STRAIGHT TALK JOURNAL: EXTRA! EXTRA! KEEP IT STIFF EDITION
I've been out of town for two days as part of my latest mission to hold public officials accountable. Today I'm wishing there was a way I could hold stupid bosses accountable (other than refusing to work for them any longer).
I've seen so many things over the years that don't make sense:
Asking people to pay $1 for stuff you're also giving away for free;
The election of certain officials;
Taking pride in a no-snitch culture;
Wearing a belt and suspenders;
But the ouster of Drew & Mike on WRIF is perhaps the most nonsensical.
Drew and Mike, along with Trudi, Marc, Mike, Joe and Jim are easily the most influential radio hosts I've ever encountered. During the Kwame Kilpatrick Inc. trial, parking lot attendants, court service officers, U.S. Marshals, defense attorneys, prosecutors, FBI agents, witnesses and pedestrians regularly told me they heard me on the show and shared a comment, an insight or a tip. Listeners regularly contact me with leads and feedback. Rarely does a day go by that someone doesn't call me a "piece of garbage" or mention having heard me on the show.
This is more than a radio program, it's an agenda-setting, game-changing part of our local culture.
Drew's peripatetic mind, combined with the irreverence of the rest of the crew, made for radio magic. There was something for everyone, even if you sometimes winced at bits that seemed homophobic, misogynistic, or involved a grown man putting a microphone distastefully close to his anus. They were impossible to categorize -- and surprisingly bold. They challenged union orthodoxy in a labor town, they supported some measure of gun control despite the controversial nature of the issue, and they supported the Wolverines, even though it's clear the Spartans are a helluva lot groovier. Most importantly -- and this is becoming rarer every day -- THEY CARED!!!
They were good for business, too. I've pimped my book, "The Kwame Sutra," on many radio shows. (Speaking of which, it's still available at www.kwamesutra.com and many fine retailers for a mere $7.99!) Just about the only show that resulted in sales was Drew & Mike. I don't know much about Dave and Chuck the Freak (except their show has a stupid name), but I am betting advertisers will find that no show makes the registers ring like Drew & Mike did.
But, hey, bosses are never wrong, right? Like the time this same company threw J.J. & Lynne overboard for Deminski & Doyle ...
Broadcast media is a brutal business in which few endings are happy and good people often get the shaft. It's ironic that as Drew questioned Channel 7's decision to let Bill Spencer go, his own bosses were about to open the trap door under him and his.
That absolutely sucks. And you should let WRIF know that. Drew & his Crew are kind, caring, generous people who help folks at every opportunity. They deserve better.
But I'm not writing this so we all feel sorry for them. They're talented folks who still have a ton to contribute and who have many successes ahead. I would not be surprised to see them dance on the graves of their former employers.
I'm writing because I feel sorry for us. Because on May 18th, I won't have anything to look forward to in the morning ... except a little unwanted wood.
CONGLOMERATION [kənˌglɒməˈreɪʃən] n a mass of miscellaneous things.
- M.L. Elrick on Drew & Mike leaving WRIF