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May 21, 2024 64 mins

Robert is joined by Tom Reimann to discuss Joe Pyne.




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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Fl media. Hey everybody, Robert here, and if you haven't
heard recently, about a month ago, my dad took very ill,
maybe more like two months ago now, and I wound
up spending almost a solid month in Texas in the
ICU with him every day and eventually hospice. The short
answer to this is that he passed and I did

not get him a lot of work done for a while.
So we are taking another rewind week next week. It'll
be new content again, new content for the foreseeable future
after this, but we're taking one more week so that
I can get back ahead on stuff. And I decided
to run this series of three episodes that we did
a couple of years back with Tom Ryman about some

of the first right wing talk show grifter types, you know,
the guys who really like set the stage for people
like Tucker Carlson. And I wanted to do that because Tom,
unfortunately is also dealing with a health scare for somebody
close to him. His wife, Marina, who's also a wonderful person,
a longtime friend of mine, has a high risk pregnancy

and is going to be in the hospital for probably
the foreseeable future until she has the kid. She got
seven months in right now, so it's a sketchy situation
for them unfortunately, and they are in need of some
money to help cover their medical bills. So if you
want to help out these two great people, and if
you don't know Tom, check out Gamefully Unemployed. That's his

podcast network. They do a lot of great TV show
movie reviews. They have a great show about the X
Files about how Crazy Fox Molder is where they go
through every episode. It's one of my favorite things to
listen to. But if you want to help them out,
go to support Marina's High Risk pregnancy journey on go
fund Me. You can just google go fund me, support
Marina's High Risk Pregnancy Journey and donate there. So thank

you all very much. We will be back with new
stuff next week. But we've got three great rewinds for
you this week. If you haven't listened to them before,
you will enjoy them. If you have, why not listen
to In What Desperately Horny My Saddam Hussein's Best Friend,

I'm Robert Evans hosted Behind the Bastards, the only podcast
whose host owns two kittens named Saddam Hussein and Saddam
Hussein's best friend and due to a severe veterinarian shortage
in northern Oregon, still can't get them spaded and nuted
for another nine days. And Saddam Hussein's best friend is
in heat and desperately trying to fuck her brother.

Speaker 2 (02:32):
This has been an update for all.

Speaker 1 (02:33):
That didn't you have to like maybe she didn't disclose
that information. Now you're she has been disclosing that she
wants to fuck to literally every living creature that gets
near her.

Speaker 3 (02:43):
If she had a microphone, she'd be saying the same thing.
She will not stop presenting, and she did not. It
is it has been a problem. We are keeping them
away because I do not want incest kittens. Although they
may have been incestc there's no way to know in sittons.

Speaker 2 (03:00):
Yeah, like Robert, who is a lot of other voice
on this podcast that people are here?

Speaker 1 (03:07):
Oh well, the only person I would ever have on
to talk about kitten incest my friend Tom Ryman.

Speaker 2 (03:12):
Hello, Hey, Hi.

Speaker 3 (03:14):
What's up. No, I'm glad you got me on to
talk about these cats.

Speaker 1 (03:17):
This is going to be a three hour episode about
my cat's sex life. Tom, you are the co founder
of Gamefully Unemployed, one of my favorite podcast networks hosts.
One of my most listened to shows, Fox Molder is
a Maniac, which is a beautiful breakdown of a Fox
Molder and what a goddamn Lunatiki is.

Speaker 3 (03:39):
Yeah, Tom, it's really fascinating when you watch the show
with that context.

Speaker 2 (03:44):
It changes the show. It truly does.

Speaker 1 (03:47):
You guys do a lot of great stuff, great movie reviews,
and oh thanks, role playing games. People can find you
gamefully unemployed on Patreon. Tom, you also are what an
editor at Collider? Forget what a senior editor of features
a Collider? And you and I worked together for all

of my twenties more or less at a little website
called Cracked that pivoted to video and uh and went
the way of the Dodo.

Speaker 3 (04:17):
We got, we got, we got dragged to hell by
Mark Zuckerberg. Yeah. I didn't come across a beautiful tweet
earlier today that you'll appreciate.

Speaker 2 (04:25):

Speaker 3 (04:26):
Oh good, Yeah, I can't wait to hear it. Great radio,
great radio. Yeah, I look for something and Neil dash
Horse broke its legs, so we had to take it
out back and help it pivot to video.

Speaker 2 (04:43):
Oh Tom, how are you doing today?

Speaker 3 (04:45):
I'm doing okay, I'm doing pretty good. Thanks. Uh, you know,
how about how about you? How about yourself?

Speaker 1 (04:50):
Well, Tom, I'm thinking about the fact that there is
a vast, incredibly well financed right wing media operation that
is seemingly dedicated to pushing a violent civil conflict that
leads to a death toll that's truly astronomical in this nation.

Speaker 2 (05:07):
Do you think about that a lot?

Speaker 3 (05:08):
So good? Right, So you're doing good, doing great? Uh, yeah, no,
I've tried to think about it less. But in the
past few months. Just yeah, I was trying to take
a break, but I'm getting plugged back into it.

Speaker 2 (05:22):
You sure are, And it's yeah, god, damn it.

Speaker 3 (05:26):
It's just it's just it doesn't seem like anything's gotten
any better. It sure hasn't. It's fucking relentless. And there's
this the election. We're like, oh, thank god, and then nope,
that that didn't go away.

Speaker 1 (05:36):
Yeah, no, it turns out that you can't. You can't
vote these kind of problems away. And today we're going
to talk about where some of these problems started. Specifically,
we're going to talk about the men who made right
wing media, and particularly like right wing talk media. So
today you've got guys like Stephen Crowder, uh Be Shapiro obviously,

Tucker Carlson being the big, the big Mamma Jammy. You
had people like Rush Limball, like.

Speaker 3 (06:03):
All of all three of those people, all four of
those people you just name got picked dead last for
Kickball for very different reasons. Yeah, they did, and they
made it the entire world's problem.

Speaker 1 (06:16):
Yes, So all of these folks, you know, some of
the all they all do slightly different variations of the
same thing. And they're not all you know, Rush is
the only one who's like really a talk radio host,
but they all have you know, podcasts and YouTube. They
all do the modern equivalent of talk radio and and
of like, yeah, we're gonna talk about basically the the

people who invented the media space that these guys all
live in. Now, these are the very first right wing
media personalities in a big way. So these are these
are the people who prepared the soil for all of
the different, you know, kind of quasi fascist grifters we
have today. And they are they're not all bastards in

the traditional sense. They're not all people who, on their own,
if you didn't consider where everything went, would have qualified
as bastards. They're all, I think, unpleasant people, But I
think what's interesting is how they how they start off
and kind of where they end, Like the kind of
people who inhabit this space at the beginning and the
kind of people who inhabit it now. So this is
gonna be a fun episode time. You're gonna listen to

a lot of clips that you're just really gonna dislike.

Speaker 3 (07:25):
Oh good, ah, yeah, so excited, so pumped. Yeah, I'm
gonna be so mad soon. Yeah wait, you really are so.

Speaker 1 (07:36):
One of the things that inspired this was coming across
the fact that Tucker Carlson very recently alleged that the
purpose of vaccine requirements in the military was to quote
identify the sincere Christians in the ranks, the freethinkers, the
men with height, testosterone levels, and anybody else who doesn't
love Joe Biden and make them leave immediately. Fuck is
he talking about he's getting into high TI just usterns low.

If you're getting facts, the soy boys, shit, not choking
on your own rotting lungs is soy.

Speaker 3 (08:06):
It's it's become I mean it was, it's always been
the case, but like in the past year or two. Yeah,
it's really become obvious that they just let him go
on and say what happened?

Speaker 2 (08:14):
He just says it's things.

Speaker 3 (08:17):
Yeah, And I'm starting with Tucker because he's he's just
off the fucking rails completely. And this is the end
root of the journey that we're going to trace the
start of today. And the thing that Tucker has been
saying that most concerns me is he started sharing Great
Replacement style conspiracy theists which are alleging that Democrats plan
to quote change the population of this country in order

to maintain power. This is functionally the same argument Brenton Tarrant,
the christ shooter, made in the manifesto he wrote before
shooting fifty Muslim worshippers to death. His manifest was titled
The Great Replacements. The same argument that the yeah, I'm trying,
I'm trying. I'm trying to remember my behind the Bastards
extended universe that all comes from the Turner Diaries, right, I.

Speaker 1 (08:59):
Mean doesn't come for the Turner Diaries was like a
big definitely was pushing that. But this goes back a
while for I mean, you could even draw a line
to like the original Nazis and kind of some of
the shit Hitler was saying about Airyan blood getting watered
down from inner breeding in one for sure.

Speaker 3 (09:13):
Yeah, yeah, it's a big, big white nationalist talking point.

Speaker 1 (09:16):
And the fact that this good went from great replacement
went from like fringe Nazi murderer manifesto in twenty nineteen
to Tucker Carlson talking to three million people on a
major news network in twenty twenty one, shows like how
fast things go now and how how dangerous this all is.
And I think it's important to start the stakes because

it doesn't begin that way. The guys who start this
kind of right wing media space.

Speaker 2 (09:43):
Are in.

Speaker 1 (09:44):
The first guy we're going to talk to is in
a lot always kind of pleasant, at least compared to
what came after. I don't think he's somebody would have
gotten along with.

Speaker 3 (09:51):
But it's don't it's weird. It's weird. We'll see how
you think. Okay, Yeah, And where we discussed this is
probably going to be.

Speaker 1 (09:59):
These episodes me a nice companion to our two parter
on Rush Limbaugh with mister Paul F. Tompkins. So you know,
if you're if you're looking for a good four episodes
spree to go together listen to these two and then
listen to those. Well you're a sweet having a very
long shit or on a road trip. So first guy
we're talking about tom is Joe Pine Pya in the

Joe Pine was born in Chester, Pennsylvania on December twenty second,
nineteen twenty four.

Speaker 3 (10:26):
His dad's problem. It's December twenty second and nineteen twenty four. Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania,
the US. Yeah, get it, get it out of there.
We don't need that state. It's like you look at that,
You look at those those three pieces of information, like
this is like a fifty to fifty shot. This guy's
gonna be real piece of Pennsylvania in the twenties. Yeah,
I December baby.

Speaker 2 (10:48):
Fuck that.

Speaker 1 (10:52):
His dad was a brickmaker and his mom was a mom,
which was pretty much the only job most women could
expect to work at that point in time and place.
When Joe was little, his family moved to Atlantic City,
which is like Las Vegas, but less fun and much
sadder because it's on the East coast. Here's a good
Bruce Springsteen song about that. He had a difficult childhood.

Joe had a pronounced stutter, and kids back then were
even shitty about such things than they are today. He
was bullied relentlessly. When Joe was eleven, he lost his
younger brother to an auto accident, which was not uncommon
in those days because cars didn't crumple and seat belts
were but a fever dream in Ralph Nader's eye. By
the time Joe was a teenager, his family left Atlantic City,

which is always a good decision, and moved back to Chester,
which is a more questionable decision. It's all they knew.
It's all they knew.

Speaker 3 (11:42):
We're going to pile the family into our giant, unstoppable
seat beltless car and drive back to Chester.

Speaker 1 (11:49):
He went to high school, and he joined the Marines
in nineteen forty two, which was a popular decision at
the time. He joined as early as he possibly Yeah.

Speaker 3 (11:57):
Yeah, for whatever reason, a lot of guys in the
military in nineteen forty two must have been good ads.

Speaker 2 (12:05):
Something's about to happen.

Speaker 1 (12:08):
He joined as the early, like the first day he
possibly could, and obviously the US had decided to enter
World War Two at this point. He was deployed against
the Empire of Japan, and he fought in some of
the war's worst battles across the South Pacific. Joe survived
the Battle of Okinawa, which is one of the like, like,
one of the worst fights you could possibly have been

in that war, real bad battle Okinawa. During that battle,
a Japanese plane bombed the forward base he was stationed on,
seriously injuring his knee. He returned home scarred and seasoned
by heavy combat. Joe had won three Bronze Stars for
valor in battle and a purple Heart. So he definitely

saw some shit. This is not one of like the
draft dodgy right wing.

Speaker 3 (12:52):
Guys, right Ben Shapiro writing war fan fiction, like he
win a war and got bombs dropped on his leg.

Speaker 1 (13:00):
Yeah, he saw some of the worst shit you could
have seen in that particular conflict. So he returns home
real fucked up, probably with a head full of PTSD,
But they didn't know PTSD was that they. I'm assuming
he just drank washed it down with cigarettes.

Speaker 3 (13:16):
Real headful of horny cats.

Speaker 1 (13:18):
Yeah, when he got home, he didn't know precisely what
he wanted to do with his life, but he was
certain that it involved putting himself in front of people
and entertaining them. In order to do that, he felt
he would need to deal with his speech impediment first
using his.

Speaker 2 (13:36):
What led him to that decision. I don't know.

Speaker 3 (13:39):
I relentlessly bullied, went to war, got bombed, his dead
brother comes back. He's like, I'm going to be an entertainer.

Speaker 2 (13:45):
I'm going to be an entertainer. I'm gonna be a.

Speaker 3 (13:50):
Where does that impulse come from?

Speaker 1 (13:52):
Yeah, we just don't know enough about his early life
to know, like what the fuck was going on. Maybe
he just wanted to show people my speech impediment doesn't
to find me. I don't know. Sure I beat the
Japanese I can beat stuttering. So, using his GI bill,
Joe enrolled in a drama school. He forced himself through
agonizing hours of live performances in front of his classmates

to overcome his stutter. He locked himself away in his
room and would perform hours and hours of speech drills
every day, and eventually he did overcome his speech impediment.
Once he graduated, Joe became a taxi driver in Chester.
He continued to work on his speech while he was
driving people around. Eventually, he decided he'd come far enough
and he started a career as a broadcaster.

Speaker 3 (14:37):
By this way the Way, the way you phrased that
made it sound like he was doing like his speeches
to his passengers, I think.

Speaker 1 (14:45):
None, give me some notes. I got a tight five.
I'm gonna run it by you. There's no seatbelt better last.

Speaker 2 (14:57):
You are really dependent upon me.

Speaker 1 (15:00):
So he does this, and yeah, he decides he's finished
by like late nineteen forty six, now again nineteen forties.
Radio is king. TV's coming around, but that's still not
the number one way people get entertained. You're really radio
is the top of the top of the world, and

they assume it will be forever. He was able to
convince a station manager in Lumberton, North Carolina, to give
him a job on WTSB. The pay was twenty five
dollars a week, which was not good money even back then,
and he failed to stand out enough that he felt
he had any hope of advancement. So after a year
he returned home dejected, but Joe kept pushing until he

got another job at WPWA in Brookhaven, Pennsylvania. He got
into a vicious argument with his boss while still new
on the job and was quickly fired. Next he moved
to wilm of Wilmington, Delaware, where he was also quickly fired.
Yet you get the feeling he was not easy to
work with at this point. Thankfully email didn't exist, so

these people couldn't tell each other about Joe. He moved
back to Chester after this, and then the Kenosha next
where he got a job with a new network called
w I l P. His job in all of these
places was very straightforward, introduce and play records with a
minimum of fanfare. He was not being hired to be
a personality. He was just put the music on. Yeah,

that was a big part of it. He would riff
a lot. He got in trouble in Kenosha, and I
think he'd gotten in trouble before. He would riff on
politics and current events, which was not what you were
supposed to do at the time. So his bosses are
like nobody, Nobody. People are tuning in to hear I
don't know what the big music is that the big bopper.

Speaker 2 (16:43):
Nobody wants you.

Speaker 3 (16:44):
Nobody gives a shit about what you have to say
to Yeah, put on Shan Telly lace and shut your
fucking mouth. Smoke a cigarette.

Speaker 4 (16:54):

Speaker 1 (16:54):
The kind of riffing that he thought was the future
of radio was simply not done at the time, commenters
were part of the news department and jockeys were not.
Disc Jockeys were there to entertain, and he'd been hired
as a disc jockey. So if you were going to
be a commentator, if you were talking about the news,
you didn't like give your opinion. You tried to just
kind of like read, you know, like the ap wire. Basically, WLP,

though took call ins. Listeners could dial in and request songs,
but Joe started insisting on asking his listeners what they
thought about the political issues of the day, which was
the first time anyone had ever really done that on radio,
like take callins, and he kind of forced the issue
of making them political. One WLP employee at the time
recalled he wanted to chat with them, but in those

days there was no way to put a phone line
on the air. Joe would say uh huh and hmm
and then tell the call the listeners what the callers said.
So this is like this is a very first talk radio.
He's just on the phone with them, be like mmmm,
all right, so here's what he said.

Speaker 3 (17:51):
Let me tell you what Dennis from Yeah and you're
like listening to almost dead air while he's listening to
the versus on the phone.

Speaker 1 (18:00):
But this is literally the birth of talk radio. This
is the first time anybody does this Joe Pine, and
he moves along eventually, and I'm going to explain that process.
I'm going to read a quote from a write up
in Smithsonian Magazine. One caller objected to the young DJ's
pro union opinions. Do you know anything, sir, about the
history of labor management relations, Pine asked the man. After

a moment of dead air, he continued, no, you keep
your voice down. Pine was an expert interrupter, but this
caller barely paused for breath listening. Pine had an idea.
According to Ragani, who worked there, he held the phone
receiver to his microphone. Now the caller was life on
the air and call in radio was born. So that's
nineteen forty nine in Kenosha, Joe Pine invins call in

radio by literally holding a phone up to the mic.

Speaker 3 (18:45):
In fairness, some random dude calling in to request Frankie
Valley who had very strong opinions about labor unions. This
who actually created call radio.

Speaker 2 (18:56):
This guy's such an asshole, I gotta put him on.

Speaker 3 (18:58):
He was so pissed about it. That's a fair point.
You got to hear, what a piece of shit this
guy is. Let me invent a new discipline that will
later ratchet the country towards violence. Yeah, he was born
in stupid anger and it will kill us all with
stupid anger to stupid anger, it will return.

Speaker 2 (19:17):

Speaker 3 (19:18):
Perfect, What a beautiful way for that to get started. Honestly. Yeah,
And I love because this guy gives birth to right
wing radio. But he the start of talk radio is
him trying to defend like the right to unionize, which
is I was I was not expecting that to be
the issue when you said it. I was like, really
that you could be pretty conservative and pro union in

those because it wasn't. It was more racist back then,
obviously everything was, but politics in some ways was less dumb.

Speaker 2 (19:47):
It wasn't.

Speaker 1 (19:47):
It hadn't gotten to the point where it is with
like the right wing left wing conservatism is such a
part of my like identity that like I have this
vested interest in like demonizing anything, like you did have
a lot of u. I mean, like one of the
union strongholds in the US for a long time was
West fucking Virginia. You know, like people like fought to
the death for unions at West Virginia with rifles and

now it's Joe Mansion Country, So well sorry West Virginia.
But like, yeah, the things were different than poetically, is
what I'm saying. And yeah, so Joe was fired. I
think this kind of is part of what got him
fired because his boss at the station was like, you're
supposed to be playing songs, Joe, what the fuck are

you doing holding the phone out to the goddamn microphone.

Speaker 3 (20:38):
Put on the goddamn wreck, Put on the fucking twist. Yeah,
do you want to get a Rush Limbaugh, Because that's
how you get a Limbaugh. This is how we get
a Limba. Put the phone down, Put on the goddamn music.
I don't want to listen to Stephen Crowder's heart surgery
problems in twenty five years or forty five years, how
many years, one hundred years, sixty years, whatever, too many years, Tom,

five hundred years, yeah, years ago. Nobody from even alive anymore.

Speaker 2 (21:03):
No, no, God, thank God.

Speaker 3 (21:07):
So, despite Yeah, inventing call in radio, Joe's boss did
not appreciate him.

Speaker 1 (21:13):
He wanted someone to read ads and introduce songs. The
two fought constantly at one point, Joe demanded a raise,
which led to a fight. Another w l i P
host later recalled stumbling in on the melee Joe was yelling.
She recalled, he had one hand on our boss's lapel.
He picked up a typewriter and threw it against the wall.

Speaker 3 (21:29):
Oh fuck, So that gives you a little bit of
an idea of like why this guy keeps having problems
with his coworkers. Yeah, he almost said that was danger.
He almost scored some points of me there though, because
you were like, he picked up a type roun.

Speaker 2 (21:42):
I'm like, here we go, here we go against the wall,
hit him in the face.

Speaker 3 (21:46):
All right, Well, fair compromise, all right again, So he
gets fired again, and he continues to move around frequently,
you know, while he's going from radio station to radio station.

Speaker 1 (21:56):
He marries a beauty queen. He divorces here a year
later because she gets sick of him. While he's working
at WYLM, he starts a show called It's Your Nickel,
so named because the nickel was the standard cost for
a call on a payphone and this was the first, yeah,
proper radio talk show, It's your Nickel. So he does
get a job doing the thing that he invented, and
that's that became a phrase like it's your dime or

it's your nickel, or it's your dollar.

Speaker 2 (22:21):
It's like exactly.

Speaker 3 (22:22):
Yeah, And I don't know if that's the He may
have just been using that phrase because it was already
like what people said.

Speaker 1 (22:27):
But yeah, I mean he may have invented it. I
have not done that research. Tom someone at home.

Speaker 3 (22:32):
Well, yeah, something something that sticks out to me about
old Joe Pine is that he has trouble forming a
lasting relationships.

Speaker 2 (22:40):
Yeah. I was from job the job.

Speaker 3 (22:42):
Mary's a woman divorces her late like he seems like
he might be impossible to be around.

Speaker 1 (22:47):
It does, and it also, again, this is one of
those black box of history things. I do kind of
wonder how much of this is a PTSD, because that
can make it real hard to get along with people
and hard to regulate your emotions and more likely to
throw a typewriter.

Speaker 3 (23:02):
He did get bombed in one of the most notorious
battles of World War two, so yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1 (23:08):
Who knows.

Speaker 2 (23:09):
It's one of those things.

Speaker 1 (23:10):
It's like lead exposure, which I'm sure Joe Pine was
also exposed to a tremendous amount of lead like you
wonder how much of an impact did this have on
like the way people were back then.

Speaker 3 (23:20):
You wonder how many people were just walking around poisoned
and crazy like seventy years ago, just because that's the
way it was.

Speaker 1 (23:27):
Yeah, I mean there's a lot of like pretty strong
evidence that at least the lead exposure may have been
part of why there was so much more violence back
you know, even just like twenty something years ago, because
everybody was inhaling lead and eating lead off the walls.
And I do want some delicious lead, Tom. Yeah, there's
nothing that goes with like a nice bree. Like you

get a lead chip and you just dip it in
a bree. That's a good Yeah, nice meat mix, a
sweet and savory.

Speaker 2 (23:55):
It's like a lead flight.

Speaker 1 (23:56):
Yeah, like a lead flight, Like a flight of lead.
I'm gonna start a leadstirant.

Speaker 3 (24:00):
I think you should. Yeah, lead in every food. Yeah,
the lead bar, get the lead out. We'll call it
a lead chicken in every pot. Now, Tom, you know
who else will expose you to tremendous amounts of lead?
M the X Men Colossus. That that is probably accurate.
I don't know as much about x Men as you
but but the products and services that support this podcast certainly.

Speaker 1 (24:22):
Will expose you to lead. That is the only guarantee
we make about our sponsors, every one of them filled
with lead.

Speaker 3 (24:28):
Yep, it's a powerful guarantee.

Speaker 2 (24:36):
We're back.

Speaker 1 (24:38):
And I wanted to start this by letting my letting
my audience know that that our guest today, Tom Ryman,
has a bit of a superpower, which is and everyone
who knows you knows this, Tom, which is that.

Speaker 3 (24:49):
When you when you whenever you mention a movie and
you will talk about, like you know that guy who
was in the background and that in that scene in
American Beauty, and you'll be like, oh, yeah, it's such
and such, and this is the other films they were in.

Speaker 2 (25:00):
Know anybody who can do that the way that you.

Speaker 3 (25:02):
Can, it's.

Speaker 5 (25:05):

Speaker 3 (25:05):
Yeah, I thought you were going to tell everybody about
my optic blasts. So I'm glad.

Speaker 1 (25:10):
No, I'm glad I didn't secret keeping that a secret
for when I rob a bank.

Speaker 2 (25:16):
No, I've been.

Speaker 3 (25:17):
I've been. I don't know. I just I do that
like I keep it encyclopedic record of dates and like
people in movies and stuff. I don't know, it's it's uh,
I'm probably somewhere on the spectrum. But it's just a
thing I do. I don't know.

Speaker 1 (25:31):
It's almost a super like it is kind of a superpower,
like it's it's really it's really fun. And it made
like when we when we were all I mean, I
lived together with like half of the people we worked
with at Cracked, and you were always over and just
the movie conversations with you and Dave were always a
tremendous amount of fun.

Speaker 3 (25:48):
I listened to your podcasts. Oh thanks, we lived in
your room, remember, Oh yeah, you did in the mountains,
lived in your room. I was I was doing redacted
things in the mountains and and mostly not home at
that point in time, I'd forgotten about that. Yeah, yeah,
Oh the days of our lives like sand through the hourglass,

tom So, like lead through the hour glass, like lead
through the hour glass. So Joe Pine gets his first
proper radio talk show, It's Your Nickel on w I
l M. And again he's out of there, he's in there.
I think this is like his second time working for them,
And this article from the broadcaster's desktop resource makes it
clear what kind of show Joe ran. The very first

radio talk show quote in his nightly introduction, he said,
the mic is open. My name's Joe Pine. I guess
you know yours the program. This program is dedicated to
the free exchange of ideas and to differences of opinion.
I don't propose to have all the answers, but I
do promise to talk about the things that interest you.

Speaker 1 (26:47):
So that's a nice little.

Speaker 3 (26:48):
There's that free exchange of ideas craz He did, I think.

Speaker 1 (26:53):
Kind of mean it as opposed to the people who
say it today. I think they're aping him. But I'll
play you some clips from his he did. He was, yeah,
it's interesting now. The show did often become a shout fest,
with Pine definitely in control. No topic was sacred, from
sex to religion to politics, but when he felt a
listener had gone on for too long and was making

no sense, he would make a rude remark, like you're
sick and hang up on the post person.

Speaker 2 (27:19):

Speaker 1 (27:19):
Pine's abusive records the challenge to the audience, many of
whom tried to debate him before he hung up on them.
His views tended to be quite conservative most of the time,
and Pine seemed to dare his listeners to disagree with him.
His style of arguing included using very derogatory terms. Known
for being adept with words, his arsenal of insults and
put downs became the stuff of legends. Among his best
known were if your brains were dynamite, you couldn't blow

your nose. There was also go gargle with razor blades
and take your teeth out, put him in backwards, and
bite your throat Jesus Christ. At least the man's creative.
That third one's pretty nice. Yeah, that's good. I'd heard
the other two. I'm like, yeah, those are old standards.
And this turn your teeth around him like ooh yeah.

So when this is in nineteen fifty one two, while
he's in the middle of changing Radio Forever, his old
war injury flares up badly enough that surgeons have to
amputate his left leg from the mid downhit. So he's
back in the studio with a prosthetic limb soon after,
and while the fake leg was obvious to everyone who
saw him, he never meant it.

Speaker 2 (28:20):
Did get mentioned on air. We'll talk about that.

Speaker 1 (28:22):
In a bit, but he refused to mention it on air.
Judging by his pro union views, Joe is at least
at one point at least more of a moderate than
he became. But the longer he's on doing talk radio,
he pulls further and further to the right. In nineteen
fifty three, he celebrated on air when the US electrocuted
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, saying, we finally incinerated those comies.

I hope it was slow and painful.

Speaker 5 (28:46):

Speaker 2 (28:46):
Uh, that's interesting that.

Speaker 3 (28:48):
The longer I mean, I'm sure you're going to make
this connection, But the longer he's on the air, the
more conservative he pulls.

Speaker 5 (28:53):

Speaker 3 (28:54):
I wonder could that be because having bad faith arguments
to generate we call them rage clicks now, but it's
just to stoke controversy by needling people and by playing
the devil's advocate just to get people heeded, and arguing
to fuel the ratings for his own show.

Speaker 1 (29:14):
Yeah, I really don't know. I'm sure that was an
element of it, because clearly he's going after controversy, he's
going after rage kicks. But also we'll talk about it.
He was not always the guy you would expect. That's yeah,
So we're building that. So Joe had a keen understanding
of how to communicate with the lowest common denominator in
US politics. He told reporters, quite without shame, that radio

was geared towards the mentality of thirteen year old kids,
and that most Americans were politically apathetic and easy to
persuade of just about anything. He claimed that he used
shocking language and would make extreme allegations in order to
get people to think. He told the La Times that
while his critics called him a hate monger, all he
really did was encourage stimulating dialogue. You see, he knows

what he's doing. I think that's a big part of
like why he gets more right wing in his because
it's easier to kind of, like again, speak to the
mentality of thirteen year old kids. If you're just like
making these kind of reactionary arguments.

Speaker 3 (30:09):
He wants to piss people off so that they react
and he gets a show out of it.

Speaker 1 (30:12):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's a part of it. That's not
all of it, because he is When there were times
when he would be challenged, it kind of depended on
how it was. If he found someone interesting, even if
they were coming in from a very different perspective, he
would let them talk and sometimes very respectfully so he
was not, well, he's the start and he's doing a
lot of unpleasant stuff. He's also not He's unequivocally a

better person than Ben Shapiro, is what I'm saying, right, Like,
his goal in any given conversation wasn't just to own them.
He would actually listen to people sometimes who were bringing
up some pretty radical stuff.

Speaker 2 (30:42):
We'll get to that.

Speaker 1 (30:44):
Nineteen fifty seven, a little over after a little over
six years on air, Joe left Wylm. This time it
was his own choice. He was famoused at least locally,
and his salary was forty two thousand dollars a year,
which is almost ten times the average salary for a
it's about four hundred grand a year, and like modern
dollars like, he was making real good money. This time,

Joe left because his dreams had overgrown a very comfortable
working condition. He traveled to Riverside, California, and he got
a job at a local radio station that quickly led
to a TV job at KTLA in Los Angeles. He
would later claim that his first TV show, which was
essentially a filmed version of It's Your Nickel, had been
a huge success, but the show lasted less than a

year and I found no clips of it anywhere.

Speaker 2 (31:28):
Joe moves back.

Speaker 3 (31:29):
Yeah, yeah, I'd be surprised if there's any footage that
still exists.

Speaker 1 (31:32):
There is a we have some clips of his the
show that Come Next, Came Next, but it's because there's
like a grassroots archival effort to like digitize all of
the old tape master tapes. So after his first year
in la Joe moves back across the country to Chester
where he works for a Philadelphia TV station for a
first time for a short time, and then he goes
back to wilm for a little while. He licks his wombs,

he wounds. He seemed to know that a show like his,
a political talk show where people could scream about pauloitics
to a mass audience, was the wave of the future
and was going to be huge on television, but the
world wasn't ready quite yet. For a few years, Joe
continued to broadcast, but in the early nineteen sixties he
decided the time was finally right and he moved back
to LA where he got a job at KABC. And

I'm going to quote from the broadcaster's desktop resource again.
Once again, he polarized the audience, with some listeners and
guests complaining he was too caustic, and others saying his
candor was refreshing. But as in Wilmington, he had people
talking about him and his show From KABC, he went
over to KLAC and set nineteen sixty five, doing the
nine pm to midnight shift. Never wont to avoid controversial guests.

He put Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan
on the air displeasure Yeah, oh yeah, dope, earning the
displeasure of the American Jewish Committee and a warning from
the FCC. He also had guests who believe it in eugenics,
guests who were racists, guests with strange theories about past
lives or UFOs, and the arguments continued. Controversy sold Joe's

salary balloon to two hundred thousand dollars a year, which
is nearly two million a year by modern standards. Jesus NBC. Yeah,
he's making it back. I mean this is soon that
he's giving people like what Tucker Carlson and stuff. Now,
I will be fair when he has Nazis and KKK
members on and so that he can scream at them
like yeah, well it's still like, it's still there's it's
still problematic, but it's not as problematic as it is today,

where you have people affiliated with similar organizations were talking
about how, yeah, he.

Speaker 3 (33:30):
Was getting outrage clicks. But at least the the understanding
was people are going to hate these yead At least
that was like the understanding. Yeah, at least that was
the fucking understanding. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (33:42):
Again, you can still argue, and I think it is
pretty irresponsible to do that, but at least the understanding
was like, fuck these guys, let's let's yell at them.

Speaker 2 (33:50):
It's here, let's not let's hear them out. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (33:53):
NBC Radio Network started syndicating his show nationally in March
of nineteen sixty six, and it was soon on more
than two hundred stations around the country. He called what
he did fist in the Mouth Radio, and now that
he was on a new time slot the mid morning
rather than the night as he'd usually been before, his
ratings exploded. This is generally thought to be due to

the fact that being on earlier in the day opened
him up to a vast new audience of board housewives.
People were titillated. One of his networks advertised the show
in a full page newspaper spread listing all the Nazis
and klansmen and other pieces of shit he'd had on
his show, and then concluding with you may agree or
disagree with Joe Pine, you may scream and rage at
some of his remarks, but you won't turn him off. Yes,

I mean, what's the antent of that?

Speaker 3 (34:39):

Speaker 5 (34:39):
Is that?

Speaker 2 (34:39):
Is that shaming me? Is that?

Speaker 5 (34:41):

Speaker 3 (34:41):

Speaker 2 (34:42):
Like, yeah, you heard the feel bad I do? Yeah,
but you won't turn him off? Yeah?

Speaker 3 (34:47):
You motherfucker. This is on you unless you turn him off.
We want this motherfucker off the air, but we can't.
You like him too much? Just son of a bitch.
We tried to look in the doors, he just shows
up inside? What about.

Speaker 2 (35:02):
Secret doors?

Speaker 1 (35:05):
So Joe was on both the radio and the TV,
and his television show A Learn alone earned him more
money per year than Mickey Mantle played playing made playing
for the Yankees. So he's making like more than Mickey
Mantle money. Now, professional sports players made less money in
those days, but still he's he's raking it in. He
was the top rated talk show host and the second
largest market in the US.

Speaker 3 (35:25):
Yeah, it feels wrong that I don't know. Yeah, like
you said, for the professional athletes made less money back then.
But look, I feels wrong that like's Mickey Mantle. I
know who Mickey Mantle is. If anyone, shouldn't he make
all the money?

Speaker 1 (35:40):
So from Smithsonian Magazine quote. At a time when TV's
leading men included Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow, Andy Griffith,
and Captain Kangaroo, Pine was the medium's first shock jock,
a firebrand who invited hippies, civil rights activists and Ku
Klux Klansman alike to take a hike or go gargle
with razor blades. By the mid sixties, he was the
most popular TV radio voice in America. Johnny Carson had

more television viewers, but Pine, with a syndicated TV show
in two hundred plus radio outlets, had an audience to rifle.
Johnny's Life magazine called him sadistic, a barroom tough, but
millions turned in to watch the fireworks. When a guest
advocating free love set off a melee Pines, audience charged
the set and knocked it flat.

Speaker 2 (36:20):
Oh shit.

Speaker 1 (36:21):
One guest, the suave TV personality David Suskin, earned a
chorus of booze for calling Pine's program an orgy for morons.
Host and guest both got a kick out of that.
So it is like the first on air fight ringer. Yeah, yeah, yeah,
he's also like Jerry Springer, the first Spring.

Speaker 2 (36:36):
He's the first Saldo and yeah, we'll be talking about
Morton later.

Speaker 1 (36:43):
Yeah, like all of it's not just like Tucker Carlson
the time.

Speaker 3 (36:48):
They cracked every aspect of this, like he really did.
He he is an important man to know about, Like
he really uh, he figured he was. Yeah, he figured
some out. Most of it shit, I wish no one
had figured out, but he did figure it out. I
can make millions if I put Nazis on the air.
Mm hmmm.

Speaker 2 (37:08):

Speaker 1 (37:09):
Now, I think it's probably a better time to give
you a better idea of how Joe sounded, because when
you read it out the way I have put it together,
it probably sounds like he's like a stereotypical modern shock jock.
And while he was the prototype for that, his actual
broadcasting style was much more subdued and witty. In this clip,
Joe interviews an early vegan activist and what he called

his beef box.

Speaker 6 (37:31):
Check it out as you cannot hear the screams of
a lamb in this slaughterhouse. You cannot hear the screams
of your son on the battlefield.

Speaker 5 (37:41):
I would like to ask you a meaningful question at
this point.

Speaker 1 (37:46):
Are you a vegetarian?

Speaker 6 (37:47):
I am?

Speaker 1 (37:48):
Indeed? Do you ever eat tomatoes?

Speaker 6 (37:52):
I would say to you, yes, in the last three
thousand years.

Speaker 1 (37:56):
Man, I'm asking you a question.

Speaker 5 (37:58):
Do you ever eat tomatoes?

Speaker 6 (38:02):

Speaker 2 (38:02):
Do you eat tomatoes?

Speaker 6 (38:04):
Of course?

Speaker 3 (38:05):
I do you do?

Speaker 5 (38:06):
Do you know that there is now scientific proof that
when you cut a tomato with screams, there is electrical.

Speaker 2 (38:15):
There is killer of tomatoes, and tomato doesn't pay.

Speaker 6 (38:22):
Are the tomato feels no pain?

Speaker 7 (38:25):
Tomatoes blotoo, Tomato does.

Speaker 3 (38:29):
Not swater plato take a walk.

Speaker 2 (38:35):

Speaker 1 (38:35):
Oh you're going to sing something I would This is
a tomato stump.

Speaker 6 (38:47):
As the animal dies. So the slaughter of that animal.

Speaker 2 (38:52):
All right, that's probably enough of that. So yeah, what
do you think of that?

Speaker 6 (38:58):

Speaker 3 (38:59):
Is not what I was expecting? I know, he sounds
like Walter Cronkite. And then he flips the fuck out.

Speaker 2 (39:05):
Yeah, and then he flips the fuck out.

Speaker 1 (39:06):
But he starts from this real low ebb and he
also does like he says, get off, but then the
guy's like, well I want to sing, and he's like, oh, absolutely.

Speaker 2 (39:13):
Yeah, please do. This is great, dude. Yeah, that's going
to be incredible content.

Speaker 3 (39:18):
And that clip was from sixty six. Wow.

Speaker 2 (39:20):
Yeah, nineteen sixties.

Speaker 3 (39:21):
It feels extremely modern, especially like almost to be on
TV today. His bad his extremely bad faith argument. Yeah,
it's all he's he's a he's a trailblazer top. Yeah,
this guy. You can put this dude on TV right
now and he would be the hottest thing.

Speaker 1 (39:39):
Yeah, it's amazing, and he there's a level of almost Yeah,
it's just different than the way they mock people today.
It's almost more. It's almost gentler in a weird ways.
He's not he's not the same as what came after Again,
he's this weird mix of what we have today, and

like Walter Cronkite's it's a fascinating it's fascinating to just
listen to his stuff. When the civil rights movement kicked off,
Joe devoted a tremendous amount of time to discussing the
angry Negro, which it's more or less what you'd expect.

Speaker 3 (40:15):
Yeah, oh boy.

Speaker 1 (40:18):
Clips in one episode he brought on several militant black activists.
I believe they were black panthers, and in a heated
moment during the show. I've not been able to find
this clip, but it's very famous. During the show, he
opens his desk drawer to show them his revolver and
he threatens them with it on air, so he we
could he could go off. He advocated bombing North Vietnam

back to the Stone Age, obviously, but he could also
be a surprising man, And part became because he came
from an era in which big political figures could admit
to learning something and changing their opinion, and in part
because some of the issues that are now very aggressive
are a lot less. We're a lot less settled in
those days in terms of like how it was going
to break down, writer or left. So he conducted an

interview with Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown, and he started
the interview by calling her a dingbat and then asked
her to explain why girls should be considered equal to
men in the workplace. But then he sat quietly while
she gave her speech like explaining her peace on women's liberation,
and he applauded her at the end of it. He
was certainly more polite to women than towards men, and

more polite to white people towards black people. But even
when in interviewing people he clearly despised, Joe maintained an
air that's just so much more congenial than what you
see on TV today. Here he is talking to Paul Krasner,
a left wing magazine publisher who later went on to
head High Times. So this is him talking with someone
he fucking hates.

Speaker 5 (41:44):
Uh, which deodorant does Lyndon Johnson use?

Speaker 3 (41:48):

Speaker 1 (41:48):
What does that mean?

Speaker 3 (41:51):
What is that?

Speaker 1 (41:53):
Paul Krasner?

Speaker 2 (41:54):
What is that?

Speaker 1 (41:55):
Which deodorant does Lyndon Johnson use? That's your front page head?

Speaker 8 (42:00):
Yes, do you want to know which one? By brand name?

Speaker 5 (42:05):

Speaker 1 (42:05):
I want to know what is that? What is the
what is the reason for that?

Speaker 6 (42:08):

Speaker 8 (42:08):
I think that the present of the United States? Is
it such a height that people have?

Speaker 2 (42:14):
What a height?

Speaker 1 (42:16):

Speaker 8 (42:17):
He's put out such a pedestal that people have to
realize that he is only a human being and does
use a deodorant like you and me.

Speaker 1 (42:30):
And I'm a little worried about you. I'm he's lighting
a cigarette now, So yeah, that's like it's clearly again
this is not somebody he particularly respects, but it's also
like it's not a shouting debate. I guess that's what impresses.
Not impresses. Is the thing that is interesting to me

because like, you don't you don't have that kind of
like congenial distaste. Is how it feels watching them.

Speaker 3 (42:58):
Yeah, he feels more like Carson than like, yeah, a
Tucker Carlson at this point. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (43:03):
Yeah, And it's the kind I wish I could find
the thing the interview he does with those those black
panthers where he shows them his revolver, because I've heard
different descriptions of it, something that make it sound like
he's threatening them with a gun and some that make
it sound like he's just like, well, I have a
gun too, and like I really don't know, and I
don't I don't know what the actual tone was in
that out.

Speaker 3 (43:23):
Either one is entirely possible based on what you've shown
me exactly. Either one makes complete sense, like he's yeah,
he's more polite, but he's still he's still, oh for.

Speaker 1 (43:33):
Sure, like yeah, And the interview with Krasner got markedly
less friendly after the ad break from Smithsonian magazine quote,
why do you print the most obscene words? Pine demanded,
do you edit your magazine because you were an unwanted child,
to which Krasner responds, no, daddy, They're talk one downhill

from there. He asked me about my acne scar, says Krasner,
now eighty five. That was a low blow. I said,
let me ask you something. Do you take off your
wooden leg before you make love to your wife? And
is jaw dropped? According to Krasner, the audience gasped, while
Pine's producers everted their eyes.

Speaker 2 (44:10):

Speaker 3 (44:12):
That's good TV though, right there, that's a good TV
so the listeners know this cool? Was his clip sixty
seven something, yeah, sixty seven, Yeah, do you fuck your wife?
That's your fake leg nineteen sixty seven in the sixties.

Speaker 2 (44:27):

Speaker 3 (44:27):
Andy Griffith is the biggest name in entertainment, and this
shit's on TV. Holy shit, like you could see like,
and that's part of the other thing that's interesting. Like
I'm gonna guess a lot of his audience, if not
most of it, weren't right wing, Like a lot of
them were probably people who like guys like Paul Krasner,
but like want to see shit like this on TV.
People have these kind of like conversations. He'll talk to

fucking anyone and he could surprise you. But before we
get into that, Tom, you know what else is gonna
surprise you? Mmmmm, No, the quality of the.

Speaker 1 (44:57):
Products and services that support this.

Speaker 2 (44:59):
Podcast would be a surprise.

Speaker 1 (45:01):
Yeah, it will be a surprise.

Speaker 2 (45:09):
We're back.

Speaker 1 (45:11):
And we're talking about what I think is one of
the more surprising things I found. So Jill Pine was
one of the very first major media figures in the
United States to platform a transgender woman discussing trans issues,
and he did show in a way that is incredibly
surprising for the time. This is from nineteen sixty six
and I want to just play this, and the woman

he's talking to, Christine Jorgensen, was like one of the
very first super public transgender media figures, very famous, very famous.
So he's certainly not the first person to talk to her,
but he's one of the first people with a massive
platform to sit down and have a long conversation with
a transgender person and a major outlet. And I think
the tone of the conversation, given where we are now

with the right wing on this issue, is going to
be surprising to people.

Speaker 5 (46:01):
It was our guests who first flushed the problems of
transsexuals into the open. Christine Jorgensen was born a male.
She was ascribed in her high school annual as a
clever lad. Later she became a private first class in
the Army. Though outwardly a boy, Christine was sexually disturbed.
The story of her later discovery and transformation electrified the world.

It was the first chapter in a new outlook toward
the transsexual phenomenon. And yet I can't believe that yours
was the first operation of this type.

Speaker 2 (46:35):
It wasn't Jill.

Speaker 4 (46:36):
The first one was I think done somewhere in the
area of nineteen twenty six or twenty seven. There was
a marvelous doctor in Germany called Magnus Hirschfeldt who started
the whole investigation to our in our modern age, let's
put it that way. Before that, there may have been others,
but I know not of them.

Speaker 5 (46:54):
Is this a legal operation in the United States?

Speaker 1 (46:56):

Speaker 3 (46:57):

Speaker 4 (46:57):
Yes, Oh, certainly you know they're doing it a Johns
Hopkins now in Baltimore, happens the best, Yes, And they're
doing at the University of Minnesota Medical School. They've done
five cases to the best of my knowledge at the
University of California Medical School.

Speaker 5 (47:10):
How many people and your a particular predicament do you
think there are today? I mean, not those who are
successfully assuming you have successfully bridge the gap, but how
many are in that spot where they need this?

Speaker 4 (47:20):
Well, I could only judge by what I heard from
Johns Hopkins when I was in Baltimore several weeks ago.
Doctor Money and I did a television show together, and
he's one of the doctors involved in Johns Hopkins And
he asked me if I thought I knew how many,
and I said, I don't have the vaguest idea, And
he said, according to his statistics, they should be thirty
thousand transsexuals of both sides in the United States.

Speaker 5 (47:44):
To get it straight, at transsexual and a transvestite differ
in that the transvestite is addressing up type of homosexual.
And you don't claim to be a homosexual, Nona, I
should say, you claim you were not a homosexual.

Speaker 4 (47:56):
Well, an interesting point if you say that if I
was established and accepted by society for the first twenty
six years of my life as a male, then my
emotional feelings during that period toward another male had to
be considered a homosexual emotion in the eyes of society,
although I never saw it that way in my own eyes.

But again, Joe, may I correct something which has been
very is very startling. I think that a transvestite they
have proven statistically that ninety nine percent of them are heterosexual.
Now this is even more interesting than ever.

Speaker 1 (48:32):
People who men.

Speaker 5 (48:33):
Who dress up in women's clothing are really, by the
world standards, normal sexual right.

Speaker 1 (48:39):
Wow, So yeah, that's that's what I expect.

Speaker 2 (48:43):
It surprising.

Speaker 3 (48:44):
Yeah, I mean, you know he does say Heaven's to
Betsy when she's she's talking about the different then he's.

Speaker 2 (48:49):
Like the terminology.

Speaker 3 (48:50):
Again, this is nineteen sixty seven, right, Yeah, so let's
say it is like, sure, okay, Joe, Like he's actually like, okay,
what's the proper term? What's the difference? Like explained, you're
very careful about gendering her properly. He's being very surprising. Yeah,
what I would have said this?

Speaker 2 (49:08):
Wow? Yeah, I didn't.

Speaker 1 (49:10):
And I talked to a transgender friend of mine about this,
and she did point out that Christine Jorgensen had some
like kind of pretty anti gay attitudes and one of
the things that was going on here. And one of
the things that made her acceptable is that, like she
was like, well, I'm not going to be like people
like me won't be homosexual if we get to transition, right,
because then it's yeah. And I didn't really catch that

when I listened to the interview, but I can see
how that could have been an element here. Although when
he brings up homosexuality, I didn't note anything aggressive in it,
like he was just kind of asking for clarification about yeah,
not in this.

Speaker 2 (49:43):
I'm sure.

Speaker 3 (49:43):
I'm sure he was right, yeah, there's some way yeah. Yeah,
But but so not the interview I would have expected.
And I think it says less about him than it
just does about how the issue had not been politicized
at this point, like the existence of transgender people had
not been politicized to the extent that it is now,
even though it was much more dangerous to consider transitioning

back then. It also there was not the kind of
political rancorbind It's just a fascinating piece of history and
evidence that, like Joe Pine again, you could be a
right wing firebrand on TV and encounter something you didn't
understand and like learn about it on air without it
being like a thing. Yeah, Do you think that's a

product of him being like a genuinely curious person, like
if I want to learn new things, etc. Or is
that more of a product of what you were saying
about the issue where it wasn't clear which side of
the political spectrum the issue was going to fall on,
so he didn't want to go as hard as he

normally would had the issue been more firmly settled on
one side.

Speaker 2 (50:50):
I don't know.

Speaker 1 (50:51):
I've heard people theorize that part of why he was
very polite and liked Christine Jorgensen is that she was
a veteran like him, and he had just that kind
of le first act for like, well, whatever else about
this person we fought in the same war together. I
think some of it's also, I think the attitude and
like the way people presented themselves, Like he was a
guy who was raised in a specific time where if

people present themselves a specific way, you treat them a
specific way, right, And I think people who kind of
like Joe or Krassner, you know, it's kind of like
a left wing hippie type, and so he did not
feel the need to be respectful Christine like presented as
like a very kind of like bougie, upper middle class
white woman, and he treated her with respect as a result.

Speaker 2 (51:33):
The same was true of.

Speaker 1 (51:34):
Some other women he interviewed who he had a disagreement with.
So I think some of it may just be that
just like there was more of like a well, regardless
of your feelings, if somebody presents in this way, if
they if they match kind of our expectations of upper
class white people behavior, and you treat them with a
certain level of respect and regard because that's just how
we are. Yeah, it's a fascinating time, fascinating time capsule.

And that was a I think maybe the longest clip
we've ever played on this show. But I just I
was really surprised when I came across that, learning like
this is the guy who gave mental birth to Rush
Limbaugh and Tucker Carlson.

Speaker 2 (52:13):
Yeah, not the interview you would expect.

Speaker 3 (52:16):

Speaker 1 (52:17):
As a last treat, I have one more thing I
want to play for you. This is a segment from
Joe's show where he talks with Anton Levy, head of
the Boy Tom.

Speaker 2 (52:27):
You're gonna have a good time with this one man popcorns.

Speaker 3 (52:33):
Yeah, yeah, you get Antony on the TV, and you
know you're gonna have a good one.

Speaker 7 (52:43):
And how do you make your living as a counselor sorcerer,
practicing wizard, shaman, warlock, whatever you wish to call it.
You're also a male witch, a warlock. Well, a male
witch is considered a warlock. You're glad to be a
witch then, uh, a male witch, but not a white witch,
not like some of these people that have been on

various shows that bend over backwards trying to convince everyone
how good they are.

Speaker 1 (53:08):
They never perform.

Speaker 3 (53:09):
Black magic, only white magic.

Speaker 8 (53:11):
I think this is.

Speaker 7 (53:11):
Really make that man disappear out of the dock, out
of the doc. Why should I want to?

Speaker 5 (53:16):
Because we have somebody else coming up?

Speaker 7 (53:18):
Of course I can't make him disappear because I am
naturally casting the mold of a human being.

Speaker 2 (53:23):
And I think this.

Speaker 5 (53:28):
Less human and more methhrostophelean to me, thank you, sir.
I call him a devil complimented.

Speaker 3 (53:36):
It's just remarkable to me, the degree, the degree to
which Anton Levy looks like Joe Kuchan from Command and Conquer.

Speaker 2 (53:43):
Yeah, the guy who played Kane. They're the same.

Speaker 1 (53:46):
Maybe Kane was Anton Levy. That's my command and conquer theory.
That's gonna be very funny. He doesn't.

Speaker 3 (53:54):
He looks He looks like the villain in every FMV
computer game. That's amazing. I can't he's wearing an ambulant.
He's such a dummy every time he goes on TV.
It's so funny. He was like, no, I can't make
that guy disappear. White magic? White magic?

Speaker 2 (54:11):
Are you doing?

Speaker 3 (54:12):
And yeah, I have to side with Joe on this one.
What do you kind of magic? Are you up to?
The magic are you going to do? Can you make
that you disappear? Yeah.

Speaker 1 (54:25):
By the late nineteen sixties, Joe was a very wealthy man.
He rove drove a Rolls Royce and when he parked
at the studio he was so frightened it would be
vandalized that he had his network hire a security guard
to watch the car while he was on the air
park in the garage.

Speaker 3 (54:38):
Man, what are you doing?

Speaker 2 (54:39):
Yeah, exactly what are you doing? On paper?

Speaker 1 (54:42):
In many ways he sounded like the same kind of
guy that many right wing media grifters are today. But
the things he the thing he had that they all
lacked is is a sense of charm. There's a level
of class that you get with Joe that, just like
is is completely absent from everyone who follows.

Speaker 3 (54:57):
Yeah, it's it's it's more the more we hear of him.
I had said he sounds like Cronkite earlier, but he
really sounds more like like Carson or like a talk
show most where it's like he can be warm and
supportive until he's not, and then he'll turn on you
and kind of ridicule you, but in a in a
polite way.

Speaker 1 (55:15):
I can see how a lot of people who disagreed
profoundly with Joe Pine could enjoy listening to his show
in a way that like I cannot with Tucker Carlson
or nobody's like nobody like hate watches for enjoyment Tucker Carlson.
It's just too like horrifying, Like nobody does that with
beIN Shapiro or whatever.

Speaker 3 (55:30):
No, no, no, that's an assignment. That's not something that is
an assignment, that is that is a that is conflict journalism,
like you.

Speaker 2 (55:36):
Are taking on pain. I'm looking at Sophie nodding.

Speaker 1 (55:40):
Yeah, but people could like enjoy like you enjoy, Like
why I recommend watching him talk to Anton Leavey. It's yeah,
it's it's legitimately fun. Just too shad, too real shitheads
just dogging it up in the sixties.

Speaker 2 (55:56):
At one point he had.

Speaker 3 (55:59):
One point he had Harlan Ellison on as a guest. Now,
Harlan Ellison quite a fellow.

Speaker 1 (56:06):
At the time, he was a Los Angeles Free Press columnist,
and he's now a legendary dead sci fi author, the
author if I have no mouth, but I must scream
and some other real.

Speaker 3 (56:16):
The way you phrased that made it sound like he's
legendarily dead, he is.

Speaker 2 (56:21):
He is a lot of people.

Speaker 3 (56:23):
I mean, Harlan Ellison was a famous misanthrope.

Speaker 2 (56:26):
He made a lot of enemies.

Speaker 1 (56:28):
He made a lot of enemies, and politically he was
pretty much the opposite of Joe Pine, although in terms
of being unpleasant, they were both very unpleasant people. Famously,
Harlan Ellison called Joe a hustler and a bully, but
noted that he was very sharp.

Speaker 3 (56:42):

Speaker 1 (56:43):
I thought I'd go on his show and beat him
at his own game, but I blew it. I spent
my time talking about the issues, civil liberties and all that,
and he talked about America the trouble with Pine was
that he was really really good at what he did now,
and that does get to like, yeah, you're ever gonna
win talking about the issues with these guys. That's not
And you could only get Joe to listen when it
wasn't something he saw as an issue. I think that's

why his why that interview with Jurgensen went the way
it did, is because it wasn't a political issue to.

Speaker 3 (57:08):
His experience of interest. To me, I was curious, Yeah,
this isn't this isn't real. This is just some flighty nonsense,
you know, Yeah.

Speaker 1 (57:15):
It's I mean, I don't even think he was treating
it like nonsense. He was treating it like he was
just learning a new science.

Speaker 5 (57:20):

Speaker 3 (57:20):
It wasn't political, It was not a politic He definitely
didn't treat it the same way he was treating the
High Times dude or Anton Levey. But I feel like
he probably considered them in the same bucket of like, well,
this isn't this is like a personal interest story, this isn't.

Speaker 1 (57:38):
Yeah, definitely in the same I think he clearly respected
her more than he did any either of them. But yes,
I think it was the same kind of like well,
this is not a political thing. This is this is
personal interest. This is just something that people are going
to be fascinated by that I can also like you can,
you can you can create a kind of like fantastic
title for it. You know, it's something that'll that'll get

people get eyeball on the screen. In nineteen sixty nine,
Joe started having trouble breathing. He was diagnosed with lung cancer.
For years, he had jokingly called his cigarettes coffin nails,
and you saw him light up at least one side.

Speaker 3 (58:12):
I think he smoked. In all the clips. He was
always smoking. They just promise, yes, your government issue cigarettes.
He had repeatedly promised that he would never give up smoking,
but he quit after getting his diagnosis. It didn't help
when he got too sick to drive to the studio.
He hosted his show from his home, making him a

trailblazer and yet another way, Wow, yeah, he was the first,
first one.

Speaker 2 (58:37):
We're doing, tom Yeah, what we're doing. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (58:41):
At the very end of his life, he lay in
his bed ranting about the Peace Corps because they wanted
to end the war in Vietnam. He died in nineteen
seventy at age forty five, Thank you, comrades.

Speaker 3 (58:52):
Wow, yeah, forty five. That dude was forty five. That
dude was mainline cigarettes his entire adult life. From the
time he was fourteen. He was probably smoking six packs
a day. I want the listeners to understand that this
motherfucker looks like in these clips we watch, he looks
like he's at least sixty eight. Yeah, like he looks

so old. I mean, in fairness, some of that's World
War two, I know. Yeah, I mean, it's like a
joke on the Internet where it's like, man, people who
were like thirty eight in nineteen seventy five, it's like
they were on the door. But like I wonder, oh yeah, yeah, yeah,
no forty five. Yeah, dude, he's now yeah, younger than Oh,

what's the guy?

Speaker 1 (59:42):
The funny man? All the ladies like him. He's the
ant man. What's his fucking name?

Speaker 3 (59:45):
Aunt man?

Speaker 2 (59:45):
Paul Rudd. Paul Rudd.

Speaker 3 (59:47):
Paul Rudd's older than Joe Pine died at now right,
Paul Rudd is older than Joe Pine ever was and
looks half his way.

Speaker 2 (59:54):
And when Paul.

Speaker 3 (59:55):
Rudd is seventy, he won't look at his oldest Joe
Pine looked at this dude.

Speaker 2 (01:00:00):
It looks older than Shatner.

Speaker 1 (01:00:05):
The Smithsonian magazine lays out how directly his influence led
to the creation of some of the most influential careers
in modern right wing media.

Speaker 2 (01:00:12):

Speaker 1 (01:00:13):
One of Pine's protegees, the controversial radio shouter Bob Grant,
followed his mentor Pine as a talk show shatter in
Los Angeles before moving to New York, where Grant paved
the way for his successor at WABC, Sean Hannity. Oh
Hannity had first gained national attention subbing for Rush Limbaugh,
another Bob Grant fan. When Grant died in twenty thirteen,

Hannity hailed him as one of the greatest pioneers of controversial,
opinionated talk radio. Grant, in turn, had acknowledged his debt
to the founder of in your Face talk. Even Vice
President Mike Pence, who hosted a right wing talk show
in Indiana in the nineteen nineties, was a successor of Pines.
According to Harlan Ellison, who admired Pine's shrewdness while loathing
his politics, I've appeared on that sort of show all

over the country. They call it controversy. But they're all
about vilification and hostility, and their motto is p is Pine.
And Pine is again an odd figure for me, because
when I first started reading this kind of stuff about him,
calling him a bully, I expected a different kind of
bully than the videos reveal. He's absolutely a bully, but
he's subtler than the ones we see today. I found
a column in the Saturday Evening Post from the nineteen

sixties where a left wing reviewer tries to explain his
appreciation for the Joe Pine Show. Quote after watching one
of these shows, and it does not matter whether I
loaded the guests to the host or both, I feel
somehow drained and less misanthropic. Not long ago, for example,
I had a terrible day. I had a migraine, and
my daughter sliced her finger with a razor blade, and
I got a rejection slip and a cop gave me

a speeding ticket, my third this year, which means that
I will probably lose my license, and in Los Angeles,
that is like being a functional paraplegic. That night, I
watched Joe Pine. His guests included a lady who complained
that television sportscasters never carried drag racing results, a man
who blamed the current racial unrest on Franklin Delano Roosevelt,
and a veteran who said we ought to drop the
big bomb on Vietnam. The vet said he did not

fight World War Two. To throw this one away, it
turned out that he had been a Navy mail man.
I was outside the zoo looking in again. Life did
not seem so bad after all. I went to bed
and slept.

Speaker 2 (01:02:07):
Well that what's going on in that guy's life?

Speaker 3 (01:02:10):
Though? Yeah, that is honest. We had lost his license,
his daughter cut razor blade. Yeah wait, wait, she had
access to razor blades. I'm not gonna blades. It was
a different time, Tom. I'm sure he was giving her
cigarettes too. This guy, this guy's life was already uh
shaky for the Joe Pine show came to the picture.

Speaker 2 (01:02:31):
But yeah you could. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1 (01:02:33):
The the appreciation you could have for Joe Pine if
you weren't in the cult is part of what makes
him different from what came later. And in part two, Tom,
we're going to talk about what came later, But for
right now, we need to talk about the ship You've
got to plug. Oh geez, all right, Well, yeah, if you.

Speaker 3 (01:02:49):
Uh, I've got a Patreon if you had ever a
Patreon dot com slash game flun Employed, you can uh
find our podcast stories me and David Bell. But also
from Cracked. We do a bunch of shows every week.
We do We just watched Hypecast, We do Fox Volders,
a Maniac, Tom and Jeff watch Batman, Start Trek, the
Next Futurama. A bunch of great shows you can check
out there. I also do writing over at Collider and

for some more News and for one nine hundred hot Dog,
So you can look at all of those things.

Speaker 1 (01:03:19):
Check it out. Yeah, all right, and you can you know,
you can go to hell. That's right, go to hell.

Speaker 3 (01:03:29):

Speaker 2 (01:03:31):
When you get to Hell, tell Joe Pine that Robert sent.

Speaker 3 (01:03:34):
Yeah, tell Joe Pine Robert Sinsha, and then kick him
in the nuts and scream the name Rush Limbaugh. He
won't know what you're saying. He died decades before that
man was relevant.

Speaker 1 (01:03:47):
Behind the Bastards is a production of cool Zone Media.
For more from cool Zone Media, visit our website cool
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