Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Null speaks his mind... partially.
NULL ACKNOWLEDGES CRISIS • OFFERS SOLUTION
This is fund drive time, but there isn't much traffic. These efforts become progressively disorganized as listeners abandon WBAI, income dribbles in like a leaky faucet, and premium deals are not honored.
But they can only take the money and run for so long, for there comes a time when the jig is up and management stands naked, stripped of all credibility. I think that time is finally here, for real. Between the Pacifica West Coast demolition team and the local maggots, the house that Lew Hill built is coming down.
Of course, Gary Null has known this for a long time, but his adverse reaction has been sporadic. He clearly sees some personal advantage in keeping WBAI alive, so—rather than follow the listenership over the hill—he chooses to stay, huff and puff, threaten lawsuits, and weave into his own story sacrifices purportedly made by him over the years, He tells us that he has given over three million dollars to the station, not to mention years of unpaid work. Null does have a tendency to exaggerate beyond credulity his own success, but WBAI has undoubtedly benefitted from his involvement.
Now he admits that the station is dying at its own hands and that the Pacifica forces of greed and conceived need are prepared to lend a hand in the suicide. That is all true, but Null's motive remains in question as he outlines his proposal for a fix.
You will hear him describe it on the attached segment, but if you listen with due scrutiny, you will also see that Mr. Null actually skirts two fundamental issues:
 the inferior and often dishonest programming.  the accelerating morph of an intellectual broad-based radio station into an inferior (by any standards) voice for black, racist propaganda.
These are two major factors contributing to the dwindling listenership. Sending everybody their overcharged, overpaid-for premiums ("gifts") is not going to bring the lost audience back, as Null implies. Those silly, often fraudulent "rewards" need to be eliminated altogether, as do the opportunistic pitchers who so desperately need to preserve what they have come to believe is their very own turf.
Most of the audience will never return, but—given time and funds—a new listenership could be built. The fact, however, is that WBAI has squandered its time and depleted its funds. A couple of weeks ago, Berthold Reimers told the Finance Committee that premiums had not been mailed, because the station didn't have the $160 postage fee. Yesterday, as you will hear, Gary Null said that over $700,000 was owed to the Empire State Building. This was one of the problems Reimers claimed to have solved. Now, though he at least serves up half truths, Mr. Null is also fantasizing.
That said, why should anyone donate money to keep alive mismanagement, hateful racist distortions of history, banal music, inarticulate propaganda, and narcissistic needs? If you can answer that, please do so.
Granted, there are some good programs on WBAI, but they form a small segment of the weekly schedule. In his assessment of the situation, Null conveniently omits or lumps into a trope the dark side that gradually turned integrity into moral bankruptcy.
As always, Null voices enthusiastically about his own accomplishments—real and imagined—and Reggie Harris (in the part of hopeless Haskins) doesn't miss a cue to nod in acceptance. Here is the lengthy clip in its entirety, sans three pitches by Reggie, which I removed.