Sunday, June 26, 2016

Yoohoo, Berthold?



I am among those who have lost respect for Mitchel Cohen because of his seeming inability to tell things as he would like them to be rather than as they are. Too many contradictory "facts" and apologia for mis-management wiped away the integrity I once credited Mitchel with having.

Given that, I may be naïve, but I think the following e-mail, posted elsewhere, contains some pertinent facts regarding the growing internal disorder at WBAI. Read between the lines.

PLEASE CLICK ON TEXT TO ENLARGE

40 comments:

  1. Are the phones still out? I haven't done more than tune by for a few seconds at a time for days now.

    I still don't know what Katz job is actually supposed to entail. Can someone give me a clear job description?

    SDL

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    1. You are picking up yet another irregular piece of the Pacifica jigsaw. Job descriptions all contain a bottom line: "you never read this--disregard and proceed." The Katz woman, her relative, and others on the payroll know that there is a penalty for competence..

      WBAI is not managed, not developed, not kept in technically working condition, and--to most people--not listenable. A barely known voice of insignificance, heading for the dumpster of deliberate decay.

      When those paycheques stop coming (soon, by the looks of it) the leeches will wither away and only the next of kin might care... or notice.

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    2. Yeah, but, do the phones work yet?

      SDL

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    3. Unless Reimers paid the phone bill from his undisclosed hiding place, I suspect not... and there's another fundraising round of infomercials around the corner.

      Delete
  2. I sincerely look forward to the end of WBAI. Sending a prayer out today for a quick demise. But seriously, Tony Ryan is a thug, in the full meaning of the word. He is a graduate of the Dred Scott Keyes of radio - instead of being a thief like Dred is, he is a black thug. What a place!!

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    1. Just to set things straight: Ryan and Keyes are of the same complexion and, where I come from, unauthorized duplication of copyrighted material is, in fact, theft.

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    2. The ugly racist tone of many postings and comments on this blog undermine its great value. Listen to yourselves.

      Delete
    3. If the truth can be seen as racism, I find nothing wrong with posting it, the fact is, however, that WBAI is now run by a group of dishonest, unprincipled people whose leitmotif is race based and exceedingly ugly. To comment on that and its consequences is a mandate that should have been followed years ago when the first signs were spotted.

      Is the departure of the overwhelming percentage of the station's listener-sponsors a racist act? No, they are reacting to the racism that permeates its programming. It has become so pervasive that not bringing it up in a critique of today's WBAI would be dishonest and morally wrong.

      Some of the posts that bother you are probably satirical--that's to be expected under the circumstances.

      Delete
    4. These posts are not satirical, they are racist. Why do you defend them? You diminish yourself and your cause, whatever that is (burnishing your reputation?).

      Here is only the most recent example: "He is a graduate of the Dred Scott Keyes of radio - instead of being a thief like Dred is, he is a black thug."

      Whatever the truth of this accusation, what is the relevance of the man's race here?

      Having worked on staff at WBAI during the late 80's, when things seemed like they couldn't get any worse, I'm well aware of the ugly racial dynamic that has persisted--and, sadly, worsened--for decades.


      Racist invective is easy to rationalize under the best of circumstances; this is one of the worst. I won't belabor the point. Carry on.

      Delete
    5. I am not attempting to justify any co,moments that you have seen here and deemed to be racist. That said, I think you should know that decidedly racist, frivolous comments have been submitted, but not posted. I do not alter such submitions, I simply send a message by ignoring them.

      Have you similar accusations to level against the racist propaganda that is aired by WBAI?

      BTW, I think you ought to read my response to the comment made about Keyes and Ryan... did you even see it?

      Finally, perhaps I should point out (again) that I was appointed manager of an all-white WBAI (at which I already worked in a lesse capacity) and that integrating the salaried staff of 25 was my top priority. That was accomplished.

      Delete
  3. On the rare occasions I travel through the WBAI signal area (and subject myself to listening to the station), I haven't heard the kind of programming you describe--but I don't doubt that it exists. I have heard on air comments I don't agree with spoken by black people, words I imagine could be troubling to white people, that I don't think were racist. But, in any event, I don't think racist attacks justify racist counter-attacks.

    I did not know of your role in integrating the salaried staff at WBAI back in the day. Good. Or that you moderate comments on this blog (although now that I think about it, given what does make it through moderation, I wouldn't want to even imagine what doesn't).

    The WBAI at which I worked in the late 1980s was a well integrated environment far along its current path to disintegration. Racial tensions were extremely high, although they did not break strictly along racial lines--the hostility of the mostly white old guard to the mostly colorful newcomers was obvious.

    I worked with some really great people, a handful of whom still seem to be involved from what I read here. I also worked with some really unpleasant, incompetent jerks--many more of whom also still seem to be involved. Their scorched earth strategy of making WBAI an intolerable place to be, to preserve their control over whatever pathetic patch of turf they occupy, seems a quarter century later to have triumphed.

    Somewhat like the cockroaches and biting insects that will inhabit Earth itself after we destroy it.

    Which also isn't a black thing.

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    1. Thank you. I think we're basically on the same wavelength.

      I had hopes for a restoration of WBAI—not to the point where it sounds like it once did, times change and we must change with them. I held naïve hopes of good management restoring the spirit and level of intelligence that once characterized the station. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having it fill in the gaps that commercial broadcasters maintain when it comes to people of color—I just wanted to see it done in a manner that feeds rather than insults the intellect. When it comes to black-oriented programming, what they dish out these days is an affront to thinking people of all complexions and ethnicities. I think you will agree that ignorance, too, is not a black thing.

      Delete
  4. Here is Mitchel Cohen's defense of the illegal hiring of Andrea Katz. Mitchel responded on the WBAI Finance Committee list serv. At this time Cohen was closely allied with Steve Brown and Berthold Reimers. How the worm turns.


    6/4/13


    Mitchel Cohen mitchelcohen@mindspring.com via yahoogroups.com
    to wbailsbfinance



    At 09:10 AM 5/29/2013, ed manfredonia wrote:

    All,

    The hiring pracitices violated federal laws pertaining to hiring individuals at an IRC 501 (c) (3). Federal law takes precedence. The position must be advertised and the hiring process must be open. Also, Pacifica is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission.

    Ed Manfredonia
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ummm, No.
    It's not the case that hiring practices of WBAI are in violation of federal law. Management has the legal right to hire interim or temporary staff without going through the processes Ed suggests, as it also does for consultants or even contractors.

    Look, I am not a lawyer (and neither is Ed). But we are all, I'd hope, smart enough to know that asserting that Federal law prohibits this or that activity on the part of WBAI's general manager does not make it so.

    Ed, if you want to go this route then please cite the text of the federal law (as opposed to a union contract) that you say requires that all positions must be advertised and that the hring process must be "open" (whatever that means, in this legalistic context, since you're bringing us there without defining your terms).

    I'd prefer to discuss all of this in a rationally rather than in a legalistic framework. Once you start arguing it out as a question of law (and counter laws, and definitions), you move the discussion of what's best for WBAI and Pacifica into a different realm that disempowers the listeners and staff (non-experts that we are) and strips us of our ability to participate meaningfully in providing governance to WBAI, which is our charge under the bylaws.

    Mitchel

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  5. Being a misanthropist, I hate everyone equally...

    SDL

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  6. (JustAListener)
    Was that Cohen email posted recently?
    Are the phones off again?
    Perhaps these days it's only delusional optimists that keep the station going.
    Sad to see how much good will is offered to the station but spurned.
    And sad that the few employees that actually do their jobs will soon be unemployed.

    PS glad you and the other poster addressed some of the language that sometimes creeps into the conversation. We know that devious/hateful/violent behaviour is found among humans of all categories. Letting one group's racism to cause us to abandon reason is losing the war.

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    1. The phone bill remains unpaid, so listener calls can not be received. When you hear them speak to phone guests, it is either through Skype or some other Internet connection like Facetime.

      I understand your disgust (my term, but I have a feeling that you share it) at the station's (Reimers') blanket rejection of fundraising suggestions from outsiders. Outsiders? Well, sad and misguided as it is, today's WBAI clearly regards its listeners as such. A few years back, I attempted to contact Reimers with approaches that had worked well when I held his position. He did not return my calls, so I sent e-mail, which he also ignored.

      I doubt that he read what I sent him, but I stressed the importance of connecting with the listeners and explained how beneficial regular on-air live reports had been for me as well as them.

      Delete
    2. Ironic (and sad) that "Off The Hook", of all shows, couldn't take telephone calls!

      Delete
    3. Yes, and Reimers' own phone stays off the hook 24/7.

      He must think his mistakes will mend themselves if he stays out of the loop, he even dodges the National Election Supervisor. A hundred and eleven thousand dollars a year—ridiculous aste!

      Apropos waste, I have the station on right no and I must say that Bob Fass seems to have list it altogether at this point. He mumbles incoherently and plays random fragments of recordings, cutting each one off abruptly and starting a new one, sometimes two at a time, but without rhyme or reason. It is as amateurish as radio can get—there also seems to be someone in the room breathing hard and having an orgasm.

      I seriously doubt if Radio Unlistenable has more than a dozen listeners, most of them obviously hard of hearing. A truly disgusting show.

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  7. Section 73.1125 (e) FCC Rules
    (e) Each AM, FM, TV and Class A TV broadcast station shall maintain a local telephone number in its community of license or a toll-free number.

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    1. I think WBAI does that. The lines that are shut down are the ones used for on-air listener calls. One should still be able to call the office phones—getting someone to answer is the problem with that line.

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  8. Try finding a number that works. Nothing listed for business calls on WBAI.org that I find. Verizon Yellow Pages shows a half dozen numbers at old addresses and even ones that are things like 4 times Square, but none are working.

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    1. Interesting..... and potentially a strike added to the death knell.

      The whole place is collapsing, as has been inevitable for a long time.

      I would never have allowed it to get this far but, had I found myself in that situation, I would have wasted no time opening a microphone and speaking honestly to whoever might be listening.

      When I became the WBAI manager, I inherited a debt left by my predecessor that seems piddling today, but required immediate attention. I blamed it, in part, on the programming, which was a bit too precious, so I went on the air live, gave my own criticism of the program schedule and added how I planned to change it.

      I read letters of complaint and praise over the air, and solicited more. I also took calls,but we were not yet equipped to broadcast the listener's side of the exchange, so I relayed that part.

      Finally, I urged people to stay tuned and listen for the changes I had mentioned. I furthermore suggested that they let those changes motivate them to donate. In other words, hold your money, let what we broadcast persuade you to help us out.

      The money started coming in right away—not in a torrent, but at a heightened pace. When our bookkeeper uncovered a debt of $25,000, the situation became immediate, so our new News Director, Joanne Grant, and I developed a novel idea over lunch and implemented it around dinner time. We called it a "marathon." It was extremely effective because the only premium was WBAI itself and it really was named correctly, because the goal was $25,000 and we put everything else aside until we had pledges in that amount. Then we returned to normal programming, saw to our delight that the money received exceeded the pledged amount, and decided to make this an annual event.

      This was also when the idea of buying a more powerful transmitter and connecting to the Empire State Building's improved antenna began to form.

      Of course, greed and chronic mismanagement has now tagged the ESB move as overkill (all that power for amateur radio? and almost made regular programming intermittent, as well as low grade. Marathon has become an ugly word that drives listeners away, WBAI is a footnote, the curtain is coming down, there are no da capo calls, and bows are more apt to bring catcalls and rotten tomatoes than bursts of applause.

      Delete
    2. Your actions with marathons, ESB, getting the new on-air phone system, placing Fass on the overnight, etc. where totally correct at the time. Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise. What other swine did later on with the pearls is their responsibility. Dummies.

      SDL

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  9. Let me explain a little bit of the psychology of black folks and why there is a kind of divide in terms of Eurocentrics trying to see things from an intellectual position, while for Afrocentrics race always comes into play even among intellectuals and causes discord in terms of institutions like BAI or the split in the Civil Rights movement. Group A is in competition with Group B for prestige, self respect and a sense of self not attached to an identity or image imposed on them by historical events and forces beyond their control. We'll exclude individual personality issues. Take your attack on Haskins or Knight, for a black man, if he read your attacks, the first thing that comes to mind, is this person's animosity a result of my being black? A black person can never be sure, you see. Or put another way, a poor "white" trash person would say this person is criticizing me because I don't have his education, I'm not credentialed, its my backwoods background, I'm from a backward state or this guy is simply a snob. It wouldn't be his race at all. For a black person education or a professional badge of honor or success from the man behind the curtain is not the first issue, race is. Because of historical baggage. The stigma of race. We'll leave aside the question of can stupid people know if they are stupid. Just as well the question can smart people be stupid and not know it? Black Lives Matter is a example of blacks adapting a tactically stupid, as well as a waste of time, racist position because of being in this terrible bind. That's why the tribal absurdities mentioned in Africa doesn't quite register with them.

    Mary Francis Berry (yes of a previous BAI coup) told an interesting story on C-Span's booktv that has clarified something I have noticed about these ethnic relations. She said that when she was a child domestic in the Jim Crow South she discovered Beethoven by playing a record when the white folks had left her alone in their home. When the owner came back she chastised Berry for playing something that did not belong to her. Barry was moved by the music and felt its universal power. In my opinion Beethoven's music is like hearing the divine. But the white person was more concerned about the violation of her property and did not care a wit about a little black girl's experience of Beethoven. She should iron the clothes and not listen to the music. But what really hurt Berry was the owner telling her that the music wasn't for her in any case. Implying that in either class terms, education or racial terms or simply lower middle class or middle class highbrow snobbery. You can see this also in terms of a poor domestic "white" trash person as well. Barry said this is why she always feels uncomfortable anytime she hears Beethoven and I imagine other classical music. Maybe she even hates it? A white domestic child would conceive it as snobbery with a little understanding from a wiser, more humane educated person for the sting of race hatred is not there. The racist exclusion from the human family particular to blacks. This may not be the same now and I'm not sure how poor black people feel today exactly about race identity since so much race talk comes from black intellectuals.

    wce

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  10. The point is this Frankenstein monster of black anti-intellectualism and racism is the result of white racism or class exclusivity. Beethoven is ours not yours. Only Eurocentrics are able to adapt or use the culture of others as if it were their own with impunity. Styles. Fashions. Robbed and humiliated in every way imaginable, appearance, clothes, nakedness, speech, sex, on and on, how many black people hold on to the absurdity of race like the Klux Klan because they still suspect that they are seen that way...I don't know but how does Haskin know? He can't know for sure. No fault of his own. It's not as if they can change their name and have false papers to get past a check point--the stigma of appearances being deceiving forces a confrontation between a negative opinion of his ability and his own sense of self worth, to be sure not with all Eurocentric peoples, individuals are different. You may be different and are fairly judging the person from your knowledge as a radio professional but how does a black person ever really know he's being judged on those even handed grounds? Or even patronized for faults recognized but never acknowledged? I think this is the fundamental problem black intellectuals face based on their levels of competency and success. This is why some black like being Republicans. That's the racist paradox for blacks here. However you regard the quality of their intellectual prowess, they are intellectuals of sorts and we all want to have a sense of self worth--even if we are stupid. This relates very much to Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron problem. I wonder if intellectual striving and differences are not know the definition of what class you belong to and the prejudices people hold and is related to issues raised in Thomas Frank's Listen Liberal.

    wce

    I really don't know how anyone here can say listeners ought to get what they like--radio professionals ought to give listeners what they want, in that case, listeners who want to hear Brittany Spears, if they pay should hear her? Nobody in fact wants this total democracy unless it agrees with their own tastes. And if they out number those who love say classical, that's too bad. So the problem is social, radio professionals, as administrators or hosts, are trying to speak to what society and for what reason? Obviously in the case of BAI that society is no longer there. Perhaps as result of black paranoia and striving to dominate the station or left-wing shrillness and self righteous. Or people just don't care because they've got cellphones and Wikipedia?

    wce

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  11. Django Unchained...if you saw it, there is a great scene when the German guy loses it because this racist woman is playing Beethoven...it seemed vile to him in a place like that where slaves are abused so terribly. It actually caused his plans to help the captives escape to go awry and led to the bloodletting later. That perhaps was the best part of the film...the excess blood and fanciful fight scene killings after it wasn't necessary except for people with a taste for such stunt work choreography.

    wce

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    1. Thank you, wce. I am still absorbing your words, so please be patient with me. I suspect that others will respond, and they will do so with more insight than I can muster up this afternoon. I did start to watch "Django Unchained" a while back, but it did not retain my attention—perhaps I should give it another try. What I saw of this film did not ring true, nor does much of the anger I hear coming from WBAI.

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    2. Tarantino sucks! The only Django films that matter are the original spaghetti westerns, and some of the "sequels" from the 1960s.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8Ge2hmSTbo

      Oh, if you want some evil white folks doing racist killings, Django Kill, another "sequel," is great. A critic described it as a surrealistic spaghetti western written by the Marquis de Sade. Yeah, the kind of weird film I enjoy.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfn5OyMnC1Q

      SDL

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  12. Yes, it was unrealistic. A sadistic revenge story written by a white man. I came back to check on comments and for some reason Beethoven and music stuck in my mind. I guess the German's reaction versus the Southern lady that Mary Francis Berry worked for must have brought it to mind. I did enjoy it however but not the excess bloodletting. I don't think a black director could've done it the same way. I'm not sure what Lee's beef was and need to check it out it. It seemed like it was politically correct to me. The black guy won and rode off into the sunrise or sunset. Was the girl not dark enough? Maybe he couldn't get something financed like that? The caricature of the house negro who was loyal and evil was perhaps the most offensive to some people and I can understand why.


    Quite a departure from the reverential treatment of house Negroes of old Hollywood--that Uncle Remus or Tom was turned on its head. African American playwrights, actors and critics have struggled with this issue of black portrayals either to uplift their race or more realistically to tell all, show the bad as well as the good. I don't know if you remember the criticism of the Nat Turner book by a white author. It wasn't true to the facts and made him look weaker at the end. Black people are not all saints. The question of what exactly offended Lee per se, I need to research. Was Lee jealous? Ishmeal Reed, a bit cranky it seems, has he always been so, maybe you had encounters with him, was against it, too. White privilege? I need to read what he said. There is an interesting critique at Counter-punch of Hamilton that's right on the money. It's total baloney in terms of real history. But it begs the question can whites portray blacks and blacks describe and portray whites. Of course blacks like Ishmeal Reed will say that you are already privileged over him in that regard. Another film is Selma which excluded the tapes and the sexual infidelities of King as well as distorting a bit LBJ's role in getting legislation through. Blacks would favor dirt on Jefferson but not on King? I prefer realism in films myself but DJango was something else. His Nazi film was also good.

    wce

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    1. I can certainly identify with your preference for realism. Not the minute detail kind, but the kind that does not leave one with a distorted picture of that which is being recalled. I undoubtedly got some things wrong in my biography of Bessie Smith, but only because my interviews and research did not reveal to me the actual facts. I at least try to be as true to reality as I can get, but I know writers who care little about that—this also goes for some of WBAI's amateur historians. Ron Daniels comes to mind, as do other admirers of John Henrik Clarke, "Dr." Ben, who customized black history to fit into their fantasies. Those fantasies, in turn, seem to have been created more as attention-getters than anything else.

      I had a close writer friend named Orde Coombs, who was from the Islands and determined to make a name for himself. He was a great friend, but he got caught up in this kind of be-quoted-by-any-means-necessary approach. We were at a racially mixed party back in the afro-dashiki era when he noticed many of the light-complexioned Afro-Americans appeared to have sought each other out. He pointed that out to me and said that it gave him an idea for an article. A few weeks later, his cover story about "Mulatto Power," a wholly invented conspiracy appeared in New York magazine. He attracted attention from editors who fed the trend of milking race relations and did another piece, this time for the NY Times, on what to do about the rising incidents of crime among young black men. I think Orde exaggerated that, but he garnered attention by suggesting that camps for juvenile perpetrators be built in sparsely populated areas of the country. I asked him if he did not feel a loss of integrity, but he smiled as he nodded his affirmative.

      I did not like Orde less for that, but I lost respect for him as a non-fiction writer. Misinformation is no longer as common in jazz literature as it once was, and most of it is, I think, due to sloppy research or one writer compounding another's errors. What distortion I hear on WBAI does, in part, stem from superficial knowledge, but it is far too often intentional.

      Intelligent listeners have good reason for losing their trust in WBAI and, thus, tuning out. The Propagandists who have grabbed the reins from an absentee manager (not the first time this has happened) are not all dummies, but even the educated amongst them are unable to relate the mass audience exodus to the irresponsible programming. They should know that gross misrepresentation of historic facta is a disservice to less informed listeners of all races.

      There were many myths regarding Bessie Smith that had taken root when I wrote my book, Some had been perpetuated since the 1930s even though dispelling them was relatively easy as late as 1970. In fact, mere logic was often all it took to disprove some of these stories. Yet, to my amazement, it was not always easy to get people to acknowledge truth that made a story less interesting.

      I am reminded of something Hattie McDaniels told an interviewer who asked how she felt about being cast as a maid due to her race: "I would much rather play one than be one." Those may not have been her exact words, but I believe you get the gist of her response.

      Racism, whether conscious or not, continues to plague Hollywood, but the film community knows how to put up a facade. The dominant color will always be green.

      Delete
  13. You really should write a history of the Sixties, a personal memoir. I don't know any intellectual blacks personally of this sort. That guy sounds like a trickster, out for his own survival. Cynical. This is the kinda of stuff we won't get in the movies. Pepper on Null claimed that some in King's entourage were working for the Man. That Jesse Jackson might have been an informant for the Dixie Mafia or Hoover. I certainly don't believe anything you say here is directed at blacks as a group but these specific individuals you don't trust and don't believe and you have every right to critique them. This is your party. But given this racist history I'm not sure they are not sincere in their stupidity, or anti-intellectual intellectualism. The people who created white racism were semi-smart too at least according to Stephen Jay Gould Mich-Measure of Man, sincere in their delusions of superiority. Now better science has supposedly proven them wrong. You describe Clark in very negative terms. I just wanted to remind readers of the rabid history of racism. It certainly fueled Clark's fantasies as you call them. And his fantasies are not much different from the white cultural chauvinism and racialist historizing that informed his sensibilities. As well as Tarzan raised by super-apes instead of natives. It was not long ago. I would be more generous. I haven't studied him to know the right or wrong of it, though the author of Black Athena suggests although bad researchers some of these Afrocentrics may have been onto something.

    I know he is also controversial and challenged by mainstream scholarship and the controversy is over my head at the moment. By the way, I used Afro and Eurocentric to avoid using blacks and whites, I don't think you are Eurocentric. Black and white now are meaningless terms to some decree. I just wanted to temper the discussion here a little with a different opinion, a little sympathy for the devil.

    I try to take a realistic novelist approach to people rather than a essayist or political. So I look at your foes as rounded people with flaws but not necessarily demonize them or think their intentions were bad, good people can do bad things or stupid things. In a way it's easy to pick on these people. The mainstream knows nothing about them. Their so called people it is said favor commercial rap which represents the capitalist world view for the most part, making money at all cost, sex, fame and fortune. A black professor analyzed the content of most rap and found it pretty much matched the liberal free market materialist rush to the bottom-line. I don't care for either genre of rap because of a certain monotony.

    Political or black nationalist rap doesn't sell or won't be sold. Besides thinking that reading books is a white thing, working class and poor blacks don't seem that interested much in being unified as race as their self-chosen intellectuals would like. To your point perhaps that these black hosts are not communicating to a large constituency. Would believers in listeners hearing what they like support such shows if they made money?

    Was some forms of Jazz the black-man's attempt to create a sophisticated rival to what we generally think of as highbrow classical music? Some Jazz people come across as snooty or snobbish about Jazz. So that they can feel better about themselves, our music, show his own achievements or is it more haphazard than that? Totally unconscious? The mystique of Jazz and what about Playthell Benjamin's bombastic statements about white jazz critics. It seems like another racially contested arena. The blues and other black genres evolved into rock and roll. Do some black jazz people feel white musicians co-opted jazz? But I've probably gone off topic again. Anyway, thanks for your reply.

    wce
    wce

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  14. @ wce, et alia

    A principal – perhaps the principal – critique of WBAI/Pacifica is precisely that its foundational purpose was that of education, broadly defined, and including presentation of the arts and public affairs. Its purpose was meant to include and embrace precisely the sort of discussion and debate you’re attempting to engage in here.

    Instead, it became, in time, a tool of advocacy – and advocacy by definition excludes any fair-minded discussion or consideration of any subject. The particular coloration of its advocacy is trivial. What matters is the fact of its advocacy and that advocacy is ever and always the enemy of any attempt at meaningful understanding.

    ~ ‘indigopirate’

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  15. I agree with you whole heartedly, indigopirate. I understand the need for politics but coming at it from an artistic position, I've felt for a number of years that the solution to the problem of competition with other media is to turn the station into an artistic forum for radio theater, drama, musics, poetry...the old true liberal arts idea that the arts are the best vehicle to inform and move the public on topical questions and get them engaged in it emotionally. Yet while attempting to be artistic rather than propagandistic. Brecht day with a softer touch rather than hard-line. Certainly don't chase after the same old same old of advertising propaganda which is mainstream escapist television fare. You know movies like Iron Man could actually deal with the Vietnam War, technocracy, arms manufacturing withthe best Twilight Zone sophistication if it didn't try to avoid all the things the original comic of the 60s avoided yet hinted at. My programing solution to compete with the mass media would be to do just that. Literature and the visual arts discussion over the radio as well. Philosophy as well as history. It may sound dry and boring but it doesn't have to be. Now that may be an extreme form but I think in general the left is failing to engage with people because information is thrown at them, while there is no community, no method of achieving the reforms. People say here that WBAI is being propped up by money from older left wing people mostly. The people with a little more don't seem to care. I was shocked myself to see how old the members of the LSB were. It's shame not many younger people are there along with the older times. I'm not against the aged, it's just who is there to replace them when they die?

    Not many people do vote. I think capitalism's great attraction for many people is that it offers actual or illusory individualism, a certain space people wouldn't have if they had to live communally. You guys probably know about the failure of communes from the sixties. Some left the dirty work for others was one problem.

    wce

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  16. I read a biography of Frank Herbert that described one such failure way back on one side of his ancestry in the 1900s, if I recall right. It seems at one point people got tired of being around other people and it began to fall apart. The idea of left wing movements being splintered up may be the result not so much what they care about but to some decree they want to avoid other people. If the left focused on solving labor issues first, say, type of labor, hours worked etc, they probably could solve much else much easier. Who said other people was hell? An author wrote a great book about the death of community in America. In my neighborhood people tend to avoid contact. People have enough of their own problems. Left wing advocates, activists, as far as I can tell, don't really live in the communities that actually need their help and money. One of the founders of Black Lives Matter comes from Nigeria. It seems she has far more freedoms here. I'm sure a few do but not enough to make a difference. I think they should leave radio to entertain and inform with art and go door to door with their activism as far as politics go. They should do like the Jehovah Witness and leave a little pamphlet behind on your door knob with step by step ideas. Have their own Kingdom Halls for meetings. Expecting to change by information overload, well the internet does that best now.

    They need to apply Richard Wolff's Economic Update ideas to neighborhoods not just workplaces or worker run businesses. Democracy in works and deeds rather than in speech. Of course, the broken down people have a lot of problems. But without real communities nothing is going to get done fast enough to save anybody. Demonstrations are tactically a waste of time.

    wce

    wce

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  17. mitch ... stop ... don't lower yourself to these moron's level, with the race and skin color shows.
    There is so much more to talk about . Your better than these idiots.

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  18. When I said blacks are racist I meant it not in the sense that they have power to enact racial laws or discriminate against whites but that they identify themselves as a race and have attempted to create a counter ideological racism. The struggle over BAI is racial struggle and the failure of their attempts to gain ideological control of the station reveals the futility of such an ideology. The absurdity is profound because it was imposed on them by people who identified and classified people as such. It hasn't really helped unite black peoples except superficially. For all the race shows the mess in Africa should prove that money and tribe or family trumps race every time. Black people made a mistake, no fault of their own. Just history. Black or African Americans should never have rejected slavery in terms of describing themselves. It would've been better to have called themselves Freeman and Freewoman. Much more positive. Freed People. Free persons. Exslaves.

    The Children of the slaves---something that would actually emphasize their outsider status and remind people of their actual history. Black plays into the stereotype of the us versus them and black and white mentality.

    Black people don't need radio shows to organize themselves or their communities. As I pointed out with the Witness movement. Go door to door, talk to your neighbor. If you can offer help do so. They can't offer the helps that need. Money. They need wealthy whites and blacks to bring some new types of business, jobs, employment into depressed communities that can help fund public services within those communities. Demonstrations are not necessary to organize this or a boycott. Demonstrators should organize a nation wide boycott rather than demonstrate. Building community gardens would be much better effort than ranting over the radio about past grievances.

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  19. But white anger against some of this black racism or race consciousness is due to the fact that blacks are allowed to get away with this by mainstream media and the democrats as an easy way to stir up white racism and jealously. Black people should've been accept as Americans first, right? We don't see working class whites and white nationalists get to make speeches about their feeling racial and their racialised conception of themselves. Blacks will say that is because white Power already exist. Not to those people it doesn't. Partly because it appears class consciousness lessened or was transformed into a identification with what consumerism? By censoring unashamed white racialism or racism, the mass media has made white rage fester foolishly on blacks, a very powerless and weak people who cannot even protect their babies from gangsters shooting up their neighborhood. The Klan doesn't need white people to destroy black in terms of death. The mass of black people are except for the media celebrities and sports figures are very powerless really, hurting themselves, more than anyone else.

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  20. Chris, I'm exempting you from the following because even if you are skeptical of saving the station you at least provided invaluable info on what's going on and your outrage expressed as satire here, often funny and sad, could've and should've galvanized an effort to save the station by former listeners who hate it now. Why it didn't is because of the internet. I think if people didn't have the internet they would've fought tooth and nail to save the station. They wouldn't let it die like this, a sick and shameful death. They should've subscribed to get the right to vote. They should've fought to get a new LSB despite the corruption and influence peddling and cronyism. Some of this maybe sweet to those who blame inept black management or left wing radical and activist and black management but I hope it is not bitter if the internet fails to live up to its hype. For now its seems open and free.

    If the station manager wasn't black his ineptitude and irresponsibility would be obvious without anyone having to fear the charge of racism by pointing it out but because he's black etc...I get it and didn't Nelsen Mandela cut the deal partly to avoid white technocratic flight and yet under black governance the south African poor are still poor, maybe even worse off. Like many formerly common wealth countries it seems some take pride in being brutalized by their own than by their colonial masters formerly or now ruling from afar by proxy. Now for them it is not a question of race but class and power, wealth and greed. So it is with BAI. If race and racism, the classic American problem, played any part in its destruction, I warn those here to look at how spiteful that is to let it die simply to have these pathetic black people who dared to try to steal it from intellectuals rather than white racists get their well deserved comeuppance and oblivion. Yes, they'll have to become door to door sales men after all. Not such a bad thing if you look at it from another angle.

    wce

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, wce. WBAI's slow morph from a remarkable, often loathed but generally respected, voice in the wasteland reached the nadir of its decline in the present decade, a if by design. Many factors contributed to this, but recovery was not always a pipe dream—it became that when the listenership tuned out. Even if the needed funds should suddenly appear, the fatal blow has been struck and the images of Pacifica and (in our case) WBAI forever tarnished. As many say, it would take a miracle—as even more realize, there ARE no miracles.

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  21. wce, the errata you submitted regarding the above post came just in time for me to make the two corrections. You also added the following:

    "The Pacifica network should be important all liberals and leftwingers yet they don't seem to care to get involved. Maybe because the internet is now the most important media outlet?"

    Thank you for your comments and positive remarks concerning this blog.

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