Best Radio Personality (2003)
Neil Rogers WQAM-AM (560)
Since the 2000 presidential ¨election¨ was stolen from Al Gore and our current administration has waged a holy war on ¨Terra,¨ the schism between the left and the right has gotten wider and wider. What´s worse, the so-called ¨liberal¨ media, including TV news programs and talk radio shows, have become all-too-eager cheerleaders for the right wing, uncritically gobbling up whatever morsels of misinformation Karl Rove dishes out. And talk radio? (Sigh.) Yes, it´s entertainment, and most of its listeners are people who don´t have anything better to do with their time during the day, and talk-radio hosts take on extremist viewpoints merely to keep the phones lighted up. But frankly, it´s disconcerting that so damn many of our countrymen find bilious hatemongers like Limbaugh, Savage, and Schlesinger to be ¨entertaining.¨ Luckily for left-leaning types, there is hope: Neil Rogers, the self-proclaimed ¨fat fag,¨ is the most effective liberal voice on the radio (not that there´s much competition), despite a brand of humor that many critics decry as racist. Case in point: Last October, after singer/activist Harry Belafonte slammed Secretary of State Colin Powell, likening his fellow Jamaican-American to a ¨house slave,¨ Neil launched an attack on National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, calling her the ¨resident house Negro,¨ and played a song parody containing lines like, ¨Is you their black-haired answer-mammy who be smart?¨ and ¨Does they like how you shine their shoes, Condoleezza? Or the way you wash and park the whiteys´ cars?¨ Whew! Brutal stuff -- so harsh that the station decided to apologize after some right-wing media types (NewsMax, Fox News) applied pressure. And yet the NAACP was silent on the issue. Hmm. How could that be? Perhaps because this cranky old nonobservant Jew was giving voice to what many black people are thinking about that woman, Ms. Rice? Thanks, Uncle Neil.