On Thursday Lidblog posted remembrances of that horrible day that changed the world, 9/11/01. It’s important to continue the story because September 12th is also imbued with memories of hatred, but a different kind.
That 9/12 drive home is scorched into my memory as much as the 9/11 drive described yesterday. also. 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 an ethnic group in America. Normally that kind of hatred would lead to a suspension. However, rather than discipline their cash cows, the radio station covered up the incident by “conveniently” losing the tape of that day’s show.
Fifteen 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. These two were entertaining, not only because of their extensive sports knowledge, but because listeners could tell these two really hated each other; there was always an undercurrent of tension because an argument could spring up at any moment.
This day however, 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…