Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Tangled Timelines

The election of new Pacifica officers is, as so often, behind schedule. In recent years, it has been a haphazard affair that brought to the various Boards a devastating number of unqualified wannabes and escaped the attention of most eligible candidates.

Now, in its infinite lack of wisdom and with the Election Supervisor having resigned in utter frustration, the PNB has decided to proceed, unescorted, with an election, loosely scheduled to take place in February. That date, however, is likely to be an optimistic rest stop on a tangled timeline.

This extends rather than establishes a concern among people who have come to think of the Pacifica Board as the epitome of sandbox governance. So it came as no surprise that representatives at last night's "Special" meeting of the Board chose to ignore all timelines—and, indeed, Robert's Rules—in order to forge ahead with the election, come hell or high water. 

One devoted insider suggests that a close look at the list of candidates, for that's where the money is coming from. As our informed source points out, the lists are not being updated, and that is the crux of the matter. Careless unprofessional handling of these elections form roadblocks that retard station operation.

It feeds the stagnancy that has gripped Pacifica stations in recent years and keeps the door open for JUCs and others of their ilk. It is a major factor in undermining Lew Hill's vision and to some it provides the delusion of a coup opportunity.

If you missed last Tuesday's streamed meeting on this subject, you may wish to spot-check the audio clips. It will confirm the futility and further explain why your favorite radio station has been brain dead for so long. 

Special PNB Meeting - part 1
Special PNB Meeting - part 2
Special PNB Meeting - part 3

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Something in/on the air...

This morning, Sunday, November 18, 2018, WBAI's Program Director, Linda Perry, gave the station's Morning Show hosts notice, and posted the following.
I am trying to have a new schedule in place to begin in January, but it's all exhausting. On a positive note we have our old 212 phone numbers back, most of the phones have been installed and just need to be tweaked this coming week. We have also begun to build Master in the front space. So far windows have been sound proofed. Equipment has been ordered and the room has been painted. Rugs come this week. Begathon begins in December for two weeks again however and I don't think I can change how this is done  much between now and then. Regards,Linda
You may have noticed positive changes already, but you more than likely remain skeptical. Having been there and done that, I know what an enormous, time-consuming task it is to revamp the program schedule, even without being in any way hampered by Pacifica or coworkers at the station. We had a good-sized salaried and volunteer staff back in the Sixties and there existed a spirit of unity—a dedication to serve our listener-sponsors with quality programming.  Only later would I discover how tenuous that common goal was—that we had among our 25 salaried staff two or three harmful opportunists. Today, it is not a matter of making a good station better, it is more of a rescue effort aimed at making WBAI a good station again and restoring a disenchanted departed listenership. To achieve that, it is imperative that WBAI regard the community as a whole and aim at intellect rather than race-based in-groups.

If the powers that be give Linda the financial and moral assistance she needs, and leave her free to make final program decisions, she stands a chance to take the essential turnaround to a point where people once again begin to look to WBAI for intellectual stimulation. If she is allowed to do this without interference, talent will seek out the station—New York, of course, is a wellspring of creativity and original thought.

I strongly urge that we help, even those of us who are disgusted with the way WBAI has been vandalized and rendered inconsequential. If it takes the firing of Berthold Reimers and/or others to fuel listener assistance, I suggest that people make that known to Pacifica. Yes, I know that ineptitude and corruption also has infested the Foundation, but there are a few good people left.  —Chris Albertson

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Pacifica under cork...

Just as counting Donald Trump's lies inevitably becomes an exercise in futility, so it goes if one sets out to chronicle the instances of mis-judgement and ineptitude that forge a path to Pacifica's obscurity. I use the term "obscurity" rather than death, for even the most generous of principled listener-supporters knows that the Pacifica Foundation has been on life support for many years and that the prognosis shows no sign of improvement.

We who admired Lew Hill's concept and took delight in seeing it blossom, always knew that it was—by its very nature—an ongoing work in process. My own involvement began as a volunteer at WBAI, but I later had the good fortune to play an active role at the Foundation level. We owned three radio stations and shared with a growing listenership the compelling spirit that fueled them. It didn't matter that we (listener-sponsors, volunteers and paid staff) had our artistic and intellectual differences—in fact, that was as it should have been—but we had as a common goal the perpetuation of founder Lew Hill's determination to create a significant voice in the wasteland that commercially-driven broadcasting was becoming in the late Forties.

With defiant integrity, whether expressing political or artistic observations, we kept our eyes and ears on the road ahead, while never losing sight of the past. We made no special effort to maintain a high intellectual level, but raising it was instinctive; as was gaining and developing our listener-sponsors' trust.

In the past few years, not only has that trust been shattered—the listenership has reached the nadir principled quality broadcasting could have avoided. I can speak most authoritatively about WBAI, but it is obvious that the disease of greed, inflated ego and ignorance is Foundation wide.

What used to matter, no longer does, what used to shine brightly, has become dull and utterly insignificant, what once enriched our intellect, misinforms. 

This blog was born out of love. When I resumed listening to WBAI after a long tuned out period, I was appalled by what I heard, but did not see it as a hopeless situation. I soon realized that the people at the helm knew or cared little for the station's remarkable birthright—it brought me back to the late Sixties when Larry Josephson and Steve Post seized an opportunity to fill a managerial vacuum created by Frank Millspaugh's considerable shortcomings. This is when they trampled all over Pacifica's principles and created for themselves personality-based shows that launched the dumbing down of WBAI's programming that now—decades later—has brought WBAI to a sub level of listenability.

When my offer of advisory assistance was ignored by management, I knew that I was fighting an uphill battle; it became clear that the station was undergoing a drastic downgrade under a managerial staff that had its own agenda, if any. I eventually decided to make this blog a forum for discussion and a platform for venting and whistleblowing. As we approach an access count of one million, I have given up any hope I had for restoration.

Currently, manager Reimers has all but disappeared and Linda Perry has been given the task of repairing the pathetic program schedule, but while some dross has been heaved, the racially biased leitmotif seems to have intensified. The message, of course, is that WBAI's "community" is ancestry-based and there is no sign of the kind of substantial improvement WBAI would need for  it to be taken seriously again. Giving credit where it is due, Linda Perry has cleaned up the act of some destructive predecessors, but Reimers is still there, simmering the books and pulling the wrong strings as he collects his $110,000.00 salary; ineptitude reigns and the Pacifica National Board fights and fizzles behind its closed door.

Below, are some links that sample the output of what has become New York's least meaningful radio station. I will be adding to this from time to time, posting notification at the top of the blog, but here is a look at a recent SPARK NEWS issue wherein Ken Mills is his usual informative self, and a painful moment from the dreadful Morning Show that has Michael Haskins singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". That he rebroadcast this "performance" on last Tuesday's show lends a hollow ring to his self-criticism. That Linda Perry hasn't taken Haskins off the air bodes ill for her restoration attempt. 

Then there's the contentious upcoming Pacifica election. One wonders why the PNB hired Mr. Drew to benefit from his advice, then ignored it when he gave it. One wonders less why Mr. Drew resigned.

Read/listen on...

Pacifica's involuntary transparency as observed by Ken Mills' SPARK NEWS.

Haskins sings shamelessly

Graeme Drew letter of resignation.

November 13 Marathon report reflects another Reimers failure to grasp reality.
Here, too, is the full meeting.


As always, WBAI's path of self-destruction is perfectly timed. The just finished, painfully low-yielding Fall fundraising marathon ended about ten days ago. Reimers' assurance that the vital multiple phone line system was being reinstalled turned out to be just so much hot air (what else is new?), but now Max Schmid declares mission accomplished (see his notice, below). Waiting until the six-week WBAI garage sale has tanked is in keeping with the ass backwards approach we have come to identify with Pacifica. Oh well, the rummage rip-off reopens December 4th... will the phones ring? Will David Rothenberg, Max, and others operating a personal WBAI franchise sell more of their junk? Will these people ever learn? 

From: Max Schmid <>
Sent: Saturday, November 17, 2018 2:18 AM
Subject: Re: [wbai-indy-caucus] Master control
...we have most of our old phone numbers back! We again have ten lines in MAster, plus two VIP lines, restoring full functionality. We also have the old marathon number back, so now Rothenberg can give out one number that rings on several extensions. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

PNB: Vote a mess...

In a longer piece I'll discuss two topics arising from the statement made by five KPFK LSB delegates, the one kindly posted by Chris: money, & the abandoned election. It means we have to consider the PNB's traumatised offspring, the pseudo-election process they gave birth to on Thursday, an act reminiscent of a certain visceral cinematic scene. This has been a long time in the making. It took many months, nay, years, to prepare Rosemary for Thursday evening. Now it has happened. So, expressed in the culturally-specific arithmetic found in PacificaWorld: let PNB = I & IL = RP, I + RP = RIP.

Jara Handala's commentary.

The above link is to a downloadable PDF file

WBAI marketplace

WBAI's hide-and-go-seek manager, Berthold Reimers, maintains a low profile, but not a peep has been heard from him during the ultra long fund drive that supposedly ends today.

Of course, we don't miss his presence, but it would be nice if authentic tally amounts were made available. This time. as usual, the bottom line figures given by the treasurer  are lower than the totals imagined and privately mumbled by Reimers, but even if Gary Null didn't sell any of his $400 water purifiers, something changed hands over or under the counter. Frankly, the secrecy these people operate under clearly indicates that money is being manipulated in a way that does not benefit WBAI. How many times have we been told that a proper telephone call-in system is being installed? How many out-and-out, potentially deadly scams must listeners be victimized with before the WBAI asylum's inmates speak up? How low into the morass of deception and degradation will they sink this radio station before the decent among them come to their senses?

According to R. Paul Martin, the overpaid station chief is in Ireland, an untimely trip that raises its own questions, but WBAI faithful and former LSB member Mitchel Cohen has another question for this station stowaway: Is the WBAI marketplace selling anything? 

Mitchel Cohen is among the few station associates who has expressed his dissatisfaction with the way things are being mismanaged, but he is also a major apologist for Reimers and his view of WBAI's programing is a stubborn Fall leaf in the wind. Having said that, I still wish his line in the sand were thinner, but at least he isn't a total sellout. 

Today, Mitchel raised a flag via an email letter to Berthold Reimers. If he ever reads this letter, it will probably be deleted sans response, but here it is. What do you think is going on?

Friday, November 2, 2018

Dried up PNB Stream

The Shitstorm Which Is Pacifica

Pacifica National Board Meeting, 1 November 2018

The slow-swirling shitstorm which is Pacifica continues. Incoherent, roilsome, pointless, as ever, the efforts at mitigation of iED Livingston proven pointless, as are the first efforts of ED Maxie Jackson.

These people are who they are.

They are incapable of change, prideful in their sense of self and of self-defined 'mission', absent any audience for their happy little shitstorm-dance.

It's who they are, it's what they do.

This evening's festivities consisted of a lengthy secret legal session, absent report out, subject(s) undisclosed.

As usual, as ever.

Their sole reason for existence, their elections, were formally concluded several days ago when the National Election Supervisor concluded that, given the state of records and rolls, it was literally impossible to proceed with elections as mandated as to form by Pacifica's Bylaws.

The Pacifica National Board, absent any applicable or relevant authority, voted to proceed nonetheless.

It's who they are, it's what they do, it's what they're about.

As for what they're not about...?

Providing content anyone cares to listen to, and absent any support from their membership other than that provided by various miraculous health cures and other such scams, their eternal internal machinations are the sole means they have of imagining they actually exist.

They don't. Not really.

Not really.

Doubt any of this assessment?

Open the door and give a listen.

PNB SESSION Nov. 1, 2018 - Part 1
PNB SESSION Nov. 1, 2018 - Part 2
~ 'indigopirate'

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Future: Shiny or Briny?

Still wondering why Pacifica hit another iceberg? Click on the link below and get the clarification so fastidiously made obscure by the Pacifica National Board.

Why NES jumped ship.

ADDENDUM: In a letter distributed today (November 2, 2018) members of the KPFK LSB have reacted to the NES's resignation.

Subject: National Election Supervisor's Concerns over Electoral Process

As per KPFK Local Station Board Chair Jaime Gomez' email to the KPFK LSB mailing list on October 31, 2018, regarding the current National Elections Supervisor's recommendation to terminate the elections and his subsequent resignation due to the PNB's unwillingness to accept his professional recommendation, we write in support of the NES’ recommendation to the Pacifica National Board to terminate the current electoral process at Pacifica.

Given serious concerns about the legitimacy of Pacifica’s current elections procedure, due to irregularities such as unverifiable voter lists, the arbitrary modification of deadlines that disenfranchises voters and candidates, among other serious concerns, we fully support the National Elections Supervisor's recommendation to terminate the current election process. As members of the Local Station Board, we demand that Pacifica National Board push the reset button and start the entire process from scratch, after addressing the NES' concerns.


KPFK LSB members
Fernando Velázquez
Lawrence Reyes
Reza Pour
Hsingii Bird
Polina Vasiliev

PS. Please share with the WBAI LSB