Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Is Null being vanished (banished?) gradually...
The following bit of news was posted on Nalini's listserv by Steve Brown yesterday, March 1. It is laced with information—old and new—regarding Gary Null's status at WBAI. It also hints at an internal conspiracy involving the JUC faction.
Berthold Reimers just announced that he was cancelling Gary Null’s Friday WBAI program permanently. This looks like the first step in a calculated removal of Gary Null from WBAI airwaves. Next he will probably cancel Thursday, then Wednesday, and so on. That is how Gary was removed from WPFW’s airwaves several years ago, after 34 years of continuous broadcasting. Under pressure from the NY JUC, WPFW first took away one day, then another, then another – all with no explanation -- until Gary finally quit.
That caused his WPFW audience, which comprised more than half of its listeners, to desert WPFW. Prior to that, the station had never failed to make its fund drive goals; after that, it never succeeded in making even a single fund drive goal, and is now in even worse financial shape than WBAI.
Taking away one of Gary’s program days on WBAI is clearly meant as retaliation for Gary’s objection to Berthold’s violations of the FTC Mail Order Rule (exposing Pacifica to millions of dollars in fines) and his illegal pirating of Gary’s DVDs and those of other vendors (also making the station vulnerable to huge fines, as well as making Berthold liable to a prison term of up to 5 years if convicted).
Just from the standpoint of fiscal responsibility – whether you like Gary’s program or not -- this seems amazingly harmful to the station, since Gary Null has the largest audience on WBAI, and had been raising up to 75% of WBAI’s fund drive revenue for years, by pitching his books and videos, until Berthold forced him to stop. So look to even bigger shortfalls in WBAI revenue, which means bigger shortfalls for Pacifica.
However, Berthold is apparently not interested in the welfare of WBAI or of Pacifica -- but only in keeping his job. Which I am guessing means colluding with the JUC national board majority in getting rid of Gary Null, since his lawsuit could put some of them in jail. (Berthold would not do this on his own.)
I would hope that the LSB majority will register a strong protest to Berthold. I would also hope that the LSB will simultaneously resubmit Berthold’s termination request to the ED and national Board. It may not get anywhere, but it will create a record and should be done.
Stephen M. Brown