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Jewish World Review June 23, 2003 / 23 Sivan 5763

Steve Young

Steve Young
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AN OPEN LETTER TO AL GORE: I Pledge To Be A Great Liberal Talk Show Host | Dear Al,

I understand that you are seriously considering participation in a liberal talk radio and/or cable television network. While conservative talk radio has ramped into high gear to say why it won't work, I here and now officially declare myself available to you and the progressive boys as the best hope for the success of Liberal Radio.

Why me? Three reasons. One: My never ending commitment in studying the absolute success of conservative talk hosts.

Two: My willingness to abandon any inkling of principle to become someone people will unconditionally support no matter how wrong I might be.

Three: You'll never get Sean Hannity to switch.

So to prove my determination to do whatever is necessary to become the media darling of the Left, I make the following pledge:

I pledge to interrupt and diatribe over any adversarial opinion as good as the Right, that is if I ever choose to give adversarial opinions an opportunity.

I pledge to write a book that I can plug ad infinitum and bring on Democratic authors with books to plug, almost as much. I will write additional books about how Conservatives have ruined the country (I don't believe they have but I do have to consider the ratings). After my most recent book is published, I will immediately start writing another.

I pledge to make passionate predictions and when they don't come true I will act as if it never crossed my mind. In fact after a prediction doesn't come about I might just say I predicted the opposite of what I did predict.

I pledge that if a Democratic President is ever elected I will defend him by categorizing all who doubt him (or her) as anti-American.

I pledge to open my show with an insufferable, protracted diatribe reiterating my point of view; the same point of view that I've reiterated every single day before. I will vary it a bit though not so much that I force my listeners to think.

I pledge that while my arguments may be based on a faulty supposition, the logic that follows will be not be. In this way by the time I finish talking (and that will take quite a while), no one will be able to remember what the inaccuracies were.

I pledge to be against things. This is not a concept I will take lightly. Being for something garners the kind of ratings that necessitate public funds and the graveyard shift on NPR. Railing against brings out the passion AND the audience; the fans who will follow me into war. The fans who will call other shows and talk about me. The legions who'll write letters espousing my wisdom and shout my name on Larry King; devotees who will be willing to pay big bucks to see my kisser in person when I do my tour; disciples who will buy my books.

I pledge to unmercifully drive my dislike for something or someone into the ground. I'm talking about using a wood on the green, pedal to the medal, tear down the park and put up a parking lot. If I have nothing to rail against, I will demean the Hollywood Righties. I know they are out there and I will say so incessantly so my listeners will believe it too.

I pledge to always get the last word even when I say the caller will get it.

I pledge to articulate closing rhetorical questions at the drop of a hat or at least after I've hung up on the caller.

I pledge to never let a argumentative caller know I've hung up on them so that they'll be jabbering away for twenty minutes before they realize they're not on the air. (That, in fact, is the real reason why we tell them to turn their radio down. I swear, it's a hoot.)

I pledge to hire a call screener who will only let through supporters of my position, or even better, lame defenders of the opposition. He will be sharp enough to differentiate between real fans who are only calling to agree and those who are faking it.

I pledge that if I do let a contrary caller through I will pounce on him like a female tiger on a distracted gazelle. I will let him state his point, then rip him a new one.

I pledge to keep guests to an absolute minimum and when they do come on I will not ask them any questions. In fact, I will try to not to let them talk at all.

I pledge to always take credit for being at the forefront if not totally responsible for any positive change in the world and when things don't happen the way I forecasted I pledge never to apologize.

Most important, I pledge to hire an attractive associate producer who is a Conservative so that my show will always be fair and balanced. I think I'll call her "Flipper," or "Tipper." Whatever you want.

So, whataya think, Al? Forget about Franken, Carville and Moore. I have the demo ready and I'm willing to start on the graveyard shift, that is if the network makes it to midnight.

JWR contributor Steve Young, Prism Award winner and Humanitas Prize nominee for his television writing, is contributing editor at the Writers Guild of America's "Written By" magazine. He is the author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful: Mistakes, Adversity, Failure and Other Stepping Stones to Success," "The 130 Tales of Winchell Mink," Harper Collins (Winter, 2003) and the director/writer of "My Dinner With Ovitz." His website is Comment by clicking here.

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© 2002, Steve Young