Sunday, May 20, 2007

My thoughts on McBride leaving WTMJ-AM

I promised more comments on the McBride firing.

I didn’t hear the offending “bit” that supposedly speeded her departure, so I can only go with the transcripts from one of her critics, Tim Cuprisin. (Tuesday nights I write my column.) McBride created a mock interview with Eugene Kane and instead of playing his responses played some chicken noises. One of the questions she asked was about a four-year-old girl recently killed by a stray bullet in yet another violent incident in Milwaukee.

Said McBride on Tuesday's show: "Now that a 4-year-old girl was just gunned down while. . . What was she doing? I think jumping rope or something last night. . . You acknowledge it's a crisis, right?"

The faked answer from the faux Kane was the sound of a squawking chicken.
All right. I gotta confess that I don’t see just how terrible that is. She was clearly taking a shot at the Journal Sentinel's in-house race-baiter for not having anything substantive to say about a tragedy in Milwaukee's inner city. If we're not supposed to talk about these things, and point out the vacuum at the leadership level in Milwaukee.

At most, it was Sophomoric, maybe. (Of course, if I stopped indulging in sophomoric humor, this blog would be a plain white screen.) It was certainly no worse than anything I could hear on Bob and Brian, or Dave and Carol (is she still discussing her period?), or even Garrison Keillor.

So a few leftys got their noses out of joint because they’re practically stalking Jessica in search of something “offensive” she might say, complete with a web site dedicated to tracking her every word. Ehh. Whatever.

And I know that’s not what they want to hear. What they want to hear is a bunch of us expressing outrage, OUTRAGE, that she would use the death of a four-year-old girl to score a few political points.

Of course, none of these people will be outraged at all when the local politicians show up at a press conference promising that no more four-year-olds will die, that they’ll get the guns off the streets (including those from law abiding citizens), that they’ll find inner city youths more jobs and give them bookmobile rides to Miller Park. Local “activists” wringing their hands saying things like “never again” even though we can count on at least one of these types of shootings every year. Heck, this one happened in May, so maybe we’ll get two or three of them this year.

Or maybe some of Jessica’s critics will express outrage at the hapless local politicians, in which case they can forward their public statements to me and I’ll happily point them out.

But nobody will do anything substantive about the crime and violence on Milwaukee’s North Side. Isn’t that more offensive than anything, not just this on-air bit, anything Jessica McBride said?

I’m waiting for the Coalition of the Outraged and Offended to picket the Waukesha Freeman. One of the columnists exploited a crime against children to score cheap laughs, and he didn’t even have a point (political or otherwise) to make!
The accusations against Ronald Schroeder – a professional clown known as Mr. Silly – are serious. Schroeder has been charged with sexual assault and domestic violence. Police also said they found child pornography on a computer in his home. So yeah, we’re dealing with some nasty stuff.

Still, Mr. Silly’s arrest fascinates me – mostly because these clown-related images keep popping into my head.

Did Mr. Silly try to flee officers on a tiny bike? Did he ride in circles while the police chased him with batons raised over their heads?

Did Mr. Silly raise his hands while being frisked – and squirt water from a plastic flower while doing so? Did police try to remove his handkerchief during the search and end up with 100 feet of material – and Mr. Silly’s boxers?

While being interrogated, did Mr. Silly use one honk for yes, two honks for no? If so, it won’t take much for Gerald Boyle – he’s a well-known lawyer who has represented lots of clowns – to get that statement thrown out.

“Your honor, Mr. Silly thought it was two honks for yes, one for no.” Then the judge would ask, “Is that true, Mr. Silly?” Mr. Silly would sit at the defendant’s table, his sad face painted on, and weakly honk twice.

Child pornography is never funny! Neither are clowns! Right? Given their willingness to be offended, you'd think the picketers would rally on the mention of the clown's boxer shorts alone.

Of course, Pete Kennedy is not a conservative, and we’ll see if Coalition of the Outraged and Offended descend upon Waukesha. Maybe if Kennedy accused Mr. Silly of honking a rubber chicken, because I think it was the chicken noises more than anything that ticked off the leftys.

Meanwhile I gotta give Jay Bullock credit for having a better sense of proportion than Tim Cuprisin. Bullock said he would have been happy with an apology (which I suspect he wasn’t going to get) and had the sense not to compare it to Imus or even Michael McGee Sr.

And Bullock’s also right not to make McBride into a martyr. WTMJ-AM just got rid of Ken Herrera. They’re obviously shaking things up over there. McBride’s departure may have been speeded up by, what, a couple of days? Weeks?

So no, I won’t blame the local leftys, a lone libertarian or even the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for getting McBride fired.

If you want me to speculate on what happened behind closed doors, I’m guessing they pulled the audio clip down from her blog and told McBride to apologize. Knowing her, she probably said no. They probably said if you don’t… and she probably said, “So when is Dennis Miller starting?” But this is purely guesswork on my part.

As for WTMJ-AM’s standards, give me a break. Do they still have Michael Savage on every night? I think he can squeeze more obnoxious and offensive remarks into a half hour than any local radio host in WTMJ-AM’s history. Why don’t they bring back Art Bell who at least put the spirit in conspiracy?

Supposedly the move to Dennis Miller was because, “We’ve been working for weeks to find a unique, hip and entertaining show that would be a great compliment to Brewers Baseball in the evening.” This coming from the station that has Jonathan Green for afternoon drive time. Among Dennis Miller's unique, hip and entertaining guests this last week, Don Rickles.

If you want me to speculate on the future, I suspect McBride will soon be doing fill-in duty over at WISN-AM if that’s what she wants. Heck, maybe a slot on WUWM? Don’t dismiss the idea out of hand. After all, she was getting pretty comfortable on her show dealing with some of the more radical callers. It was becoming her niche in the market.

One thing I do know is that now she’ll have more free time for going to the movies.

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