Remembering 9/11: When New York Sports Radio Blamed the Attacks on Jews

As vivid as my memory of 9/11/01 is the memory of the hatred expressed by two sports radio hosts known as Mike and the Mad Dog, the very next day, hatred the two continue to deny and that WFAN, their radio station covered up.

After driving into Manhattan on the day after the attack (Wednesday) we told everyone who showed up at the office to take the rest of the week off. America was in shock, New Yorkers were in shock, and my team was certainly in shock. Let’s face it with there was no way anyone could concentrate on something as trivial such as a children’s magazine (at the time I was the publisher of Nickelodeon Magazine) after such a tragedy.

That 9/12 drive home is scorched into my memory as much as the 9/11 drive described yesterday.  Not because of the still-opaque black curtain still obscuring the view of downtown Manhattan, or the sandpaper-like air that still filled my lungs every time I inhaled, but for the hatred coming from the car radio. Instead of trying to unite the country against the terrorist threat of al Qaeda, hosts of one of the top radio shows in afternoon drive, in the biggest radio market in America, spewed venom against a relatively tiny ethnic group in America. Normally that kind of hatred would lead to a suspension. However, rather than discipline Mike and the Mad Dog, their cash cows, the radio station covered up the incident by “conveniently” losing the tape of that day’s show.

Sixteen years later these hosts have never acknowledged their mistake and have never apologized. Even worse, they ignore the truth and deny what they did (one of them denied it as recently as Sept. 2016).

As I did every drive home, on Sept. 12th the car radio was tuned to NY Sports radio station WFAN. A good thing about leaving early was getting to listen to station’s afternoon stars, Mike Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo (the show was called Mike and the Mad Dog) These two were entertaining, not only because of their extensive sports knowledge, but because  there was always an undercurrent of tension because an argument could spring up at any moment (the two didn’t seem to enjoy each other’s company).

This day the day after the attack on American soil these two agreed. They agreed to launch a fact deprived commentary blaming both Israel and American Jews for the attack on America the day before.

As they went on Russo opined (and Francesca agreed) that American Jews needed to prove their loyalty as Americans; choose between Israel, which Mike called “a failed experiment,” and the U.S. The two bigots suggested Jews in America should take a loyalty oath to the country to prove that they were loyal to the US and not Israel.

How did WFAN react to this blatant Antisemitism? Suspension? On-air apologies? After all this is the station that six years later fired Don Imus their morning drive host and number one money-maker. Imus was fired for joking the Rutgers girls’ basketball team were a bunch of “nappy-headed hos.”  For the 9/12 display of bigotry, WFAN reacted by sweeping their comments under the rug, their two cash-cow of bigots denied it ever happened, and the station even claimed they “lost” the tape of the day’s programming…

 

Read the Rest of this Disturbing Story at the Lid…

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