Update: Last week, we told you about a live event at which KHOW's David Sirota called KOA's Mike Rosen a "motherfucker;" see the clip below. For our original post, we managed to contact Sirota, but a communication mix-up delayed our efforts to reach Rosen. Now, however, the conservative radio vet has weighed in. He rejects Sirota's efforts to cast the exchange as "hilarious," suggesting that the progressive yakker's spin marks him as either "delusional or a liar."
As we detail below, the October 24 Battle of the Talk Show Hosts event began heating up just shy of ninety minutes in, after Rosen suggested that Sirota's problems with Barack Obama, of whom he's been critical, are rooted in the fact that the president isn't as liberal as he'd like.
"You're the leftist," Sirota responded in a confrontational tone. "I'm to the right of you, because you have nothing to say about it.... You're a hypocrite. You didn't say a damn thing about George Bush...."
Rosen interjected briefly to ask jokingly, "Are you channeling Joe Biden?" But rather than addressing this question, Sirota announced, "I'm calling you out, motherfucker, because you've got nothing to say."
"Motherfucker?" Rosen asked -- at which point moderators Steffan Tubbs and April Zesbaugh broke in.
When asked for his take on the MF bomb, Sirota sent the following via e-mail:
It was all in good fun and came at the end of an interchange accentuating a point about how he so loyally carries water for his Republican Party friends that he has no criticism of the GOP on the very same faults they share with Democrats. Essentially, Mike was repeatedly struggling for words to answer a pretty simple question (after six tries, he never bothered to answer). It was pretty hilarious, actually -- the kind of thing that makes that kind of event so entertaining, and why a live event is so unique. We get to converse in ways we aren't necessarily allowed to on air.
Rosen couldn't disagree more. Here's his reaction, also sent via e-mail:
Sirota's lame attempt at damage control is transparently preposterous. His outburst was clearly not "in good fun." There was no tone of humor in his voice or the crazed look in his eyes. He just went nuts. The audience wasn't amused; it was appalled. His performance was an embarrassment to himself and to the radio station he represents. If he had any class, he would have apologized the next day instead of rationalizing his crude and unprofessional behavior. I was in no way "struggling" to answer his barrage of questions. He simply prevented me from doing so with his repeated interruptions. When he finally stopped ranting, I gave my categorical rebuttal. His self-serving misrepresentation of the content and dynamics of the one-hour debate was apparent to anyone who attended or watched it on line. He's either delusional or a liar.
Continue to read our original coverage, and to see the "motherf*cker" exchange. Original post, 11:47 a.m. October 25: KHOW's David Sirota and KOA's Mike Rosen disagree on plenty, and they've had past dust-ups in which it was clear they aren't likely to start a bowling team together -- more on that below. But last night, at an event dubbed "Battle of the Talk Show Hosts," things reached a new level when Sirota called Rosen a "motherfucker" before an audience numbering in the hundreds. See a video of the big moment below.
The exchange, which takes place at around the one hour, twenty-five-minute mark in the nearly two-hour event (attendance at the Sewell Grand Ballroom, where it took place, was in the 600-700 range), begins with Sirota, a progressive, criticizing President Barack Obama for a range of issues. The conservative Rosen follows up by suggesting that Sirota's problem with Obama is that he isn't as far to the left as is the host.
At that point, the temperature starts to rise, with Sirota saying, in an exorcised tone, "We have a president of the United States right now who's asserting the right to execute American citizens.... You're the leftist. I'm to the right of you, because you have nothing to say about it.... You're a hypocrite. You didn't say a damn thing about George Bush...."
Rosen interjects briefly to ask jokingly, "Are you channeling Joe Biden?" But Sirota keeps rolling, announcing, "I'm calling you out, motherfucker, because you've got nothing to say."
"Motherfucker?" Rosen asks -- at which point moderators Steffan Tubbs and April Zesbaugh break in.
This isn't the first time a talk-show battle between Sirota and Rosen has gotten passionate. Back in 2010, during a similar event, Rosen responded to the topic of building a mosque near the former site of the World Trade Center in New York by saying, "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." Sirota made it clear how offended he was by the remark, and he wasn't alone: Then-MSNBC host Keith Olbermann branded Rosen the worst person in the world for the comment, even though Rosen insisted it was a joke.
Continue to get Sirota's take and to see the video. What's Sirota's take this time around? Via e-mail, he doesn't show any remorse. "It was all in good fun and came at the end of an interchange accentuating a point about how he so loyally carries water for his Republican Party friends that he has no criticism of the GOP on the very same faults they share with Democrats," he writes. "Essentially, Mike was repeatedly struggling for words to answer a pretty simple question (after six tries, he never bothered to answer). It was pretty hilarious, actually -- the kind of thing that makes that kind of event so entertaining, and why a live event is so unique. We get to converse in ways we aren't necessarily allowed to on air."
KHOW/KKZN program director Dan Mandis doesn't seem especially upset about the episode, either. "It's a very adult atmosphere," he says of the event. "It's a very energetic kind of a crowd, and sometimes these things happen.
"Some people thought it was a great moment in the sense that it was exciting," he allows. "It was funny, it was one of those moments -- like a whoa moment. Obviously, there's going to be some people who didn't like the comment, and other people thought it was fine. Everybody's got an opinion, but it certainly got people talking."
We've got a message in to Mike Rosen about this topic. When and if he gets back to us, we'll update this post. In the meantime, here's the video. Again, the conversation starts to heat up at about an hour and twenty-five minutes in. That's followed by a bonus clip: Olbermann declaring Rosen the worst person in the world.
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