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Know When To Fold 'Em

by Steve Young

Steve Young columns

Oh, Bill, Bill. Don't you know how you play this game? You're never supposed to deal the race card. That's left for you to blame on Blacks and Dems. But this time they played you, Bill. You dealt the race card from the bottom of the deck and they called. You said "hit me" and they did.

I know you feel that you've been dealt a bad hand. That your speculation "I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose -- you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down," was taken out of context. Well, Bill. Just your luck, I listened to the entire segment and the only thing your comments were "taken out of" was your mouth. And since you talk about a good a game as you play, maybe it's time you just take your losses and get out of the radio talk game.

You've been behind the mike at the Salem network for a couple years. The same Salem that runs the lowest- rated talk station in L.A. Even rated lower than the five month-old liberal talker -- my very own KTLK-AM 1150. I know it's not the same Salem where they drowned innocent people who were said to be witches. Then again, I do hear tell that the likes of you and your compatriots (Savage, Ingram, Medved, etc.) have been known to throw false accusations into the pool and if they float -- you know, like crap -- you say it's the truth.

You defended your remarks by saying that you were just referring to a debate you had with Stephen Levitt, the author of Freakonomics, where you said that Levitt used race to discuss crime. That would be a good defense, except for the fact that it isn't true. In the talk radio business, we call that spin. In the real world we call it... a lie. Levitt even said in that debate and in his book that race does NOT play a part in crime.

What Levitt and his co-author, Stephen Dubner, argued, was that aborted fetuses would have been more likely to grow up poor and in single-parent or teenage-parent households and therefore more likely to commit crimes. You're the one who jumped to the race card. Busted. Lying when the truth is still available is like hitting on eighteen. It's a stupid call and it doesn't make the rest of the players at your table any happier, You blow it and they all have to reveal their cards.

You said that this week there has been a campaign to take your comments out of context, totally reversing your meaning. Have you ever listened to your station? I know not many do. But how in the world can you be upset with anyone taking your remarks out of context to reverse your meaning? You guys at Salem have made it a cottage industry. Without doing that you and your network would be practically speechless. You and the other Lords of Loud have made taking remarks out of context and reversing the meaning into a science -- or maybe I should say you've turned it into an "intelligent design."

To say that you are a raving hypocrite would be unfair and demeaning to all raving hypocrites. If you were truly not a hypocrite, you would have prefaced every comment this week with "I know I and my compatriots at Salem do this all the time, but it's really upsetting when it happens to me. " But you didn't, so that makes you worse than those who you say blaspheme you.

But let's stick on the abortion angle for a moment. Here's my question:

If we had aborted all Republican politicians, would there also be no crimes?

If we had aborted all hypocritical blowhards on right-wing talk, would there be any right-wing talk?

The odd thing here is that you, just like your lying buds, cause the greatest amount of harm -- and not to liberals or Democrats, because they all know of your distortions. The greatest damage is to your loyal listeners -- both of them -- when they discovered that you think so little of them that don't trust them with the entire truth. And when that happens, Mr. Virtue, it's time to fold. If I were you, I'd bet on it.

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Albion Monitor September 28, 2005 (

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