The Beatdown

DJ Quote gets caught in the Troubleshooter’s crosshairs.

So when I heard about the wedding saga, the story had a certain ring of truth. But while Quote may have a shorter fuse than most people, does that make him a bad businessman? Martino says he gave Quote ample opportunity to prove otherwise.

"Do you truly believe with the ire that I raise and the crap that I stir, every single day for thirty years, do you truly believe that I could survive that long by doing that?" responds Martino, when asked about the Quote controversy. "By putting people on cold and not explaining situations and not letting them give their side of the story?"

Quote insists that Martino made things personal, ambushed him and then cut him off because of some off-handed remarks. "Yeah, they called me and I was frustrated," Quote admits. "He put me on the air; he blocked me out. He let me say what I said, and he was muting me. I know how radio works. I make mix CDs. I'm a DJ. He muted me out so the only response that he put out to the public -- he blackballed me -- is the negative stuff I did have to say. Because I was telling him how I felt about him. I never heard of the guy before. And he went off and gave my number, national, to people because he got offended because I did not know who he was -- and tried to help them destroy me."

Martino agrees that Quote never got to offer his version on the syndicated Troubleshooter show, which airs in several hundred cities. But that wasn't because the DJ offended him. "I'm not angry over DJ Quote, trust me," says Martino. "He took money from a woman and said, 'I'm not giving it back.' That's what he told us. He told us, 'I'm not giving the money back, and I don't give a fuck. Tell her to go fuck herself.' I mean, I can't even count how many times he said that." Martino says he and his staff made at least five attempts to get Quote to offer up his version. Each time, "he kept telling us to go fuck ourselves," Martino recalls. "My people don't have to take that shit. Let me tell you something -- that's the kind of guy you're dealing with. Write any story you want. Here's what I say: I have a reputation of thirty years -- not three, not two -- thirty years. And my name and my reputation are important, too."

Of course, Quote is also concerned about his reputation, since being branded a ripoff artist could damage his career. But Martino sounds a little defensive when I point this out. "My reputation has been maintained and will continue to be," he says. "And frankly, your column doesn't mean much to me. So why don't you just write whatever you want. I'm telling you exactly what happened."

Hmm. Call me crazy, but that sounds a lot like what Quote said to Martino. Ironic, don't you think?

"That's exactly right," Martino responds. "Isn't it ironic how life works? I'm telling you that I don't care about Quote and what you write about him in your column. I don't know you personally. What I'm saying is, this is a non-issue to me. This guy was an idiot and a jerk, and he was abusive. And I'm not being abusive to you. I'm not telling you to go fuck yourself. I'm not telling you anything like that. I'm upset because this guy has the nerve to go to a newspaper and say that he was defamed by me -- after he could not even say three words without vulgarity?"

But what about broadcasting a personal phone number over the air?

"Listen, I've been doing my show for thirty years, and I don't have to answer you about what I think is appropriate, all right?" Martino fires back. "He said, 'I want negative publicity.' Excuse me, but the last time I checked, I have a show, and if he doesn't think that I did right, tell him to sue me. I'm telling you that I know what I'm doing. I've been doing it for long enough, and I don't have to answer to you, and I don't have to answer to him. I don't have to sit here and debate it with you. You're asking me, is it appropriate to give out his number? At times, it's very appropriate to give out phone numbers, yes it is."

Fair enough. But his home phone number?

"It was the number that he gave us," Martino replies.

Hey, I'm just trying to uncover the truth and champion the underdog. Surely he can appreciate that.

"I don't have anything against what you're trying to do," says Martino. "But I don't have to answer to you about the practices of my show. If you're asking me if it's appropriate, let my listeners decide if it's appropriate. Let the people I've recovered millions of dollars for answer if it's appropriate."

I'll pass, thanks. And for his own part, Quote admits that he could have dealt with things better, but he insists he's no crook.

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