Skip to comments.How to get Fired, by Michael Graham
Posted on 08/24/2005 11:08:41 AM PDT by Tatze
How to get fired
August 23, 2005
If I had called the Catholic Church a haven for pedophiles because I believed their doctrine of priestly celibacy caused pedophilia, I would still have my talk-radio job today.
If I had called the Christian faith a terror-sponsoring organization because of abortion-clinic and Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph, I would still be an employee of the ABC Radio Company. I know, because I hear these arguments made in the media nearly every day.
But instead, I made the one move certain to endanger my career: I told the truth about a minority group. And in the politically correct nation we live in today, that's the fast track to the unemployment line.
Yes, I've been fired.
I was fired, according to the termination letter I received from ABC Radio, for "offensive" comments I made on the air regarding Islam and terrorism. Coincidentally, all of the comments deemed offensive by the Council of American-Islamic Relations were listed in my ABC disciplinary memo.
I was also fired, according to ABC management, for my refusal to apologize for said comments. They further ordered me to agree to "additional outreach efforts" to those offended by my opinions. Would I be flipping burgers at the local mosque? Singing "Kumbaya" with CAIR? Hugs for Hamas? Management wouldn't say.
Obviously, I refused this generous offer to throw my principles out the window. What kind of talk-radio host goes on the air and apologizes for giving his honest opinion? Who wants to hear the views of a pundit who agrees to change his opinions just to keep his job?
And given that the vast majority of my listeners supported me my former radio station was flooded with some 15,000 supportive emails and phone calls in 48 hours what kind of moron would then slap his supporters in the face by telling them on the air "You know what? I'm a bigot, and all y'all are, too!"
When I was suspended without pay a month ago, my smartest and closest friends told me, "Graham, relax. This is all going to blow over. They are never going to fire you over this. C'mon-this is CAIR we're talking about!"
And it's true that few public advocacy groups have as little legitimacy or credibility as the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Some of their members have been jailed for terrorism. Others have been deported. They are still reluctant to criticize Hamas and Hezbollah, and it took them three weeks after 9/11 to condemn Al Qaeda!
Getting drummed out of talk radio by CAIR is like being chased out of your junior-high teacher's job by the guys at the North American Man-Boy Love Association.
But here I am, looking for another job.
Here's the bizarre part: I started my on-air conversation about the unique, tragic relationship between Islam and terrorism on the day of the second London subway bombing. No one at ABC Radio objected to my comments.
I repeated the comments on Friday. Again, no problem. Same thing on Monday. Tuesday, I spent my entire three-hour show at the request of ABC management talking about modern Islam as a terrorist organization.
And for that, I was suspended and fired. What happened? How did the words that were insignificant one Thursday suddenly become unforgivable the next?
It was all about CAIR. Late that Monday they sent out press releases, called advertisers, complained of my "hate radio" to ABC. By Thursday, ABC had capitulated and suspended me, and CAIR immediately sent out a press release insisting ABC hadn't gone far enough and I had to be fired. Eventually, I was.
Meanwhile, more listeners stood by me, not a single advertiser pulled their ads, and I had more positive press coverage than Hillary at a National Organization of Women convention. In a business that depends on listeners, advertisers and publicity, you'd think we'd be talking bonuses, not termination.
But this is the trick to getting fired while doing your job well. All you have to do is offend members of those special castes we have declared un-offendable. No other groups will do.
For example, to lose your radio gig for offending Catholics, you have to go so far as to having a couple engaged in on-air, non-immaculate conception in the back of a cathedral (Opie and Anthony). To get chased off the radio waves for offending families with kids riding in the car, you have to have explicit, "how-to" conversations involving lesbians, vegetables and petroleum by-products (Howard Stern). To get fired for offending Christian evangelicals, you have to
Actually, that's not possible. You can publicly dismiss all evangelicals as people of limited intellect who are easily led, and you'll be defended on the New York Times editorial page.
But point out obvious, indisputable facts about Islam, and you might as well log on to Monster.com and start sending out resumes.
Think about this: Dan Rather went on the air with a story based on a fake Air National Guard memo, lied about the steps taken at CBS to "authenticate" it, and after he was caught dead in a lie, still maintained that the bogus story was true and he kept his job!
I gave an honest, reason-based opinion about the challenges facing Islam, quoted facts, polls and public comments accurately and I was fired.
This is the new, mainstream media standard for employment: You are far more likely to get fired for telling the truth than you are for telling a lie.
Radio-talk host Michael Graham is a political commentator and author of Redneck Nation.
©2005 Michael Graham
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