Sirius Radio: The Refuge for Racist, Homophobic Right-Wingers Like Dr. Laura
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Last August, after an illustrious, decades-long career calling women whores, screaming about couples who "shack up," and attacking gays, Dr. Laura Schlessinger had to quit her radio show after hurling the n-word, 11 times, at an African-American caller. On Larry King Live Schlessinger announced that she would not let her First Amendment right to million-dollar paychecks and thousands of listeners be trampled by critics calling her out as a racist.
But thanks to Sirius radio, the flailing satellite company where Howard Stern has plied his craft (grotesque sexism) for five years, Schlessinger's hiatus from the airwaves will last exactly three days; that's the gap of time between when her non-renewed contract with her broadcast station runs out and her new gig with Sirius -- announced this week -- begins. Obviously she couldn't be happier, gushing in a Sirius press release, "I can't wait to preach, teach and nag about morals, values, ethics and principles ... My brain is buzzing with new ideas for my program's content, direction and expansion, including guest interviews with people who intrigue and inspire me. I couldn't be more giggly if you tickled me!"
Putting that image aside for a second, how did Schlessinger's fortunes turn around so quickly? In a Larry King interview the shock jock claimed that the day after she announced her retirement the head of Sirius called to say "Come on over here, the water's fine." She said she met with a crew of Sirius execs two months later. "I sat there and I listened to these men appreciate what I had done my entire career, appreciate my guts in never giving up, appreciate the value I offer on the air, and wanting to support me. That was it. It took me two seconds. I said, 'I'm on board.'"
They weren't kidding about the water. When her show premieres Jan. 3, Schlessinger will be joining a spate of racist, homophobic right-wingers who make Glenn Beck look good (including Glenn Beck, whose show Sirius runs in syndicate).
As part of its political programming, the satellite broadcaster offers a liberal station and a conservative one: Sirius Left and the infuriatingly named Sirius Patriot. An outgrowth of the now defunct satellite station America Right, Sirius Patriot boasts the "true voices of conservatism."
One true voice of conservatism on the station is Mike Church, who calls himself "the Dude." Church once lamented the political correctness that prevents him from expressing himself on race, saying on his show that when it comes to race issues, "regardless of ... what you may want to say, you always have to temper it with what is still politically acceptable speech."
If Church's output represents a capitulation to propriety, his uncensored views towards minorities seem like they would involve sheets. The Dude's schtick is putting out vilely offensive (and unfunny) "parody" songs, mostly starring undocumented immigrants. One pits a Mexican named Manuel against Bubba, defender of White American work ethic, in a cleaning contest. The chorus actually goes, "The wetbacks are in Georgia and they're looking for green cards. If you win we'll deport his ass back to Mexico... But if you lose we'll all speak Espanol!" (In case you're wondering, Bubba comes out on top, while Manuel "bowed his head, knowing that he'd been beat, and he lay his welfare money on the ground at Bubba's feet....")
In a tribute to the Minute Men, set to CCR's "Lookin' Out My Back Door," we get, "Just got in from Illinois, cocked my shotgun Oh Boy, got to stop these illegal aliens!/ ... Pretty soon I'm singing ... Shoot, Shoot, Shoot wetbacks at the border!" In "We're Fucking Up America," Church and the gang fret that some (very generous) liberals will "fill our beds with lesbos and gays!"