Thursday, March 17, 2016

Try plugging it in....

They're running around like headless chicken. Null's lawsuit looms over them, Mitchel is—as usual—in major denial, and a meeting called by the Empire State people has the fat lady itching to belt out her song.

The following was posted in Nalinis forum, addressed to Mitchel Cohen—who is ever ready to make up stories in defense of WBAI negligence. I hope he gave Ms. Vogt-Downey the courtesy of a reply. She is a station volunteer who may well be misguided when it comes to its direction, associates with clueless "Occupy" cultist D. Goldstein, but clearly has concern for WBAI's future.  —Chris

Hi All,

I happened to be in at the station this afternoon about 5 p.m.and saw that the huge stack of unsent premiums that has been there for possibly two months remains there. I had offered to pay for the mailing at least a month ago in an email to Berthold and received no response from him. I repeated that offer to Andrea Katz two weeks ago and she said that money was not the problem. Then, of course, we had the tragic death and loss of our Dani.

After that, Berthold said that no one knew how to operate the postage machine, that we were getting a new machine and that all that was necessary was to learn how to operate it and that was supposed to happen, according to what he told me, on Monday March 7.

A week and a half later, all those premiums are still piled there waiting to be sent!!

It is time to take this matter into our own hands. If these premiums are not being sent, listeners/donors are waiting and losing confidence in our station. If they are unhappy with the station they are probably trying to call us for an explanation. Is anyone answering those calls and addressing listener complaints? This is deadly for the station!

Two years ago, we were in a similar crisis. At that time, we mobilized as volunteers, got the station out of trouble, and kept it afloat. I believe that it is time, once again, for the volunteers to move in, take over and solve the problems.

We need to get those premiums in the mail. This means that we must learn how to use the postage machine, put sufficient money in it to pay for the postage, and deliver the premiums to the Post Office.

Will anyone volunteer to help get this done? Does anyone know how to use the postal machine? How to put money on it? Does anyone have a car to take the stuff to the PO?

I will work with whoever is available, but I need help. Can anyone help with this, maybe starting tomorrow late morning?

Ideas???? Comments???


Marilyn Vogt-Downey

The response was apparently good, so MV-D posted this follow-up around 1:30 this morning. Note that she mentions "hundreds of premiums," and 1. No on-air mention/apology has been made to the listeners. 2. When pressed, Reimers was able to get help with the postage machine rather quickly. 

Another case of this opportunist's fuck-the-customer neglect and severely warped priorities. Berthold Reimers ought not only be summarily dismissed, he should be made to repay WBAI for 5 or 6 years of irreparable damage.

This is what Ms. MV-D posted today:

Here is a report of what happened today.

I went in to meet up with Maxine, a regular volunteer. We got Berthold to get the man who was necessary to train us to use the new postage machine to come in this afternoon. He showed Maxine, Berthold, Mitch, and me how to use the machine. Then we showed Tony, one of the chief BAI engineers. It is an unbelievably awkward system and labor intensive. But we managed to get started putting postage labels on a few of that enormous stack and now have the hang of what the process entails. A box of premiums is now ready to go to the Post Office. But the work has only just begun...

...We will be continuing this process over the next few days until all these hundreds of premiums are finally posted. From then on, even though the process is not fast, keeping up with the mailing of premiums should not be a problem on a day-to-day basis once this huge pile is processed.


  1. I was received Ms. Vogt-Downey's letter courtesy of an e-mail from Mitchell.
    Was going to respond laconically, "Why don't you and everyone else at the station drink a concoction of cyanide and Kool Aid?", but then I asked myself, "Why bother?"


  2. (JustAListner)
    So is operating a postage machine even harder than learning Great Plains software?
    And lets remember Reimers' primary mission when he was made GM was to "fix the premiums mess".
    The fact he's let into the building, much less getting paid as an employee, proves WBAI is doomed.

    The shame is the station has had, and still has, people like Ms Downey who are willing to step in and help.

    People like Jim D., the owner of 388 Atlantic, producers like Hank Kee, the OTH crew, and yes, Frank LeFever, Mitch Cohen, RPM and of course the others who volunteered to staff fundraisers, help the station move etc. - often an odd lot but they along with the people still willing to shell out $ for the station and for premiums, could have kept WBAI going.
    It is enough to make one wonder if there is a conspiracy behind it.
    Maybe we hope it's a conspiracy, that there is a thought out plan leading to WBAI's demise rather than serial pettiness and laziness.
    I'd hoped perhaps a film student would have made a project out of documenting the station - could have made an interesting piece, no shortage of drama!

    1. It continue to amaze me that there hasn't been a concerted effort made by right-thinking people to stop this vandalism and destruction. WBAI under fraudster Reimers has not merited as much as 1¢ in support.

    2. A long time ago I posted, on this list, that WBAI should be a reality TV show. You know those little segments where they have one of the characters making solo comments about something on the show? Mitch Cohen would be great during those cutaways.

      This volunteering to get out old premiums is nice. I'm sure people will be happy to get premiums owed them since 2013, finally, but what happens when the postage money runs out? Also, keep in mind that many premiums were never even ordered, to begin with.

      Why didn't smarter people do something? Because no one wanted to get together and actually do something. If even ten people demonstrated in front of 388, it would scare the shit out of them. "What do we want? Reimers fired! When do we want it? NOW!"


  3. Since MVD identifies as a Marxist and Mitch is also a Marxist, I have to ask How many Marxists does it take to fix a postage machine?

    OK Now that I got that out of my system, this is such a lame excuse. People have been complaining about premiums for a long time and this was Reimer's response? Really?
    I think its interesting that the premiums are starting to be sent just before Agarwal's
    visit. A month ago, he couldn't even be bothered to respond to her email.

    1. Premiums? HOW BOURGEOIS!!
      Is this really WBAI?


    2. How many Marxists does it take to fix a postage machine?
      Three to form a committee to study the postage machine.
      Two to work on increasing the standards to use postage machines.
      Two to work on comparing the state of postage machines in today's environment.
      Three to provide additional funding to increase the postage machine's performance.
      One to study to see if contractors can be used to send premiums.
      One to declare the postage machine is now "better, faster and cheaper."
      Four to form a quality circle to find new uses for postage machines.
      Two to revisit the performance requirements for postage machines.
      One to say this postage machine was procured with cost as an independent variable.

    3. Please don’t label the low-lives now in control of WBAI “marxists”.
      Karl Marx provided insights into the workings of capitalism and class conflict. Marxist economists and historians include thinkers and writers such as Thorstein Veblen, Paul Sweezy, John Bellamy Foster, the good Reverend Malthus, Michael Parenti—to name but a few. These thinkers are not necessarily communists, but offer valid criticism of capital and monopoly capitalism.

      Or perhaps, you label them “Marxists” in allusion to the equally distinguished Groucho Marx. Again I must demur. Groucho (or his writers) understood and employed irony, hyperbole, understatement, denotation and connotation in his humor. I doubt if any of the morons at WBAI could define any of these terms, less employ them.

      No, the problem at WBAI is not Marxism. The problem is racial chauvinism, ignorance, gluttony, and bovine stupidity. Can you imagine the reaction of any undergraduate at Rutgers University—or any university worthy of the name, if Kaffy Davis appeared on their college radio station. Or Jeff Brady? Or Haskins?

      I see no solution. The infection has spread throughout the Pacifica network. The only cure is euthanasia.

      Pull the plug. The station and network no longer has any right to exist. Let everyone associated with Pacifica drink a glass of Uncle Jim's Kool-Aid.


  4. By the way, what ever become of Radford deciding not to send out the owed premiums unless she was forced to?


  5. Oh my....the premiums just sit there. Nothing done. A good comrade offers to pay all the postage. Still nothing.

    Need to teach concerned parties how to operate postal machine. More nothing.

    Btw I could have taught them in five minutes Tom Wisker who was a long time Postal worker in two minutes.


    Yeah that's right we were both shit-canned outa there under suspicious well.

    Everyone finally taught to run postal machine. Slight work starting.

    Well it's so reassuring that the swell inertia I knew so well continues on. An institution should have traditions.

    1. Yah, the premiums just sit there doing nothing. Just like you during your worthless occupation of WBAI air time. I vividly remember your posting on the Blue Board that you were heading out to do "your" show, for which you had nothing prepared and that you couldn't care less if it sucked or not. You should have been terminated on the spot for that attitude alone, but instead you were allowed to linger at WBAI like a chronic disease for years. In sum, you were part of the problem.

    2. Don't worry about this one, Sydney. One or more "anonymous" posters have been descending like JUCs in heat lately. The hornets nest has been stirred.

      You were never part of the problem as far as on air performance or engineering is concerned. We don't hear these people complain over Haskins, for example, a numbskull incompetent who still can't run a board after three decades nor—as he so painfully demonstrated this morning—read a simple sentence without stumbling over it.

    3. You are right, Chris - Haskins has not grown over the years, but Sydney was a morose, cranky boulder at WBAI for years. He truly should have been fired YEARS ago, not on the trumped up charges that Reimers fired him on. He sabotaged producers work and used to sleep @ the station, stinking up the whole place, along with Dred. Both he and Dred was toxic. Sorry, Chris.

    4. I respect you Chris, even though I do not always agree. I wish you had listened to the station more. There was a WHOLE LOT OF SHIT AT THE STATION that you don't know about. WBAI should have charged by the BBB and the NYS Attorney general's office years ago. There was sexual harassment, SERIOUS theft, an alleged cover-up of a murder, SERIOUS drug use, black bigotry, yes, BLACK bigotry, bullying, copyright violations, and on and on. Dred is the first on the list to be arrested, some others, like Samori are long dead and they can't be charged with crimes, unfortunately. Some like Andrew Phillips and Mario Murillo were complicit and covered up crimes. I am saying this as a woman - the station needs to GO!

    5. What you say is in line with much of what I have been hearing. I have no reason at all to doubt you. As I have posted elsewhere on this blog, I was around (though no longer on the payroll) when I heard that drugs were not only being used at the station, but actually sold. When I brought this to the attention of Pacifica's President and the local board's head, Frank Millspaugh (who opened the door for this crap) was present... and he admitted it. Did they fire him? No, and that, like his hiring, has always puzzled me.

      So, I would not put anything past these people... the station does, indeed, need to go and, as you say, it should have been exposed years (make that, decades) ago.

  6. I will never understand how the simple task of ordering some DVDs, putting them in envelopes and mailing them can become a "crisis." And not only a crisis, but a long-term crisis, going on for years. It isn't like they have to mail out hundreds of thousands of product. We are talking - what - a thousand premiums, maybe 1500? You get 2 people to stuff envelopes for a few hours a day, send out a few hundred per day and you are done within a few days, at most a week. It's not that hard. Product in envelope, affix label and postage, check recipient name off of list, and mail. When I was 18 years old, I worked as a temp for some company that was mailing out books and I did this very task along with one other guy my age. If 2 teenage temps could do it, why is this so hard for them?

    1. You are so right, but these people create their own problems, because they are really not at WBAI to see it thrive. When they scared off the overwhelming majority of the station's listeners, they took those big red flags their incompetence raised and wiped the floor with them.

      How so many truly ignorant, untalented, selfish people can be found in one little ruin is simply amazing.

      If they dump WBAI, as they obviously plan to do, I hope that move sparks a serious examination of their criminal activities and lands them where they belong.

      I never thought I would see the day where I find myself encouraging the elimination of WBAI or, for that matter, Pacifica—but that day is here.

    2. I don't want to give the Marxists any ideas but why don't they send the "DVDs" out by multiple address emails and let each person download and save them and if they like them, let each individual burn them on their computer if he wants a hard copy. It takes a whole 5 minutes. Oh! Too Bourgeois


    3. "I never thought I would see the day where I find myself encouraging the elimination of WBAI or, for that matter, Pacifica—but that day is here."

      I still don't wish to see WBAI or Pacifica eliminated, just cleaned up. When I look at the corporate cesspool that FM and AM is, I still think we need a less myopic network of stations like what Pacifica once offered. When it's gone, that will be it. There will not be another. Such a waste.

      Every system has its loophole for exploitation, and I guess what Pacifica has shown us, in modern times, is the loophole in public broadcasting. Whereas advertising/sponsorship exerts pressure on a radio station or network to affect its programming, getting money from the public allows idiots to run wild because there is no corporation coming in and telling them that they will pull their support. Funding from the listeners is viewed as free party money.

      Sheesh... I don't even have any kids or grand kids to tell stories to about the once listenable WBAI.


    4. A couple of hours ago, Frank Lefever—who has never given up hope—solicited suggestions on Nalini's list. Taking off my Pacifica Pessimist hat, my response was as follows:

      "I’m sure there are many ideas out there, but none will be implementable unless the first move is to replace present management with competent people and make that change known to an alienated and prospective listenership. Honest reports to the listeners are unknown to present listeners, but they are essential and should be made every week (by responsible people). If the do or die makeover is handled right, mainstream media will respond rather than ignore. Follow-up must be immediate and include positive changes in programming, not just replacing the duds and propaganda with more of the same—as has been the routine. Little by little, but with unmistakable upward direction, intelligence and quality must be reintroduced.

      Of course, this is not easily accomplished and it might not even doable, but there has been an awful lot of money and effort wasted on Foundation-endorsed idiotic changes and inexcusable neglect.

      Personally, I think these people have damaged the station beyond repair, but a last ditch effort might at least restore some faith in a rescue."

      I should add that a major, major change in attitude is imperative and that we cannot go back to programming as it was in the first decade or two. However following the principles and maintaining the integrity upon which Pacifica was founded can be done without sacrificing trendiness.

    5. I basically agree. I think a major(!) overhaul could succeed in bring back many old listeners and bringing in new listeners. However, I still say a lean one year (at least) period will be needed to reach self-sufficiency, and that's if Pacifica doesn't go pilfering WBAI's funds. I believe WBAI competition should be viewed as WNYC. With this in mind, WBAI would need to provide more honest and superior programming to the NPR style.

      As an example of just one thing. While eating dinner I had on Out FM (or whatever it's called). This is just crap LGBT programming. Put on a good LGBT program and you have a large(!) potential audience just waiting to listen and support.

      There is really so much that can be done. If shit like Forlano, Anderson, Halper, The Blacks can simply be put on the air, then they can be fired and replaced by good, intelligent sociopolitical programming just as easily. That's where you need to start. Get the intelligent programming on and the word will get around. I bet all those old lefties who have abandoned WBAI haven't found anything new to satisfy them. Even an intelligent right winger would prefer a challenging intelligent program to some Rush Windbag howling crap. The key is intelligence and respect for the listeners.

      Today is where WBAI should have shined, taking a deeper look at the Beglgium attacks, analyzing the situation with a greater depth than anyone else, etc. However...

      I believe WBAI has a small chance, but it will require massive changes and a little time.


  7. I think SDL has a good point about respecting listeners. You can be a progressive station and still attract listeners across the spectrum. It would be far more engaging if there was genuine discussion with people from different views. Its hard to take a station seriously when they're not even covering the news of the day and then having one-sided discussions. Even if I agreed completely with the host, I probably would not listen for long just out of sheer boredom. They can broadcast whatever they want but it should be in a way that is inclusive. For example, I am not Haitian but I might want to listen to such a program if it included items like cultural events in the NY area and relations with the US and Canada. Another thing they could do is end the fundraisers and raise funds within the context of a program like using PSAs, 'scripted' interviews where a guest talks about the station, trivia questions, etc. Things like this could quickly change the tone and that in itself would be a big step forward.