Saturday, October 04, 2003

Callahan, too. The Boston Herald's got a problem with one of its own. The paper deals with it straightforwardly today.

Dean Johnson reports that the alleged monologue by WEEI Radio (AM 850) blabber John Dennis about gorillas and black schoolchildren was actually a dialogue involving Dennis and his cohost, Herald columnist Gerry Callahan.

For the past few days, everyone (including me) has been reporting that Dennis -- commenting on Little Joe, the gorilla who escaped from the Franklin Park Zoo -- had said that he was "probably a Metco gorilla waiting for a bus to take him to Lexington."

But Greater Boston, the public-affairs program of WGBH-TV (Channel 2), obtained an audio tape, and it turns out that it actually went like this:

Callahan: "They caught him at a bus stop, right -- he was like waiting to catch a bus out of town."

Dennis: "Yeah, yeah -- he's a Metco gorilla."

Callahan: "Heading out to Lexington."

Dennis: "Exactly."

(Disclosure: I was a panelist on Greater Boston yesterday, and was on the set when the tape was played.)

Meanwhile, pressure continues to build for Dennis either to quit or be fired by WEEI. I'm not going to call on Dennis specifically to go. The problem is the genre of idiotic, racist, homophobic locker-room sports-guy talk more than it is any one individual.

But it sounds like, during a call to WEEI yesterday in the midst of his two-day suspension, Dennis said all the right things, admitting that not only did he say something "stupid," but that he's got "sensitivity issues" to deal with as well.

And now WEEI (and the Herald) has to decide what, if anything, to do about Callahan, too.

Today's Globe, by the way, buries the Callahan revelation in a long piece about Boston city councilor Jim Kelly's refusal to call for Dennis's firing, and fails to credit Greater Boston's exclusive.

Arnold, not getting it

"It's too bad nobody came up to me before and sat down and said I still feel hurt about what you said," he said Friday, "and I could have apologized right then and there. I never got the chance."

-- Arnold Schwarzenegger, quoted in the New York Times today

The waitress said she told Schwarzenegger at the time: "If you're ever some place and some woman throws hot coffee on your head, it will be me." He laughed, she said.

"He thought it was the funniest thing. And then the whole table laughed because, if Arnold laughed, the whole table laughed."

-- Los Angeles Times, October 2 (The woman said Schwarzenegger had told her, "I want you to go in the bathroom, stick your finger in your [vagina], and bring it out to me.")

Limbaugh: a hypocrite after all? I've gotten a number of critical comments regarding my Thursday item, in which I absolved Rush Limbaugh -- accused of having a serious pill problem -- of the charge of hypocrisy when it comes to the war on drugs.

Several Media Log readers say the one quote I found is more than counterbalanced by numerous other comments the Formerly Rotund One has made over the years.

They may have a point. On Friday, Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz noted that, in 1999, Limbaugh said that "by legalizing drugs, all you're going to do is define further deviancy downward."

Here's what Limbaugh said about the drug story on his radio show yesterday:

Now, here's the nub of it at the moment. The story in Florida is -- it really is an emerging situation. I watch what's being reported on television and it changes from morning to morning, hour to hour, day to day. I don't know yet what I'm dealing with there, folks.

I really don't know the full scope of what I am dealing with. And when I get all the facts, when I get all the details of this, rest assured that I will discuss this with you and tell you how it is, tell you everything there is, maybe more than you want to know about this. You can believe me and trust me on that. I don't want to answer any questions about it now, as I say, until I know exactly what I'm dealing with, and at that point I will fill you all in.

Pretty weird, huh? To say that it's not exactly a denial is almost beside the point.

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