I am proud to be a radio talk show host. It's what I always wanted to do. When I worked at music stations, it was always, "Shut up and play the music." (Now, it's, "Shut up and play the bumper music, you liberal puke.") When I finally found my niche as a radio talker I never looked back, and never regretted the efforts it took to land good jobs in good markets after years of suffering the indignities of tough bosses, low pay and less-than-stellar living conditions as a result, in locations that I prayed would not be permanent.
But now, dues-paying no longer involves years of polishing your act, creating and organizing archives of your shows for demo purposes, and being willing to move up the food chain of radio stations hoping, usually against hope, to one day strike gold in a town that actually has more people than livestock.
Oliver North developed a respectable career as a talker. G. Gordon Liddy did the same. But would they have even been on the radar had they not made news in the first place in not the most desirable way? Even one-time church secretary Jessica Hahn, the woman who brought down Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's PTL Club, had a gig as a radio host after gaining notoriety. Most recently, the now-ex governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich had a one-day stint filling in on Chicago's powerhouse outlet, WLS.
And now, let us welcome American's next would-be radio star, convicted Congressman Bob Ney. Three years after pleading guilty to federal corruption charges, after serving 17 months of a 30 month sentence, Bob Ney begins hostng a daily show on WVLY in the Ohio Valley.
I offer Congressman Ney good wishes in developing his new career. Talk Radio is a noble profession, one in which I'm honored to participate. It is noble not just because of what it can be when utilized properly, but because it has offered many the road to something in which I truly believe: redemption. Best of luck, Congressman. Wear that microphone proudly.