All Episodes

May 23, 2024 57 mins

Robert is again joined by Tom Reimann to discuss Morton Downey Junior. 

See for privacy information.

Mark as Played

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:01):
Fl media.

Speaker 2 (00:03):
Hey everybody, Robert here.

Speaker 1 (00:05):
As a lot of you probably know, about two months ago,
my dad took al I spent most of a month
in the hospital with him the ICU while he got sicker.
He passed a couple of weeks ago, so I have
lost some worktime. Needless to say, we'll be taking another
break this week, and then we should be back with
new episodes for the foreseeable future. I just needed another

week to get back ahead, get myself going again for reruns.
This week, we're running a trio of great episodes that
we did a couple of years ago with Tom Ryman
from Game for the Unemployed about right wing talk show
guys of the past, the dudes who kind of like
laid down the groundwork that made Tucker Carlson and Glenn

Beck possible. So they're great episodes. Check them out. And
I also wanted to plug the Portland Diaper Bank. Every
year around this time we do a fundraiser for the
Portland Diaper Bank. This is our fifth year in a row.
Last year raised nearly thirty thousand dollars to provide diapers
to low income people, and over the course of the
last four years, this will be our fifth year Behind

the Bastards listeners have raised more than one hundred thousand dollars.
So if you want to help out, just google go
fund me bTB fundraiser for PDX Diaper Bank. That's go
fund me bTB fundraiser for PDX Diaper Bank. Thanks everybody.

Speaker 2 (01:25):
Fall Yeer I was a German name for paratrooper. I
don't know why. I started the episode saying, Tom's why
you did that?

Speaker 1 (01:35):
How are how are you doing? Do you know that
the German word for paratrooper is falschwormjegger.

Speaker 2 (01:40):
I did not know that. Well, now you do, thank you.

Speaker 1 (01:42):
They had a you know, the the Nazis had an
aquatic little jeep that could go on the water. They
called a sh Fimenwagen. That's sweet, that's kind of funny. Yeah,
what do we call it? That's our swimming wagon head is, yeah,
gijoe vehicle. It does the women, Tom, how are you
feeling two pieces of ship into this? I'm vibing on

some clown shoes right now you are vibing on some
clown shoes. Well, right now, Tom, this exact moment, this
second in time, that we both inhabit, which may be
eternal if certain philosophers are right. This very moment could
go on forever, both forwards and backwards in time, could
be completely encompassing, as all moments are. This moment, we're

going to talk about a guy you have heard of,
mister Morton Downey dances all the way down just just
six my ears.

Speaker 2 (02:37):
Yeah, oh yeah, that's a name. That's a name.

Speaker 1 (02:41):
Yeah, Tom, what do you know about Morton Danny Jr.
Oh Man Jay as we call him.

Speaker 3 (02:46):
He's like a pinky ring that fell into a puddle
of toxic waste and became a man. He's he's he
plays the he plays the slimy journalist that Danny Glover
punches in the face and Predator two, and he.

Speaker 2 (03:01):
Sure is in Predator too, you god damn right, playing himself.

Speaker 1 (03:05):
Yeah, he's absolutely playing himself in Predator Too, which is incredible. Yeah,
easily the second best Predator movie.

Speaker 3 (03:15):
It's it's easily the second Predator film. Yeah, yeah, definitely,
you can't take that away from it. It is the
second one of them, indisputably the second Predator film.

Speaker 2 (03:24):
Yeah, I know, he's like a he's a he was sort.

Speaker 1 (03:27):
Of like the uh.

Speaker 3 (03:29):
The ying to Phil Dona Hughes Yang at the time,
where Phil Donahue was like kind of nice and personable
and Morton Downey was a real son of a bitch.

Speaker 2 (03:38):
When he was a real piece of shit. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (03:40):
And the fun thing about Morton Downey Junior, tom Uh
is that if you start researching Morton Downey Junior, the
first like Google result that tries to auto fill when
you start typing his name in is is Morton Downey
Junior related to Robert Downey Jr. And my answer to
that is it does not appear to be. So No,
just just just a fun coincidence, which is weird because

he does have a famous dad, like Robert Downey Junior. Yeah,
but just a completely different one. I just that's that's
very funny. Yeah, so let's let's let's let's talk about MDJ.

Speaker 4 (04:13):

Speaker 1 (04:14):
Morton Downey Junior was born on December ninth, nineteen thirty two,
in Los Angeles, California. His father was obviously a guy
named Morton Downey. Yeah, two thirds of these guys are Californians.

Speaker 3 (04:25):
Well that in the thirties, I'm like, fuck, he's old,
like a lot of these far's ancient, dusty, old racist mummies.

Speaker 1 (04:31):
That's because they were established by the time the eighties
got going, and they could really start fucking some shit
up for everybody.

Speaker 3 (04:36):
That's true. I keep thinking that the eighties was four
decades ago.

Speaker 1 (04:39):
Yeah, it's been a long time since the eighties, thank god.
So his father was obviously Morton Downey, which probably means
nothing to everyone listening, but I meant an awful lot
to people in the nineteen twenties and early thirties. Morton
Downey's nickname was the Irish Nightingale, and he was one
of the most popular singers of his day. He had

Morton Downey Junior, whose first name was Sean, with his
first wife, Barbara Bennett, and Barbara was famous because she
was the sister of two women who were famous actresses.
Morton Downey Senior would ultimately have five children, four sons
and a daughter. He was not a nice man, or
at least, people who knew Morton Downey Junior say he
did not think well of his father. There is, in fact,
significant evidence that he despised the man. He desperately wanted

to succeed as a singer, and he tried repeatedly as
a young man to follow in his father's footsteps. Appearing
on early game shows, where his performance was reviewed positively
by guys like Dean Martin. I thought he had an
all right voice, but most experts agree he just didn't
have what his father had. There was something lacking in
his voice that like he was just never going to
have the kind of career.

Speaker 2 (05:42):
His dad had.

Speaker 1 (05:43):
The Downey family were well to do. He grew up,
you know, richish. They lived in I mean, if you
want to know how well to do they were, they
lived in Hyannasport in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and their next
door neighbors were the Kennedys. Yeah, yes, it's like that's
how much money they got.

Speaker 2 (05:59):
His kids rich Ish?

Speaker 1 (06:01):
Yeah, yeah, there hang in with the Kennedy's. Morton Downey
Junior was good friends with Joe Kennedy. Will Or Morton
Downey Senior was good friends with Joe Kennedy and as
when Morton Downey Junior was a child, he would hang
out regularly with the Kennedy boys, you know, like he
knew Robert and JFK when they were younger. They were
all buds together. I guess Downey Emmy's a bit younger.

But Downey attended New York University and like the others,
and like our other subjects, seems to have immediately known
he wanted a career in radio. He got a job
as the program director an announcer for a radio station
in Hartford, Connecticut, in the early nineteen fifties. Over the
next decade and change, he was hired primarily as a DJ,
although he also sang for several pop and country records
and wrote a handful of songs that saw modest success.

Like Wally, George Morton, Downey Junior bounced around various markets Phoenix, Miami,
Kansas City, San Diego, and Seattle. Also like Wally, he
was a huge asshole and had trouble working with people.
He was forced to resign from a Miami network when
he gave the home phone number for a competing DJ
out on the air and insulted the man's wife.

Speaker 2 (07:06):
Oh like Docks, the guy on on the air.

Speaker 3 (07:11):
I want to I want to hear I hear him croon.
I had no idea that was his background. Oh, I
mean we can't he cut an album?

Speaker 2 (07:17):
Tom? Oh boy, you know what, Tom, We'll play this
right now. Sweet. Yeah, let's do it.

Speaker 1 (07:21):
Yeah, Let's let's do this now. I need you to
hear his song about the war on drugs.

Speaker 2 (07:25):
What's it called? Hey there, mister dealer, Oh.

Speaker 4 (07:28):
Many name, mister taler.

Speaker 2 (07:34):
Push son of the minds are the kids of America?
Just don't make your back.

Speaker 5 (07:45):
You all the sleeves, bag on the country, garbage of all.

Speaker 3 (07:52):
He's like attacking the microphone.

Speaker 2 (07:54):
Yeah, so welcome to his eternal mob.

Speaker 3 (08:03):
He looks like a skeleton at a costume contest dressed.

Speaker 2 (08:06):
As Dan Martin.

Speaker 1 (08:09):
All right, that's probably enough of Hey there, mister dealer.

Speaker 2 (08:12):
God it is so this will mean more.

Speaker 3 (08:14):
When you've had Dean Martin was too kind to him.
He was better when he was younger too.

Speaker 1 (08:21):
Yeah, his earlier, his earlier shit is I think because
he's he's what, he was famous when he recorded.

Speaker 3 (08:27):
He's so he was like doing a thing. Yeah, but
he's still like yeah, it's yeah.

Speaker 1 (08:33):
Yeah, I don't think he had a bad voice and
the stuff you can hear from younger. There's a good
documentary about his tours.

Speaker 2 (08:39):
But yeah, he is.

Speaker 1 (08:40):
He is going real agro there, and it's because you know,
he was already a name at that point. He was
he was doing a bit or maybe he just like
was out of his mind because that's what being famous
does to you.

Speaker 2 (08:51):
After a while, I.

Speaker 1 (08:51):
Don't know, you can see the cocaine, just like in
an aura. Yeah, yeah, it followed him around. In nineteen
sixty eight, Morton took a break from his work, his career,
which was again he was kind of a mix of
a DJ and a kind of a pinch hitter in
the music industry, coming into do background vocals and stuff
to work on that campaign for his good childhood friend
Bobby Kennedy. When Kennedy was assassinated, Morton wrote a book

of poetry with the title Quiet Thoughts Make the Loudest Noise.
The book was a way of processing grief, and you
can still find a handful of hardcover copies on Amazon
for like one hundred and forty eight dollars. Yes, I
am not buying one of them, but I did transcribe
one of the poems he wrote specifically about Robert Kennedy's death,
from the documentary Avocatur And I'm going to read that

to you now. Row upon row of grief racked followers,
sunken cheeks replacing their years ago happy faces, saying proudly
for their departed friend, their final hope and wondered why
a man must die to be a hero, and whether
we honor only those our own selfish hearts destroy.

Speaker 3 (09:53):
Yeah, I don't think sunk in cheeks is what he
meant to say, But but yeah, it's kind of you know,
it's kind of profound, that's right.

Speaker 1 (10:00):
He's certainly like a man who's thinking about like the
nature of Yeah, yeah, that it was thoughtful. You wouldn't
call him a shallow man based on that. He's a
man who's trying to process complicated and sorrowful emotions in
an artistic way. Clearly a person capable of not just
feeling grief, but of expressing it artistically. He continued to
sing occasionally, and he made his living as yet another

disc jockey until in nineteen eighty three, the same year
that the Wally George TV Show starts. A year before
Rush Limbaugh gots on talk radio, he gets a job
as a talk radio host on WDBO in Orlando, Florida.
So yeah, and again they're both kind of writing this
wave of right wing populism in the rise of the
religious right and Ronald Reagan like they're part of a thing.

They're not starting it, but they are also influencing the
way this thing grows. So Wally George and Morton Danny
Junior both rode that right wing wave and helped to
shape it. Morton Danny Junior was even more incendiary and
control uncontrolled than Wally. He lost his first talk show
gig after he punched a guest, an abortion rights activist
named Bill Baird, who he then called a son of

a bitch.

Speaker 2 (11:07):
So how many episodes in that?

Speaker 4 (11:13):

Speaker 1 (11:13):
Yeah, Wally George screams at people and stuff, and I
think shoved some folks a few times. Or Nanny Junior
just cold cock some motherfucker Like months into his first
talk show and again a radio talk show.

Speaker 3 (11:29):
I wonder if you can hear like the meat sound
on the microphone.

Speaker 1 (11:33):
I haven't found this audio, but I bet it's great.

Speaker 2 (11:36):

Speaker 1 (11:36):
According to the New York Times quote, mister Downey was
soon hired by KFBKAM Radio, a news talk station in Sacramento, California. There,
he told a joke in which he used the word
chinaman several times, angering Tom. Yeah, not that surprising, is it, Tom?
So Yeah, he tells a joke in which he uses

the word chinaman several times, which pisses off Tom Chin,
a Chinese American member of Sacramento City Council who was
listening in his car.

Speaker 2 (12:05):
Why. I wonder why that bothered him.

Speaker 1 (12:06):
I wonder why he got angry at that. Mister Chin
called the station. According to the councilman and to Paul R.
Errand then the station's program director, mister Chin was put
through to mister Downey, who let loose a verbal tirade
against him. Mister Downey was discharged the next day. So
he tells a racist joke on air. It offends a
member of the city council who calls, and then he

proceeds to be racist to that guy, lafe on.

Speaker 2 (12:29):
The air and loses his job. Yeah, yeah, that's usually
probably should be what happens.

Speaker 1 (12:33):
Yeah, yeah, Now the station had to obviously had to
shit can Morton Downy.

Speaker 2 (12:37):
June I liked that.

Speaker 3 (12:38):
He was like, Oh, I'm sorry, I'll just be racist
to you directly. Then, Yeah, do you do what would
you like me to just be a piece of shit
to your face? I did not mean to do it
to your back on the air. Absolutely not. Oh forgive me,
let me be an asshole directly.

Speaker 1 (12:50):
To let me be an asshole directly to you, I
don't mean to be rude. So they had to fire him.
But he was also and you'll you'll hear different things
about how popular he was. By some accounts he was
he was very successful. By some accounts just modestly successful.
I can't tell you which. But he did well enough
that the station was like, well, this guy's built an audience.

They're very dedicated, and so when he leaves, they decide
they need to replace him with another right wing firebrand,
someone who can stir up the same kind of populist
rage but also isn't quite as racist. You know, they
picked Tom I don't know who followed him into the job.
You might have heard of this guy, little fella. He
might know his name, Rush Limbaugh. Oh that's how Rush

gets His first big political gig.

Speaker 2 (13:37):
Was Morton Downey being too racist on the issue.

Speaker 1 (13:40):
It was too racist, and so Rush Limbaugh came in
and said, I can be slightly less racist than that
for a while, for a little while. Eventually I'll be
much more racist than that. I could be slightly less
racist to people's faces. Yeah again, for a while, for
a while.

Speaker 2 (13:59):
I love like, man, that was too racist. Let's get
Russian here, let's get you get that Rush Limbaugh hit
in air. Yeah, we would tone things down somewhat.

Speaker 1 (14:08):
Tom, Where do you go when you've just gotten fired
from your right wing radio job for being too much
of a racist?

Speaker 2 (14:14):
Uh? Television?

Speaker 6 (14:15):

Speaker 7 (14:15):
I mean?

Speaker 2 (14:16):
But what city do you go to?

Speaker 4 (14:17):

Speaker 2 (14:19):
Portland? I don't know. No, Cleveland, Cleveland? Oh yeah sure, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1 (14:23):
Yeah you get yeah, you get your ass on down
to Cleveland. Hey, our rivers are very rarely on fire,
unlike Cleveland. So he gets hired by w E. R.
E a M. To improve the poor ratings of its
talk show department. He was forced out there when he
again hurled racial slurs at an elected leader. This one
of your municipal court seeing this coming, who could have guessed?

Wally George, the man who punched an abortion rights activist
and lost his first radio show, lost a second for
screaming racial slurs at a city councilor would lose his
third show for screaming racials? Is it a municipal court judge?
Oos among us.

Speaker 3 (15:05):
Has not on a bad day a hurled racist slurs
at a circuit court judge?

Speaker 1 (15:08):
Or or yeah, those of us who have not gone
to jail have done that. So while his former employer
wrestled with a lawsuit. As a result of this, Morton
Downey Junior moved to Chicago to do it all over again.
So during both of these strategy yeah the OK strategy Chicago, Yeah,

Chicago forgives all sense. During his first two dalliances with
talk radio, Morton Downey Junior had a regular segment on
his shows called the Executive Intelligence Report, which is him
reading from a magazine published by Lyndon LaRouche.

Speaker 2 (15:45):
We're gonna have to do a whole.

Speaker 1 (15:47):
Episode on Lyndon LaRouche at some point, but for now
you'll have to be satisfied with this quick description of
Lindon courtesy of a New York Times obituary. And again,
this is the source of Morton Downey Junior's execus Kative
Intelligence Report quote. Lyndon LaRouche, the quixotic, apocalyptic leader of
a cult like political organization who ran for president eight

times once more. Prison cell died on Tuesday. He was
ninety six. Defining what mister LaRue is yeah right, that's
a motherfucking sentence, is an entire sentence. Defining what mister
Larouge stood for was no easy task. He began his
political career on the far left and ended it on
the far right. He said he admired Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton,

Abraham Lincoln, and Ronald Reagan and loathed Hitler the composure
Richard Wagner and other anti Semites, though he himself made
anti Semitic statements and boy Diddy a lot of them.
He was a fascist tom He was a fascist political
cult leader.

Speaker 3 (16:44):
I liked the obituary was like, we don't know what
the fuck he believed.

Speaker 1 (16:49):
He believed in Lyndon Larouge having a bunch of like
he had a bunch of followers who basically it was
a cult, like they lived for this man, and they
would go out and proselytize on the street. They would
hand out papers at call campuses. LaRouche argued that environmentalists
were trying to wipe out the human race, which is
a claim that Alex Jones now parrots. He believed Queen
Elizabeth was trying to murder him personally. He argued that

Jews had founded the KKK, and he described Indigenous Americans
as lower beasts. So this is the source of Morton
Downey Junior's intel I'm finding a couple of consistent threads
in his belief structure that perhaps his obituary could have
latched onto it. May I think they may have gotten
into that later. That was like the first two paragraphs.

I just I read that obituorian was like, my god,
that is a sentence.

Speaker 3 (17:35):
Yeahah, that first sentence almost knocked me out of my chair. Yeah,
what a fucking life the president eight times once from prison?

Speaker 2 (17:43):
But what it was a tax thing? I think.

Speaker 1 (17:48):
Again, we'll do I'll have to read into him and
we'll do a whole episode on Lyndon Larouge. He's quite
a character. Yeah, yeah, the head of Morton Downey Junior's
Intel program. Now, the fact that Morton Downey Junior platform
this guy is very and it's arguably more fucked up
because Morton Downey Junior did not really like him. As
he told The New York Times, I decided I was
going to be as friendly towards these people and get

as much information out of them as I could, because
someday I would expose them. Now that's bullshit. It's true
that he did eventually get Lyndon Larushe on his TV show,
and he tore him apart like it was a very
aggressive interview with Lyndon, but he also continued to spread
Laruche's newsletter and other publications after that point, calling the
fascist cult leader's intelligence information quote the second or third

best in the world.

Speaker 3 (18:31):
Based on what Morton Downey Junior he Morton Downey Junior
doesn't know nice build cast member of Predator two.

Speaker 1 (18:41):
Yeah, mother, I mean he did make the top ten
look look in fairness, that's more than either of us
have ever done in terms of predators.

Speaker 2 (18:48):
That's true.

Speaker 3 (18:49):
But I'm not out here saying this is the second
or third most reputable intelligence support in the world.

Speaker 2 (18:55):
No, you're not.

Speaker 1 (18:55):
No, based on your experience, which is you and I
both did get to look at the Predator costume.

Speaker 3 (19:02):
Yes, oh wait, no, this was it. I didn't well,
oh you weren't there that it wasn't, But I saw
the video.

Speaker 2 (19:07):
It was rad It seems like a.

Speaker 1 (19:12):
Just knowing that I was that close to something that
had touched Morton Downey Junior was was just powerful. Tom
was really powerful. You know what else has touched Morton
Downey Junior in a sexual man?

Speaker 2 (19:23):
He's products and services. Probably they fucked him. They fucked him.

Speaker 3 (19:27):
Products and services have been inserted into Morton Downey Junior.

Speaker 1 (19:30):
Absolutely, that is again the only promise we make about
our sponsors. So if he seems fine with us, so
I'm just gonna continue.

Speaker 3 (19:36):
Yeah, that's an AD that's an AD throw, that's an
AD throw baby.

Speaker 2 (19:46):
Oh we're back.

Speaker 1 (19:49):
So by nineteen eighty seven, Rush Limbaugh's show had exploded
in popularity. Wally George was the talk of Orange County.
This is kind of the height of the Wally George
Show too. And despite Morton's mixed success on radio, a
station in New York slash New Jersey, I guess it
covered both decided let's give this guy a TV show.
And I think they're looking at Wally George over in
OC They're seeing Rush Limbubloup in the radio and they're like,

this guy could be a could be a hit on TV.
And in fairness, they're not wrong.

Speaker 5 (20:15):
He was.

Speaker 1 (20:16):
Yeah, he was filmed in Secaucus. The Morton Downey Junior
Show was cut very much in the shape of Wally
George's hot seat. In fact, Wally even had Morton on
his show in the late nineteen eighties and it was
immediately hostile. And I'm first going to play this clip
Morton Donny Junior on the Wally George, Oh boy.

Speaker 3 (20:35):
It's really a Freddy versus Jason moment. Just say two
rats fighting over a dead cat.

Speaker 2 (20:42):
Oh boy.

Speaker 1 (20:42):
And I have to say before if you're wondering what
Morton Downey Junior looks like, well so if he gets
this clip together, remember Iron Giant, Remember the bad guy
from Iron Giant. He looks like Christopher Sleazy Fed. Yeah,
he looks like he looks like Shooter mcgavett. It looks
like yeah he does. Who is the same I was
blew me away to learn that Shooter mcgafvin and the

Fed from uh uh uh the Iron Giant are the
same guy.

Speaker 3 (21:07):
Incredible thing. He looks like he looks like Shooter McGavin
with novelty teeth. Yeah, he looks like Shooter McGavin if
Shooter McGavin did like birthday parties for children.

Speaker 2 (21:20):
Oh, here it is.

Speaker 4 (21:22):

Speaker 5 (21:24):
You're coming up with the usual simplistic answers. Wally that
conservatives who don't know what the hell they're talking about.

Speaker 6 (21:32):

Speaker 4 (21:33):
I've got an audience out here.

Speaker 5 (21:35):
You've got an audience of monkeys.

Speaker 2 (21:37):
Out here will do everything that you tell him to do.
He's not wrong.

Speaker 5 (21:43):
I'm warning you the next time you don't warn me,
Punk God.

Speaker 4 (21:49):

Speaker 2 (21:49):
George looks incredible, man.

Speaker 3 (21:55):
He looks like the entertainment direct that a cruise ship,
but like a bad cruise ship.

Speaker 1 (22:00):
The cops have come on now, and they're pulling Morton
Downey Junior off the show and tackling.

Speaker 2 (22:07):
He gets tackled by jor total Roger Stone vibes from
that guy with.

Speaker 4 (22:14):
Like a.

Speaker 1 (22:16):
And obviously all of that was set up ahead of time.
The plan was always I suspect for Morton Downey Junior
to get tackled by sheriff's deputies on the seat of
Wally Joege's on seat.

Speaker 3 (22:25):
It seems so extreme, and he's already so famous at
that point that they wouldn't Yeah, they would not dare
do that to him and listen to staged.

Speaker 1 (22:32):
Yeah, I mean while yeah, yeah, it's it's very funny
and and honestly, I can't tell you it may not
have been pre planned as much as both men just
naturally knew going in. This is how this is going
to end. Like I'm I'm Morton Danny Junior and the
Wally george Show. Of course, I'm going to get tackled
off stage during like a nearly physical fight between the
two of us. This is just how this has to happen.

I am naturally enough of a right wing shithead firebrand
that jet that's just in my blood. Well, the thing
that at the moment we were on a ca Amra together,
this was what had to happen, right.

Speaker 3 (23:03):
Whoever wins, we lose. Yeah, the real fredge Jason situation.
The thing that stuck out to me was when there's
a scene, well not a scene. I'm fucking talking about
this like it's a movie because it's so stage.

Speaker 1 (23:13):

Speaker 3 (23:13):
There's a part in the clip where Wally George stands
up after uh uh morton down. He says, don't don't
warn me. He stands up like he's gonna fight, but
he buttons his He buttons his coat. He buttons his
fucking coat. That's a thing you do when you know
you're gonna be on camera. You do the opposite when
you know you're about to start throwing hands, is you
want to unbutton that coat.

Speaker 1 (23:32):
So it's like, yeah, you want to un button You
might even want to take that. If you're really gonna
throw hands, you take that shirt off and you fold
it on the table where you say, all right, here's
how things are gonna go, you know.

Speaker 3 (23:42):
So the fact that he's stoo up and buttoned his jacket,
it's like, yeah, yeah, you know you're not going to
course of course, yeah that it would have been very fun.

Speaker 1 (23:50):
But I don't think either of well, actually, no, Morton
Danny Junior definitely threw a punch. He punched that guy
who came on his radio shift to.

Speaker 3 (23:56):
Every you know, all the all the what a terrible
piece of shitty is and all the funny things we're
going to do to make fun of him on this episode,
Morton Downy doesn't look like.

Speaker 2 (24:03):
He hasn't been in a fight.

Speaker 1 (24:05):
No, No, Morton Downey Junior wouldn't have survived to this
age if he hadn't learned a couple of things about fighting,
because that's a man who pisses people off. Yeah, Wally
George is a man who was very careful to never
piss anyone off until he felt like he wouldn't get
the shit beaten out of him, like he was an
adult and polite society.

Speaker 2 (24:24):
That was a kid who hid.

Speaker 3 (24:26):
Yeah, he can bully into giving you an extra ride
on the Teacups at the Curb.

Speaker 1 (24:32):
Now Morton Danny Junior was different from Wally George and
in fact, well he started off as way more out
of control. Again, he got fired from his first job
for assaulting a guest. He toned it down for his
actual TV show, not much, but in an intelligent way.
He was actually in a lot of ways, he was
kind of a mix between Wally George and Joe Pine

because like Wally George he would be like a lunatic
a bunch of the time and like very loud, get
into fights on stage and whatnot a showman. But Joe
Pine he could actually sit down and have conversations with people,
even once he disagreed with without just screaming at them,
And there were actual debates on his show. So he
was not the same as Wally and I think that's
why he was. He made more of an impact because

Wally George was never anything but just like pure id
and there was a little bit of thinking on the
Morton Downey Junior show. I'm not saying that to praise it,
just to like characterize what he was doing. It was
a bit different than Wally George. He opened his first
episode with the words certain things really burn my buns,
and that more or less summed up the focus. Morton

was irritated by a lot of things feminism, environmentalism, social justice,
and he wanted to make his audience angry too. Like Wally,
he was happy to platform people with differing beliefs so
long as they would get into arguments with him. That
made good television. His show was an immediate success, and
its wide audience meant that some of his guests became
stars in their own right. One of his early interviews
was a little known congressman you might have heard of

tom named Ron Paul. Now Morton Downey Junior. What a
friendly introduction of Ron Paul. Here he brings the congressman
up on stage by saying, we're going to talk to
a man who could be snorting cocaine in the Oval office.
Because again, Ron Paul, the thing that like, one of
the things that made him prominent early on is he's
for the decriminalization or legalization of all drugs. And Morton

Downey Junior is, as a Republican in this period of time,
an art drug warrior. So here's here's Ron Paul on
the Morton Downey Junior show.

Speaker 5 (26:28):
Now, would you believe that the government should stay out
of our personal business all together?

Speaker 6 (26:31):

Speaker 2 (26:32):
Matter of fact?

Speaker 5 (26:32):
Is all right, that's good guys, but also happens to
be my personal business if I want to kill my
four year old kid. Right, No, no, no, no, wait
a minute, wait, you're giving you're giving libertarian a distorted explanation.
Oh sir, your people gave it to yourselves and your platform.

Speaker 2 (26:46):
No, let me explain that.

Speaker 5 (26:48):
The answer is that we allowed to do what we want.

Speaker 2 (26:50):
We even permit people smoke. Serious happened.

Speaker 5 (26:52):
That happens to be the most deadly drug in the
United States.

Speaker 8 (26:55):
You know, three.

Speaker 2 (26:57):

Speaker 5 (26:58):
Maybe we ought to make it will need a banded.

Speaker 2 (27:00):
I wish you'd bean it.

Speaker 4 (27:02):
Right now.

Speaker 8 (27:02):
You can buy it out on the street and pay
five out.

Speaker 2 (27:08):
So you see what a number one?

Speaker 1 (27:10):
Ron Paul really comes across as a reasonable man in
that interview. Yeah, yeah, but you see, you see what
I'm talking about. He's kind of a mix of Wally
George and Joe Pine because he's way more aggressive and
rude than Joe Pine. But he's also he's not just
shouting over him. Ron Paul gets and he'll he'll he'll
quiet his audience.

Speaker 2 (27:29):
Down and whatnot.

Speaker 1 (27:30):
Like he's he's he's he's found this middle level between
the two men that's certainly not like, I mean, he's
a bully, he's a dick, but he's not what Wally
George was. It's not quite that same level of like
it's not as much of a lynch mob the audience.

Speaker 2 (27:45):
Yeah, still a lot.

Speaker 1 (27:47):
Of audience participation, but yeah, less violently fascist, Yeah, but
still the bad faith arguments still, of course, in the
same way that Joe Pine was bad faith that exactly.

Speaker 2 (27:56):
You know, they all have this in common. Yea, they
all have this in common.

Speaker 1 (28:00):
And I just think it's interesting how Morton, I think,
is very consciously mixing Joe Pine with Wally George in
order to kind of like Wally went way too far.
Joe Pine is not far enough for today's TV. Nobody
would listen to Joe Pine today.

Speaker 2 (28:11):
Yeah, he's too.

Speaker 3 (28:12):
Calm, you know, He's like, he wants to maintain he
wants the same kind of controversy and intense emotions of
Wally George, but he wants to maintain firm control of
the show.

Speaker 1 (28:24):
Yeah, yeah, I think that's exactly that's exactly it, and
this is probably why his show. And also you know
the fact that when he has people on emibly disagrees with,
he does allow them more of a chance to make
their point. Ron Paul gets to say a lot in
this interview, and this is I don't want to say
this is like the reason he became prominent, but this
is a decent part of it. This is a significant

reason for his like why he started to become well known,
and it's in part because he does get he looks
good up there.

Speaker 2 (28:52):
He makes a lot of sense.

Speaker 1 (28:53):
And I think a lot of people, like listening to
Ron Paul on the Morton Downey Junior Show, would be like, well,
this is actually a reasonable man, especially considering the kind
of like angry young men who would watch the Morton
Downey Junior Show.

Speaker 2 (29:05):
I'm sure a lot of them got into Ron Paul watching.

Speaker 1 (29:07):
This in a way that like with Wally George, that
I'm sure never happened because he never let people say
that much. And yeah, I mean it's hard to watch
the Ron Paul interview and dislike the man where Joe
Pine was always chivalrous to his female guests, though even
though he disagreed with Morten felt no need to hold
his punches. At one point he had on a vegan,

which is again that was like the first thing we
saw Joe Pine doing is like talking to a vegan
so he can make fun of him, which is a big,
a long reoccurring thing in like right wing politics. And yeah,
she made the point, this vegan that Morton's talking to
you made the point that vegan diets were healthier, to
which Wally responded, I eat raw hamburger, I eat raw fish.
I smoke four packs of cigarettes a day. I have

about four drinks a day. I'm fifty five years old,
and I look as good as you do, which is
gonna be funny later, although you do have to be
fair like he looks a lot younger than Joe Pine does.

Speaker 3 (29:59):
When Joe Pine was like forty, Joe Pine looked like
a pyramid, like a pyramid made man.

Speaker 1 (30:07):
He says he's smoking four packs of cigarettes a day.
Joe Pine is smoking for backs of cigarettes an hour,
like he sees he's on his commute.

Speaker 2 (30:15):

Speaker 1 (30:17):
So one of his most popular sparring partners was feminist
lawyer Gloria Allred, who again gained a lot of her
popularity because of the Morton Downey Junior Show. This is
a big vector for a lot of people who are
who are still prominent today. Again not the only reason,
but like, this is a big show, this is a
significant cultural moment, and she has a big role in it.
She's a regular guest, and she and Downey would like

spar a lot constantly. You might have expected her to
hate him, like, given her politics and his politics. They
certainly fought like Heena is on the air, but as
the documentary of Vakatur makes clear, the two got along.
This was a game and they were both happy to
play it in order to make themselves famous. And I'm
gonna have Sophie play this clip. This is from the
documentary of Vakatur, which I really do recommend.

Speaker 5 (31:00):
Anyone who had breasts was a feminist.

Speaker 4 (31:02):
There are almost no feminists who have ever burned a bra,
So let me get that straights.

Speaker 5 (31:05):
No feminist who ever had anything that they needed to
wear a bra.

Speaker 4 (31:08):
For Between us, there was a certain amount of sexual tension,
likewise on your jockstrap.

Speaker 5 (31:15):
But in any case, how does she know she has
a tape measure on her tongue?

Speaker 1 (31:23):
Like Jesus, I know, right, that's just gross all around.

Speaker 2 (31:29):
Do you feel like I need a shower?

Speaker 1 (31:32):
But also you see the difference again when Wally George
never had any like it wasn't yelling at people he
was like friendly with, Like clearly he wanted that with
some of them, Like he was willing to like talk
with Blaze and be like, hey, we could have a
good thing going. He was able to find people who
were media trained, who were talented in their own right,
who could go on and have show arguments with him
to keep the crowd braying. But there was nothing he didn't.

He didn't again, he didn't believe in shit. But while
Wally George like couldn't. I guess I don't think Wally
when Morton Jenny Junr was willing to do, was someone
get in hits on him verbally, like he wanted that
kind of sparring, you know, because that's good TV. I
think Wally George was just too brittle a man to
accept that. Yeah, yeah, Morton I think never would have
taken anything really personally because he's a showman and he

gets that like, well, I'm having Gloria on, Like neither
of us believe in anything. We just are using this
as a vehicle for our own personal fame. Yeah, and
we can say, like, have whatever fights we.

Speaker 2 (32:24):
Want to have.

Speaker 1 (32:25):
And yeah, they would have made a good couple because
they're both the same person more or less.

Speaker 4 (32:33):

Speaker 1 (32:34):
Eight months into its run, the Morton Downey Junior Show
was a wildfire hit. The New York Times sent in
a reporter to watch the show as it was taped,
and his recollection does a good job of setting up
the mood. Quote Sean Morton Downey Junior, Sean to his friends,
mort mort to the adoring t shirted fans crowding the
New Jersey Television studio audience, smoked and paste and spewed venom.

You're not licking the butts of the boots of the
bureaucracy that doesn't give a damn about the American people,
he commanded. Bureaucratic bitch, he shouted. As the congregation and
as unruly as any splatter film crowd at the nearby
Low's Metal Plaza eight jumped up and loudly voiced its approval. So, yeah,
that's the it's it's combative. But as you saw from
that glare already quote, don't cheer it like somebody getting

in a hit. On Morton too. It's not the same
like we're getting closer to Springer here. We're getting closer
to Springer here. That's right, that's more about the spectacle.
They just want to see him, They just want to
see shit fly.

Speaker 2 (33:27):

Speaker 1 (33:28):
Mort was separated from later imitators, people like Jerry Springer,
and from people like Wally.

Speaker 2 (33:32):
George, who was a little.

Speaker 1 (33:33):
Earlier by his willingness to physically confront his guests. He
came very close to getting into fights on several occasions.
And his studio, Yeah, his studio was the first in
television to put the audience through a metal detector.

Speaker 2 (33:47):
Oh man.

Speaker 1 (33:48):
And I'm sure there was a mix of that's practical
because he has somebody might get fucking stabbed, but also
that's like, that's another thing we can rag about. It's like,
this is TV is so hot, we gotta have a
metal detector for the audience.

Speaker 3 (33:58):
The audience, that's how in Yeah, this show is Yeah,
it's a gimmick.

Speaker 1 (34:02):
As with Wally George, his live audience particularly skewed towards
young and disaffected men, a lot of the same kind
of guys who would have been in the alt right
and would have been like edgy Kids Online Today. The
documentary of Acatur includes interviews with some of these audience members,
including Joshua Rothman, who is now a history professor who
was part of Wally's regular audience when he was like

fucking like, it looks like he's like sixteen in this.
I'm sure he was a little older. But here's here's
Joshua explaining the appeal of showing up to a taping
of More Show.

Speaker 2 (34:33):
If you guys and that other grem went over there,
like japads, this is him as a kid, I shove
it wor up all right.

Speaker 7 (34:39):
Just was also sort of perfect for seventeen year olds
because it had no nuance at all.

Speaker 2 (34:44):
Everything was black or white, and seventeen year olds.

Speaker 7 (34:49):
Card everything is either totally one thing or totally the other.

Speaker 2 (34:53):
There is no middle. We are amer Car, We're number one.
You know what I think. I think Donald Trump should
take his game and just go to hell. Yeah that's
all that's all you got, man.

Speaker 3 (35:07):
Yeah, it looked like he was gonna say something colorful
for sixteen year old you know, So that that says
a lot of it right there.

Speaker 1 (35:15):
Yeah, both like we didn't have YouTube if you're a
kid and you want to, like you feel like you
have something to say, you could get on TV. As
long as you're willing to like shout something stupid. Morton
Downey Junior will put your ass on television.

Speaker 3 (35:27):
Yeah, as long as you to get possibly beaten up
by him on the air.

Speaker 7 (35:31):

Speaker 2 (35:31):
Yeah, it's can I know, I get I get it,
I get it. It's yeah. He's given them not only.

Speaker 3 (35:37):
In uh, he's.

Speaker 2 (35:39):
Given them an outlet.

Speaker 3 (35:41):
Yeah, and it seems like they, like we were talking
about with the crowd of Wally's show, it's it's more
that it's it's not necessarily the political views. It's there
latching onto this sort of maximum anger anything goes kind
of environment.

Speaker 1 (35:56):
It's this space where they can let out, like every
seventeen year old is angry as shit about a bunch
of different things. And you could get on Morton Downey
Junior's show and you could either express real anger with
something or what's probably more common, you could express the
anger inside you and just throw it at anything, like
it doesn't matter. He just wants you to be loud
and yelling and he'll be happy with you. And there's

no you can be edgy if you want to just
say something fucked up on TV. He can, He'll let
you do that. It's like shit posting too, like all
of this like four chance stuff. You can see those impulses.
He's giving people an outlet for them.

Speaker 3 (36:31):
Yeah, And they show the clip from their homemade video
that they that they made, like a sketch that they did,
these kids who yeah, pretending to be Morton Downey Junior.
So it's clear that it's it's his like bombastic, this
character that he is that they're latching onto less than
his views. It's more just the way he speaks and
the way he behaves and the way he's sort of
you know, it's like when people would chant, when people

would chant Jerry Jerry, Yeah exactly, people would get into fights.
It's nothing to do with Springer himself.

Speaker 1 (36:58):
Yeah, And it's it's nothing to do these kids don't
care about I'm sure didn't. I mean, I'm sure at
the time they agreed with whatever political shit he was saying,
but they didn't think about policy. Were fucking seventeen year
olds like they were just they identified with the way
that he expressed emotion and the way that he let
them do it.

Speaker 3 (37:14):
And as they identified with an angry white man of
being an angry white man on television and being colorful
about it.

Speaker 1 (37:21):
Yeah, Morton absolutely played the role of a religious extremist. Again,
I don't think he believed in anything, certainly not God,
but he knew that fights over religion could make good television.
And I'm going to play an excerpt here from an
episode titled God Versus Atheism. And we don't think that
shows us if they forced to pray when they don't

want to.

Speaker 2 (37:42):
Any child is free to pray at any time that
he wants.

Speaker 1 (37:44):
In the public schools today, we.

Speaker 5 (37:47):
Say we're going to give you a minute to pray
anytime you want.

Speaker 2 (37:50):
No, they the government doesn't tell children when.

Speaker 3 (37:52):
To pray, what to pray, how to pray, or even.

Speaker 2 (37:54):
If they doesn't.

Speaker 4 (37:55):
Reths like you and Madam y'all had I made sure
we can't even say in the Pledge of Allegiance the
word God anymore in a public school because of you, guys.

Speaker 2 (38:08):
Yeah, it's the same shit you see nowadays. It's a stupid,
useless argument we're still making.

Speaker 1 (38:13):
Yep, Yeah, exactly. Later on in that same interview, Downy
tells his atheist guest, this is a nation of freedom,
are you a religion, then you have no fucking freedom,
just like like.

Speaker 2 (38:22):
Nine year old arguments.

Speaker 1 (38:23):
You know, yeah, I don't even know what the fuck
that's supposed to be.

Speaker 2 (38:29):

Speaker 1 (38:30):
While the Morton Dannie Junior Show had lots of yelling
and fighting, some of its most sinister impacts came from
the segments that were calm, thoughtful debates. In my research,
I came across a roundtable discussion from nineteen eighty eight
about black crime featuring Reverend Al Sharpton. Who's another person
who really the Morton Downey Junior Show massively increased his platform,
his profile, Like he owes a lot of his fame

to the Morton Downey Junior Show. It made him, It
helped make him into like a regular fixture on TV.
While the authority or while the audience does hoot and
holler some the discussion is very simple and it's kind
of chilling because one of Morton's guests here goes on
an extended tirade about black on white crime statistics, which

is like a major argument point for fucking neo Nazis today.
So here that is, in.

Speaker 7 (39:17):
The United States, nineteen eighty six, more murders were committed
by blacks twelve percent of the population than we're committed
by whites eighty five percent of the population. These are
the numbers right here, right out of the Justice Department figures,
and you can check them later if anyone has any

doubts on that. When you check the murder figures in
interracial crime, now interracial means that you have a perpetrator
of one race and of another race. When you check
those figures, yeah, you find and I'll just get to
the conclusion of it. You find that a black in

nineteen eighty four, a black crack Jesus was over fifteen
times more likely the murder of white than the white
was the murderer.

Speaker 2 (40:06):

Speaker 1 (40:07):
That's enough of this. So obviously this guy statistics are
very flawed. And one of Morton's other guests, doctor Gloria Toot,
does point this out pretty much immediately, and we're going
to play that clip now too. Here's her like slapping
back on this.

Speaker 6 (40:20):
Number One, your credit is erroneous. Crime is being reduced
in America, not simply by black but by Americans in general.
We have mest crime in nineteen eighty seven than we
had ten years ago. Number Two, with the Justice Department
and state and local government officials and crime have admitted
that the reporting statistics are an era as it relates

to the crime reported by minorities and crimes reported about
white Number three also has now been acknowledged by those
officials that in many instances, the white criminal is not
is up convicted or even arrested, whereas your minority is.

Speaker 5 (41:05):

Speaker 6 (41:05):
I could go on and on and on, but the
fact toy is gaining. I'm just not accurate, and we.

Speaker 2 (41:11):
Do ourselves at disservice and we.

Speaker 6 (41:13):
Don't look at what the problem is.

Speaker 1 (41:14):
So obviously that's a more productive debate than was ever
had on the Wally George Show. It seems more like
the kind of stuff you might have heard on Joe Pine.
And in fairness, he is bringing on people to contradict
and argue with this guy talking about black on white crime.
So you could call this, on one level, a more
responsible and productive debate than a lot of what you
see on right wing TV today. But I can't help

but see in this echoes of the kind of fascist
platforming that would become much more common in later years
without the measured pushback that Morton's show at least gave
it the specter of black on white crime and high
crime rates among black people are two of the most
virulent and productive talking points of the fascist right. I
could go on a rant about Dylan Roof here, who
he claims inspired to go on his massacre by reading

about black on white crime, but this discussion has very
deep roots. And I'm kind of torn between seeing Morton
here as someone who handed it better than some people
in the right, because he did have two very well
prepared black guests to counter this line of argument, or
whether I'm just more unsettled by the fact that he
put this fucking argument on television at all. Like, I
don't know kind of where to land on that, but

it leaves me feeling unsettled.

Speaker 2 (42:22):

Speaker 3 (42:22):
No, I don't trust anything that any of these people do.
So it's he just did it for Rady. He knew
this was a hot button issue for a lot of people.
Yeah yeah, And he had a full panel so that
he could maximize the outrage and the controversy and just
you know, you don't get one person on there to
talk about their views because that's not going to start

a fight. You have to get somebody else on there
to contradict what they're saying or counter what they're saying.

Speaker 1 (42:47):
Yeah, yeah, that's I think what's going on here. But
you know who won't platform people spreading Nazi talking points
about race related crimes, Tom.

Speaker 3 (42:58):
Hopefully the fine people bringing us these products and services.

Speaker 1 (43:03):
Yeah, they absolutely do not, unless it's in which case.

Speaker 2 (43:08):
Wo boy, here's ads. All right, we're back. Oh yeah.

Speaker 1 (43:18):
So Reverend Al Sharpton was another media figure who got
a massive early boost to his career thanks to the
Morton Downey Junior Show. Maybe not early, but he got
this really increased a lot of his visibility. He and
Morton were regular sparring partners, and they also were clearly friends.
Al made for great television. At one point, he called
another guest a punk F word in a moment of rage.

In fact, it was Al's friendship with Morton Downy Junior
that would prove to be the downfall of the Morton
Downey Junior Show. From the Chicago Tribune quote, it all
came to a head when the show began focusing on
the case of Tijuana Brawley, a fifteen year old African
American girl who claimed to have been raped by six
white men, including a police officer and had KKK another
vile words scrawled on her body. Show after show was

devoted to this case, many featuring the Brawley advisor and
then relatively unknown Al Sharpton. Downy beat that story to death,
and his ratings began to plummet, especially after Brawley's accusations
were deemed false by a grand jury. So it does
seem to be a case where Brawley was lying. I
think it's because she'd like stayed out late and like
had to come up with an excuse and it just
was like a kid doing a dumb thing, and then

it blew up and became national news. It's a very
sad story. I think she's still like, for the rest
of her life will owe money to one of the
people she accused.

Speaker 2 (44:31):
Who suit her.

Speaker 1 (44:32):
It's like pretty fucked uptail and Morton Danny Junior jumped
on it and took it as a crusade, not because
he cared about this woman and thought that it was true,
but because you know, it was TV and he's Morton
Danny Junior.

Speaker 3 (44:44):
Shit and issue of the day. It's a Zac sat
mentality behind the debate. We just listened to yep, yep,
exactly now. The Tawana Brawley case led to one of
the most infamous moments of nineteen eighties television, when Mort
had Al Sharpton on with a black, white right wing
activist named Roy. The stated goal of the episode was
to determine who was the leader of Black America. Both

in it.

Speaker 1 (45:06):
It's so boy, Tom, it's a little more complex than
is it Sharp Dinner?

Speaker 2 (45:11):

Speaker 1 (45:12):
But that's kind of like the inference that, like, yeah,
both Innis and Sharpton receive a chorus of booze when
they're introduced, because that's the kind of show this is.

Speaker 2 (45:21):
Oh boy.

Speaker 1 (45:22):
Mort starts the interview by bringing up comments Sharpton made
criticizing Ennis. Sharpton goes on a rant, calling Ennis a sellout,
and then this happens, and it's in us speaking at
the start of this, Oh ahead.

Speaker 8 (45:33):
I'm one of the few, none bigger than black leaders.

Speaker 2 (45:38):

Speaker 8 (45:38):
I will say, let me stay now, let's deal with
the facts. Let's go to a record tonight. We want
to deal with the records and the facts. Please do
it on this program, your program.

Speaker 2 (45:49):
You heard me.

Speaker 8 (45:50):
You have me on tape defending this man. Recently, even
after the Shenanigans with him and the others a lot
of crap.

Speaker 2 (46:00):
You'll have time, brother ship. Yeah, he was pushed out sharp.

Speaker 1 (46:11):
He just he just shoved his s down onto the
stage and a bunch of dudes rush up to start
shoving ship balls.

Speaker 2 (46:18):

Speaker 1 (46:19):
He pushed him right off the stage. He pushed him
right off the damn stage. Yeah, ship, Yeah, And it
went fucking viral. This moment was huge. Every TV show,
like every news show had the clips of this fucking weeks,
like in a way that like no genocide today goes
as viral is this clip of Al Sharpton getting shoved

off a stage went which is not a great didn't
because I know, gret, I bet I know, yeah, because yeah, yeah,
I bet you Yeah, I bet we all to.

Speaker 2 (46:52):
It's Yeah.

Speaker 1 (46:53):
After the Tawana Brawley case fell apart, nothing could abate
the downward slide of Morton's ratings. The next year, in
nineteen eighty nine, he made a desperate stab at regaining
his relevance. He filed a police report claiming three skinheads
had jumped him, beaten him up, and drawn a swastika
on his forehead and an airplane bat in an airport bathroom.
The police almost immediately came forward and said that the

facts of the case as he had reported it to them,
or is he reported it to the media, did not
align with like what he had said. Basically, he said,
like he's fucking lying. We have no evidence that any
of this is true. We can't substantiate any of his claims.
And it came out later one of his friends hastified,
like he faked it. He like drew a swastika, Like
the photos that he gave the cops are different from

like the photos that he put up on TV of
like the swastika on his forehead, Like he just like
faked getting jumped by skinheads to try to drum up
like a media controversy. He's just a desperate scumbought bag.
He made several comeback scumbought.

Speaker 3 (47:50):
Yeah, Android created only to be a scumbag.

Speaker 1 (47:54):
Just a shit droid full of just spew and poop.
So he made a few and comeback attempts, and he
tried to make a living doing talk radio, and he
maintained actually a surprisingly robust career in movies you've already mentioned.
He's Knife Bills and Predator too. He was in Revenge
of the Nerds three Sure, which is really quite a film.

He was in The Silencer. He was in Tails of
the Crypt to name but a few episodes, although Wally
George really should have been the one Entails from.

Speaker 2 (48:22):
The Grip honestly. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (48:24):
In nineteen ninety six he was diagnosed with lung cancer,
which was embarrassing. Yeah, how dare you really? We have
we have to thank comrade cigarettes for getting two thirds
of these guys out of the planet critical support to
chain smoking. This was embarrassing. To live by the sword, Robert,

you die by the sword. And he had he made
a big deal about being a smoker on the year,
kind of like the way kind of Bill Hicks did.
If you listen to some of like those routines.

Speaker 2 (48:55):
He would talk on a cigarette and like every clip
we've yes, yeah, and he would talk about like these
aren't bad for me. I look better than you.

Speaker 1 (49:02):
You know we read that clip a little bit earlier,
were you?

Speaker 3 (49:04):
And he does fore it back? Does motherfucker looks? Yeah,
he doesn't look good. He does look good. He's all teeth. Yeah,
he had, he had. He had made so much hay
out of like being a smoker. He had autographed cigarette
seed promised never to quit, but then he gets lung cancer,
and so he immediately becomes an anti smoking activist, begging

people to stop. He told one interviewer, I used a
cigarette as a combat weapon, and I never gave much
thought to the chance that the cigarette would most likely
kill me. Just very funny, mmmm or yeah. Morton died
in two thousand and one, but his influence lives on.
When his show was canceled in nineteen eighty nine, a
TV reviewer with the Chicago Tribune wrote that the cancelation
quote removes from our lives one of the most abrasive

people ever to appear on television. But do not think
that this represents a move towards a calmer climb. Downy
wetted people's appetites for confrontational TV. There will be someone
to take his place. That's a that's.

Speaker 2 (49:59):
Pressure be a few someones. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (50:03):
In an opinion column for CNN, Michael Smerconish makes this
point quote. When Fox News launched in nineteen sixty six,
it adopted the talk radio playbook, and NBC briefly gained
viewers by giving Keith Olberman a Downey like platform for
his diatribes against President George W.

Speaker 2 (50:18):

Speaker 1 (50:19):
The model for each was a toned down version of
that which Downey had established. Entertainment masked a news constant conflict,
good guys versus bad guys and preordained outcomes. But Downey's
influence extended beyond media outlets and should be appreciated as
more than just another contributing factor to the decline of
America's cultural health. The media paradigm he fathered has taken

a toll on the way in which we are governed.
There has been a noticeable uptick in incivility and polarization
among our leaders in the exact same period in which
the media has moved to the extremes, in part because
of the power that Downey's successors exert over primary voters now.
In this columns Murconish cites Brian Rosenwald, a fellow at
the University of Pennsylvania who did his doctoral dissertation on

talk radio. Rosenwald writes Downey's heirs have fostered polarization through
their influence in primary elections. Republican members of Congress must
fear infuriating talk radio and cable news hosts because media
personalities can use their platforms to offset several major advantages,
including significantly greater fundraising and name recognition, held by incumbents

in primary elections. Hosts demand purity from elected officials, label
compromises treason, and glorify Congress's rhetorical bomb throwers such as
Senator Ted Gruz. Yeah, it's pretty pretty good. There's some
quotes in this that are talking about like polarization in
Washington that notes that like as late as the nineteen seventies,

the typical member of one party voted with his colleagues
his party members just over sixty percent of the time,
and that those numbers have raised every decade. In twenty ten,
Democrats voted together ninety one percent of the time, Republicans
eighty nine percent of the time. Unfortunately, those able to
reverse those trends have ceded the debate to the loudest voices.
A Gallup survey released in January have found that more

Republicans regard themselves as independent forty three as more Americans
regard themselves as independent forty three than Democrat thirty or
Republican twenty six percent. But any ground gained by the
non partisan ranks continues to be offset by higher political
interest resting at the political extremes. It's all about passion.
As documented by Pew Research Center this past spring, liberals

and conservatives exceed moderates and independence in their levels of
political interest, which translates into voter participation. So it's got
Most people have been turned off by this hyper partisanization,
but those who stay in the game just get angrier
and angrier at each other, and it just makes for
an angrier country and more. And Danny Junior was certainly
the most successful person on TV doing it before our

modern media era because Molly George was kind of a
marginal figure. He was influential in OC and influential to
other media figures, but more than Danny Junior had a
national show right like he was everywhere.

Speaker 3 (53:00):
I knew who he was, and I was a little kid.
I didn't even really know why I knew who he was.

Speaker 1 (53:04):
People knew Morton Downey Junior. He was kind of this
perfect synthesis, and that's what it took to really get
like this kind of specific kind of right wing media
off the ground was a synthesis of Joe Pine and
Wally George. Morton Downey Jr. Was the first guy to
do that and you know. He eventually he flew too
close to the sun and drew a swastika on his
own forehead. But you know, like the Tale of air

just this in the Tale of Itchlor it did happen
in an airport.

Speaker 2 (53:33):
Tom, that's true.

Speaker 3 (53:35):
Yeah, Oh, what a dope, What a dope.

Speaker 2 (53:39):
Yeah, three people I didn't I don't like very much. Well,
if it's any consolation, they're all super dead.

Speaker 1 (53:46):
They are very dead, two thirds of them because they
smoked too much.

Speaker 3 (53:52):
A man, But it's a it's a good thing they
didn't do like irreparable damage to the country.

Speaker 2 (53:58):
Yeah, thankfully we're sailing right along.

Speaker 3 (54:00):
That's a good, good thing. Like the beginning, Like the
seeds they planted haven't grown at a terrifying fucking forests
of races.

Speaker 1 (54:07):
Oh yeah, no, that never happened. Speaking of which, I'm
gonna open my news app for the first time since
nineteen ninety one. See what's been happening. Oh, dear Tom,
I have some bad news about the Twin Towers. You
may want to sit down for this one. Damn it
did they smoke too many cigarettes.

Speaker 2 (54:24):
Too in a way?

Speaker 1 (54:25):
Tom in away, Oh Tom, that brings us to the
end of our long journey.

Speaker 2 (54:33):
Oh thanks, thanks, thanks.

Speaker 3 (54:35):
For sitting through this with me and a lot of clicks.
I now I have a fuller picture of Moreton Downy
Junior in my mind.

Speaker 1 (54:41):
Glad that was for It's the only goal I've ever
had for this show, which is why this is our
final episode. All Right, Tom, what do you gotta I'm
just I'm just just exhausted sad.

Speaker 2 (54:52):
Now, yeah, I'm just sad. Now, I'm exhausted sad. I'm
gonna get it. I'm gonna get a flaxen Wally George Wig.

Speaker 1 (54:59):
I am gonna get a wall George Wig. I need
to I need to do something to recharge after this.
Maybe I'll watch Hot Rot again or.

Speaker 2 (55:05):
Uh watch Predator.

Speaker 1 (55:07):
To watch Predator too, You're right with Gary Busey, Thank god.
By the way, Lover punches Morton Downy right in the face.
The best thing about Gary Busey's role in that is
that Wally George could absolutely have played Gary Busey's character
in that movie.

Speaker 2 (55:21):
He's playingly George.

Speaker 1 (55:23):
In that movie, and fucking Morton Downey Junior is in
it too.

Speaker 2 (55:27):
My god, what a film.

Speaker 4 (55:29):

Speaker 1 (55:31):
I'm gonna get this Predator because he's on a mirror.
I kind of want to rewatch Revenge of the Nerds
three and see what the fuck Morton Danny Junior.

Speaker 2 (55:38):
Was doing and that shit. I wouldn't, yeh, I didn't.
I didn't really enjoy watching it the first time. At
least Predator too has.

Speaker 1 (55:46):
I think they were on the beach if I'm remembering right,
it was on it was in like the Bahamas or something.

Speaker 3 (55:52):
I think it's Nerds and Nerds in Paradise, that's right.
I think that's one of the seals. At least Jesus Christ.

Speaker 2 (55:57):
Revenge of the Nerds whole movie is a bastard. It's
the Morton Downey of a film series. You can do it.
You could do an episode on just the Revenge of
the Nerds Jesus Christ.

Speaker 1 (56:09):
All right, well you gotta plug anything, tom Oh sure.

Speaker 3 (56:12):
I have a podcast network Gameplean Employed, and I do
with my partner, my podcasting partner David Bell, also from Cracked.
He is from from Cracked. Yeah, we all used to
work there, we did, Tom. You can check it out
a Gamelean not game flannplay dot patreon dot com, slash
Gamepley Unemployed, where you can check out our Patreon. We
got all kinds of cool stuff on there, like exclusive
podcasts and other things that we do with our patrons.

It's it's a lot of funny.

Speaker 2 (56:35):
You check it out.

Speaker 3 (56:36):
I also do Right Again Collider and I write for
some more news with your friends Cody and Katie Robert.

Speaker 1 (56:42):
Yeah yeah, I mean friends, enemies, yeah, frenemies, eternal eternal opponents,
And also write for one hot talk at all kinds
of that.

Speaker 2 (56:53):
You can find me. Just google me. I'm out Google
tom Ryman. Find him at his home, you.

Speaker 1 (56:57):
Know, please do Yeah, no, docks me on attack him
in an airport bathroom and draw swastika on his forehead
to improve his career for unclear reason, I really do
wonder what was the what was the game plan there, Morton?

Speaker 2 (57:12):
How is this going to help? He was gonna he
was gonna make that in like three months of show.

Speaker 1 (57:16):
Yeah, hunting down the Nazis who beat him up.

Speaker 2 (57:19):
Yeah, he had a whole plan. He had a whole pitch.
Deck Man.

Speaker 1 (57:24):
God, I wish we'd all just agreed to, like, see
what he was going to do first before I do what.

Speaker 2 (57:31):
I kind of see where he's going with us. Behind
the Bastards is a production of cool Zone Media. For
more from cool Zone Media, visit our website cool zonemedia
dot com, or check us out on the iHeartRadio app,
Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Behind the Bastards News

Advertise With Us

Follow Us On


Robert Evans

Robert Evans

Show Links


Popular Podcasts

Stuff You Should Know

Stuff You Should Know

If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks, then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

The Nikki Glaser Podcast

The Nikki Glaser Podcast

Every week comedian and infamous roaster Nikki Glaser provides a fun, fast-paced, and brutally honest look into current pop-culture and her own personal life.

Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.


© 2024 iHeartMedia, Inc.