Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Lies and secrets...


The deplorable Haskins hash was thrown in the dumpster of delusional doo-doo this morning, but he found time to introduce himself as "the station's chief announcer and your host and radio guide." Then, as I had predicted, we heard yet another airing of Tony Bates' blatantly distorted reiteration of lies told by con artists John Henrik Clark and "Dr. Ben". Blake calls this "thank you gift" Ancient African History Pack, but it is as bogus as the "helix water" he and Kathy Davis once pushed—would it have been so readily dismissed if it really was a "cure"? These people insult and under-estimate intelligence as they aim their scams at an uninformed black audience.

At ten, the also predictable Ron Daniels offered as a premium,"registration" to his forthcoming conference in Newark. His long conmercials for this event are aired with conspicuous frequency on WBAI, but—like his weekly presence—do not benefit the station. Apropos predictions, the failure of this fund drive is almost assured.    

The "lost" KPFA tapes and Folios are still generating discussion and the e-bay seller appears to have made him/herself scarce. There has also been sporadic curiosity as to what became of WBAI's equipment, etc. when Sandy brought about a location change. Yesterday, when R. Paul Martin rumbled a bit in his snake pit forum about Pacifica's avoidable loss of archive recordings, the WBAI situation surfaced in the following exchange:

Frank Lefever: When I was packing and hauling stuff in the big move out of 120 Wall Street, I tried to divert various tapes and old copies of the Folio from "trash" into cartons for "Storage."    

I think we had two off-site storage rooms then, and still have at least one.

What's in them ? Equipment? archival stuff? Nobody knows except Berthold Reimers and Tony Ryan.


The Pacifica person officially designated to make an inventory of our equipment has not been allowed access.

After being elected as a Director on the PNB (last January), I planned to use Director's Right of Inspection to give him access (as my agent). However, we all know what happened back then. None of the WBAI directors have been allowed into PNB meetings nor recognized as directors by the "gang of thieves".

Indigopirate: The pattern of more-than-petty theft is very old indeed.

In late 1976-early 1977, at the time of what was then referred to as ‘the crisis’ the board had come to be dominated and controlled by Percy Sutton’s people, in part by the whole Mao-Maoing the flak catchers bit, witness the gatherings at Margot’s on Central Park West during the installation of Anna Kosof and Pablo Yoruba Guzman as manager and program director respectively.

The initial move was to attempt to cash in by changing WBAI’s format to quasi-commercial, intended to be folded in to Sutton’s Inner City Broadcasting. When the occupation of 359 E 62nd and the attendant media attention made that problematic the church was sold off, the profit from the sale of the church mysteriously disappears (read the records if you know how to read such things) and WBAI moves to 505 8th.

Duh.

Since then it’s simply been a very long irregular and bumpy downhill of internal nonsense, tedious politics, ever-declining audience, and petty thievery of the sort discussed here, plus the presumed factional dream attempt to derive some tidy profit from sale of a frequency or two.

It’s all been such a happy-little-leftist/progressive clusterfuck, though, that it probably all spirals down to nothing much but some distant final whimper.

Whimpering is one of the few things WBAI/Pacifica and its scant remaining audience are any good at.

More power to them then as they dream, snarl, bicker, discuss, debate, temporize, snap, snarl, and drift to that oblivion which lies even beyond their present irrelevance.

Everyone dies, granted, but fools manage to make quite a sad little mess of it all, don’t they?

Frank Lefever: I luuuuv history, especially "insider" history. I was far, far outside at that time (and most of the subsequent years until the "new Pacifica" upheaval coincided neatly with my retirement, allowing me to waste a lot of time on this very special stuff). I was astonished to discover that everybody else already knew each other and had feuds going back decades.


Indigopirate: The truly critical inflection point lies, as I've said, late-1976–early-1977. When Chris Albertson left WBAI/Pacifica for the BBC there were some capable managers who followed, eg, Ed Goodman, and some who, like Larry Josephson were truly and intelligently dedicated to Pacifica's foundational ideals but far-from-ideal in the management talent category, but on the whole WBAI continued to represent a very rich mix of arts and politics, and was widely known and well-regarded. Listenership declined from its maximum of the late-1960s, but was still substantial, loyal, and robust.

If you look at the archived folios from this period you see on the whole a very rich mix of programming, much of it produced by truly talented and dedicated people.

After 'the crisis' of late-1976–early-1977, however, there was a swift exodus of major talent from the station as it became dedicated to its small world of increasingly slanted and strident political advocacy – Samori, for example, censored reporters routinely, and dismissed them if they didn't follow the 'proper' line in their coverage.

It's useful to bear in mind that this transition came about not because of listener input of any sort, but because of WBAI and Pacifica board decisions which imposed their revisionist narrowly-political stridently leftist-rebranded-as-'progressive' definitions of Pacifica's ideals and purpose upon the station(s). Indeed, you have no idea how frequently I heard the increasingly frustrated, angry, and often bitter complaints of listeners at this time as the number of listener-supporters rapidly declined – yet, of course, the bush-league wannabe-revolutionary political types now in charge either ignored or sneered in contempt at such 'bourgeois' sensibilities – 'bourgeois' being applied by the likes of a Samori Marksman to anyone not supportive of repressive left-wing-Marxist authoritarian/tyrannical/totalitarian regimes.

The result was the long, long slide and decline to self-marginalization and absolute irrelevance to anyone other than the small circle of stakeholders immediately and directly involved.

22 comments:

  1. Apparently some at WBAI have never read Abe Lincoln's adage, "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time." because they continue to recycle the same old premiums which continue to alienate the few people checking in to listen and patiently waiting for the terminally ill WBAI to die. Listening yesterday morning to the superficial, condescending and unctuous Tony Bates kowtowing to Dr. Ron Daniels, who he kept referring to as "Reverend Daniels",was more than I could stomach. The "State of the Black World" is simply that you have so called "higher class" blacks who emulate the ways of the "white values" they allegedly despise and continue to exploit the ignorant and untutored masses (of all "colors")whom they inwardly resent. I project this fundraiser will be a dismal failure. I see no way out of this dark, damp financial hole WBAI has created for itself lead by the inimitable Berthold Reimers. Thank you Mr. Albertson for this outlet to express an alternative view to what WBAI presents on a daily basis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I share every nuance of your observations. What we have now is "Dr. Uncle Thomas" replacing old Tom, but being none the less stereotypical, detrimental to pride, or embarrassing to independent thinkers.

      Delete
    2. I have had thoughts similar to the first comment in this string. Assuming that there were some idiots who were willing to pay for this crap when it was offered before, one would think that this market has already been saturated. Even assuming you have found an audience willing to pay for crap, how long can you keep selling the SAME crap to the same small audience? At some point, don't you have to at least sell different crap in order to keep the money coming in?

      Delete
    3. I think that is too elementary for Berthold Reimers and the dross he surrounds himself with.

      Delete
  2. According to the NES who spoke at the PNB Election Comm. meeting, the elections were extended at KPFK in order to verify Spanish speakers can get information and vote and at KPFT due to multiple requests for staff ballots including requests sent in on behalf of staff members. They needed time to verify and she said their membership list was particularly bad.

    The vendor will begin count ballots next week after all elections are closed. She anticipates meeting quorum at all stations. She noted LES concerns about a number of abusive emails.

    Cerene Roberts who is on the committee despite being a candidate and Bob Lederer who chaired the committee last year despite being a candidate had concerns about ballot requests at WBAI being ignored and mistakes in candidate statements.

    The committee passed a motion to recommend extending WBAI elections due to a large number of returned slate mailers which used the same membership list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw Cerene's e-mail to Berthold re her motions. She's up to something infelicitous, as usual.

      Delete
    2. There is no mystery here Chris. They are conducting regular business in the guise of an 'emergency'. Said emergency apparently does not include talking to their opponents like grownups to try to work together. One of their candidates met with the Indy candidates after a forum and insisted the Indy LSB members return before the election and yet would not entertain any suggestions from my slate. Now they're trying to dictate to Reimers about how to spend money. The sad part is that there are some positive elements in these motions that are worth considering.

      Delete
    3. Incorporating a strain of reason is, I believe, a smoke and mirror tactic meant to lend credulity to duplicity.

      Delete
  3. There isn't much to add. WBAI may have been on a decline since '77, but I still say Samori was the big shift in WBAI's direction, in that he brought in and/or gave power to the scum we have now and their mentality.

    The recent big shift was mario Murillo, who decimated WBAI and lost a load of listeners.

    The same old premiums is probably due to WBAI being able to rip-off suppliers for them.

    SDL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Illuminating. Is there a connect between Engelman's involvement in the Polk award and Knight's receipt of it? The Sutton link is intriguing.

      Delete
    2. As for the Polk I have no knowledge – but it would seem to be a natural speculation. Just as right-wingers reflect their biases as ‘truth’, so too do left-wingers, and Engelman is very clearly very much a leftist.

      I have no intimate knowledge of Engelman’s involvement with Sutton’s people other than what I saw more than once at Margot’s. I was then and am still inclined to see it as an instance of Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers. If there were other aspects to the disappeared money from the church sale, etc, etc, I have no way of knowing. I’d guess he was just a ‘useful fool’ not only in Marxist but in pragmatic real-world terms.

      Just a guess,

      ~ ‘indigopirate’

      Delete
    3. Marksman literally expected to one day have statues erected in his honor as a revolutionary hero.

      He was clear and explicit in his contempt for any programming other than that of Marxist advocacy, rebranded in the spirit of the times as leftist/progressive. He tolerated only a very limited role for ‘bourgeois’ programming on the arts and the like only – emphasis on the word ‘only’ – as a means of increasing the audience and attendant income for his revolutionary visions.

      He was, unsurprisingly, both a smug and an embittered human being.

      A figure seldom noted, who played a critical role in the transition of 1976–1977 which led to the likes of Samori Marksman and the path of strident leftist advocacy which slowly, inevitably stripped WBAI of its audience and its influence alike, was Ralph Engelman, who was the chair of the local station board at the time, and who worked closely with Percy Sutton’s people to engineer the transformation of WBAI from its original foundational ideals to a very different path and purpose. It was, for example, on Engelman’s order that the station was taken off air 11 February 1977.

      Engelman is, on objective evidence, a fifth-rate academic of neither consequence nor influence: http://www.liunet.edu/Brooklyn/Academics/Faculty/Faculty/E/Ralph-Engelman?rn=Faculty+Profiles&ru=/Brooklyn/Academics/Faculty/Faculty

      There are many people to thank for WBAI’s long, long, long decline to irrelevance and ugliness, but I’d be inclined to argue that the roles of Marksman and Engelman are not to be short-changed. It’s always pretty easy to reduce things to shit, but these two appear to have done quite an exemplary job, really.

      Props.

      ~ ‘indigopirate’

      Delete
  4. Samori Marksman and Bernard White were puppets of Elombe Bad Breath. Ya Know, Ya Know.

    KGT

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, yes Samori Marksman - hated that black bastard - as a producer, I was OVERJOYED when he died - Marxist POS!!

      Delete
  5. I just turned on WBAI and heard what sounded like Reimers attempting to pitch. He said something about not doing French programming.

    SDL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I heard it, too. How great to have a station that doesn't speak French!

      I will post this pich.

      Delete
    2. He sounded pretty desperate. I guess I would be if I were him...

      SDL

      Delete
    3. Only educated Haitians speak French.

      KGT

      Delete
    4. KGT--You're right. Some years ago, a producer from Radio Soleil told me as much, and said it's the reason why they have Creole programming.

      Delete
  6. Incroyable. Un station de radio qui n'aime pas le francais.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Je ne parle pas rien. Je suis incomprehensible. Je suis WBAI.

      Delete
  7. So what indeed is the ultimate goal of the parties involved?

    Who gets what money?

    ReplyDelete