My letter to Tony Bates

For the record, as they say, here’s what I just wrote to Tony Bates:

I really don’t want to do a show every other week on Saturday morning, and you probably knew that when you made the decision. So I think I’ll just quit, effective immediately.

It takes a remarkable amount of balls for you, Tony, to engineer a reworking of the grid having just masterminded yet another failed fundraiser. Falling 1/3 short of your goal is a disgrace. But evidently your vision of WBAI is of chemtrails and footpads and 9/11 nuttery, so we obviously don’t mesh.

The polite thing would be wish you good luck, but I don’t feel like being polite. It’s a remarkable devolution from Samori Marksman to you.

19 Comments on “My letter to Tony Bates

  1. I am sorry that it has come to this – “Behind the News” was a masterful show – incomparable in its way. If you just could have used one show to expose the chemtrails that were fired out of George Bush’s ass that brought down the 9/11 planes, there might have been a place for it in the BAI grid.
    Don’t worry about the donation – though I thought some station master said that the the “outpouring” was “huge” or something – for a minute I actually thought a cause of mine had the slightest chance of succeeding…

  2. As a fan of your radio program, your decision has caused distress — although I do agree with it.

    I hope that you are able to find another outlet willing to carry it and that you are taking steps in that direction.

  3. Fuck that guy. The radio waves will be significantly less interesting without Behind the News.

  4. Pingback: The purges start at Pacifica Radio and WBAI | Politics in the Zeros

  5. Just donated money hoping this would keep you on the air!! How disappointing. Yours was the only decent show on WBAI, and it was a very very good one at that. No more WBAI for me, they have gone looney-tunes.

  6. Doug:
    Though not shocked, I’m very disappointed that Behind the News has ended. I’ve had the privilege of listening to your show from its beginnings, and since moving from Brooklyn years ago have always tried to catch it via the web or podcast.

    Behind The News was a rare gem that actually provided its listenership with interviews that went beyond the 2, 4, or 6 minute standard Q & A, to a serious, in-depth discussion of issues challenging all modes of intellectual, political, and philosophical paradigms. I always appreciated that your guests were not the “usual (left) suspects;” instead, you showcased guests whose knowledge and perspective on a particular subject matter both illuminated and challenged listeners. You also actually prepared for your shows and asked intelligent questions to stimulate the discussion, while eschewing the practice, perfected by Amy Goodman, of simply reading some statement to your guest and then asking, “and what is your response?”

    Thank you, and Behind the News will be missed.

  7. Dear Mr. Henwood,

    I’m very sorry to hear about this, I hope you find some other station that will allow you to do your show. Maybe satellite radio or something like that?
    I’ve been a listener for many years and don’t agree with you on a couple of topics, but Behind the News was one of the best shows on economics out there, I hope it comes back again in some form or other.

    Ed Beaugard

  8. The good news is: Steve Brown will mostly likely not put your face in his next mailing. He and Mitch Cohen got what they wanted: Gary Null.

  9. Doug: so sorry to read this. I hope “Behind the News” finds a new home, and soon.

  10. You’ve made the right call, Doug. I’ve been listening to your show for years via podcast and felt very ambivalent about giving directly to the station, given the wild bullshit I hear about

    I’ve introduced a few like-minded folks to your show when I get the chance, and they’re always struck by the substantive depth, smartness, and kick ass music.

    I look forward to anything you and Liza publish in the future. Keep working. There is a hunger out here in for your analysis.

  11. The “Chronos Quartet” theme has now been silenced and with it, the voice of one of the most perceptive analysts of America’s economy and society – Doug Henwood. I looked to Doug each week for thoughtful interpretations and arguments about the current domestic and international political economic situation. His opening remarks and analysis were always backed up by the best data/statistical evidence and rock-solid application of quantitative techniques (e.g., econometrics). His silencing at WBAI is emblematic of the managerial and financial incompetence of that radio station. But like many so-called “progressive” institutions – be it radio, foundations, schools – the leaders are too often gutless, visionless, and most of all ignorant individuals who haven’t a clue how to run an effective organization. For over 20 years, Doug has given WBAI a show about economics and finance that is second to none. Bloomberg Radio would kill for such a talented host and ‘BAI has let it end. Would Nobel Prize winning economist Joe Stiglitz ever agree to be interviewed on WBAI for a 1/2 hour by anyone other than Doug? I know my drive home from work on Thursday’s will never be the same, but let’s congratulate Doug for having done a great job at enriching our lives while working under terrible conditions at ‘BAI. Thanks, Doug I hope you find another venue for your radio show.

  12. Now that Henwood is off WBAI there is no show where one can expect anything approaching “analysis”, or real interviews. What a waste of watts – 50k of them

    one of the best parts of the show was the outro music – always a blast – never a dull moment.

    You were one of the last reasons I still had for tuning 99.5 Now its all 93.9, at least their milktoaste stuff is well produced, and they occasionally have a thinking person on the air.

  13. Good for you Doug. I wish more producers had followed your example and stuck to principle. Now I know where to find you without WBAI.

    I had a very bad eperience with Tony Bates before his appointment was announced. He was doing an infomercial plugging a herbal remedy called Olefra during one of the endless fund drives. I called to complain and after much being jossled, including hearing someone tell him “we got a rowdy caller” actually got to speak to him. He told me the promoter cohosting the show made no profit on the product. A five minute search of the internet showed that claim to be patently absurd. I took it to the Pacifica National Board but got no response.

    Thanks for your information and good luck. It’s BAI’s loss.

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