacements, but that doesn't wash, because there are enough worthy shows that could use a repeat in another time slot. that would be far better than to continue running truly awful fare.

      I also did not hear him address the problem of the schedule and attitude that has given WBAI a predominantly black flavor, but of a simplistic variety. he may agree with some of the racist shows, but he may also simply fear being regarded as racist himself. that is not an unfounded possibility, but the station should not allow itself to be manipulated by small agenda-driven minds--it must return to serving the area, not just its hateful malcontents.

      Free WBAI of Mumia, for example.

      Berth old Reimers? Well, his pathetic mumble hasn't changed. Sometimes I wonder if some people aren't defending him because they don't understand a while word he mumbles.

  5. I'm thirty eight minutes into this crap and wondering how Murillo manages to talk so much and say so little. He must be the type of person that has extended conversations with the guy he sees in the mirror every day. He'd be a great used car salesman.


  6. ques.: What planet is that?
    ans.: Uranus (Your Anus)


    1. WBAI should initiate yet another board/committee - The Spiritual Advisory Committee (S.A.C.) to advise on spiritual matters. On said committee could be Davis, Brady, Anderson, etc. I bet they could hold some spaced out meetings. Imagine the audience?

      "Do you think the reptilian shape shifters are conspiring with the horny alien molesters to weaken the spirit of WBAI by projecting images of darkness into the studio to lower the political correctness of the producers?"


  7. Finished listening to this audio. I really couldn't understand much of what Reimers said due to low audio and his accent. The woman concerned about the floors being able to withstand the weight of a broadcast studio musn't understand that broadcasting equipment is pretty light weight these days. If the floors can't handle a studio, then how do they expect to bring Bernard White back? He'd surely go through the floor and sue.

    Manfredonia should have his own show. He would probably do really wild conspiracy stuff. Why is it that people who are willing to take serious action over WBAI are generally psycho?


    1. Even if the don't bring Bernard White back, there's Kathy—not to mention that fat lady who has been standing in the wings awaiting her cue.

      I wonder if Murillo hasn't changed his mind about White, if there ever was anything to that rumor.

      I will soon post a a fragment from Kathy's most recent Hour of Resurrection in which she has a guest who appears to advocate shape shifting. Knight's girlfriend is also there, revealing plans for an event that will celebrate Knight's legacy next spring. Legacy? Celebrate? I think about 12 of his friends attended the funeral and I do not recall there having been any mourners clogging the phone lines. Had he died a few years earlier, the reaction might have been different, but Knight had become a bitter, pretentious fraud with a recent "legacy" that is best forgotten.

      As for Manfredonia, he obviously serves as an inspiration for many at WBAI.

  8. If they offered a "Best of Monroe" CD, would it alleviate the station's debt?

    1. Material for such a disc has never existed.

    2. Funny, Chris. Didn't he go back to the beginnings of WBAI as a listener? I feel sorry for you if you ever had to deal with him.

      I really came to loathe him even more than neo-fascist "Frank" because he was always - ALWAYS - calling every show. I coined the term "listener as self-made unofficial co-host" to describe people like Monroe - listeners who continuously call shows and learned how to manipulate hosts into keeping them on the air, usually through combativeness.


    3. He may well have been a very early listener, but Monroe lied about his many years around WBAI. I think that may be one reason why he disliked me—I knew the truth. We were not set up to receive calls on the air until around 1964, which may be why he was unknown to us. I think I remember all the regulars who fluttered around the 39th Street station. Monroe was not one of them. In fact, WBAI attracted the occasional crank letter, but was pretty much free from the likes of Monroe. We had a guy named Joshua Kolinsky hanging around, but he was genuinely trying to be helpful. Then there was an elderly lady, Claire Silber, who made strenuous complaints. She was furious when Joe Binns (the manager) replaced the morning classical music "concert" with a live show called "Music and News with Albertson and Potts," but I took that off the air when I was appointed manager, so now she was furious because she had "gotten used to it."

      This woman wanted to start a "Friends of WBAI" listener-supporter group, which I thought was a pretty good idea. They would not have any official say in how the station was run, but they would organize promotions and give us feedback. So I gave her the nod. She was the group's "president," but someone suggested at their second meeting that elections be held. That was done and she lost her self-proclaimed seat, so now she turned against me and the station! When we had our very successful jazz benefit at the Village Gate, I arrived to find Claire on her knees, chalk in hand, writing "Albertson must go" on the sidewalk. She had already pretty much covered the building with the same message. It was December and rather cold, so I urged her to go inside.

      I am told that Monroe used to make multiple calls so that he could tie up the phone lines. Still, his death produced more expressions of regret than Knight's did.

    4. That's funny stuff about Silber. Some people are just never satisfied.

      Yes, Monroe would just call right back after he was finally cut off. He was all about himself and not a thought for anyone else. There was an old joke about Monroe that he would never want his own show because it would have cut down on his air time too much.

      As you know, talk shows tend to have the same handful of callers every episode. One night (during his short lived WBAI show circa 1980) Tom Leykis decided to do an experiment. He wondered if the regular callers block other listeners from calling in. So, he banned regular callers from calling for the first hour (if they called, he hung right up on them). Sadly, it was a flop. He did get a few irregular and first time callers, but none of them had anything to say, really. They were just boring. Now Leykis had a good sized audience (by WBAI standards) and this happened to him. Imagine a smaller show?

      As for Robert Knight. he was a person that was pushed at WBAI as a sage, but meant nothing elsewhere. He didn't influence broadcasting at all. At least Bob Fass has influenced broadcasting (in the 1960s, at least. Forget what he does now.). When Fass dies, the eulogies to his legacy will have merit. Knight left no legacy, no matter how much Kathy Davis thinks otherwise.


    5. Knight, who I knew when he first appeared at WBAI, always struck me as at least a bit delusional as to his status and accomplishments. He seemed, for example, to think it extraordinary that he knew COBOL, and it would never occur to him that he might be speaking to someone competent in Assembler.

      I’ve noticed – it’s a generalization, so caveats as to exceptions apply – that sharp people as a rule don’t assume an interlocutor is a loaf of bread. They tend to run through a sort of ramping-up in a sense (to use the ancient computer metaphor, which seems apt here) analogous to early modems’ handshake routine, trying first one level, then the next higher, and so on, to establish the possible level(s) of communication. If they reach a point where they silently conclude they’re dealing with a non-idior, even from another field entirely, they’ll then proceed on that basis. Less sharp people, on the other hand, who think they have some significant accomplishment or credential when they don’t, really, tend to simply proceed on the basis of their imagined level of awesomeness – Knight was of this sort, in my experience.

      Knight thought knowing COBOL was a deal. Josephson (yes, I know, Chris, but I’m sure you’ll grant what’s due) had as I understand it, expertise in serious maths, a 1st Phone, and – to compare with Knight – was a major developer of IBM’s OS 360 Job Control Language. For those of you unfamiliar with this sort of thing, it’s lower-level (meaning closer to the machine) stuff, critical to overall performance and reliability – a galaxy removed from simply knowing a bit of COBOL. Then again, Josephson was involved, if I remember rightly, with COBOL’s development and/or evolution.

      I suppose, though, that by the time Knight appeared at WBAI he was, by then-current WBAI standards, a sage, just as Marksman was a great revolutionary, and Null a great healer.


      ~ ‘indigopirate’

    6. The Leykis experiment is interesting, but not surprising. Most of WBAI's programs get the same callers and they rarely number more than a half dozen, if that. I think it's pretty obvious that the audience is small when there are less than ten lines and people have no problem getting through. Remember Tom from the Bronx? He doesn't call much anymore, but he never seemed to have a problem. Notice, too, how callers so readily get through twice in a row. Today's WBAI is too unpopular to serve as a measure.

      I agree that Knight was a product of hype, much of it his own and that of the dreadful Pamela Somers, a very sick woman. He became a character as he began imagining himself as something he never even had the talent to be. When people start believing their own hype, their chances of realizing a career goal is seriously diminished. I learned very early on that it is as big a mistake to take yourself seriously as it is to not take your work seriously.

      I agree that Bob Fass' death will be regarded as a legend lost, even though his time in the sun is way in the past. Had he not allowed himself to fade for all to hear, his involuntary departure would be a bigger event, but he messed up. Although I think he ought to have taken a new path a few decades ago, the wise alternative would have been to retire at his own book party when that documentary came out.

      The big difference between Bob Fass and Knight is that Bob actually had an impact on our culture, Knight left nothing worth revisiting oe, for that matter, remembering.

    7. You have to remember that WBAI had a lot more listeners in 1980 than now. People like Lopate (top notch back then), Leykis, and Knight had no problem getting all ten lines filled. There were actually listeners back then. Granted, there were lots of regular callers, but they, at least, had lots of regular callers then.

      Of course, David Wynyard had no problem always filling the ten lines - mostly with crank callers. It wasn't unusual for him to get 15 - 20 cranks in a row. Such a masochist he was. I remember the night he broke and said, "That's it! No more phone calls!" Of course, he started taking calls again and you can figure out what happened...

      Anyway. Leykis had been around broadcasting for a bit (Manhattan cable public access TV, Mark Simone's Simone Phone show on the old WPIX, where he was co-writer and producer/screener, etc.) Hence, he came to WBAI with a bulit in audience. In truth, he had the largest audience of all the overnight shows, which I think made people jealous of him. He wasn't liked by staff. His show kind of lived in it's own little, lively world. He brought a certain AM talk radio style crossed with his then left wing beliefs with him, which made his show stand out as different to the rest. I was a fan, but admit he was a bit of an asshole. Well, since going to commercial radio, he became a big asshole, but, somehow, I still like him in moderate doses.

      You also have to remember that regular callers seemed to be the people who "knew" they had something to say, because they were actually alone and had no one else to listen to them. Hence, they were aggressive about calling stations. I have always said the overnight listener is different and yearns for that more personal connection with radio. These days, WBAI considers the overnight a throwaway time.

      I think that when it comes to regular callers, many talk shows encourage the ones who agree with the host. Look at Bob grant and "Frank." Grant loved the nut and had him on every day to kiss his ass. There was even a thing a while back about regular talk show callers actually getting paid by commercial radio hosts to call in.

      Oh, well. I always resented Lynn Samuals for one thing: she made "Frank" the star he became, even having him up in the studio one night.

      Finally. These days a real 3 - 4 hour call in show on WBAI would be a disaster. With the few morons that call in, it would sound like a 3rd grade class for the mentally handicapped.

      P.S. Fass' problem is his drastic safety zone. He STILL surrounds himself with people like Krasner, Gravy, etc. He never moved on and brought in new people as time went by (he really needed to be that older, wiser, experienced father figure with some younger people around him to share each others' generational interests and culture). He just won't leave 1968. Too bad, or he could still be relevant. He had what it took to be one of the true legends of radio (he should have been one of the first people called in for attempts like Air America), up there with Barry Gray, Long John Nebbel and the like. However, I still say it was one of the best and most important decisions in the history of WBAI to put him back on as you did. Without Fass, WBAI wouldn't have become as relevant as it was.


    8. Apropos regular callers, do you recall "Play Misty for me"? When it was released, Billie Wellington, the PR repairmen head for Warner Brothers Records, call me and almost ordered me to see it.

      It was about a a phone stalker who plagued a DJ. She always asked him to "Play Misty for Me." It had a rather violent ending, but the reason Billie wanted me to see it was that it could have been written about something that happened to as a DJ in Philly. A nerve-wracking experience, but without the violent ending. In fact there was kind of a twist at the end.

      It's about 1 AM and I've been up since very early this morning, so I'll tell the story tomorrow. Remind me to do so.

      Let me just say that I think Bob Fass stagnated, freezing himself in time when the head hippies rallied around his microphone. Some people don't handle popularity well. Now he is a vague replica of his old self who plays long segues of uneventful music, and loves to recite the call letters of the low-powered stations that feed on what's left of his show/ Very sad.

    9. @SDL, et al: I’m also struck by the fact that WBAI considers the night to be throw-away time. To my mind it’s golden, and perhaps it ought be remembered that in many ways WBAI grew to wide influence precisely because of the talents of Fass and Post in the after-midnight slot, followed by Josephson (when he woke up) effectively following at something vaguely resembling 7a.

      Those time slots rely entirely on sheer talent, are capable of infinite flexibility, and cost next-to-nothing to produce, just talent and a bit of electricity.

      They’re also extraordinary opportunities to connect to people at deep, deeply personal levels.

      I’m of the belief that in the age of the net they could grow like wildfire if they had truly talented, truly creative folks working those time slots.

      Won’t happen, I know it won’t happen, not with these wannabe’s, but it’s a hell of a thought.

      Talent on a high wire, without a net – what can be better than that?

      ~ ‘indigo’

    10. @indigo: I think one of the problems with overnight radio is that most GMs and PDs work during the day and don’t understand that night time is a different breed of listener – alone (not necessarily “lonely” but alone in the physical sense). Overnight listeners are generally alone at home or work, isolated from human company. They seek more than listening pleasure or information, but companionship and a more personal experience.

      WBAI shined in the old days when a guy like Leonard Lopate would have a conversation (real conversation and not just a couple of quick comments) with someone for 10 or 20 minutes about whatever the topic was. That became personal. David Wynyard excelled at the conference call when he’d eventually have 3 or 4 listeners on at once discussing anything from politics to personal relationships to whatever. Leykis had the ability to have a conversation in a slightly confrontational manner. If you said something, he wanted you to defend your position. I remember the night he talked about how he was an atheist, and how brutal a show that turned into. Yes, even at WBAI about half the audience slammed him for it. What I liked is that he didn’t mind slamming back. However, he didn’t cut people off, he made them fight it out.

      The whole point is that there was real human interaction, which was perfect for night time. The same thing wouldn’t work for the tenser, rapid atmosphere of day time radio. But at night, it was perfect. Even if you weren’t a caller, you were still part of it all.

      Yes, WBAI essentially throws away about one third of their programming day. There is no idea, as you said, about how night was so important to WBAI’s development. All WBAI does with night time now is throw crap music on so they don’t have to shut off the transmitter.

      Maybe the secret is having an assistant PD who is a “night person” and handles midnight to 7AM? Nothing more, just that block of time, and understands that night is different.

      Anyway. All that’s needed for a decent night time show is the ability to have a conversation. Not money or any other great achievements, just an ability to talk and listen. If you have no particular topic or guest, ask the listeners what’s on their minds. The whole thing is to get that first conversation going, the rest will follow.

      @Chris: You have a play misty for me/bunny boiler story to relate?


    11. Yes, SDL, last night's exchange about callers being frequent dialers made me think of the movie, "Play Misty for Me." I told you that Billie Wellington (wife of piano great George and then head of WB Record's PR dept.) called and practically ordered me to catch that film. She did so, because it in many ways mirrored an experience I had as a DJ in Philly.

      I had the morning show, which ran for several hours, seven days a week. We did not take calls on the air, but listeners could reach us in the studio. One of them, a lady who didn't give her name, called every morning and whispered, "Play Monk for Me." We eventually began having short conversations about jazz, and this had gone on for about a month when, during one of her regular calls, she blurted out, "I love you!"

      I mofe or less laughed it off, but she became adamant and her voice louder as she repeated her declaration. I didn't know what to say, so I asked if she had a music request. I know, that was not a kind reaction to someone who has just poured out her heart. "How can you be so cruel?", she asked.

      Well, long story short, I began receiving wonderful drawings and poetry from her, things that I would have appreciated were the circumstances normal—they, of course, were not. Her talent was obvious, so I suggested that she submit her work for publication... I could even see a book. That did not anger her, but neither did it make her ease off. She kept calling and mailing, each creative item signed "Love, X." Of course "X" was not her initial, but I will keep her real name out of my account.

      I used to get home around noon, relax for a while, then take a nap. One day, the street entrance doorbell rang and I buzzed the person in, sight unseen. When I subsequently opened my apartment door, there stood a young lady who obviously had suffered a bad hair day and seemed quite distant. I gave her entry, knowing instinctively that this must be my routine caller. She looked around nervously as she walked into my living room and took a seat. I offered her coffee or tea, but she shook her head. I waited for her to say something, but she just sat there. A few minutes later, she finally spoke. "Do you ever listen to silence?", she asked. I was about to tell her that I probably didn't when she continued. "There is nothing more beautiful than silence." I asked her why she listened to my show, if she was so fond of silence, and she ignored me. Finally, about an hour later, the silence was interrupted by one of the two young ladies who shared the floor with me. I had left my front door ajar, which signaled my neighbors that I was open to receiving visitors. My fellow tenant had heard all about "X" and she immediately knew that this had to be her, so she went into an act. Throwing her arms around me, she gave me a kiss and asked where we were going for dinner that night. This was all for the benefit of "X", who walked out.

      I now started finding notes in my mailbox as "X" paid regular visits, rang the doorbell with urgency, but never gained entrance. One rainy day, her note stated that I had asked her to come (a message she read into one of the recordings I played), she had walked for a couple of hours in the rain, and I cruelly ignored her. You know I felt bad, but what was I to do? One of my regular listeners, a Philadelphia Police Sergeant told me that I could file a complaint and probably have her taken in for mental observation. That was much farther than I was willing to go, so I continued to put up with the attempted visits and ongoing calls to the studio.

      End of Part I - Part II follows.

    12. Part II of II

      One day, I received in the mail a brown paper bag, neatly taped up and sans return name or address. It was soft and stuffed with something. It was still on my kitchen table, unopened, when I got up from my afternoon nap, so curiosity got the best of me. I knew who had sent it, but I was not prepared for its content: $3,000 in cash!

      I had by this time learned the young lady's full name, so I looked in the phone book and found 4 of 5 such subscribers. All too familiar with her voice, I called until one voice rang a bell, as it were. She wouldn't talk, but now I had her address, so I went to the bank and had a cashier's cheque made out to her in the full amount. She received it and sent it back with a note saying that the money was an inheritance that now belonged to me. I sent it back to her and told her the following morning that I had been advised to tale legal action. I would do that unless she kept the money and stopped calling or visiting. I further suggested that she use the money to do something that would help HER, that included getting some professional help. I stressed that I regarded her as having impressive creative talent and that she should not waste it.

      That ended the story, or so I thought. Many months later, I had relocated to NYC and was working as an A&R man at Riverside Records (Billie Wellington was our PR lady and Monk was one of our artists). One day, the receptionist announced that there was a lady there to see me. Imagine my surprise when I saw who it was, but she had transformed herself into a a pretty, smartly dressed young woman, from head to toe. She was also smiling! We had lunch.

      She had taken my advice, spent some time in Paris, generated interest from a publisher, etc. It was truly amazing. We were in touch regularly until 1972, when my Bessie Smith biography was initially published. She had repeatedly urged me to write a book, so I sent her a copy as soon as I had one.

      I guess it was mission accomplished for her, because she disappeared and left Philadelphia.

      More recently, we found each other online and have continued a reasonably paced exchange.

      That's it, in a nutshell. Hope I didn't bore anyone.

    13. Quite a tale, well told :)

      ~ 'indigo'

    14. Glad she was just a bit obsessive and not psycho.

      During the 1990s and early 2000s I used to meet a lot of women real time from S/m oriented IRC chat rooms. Well, most of them were whacked in some way, even though not dangerous, exept, maybe to themselves, having poor control of their own lives and making bad decisions due to neuroses or stupidity. Nothing ended violently, but one did get vicious and went around telling people lies about me. However, she was so stupid she came off as totally obsessed to people, who simply didn't believe her after a while.

      It all ended because the last woman I met from a chat room became the only long term relationship of my life (10 years). My 2nd longest was about 8 weeks. The rest averaged 1 week. Let's just say I'm not good relationship material.


  9. A few scattered, semi-coherent – and more than a few purely incoherent – thoughts from having sampled the first ~45min of this tape, in no particular order:

    Murillo, and doubtless some of these other folks are fairly bright, and nice enough – though they’re a minority.

    Most aren’t very bright, most are nettlesome, very nearly all or both hapless and clueless.

    Murillo notes that a temporary studio ought to have happened in Brooklyn long ago, and it isn’t clear to him why it hasn’t happened. That’s not his limitation, of course, but it’s clearly reflective of the overall incompetence. A ‘guerrilla master control and studio’ is easily and affordably possible and could be done in days – and with creative talent it could be made a virtue – anyone who can’t immediately see the programming possibilities in such a central identity for rebirth has no business in radio or any other creative endeavor. It’s a definite duh.

    More ‘community radio’, meaning more parochial amateur opinionating and ‘news and public affairs’ from one of the world’s great cities?

    FLASH: New York IS a community. It is an enormous, monstrous, multi-tentacled, multi-faceted vibrant, resilient community, sui generis.

    These folks see only narrow interests as ‘community’. Only see ancient political orthodoxies long-failed (‘The Marxist Forum of Brooklyn’? *Really???*)

    They are ancient, they are partisan, they are fractious, they are fools. It’s because they are all these things that they came to this impasse, and it’s because they are all these things that they can’t see – and create, and seize – any of the innumerable possible ways out, indeed any of the innumerable possible ways to something creative, and dangerous, something powerful and vital, something that might prove vitally important in a culture itself widely adrift, itself lost in processes threatening not something nearly so interesting as decadence but merely in a thousand minor dissolutions of quotidian despair.

    So they will die, slowly, sinking in the sea, or they will continue babbling, hobbling, pointlessly, speaking only to themselves wondering why no one cares.

    SECOND NEWS FLASH: No one listens because they aren’t interesting, and they don’t matter.

    Another duh.

    All of this ceased to matter, really, at the least something like thirty-or-forty years ago.

    [BAI had, incidentally, a very solid broadcast tie-in with Symphony Space long, long ago. Ira Weitzman had arranged it, just as he’d managed the Free Music Store and the Winter Crafts Fair, all of which mattered in and of themselves, for their own sake, all of which added to the station’s reputation and creditibility in the community which is New York and the world, and all of which brought in a great deal of money. Samori Marksman killed it and all such because it was mere-white-bourgeons-entertainment, not ‘community’ and ‘revolutionary’, not important for a Pacifica and a WBAI devoted to ‘progressive’ ‘community’ ‘Revolutionary’ radio. Now they find it impossible to reconnect, as Murillo has learned. Gee, wonder why that is.]

    Well, we see where ‘community’ and ‘revolutionary’ lead, don’t we – but it’s who these people are, it’s how they understand the world.

    The world ain’t listenin’ and it ain’t gonna.

    Why on earth would it?

    ~ ‘indigopirate’

    1. Being "fairly bright" is meaningless when one is blinded by one's personal agenda. Murillo trying to shift the focus to Latin America is no better than the stagnant house bozos who see "community" as having African roots. It is this sort of myopic attitude that creates factions, lowers the intellectual scope and pulls the station down to its present sorry level.

      I was struck by Murillo's remark that he does not believe in maintaining communication with the listeners. These people are idiots who cannot see farther than their own nose—they have learned nothing from the many mistakes. A few of them somehow have a feeling that the station's programs are not acceptable, but they don't want to change. Murillo said that Gary Byrd grumbled. Well, he conducts himself professionally on the air, but if his black agenda precludes his making changes, fuck him!

      Staying on the air is in and of itself a worthless goal, but that is what these idiots give their first, perhaps only priority. WBAI has already died and were it to go silent now, most people would not even notice.

  10. Murillo is a minor academic – no more, no less. Who am I to question someone with an MA in ‘Media Ecology’?

    He, like very nearly all these folks, is an atavistic leftist/progressive who can’t map himself into the world as it’s evolved.

    Academia in the humanities and soft-sciences areas has become a refugee world for these folks, remnants of the sixties and its ethos, devoted to ancient ideologies dressed up in academic jargon and procedure, holders of refugee sinecures, enforcers of their ideologies and of political correctness within their spheres through the grading, recommendation, and committee advancement status processes.

    Murillo is one of these folks.

    He’s fairly bright, though. He understands that it’s not understandable that the folks he’s working with can’t even throw together an ad-hoc guerrilla broadcast operation in Brooklyn. He understands that he can’t get even marginally competent/talented folks to produce for WBAI when there’s nothing to pay them with and the opportunity offers no enhancement to their status. He understands that he can’t approach significant donors because it would be pointless given what the station is, and what its programming is like, and that no major donor contributes to ‘Well, if we had some money it would be just swell and wonderful’ – that you have to have something to show, something to demonstrate at least a modicum of competence, at least a modicum of credibility – he understands that WBAI/Pacifica doesn’t have those things.

    I see this as fairly bright relative to what we usually hear.

    It’s at least minor-academic bright.

    In that sense I’m inclined to give them man some due.

    On the other hand, the politics of these people is the poison and they can no more see that than any other fanatic, eg a religious fanatic, can see that their belief structure, their world view, is poison. Fanatics are fanatics, and they don’t think themselves fanatics, they think the world just doesn’t get it – this emotional and social dynamic is surely as old as the species.

    I’ve been following the latest from ESA’s Rosetta mission and Philae’s landing, and I can think of no sharper contrast than that between the people who make this happen and the people at places like WBAI and Pacifica.

    It heartens me to see that humans, such a squabbling, disputatious and often pointless bunch, can sometimes achieve things of this sort.

    A point of light, as it were.

    As opposed to a pointless well of bitterness and failed claims to noble purpose.

    A pretty damn ugly bunch.

    ~ ‘indigopirate’

  11. Nobody has mentioned that with the AM talk radio scene being so bereft of talent and so awful, it should be an easy matter to recruit listeners to WBAI if BAI had anything to offer that is even a little interesting, but they don't. It's not as if WBAI is losing listenership to Curtis and Kuby. BAI has NO competition anywhere on either the AM or FM dial but they still can't attract listeners.

    1. You're right. However, it's WNYC FM and AM who are getting those listeners. Interesting that the far right and far left are losing listeners to moderate to corporate liberal broadcasting...


  12. Murillo is a good example of what happens to politicos. They become involved in their political milieu at an early age and never evolve. They stay stuck in the ideals and issues of that period, no matter how much time marches on. Murillo thinks it's still the 1980s, the way Fass thinks it still the 1960s. I guess it's a safety zone to stay in the time you know best. It's the same on the right and left. There are still plenty of nuts rambling about communism taking over. Indigo's use of the word "atavistic" is perfect.

    As for Murillos comments, I wasn't impressed at all. Yes, he got rid of Hartman, which is good, He wants to keep Irsay where he is, but that's probably a financial decision. WBAI had very good producers who worked for nothing for decades, so they are out there. The problem isn't money but people simply not wanting to work at a crap station with among the - if not the - lowest listenerships in the NYC market. I sure wouldn't waste my time at WBAI.

    Overall, most of his comments were very general, vague and long winded.


    1. Lehrer, Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz? I don't believe we can't whip them.

    2. Fully agreed. Not only politicos, though. As a trivial example, auto ‘enthusiasts’ in the US remain wedded to the idea that a ‘real’ performance car has to have a manual gearbox – even though more recent automated boxes like the Porsche PDK annihilate even the fastest humans. For some reason Europeans aren’t the same on this, and have rapidly moved forward in their preferences. A minor, but possibly telling reminder of how wedded to the imagined past Americans seem to be, even in minor matters like automobiles?

      Americans seem to me all too often to be willful petulant children – a broad generalization I know, by no means applicable to all, but still… as I was watching the live coverage of the ESA folks reporting on and presenting the information on Rosetta and Philae I couldn’t but think ‘My god, grownups!’

      Perhaps that’s just me.

      [The following graphs contain frank language. If you feel you may be offended by such language, please avert your eyes.]

      Agreed, too, of course, on your observation that WBAI/Pacifica has no appeal to competent/talented possible producers, on air talent, or folks on the technical or adminstrative side, even those still in school or just setting out – and that the lack of funds has nothing to do with it. Who would want to deal with this shit, or be in any way associated with these assholes?

      Similarly, I can’t imagine their being able to recruit any able candidates for ED of Pacifica.

      Who would be that insane?

      (I suppose the answer to that will be ‘Whoever the fuck winds up applying.’


      ~ ‘indigopirate’

    3. @Anon They can be beaten, of course. Not, however, by anyone at or affiliated with or likely to be at or affiliated with WBAI/Pacifica – that's the issue, not their being subject to successful challenge as an abstract hypothetical.

      ~ 'indigopirate'

  13. (JustAListener)
    At least Murillo was willingto discuss what he's thinking regarding programming rather than dumpig it on the air with no rhyme or reason.
    Murillo dumped Hartman and the that ridiculous morning music bloc so he's already the best PD in a decade.
    Of course that's faint praise indeed... (BTW I don't count Phillips as he wasn't there long enough to have an impact - but didn't he bring in Hartman?)

    Best moment was at 80:53, Reimers said:
    "I'm doing a darn good job, trust me"

    That came after he told he was paying ESB $12,000/mo but 95% the station can continue there, and before R. Paul
    blew up his claim than there was no need to leave CUNY....

    1. Dumping Hartman was as smart a move as Andrew Phillips' bringing him in was dumb. Have I missed something when I believe the morning music is still in place? I agree that it needs to go (except for Irsay, but there might be a better time slot for him).

      Hartmann aside, Andrew Phillips was on the right track and we should bear in mind that the programs he brought in from the outside were not meant to be permanent.

      I also thought Reimers telling people to trust him was a hoot. Even if Murillo was really, really good, the finances and tangle of inside vipers make this mission impossible. Too much polluted water has to flow under the bridge at this point.