Media

Mike Rosen slams David Sirota for distorting his "satirical" mosque-destruction comment

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According to Rosen, the audience attending the face-off involving him, Sirota and KHOW's Peter Boyles earlier this month understood his tongue was in his cheek when he said, "I think they should be allowed to build it, following the hijacking of an Iranian plane right into that building and blow it to smithereens." And there was a good reason for that, he believes.

"The people cheering or laughing after I said that were mostly my listeners," he says. "And that surprised me. There were 400 people in the room, and I thought Sirota's left-wing minions would dominate the hall. But there were so many more of my listeners than I'd expected, and they knew I was being ironic."

Sirota apparently didn't. In the complete recording of the debate, Sirota can be heard saying, "That's sick. That's some sick shit" -- with the "shit" bleeped on the audio clip. Rosen didn't catch this reaction, though. "He mumbled it under his breath," he says, "and we were sitting on the opposite ends of the stage" at Comedy Works South, where the event happened. "Only the people up front could hear that."

As for Sirota's spotlighting of the comment on the Huffington Post, Rosen says it was worse than a violation of collegiality; he and Sirota both work for Clear Channel stations. "It was grossly unprofessional," he maintains, in part because "he attacked me on his radio show personally. He wasn't talking about the merits of any disagreements. He talked about my divorces, my financial losses, my plastic surgery. It was so obviously a petulant, sore-loser, childish rant on his part, no doubt because everyone in the room knew that I made him look like a monkey that night.

"Peter and I were having a lot of fun" at the debate "even though we disagree on a lot of things. We were high-fiving when we scored with a good one-liner, which is what the evening was all about. But Sirota is so humorless and so programmed. His program is a repetition of all his simplistic, left-wing screeds. And the format lent itself to witty repartee, which is not his strength. He can't ad-lib."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts