Friday, January 13, 2017
Mitchel and Marilyn respond to Bates
In case you haven't read Tony Bates' scurrilous letter to Mitch Cohen, you will find it here, along with a link to Marilyn Vogt-Downey's response. At Mitchel's request, I am publishing his response:
This was my reply to Tony Bates, who also hogged up a large chunk of time during the GM's report at the LSB meeting Weds. (I have the recording. Just pablum, pure bullshit.)
I can't seem to post to your website from my home computer, which connects to the internet via dialup (yes, it's true!). So if you could post it to your site (as well as Marilyn Vogt-Downey's letter), that'd be great.
I'm just seeing Tony Bates' vicious attack on me now, having returned from various medical appointments. I very much appreciate Marilyn Vogt-Downey's letter. She's right on the money, as usual.
I don't think it's in any way fair, let alone helpful, for a paid so-called manager to abuse his power over volunteers and staff in this way or in any way. He is, after all, the GM's appointee, and the GM bears responsibility for this sort of insanity. Reflects very poorly on the GM's judgment. Calling me a CIA agent as Tony does is so far beyond the pale that it's only because of Tony's lack of participation in any left struggles at all (and thus his ignorance) that I am letting it slide until I calm down. People who have been so labeled and libeled have been assassinated for that, literally, and I don't take it dismissively.
Tony Bates ludicrously accuses me of destroying the Wobblies (!) of all things. Seriously? Tony wouldn't know a "Wobbly" if s/he hit him over the ass with a red flag on MayDay (MayDay? what's that?) at high noon in Ludlow Colorado. (You mean Ludlow Street? Katz's Deli?)
In his scurrilous attack, he somehow left out my work as a draft resister during the Vietnam War and support for military resisters ever since, and as an anti-nuke activist, coordinator of the NoSpray Coalition against pesticides, editor twelve years ago of the Green Party USA national newspaper and for a time of the NY State Green Party paper.
Years ago I questioned Tony on some things he was saying on the air. He was feeding anti-semitism in how he was promoting one of the 9/11 Truth tapes, same way as Bollyn (whom I publicly challenged during his lecture at The Commons). Tony not only couldn't hear it, his rage got in the way of even knowing or understanding what I was saying.
He also somehow missed disparaging my efforts with NY State Against Genetic Engineering, Center for Global Justice, Direct Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier, Save the Audubon Coalition, Holistic and Alternatives Treatments Committee of ACT-UP NY, Red Balloon Collective, Red Balloon Poetry Conspiracy, Committee for an Open Discussion of Zionism, Committees of Correspondence, farmworker organizing and the building of clinics to treat the indigent on Long Island and upstate NY, the Panthers' free breakfast for children program, and as a typesetter at the Guardian and The Nation when there still was such a thing before word-processing came on the scene, and a load of anti-war and grassroots ecology groups.
A month ago he blasted me for daring to contact possible radio hosts for WBAI, telling me it was not my job to do so and that I was over-stepping my bounds, even though I told them I had no power whatsoever and that I would forward their info to WBAI management who would take it to the next step, if there was to be one.
Actually, if Tony -- coming to New York by way of Los Angeles -- had bothered to even skim one of my books: "What Is Direct Action? Lessons from (and to) Occupy Wall Street" he might have gotten a better sense of the projects that I and the Left in New York have been involved in and why his screed is so, well, destructive.
To Tony: One cannot hide behind one's ignorance and/or incompetence by character assassinating those of us—and there are MANY—who do the work and resent the incompetence of WBAI management in appointing fools as "managers". Let alone those who cannot take legitimate criticism, even though they're being paid the big bucks. (My Moscow gold never seems to have arrived. Otherwise there'd be GMO and cheese-free pizza for all!)
I remain NOT sorry for having defended Tony Bates last time around from what I considered to be a correct evaluation but a result of an unfair process, one steeped in racist and sexist falsehoods—even though I shared some of the staff's criticisms of his programming concepts such as they were and attempts to implement them. I wish the evaluation committee had written their damning evaluation without feeling the self-destructive need to exaggerate them and engage in disgusting rumor-mongering. They lost me, and others, who would probably have voted with them had they forwarded that evaluation properly.
I point out that Tony Bates was responsible for a number of premiums he promoted as "miracle cures"—not just Double-Helix Magic Water but Kevin Trudeau's "stuff" before Trudeau was sent back to prison. The WBAI Local Station Board, when I was chair of it, directed that those premiums be removed from WBAI's offerings despite Tony's support for such premiums and his enthusiastic on-air pitching for them.
To Larry Romsted: This argument cannot be avoided because, let me also point out, there is a process for hiring a Program Director, and the GM has tried to bypass that process by inventing a new category, "Program Manager", in order to hire Tony Bates to that position at $1,000 per week while the rest of us work for no pay for years in the salt mines—NOT because we believe in this management, but because we believe in the IDEA of listener-sponsored, intelligent, free-speech, non-corporate radio and will continue to do so despite WBAI management's best attempts to thwart that belief.
I've removed Tony Bates from this thread as per his request.
Again, thank you Marilyn for standing up to this bully.