WBEN: Squadrismo Radio
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.