BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
SHOULD BARRY O REFUSE TO STOP HIS USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS, HE WILL BE ATTACKED.
U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY REVEALED TODAY THAT THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF HAVE DRAWN UP A PLAN OF ATTACK.
"IT'S CALLED 'THE SILENT BUT DEADLY.' WE INTEND TO SNEAK UP ON HIM AND JUST BLAST HIM, THE WAY HE'S DONE TO SO MANY," KERRY EXPLAINED.
HOWEVER, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMODEL JAY CARNEY DISPUTED WHETHER OR NOT THIS WOULD WORK NOW THAT THE ELEMENT OF SURPRISE HAD BEEN LOST, "BESIDES, BARRY O HAS BEEN EATING CHILE BEANS. YES, AMERICA, HE'S GONE NUCLEAR.."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
We start with independent media and how it is at risk of going under in the United States. This morning, Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) announced, "The independent, daily half-hour news program Free Speech Radio News is
airing its last edition today due to funding shortfalls. According to
its website, FSRN is looking into the possibility of restructuring its organization in the future." That's dishonest.
FSRN explained in a public statement
on their website, "FSRN is currently carrying just over $200,000 in
accounts receivable. For much of the year, our major funder Pacifica has
not been able to pay us and its past-due balance to FSRN is about
Amy Goodman doesn't have to worry about these things because she found a
way to leverage an attempted takeover of Pacifica Radio into riches.
This led to the 2002 deal in which Amy got ownership of the program
(which had been owned by Pacifica) and hundreds and thousands in
So maybe it's guilt that made Amy lie this morning. I don't know, I don't give a damn.
She's just one of many WBAI thieves in the '00s who've destroyed Pacifica.
WBAI in the '00s aired one substandard, embarrassing program after
another. This really isn't a story about a Saturday schedule without
news, with tired old records or the programs of a dead man that were
rarely topical when he was alive (Al Lewis), or wasting the airwaves
with a program about "your PC" at a time when laptops and tablets were
the new norm.
Pacifica Radio started with KPFA. In 1949, KPFA
began broadcasting in the Bay Area. Pacifica was KPFA, KPFA was
Pacifica. It was the first listener-supported radio. Long before NPR,
there was Pacifica. It had a commitment to diversity and to peace.
When Amy Goodman pimps Samantha Power and the UN resolution on Syria
this morning, she's betraying the roots of Pacifica, so it's actually
good in many ways that Democracy Now! is not a Pacifica program anymore.
A decade later, 1959, Los Angeles' KPFK started. No problem there, like KPFA, KPFK pulled its own weight. Then came WBAI
in 1960 and the troubles emerge. No group worked to put together WBAI
and that's why it's been trash on the airwaves for decades. They
arrived with a feeling of entitlement. In the Bay Area and in Los
Angeles, work had to be done to create KPFA and KPFK. In Washington DC,
work had to be done to create WPFW (1977) and in Houston, Texas, work had to be done to create KPFT (1970). Those four stations contributed and never had a sense of entitlement.
But unlike the other four, WBAI was a donation. It's officially donated
to Pacifica in January 1960 (it had been a commercial radio station)
and broadcasting in the first week of the month.
It has always pulled stunts that have risked the work of the entire
network. They knew, for example, that broadcasting the George Carlin
'naughty words' routine was risky but they did it. Fortunately, the
Supreme Court sided with Pacifica but it could have gone the other way
and risked the entire network.
You do not get that cavalier F**K YOU WE DO WHAT WE WANT from the other
four stations. They have a history of work, not of entitlement. That
is not to claim that life is perfect and wonderful at the other four.
It is to note that if they take a stand, it's on a real issue -- a news
issue, a broadcast issue -- whereas WBAI does stunts.
And that's created the culture at WBAI that has been so destructive.
Greed and incompetence have been the hallmarks of those who chose to
stay with the station (as opposed to the many who elected to move on).
I'm not going to embarrass a '00 on air here. But she was a woman of
color, she was a very talented broadcaster and she was ousted from her
job by the little junta which controlled WBAI in the '00s. This same
group -- a mixture African-Americans and Anglo Jews -- are the first to
scream racism, but their own actions targeting people of color were
Doug Henwood hosts Behind The News (whch originated at WBAI and now airs on KPFA Thursdays at noon PST). He characterizes the '00s at WBAI:
Charges of “racism” were lobbed constantly. A succession of managerial
mediocrities drove the station into the ground. Excruciating stupidity
was embraced in the name of populist programming. For several years in
the mid-2000s, the station was run by a cabal of black nationalists of
an antique and alienating sort. They were forced out by Pacifica
central, only to be replaced by an even less distinguished (though not
black nationalist) set of sub-mediocrities.
That probably includes the people who caused Henwood to leave. In 2010,
major changes were implemented and leadership forced on to WBAI.
Bernard White felt the need to whine publicly. Strangely enough, White
felt it was okay to use WBAI's airwaves in 2008 to promote and endorse
Barack Obama for president. In his role as program manager of WBAI,
that endorsement was both questionable and potentially harmful. As the
daytime voice, he did bumpers between the morning programs, stupid
musings without merit that would be embarrassing in any city but
especially in New York City where so much media was present to catch the
It was in one such 'bumper,' that he mused on the violence that would
arrive should Barack not become president. Pacifica has a certain tax
status and has that because it's non-partisan. To have the daily
announcer -- who is also the program manager and was the voice of WBAI
at that time -- make such a stupid statement was appalling to the
Pacifica board. It was unprofessional and it could have resulted in the
network losing its tax status.
WBAI was not pulling its own financial weight and had not been for some
time. White's stunt set in motion his 2009 dismissal (which he claimed
publicly was a COINTEL plot and "non-progressive, what I consider to be
racist people"). What followed was the usual stupidity of 'poor Bernard
was fired because he was Black!' It's interesting how color 'matters'
when White's cabal screams racism. It didn't matter when White fired
Robert Knight (who is African-American -- Knight would go on to do Flashpoints on KPFA with Dennis Bernstein and Nora Barrows-Friedman
before returning on air at WBAI after White left), it didn't matter
when they got rid of the woman of color I wrote of earlier. But when
White loses his job, it's 'racism.'
No, it was about not paying the bills. It was about draining Pacifica's
cash with your station no one listened to. In 2010, serious measures
were taken. It was necessary to get money and listeners immediately.
Pacifica was in danger of going under -- that was chiefly due to monies
WBAI owed. All stations suffered and had to make concessions. KPFA,
for example, had to do away with The Morning Show. (A blessing
in disguise. It allowed for diversity in programming and thought to
replace an increasingly soft pseudo news show.) For WBAI, it meant
experimenting with new programs -- a long overdue need. That meant
moving some programs currently airing and how the hosts did howl.
Mya Shone and Ralph Schoenman provided a real service with Taking Aim.
(Doug Henwood would disagree, he despises shows that question the 9-11
narrative.) They did a first-rate program. But when they learned their
Tuesday show was moving from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm, they had a hissy
fit. They dubbed ten p.m. "the bedtime hour." Excuse me? 10 pm is
bedtime in NYC? WBAI was attempting, through the efforts of interim
director Tony Bates, to bring in listeners. They had to shake up the
schedule. They were not burying Taking Aim at midnight or later, they
were airing it during the last hour of prime time. (Don't ask Mya or
Ralph what happens on ABC's Scandal
-- which returns this coming Thursday at 10:00 pm EST, 9 central --
because they're already in bed and can't watch.) The anger of Mya and
Ralph was misplaced but quickly adopted by the Bernard White crowd with
calls of 'take back WBAI!' Under Bates, the station was actually
listenable. (Law and Disorder is the only WBAI show the station had
that was consistently listenable in the '00s.)
They never succeeded and they won't. Goodman's gotten what she wants (she got it immediately -- two airings daily of Democracy Now!
on WBAI). They have no real leaders (in the past, people stood behind
White, real leaders, pulling the strings). And they're in a position of
weakness. August 13th, I filled in for Stan at his site and wrote "WBAI troubles."
Oh, how the deluded don't like reality. I got a real taste of the
hatred the Bernard White crowd has heaped on Robert Knight (he had dared
to call out Barack's Drone War, war on Libya and more). To suggest
that WBAI should be sold!!!! Gasp!!!! How dare I?
Here's some of what I wrote:
It has been a worthless radio station. I don't slam the shows about
"conspiracy theories" the way Henwood does. I think they gave WBAI some
diversity in thought.
But the garbage, I call that crap out and have for some time. We wrote about a lot of this in real time.
For example, Saturdays and Sundays on WBAI was crap with one dee jay oldies music show after another.
After Grandpa Munster passed away his Saturday time slot should have
gone to needed news programming. Instead Al Lewis was kept on the air
(via old programs) for a year after he died.
Now this garbage on the weekend?
WBAI gets credit for airing Winter Soldier put on by Iraq Veterans Against the War.
But it didn't air them.
It aired Friday's proceedings. They skipped Saturday and Sundays
proceedings to air their crappy programs where they spin old records.
Actual news was taking place -- and KPFA was airing it -- but WBAI
Doug Henwood apparently is uncomfortable calling that out. I have no problem. I called them out on the Saturday it happened.
WBAI's news has been a damn joke forever.
They are in the media capitol of the world and yet their news played
like the worst local news in the worst and smallest market in the
The news only aired Monday through Friday and for a half hour.
So if any news broke on the weekend, WBAI couldn't cover it.
While KPFA has hourly news breaks during the day -- at the top of the
hour (except during Democracy Now!) -- WBAI considers 'news' to be
telling people the time and temperature.
They are an embarrassment. So is the DC station.
And if you can't carry your weight and you're risking destroying the 'network' (five stations) you need to go.
Law and Disorder Radio
will go on if WBAI doesn't. The rest of programming offers nothing.
It's weak minded hosted by the weak minded and so far from Lewis Hill's
intent with Pacifica that they should all be ashamed. It's not just the
falling asleep on air twice in 2012 by Tom Wisker (who was then hosting
Weaponry on WBAI). They are an embarrassment. More
importantly, they are not carrying their weight. They owe Pacifica
money and they risk the entire network going under as a result.
Free Speech Radio News was actual news. It wasn't garbage. It
wasn't, "Let me interview my friend about their new book while we
pretend on air like we're not best friends." This was actual reporting
-- a foreign concept to WBAI, granted. The loss of this half-hour show
is tremendous. Free Speech Radio News covered everything that was news and did so professionally.
A few weeks ago (a few days before I wrote the post at Stan's blog), a friend called about what was going to happen to FSRN.
Couldn't we, he suggested, all kick in and take care of that? We
could. And normally I'd be the first to write that check. But I'm sick
of paying WBAI's bills. And rescuing FSRN would just give Pacifica another excuse not to address the WBAI problem.
WBAI is not pulling its weight. It needs to publicly be informed it has
X number of days to turn that debt around or its station will be sold.
Pacifica cannot risk going under to save that awful station. Today,
the world lost Free Speech Radio News. If the problem's not
addressed, it will be something else in a few months. If the problem's
not addressed, it will eventually be announced that Pacifica is going
under. One station should not be allowed to destroy the whole network.
KPFA, KPFK, KPFT pull their own weight. WBAI needs to make money
quickly or be cut lose and the same is true of WPFW.
Pacifica is supposed to be a network which supports peace. Its purpose
is too important. Losing FSRN is a huge blow, losing Pacifica would be
even more so.
If you want to help Pacifica, you might also start demanding Amy Goodman
write off the two million she's expecting Pacifica to pay her. As
Pacifica Treasurer Tracy Rosenberg noted at Matthew Lasar's Radio Survivor:
It’s not correct that Democracy Now hasn’t been paid a penny by
Pacifica. It’s been paid millions of dollars, just not the last million.
Since 2002, when the initial contract is signed, through the current
day, the total amount Pacifica contracted to pay Democracy Now is over
$5 million dollars. The problem is signing contracts that go up every
year regardless of whether the pledges received during the airing of the
program go up or down, and they have gone down substantially in the
last decade. Pacifica, unfortunately, has gotten a lot of bad legal
advice over the years and tends to make decisions emotionally. Emotional
ties to DN were not a good enough reason to sign a contract which was
not advantageous to both parties involved. And in the end, it hasn’t
proven that advantageous to DN either. Pacifica’s then-ED Greg Guma
objected to the terms during the renegotiation in 2007 because he could
see the numbers weren’t trending in support of the terms, but no one
listened to him at the time.
Goodman's very good at enriching herself. It's really time for her 'to
give back.' It's also time for Pacifica to either enter a new contract
with her or else drop her from the airwaves. It wouldn't be a loss. As
Cindy Sheehan has pointed out, since Barack Obama has become president, she's been on Democracy Now! only once for a few seconds. Amy puts on CIA contractor Juan Cole but ignores Cindy? That's not Lew Hill's mission statement.
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"THIS JUST IN! ANOTHER CHEMICAL ATTACK!"
The peace talks and breaking wind"