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May 8, 2007
Tempest in a TV teapot

rush

Yeah, it must be sweeps time ...

How else to explain the dust-up taking place between two media entities desperate for attention? That would be, of course, Channel 13 and syndicated talk-radio bloviator Rush Limbaugh (left).

Here's the deal:

During Monday's Channel 13 morning show, anchor Chris Burrous (and his co-host, his trusty laptop computer) aired snippets of a parody song about Barack Obama that Limbaugh had played on the air almost a week earlier. The song, "Barack the Magic Negro," sung to the tune of "Puff the Magic Dragon," was based on an L.A. Times op-ed piece wondering whether Obama was authentically "black enough."

burr
Burrous (right) asked in a yes/no Web poll whether the song parody was racist. Limbaugh went ballistic when he heard about it, demanding on the air that Channel 13 apologize. (We pause for a moment for the obligatory Sacramento connection, to wit: Rush got his start here lo these many years ago, blah, blah, blah...).

The "controversy," such as it is, spilled over into today's broadcast and now includes KFBK (1530 AM), the local station that airs Rush's show. KFBK morning talkers Kelly Brothers and Amy Lewis interviewed Limbaugh live this morning, and Burrous and a cameraman from "Good Day Sacramento" were there to try to get a word with the Big Guy.

No such luck, but a testy Burrous got a stand-up out of the debacle. He even pulled a Mike Wallace-like, in-your-face accusatory interview with Jeff Holden, GM of Sacramento's Clear Channel stations. He asked Holden whether KFBK only tells one side of the story. Holden looked either amused or bemused - hard to tell which.

Anyway, everyone wins in this manufactured media circus. Channel 13 gets a little attention, locally and nationally. KFBK probably gets a few more listeners, too. And Rush gets to play the "victim" role he does so well and accuse "the liberals" of "hand-wringing."

The only loser: Me, for spending time watching and writing about this.

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