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Joseph Cooper: Grow Some Man Balls!

Let's pretend I wrote the most amazing "to be sure" paragraph in journalism about WLRN (mostly because it's how I feel):  I listen to it all the time, it's my default station, I am a solid financial supporter, I love the weekend programming (even Michael Stock's loopy Sunday afternoon interviews), and in general I am very thankful WLRN is on the air in South Florida.

I can even tolerate Joseph Cooper's halting, excessively tentative passive-aggressive Tropical Currents program if I am in the car at lunch time, not because of his finely-tuned parody of a public station radio host, but because he often books good guests and he covers interesting topics.

That's why his weaselly explanation for cancelling on an author who has a controversial opinion about the Cuban Five is so irritating:
Cooper told El Nuevo Herald Tuesday that Kimber “was presupposing the innocence of the Cuban Five” in his book, which was published last month.

“In my fiduciary capacity I have a responsibility to the community and [WLRN] and I made the decision after very careful consideration,” he said. “For this community, it just seemed a little too much.”
Come on!

First of all -- you didn't know this when your producer booked the guest?

Second -- I've been around in this town long enough to remember with great fondness Alan Burke, who after he retired to South Florida from New York in the 1970s used to host the most outrageous guests imaginable -- often on the same program. 

Here's an example from Alan's NYT obit:
Among his guests were a nun turned go-go dancer, a transvestite and a Jewish anti-Semite.
That's a mild example!

I remember Alan frequently with guests like a lesbian Rabbi paired with an ardent Nazi, often throwing in someone like Madelyn Murray O'Hair or that crazy blonde psychic from Boca just to keep things interesting -- btw does anyone remember her name?

Note to Cooper -- tackling controversial topics is supposed to be part of the job.

Huge kudos to WLRN General Manager John Labonia, who publicly called Cooper on the rug for his lame-brained decision, re-invited the author back in a rejiggered show that will offer some balance and context, and (rare for South Florida) immediately did the right thing:
“We want to apologize to our South Florida listeners for the decision made this week by Joseph Cooper, the host of WLRN’s Topical Currents show, to cancel an interview” with author Stephen Kimber, said a statement issued by General Manager John Labonia.

An initial email sent by a WLRN staffer to Kimber’s publicist said Cooper had decided that the book, What Lies Across the Water: The Real Story of the Cuban Five, was “incendiary” and canceled an interview scheduled for Tuesday.

That was “a judgment that I and the rest of WLRN’s management strongly disagree with,” Labonia said. “Mr. Cooper’s decision, in fact, was made without our knowledge, and it in no way reflects — in fact, it blatantly contradicts — who we are and what we do as South Florida’s source for public radio news and discussion.”
Somewhere above (or perhaps below) Big Alan is smiling.

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  1. You've really gotten better and better at this.

  2. @10:50 He was great from the start.

    I miss Neil Rodgers and his Jeff Striker sex toys. He knew how to handle a dick.


  3. Another example of a local being bullied by the Miami Cuban mafia, to the detriment of free society.

    All ends when Cuba opens up. Overnight.

  4. What? A stroll through the roster of South Florida religious nut cases and other fringe wack jobs and no mention of Rabbi Frank?

  5. I saw the long post and wasn't going to read it because I figured it was more ranting by the intolerable GW, scrolled to the bottom and learned it was by the man - read it and am glad I did.

    No offense GW, just some of your posts are endless.

  6. I have $10 million waiting for you in a trust account the very moment Joseph Cooper either, a) Books a nun turned go-go dancer, a transvestite or a Jewish anti-Semite, or, b) Grows some man balls.

    As for (b), that ship sailed a long time ago.

  7. I love Rabbi Frank, I always admired him and he was a real pioneer -- performing interfaith marriages when doing so was extremely controversial.

    His son is a little odd but he's ok too.

  8. @11:08

    No offense taken. I am but the tap dancer who takes to the stage while the main act changes wardrobe. My true talents are more... tactile in nature.

  9. GW

    - where does that leave me in the show ?


  10. Neil used to wake me up in the morning.

  11. @GB

    I thought you were the strong man of the circus?

  12. So what you're telling me is that Fat Limbaugh and beck drunk are nothing but cheap imitations? Who would've thunk it.

  13. Micki Dahne! It was Micki Dahne!

  14. Hate on Rabbi Frank? Now I've seen it all

  15. Why hasn't Miami herald reported about all the abrupt firings, hasty departures and union busting at WLRN?

  16. Why is WLRN union busting?


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