Tag Archives: Talk radio

WBEN: Squadrismo Radio

12 Mar

Last week, I relayed the story that South Buffalo-based blogger Mike Blake wrote about, having to do with odd threats emanating from what can only be called the WBEN morning zookeeper and his virtual entourage of dummies – a pack of dubiously big-balled squadristi. Not content merely to brook no dissent on his radio program or on his popular, selfie-laden Facebook page, this person has lobbed threats against numerous people in recent days, including Blake’s brother, Patrick – a Buffalo firefighter. 

Friends of a paranoiac fascist zookeeper lob poorly spelled threats at radio listeners

You see, Patrick called WBEN during the zookeeper’s show and joked that a backup on the 33 was due to someone having fallen asleep during that day’s program. It wasn’t a prank call – it was just a joke. Here it is, complete with Bauerle’s best Alex Jones impression: 

http://podcast.wben.com/wben2/3887120.mp3

For those unaware, a listener (my brother) called Bauerle and reported that an accident on the 33 was caused by motorists falling asleep while listening to his show. That’s when things got strange. According to my brother, a man sounding like Bauerle, phoned him from a private number. In a whiny voice, he called him an A-hole and said he ruined his show with his phone call.

It didn’t end there. My brother then received threatening texts from people associated with Bauerle. One informed him that we “know a lot of people”…

This led to a barrage of insults from the zookeeper and his friends, and on Monday, Blake added some additional examples to the mix

 

Evidence of a crime?

One of my favorites comes from someone whose daddy works for Verizon, and this Bauerle hanger-on threatens that daddy might shut off Blake’s paid-for Verizon contract.

Daddy is a regional guy! Daddy will shut you down!

Patrick Blake committed no crime, and broke no rules by calling in to a radio show’s call-in number to make a joke about the host. It wasn’t mean-spirited; it wasn’t even a “prank” call. What’s far, far more alarming is that the radio host’s ego is so hyper-fragile that a throwaway joke that he could have removed from air using the station’s delay became an obsession so stark that he didn’t just whine to Blake, but got other people to complain about how this somehow, magically, affects the radio host’s “livelihood”. 

I corresponded with Patrick Blake on Monday, and he notes that most of the texts came from numbers marked “private”, as well as the Florida number shown above and a Texas number. None of these threatmongers have the stones to contact Mr. Blake by a phone number that can be traced or is otherwise evident, because they know they’re likely committing the crime of harassment. When Blake tried to call the numbers back, the calls wouldn’t or couldn’t go through. 

While none of the messages or texts directly threatened bodily harm, they all demanded that he “back off” his one joke phone call “or else”. Blake believes that several of the messages came from people who were cops or had some other connection to law enforcement.

Blake says, “I called WBEN and told what was happening to a guy that said he was a manager. He told me it was above his pay grade and he would put me through to Tim Wenger. I left a message with him but never got a call back. After about 10 calls to my phone I called their *930 call-in number, and told them if they did not stop I would give out their address . After that i got a crazy text saying i had threatened to bring force against WBEN and my phone would be shut off. I never threatened anyone and this was after many calls to my phone.”

When I asked Blake whether he had kept any of the voice mails he received, he replied, “Most were just music like the Adam Sandler song “you’re an asshole” and some other song about “Jesus loves you but everyone hates you”.”

As I documented last week, the station’s program director and head of operations pretends that his morning host and his squadristi aren’t completely out of control. 

WBEN: Against, Really Against, SUPER ZOMG AGAINST, OR ALL OF THE ABOVE?!!? [UPDATE]

20 Jun

I’ll give WBEN a link today, because the septuagenarians who make up its target audience are likely to vote against marriage equality on the idiotic “webpoll” that’s up today.  I’d urge people who support the idea of legalizing committed, loving same-sex unions to blast this poll and make sure fairness and love trump hatred and bigotry.

Just look at the way the poll is worded:

It gives you four – count them four – reasons to vote against same sex marriage. Once on religious grounds, once on “moral” grounds not otherwise counting as religious, once because gay sex is icky, and “all of the above”. For people who truly, deeply believe in – and advocate for – marriage equality, the best they get is “I’m ‘OK’ with gay marriage”.  In other words, even the selection that enables you to voice your support for equal rights is packed with equivocation and wiggle room, implying that you still think it’s icky, you still think it’s immoral, and you still think it offends God and the Church, but you’re “OK” with it.

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Shame on WBEN for such a blatantly nonsensical “poll” which serves merely to further enhance its listenership’s confirmation bias.  I know other stations aren’t busy pitting one local group against others today.

Also, feel free to contact General Manager Tim Wenger and let him know – politely – how awful and hateful this poll is.

BTW, a few updates.

Firstly: Tim Wenger has replied to me, but will not permit me to publish his reply.

Secondly: Tom Bauerle is on air right now discussing this issue and is actually doing a good job explaining why people should support same-sex marriage, and isn’t doing so in a facetious way. Because someone made him aware of this post, he’s now bringing Obama and his opposition to same sex marriage into the “discussion”, which is somewhat beside the point since we’re talking about state legislation, not federal action. I can’t call in to Bauerle’s program because he has specifically forbidden me to contact him in any way because he’s a coward.

Thirdly: There is a link in this post to an act.ly petition. If it isn’t showing up, click here instead to sign it.

Fourthly: WBEN is futzing with the poll results.

Here is what appeared at 10:35am (redacted to show only the poll results & time stamp):

Here is what appeared at 10:36 am (redacted to show only the poll results & time stamp):

Here is what appeared at 10:41 am (redacted to show only the poll results & time stamp):

And here is what shows up at 11:06, indicating perhaps the poll is being shown adequately after I Tweeted that I had proof of tampering:

Bill O’Loughlin and the Choo-Choo Train

20 Jan

If you’re not listening to Bill O’Loughlin’s “talk radio the way it oughtta be” on WECK 1230-AM from 9-11 weekdays, you’re missing out.  Aside from the fact that he doesn’t pack his show with ghost stories and seditious hate speech, he’s got a distinctive delivery and prides himself on taking topics on occasional tangential journeys.  His live ads for Russell’s Steaks, Chops & More are downright hypnotic.

Seriously, it should be our goal to make his show an ironic cult favorite among Buffalo’s under-30 hipster set.

One of his loyal fans put together this “Choo choo train” montage, and it offers up a sampling of the above. Enjoy.

[audio:https://s3.amazonaws.com/wnymedia-cdn/files/2011/01/choo-choo-train.mp3|titles=choo choo train]

Immigration – and Immigrants – Deserve Better

12 Jul

I am a loss to understand why a shrinking region struggling just to maintain its current population numbers is so bloody concerned over illegal immigration. WBEN demogogued the issue during the entire morning news today, and the whiny, phony parallels attempted to be drawn between Arizona and New York as border states were as appalling as they were weak.

First, let’s turn to the Arizona immigration law that the Federal Government has sued to strike down as an unconstitutional state usurpation of federal power to set and create immigration policy.

Two things have been brainlessly repeated without a smidgen of balance on local talk radio in Buffalo. The Arizona statute in question gives state law enforcement the power to demand – upon “reasonable suspicion” of undocumented status – that anyone present their papers to prove their identity and legal right to be present in the United States. Although racial profiling is expressly prohibited by the bill, it’s not shocking or deniable that this law is targeted squarely at Latinos. Arizona is rightfully petrified that the drug wars that have rendered Mexico an almost failed state might escalate on this side of the border.

Proponents of the law, when confronted with the fact that “papers, please” has not generally been used positively in the American vernacular, retort that legal immigrants must carry their visas or Green Cards with them at all times.

But citizens don’t. (That includes you, Puerto Ricans). Because this law in its implementation would specifically target one particular ethnic group at the exclusion of all others, and because it unfairly requires some US citizens – Latinos – to carry their passports or other proof of legal status in the US on them at all times, but not others, I believe it to be unconstitutional on equal protection grounds, as well as federal supremacy grounds.

But to hear our local talk radio goons describe it, bingo-playing grannies get harassed at the Peace Bridge whilst Mexicans on the southern border are untouchable due to liberal bleeding-heartism. Have any of these cretins tried to cross a Mexican border post ever? In the last 10 years? The major border crossings into Mexico, and especially into the US are horrifically backed-up all the time. The scrutiny given to inbound motor vehicles at the southern border makes the trip in and out of Canada seem like a run through an EZ-Pass booth. And yes, you must present the same types of ID in El Paso as you do in Niagara Falls. The difference is that most of the Arizona – Mexico border has no natural boundaries and is an arbitrary construct of treaty. You don’t get a lot of swimmers from Canada into the US because the Niagara River is wide and has a nasty current.

But to compare our situation in WNY to the situation in Arizona is simply idiotic for another major reason. Canada isn’t a third world backwater with wave after wave of economic refugees swarming into, say, Buffalo for our wonderful Frank Lloyd Wright homes and chicken wings. And the reason why we treat the occasional bingo-playing granny to long lines at the border have to do with the fact that there is a distinct history of jihadist terrorists using the US-CDN crossing as a low-key entry point.

No, Tom. Sorry, Sandy. Regrets, Dave. Comparisons of legal border crossings at WNY bridges to illegal crossings in Arizona is so patently stupid and improper that I question your intelligence and that of anyone who agrees with you.

And chances are, the Bauerles, Pesolas, and DiPietros of yesteryear most likely came to the United States as economic immigrants – they came to this country to find their fortunes, or at least a better life. Oh, they’ll undoubtedly self-righteously proclaim that their ancestors came to this country as legal immigrants, as if the situation at the turn of the last century was somehow even vaguely analogous to that at the most recent turn of century.

During the time of Ellis Island, there was no such thing as applying for an entry visa at a US consulate abroad. Immigrants would come to the US on boats and basically apply on the spot for legal entry. If they weren’t mentally or physically disabled, chances were they’d be allowed to stay in the US. Our immigration laws throughout history have oftentimes been little more than shameful cesspools of racism and eugenics, aimed to control not so much numbers, but specific numbers of particular origin. But at the time of Ellis Island’s heyday, European immigrants could literally hop a boat and take their chances.

Such irony, to hear descendants of German or Italian immigrants heap scorn on a contemporary influx of refugees from our own hemisphere, who have overwhelmingly come here for the same economic reasons. Why is 2010’s Mr. Velazquez any more or less deserving of an American Dream than 1910’s Mr. DiPietro? Are Mexicans and Central Americans somehow unworthy or undeserving of the same opportunities as Poles or Italians were a century ago?

And let’s not forget that if every single illegal alien in this country was deported overnight, there would suddenly be a large vacuum of available menial jobs. You going to take it? Is your kid going to interrupt his WoW session to earn $7.25/hour cleaning toilets and sweeping streets?

Comprehensive immigration reform that resets the rules to reflect contemporary reality is what’s needed to help move this forward. We in this country are so focused on migrant laborers, that we ignore the fact that our idiotic visa policies help keep brilliant scientists out of this country, and they go to places like Canada, which welcomes them with open arms, opportunity, and free medical.

When the economy goes south, you can be sure that the weak-minded will take advantage of the afflicted, and reassure them that the fault lies not with a housing crash or credit default swaps gone bad, but they instead release that genie of subtly racist xenophobia that still seems to be socially acceptable in the US, and blame the Mexicans.