Friday, February 6, 2015

BAI, from bad to badder...

The other say, when SDL posted this assertion on the BlueBoard, R. Paul Martin, who harbors no love for Berthold Reimers, said he was being "mean." This morning, SDL responded:
"Wrong, I'm not being mean. I am being realistic. Your management doesn't trust its own producers/hosts to make as much money as all these garbage infomercials can. Why? Because they know most of the programming doesn't have any support and few listeners. That is a simple truth. It's all about friends getting air time with no consideration for the listeners or what they would like to hear.
I have no problem offering premiums if they are serious ones relevant to politics and arts or what one sees on specialized programs like The Personal Computer Show and Off The Hook. I DO have a problem with premiums lacking any scientific or medical oversight, mysticism/occult-ism/religion, hypnotism, how to get rich or laid, etc. However, I think producers/hosts should have to raise their own money to demonstrate that their programs have listener support.
I have long said that there should be a minimum donation level set for shows to raise or they are cancelled. Mornings and day time should be $800 and night time $400. You know most shows would never make even that minimum. Crackpot infomercials are meant not only to make money, but to cover up the fact that most shows on WBAI simply don't have even minimal support from the listeners.
You have had cancer cures for years? OK. One question then: Can WBAI show me one single person who has been cured of cancer by any of these? Just one verifiable case of a person being cured of cancer by the cancer cures you offer? Come on, there must be ONE. Maybe I should add one person who actually even received their premium to begin with.
Say what you wish, but you know WBAI is a dishonest station. You don't care about the listeners in any way, shape or form. What you people care about is getting your buddies on the air, regardless as to whether the listeners want to hear them or not."
That provides me with a fitting introduction to a post I was formulating after a week of grueling ear abuse at 99.5.

In case you haven't heard, another four-week fund raiser is on and—belying the rosy outlook described by Reimers and his Propagandist-in-Chief, Mitchel Cohen—the money does not appear to be pouring in. Reimers is desperate, which means that he has called for the return of some of the irrelevant infomercials that, although they didn't impress in the past, at least generated more than, shall we say, all that homegrown humbug. 

These bunker bozos—and I think that may be a kind description—never learn from their mistakes, so they repeat them and repeat them and repeat them. One of the doozies that has resurfaced in this round is Earl Caldwell's shameful hawking of cancer "cures," sold in the form of a DVD/book package that glorifies a perp walk of con artists and quacks, some of whose disciples do business on WBAI’s air. As is his wont, Caldwell goes overboard, understandably upset by the then recent death of his sister, who received conventional treatment before dying. All the more reason why Caldwell should want people to look into the alternatives he believes in. If he really believes there are WBAI listeners at death’s door who can be given longer life through this premium’s curative methods, he ought to direct them to a place like Amazon, where the price is $2 to $6 and quick delivery is guaranteed. Instead, he tries to sell them this product for $125 with odds against their ever receiving what they paid for. That is unconscionable, as is the assistance by Michael Haskins, who seems to possess neither conscience nor reason when it comes to having listeners pay for his salary.

On the attached audio excerpt, you can listen to Haskins as he sounded earlier this week on the morning show, introducing and pushing a new intangible kind of premium: "Revolutionary Fitness." Rather than being  a physical item, it is a politicized physical workout—a little like bringing prison activity home. The personal trainer/founder is one Shawn Garcia and, not surprisingly, this appears is an offering concocted by Mario Murillo, whose tenure as iPD is coming to an end.

Don’t worry, Murillo will keep one foot in the door, thus fulfilling what appears to have been the real purpose of his revisit. While Haskins and the other misguided Mumia worshippers were busy painting the station a decidedly basic black, Mr. Mario strode in like La Mara in heat, and with each move he and the agenda-driven one-trackers made, WBAI became more alienated from its original, principled concept.

It is fair to say that, in the months since Murillo's return, there have been some signs of program improvement—mostly time shuffles—but he has not put the trash out, so the positive is negated by the negative. Truly disgraceful tabloid stuff is still aired as were it the truth; Chri$t is now adored in the guise of a disgusting, commercial "gospel show"; homespun guru, the new-age-old-con Kathy Davis was sensibly fired a couple of years back, but now she has more air time for her nonsense than ever before; the shallow disc jockeys are still wasting air time with their generously apportioned bland recall blends of BLS; the agonizingly inarticulate John Kane, who advocates the sale of reservation-based cigarettes and sat in for the indicted (now freed) Ghosthorse, gets an hour of his own; and WBAI maintains its downward trajectory without a safety net or a mentionable net income. As you will hear, there is a good reason why the Haskins, Haskins, Haskins, and more Haskins morning show ought to be renamed "Dummies at Dawn."

Besides the afore-mentioned Revolution Fitness "premium", the attached audio clip contains a remarkably tedious phone interview with one the new regular contributors. A Haskins protegé, this New Jersey activist is heard describing in agonizing detail a personally humiliating non-event in South Jersey. The protest in question was probably not a frivolous one, but it only gets incidental mention as the man on the phone keeps the focus on himself, in a blurry sort of way. It borders on farce, but that escapes Haskins, who wants to hear more next week.

If you think I am exaggerating when I say that these studio "radicals" use the term "community" as a metaphor for people of color, I suggest that you retrieve the entire program from the archive ( You will notice how everything on this two-hour show is strenuously monochrome (black and brown) and never rises to a measurable level of intelligence. I should note that I cut out a couple of forgettable musical interludes, a dozen or so auto IDs by Haskins (like Knight, he loves to mention his own name), and all mention of the "number to call." I don't wish to be regarded as an accomplice in WBAI's demise.

The bunker bozos like to tell us that the morning hours are WBAI's most listened-to time slots, but that raises important questions: Why do they then target but a miniscule segment within a segment of the area’s population and how can they continue to wonder why the overwhelming majority of the station’s listener-supporters disappeared? They may also ask themselves why people only respond to pleas for money when a product is offered, and if the nature of these “gifts” isn’t saying a mouthful about the nature of the purchasers.

Among the many excuses invented by Berthold Reimers and the Atlantic Avenue bunker group, is that WBAI’s listeners grew old and that many of them simply “transitioned” (they don’t like to say “died”). Well, that’s life, isn’t it? But we have been dying since the day the first of us were born, and it is remarkable how long and seamlessly our replacements keep tried and true values.

That said, death does indeed play a role here, but it is the death of a radio station, not its listeners.


  1. Wait a second. I could use a good premium teaching me "how to get laid".


    1. On second thought, it probably will be produced by David Wynyard.


  2. Awww, Chris. My own banner! I appreciate that graphic. Actually, would you mind if I put it on a T shirt? Maybe go to an LSB meeting wearing it? Could be a blast...

    Propagandist-in-Chief, Mitchel Cohen. Now that hits the nail on the head, indeed. However, the way he is going, I really may need to call him Goebbels Cohen. Although, now that he thinks he's becoming bossman, maybe Quisling Cohen. He really needs some new hobbies.

    I have nothing against a premium of sessions with a personal trainer. In fact, that is probably the healthiest thing WBAI offers as a premium. However, having to sell working out as revolutionary is taking it into the realm of the absurd and, even, demeaning to the guy. The interesting thing here is that it has to be sold as something more than it is. Isn't that indicative of the mindset of WBAI? Nothing is good enough on its own; you have to "sell" it, no matter how simple it may be. It's like everyone has to be a used car salesman, even when there is no reason to be.

    What is really interesting about this beg-a-thon is how the percentage of political premiums seems to be lower than in the recent past. I guess management only trusts in hocus pocus now.

    @KGT: Look on youtube. It's free and you will actually be able to watch the videos now, not in four years, if you even get the damn premium.


    1. Very well put, SDL. I enjoy many of your posts. I agree about the premiums. But would the current audience even know what to do with something political or art related? They deserve this garbage.

      Chris in NJ

    2. Warmed-over hocus pocus, at that.

    3. @Chris in NJ: Good question. Most of them, probably not. However, I have to wonder how many listen to Mitch Jesserich's program, Letters & Politics. It is the one Pacifica political show I truly enjoy. Jesserich has very far reaching topics and is very educational. Another thing I like is that he allows the guest to speak without constant interruption. He's the diamond in the Pacifica dung heap.

      As for arts, I suspect the support to the classical music and Schmid's old time radio show are from people who only tune in for those programs and not the rest of the WBAI nonsense. No matter what, those shows always do well during beg-a-thons. Schmid shows how to have premiums that are relevant to the subject of his show. That is what I mean by good premiums: he does his own show and offers up CDs of old time radio. To me that is an excellent combination.

      Also, it was said that the now gone nightly news used to have many people listen who never listened to anything else on WBAI (some say 30% - 50% of its listeners). I think it was a damn fool thing to get rid of the nightly news.

      @Chris: Hope you don't mind me giving a little plug. There is a relatively new USA based independent shortwave radio station that is made up of all sorts of programs from international sources. Have only listened to a bit of it, but seems interesting as a mix of news and music. Here's the url:


    4. SDL--Mitch Jesserich deserves better. What's sad is that I find myself thinking the same thing about the WBAI producer/hosts who are still worth hearing.

      You are so right when you say that he's one of the few WBAI producer/hosts whose interviews remain focused on the subject and whatever he/she did to make him/herself worth interviewing, rather than on the interviewer and his/her agenda.

  3. Okay, never mind this unimportant fiddle-dee-dee twaddle and nonsense as to who's responsible for WBAI's going to hell in a foul-smelling handbasket and what will be the final sordid/squalid/just-plain-really-gross-and-disgusting details of its death throes...

    *This* is a story that matters...

    Yes, it's... the story of…

    It’s a story of Iceland…

    A story of McDonalds…

    Yes, it’s the story of…

    The Last MdDonalds Hamburger (& Fries) In Iceland

    The story…

    and now…

    Live From Bus Hostel, in Reykjavik…

    The Live Feed Itself…

    Sometimes the processes of rot and decay take quite a while….

    ~ ‘indigotheoccasionallyfriendlyoccasionallynotpirate’

    1. Thanks, there's nothing like an Icelandic action movie! But the land of my father copped it from the land of my mother... there is still something rotten in the State of Denmark. :)

    2. Not as rotten as WBAI/Pacifica, of course.

      This sort of wonderfully simple, wonderfully whimsical application of the net reminds one of the first such device, the ARPANET-linked coke machine at CMU, quickly replicated by students in the dorms at MIT.

      Then again, there was the ARPANET-linked Snowball Cam at the Rome Lab at Griffiss.

      A simple, a whimsical, a beautiful thing.

      An SR-71 came screaming into Griffiss one day, M3 from Beale, headed for the Middle East in a Very Great Hurry needing very particular sensor gear…

      Of course, that’s another story.

      ~ ‘indigo’

    3. Although the Icelandic Sagas are full of wonderful, clever puns (lost in translation, I'm afraid). my countrymen are not known for their sense of humor. When we lived in Keflavík, my Danish wife and I were often told jokes by our landlady. Sometimes, she could hardly finish them for laughing, but we never caught the humor. We did laugh, however, but what always struck us as funny was the fact that the jokes were not.

      I recall watching some office coffee machine for hours in the post CompuServe/Source internet period. It was intriguingly boring.

    4. Are you aware of / have you seen Hal Hartley's pic No Such Thing?

      ~ 'indigo'

  4. Chris: Have you ever been to The Icelandic Phallological Museum?


    1. No, that is the extent of Icelandic humor, not something I am interested in. Besides, it was started after I left Iceland.

  5. I want to know whose friend Mike Sargent is that he is even allowed to be on the air when a beg-a-thon is going on. This guy raised like $300 all of last year. Turning the transmitter off for his crap would save more than he pulls in. Nightshit is surely one of the worst shows on WBAI. However, since Mario Murillo thinks it's 1963 and the station signs off at midnight or so, he hasn't done anything to fix the gravyard shift. Actually, WBAI's overnight programming gives new meaning to graveyard shift, doesn't it? Hell, Il Nuovo Duce, Mitch Cohen, would probably be more entertaining in the same spot. I bet repeats on DN would make more in just 10 minutes.

    WBAI can't even fuck up properly.

    Don't mind me, I have a cold.


    1. Mike Sargent is a good man, is a filmmaker, father and friend to all. He hosts regular programs on international TV and is regularly featured on public TV. Any criticism of Mike is pure envy. He has said on the air that his critics can go to hell!

    2. I'm not giving you an argument, but I have two questions:

      1. What film(s) has Sargent made?

      2. What about him is there to "envy"?

  6. Interesting comment or not? Popped on the Nullster to hear him say that there is a "ten to one rule" regarding what must be charged for premiums. In other words, a really high mark-up.


    1) If such a rule does, in fact, exist, how is the premium price judged? From the price WBAI pays for the item, if they even bother to buy the item in the first place? From a retail price? What they think they could get in an ebay auction?

    2) Isn't this Null admitting that he gets paid for his items? Hasn't he often claimed he gives items for free to WBAI? How does this work?

    3) Are freebies exempt from this rule? After all, 10 x free = free...

    Also, what is the the originating station for Null's show? It is on WBAI and PRN at the same time. I have heard mention of WBAI having a contract with Null. Any idea what this contract entails?

    Why is it the anti-vaccination people never mention animal vaccinations? Some how these evil vaccines don't make pets autistic? Maybe animals are immune to autism? Ergo, maybe there lies the secret to an autism cure?


    1. Not only a high markup, they also charge an undisclosed amount for shipping and handling, whether that actually takes place, or not.

      Null routinely points out that he is giving a CD, or something to WBAI, always stressing "at no cost to the station." He makes that statement a bit too often, in my opinion. He may get a cut, I'm not sure, but he certainly reaps monetary benefits from his "generosity," one way or the other.

      I bet free will cost you. Premiums are touted as "gifts," but they are hardly that!

      I think most of Null's shows originate in his own studio, with Haskins at WHCR.

      As for vaccines, they may not all work as intended, but that autism claim is another lame excuse for a book, and where would we be if Salk and co. hadn't attacked polio?

      So much jive, you could build a mountain with it.

    2. Vaccines aren’t perfect. There are bound to be a miniscule number of people who have bad reactions, just as with food. However, the vast majority of people don’t. What you never hear from the anti-vaccine loons is how much disease and death has been averted because of vaccination. I’m sorry, but if a few people have bad reactions while the vast majority are protected, that is a risk we simply have to take.

      The accusations of high rates of autism are based on the psychiatry religion/cult having revised the definition of autism over and over again, increasing the numbers of people classified as autistic with the stroke of a pen. The fact is that children are classified as autistic now because they don’t behave like little robots. When a kid doesn’t pay attention in school, it is no longer a discipline problem, as it was in the past, but autism. Big pharma loves it because now they get to make money on the drugs the kid is subject to. I know about this because of something that happened to the daughter of a former friend of mine.

      Anyway. I remember my father mentioning to me decades ago how when he was a kid every block had a kid with polio. I think one of the main problems with the anti-vaccine crowd is that they really never grew up with all the diseases that are now a rarity in this country. Even if they did, they would probably try and rationalize why it is better to have the diseases and be crippled or die than have a simple shot. Forget about explaining to them how people only lived to be thirty to forty years old on average just a century ago.

      It’s all just bourgeoisie, soft ass entitlement. But then these are the wimp parents that put helmets and knee/elbow pads on their kids when they ride their bikes, denying them that early and important lesson in life about falling off your bike and getting back up and catching up to your friends. No wonder kids have no coping mechanisms.

      FYI: I didn’t get the mumps vaccine as a little kid, so I contracted mumps when I was about 8 years old. How did I get it? DURING A HOSPITAL STAY!


  7. Who needs vaccines when you have Gary's red, brown, green and blue glop.
    I have glaucoma and I threw away my meds and just took Gary's green stuff. And guess what!
    I'm totally blind now. But I'm healthy.