He would, however, occasionally post somebody's press release and he submitted a plan for the rescue of WBAI a year or so back. It was based on his insane theory that WBAI could win its listenership back if only people knew of the station's existence. Attempts were made to inform him that distributing "come on down!" leaflets from the rooftops, could never work as long as the program schedule remained a mish-mash of medical quackery, street corner propaganda rants, deranged doomsaying, shallow chit-chat, inferior rap, twisted "news," and months of stale, often fraudulent infomercials. Lefever's naïve theory apparently hasn't changed, despite all its failures. He still appears to believe that the first order of business is to get people to tune in and pay the fee, then you improve the programming—it's an odd kind of reverse bait and switch that isn't suddenly going to work.
Yesterday, as he prepared to man his big annual Left Forum exhibit table, he was at it again, calling upon volunteers to drown the place in WBAI leaflets. He still doesn't get it. He does not seem to grasp the fundamental fact that people don't willingly purchase rejected merchandise, so he sells them a bill of goods and crosses his fingers. When the purchaser figures that out, WBAI has lost any chance of adding him or her to a new core audience.
The only thing this madness has going for it is its consistency, but therein also lies the rub.
Here is what Lefever posted in various places yesterday. After you have read it, I urge you to savor the response that follows and which I have shamelessly lifted to bring you. It is by a Pat Metheny follower who has an eye for anyone. He has the insight and wit needed to fully appreciate this long absurd act by the Pacifica Players.
Frank Lefever wrote:
Hi Mr LeFever,
No amount of advertising can restore a station to greatness that took its laurel wreath off its head and hosed it down with DDT, stomped on it, burned it, neglected it and turned people away. You can advertise all you want--those who know the station will say "been there, done that--where is my damn premium" or will listen once to some of the hate whitey, hate america, whitey is to blame for your grandmother's lumbago, whitey is no damn good, america is the source of every evil in the world, the repubs and dems caused mount saint helens to blow up, and they and america are no damn good, never will be no damn good, and all we do on this station is whine, whine, and more whine about how no damn good the listener and the country is--please call 1-800-u-r-anasshole to donate by the way--you damn freeloader, cheapskate you.