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. 

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: 


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. 

I'll Beat You Up, Said the Zookeeper

South Buffalo-based blogger Mike Blake relates the following story:

In response to a traffic accident on the 33 Expressway, my brother called in and said the accident was caused by a motorist falling asleep while listening to Bauerle’s show. Instead of simply moving on, Bauerle went on a long rant in response to the call. I’m not an expert on talk shows, but it seems like the exact opposite of what he should have done. I get negative responses to my site all the time. But the last thing on my mind would be to dignify them with a response.

Bauerle then took it an unnecessary step further by forwarding my brother’s phone number to his friends. They in turn sent him threatening texts. Very strange and bizarre that any member of the local media would do something like this, especially in an age where it is so easy to document and trace everything. In fact, here is one of the threatening texts Bauerle had one of his people send…

Apparently, WBEN’s morning zookeeper spent about 10 minutes of Thursday’s show not only acknowledging that Blake’s story is true, but by expressing pride that his “friends” would threaten a caller who made a joke, and that they “hold a trump card” of some sort. Of course, if you give out your phone number and ask for phone calls, some of those calls may make fun of the host. This wasn’t even a prank call – there was no Baba Booey moment – this was just a joke.

Is this a perpetual middle school where every real or perceived slight is met with harassment and threats?

When asked, WBEN’s program director/operations manager, Tim Wenger, shrugged.

The discussion got bogged down in a specific issue – whether WBEN’s Telos system displays caller ID information for the host. That’s not the issue. Perhaps the screener had the caller ID information and relayed it to the host some other way. The issue is that the person who made a joke on the air received a threat that the radio host acknowledged on the air as having happened. When confronted with that information, we get an argument about caller ID from the station’s PD – any responsible manager would be appalled that an employee had threatened a consumer of their product.

WBEN’s host is out of control because the station is out of control – between 4 hour-long gun rally infomercials and 4 hour-long Carl Paladino for school board infomercials, the station has abandoned any sense of journalistic ethics or propriety and become nothing more than a right-wing advocacy group, and one that encourages belligerence from its staff.

Pat Blake should be able to make a joke without fearing threats of bodily harm. If so much as a hair on his head is misplaced by another, the radio host, the station, and its corporate parent all share liability and deep pockets.

By the way, the screener hits *69 at Entercom.

Welcome to the third world.