WAMC Fund Drive Starts Monday! "Let's Just Do It"
By Alan Chartock
Albany, Ny – My dear wonderful friends. This is it. I have always said that sooner or later, what we have all built together over the years will be no more. It's inevitable. It is the history of human kind. You get something good and it is taken for granted, people turn their backs and then it is over. The WAMC fund drive begins on Monday, June 7th. As always it will be a herculean undertaking. The older I get, the more impossible they look. Lot's of people will help. There will be many, many people who give us stuff to give away. There will be matching pledges that come from many who can do a little more. There will be arts and musical organizations that will be there for the station. Some banks will pony up and make matching grants. But, most of all there will all of you who listen, know you listen and really want to help. Without each of you, we are nothing. Many of you will volunteer. The one thing that is the most important is that you get on the phone, dial that magic number which so many of us can sing by heart, 1-800-323-9262, and pledge your hearts out. I have said it over and over again in response to something that the right wing tabloid guy says as he intones through his nose, "Chartock's begathon."
Frankly, I'm glad that he and his few followers keep saying it because it means that they feel threatened. They know that they have bought up most of the airwaves. They know all about Rush and Hannity and O Reilly and Beck. But when they see a record breaking five day fund drive that brings in so many pledges and so much love, they have to hate it. When WAMC does better than any other public radio station in getting support from its listeners, it is to the nay sayers what water was to the wicked witch. When WAMC keeps on keepin' on and breaks all those records, they've got to scurry back into their holes. When they hear that over 400,000 people listen to the station every month they make up lies and say on their filthy blogs that only 6,000 people listen to the station. When you take the whole gang of them together what you see is a band of frightened little people, mostly men, who can't stand the thought of a balanced station. They are practitioners of the "big lie." They lie and they lie and they lie some more. They figure that if they keep saying it and keep writing it, someone will believe them. These are the very same people who keep on yelling that President Obama was not born in this country. I don't have to tell you what authoritarian regimes have practiced the same technique. The single antidote to all of this is you. You have the power to save our station and you do it each time we have a drive.
For the first time in all these years, David Galletly will not be across the table from me. Ray Graf, who is a truly wonderful and funny man, will be there. You all know him from all the work he does as webmaster and as our morning news guy. Nevertheless, we'll all have to try a little harder as Dave, the Iron Man, moves on to a new life. Frankly I'm scared.
Every time I say that, someone writes me and says, "Don't worry Alan, we have your back," or "We're all in this together, this is our station." So I sit here on pins and needles waiting to see whether, for once, the best thing to stop the WAMC detractors will happen. You know, there is nothing that would please me more than a first day record. I know we can do it all in one day. Hey, when James Taylor and WAMC teamed up to help the poor people of Haiti, the results were spectacular. When we helped the victims of Katrina, we raised over five hundred thousand dollars in a single day. What could stop us from doing that on day one of this fund drive? There used to be a great ad on TV for an automobile fix-it concern and the guys would say, "Hey, you can pay me know or you can pay me (more) later."
I know that I am preaching to the converted and I know that you are as passionate as I am about this station. So, we start on June 7th at 6 AM. I hope and pray that this will be a record breaker and that the station, which as always goes into this with almost no operating money, will continue, at least until the next time. I know you, I love you, I trust you. Let's just do it.