Let’s face it, things are not going very well for right-wing radio these days. Rush Limbaugh has been reduced to a national laughingstock, while Sean Hannity is best known for simply repeating talking points handed to him by the RNC. Where is the innovation? The fight? The good ol’-fashioned hatred that will sustain the righties into a new era?
Minnesotans know KTLK as the radio station that made the head-scratching decision to abandon reasonable talk and go to an all-right-wing-nonsense-all-the-time format right before the collapse of the Republican party. With the aforementioned Limbaugh and Hannity, along with Jason “North Carolina is Infinitely Superior to Minnesota, What With its Low Taxes and Family Values, Which is Why I’m Getting the Hell Out of There and Coming Back to the Cities” Lewis, KTLK is the sort of radio dinosaur that would have been really popular in 1994, but now languishes down with KOOL-108 (the oldies station) in the ratings.
But Chris Baker aims to change all that. The new morning drive host and Texas import is making a name for himself nationally, and doing it the old-fashioned way: by saying crazy crap.
You may remember Baker from his previous assertion that basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson had faked testing positive for HIV, because as everyone remembers, in the early 1990s nothing was cooler than pretending to have AIDS. Now, most radio hosts would kill to have just one crazy statement like that, driving the ratings and whipping up conservative resentment of multimillionaire basketball players who have spent their retirement building up the poorer areas of Los Angeles through investment. But not Chris! No, he’s just getting started.
According to the George Soros-controlled Media Matters, in his brief time in Minneapolis Baker has:
- Said that the murder of transwoman Latiesha Green was the media’s fault, saying, “I believe the media and the rest of the enablers out there, they have this guy’s [sic] blood on their hands because they create this false sense of reality and they enable people who need serious psychological counseling.” Because nothing says Liberal Media Conspiracy like the argument that people should be able to live their lives without being shot.
- Said, “I don’t think homeless people should vote. Frankly. In fact, I have to be very honest. I’m not that excited about women voting, to be honest.” Honestly!
- Suggested his gal Sarah Palin “shoulda had a little cleavage going” during her debate with Joe Biden. (Thank goodness she didn’t, it could have killed Rich Lowry.) Baker continued to show the kind of not-sexism that the GOP showered upon their veep, saying “[S]how your stuff, you know what I’m saying? Use all your assets….By the way, I noticed a panty line on her. … When they turned to walk to the podium, I saw a panty line.”
- Said of Code Pink protesters, “I’ll tell you, though, in the speech — the best part of the speech was when those Code Pink nuts — another bunch that ought to have all their tubes tied. All right? I can’t stand these Code Pink broads.”
- Called Thomas Beatie, the transman who has become pregnant twice, a “mutilated lesbian.”
- And while he didn’t say it himself, he promoted a video of a pastor who called Barack Obama’s mother “trash” for having a child with a black man.
Heckuva guy, huh? He also, just for the record, argued for the use of ax handles and machine guns against RNC protesters who, as far as I can tell, broke a window at Macy’s and…well, that’s it. Misogynistic, transphobic, racist — I assume homophobic, since it really is part and parcel of that worldview.
Of course, Baker is hardly alone in using sexism and hate to sell his agenda — it’s pretty much expected on the right. But for a guy to do so much in such a short time…well, it’s inspiring to all the hatchet men and haters on the right. Baker has set a high bar for his fellow wingnuts to clear. And I shudder to think what he’ll do next. Because while I suspect Baker doesn’t believe half the stuff that comes out of his mouth, we all know that a lot of his listeners do — and Baker has given the thumbs-up to violence against women and transpeople, given the green light to attacking liberal protesters. He’s opened the door to a lot of hate and evil. But that’s what the best right-wing talkers do, now, isn’t it?