"Can They Put a Disclaimer Up at the WBAI.ORG Website?
It would say: Attention! WBAI is not a real radio station, it is only a pale imitation of one. Please be alerted that 90% of the programming stinks, none of the health premiums have any validity to them, and conspiracy theory shows are unintended comedies. In order for you to maintain your sanity please do not listen to the station for more than two hours per day but if you do please consult a doctor immediately. Thank you."
Except for fundraising and political promotions, the WBAI web site has been outdated and inaccurate for years—so much so that its purpose now seems aimed at nourishing narcissism, selling products, and instilling the baseless optimism manager Reimers and his cronies use as a coverup for their chronic ineptitude.
Last week, in the wake of another failed marathon, the "GM who never was" launched a sneak attack on that remnant of listeners who dodged the extended Spring assault. At first, hourlong recorded quack attacks were launched at cracks of dawn and, as the week progressed and desperation remained unabated, the onslaught escalated. Earsores, forced into memories via previous Bertholian blitzkriegs, reappeared unannounced, moving stealthily down and about the station’s unchartered program schedule, indiscriminately bumping off the air the worthy as well as the shameful.
|From the WBAI web site.|
One wonders if Pacifica's past and very costly experiences with frivolous lawsuits has anything to do with Reimers' ability to keep his well-paid pro forma position. He was hired as GM over five years ago, with a mandate to rescue WBAI from near fatal mismanagement. He knew how to do it, he said, but that was only the first in an ongoing series of blatant lies. So, why is he still there as all hope of turning things around ebbs?
The only benefit to be had from making mistakes is that one can learn from them, but there are no lessons learned here. As many former listeners have observed, bad programming is a major problem for a station whose very existence is owed to bringing listeners an alternative to bland radio. Here we don't just have programs of inferior technical and production quality, we have small-minded, ignorant propagandists spewing politically expedient falsehoods and fomenting hatred—people whose notion of "community" is racially based and exclusionary. To them, there is but one ingredient in the New York melting pot.
Dragging the dreary, often fraudulent hour-long infomercials back for "encore performances" shows Reimers' failure to grasp even the fundamentals of the problem. WBAI is a station with a powerful, ideally located transmitter, capable of reaching a very large audience in the country's biggest broadcasting market. It also streams its signal throughout the world, but one would never know it, because WBAI is stagnant and it has lost its audience to a point where its listenership does not even come close to matching that of lower powered area college stations.
For years, WBAI aimed its programming not at any particular ethnic group, but at people of intelligence, those who hungered for truth and enlightenment. Did it succeed? I think so. Why else would the listenership dwindle so drastically when the station dumbed down its programming? Raising the intellectual level alone will not do it, but a thorough re-evaluation of the station's offerings ought to be given the highest priority.
Instead, Reimers ordered a repeat of past failures.
Nostalgia is wonderful. I often find myself indulging in it, but never to the point where it begins to replace reality. A good chunk of WBAI's program schedule comprises shows that can better be termed as fillers—valuable air time given over to the agenda-driven, the mercenary, the self-indulging, the opportunistic, the racism perpetuators.
Shows that should have died of old age many years ago, stay on the air, many of them because an ingrown host cannot face facts and let go.
Fass also ran the well-known Frederick Douglass 4th of July speech with several annoying interruptions for which he never apologized. That points to other WBAI problems, such as the sloppiness of announcer/board ops and a general neglect of listener needs. It is not uncommon for programs to start with as much as a half hour of segued music before anyone announces the name of the show or identifies its host—even basic FCC requirements are ignored.
When guests or hosts make outrageous statements, they are given the WBAI nod—nothing is questioned, nobody with an opposite viewpoint is given access to the station's so-called free speech microphones. For example, we have been fed idiotic uncontested runaway fabrications regarding 9/11 and other news events; Kathy Davis has burrowed through dormant management to two and a half hours of weekly airtime which she devotes to faux profundity; the devastating Haitian earthquake of 2010 was a political ploy; reptilians from another planet roam about our cities in human form; tap water can cure cancer and autism; etc.
When a guest on yesterday's "On the Count", stated that living under colonization in current Puerto Rico was almost worse than slavery, the host grunted his agreement. Apropos asinine analogies, we were recently told by a "respected" talkshow host that the gentrification of Harlem is tantamount to genocide.
Do you think Reimers listens to WBAI? It actually matters not whether he does or doesn't—he should never have been hired and that "Interim" tag ought never to have been removed.