WBAI/Pacifica - C/D//S/D

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I've been getting increasingly bored with WNYC lately and flipping the dial to its more radical cousin.

Democracy Now is great, and so is Doug Henwood. The Positive Mind with Armand DiMele is oddly comforting.

I kind of like Ralph Schoneman and Mya Shone's semi-autistic presentation style and they often raise interesting news items, but then they tend to draw batshit conclusions ("It's part of a plan to prepare us for internment camps," etc.) This is kind of a general pattern on the station.

The talkback guy has the single most irritating radio voice and style I've ever heard, although he's generally pretty smart.

The holistic medicine shows are really fucking dumb and I hate those people -- all medicines are evil, all health problems are the result of being out of balance.

Hurting 2, Thursday, 8 May 2008 02:50 (eleven years ago) link

I heard the Sunday progressive Jewish politics show for the first time this Sunday. there was a good interview with Haaretz journalist Amira Hass and then something not that interesting about Warhol's portraits of Jews.

Hurting 2, Thursday, 8 May 2008 02:51 (eleven years ago) link


libcrypt, Thursday, 8 May 2008 03:03 (eleven years ago) link

ha ha ha some KPFA dudes once camped out in a tree down the street from me for like six months. no idea why they thought a gang of dirty longhairs camped out in a tree would draw attention ... in berkeley of all places!!

moonship journey to baja, Monday, 12 May 2008 04:58 (eleven years ago) link

wait sorry, that was radio free berkeley, not KPFA

moonship journey to baja, Monday, 12 May 2008 04:59 (eleven years ago) link

six months pass...

is Larry Bentsky still on in nocal? he was in l.a. for a spell, i miss him. i kind of miss marc cooper pissing me off. he sulked off. counterspin is great (i know it's syndicated) democracy now.
health shows are pretty bad here, the girl on there has been doing it for like 10 years and agrees with every thing every guest ever says.
i still like kpfk but they've had two really bad periods, including the current one i think. they're shaking loose of the 911 truthers but there's a couple of really hacky socialists that have big shows. the drive time guy is really good. jerry quigley, kind of a slam poet i guess, he's pretty funny. the monring shows are kinda muddleheaded, good for a jolt.

but this is ridiculous! (tremendoid), Friday, 5 December 2008 05:51 (eleven years ago) link

I think Bensky retired.

I pick up Democracy Now, Counterspin, and Jon Wiener's show via podcasts, but haven't listened on air in awhile.

Chris Barrus (Elvis Telecom), Friday, 5 December 2008 06:27 (eleven years ago) link

love the smarmy little kicker the counterspin folks tack on to the end of each story, public radio equivalent of yaaaahhhhh

but this is ridiculous! (tremendoid), Friday, 5 December 2008 06:38 (eleven years ago) link

WBAI is totally classic. I listened to it throughout high school. Moorish Urban Orthodox Radio Crusade FTW.

Mordy, Friday, 5 December 2008 06:43 (eleven years ago) link

they put the feed on in l.a. sometimes for fund drives. kicks l.a.'s ass frankly

but this is ridiculous! (tremendoid), Friday, 5 December 2008 06:46 (eleven years ago) link

three months pass...

kpfk suspends one of its shows for anti-semitic bs

r.i.p. samout (velko), Friday, 27 March 2009 07:08 (ten years ago) link

i was interested to find that only one place broadcasts Pacifica outside of north america: Zuma Radio, Zuleja NIGERIA

bow-edison wa (jergins), Friday, 27 March 2009 18:42 (ten years ago) link

one year passes...

Pacifica slowly melts down

apital’s most severe crisis in seventy years ought to be a moment of significant opportunity for the left. But as the right mobilizes disgruntled Americans via its vast radio, television, web, and print empires, the one mass medium available to the left—Pacifica Radio—is driving out its best and brightest. A network that has the potential to reach a quarter of the US public is opting for irrelevant and unlistenable programming at a time when competent and genuinely radical journalism is urgently needed, and justifying its warped choice with the Thatcherite mantra: there is no alternative.

In two previous dispatches to CounterPunch here and here I described the pathological state of Pacifica's byzantine governance structure - a national board containing 122 members, baroque bylaws, and vastly expensive and corrupt local board elections. The chief result has been the ascendancy of a kind of Tea Party of the left, featuring ex-Scientologists, miracle cure hucksters, and conspiracists who believe that Amy Goodman's Democracy Now!, Pacifica's premier program, is taking CIA money to suppress "the truth about 9/11". Add to that an austerity plan to stick it to the workers, right out of the Thatcher/Sarkozy playbook, and you have Pacifica Radio in 2010.

Under cover of budget cuts, the Mad Hats who control the Pacifica National Board are seeking to dispense with those who oppose their conspiracy-driven agenda—or simply strive for well-produced, quality radio. The axe has fallen first on WBAI's acclaimed 'Behind the News', an island of lucid analysis in the mass media swamp, hosted by the economic journalist Doug Henwood, author of Wall Street and publisher of Left Business Observer. In the midst of a gathering emergency, the brains trust at WBAI decided that Henwood's program, which provides some of the best economic analysis anywhere, should be cut to twice a month. Henwood tendered his resignation, blasting the swerve towards “chem-trails and footpads and 9/11 nuttery”. A day later the vitamin supplements mogul Gary Null, notorious for his claim that HIV does not cause AIDS, announced that he would be returning to the airwaves of WBAI on November 15th. (ACT UP wrote to Pacifica that “returning Gary Null to the air for financial reasons would be unethical profiteering, because he gives out information that can cause people to become infected with HIV or fail to treat the infection properly.”)

Stockhausen's Helicopter Quartet (Elvis Telecom), Friday, 5 November 2010 21:50 (nine years ago) link

gary null is the worst

buzza, Friday, 5 November 2010 22:02 (nine years ago) link

This is a shame. I like to leave my radio on in the house tuned to WBAI, but it's come to the point where I have to constantly turn down the volume when they wheel out another kook with a theory, lest my neighbors hear it & think I'm a freak.

I like David Rothenberg and Angel Ramos on Saturday morning, though. I've been trying to win on their "Fame is Fleeting" segment for about five years now.

Josefa, Saturday, 6 November 2010 01:57 (nine years ago) link

And I love The Positive Mind with Armand DiMele. I have actually applied lessons learned from that show in real life.

Josefa, Saturday, 6 November 2010 01:59 (nine years ago) link

wow, bummer. reminds me of the big Pacifica controversy in 2001 when they had that huge fight over the leadership of the station

Mordy, Saturday, 6 November 2010 02:03 (nine years ago) link

haven't listened in years. This was my all-time fave WBAI host, now on Sirius:


kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 6 November 2010 09:50 (nine years ago) link

one year passes...

^She died last Christmas.

Documentary film on overnight mainstay Bob Fass opening in NYC today:



kizz my hairy irish azz (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 19 September 2012 15:44 (seven years ago) link

three years pass...

Been enjoying Katie Halper's show -- it's a very "millennial" and ADD political talk show where the host often says more than the guest and often very little gets said at all, but I don't mind because she's witty and likeable.

socka flocka-jones (man alive), Monday, 22 August 2016 17:38 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

Ugh. The DC Pacifica station WPFW seemed to be finally getting its financial act together.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 4 January 2018 03:09 (two years ago) link

I'll miss WBAI very much, but I've been expecting it to shut down any moment for about 20 years now. There's no way a good station like that can be located at 99.5 FM in this day and age.

Josefa, Thursday, 4 January 2018 06:29 (two years ago) link

Talk on air today that leins are being made against stations in LA and here in Houston.

Never Learn To Mike Love (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 8 January 2018 22:52 (two years ago) link

one year passes...


buzza, Tuesday, 8 October 2019 12:47 (three months ago) link

four weeks pass...

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