The firing of talk show host Jessica McBride by Journal Communications’ WTMJ-AM isn’t merely another example of the double standard that crucifies conservatives for supposedly "offensive" speech. It is proof that mainstream media corporations are incapable of offering conservative messages.
Liberals who can’t win arguments are determined to silence the other side. They are increasingly using the tactic of pretending to be "offended" in order to demand that the conservative be muzzled. Since liberals are adept at the pressure game and media executives are themselves liberals, the tactic often works. This modus operandi is especially effective when the supposedly offensive remark has anything to do with race. ...
What did McBride do that was so awful? She pretended to interview liberal Journal Sentinel columnist Eugene Kane by asking him a number of questions he’d have trouble answering. She played the sound of a chicken clucking when it came time for the absent Kane to speak. One of the "questions" dealt with the murder of a little girl in a drive-by shooting. The playing of the "clucking" sound was the horrid "offense" that got McBride sacked.
Give me a break. The bit wasn’t very funny (and is actually a ripoff of something I did years ago) but it’s hardly offensive. McBride was making fun of the refusal of urban liberals to acknowledge the severity of the crime problem. She wasn’t mocking the little girl. WTMJ knows that.
Here’s what happened after McBride’s show. A local blogger, former Journal reporter Jim Rowen, posted McBride’s bit on his Web site. Rowen, by the way, was the person McBride beat out for her University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee journalism teaching job. Rowen apparently tipped off another Journal columnist who called WTMJ to "ask" about it. McBride was canned 36 hours later.
And from Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's TV-Radio critic Tim Cuprisin:
General manager Jon Schweitzer said Friday that the move had been in the works, but was sped up by McBride's attempted comedy bit that featured a reference to a 4-year-old girl killed earlier this week in a drive-by shooting.
"It contributed to the timing of it," Schweitzer says. "We felt it was in the best interest of the station and Jessica to make the move right now."
Now Tim Cuprisin is about as liberal as they come, and he's my favorite lefty on the newspaper. That he wasn't supportive of McBride -- to put it mildly -- shouldn't surprise anybody in Milwaukee. His title is "critic", he gives you his opinions, that's his job.
No, the real jerk, the real loser in this story is WTMJ GM Jon Schweitzer. He's managed to take a rather straightforward programming change and convert it into a major hoo-hah among his station's listeners. Booting McBride and replacing her with Dennis Miller should have been a slam dunk. That sort of thing happens in radio all the time. Instead, he's snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, ill will from the well of good feelings. The debut of The Dennis Miller Show on his station has been completely overshadowed by this controversy. You can't screw up this badly on what should be a routine move. Mark my words, Schweitzer will be gone before too long.
As for Jim Rowen, he's now the laughing stock of the Milwaukee blogging community, at least the non-tinfoil-hat part of it. Couldn't stand getting beat by a girl. It's the sort of thing that was funny as a Leave It To Beaver episode. In real life in the new millennium, it's just pathetic.
UPDATE 7/10/2008: From the aforementioned Tim Cuprisin: Jon Schweitzer is out as vice president and general manager of WTMJ-AM (620) and WKTI-FM (94.5), with his position being eliminated, according to Steve Wexler, executive vice president of TV and radio operations for the radio stations and Channel 4. Wexler assumes the duties of Schweitzer’s old job.