Print

Print


Excellent idea.

Larry


On 8/11/10 4:53 PM, "Mitchel Cohen" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Wouldn't SftP want to have a program on WBAI? I'm surprised no one has gotten
> around to proposing this, yet. I think it would be a very welcome antidote as
> well as conducting actual debates within science and its relationship to
> capitalism.
> 
> Mitchel
> 
> 
> At 04:14 PM 8/11/2010, you wrote:
>> To all involved in this topic:
>> 
>> Despite Michio Kaku's program, I don't believe this relates enough to SftP to
>> be continued on this list. In the light of that, I will keep my own complex
>> views on Pacifica to myself. But I again urge everyone to try to be civil, no
>> matter what the topic.  Remarks about the nature of a person's specific
>> comments can be stated civilly, but negative comments about someone on this
>> list as a person I think are not helpful. Please monitor yourselves in this
>> matter. 
>> 
>> 
>> Best,
>> 
>> Michael
>> 
>> On Aug 11, 2010, at 11:41 AM, Phil Gasper wrote:
>> 
>>> No, that's precisely the direction that Mary Frances Berry‹chair of the
>>> Pacifica Board until she was ousted in 1999‹took the network, supported by
>>> the likes of Marc Cooper. Under her leadership, local oversight by community
>>> advisory boards was eliminated and the five-person national board made
>>> itself self-selecting. Board meetings were held behind closed doors and
>>> policy and financial documents were no longer made public. Local stations
>>> had gag orders placed on them forbidding them from reporting on these
>>> changes and the stations were also told to tone down criticisms of the
>>> Clinton administration. There was a lot more, but this gives an idea of what
>>> was happening. The breaking point‹which led to massive demonstrations in New
>>> York and the Bay Area‹came when word leaked out that the Board was seriously
>>> considering selling one or both of WBAI and KPFA.
>>> 
>>> For anyone interested in the history, I recommend two books by Matthew
>>> Lasar:
>>> 
>>> Uneasy Listening: Pacifica Radio's Civil War, London: Black Apollo Press,
>>> 2005. 
>>> 
>>> Pacifica Radio: The Rise of an Alternative Network Philadelphia: Temple
>>> University Press, 1999; Robert Dawidoff, series editor; updated edition in
>>> paperback, 2005.
>>> Figuring out how to sort out the current mess is tricky, but it isn't helped
>>> by falsifying the past.
>>> 
>>> --PG
>>> 
>>> On Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 11:54 AM, Michael Balter <[log in to unmask] >
>>> wrote:
>>> The statement that Cooper et al. advocated a corporate NPR-lite was a lie
>>> when it was made during the original struggles and it's a lie when it's
>>> repeated today. But it is a good way of obfuscating the real issues, and the
>>> real causes of the decline and fall of Pacifica.
>>> 
>>> MB
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 5:35 PM, Larry Romsted < [log in to unmask]
>>> <mailto:[log in to unmask]> > wrote:
>>> Phil:
>>> 
>>> Well said.
>>> 
>>> The struggles at WBAI, I will avoid characterizing them because that can
>>> lead to more disagreements, have not helped.  Some way is needed to get the
>>> various people involved collaborating to stabilize and grow the station.
>>> How best to do this is difficult because the animosities, which have been in
>>> place for at least a decade, run soooooo deep.  At the same time, the
>>> politics of the people involved in terms of the kinds of social change they
>>> care about are not so very different.  They need to see that in each
>>> other‹somehow, let the personal and smaller issue stuff drop, and focus on
>>> strengthening and rebuilding the station.  For example, were I on one side
>>> in the WBAI struggle (which I am not), I might (probably would actually)
>>> take offense at some of the characterizations that Mitchel makes below.
>>> Things are that bad.
>>> 
>>> Larry
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On 8/11/10 11:47 AM, "Phil Gasper" <[log in to unmask]
>>> <http:[log in to unmask]> > wrote:
>>> 
>>> It would be a shame if we had to choose between the corporatized NPR-lite
>>> version of Pacifica advocated by Marc Cooper and others in the late 1990s
>>> (which is precisely why Amy Goodman opposed it, and why she worked to
>>> establish Democracy Now! on an independent footing) and the shambles that
>>> currently exists at WBAI and (to a slightly lesser extent) the four other
>>> Pacifica stations. MIchio Kaku does an excellent program on science for
>>> WBAI: 
>>> http://wbai.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=395&Itemid=141 .
>>> --PG
>>> 
>>> On Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 9:37 AM, Mitchel Cohen < [log in to unmask]
>>> <http:[log in to unmask]> > wrote:
>>> Hi Larry,
>>> 
>>> Yes, the rent at WBAI is a major problem.
>>> 
>>> HOWEVER, WBAI's gone through 7 General Managers in the last 7 years and only
>>> the one that our INDEPENDENTS fired had taken the very first steps to
>>> renegotiate the lease with Larry Silverstein (you wanna talk conspiracies
>>> here, Michael?), the building's owner.
>>> 
>>> The lease should have been renegotiated at least 5 or 6 years ago. Real
>>> Estate people I've spoken with tell me that WBAI is paying almost DOUBLE
>>> what we could and should be paying these days, which is upwards of $37
>>> thousand A MONTH. It's insane. That that has not been made a priority
>>> despite my own and others' attempts to get management to do what they're
>>> supposed to be doing is extremely troubling.
>>> 
>>> Mitchel
>>> 
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Larry Romsted
>>> Sent: Aug 11, 2010 9:20 AM
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> <http:[log in to unmask]>
>>> Subject: Re: Doug Henwood on the state of WBAI
>>> 
>>> Good to read that you are still your same ignorant and arrogant self
>>> Michael.
>>> 
>>> I suspect that you have little if any idea of what has been and is going on
>>> at WBAI and that you donıt give a crap.  This is clear when you bring up
>>> Marc Cooper who was at KPFK a long time ago and had little to do with WBAI
>>> then or now and write as thoı everyone should have listened to him because
>>> he is so obviously wise and WBAI would not be in its current problems if
>>> everyone had only listened to him.  We know of course the Marc always
>>> expresses himself in a caring fashion that does not alienate others.
>>> 
>>> I appreciate Henwood speaking out and Mitchel circulating his letter.  In
>>> some ways the situation is worse at WBAI than Henwood indicates because he
>>> not fully characterized some of the struggles at the station and within the
>>> station board.  At the same time a whole variety of people are working to
>>> improve the situation.  One insane and difficult problem is that over 10
>>> years ago the station was moved to offices on Wall street (Wall street????)
>>> and WBAI has a huge rent every month and a contract that runs to 2012.
>>> WBAIıs rent is much higher than at other stations.  This is an enormous
>>> problem that has nothing to do with premiums, food fights (personnel
>>> issues), or politics.  Bad move made BEFORE the ³coup² in 2000.  A terrible
>>> legacy.  Would have been nice if the great and wise Marc Cooper had helped
>>> prevent that bad move, which was not done by anyone currently on the station
>>> board or is part of the staff or management at the station as far as I know.
>>> 
>>> So, get off your high horse and figure out what you can do to help in some
>>> small way instead of just preaching.
>>> 
>>> Larry
>>> WBAI member
>>> 
>>> On 8/11/10 5:28 AM, "Michael Balter" < [log in to unmask]
>>> <http:[log in to unmask]> > wrote:
>>> 
>>> When, several years ago, Marc Cooper and other sane minds tried to reform
>>> Pacifica and its stations into something other than an umbrella over every
>>> ridiculous fringe tendency, they were accused of being CIA agents,
>>> capitalist roaders, and hounded out of the organization. Mitchel was on the
>>> other side of this debate; so was Amy Goodman. Today, as Doug so rightly
>>> points out, we see the results of those great "victories" for the masses: A
>>> bunch of stations very few people want to listen to. Democracy Now is one of
>>> the few exceptions, a generally excellent program, but its example needs to
>>> be followed across the board if Pacifica is to survive. And that means
>>> discriminating between progressives and nut cases.
>>> 
>>> MB
>>> 
>>> On Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 5:20 AM, Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]
>>> <http:[log in to unmask]> > wrote:
>>> http://lbo-news.com/2010/08/10/the-state-of-wbai-dire/
>>> The state of WBAI (dire)
>>      
>> 
>> Posted by: Doug Henwood | August 10, 2010
>> 
>> [I just sent this to Mitch Cohen, chair of the WBAI local station board, to
>> be read at tomorrow nightıs board meeting.]
>> 
>> To Mitch Cohen and the WBAI local station board:
>> 
>> Iıve been around WBAI for more than two decades. I started as a frequent
>> interviewee on Samori Marksmanıs show in 1987, moved on to regular
>> commentaries on his show a few years later, and then began doing the Thursday
>> editions of his Behind the News in 1995. Iıve watched the station go through
>> considerable turmoil over the years, but the current situation has me more
>> worried than ever. I was very relieved and hopeful when Bernard White and Co.
>> were removed from office. But Iıve lost that feeling completely.
>> 
>> Our financial situation remains dire. Indeed, itıs hard to see how we can go
>> on like this much longer. Not only are we not paying our bills, weıre
>> dragging the whole Pacifica network deeper into the red. In this context,
>> itıs easy to understand the temptation to offer sensational fundraising
>> premiums to raise a lot of money quickly. But this strategy is proving
>> disastrous.
>> 
>> A few words about those premiums. During the last few drives, WBAI has
>> offered a variety of rather embarrassing videos and publications. Weıve now
>> moved well beyond the familiar 9/11 conspiracies. Now we also have miracle
>> cures (which, it wouldnıt surprise me, could put us at legal risk for
>> offering, since they make claims about curing disease that, to put it gently,
>> would be very difficult to prove), stories about chemtrails (the theory that
>> the government, for some mysterious reason, is poisoning us by spraying
>> chemicals from the sky), and most recently, a series of videos explaining how
>> the Illuminati are about 90% of the way to taking everything over (itıs only
>> a matter of time until they plant microchips in our heads and solidify a
>> regime of total control). (Tastes of that stuff here <
>> http://www.jordanmaxwell.com/ <http://www.jordanmaxwell.com/> >  and here <
>> http://100777.com/nwo/wakeupcall <http://100777.com/nwo/wakeupcall> > .) Iım
>> told, though I havenıt heard this stuff myself, that weıre also hawking the
>> work of Kevin Trudeau < http://www.ktradionetwork.com/
>> <http://www.ktradionetwork.com/> > , whoıs been convicted <
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Trudeau
>> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Trudeau> >  of credit card fraud and has
>> been fined for making false and misleading claims ­ and whoıs been frequently
>> sued by disgruntled customers. Of professional interest to me are stories
>> about financiers and the Federal Reserve which have no basis in historical
>> fact ­ and I say this as someone who knows more about Wall Street and central
>> banks than anyone involved with Pacifica. Many of these narratives have deep
>> roots in far-right politics ­ the Wall Street/Federal Reserve stuff has long
>> been associated with crypto-fascist organizations like Willis Cartoıs Liberty
>> Lobby (e.g. the works of Eustace Mullins <
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eustace_Mullins
>> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eustace_Mullins> > ). Trudeau is a big fan of
>> Matt Drudge and the odious Michael Savage.
>> 
>> None of this stuff can be taken seriously by anyone with an ongoing
>> relationship with Planet Earth. For that reason alone, itıs a disgrace that
>> we give it such prominence. The health claims expose us to prosecution and
>> litigation ­ a legal risk we canıt possibly afford. But, that aside, airing
>> this sort of stuff drives away sane and solvent listeners. Given the recent
>> drop in our fulfillment rate, it seems reasonable to surmise that people who
>> pledge on this stuff are more likely than most not to come through. So this
>> strategy fails even on purely monetary grounds. But by driving away the
>> audience, weıre undermining the stationıs future. Do we really want to be
>> known as the nonprofit telemarketing arm for lunatics and convicted
>> criminals?
>> 
>> Iıve shared these concerns with interim program director Tony Bates and he
>> dismisses my concerns as mere ³outrage.²
>> 
>> We urgently need to figure out why weıve lost listeners and how we can build
>> the audience back up. This is not the way to go about it. Itıs a guaranteed
>> route to insolvency and ridicule.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
> 
> 
> 
>