An unvarnished blog that dips into the past and comments
on the present of WBAI-FM, a once significant, intelligent New York
radio station that has chronically suffered abuse from within and now
nears extinction. Your comments are welcomed and will not be censored.
When agendas are the agenda, there is no enda.....
Pacifica and its stations were never flush with money, but they managed rather well. That is, until someone had the bright idea to introduce elections, committees, and rules.. no, not principles, for they were an important part of the Foundation, so to speak... until the rules all but wiped them out.
No, the rules didn't call for the elimination of principles, but they opened the door for a veritable invasion of incompetent opportunists, drama queens, predators and parasites who saw in Pacifica a path to self-satisfaction and eminence. In most cases, they came in with nothing but were allowed to stagnate, because the infestation soon also reached the front office.
The result began to show in the Eighties and Nineties, but the deterioration was subtle, for Pacifica still rode slowly on the coattails of its illustrious past. Thus there continued to be traces of the intellectual content and cultural awareness that once had raised Pacifica stations above what FCC Chairman Newton Minow described as a "vast wasteland."
Today, with station managements and the Pacifica National Board itself mired in a tangle of clashing egos and personal agendas, the decay has accelerated to a point where the overwhelming majority of listeners have jumped ship and there is little hope for the Foundation's survival. Should it make it through this crisis, it will do so as something very different from what it is today, and that—in turn—is a dishonest, unprincipled shadow of what founder Lew Hill and his associates managed to get off the ground in 1949.
To get an idea of how rudderless Pacifica has become, our trusty observer, 'indigopirate', has submitted an audio clip of the PNB's December 3 meeting, a veritable orgy of amendments, points of order and extraneous sounds that are open for interpretation. No one has ruled out toilet flushes, but theories range from the hunger pangs of a pacing pet gorilla to disruptive grumblings from attorney Siegel's office.
The long version of this torturous telephone jam is yours for clicking on the link at the bottom, but 'indigopirate' is all merciful, so he has also supplied this brief excerpt.
And, of course, an enticing summary:
As Pacifica sinks slowly in the West… also in the East, South… – well, everywhere, more or less at once, actually….
Let’s Just Vote On It…
‘We have two amendments on the floor… we should be talking about the first one first… the second one is not an amendment to the first one… it was a substitute… a separate motion… call it whatever you want to call it… I was on the stack… I’d like to be on the stack… are we also moving all the relevant motions… yes… I can’t hear you… I have a point of order… I don’t have to wait for the stack… per our standing rules… what are we debating, exactly… fifty minutes is not going to be enough… no, I did not… the deadline is tomorrow… there are all kinds of issues… we could extend the meeting… can I move… we have a number of bylaws deadlines… we have some pressing issues… the bylaws don’t stipulate… have you spoken to… gosh… where are we… point of order… have you ruled… no it wasn’t… there are now like three motions… nobody made a motion… we have to decide what to do… so we’re back to… can you hear me… there’s a stack… I have a point of information… i’m so confused… the point I want to make… that’s unrelated to this motion… let me say this… if I may motivate… the point is… we all have priorities here… I totally support… how many motions do we have on the floor… I’ve lost track… can I amend… if the motion… I object to that… point of information… the closed session… hello, can anyone hear me… point of order… it totally negates my motion… there are three motions under that item… point of information… point of order… point of order… point of order…. oh my god… ‘ ~'indigopirate' And here, for the super curious, is the full meeting.