A radio show I did 10 years ago in Salt Lake City (and Washington DC and Phoenix) called the Nightside Project came to an end tonight. We were set to be syndicated nationally but the company changed course. One of the things I was most proud of was using the power of the airwaves to bring about change and boy did we. Because of the pushing of what we called the "Puppy Torture Bill" it is now a felony in the state of Utah to abuse an animal. Then Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr was a partner all along and he signed the bill into law.
Streaming on Hulu on September 17
I hope Garry Shandling knew how everyone felt about him while he was here. It says everything about the life you lived when the tributes come in after your death. I met him numerous times either at press events like the one above or set visits to "The Larry Sanders Show". He was always gracious and FUNNY. This year it seems we are losing a legend a day. It's is part of getting older i suppose. It reminds us of our own mortality and that our time here is short. It is also a reminder that tomorrow may never come so we have to make the best of what we have and who we have TODAY. Forgive. Forget. Move on. Take chances.
Here are my remarks on the air the other day. If there are typos (my pet peeve) they are there because I wrote for air in a fit of passion. If you want to hear the on-air segment CLICK HERE
Never before in our lifetime have we witnessed what we are seeing now in politics. You would have to go back to the days of former Alabama governor George Wallace and his hate filled ill-fated bid for the white house in 1972. He was stopped by an assassin’s bullet that left him paralyzed for the rest of his life. Wallace’s political history included standing in the entrance of a school to block black students from enrolling during the 60’s. In one of his most famous speeches the avowed segregationist said, “I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”
The leading candidate for the Republican Party has brought back the hate and fear of those dark days in our history by his ham-handed handling of the KKK/David Duke endorsement. He knew what he was doing. He didn't want to lose a single vote … even if those votes came wrapped in white sheets. His hate puppets have been on cable news trying to convince those who are still free thinking that we are seeing and hearing things that didn't actually get broadcasted live … around the world. It’s US you see … not him. The other night on CNN, I looked into the eyes of Democratic strategist Donna Brazille as she sat through yet another dark and troubling Trump-splanation by one of his bots. She happens to be African American. What I saw in her eyes wasn't anger … or a twinkle at the absurdity of it all … what I saw was anguish … and a woman who was exhausted at the thought that we were still having this conversation in 2016.
This was followed by another interview by another African American pundit Van Jones the next night on CNN. He pled with another Trumpeteer to get the candidate to tone down the rhetoric … if anything for young children like Jones’s 7-year-old daughter. Jeffrey Lord, a former Reagan official, stayed tone deaf, playing the usual political record over and over again. How this man invokes Reagan’s name while working for trump is beyond me. It sickens me. While I didn't work in the administration, I WAS reporting during the Reagan White House and Donald Trump is no Ronald Reagan.
It is clear after Super Tuesday that the path was blocked for the man that I thought could be a unifier on the GOP side Ohio governor John Kasich, leaving Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Both men have made a vow that topping their agenda is the over turning of the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality. How they intended to do that doesn't matter … those were the first words out of their mouths victory speech after victory speech. Ok…in Rubio’s case it was after every defeat.
There is a trust that you have in me listening everyday … and I in you. We don’t always agree … but in our country that is allowed. I have never said this on the air before…I guess out of decades long fear … and even perhaps cowardice. But I will today. I am gay.
A friend described my being in the closet for years as carrying around a backpack filled with bricks. He was right. It was exhausting. I didn't come out to my dad until just before he died. Telling other family and friends wasn't easy. I worried about the little people in my life and what they would think … It gave me pause if I would hear someone tell a gay joke thinking there wasn't one of THOSE in the room. It hurt. It hurt A LOT. So I kept quiet for a lot of years.
I am not going to keep quiet today. I have a responsibility sitting behind this microphone to speak up … not just for myself, but also for others who don't have a voice and especially when someone is hell bent on taking away rights enjoyed by everybody else. No … it’s not an attack on Christianity … that’s doublespeak to silence those who are different. So sayeth this Christian. So that leaves us a tough choice for 2016 … as Lindsay Graham recently said … (SOUNDBITE) “Dishonest beats crazy”
You and I know that Donald Trump doesn't have the stability to be president. He is a fraud and a con man. He might have started with those who wanted to buy a condo or a university student who hoped to better themselves or perhaps a small business thinking they would be paid only to be told bankruptcy had been declared and their small business would have to fold … but now ... this is the big leagues. When I see HARDCORE Republicans talking about going over to the “dark side” to vote for Hillary, I understand. This is not an endorsement ... far from it. I think she has a problem telling the truth … every answer seems to have been run through a committee and tested with a focus group. But what in the hell are we left with as a choice?
This isn't about left and right any more. It isn't about “taking our country back,” it is about doing the right thing and SAVING our country from a dangerous, narcissistic, megalomaniac. I don't have to repeat what he has laid out in simple bumper sticker hate speech … about women … or Muslims … or Latino’s or killing the first amendment…or our American hero John McCain. He would literally shutt down my ability to give this very talk on the radio … yes … here in the United States of America … nor would I hope to have to remind you of the pictures of a young black protester being shoved and jostled at a trump rally in Kentucky this week. The only thing missing was black and white film and Bull Conner standing by with a fire hose …
What I will remind you of is this quote, which paraphrased reads: "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
We learned. We know … it is now up to us not to repeat it. We are better than that. Speak up … that is what being a patriot REALLY MEANS.
Ahhhh Dhani Harrison in a #ripcity hat! #Portland loves that @thenewno2 ! @georgeharrisonofficial #georgefest album/movie out on @amazon today
Go get it tonight @leonardodicaprio ! Should have had one in 94 for #gilbertgrape as well! #oscars2016 🍾
#kim and #kanyewest forever - now send him money!
#cometogether is also my top choice #thebeatles photo by @lindamccartney