Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Null speaks his mind... partially.


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:

[1] the inferior and often dishonest programming. [2] 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.  

Click here to listen.


  1. Did you catch the last couple of minutes? Utrice Leid is 5 1/2 months past her expected death date?
    The colored glop must really work!!


  2. 'indigopirate'Wednesday, October 28, 2015

    A few bits of information further confirmed. The number currently owed ESB is $700k+, even worse than the $600k+ previously known, Democracy Now! won’t forgive the debt Pacifica owes, Pacifica can’t get a mortgage, and Null really really really wants a special drive to pay for his premiums (but he won’t handle shipping them directly himself).

    Good to know.

    Oh, and he has a lot of bright ideas that someone (else) could easily do that would raise a million in a month, no problem.

    Also good to know.

    Oh, and Null really really really wants a special fundraiser to pay for his premiums but, of course, it’s not about him.

    He cares.

    He’s concerned.

    Quite simply, quite ridiculous – the man *belongs* on WBAI/Pacifica.

  3. I'm listening to this now, but want to make a quick note right now.

    I didn't know death (outside of execution) could be timed so well. Can they get it down to the minute? I still say that we have no proof about Leid and her alleged cancer.

    I have heard people say that WBAI management won't allow people to send out the themselves, but must send them out via WBAI. I won't mention who (but you can probably guess, anyway) had a couple of items I wanted. I emailed to tell them I would by them direct for the same price, but I would not go through WBAI, since I can't donate on moral grounds and would never get the items, anyway, and would have to waste time going to small claims court, etc. He told me he wasn't allowed to sell the items directly nor send them directly even if I donated to WBAI. However, if I donated to WBAI (without requesting the items) and emailed my receipt to him, "somehow" I may just find those items in my mailbox. You get the idea, of course. He was being nice, but it still required me to send money to WBAI, so I had to pass on the option. Anyway. This may be the problem that plagues some people who would otherwise send the premiums out if they were permitted.


    1. SDL: I mentioned Utrice as a laugh; I have no proof of her supposed cancer. But a 350 lbs. plus gavon(ess) who probably smokes and thinks that she is the Queen of Sheba is a setup for something.
      Shakespeare: MacBeth, Act 4, Scene 1, Page 2: "By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes".


  4. "That said, why should anyone donate money..? If you can answer that, please do so."

    No, because the stations sucks and is going out of business. In the stock market there is a saying about not throwing good money after bad.

    And now for something completely different - a radio station dying a slow death...

    These are my thoughts as I typed while listening to yet another Marathonmeister Null ego filled bitch-a-thon.

    Null was on the afternoon "graveyard" shift? I only know of the overnight being called the graveyard shift. Are there two slots per day known under that moniker?

    Now Null tells us all about his time on WMCA and WNYC. In his previous tirade he told us how he never missed a day at
    WBAI in 39 years or something like that. Make up your mind, Gary. Even revisionist history need to follow a seemingly logical progression.

    All hail at the alter of Marxman! Notice everyone claims to love Samori now? I remember how many of these same people had no love for him when he was alive. Maybe the programs Samori wanted syndicated were utter crap, Gary? Never thought of that, eh?

    Get the ED of Pacifica to order a beg-a-thon. Yes, the ED who has no power to do anything.Yeah, listeners to KPFA, KPFT
    and WPFW will be so excited to pay to have WBAI and KPFK send out their premiums. Sure....

    Celebrities. Yes, they really want to waste their time on Pacifica. If the celebrities are listening, they already know the problems and don't care.

    Hey, how about getting Yoko Ono up to WBAI and, while she's on, taking a poll: Did Yoko break up The Beatles? Every $25
    pledge gets to vote.

    Professor Irwin Corey could come up. He should get a few Dollars out of the Laugh In era crowd.

    Geoff Brady should try to get Randy Quaid on. "Cake" Davis should try for Shirley MaClaine. R. Paul Martin with Gilbert
    Gottfried would actually be funny.

    How much you want to bet if Babbling Bob tried to get Bob Dylan on that Bob would never get beyond Dylan's maid?

    Null wants Pacifica to get a loan? Hey, Gary, you're worth millions. How about YOU lend Pacifica the money? Yeah, you damn well know you will be in the same box with the ESB and DN!

    Debt forginess? Why? You use someone's service and then you want them to not get paid? What a joke. I have a better idea - grow up and take responsibility for your actions.

    Hey, folks! It's the Gary Null Organic Comedy Hour! Yes, hear Gary make fun of the KPFA producers! Hey, I learned half of
    them are proped up cadavers. Take a look at WBAI, Gary. How many of the WBAI producers have been on the air for less than 30 years? yeah, not many. And the ones who have popped on over the past year and a half are total disasters, like Anderson (who has proven that even God can't help WBAI), Forlano, Halper, and that Reverend Billy or whatever his name is.

    Gary's little prophecy reminds me a lot of the ending to Three Days of the Condor, when Cliff Robertson makes his rather
    insightful speech.

    Notice Null is laying off current WBAI management? Interesting.

    I won't go into my feelings about these Null bitching sessions, as I have done so before. I just think he is using some facts mixed with fictions to manipulate for his own ends. I don't think there is one ounce of sincerity in him, organic or otherwise.


    1. Samori Marksman's programs were boring, usually co-hosted by Elombe Brath or Gerald Horne, two bona-fide white haters. I never learned a useful, verifiable piece of information from any of them. YaNomeSayin, YaNomeSayin.


    2. Knew Samori very well - have lots of stories about Samori - the day he died was a relief for many people @ the station. Funny, Samori hated Gary Null and so did Utrice - called Gary a food fundamentalist - now they depend on him. Samori was a smart man - he created Democracy Now, then handed it off to Amy Goodman, then regretted it and called her a monster. Samori was a Stalinist - brooked no dissent. Again, glad he is dead - he was dangerous to anyone who truly believed in freedom. One more thing... he did not hate white people, indeed some would say he was naive, particularly about Amy.

    3. With respect, simply to compare thoughts and perceptions:

      Samori was no threat to anyone but himself and WBAI’s audience. He was simply a doctrinaire wannabe-authoritarian Marxist who was born at least a few decades too late. Stalin was a vicious, capable, amoral opportunistic son-of-a-bitch-from-hell who could do things and make things happen in the world in a huge way, as a few tens of millions might have attested had they not been removed from existence somewhat prematurely in significant part due to his direction, both direct and indirect, and his calculations and maneuvers – not to mention his fears and paranoia.

      Other than at WBAI, an increasingly obscure and irrelevant cultural factor during his time, what was Samori Marksman’s influence and effect in the world? ‘Founder’ of organizations and ‘movements’ no more than a handful of people ever knew existed?

      There is a world of difference between Luftmenschen like Samori Marksman (and WBAI/Pacifica itself) and people who have any impact on the world. They have, when viewed with even the least remove, no impact whatsoever. Indeed, as they think their ‘deep’ ‘progressive’ ‘revolutionary’ thoughts and speak to themselves, they’re incapable of grasping the plain fact that there’s a difference.

      These are people whose idea of ‘doing something’ and ‘changing the world’ never reaches beyond a protest, a march, the chanting of slogans, the waving of signs, etc.

      Or posturing on the radio and thinking that because they’re ‘on the radio’ that that posturing has some effect – even when there’s very nearly no one actually listening.

      They are incompetent.

      The world sees them as fools, and crosses the street to avoid having to risk eye contact.

      Rightly so.

      They see that sane and sensible avoidance of their delusions, their madness, their obsessions, their narcissism, as… validation.

      Validation of their ‘power’ and their ‘truth’ and their ‘principles’.


      A Stalin would have put a bullet through the back of a Marksman’s head not because he was a threat to anyone or anything, but because he made annoying noises – *that* defines the difference between a Samori Marksman and a Stalin.

      Stalin was dangerous. Marksman…. dangerous to… whom?

      ~ ‘indigopirate’

    4. "Marksman…. dangerous to… whom?" Ultimately, as many of us agreed in the past, to WBAI.


    5. Agreed. Yet even in that sense he wasn’t dangerous/destructive in and of himself. As the internal decision-making/self-definition/self-understanding of Pacifica evolved long, long ago from its original foundational premises and principles to one of ‘understanding’ itself as a ‘force’ of often shrill and simple-minded leftist/‘progressive’ advocacy, the local boards and stations came to reflect this self-reflection. A Samori Marksman is in that sense only an example, seeing arts, education, open debate as ‘bourgeois’ and to be dispensed with – along with the audience that had supported them and, ironically, along with any chance of their political advocacy ever reaching anyone not already a true believer interested only in nodding along – as the stations, and Pacifica, effectively nodded off from the world. Ironic, yet appropriate, and inevitable.

      ~ ‘indigopirate’

    6. Yes. What's so funny is how self-delusional these bombastic bozos are about bringing the revolution to the airwaves, yet not being able to understand that their very own left wing target market isn't interested in them. Fewer and fewer listeners giving fewer and fewer Dollars just never settles into any realization. It's always someone or something else at fault. It's never, "I guess people just aren't interested in what we have to say" or "Yeah, our programming sucks and it's time to accept the fact." They are truly that immature, which is what it all comes down to.

      For all the ideas Null, Reese, Brown, Lefever, Coken, etc. roll out to "save" Pacifica and WBAI, they still never want to simply admit the programming and ideals behind it are passe, in the least, or never even had any foothold beyond an ever shrinking political fringe. I'm sorry to tell people, but the revolution they want isn't coming. The world has changed, and with it the way people think. Red is dead. If you want to talk revolutions around the world, they have gone to the realm of the religious and nationalist fanatics.

      Of course, these Pacificans are too childish to ever realize this.


  5. Are there any stats for the fund drive?

  6. I listened to the Null Pacifica critiques and IMHO they are full of flaws and misleading information. Pacifica is a Max Escher painting - it depends how you look at it! But I wanted to sing the praises of KPFA. Whilst it's true that many producers there are aged as I and many of you perhaps are, the experience and skill displayed at KPFA by our contemporaries is unique and important and represents some of the very best of Pacifica past and present. I wonder how many of you have listened. For instance on Sunday morning 5-9am (Pacific), Larry Bensky has taken over the early morning music slot with "Piano". Bensky is remembered as a fine reporter, literary journalist, program host and commentator, a manager and an early participant at the Paris Review (which despite it's subversive government connections) introduced some of our best writers and thinkers during the sixties. Larry is fluent in French and an academic expert on Proust. With more than forty years experience in journalism and broadcasting, he has a lot to offer. "Piano" is an outstanding musical offering.

    The music line-up on KPFA on weekends is outstanding - listen and I think you'll agree. It is valuable ethnomusicology. There are many excellent programs on KPFA - UpFront with Brian Edwards-Tiekert, weekday morning at 7 is a solid local public affairs morning show, "Letters and Politics" with Mitch Jeserich, "Hard Knock Radio" with Davey D (4pm), "Flashpoints" with Dennis Bernstein (5pm). Shows like "Project Censored" and "Guns and Butter" and the literary lineup - the weekday morning music lineup at 11am - "Against the Grain" and KPFA's Apprenticeship Friday program, "Full Circle". KPFA is a real radio station perhaps a little stodgy at times - the KPFA News is mediocre and calcified but it binds the station in important ways. KPFA is far more engaged in its listener community than WBAI and the KPFA Speaker Series is a great example of how a community radio station serves both community and the bottom line. The talks are rebroadcast and draw substantial donor support and the recorded premiums are efficiently delivered to subscribers. KPFA has a well-oiled operation and reach over 90% fulfillment. Of course there are problems at KPFA but the air sound is consistently good. Much of KPFA's programming would do well nationally. I hope Pacifica survives and more than that, I hope KPFA survives.

    I understand some of the background machinations at Pacifica but I have always been a producer at heart. I listen to the radio, where the rubber hits the road andWBAI has an appalling program presence. WBAI is well passed its prime, we all know that. The station has gone feral in the worst way - there has been no "parental supervision" - no accountability for years - Null is right about that. So much to say. So little point in saying it.

    I enjoy your blog Chris.