PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: MATTHEW REISS
Journalist, Author, Lecturer, Promulgator of Civic Activity
My published findings are cited regularly in consumer and scholarly journals, books and PhD theses worldwide. _______________________________________________
Appointed professor: Rutgers University, School of Journalism, Communication & Library Sciences; Università degli Studi di Torino; CUNY, Teacher: Board of Education.
BACKGROUND: Nikkei (world's largest financial daily) -- research chief; IPS (world's premier third world news agency) -- US Editor; State Press Service, Albany, NY -- Founder; Playboy, Japan -- humor columnist; Oui Magazine -- humor columnist; Red Hook Star-Revue -- head writer; UN Economics & Finance Committee -- press officer; Student Association of the State University of NY -- Deputy Communications Director; How to Rule the World for Fun & Profit -- Primary Author/Humor Editor, Thunders Mouth Press, 2004.
PUBLICATIONS: Village Voice (Government), Baltimore Sun (Report from Pyongyang), NYTimes (Business Columnist), Nation (DOJ), In These Times (US Nuclear Proliferation for Profit), Mother Jones (Pentagon Comes Home to Roost), Counterpunch (NY's Last People's Lawyer), Le Monde (US Cedes East Asia to China), New Internationalist (Death by Overwork in US/Public Education Goes Private), Tehelka (Occupy), Overwork in America), Kodansha (US Cedes Nukes to DPRK), Bungei Shunju (To Swing a Cat), Hankyoreh (South Korea Erects US Nuclear Base).
SKILLS: Deciphered complex economic, scientific, diplomatic, political, historical concepts as resident expert PressTV, Al Jazeera; Guest/Host: WBAI, WNYC, WONY..
Interviewed: Noam Chomsky, Mort Sahl, Dick Gregory, Seymour Hersh, Ismael Kadare, I.F. Stone, Lynn Stewart,
Leonard Weinglass, Stanley Cohen, sports figures: Bobby Valentine, Derek Jeter, Barry Bonds, Riddick Bowe, Hideki Matsui, Tsuyoshi Shinjo; Balkan warlords: Zeljko ‘Arkan’ Raznatovic, Radovan Karadzic; Presidents: Albania, Macedonia. Quizzed nuclear strategists from offices of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, US Navy-, Energy-, State Departments. Grilled David Rockefeller. Ruminated with artists Honeyboy Edwards, DeeDee Ramone, Nick Lowe, Yoko Ono, Yellowman. Decrypted presidential contenders: Mario Cuomo, Bernie Sanders, Jesse Jackson, George McGovern, Ralph Nader.
War corespondent: Guatemala, North Korea, Kosovo/Yugoslavia. Sustainable Development Consultant: Land, Agriculture, Transportation MinistryOkinawa Prefecture, Japan. Investigator: class action; global trade; prisoner’s rights lawfirms. Contractor: internet publishing, public relations, campaigns, biotech firms. Congressional staffer. Member/officer: Unions of teachers, professors, journalists and students. Director/member civil society organizations, cooperatives, nonprofits.
HONORS: Davidoff Journalism Award (Prison Slavery in NY/NYTimes); Washington Monthly Articles of Month: ("How We Blocked Mayor’s Incineration Plan, Saved Williamsburg & Forced NY to Recycle"/Voice); Best Comedy Writing (Toyota Comedy Festival); named “Funniest Guy in New York” by head writer, Village Voice; subject of major Smithsonian exhibition: “50Years of Public Participation,” NYState HS Track finalist; Publishers League Softball Championship; Alternate Jesse Jackson Delegate Nominee, Democratic National Convention 1988; Elected DC Community Board (winning 79% of votes over incumbent); Executive Committee, CFD (Democratic Club); Board: West Side Neighborhood Alliance; frontman/lyricist/bassist, The Hack (blues band).
MEMBERSHIPS/INTERESTS: Ethical Culture Society, Servas International, International Federation Liberal & Radical Youth (negotiated with Soviet d’etant delegation, Budapest); UN Correspondents Association; PADI Open Water Diver; published cartoonist, photographer, videographer; xcountry skiing, rock climbing, contemporary art, history. Traveled 50 countries, principalities, occupied territories. Fluent Italian, Spanish. Student of French, Chinese, Japanese.
|Answers to Candidate Questionnaire
||What experience, connections, skills or traits would you bring to the local station board to advance the station's mission?
||The above 500 WORD CANDIDATE STATEMENT lists professional experience, contacts, skills and traits exclusively. However, the question about the organization’s mission is equally important: Our comprehensive mission is an ideal contribution to the lives of WBAI members,
Indeed, WBAI is easily distinguished from the corporate media as required in our mission. We choose to prevail in our shared aims, rather than surrender in defeat. Our mission assists in the construction of a livable culture amid the capital/concrete that defines our core listening area.
COMPARATIVE GLOBAL STANDARDS. For those of us who’ve never visited Canada, Mexico, or overseas, the goal of creating a similarly normal way of life here, might sound excessively ambitious. The dictate of US media, when added to the daily labors of our particular social order, isn’t pretty.
Adverse business practices, work and social conditions, abusive/ineffective legal and financial results/strictures leave residents of the North East and of the US unprotected.
The US does not provide a relatively secure atmosphere for the majority of its residents.This is reason enough to demand an end to America’s human rights practices, both domestic and international. As the bound and gagged years continue to unfold, we suffer not merely from an absence of public health care, but scant evidence of any government, let alone a country, operating on the American continent.
||What do you appreciate and value in the station's current operations?
||LESSONS FROM THE DARK SIDE
That the station actually operates at all today can be accredited to some worthy cutting and pasting at headquarters, a dedicated core listenership and -- according to an audit conducted several years ago -- a stroke of luck the length of the interstate highway system. The concern associated with dead air (or worse) should be relegated to the past, as there’s no reason that WBAI’s erstwhile audience-counts -- a half-million and more during the ‘60s -- should be sacrificed to expediency. When media provides a service: whether to sound the alarm, to disabuse popular delusions, or to provide vivid, indispensable and courageous content, the resulting product is as addictive to God’s children as Rush Limbaugh was to those who surrendered and went over to the dark side.
||What would you like to see improved or changed in the station's current operations?
||A media operation exists entirely upon audience perception of trustworthiness. Thus, when prospective listeners who are momentarily captivated by our unique content while grazing along the FM dial observe even minor shortcomings, we risk their fleeing in favor of more familiar, white collar fare. Hence we encourage standards that will capture every prospective listener, member and supporter.
When we assure that the training that our announcers demand is provided, we are fulfilling our oversight roles as members of the Station Board.
Announcers fill out a run sheet. They announce the call letters in a timely manner. They announce the name of the guest who is appearing with in each time slots host, every ten to fifteen minutes, for the benefit of those just tuning in.
By consistently carrying out these small tasks, we keep the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
happy. The donors smiling and the listenership proud.
||Describe what you anticipate would be your top three priorities or areas of focus if you were elected to the local station board.
||a) Tech War
Hunting down, isolating, pulling up, downloading and listening to the last few broadcasts of one’s favorite show via the WBAI website is like cranking up an old Model T. Decades ago we operated a news agency that posted copy to subscribing outlets via mimeograph and US mail and reached up to 250,000 readers on a good week. So drafting an Interactive Web presence plan for WBAI several years ago was nothing new. Now that the price of mobile apps (computer programs) is way down, it’s time to see if 21st century technology can accommodate a Pacifica constituency founded of a Vietnam-era labor movement.
WBAI is a semi-independent part of a larger corporation and should be operated as a stable and independent business. The creative and productive wherewithal of WBAI’s members, listeners, boards and producers, provides sufficient business acumen to formulate prospective strategies to satisfy our hungry listener base. Success lies just one comprehensive business plan away. A cogent development strategy, executed with requisite discipline, could well bring the station the kind of conditions faced by independent media institutions in less crowded quarters than New York.
Countless audits have been completed over the past three years that finally begin to qualify the station for grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and more idealistically minded foundations. By keeping these audits up to date and streamlining the grant proposal assembly line, WBAI can parade it’s accomplishments before endowment funds desperate to staunch the “mission creep” they suffer from, prevalent in this reactionary era.
c)Attitude, confidence and the Millennial Stress Disorder.
The mostly altruistic motives behind WBAI and its myriad intellectual and healthful effects are desperately needed as popular culture deteriorates, and the digitally-led are conned into surrendering to false authority.
Decades of blood-curdling media reports, from the cradle to the present, have terrorized more than one of America’s youngest generations. It’s no fault of Millennials that their conscious and subconscious minds are so burdened with dispelling daily horrors of war, that they’re stuck in a perpetual fight or flight mode. In such atmosphere the exercise of the “fight” or self preservation instinct subjects the individual (or group) to summary punishment or criminal prosecution. Flight from an abusive boss, for example, costs them their jobs.
What Orwellian order compels thousands to be born, to live or to die in the streets of princely New York as people do in Calcutta? In normal countries, people sleep soundly.
How then can we subject any sentient species to a constant diet of alarm responses that leaves no “safe space” for conscience or compassion to gain a foothold?
The present is a perfect opportunity to fill that void by providing inspiration, encouragement and patient explanation to the targeted generations.
Hence, there is a conscious choice to make. We know well that we help ourselves when we help our audience and members, just as we denigrate our prospects when we shortchange those within earshot of the airwaves. However as leaders of our community (or our separate, isolated, sub-communities, if you must) we fortify the health of our platform by infusing confidence to our listeners, through ourselves.
Modest non profit organizations (NPOs), especially those which exhibit characteristics of a government benefit program such as public radio, differ from wealthy donor-conduits in that the latter are often of questionable public purpose. Day jobs or handouts from rich NPOs provide material incentives to their recipients to lower their youthful expectations and drop their moral standards. However we contrast this with lessons from a bygone era, that memberships or contributions to an inspired, idealistic WBAI, in and of itself, rewards both its producers’ and its listeners’ self-esteem.
d) War and Peace
We struggle, we fight, we work-- such experience, courage, and potential does the WBAI Class of 2021 possess -- and now we need to celebrate. We need some reward to go with the costs we encumber every day manning the barricades. Like any membership body, tribe, or family, to hire a good old fashioned concert hall (and multi-cultural caterer) to celebrate and consolidate our gains is a conservative investment. We need a reminder of what a successful anti-war radio listenership -- a pacific assemblage of good will -- looks like up front and in person.
||Sustainability is an important part of any nonprofit operation. What are your thoughts on how the board can help to improve the station's financial footing?
||THE HUM OF OPTIMISM, THE SOUND OF WINNING.
Combining all the above initiatives will bring more listeners, more influence, and a better standard of thinking to one of the widest, richest and most expensively-educated broadcast areas in the world. Once we respect our audience, and trust our colleagues to emulate our examples of dedication and selflessness, WE WILL HAVE NO COMPETITION
Those massive networks of negativity cannot compete with our few small control rooms emanating with the hum of optimism, the sound of winning.
By placing the long-term interests of the station, the network, and potential listeners ahead of any selfish benefits that the amplified sound of one’s own voice may provide, each host cements their place into the schedule. No news source attempts to so protect its audience from ignorance. No media in the United States exhibits such discipline.
||Is there anything else you would like prospective voters to know?
||THE CIVIL SOCIETY SECTOR & FINALLY, OUR LIST OF ENDORSEMENTS:
What effects our surroundings most is called "civil society," a term almost never used in the US, but common to residents of most other cultures. It means what people do themselves, without help from government or business. This sector of the culture is almost always vibrant -- perhaps the most important part of an individuals life -- in normal countries.
When people get together, talk freely, co-mingle -- YES, IN PERSON -- the fabric of society is strong. When we take the low road, isolating ourselves, texting, emailing, instead of sharing one's lively, warm, unique personality, the social order easily gets buried beneath the bureaucratic realm by the business/financial sector that owns and operates it. Interacting in person is good for the immune system. It makes you feel connected.
Likewise, when you’re listening to radio at home, you’re not alone. You’re mobile. Folding the laundry. Sweeping the kitchen. With a phone or tv you just sit there.
Fun you can buy, you can consume, but joy is a shared sensation that calls to the spirit. Sharing our lives with others contrasts that lonely, isolated existence that results from the kind of top-down atmosphere which exists in authoritarian systems, corporations, military formations, prisons and other types of lock-downs.
By bringing back, expanding and automating WBAI's badly missed Community Bulletin Board, I suspect that members, young and old, will multiply their friendships, widen their horizons, and shake their booty in all its glory.
I endorse and encourage everyone to also vote for the following candidates:
Ms Scottye Battle
M. Kay Williams