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David Sirota on his upcoming slugfest with Michael Brown

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AM 760 host David Sirota may seem like a mild-mannered fellow, but he's actually pretty damned combative -- verbally, anyhow.

Last year, he and KOA conservative Mike Rosen staged a radio smackdown in relation to President Barack Obama's first hundred days in office -- a session a bloodied Rosen doesn't want to repeat.

Fortunately, Sirota's found a right-of-center pugilist willing to take him on in public: KOA's Michael Brown. Below, Sirota previews their June 2 match, which will happen live in Lakewood.

Brown's tangled with Sirota before. They recently scrapped over the Gulf oil spill shortly before White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Brown had implied that sabotage had caused the catastrophe during a recent Fox News appearance. Turned out the person who'd actually hinted about such a conspiracy was Gibbs's predecessory as press secretary, former Westword profile subject Dana Perino.

Nonetheless, notes Sirota via e-mail, "Brownie and I actually get along pretty well, not because we agree on so much, but because I think we're both willing to at least consider each other's point of views, rather than scream talking points at each other. And I'm guessing we may agree on certain issues where progressive and conservative principles meet -- issues like civil liberties, corporate welfare spending, and bailouts.

"That said, I know Brownie and I fundamentally disagree on a lot of key economic, environmental and regulatory issues, which are front and center in our politics these days."

The pair came up with the idea jointly, "just kicking around ideas here at the station," Sirota continues. "I think it's going to be a good discussion and debate, and will definitely give people a lot to think about."

But will the contest, which will take place on Wednesday, June 2, at the Lakewood Cultural Center (click here for details and ticket info), turn into an Obama-bashing session? After all, while Sirota is certainly left of center, he's knocked the administration for plenty, including its underwhelming version of health-care reform and handling of the continuing Deep Horizon disaster.

"One of the things I think people are realizing is that not all issues break down on a Red-versus-Blue divide, and that being willing to have conversations and debates that set aside those strictly partisan concerns can actually get us closer to the unvarnished truth," Sirota maintains. "That's what this debate is going to be about -- and I think it's going to make people really think past the tired old 'Obama is great!' versus 'Obama sucks!' paradigm."

With some cuts and bruises along the way.

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