I hate to agree with the less-than-likeable Bill O'Reilly but when he called shock jock Neal Boortz "a vicious son of a bitch," the Fox News host got it absolutely right.
Thus it is with profound satisfaction that I note the impending retirement of Boortz after four decades in radio.
After all, this is a fellow, who, as I noted in my 2008 book Shock Jocks: Hate Speech & Talk Radio, once suggested giving "a box of nuclear waste" as a "going away present" to Mexican immigrants, adding that we "tell 'em it can -- it'll heat tortillas." This is a fellow who referred to Islam as "a deadly virus" and a "creeping mold infestation;" a fellow who compares Muslims to cockroaches and calls U.S representatives like Cynthia McKinney "a ghetto slut" and "welfare drag queen;" a fellow who called Hurricane Katrina victims "complete bums, just debris." I could go on but I won't -- especially since Boortz soon won't either, thankfully!
There's only one problem, though -- he's going to be replaced on his syndicated talk show by none other than former Republican presidential buffoon Herman Cain. "Mr. Boortz. Your announcement was pure Boortz," the ever-articulate Cain quipped while quaffing a celebratory glass of champagne. "Neal is my brother from another mother."
Fittingly, Cain will take over on the same day that the next president is officially inaugurated. Here's hoping it WON'T be Cain's other brother, Mitt Romney...
Boortz, 67, has been the longest running talk show host on Atlanta radio, and is heard on about 240 radio stations nationwide. Industry bible Talkers magazine estimates that he has more than six million listeners a week, which ties him with Laura Ingraham for seventh place among all in the genre.
Boortz entered the national Radio Hall of Fame in 2009 -- and the Shock Jock Hall of Shame long beforehand! He will continue to do daily commentaries for Cain and will be a fill in for both him and fellow conservative talker Erick Erickson -- but other than that, we can all join Herman Cain in a toast as we drink to the downfall of Neal Boortz...
Rory O'Connor's newest book, Friends, Followers and the Future: How Social Media are Changing Politics, Threatening Big Brands, and Killing Traditional Media, has just been published by City Lights.