An editorial from the New York Daily News, May 31:
Noncommercial, counterculture icon WBAI radio spirals into self-destructive 9/11-conspiracy madness
Lefty radio station WBAI-FM sure ain’t what it used to be. No, it has gone off the dial as a peddler of vile 9/11 conspiracy theories.
In its heyday, this beacon of counterculture aired the likes of Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Philip Glass and John Cage.
Its envelope-pushing 1973 broadcast of George Carlin’s “Seven Dirty Words” routine led to a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the limits of on-air free speech.
Now, the listener-supported station has been sending donors thank-you giveaways that have included DVDs of wackadoo pseudodocumentaries such as “Loose Change 9/11.”
That claims that the destruction of the twin towers was an “American coup” that included deliberately planted explosions. Also proffered as come-ons were rants against international bankers and the New World Order.
Meanwhile, the station disseminated the ravings of 9/11 conspiracy theorist David Icke, who—according to his own website—”exposes the reptilian bloodline that rules the world.”
WBAI’s descent into 9/11 paranoia comes to light thanks to a standup guy by the name of Bill Weinberg. A longtime host on the station, Weinberg protested on the air that the station was propagating offensive and unfounded theories. Guess what came next?
A one-time bastion of free speech—a station that actually calls itself “free speech radio”—booted Weinberg from the air. Unspeakable.
The editorial follows a recent story in the New York Times on the matter.