Hell has just froze over!! Playboy Magazine has just announced that there will be no more nudity in their magazine. Why the change? The internet! Like the old saying, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free!! Seriously, this change is less for moral reasons than for business reasons. NO red-blooded male is reading the magazine for the nudes, which are relatively tame. I must confess, I have been a “reader” of Playboy since they appeared @ my dorm @ my Christian boarding school when I was 14 years old. The latest celebrity nudes and centerfold were a revelation for all young men at that time. But other for risque publications. then much later, the advent of free nudes on the internet took the air out of Playboy’s business plans. Playboy has featured terrific writers and DOES have great articles. In spite of the best efforts of the prudes on the right and left, Playboy has survived. Maybe now, people now can honestly say, they DO read Playboy for the articles!!(snickering)!!!
As I said, I will be sharing behind the scenes stories of my time @ WBAI. WBAI, according to some sources, is undergoing some severe financial stress. I don’t know how long the station will survive, but I have a feeling it will somehow muddle and limp through this latest crisis. It always has. As of this writing, I heard that one of the most successful and accomplished producers, Gary Null, will be pre-empted during the latest membership drive. This is not a good sign. WBAI is a listener-supported station, receives no federal funds. I have known Gary Null for over 30 years. When I started @ WBAI in 1986, I was hired to be his engineer on his daily health show. Years later, I hosted a show on his Progressive Radio Network. I have a great deal of respect for Gary Null, partly because he has survived in the toughest media market in the United States, New York. Furthermore, I can honestly say, he is one of the most open-minded people in broadcasting. When I was on his network,he never censored or restricted what I could speak about. I cannot say that was the case @ WBAI. To the contrary, there was an unofficial political line @ WBAI and one was expected to toe that line or your show would be moved or removed or you would face harrassment to leave. Many astute listeners knew that, but they liked some of the programming so they did not cause a stir. But to be clear, there was and still is an political line @ WBAI, a very-far left line. That is not to say that they don’t have a right to that line, but one should be aware of it.
You may or may not know that for 25 years I had radio show on WBAI Radio in New York City. The show. Walden’s Pond, focused on the environment, culture and politics. I was very fortunate to get and keep a show on that contentious and controversial station. I have so many stories and memories of my tenure there, some of them I will share over time on this blog. Some you may find shocking. Obviously, I learned many lessons there, positive and negative. I tried to forge my own unique path @ WBAI, which is known for its far-left and, at times, incoherent politics.. I was in sympathy with some of the sentiments of the programming, but many programs were, at times. unlistenable and not balanced, not necessarily the politics, but plain common sense. There were some painful episodes @ WBAI and probably had I known better and had some courage, I probably would have left the station years earlier. But something kept me there, mainly the chance to share ideas and opinions – it also probably kept me sane considering I was caring for a parent who was disabled. It also enabled me to share with the audience an issue that changed my life, the issue of circumcision. I will share how I got involved with that topic in future installments. As a former telephone operator @ WBAI used to say, stay tuned!
Rupert Murdoch opined the other day that he was looking forward to a “real” black president in the White House, implying that the current occupant, Barack Obama, was not. Obviously, shame on him. However, we black americans do culture shaming every day, saying that someone is not “black enough” or in my case, as a former host on WBAI radio, I was told that my programming selections were “too white”. To paraphrase Malcolm X, as long as you are south of the Canadian border, you are authentically black!
John Boehner announced recently that he was resigning his post as Speaker of the House – now, Kevin McCarthy has announced that he will not run for the top position in the House of Representatives. The GOP is in chaos – good, because they have refused to work with Pres. Obama which is a shame. Hopefully, the American people will pay attention and throw the GOP out over the next few election cycles. Not holding my breath, because their districts have been gerrymandered. We need a GOP, just not a Klan-influenced caucus!
Donald Trump currently is leading in the polls – will this last – we will see. As a native New Yorker, I am well familiar with the public history of Mr. Trump, as are millions of New Yorkers. Does he have the stamina to survive this Presidential race? Again, we will see!