Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Mitchel Cohen keeps flame of optimism lit...


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I also had a question or two for Mitchel:
Does the station have to die completely before you wake up to the fact that Berthold—a man you criticize in asides but basically boost—is bamboozling you with the most obvious lies?

Again. I ask that you think about it… remove those rose-colored glasses, place both feet on the ground and ask yourself why a real estate giant would spend months "negotiating" with a wimp like Berthold, to keep as a tenant the city's least listened-to station, one that has had a foot in the grave for several years?

It simply does not make any sense, which is probably why you get a "trust me" in place of any evidence. This man is a pathological liar—he was one when he sought the job and he continues to be one as he schemes to keep that salary coming.

Frank Lefever and his fellow committee members were fools to recommend and push Berthold Reimers into position, and you are prominent among those who have not caught on to what is being done to WBAI.

Had you any spine and were you sincere about the concern for WBAI that you voice, you would stop posting meaningless "if"s and demand that Berthold Reimers crawl out from under that desk, face reality, and make the real facts and figures known to the sponsors, the people whose money is being misappropriated. 

I am told that the bologna sandwiches they serve on Rikers Island are shunned by the facility's rodents.

Seriously, Mitchel, you need to stop making such a pathetic fool of yourself. Without you lackeys catering to him, Berthold will not even be able to play his charade anymore, so y'all hold the card and the "leaps of imagination" you mention are inside--not out here.  --Chris
Mitchell's response is a bit of a stretch:

Chris,
There are several very good reasons why the Empire State Building would want to keep WBAI there, due to their implementing of a not-for-profit portion of the ownership corporation in which under the new public offerings and even at a greatly reduced antenna rent, they stand to make more in tax write-offs than they would gain in even the old level of rent payments from WBAI. This aspect to the negotiation is something that I have been pounding away at for the last few years, based on some excellent suggestions from Dan Coughlin (now, do not misread what I am saying here, other than what I have said). 

I have also pointed out that there is in addition a great deal of political pressure to be brought. (I won't go into details on that, but you'll have to trust me on that score. Heh-heh!) In New York City, the giant real estate interests are, unlike elsewhere in the country, mainstays of the Democratic Party (read the late Bob Fitch on this, or Lenni Brenner), whose progressive wing (such as it is) is now running the executive and legislative components of the City government for the first time in decades, and who are friends of WBAI.

Berthold finally took this approach to heart when we had an offer from another virtually equal location at 1/3rd the rent plus incentives, and we were considering (and still may be considering) moving to if we do not have another choice. You could ask the same question: Why would the billionaires who run the new site offer us such a seemingly lovely deal? (Lots of intra-capitalist competition to take advantage, right?) Remember also, we didn't know of that offer for over a year -- it had been sent to the National Office under the previous iED, who apparently never opened that letter (it was discovered by volunteers at WBAI going through papers and contacting everyone in sight). WBAI could have moved there --  but the ESB would  then have sued for the remainder of what we would owe them for several years under the terms of the long-term contract, and we'd be sunk. (Some folks think that we could have gotten out of all of that too, but it would have been a very messy court battle against a major billionaire real estate company. Even if we'd have won, eventually, we would have lost. At any rate, it's a judgment call.)

So what may seem obvious to you at first glance is not so obvious -- in fact, it is likely wrong.

If what Berthold says to be true is so -- and unlike you, Chris, I have no reason to believe he is lying about this -- WBAI can become in much better shape literally overnight, and can shortly be in a position to extend support to our sister stations in need. Clearly, though, the Chair of the LSB, the National Office, and our lawyers must increase their oversight of these negotiations at this point in time, make sure they're on the up-and-up, and set a projected time frame for the negotiations to be concluded. And report openly to the listener-members, to the extent possible.  --Mitchel

17 comments:

  1. If Cohen is correct, this all sounds like a "one hand washes the other" deal; WBAI and ESB both make money. What I wonder is if there are any other non-profit stations at the ESB, and how this will affect their rental fees. Will they demand a lowering of said fees?

    I really think WBAI needs to focus more on their internet stream than on the antiquated FM transmission. For what WBAI has as a miniscule FM broadcast listenership, it just doesn't pay to rent a space that costs tens of thousands of dollars per month.

    SDL

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    1. If Mitchel is correct, it would be that rare moment when he gets it right, these days. He is either a hopeless optimist or an unashamed propagandist—I suspect it's a combination of the two.

      When the Empire State Building installed their greatly advanced antenna, they offered to pay the transmitter move and hookup costs for some (perhaps all) radio stations. That was the tempting deal that persuaded me to upgrade the transmitter itself and apply to the FCC for a license change that would make the move even more significant. I wonder if the WTC people have made a similar offer. In other words, what might ESB be left with? Would making WBAI a tax write-off really be worth the cost of maintaining the antenna? Who else is up there now?

      The near non-existent WBAI listenership is a good point to bring up, but FM is not dead and I still think it could work for the station if the present crew were replaced by competent, dedicated management. Had the station been run professionally, the monthly $50,000 rental would still have seemed high, but it would not have stood between life and death. Unconscionably bad management resulted in a very dull, insignificant schedule of stagnant offerings--with every listener lost, that transmitter rental fee became more toxic.

      There is probably not sufficient time left to repair the damage. For all intents and purposes, this Pacifica station has been totaled.

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    2. Cohen is the kind of blind follower who, in March 1945, would still have believed Hitler had wonder weapons that would have changed the course of the war.

      As for the ESB. They must be hard up.

      I didn't mean that FM is dead in general. What I meant was that specifically WBAI's FM outlet has so few listeners that it is subjecting itself to an enormous price per listener by focusing on the FM outlet. It should get a real webmaster who knows what he/she is doing and focus on attracting internet listeners.

      Take a lesson from WFMU, which has far more listeners on the internet than radio. In fact, their listenership is worldwide. Of course, WBAI can't even maintain an up to date schedule on their lousy website...

      From what I have seen, Murillo simply has no clue. He seems to be protecting his generation of producers without regard for quality of programs. These people just refuse to understand that no one wants to hear their shit anymore. Give it time as their listenership slowly dies off. One funeral after another, one less sucker after another. It's just a matter of time now.

      SDL

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  2. While floating around the 'net, I ran into this. Read the top story (I stress the word "story"). Maybe Sidney Smith won't sue WBAI, but he may consider a libel suit against whoever this person is. Actually, should I even know who this person is?

    http://wallstreetcrusader48.wordpress.com/

    SDL

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    1. That's Edward Manfredonia, a highly certifiable nut job who has been doing this sort of thing for a long time. I don't know what fuels his lunacy, but he should have been doing the perp walk years ago. The disarray and lack of leadership that is bringing Pacifica down plays to this jerk's advantage, there not being time, money or unity to engage in a court battle.

      Sidney should be able to find pro bono help to involve the law. I hope he has the strength and determination to pursue this. A lawsuit could also serve to bring Berthold Reimers down.

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    2. I should have guessed from the blog who it was. What fuels his lunacy? Frustrated at not being on WBAI? Seeming sexual frustration?

      I know Sidney wants to let things fade away, but they won't. People will take advatage of the situation for their own purposes, and ruin his name. If nothing else, Sidney should clear his name, if he's innocent.

      I was talking to a police officer friend who told me that all pertinent records are available as either public record or through the freedom of information act. Was there a search warrant issued? Is there an ongoing investigation? Record of who made the call is also a matter of record. I was advised to tell Sidney to get a civil attorney to look into this matter.

      SDL

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    3. I doubt that a search warrant was issued, it sounds more like a routine check where the battling couple was found having tea and crumpets. I also doubt that there is an ongoing investigation, the computer would have been taken if they thought this was serious.

      I hope someone requests a copy of the record—I doubt if Sidney will make the move, but I'm sure he'll approve. This sort of accusation really demands a close look, otherwise it may just grow like a weed, and WBAI's top soil is fertile when it comes to such things.

      What cowardly wimps Dingeman and Mitchel are not to demand an explanation from Reimers.

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  3. No Justice, No Peace.

    KGT

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  4. Speaking of Christmas, where is Dominic Florio?

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    1. Wasn't Domenic Florio the guy who had the atheist shows circa 1979/1980? He was in charge of the local American Atheists chapter, if I remember correctly.

      SDL

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  5. Mitchell Cohen? Lol! He's the clown who reported after Hurricane Katrina that there were thousands of people murdered by federal, state and local law governments and their bodies had been tossed into the Louisiana bayou. He readily believes outlandish claims, unsupported by evidence, from unreliable sources. 9 years later, he hasn't changed.

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    1. Yes, more and more, it looks like Mitchel is having a difficult time keeping up with his fantasies. There's nothing wrong with optimism, but it has to be anchored in reality.

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    2. As long as he isn't making the common claim that those bodies were fed to the reptilians (and replaced with other bodies of origins unknown), he still isn't totally gone.

      SDL

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    3. We have no idea what he might be claiming during periods of dead air. :)

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  6. I wanted to bring to everyone's attention who follows this blog that a serious financial proposal has been presented to both Summer Reese, prior to her exit, as well as, Margi Wilkinson, regarding WBAI-FM. This proposal included substantial cash, enough to satisfy all outstanding debts of WBAI, as well as provide funding to the Pacifica Foundation for years. A financial position of which I have never witnessed the organization capable of obtaining utilizing current methods of fundraising. The proposal would permit WBAI to remain on the air, albeit with a lesser NY metro signal, with major expenses paid to include office/studio (in Manhattan), tower rent, and electricity. Not only would the new WBAI emerge debt free, the many loyal WBAI listeners would continue to enjoy the programming they cherish and cannot find anywhere else. The employees and volunteers would be able to finally work without the burden and stress of constant fundraising and fear of losing their jobs. I acknowledge many are opposed to entering into a transaction with a corporate entity. But, reality is just that. On the current path WBAI is incapable of surviving. This proposal is an immediate solution. Margi Wilkinson has never responded and likely has never informed the PNB of this proposal. If you support at least having an honest dialogue about this opportunity, I urge you to petition Margi and the PNB to respond. Things appear, at least publicly, to only be getting worse for your organization. Recently the State of CA has opened an investigation into Pacifica under the State's charitable organization oversight body. Does anyone honestly believe this will do anything but uncover other far reaching organizational and financial problems? Call your LSB members and petition the PNB to sit down and discuss a long term path to survival.

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    1. It would be helpful if you could furnish essential details regarding this offer. Truly concerned supporters of a healthy, meaningful WBAI have been fed a plethora of veiled "solutions" in the past few years and the present "management" has none of the trust that effective governance must have earned.

      That said, there is an absolute, dire need for funds and professionalism, but it can not be effective unless it begins with a thorough cleanup. Everybody who is in that bunker now needs to be shown the gate and so do a large number of opportunists and small-minded "producers" and hosts.

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  7. Chris Albertson:

    I do not know you; but my source for the information about Sydney Smith's eviction from CUNY were several individuals at WBAI. I have since received confirmation from the General Counsel of CUNY. Furthermore, CUNY was very upset with the manager of CUNY's radio broadcasting studio.

    The Internal Revenue Service believed me and audited Pacifica. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting knew that I was telling the truth. The Federal Communications Commission placed several of my letters on their website.

    You must be truly ignorant to never have contacted me. But such lunacy, as you have displayed, is commonplace at WBAI.

    By the way I was praised as a whistle-blower in BusinessWeek. That article, Scandal On Wall Street, and my published articles in The Black Star News, have proved my objectivity. For the past 5 years I have stated that WBAI and Pacifica have survived by fraudulent accounting. Good luck. Ed Manfredonia

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