Friday, December 18, 2015

IQ matters...

About four years ago, when I realized that WBAI was slowly but surely being morphed into a third-class black station by opportunistic racists, I was accused of overreacting and, indeed, being anti black, but the evidence was so clear to me that I had to wonder why more people couldn't see it.

As it turned out, people were seeing the change, or—to be precise—hearing it. They were also sending a powerful message by simply tuning out. Here's what I had to say about the fade to black On February 18, 2013—almost 3 years ago. I needn't point out that the transformation has gone considerably farther since then, and the listenership is the lowest it has ever been. 


  1. Hi Chris,

    I came across your blog a couple of years ago. I used to listen to WBAI in the late 70s and early 80s. To me, it was like a letter from home -- smart, funny, informative. It's hard to believe listening to WBAI now, but it used to have some very funny shows. I could listen to comedians, writers, musicians, all types of people, having fast, clever conversations. All my friends, colleagues, and acquaintances knew about WBAI. The crafts fair was an event familiar to everyone. WBAI had classical music programming equal to anything else on the air.

    I started listening again about ten years ago. I was in the car a lot during the day. I had listened to Amy Goodman from time to time but otherwise I had no knowledge of the programming. The station was so bad it was fascinating. I particularly liked a program called 'Taking Aim' which had a Bolshevik-frozen-in-amber quality to it. The Soviet Union had fallen and it didn't seem to matter to these people but what really got me was the quality of the show -- 9/11 conspiracy, JFK conspiracy, each drop in the stock market being the 'final crisis of capitalism,' it was mind boggling.

    What was worse was that the clowns on the show could not be bothered showing up in the studio. On many shows, they phoned it in over a lousy connection. Sometimes, the quality was so bad you could not understand anything they said.

    The stupidity is astounding. This show was broadcast on a signal that could reach over 10 million people and the hosts were too busy traveling around making revolution to come to the studio and make a program that was listenable. Ten million people and they had other more important stuff to do.

    'Taking Aim' was like a visit to the Museum of Marxism-Leninism but the rest of the shows were worse.

    Gary Null is a charlatan. Giving him an outlet is an act of real evil. Maybe in the early 80s it could be excused since his true nature had not revealed itself but after his comments on AIDS he should never be allowed on the airwaves.

    Anyway, I don't want to sound like an old man complaining. I think the collapse of WBAI and Pacifica is fascinating as a case study of self-destruction and institutional suicide. I think that it's another lesson on how communists destroy everything. They are parasitic on the progressive movement. Anything of value on the Left, they take it over, turn it into their instrument, and thereby destroy it. WBAI was so strong it has taken thirty years to destroy.

    The application of Marxist theory led to the end of the WBAI Crafts Fair as a bourgeois distraction. The sale of quack cures to retirees could finance the propaganda wing of the revolution, and was OK according to revolutionary morality.

    Now all that's left is two factions originally defined by differing views on the application of revolutionary theory denouncing each other as power-hungry opportunists and criminals. Communist theory, for all its appeal to intellectuals and disgruntled misfits, does not correspond to reality -- never has, never will.

    Thanks for your work at WBAI and for this blog.


    1. Thank you, John. Your perceptive take on today's WBAI and its remarkably slow but sure path to certain oblivion is focused and sad. When I tuned in to WBAI after years of absence, I did not expect to find the station that had so compellingly drawn me to it in the Sixties, nor was I ready for such advanced deterioration as I heard.

      Still, I felt the damage was reparable if the reins were handed over to intelligent, principled people. That never happened and the point of no return has long since been passed. A functional Pacifica Board would never have allowed the vandalism we have witnessed to run full term.

    2. Samori Marksman is the sole reason for the collapse of the station. His Marxist philosophy killed the station.

    3. Samori Marksman was just Elombe Brath's (Cecil Brathwaite's) puppet.


    4. Marksman clearly played a rolle in WBAI taking its last--and, I believe, fatal--turn, but many factors/people have contributed to its moral bankruptcy and imminent demise.

      A major mistake has been the shift in target audience and politicizing of program content. Here, as I see it, Samori Marksman has been a big influence, but his death opened the an influx of wrong-minded, racist opportunists.

    5. I have made my feelings about Marxman clear in the past, but I shall reiterate.

      Marxman was the first major factor into what WBAI has become. He was responsible for turning what had been a left leaning station with a variety of programming into a Third World Communist revolutionary focused station. Those who came after Marxman stripped the Third World Communist revolution away and mainly retained a Black radical/nationalist ideal. Yes, a simplified view, but basically the truth.

      As much as I despise Marxman, I think if he walked into WBAI today, he would be aghast at what they produce. Not that he'd disagree with the sentiments, but would feel they are too slender in their focus on one aspect of the revolution and not more worldly.

      Remember, more than anything, Marxman was a world Communist revolutionary pseudo intellectual, heavily influenced by the events of 1979, not a simple "black lives matter" Black radical.

      Murillo's attempt at introducing more leftist and Latin programming is a limited third rate version of his hero Marxman.

      I hope this makes sense. Marxman was a political ideologue, while currently WBAI is just racist.


    6. Makes a lot of sense to me, SDL.

  2. In my time at Wbai I had four death threats. One from a homophobe nutter, and three from within the station. Those three were because I was a "Negro race traitor" as one of the notes said.

    None of the threats were ever investigated by the station or authorities.

    (Imagine the hoopla if Amy or Bernard had gotten such threats.)

    I have to assume my assassination would not have been a loss to what the station was then becoming. I should have gotten the message, and just given up on the place all those years ago.

    ...but silly me I had Hope for the place.

    1. Outrageous, but not at all surprising. Had someone succeeded and landed in prison, the racist bozos would probably have formed a 'Free "X'" movement. These are pathetic people, Sydney, you are better off not being in their midst.

      I hope you continue your podcasts when you feel up to it... they are missed by more people than you seem to think. Take good care of yourself... we need to hear some good news from you.

      As for death threats, I only had one. I came from a very drunk Dale Minor and related directly to the hysteria started by a self-serving false accusation of censorship from Chris Koch, irresponsibly fueled by Post, Josephson, and the silence of spineless insiders like Fass.

    2. Sidney,

      I met you several times while visiting Bob and Ibrahim. You were always the professional. You not only kept your eyes on the meters and controls, but found time to assist an aging and occasionally confused Bob Fass operate the DVD player or tape player.

      You were also always kind and polite to visitors like me. You often walked me to the studio and told when it was OK to enter.

      I was at the station on the night of your brother's death. You were pondering whether to book a flight. I offered to lend you one of my credit cards to buy a plane ticket--an offer you politely and gratefully refused.

      It makes sense that one of the most decent people at the station be treated so badly. Bernard and his supporters were thugs. Of course they'd treat you like a leper--you were liked and respected by everyone.

      A plague on the scum now running the station. I hope you are well and will eventually prosper.

      All the best.


    3. Thank you for those words, TPM. They did not appreciate Sydney when they had him, nor did they deserve his talent and healthy attitude.

  3. I'm sorry to hear that. My gawd what an awful place. I was blind to 'Bai's it's evil side longer that I should have been. I just couldn't accept that such was going on, and had been for years before I joined.