WMCS was right to spurn James T. Harris and his attempt to make a debate into a self-serving stunt.
As I learn from media columnist Tim Cuprisin, WMCS and its host Earl Ingram Jr. invited WTMJ's right-wing talk show host Harris to debate the NAACP's charge that the Tea Party movement should renounce the racists in its midst.
Things began to go wrong when Harris showed up with a videographer. The WMCS people told Harris he couldn't videotape the exchange (Harris had taped an earlier appearance on the station). Then, after a failed attempt to at least record audio with the video camera, Harris left without taking part in the debate.
According to Cuprisin:
"We had a go-around," Harris tells me. "I said, 'Earl, this is how I roll.' He said management said we can't let any cameras in. . . But when Harris left, Ingram let loose on him. On Twitter, Ingram called him a "drama queen," and on the radio, Ingram said Harris was "prostituting himself" as a conservative talker.
Ingram told me Friday that Harris and the cameraman said the video was to advance Harris' career.
"Well good riddance, take a walk, take a hike. We are not going to help you advance your career," says Ingram.
Harris denies his career was discussed, quoting Ingram as saying, "I'm not here to promote you."
Harris says he countered by saying to Ingram, "I'm here to promote you... I'm all about that. Why wouldn't you want to do that or me. We're two brothers in radio."
Harris is a black with an asterisk. Like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Harris reaps personal benefits from his black status for himself by perpetrating the structural disadvantages for fellow blacks. This gets James T. paid and publicized because it is soothing to many whites to hear blacks deny those structural problems are real, or to attack those black leaders who are trying to fix them.
Harris also sounds like a phony black, trying a little too hard to speak the way suburbanites think blacks should sound, as in the quotation above when he throws out "that's just the way I roll" or "my brother" to a fellow black.
Harris is a conservative with an asterisk. He takes the position all the way down the boilerplate of a conservative for fiduciary reasons. Harris wants pub. That's why he was doing the video thing at WMCS, and that's why he grandstanded for the news cameras in a phony rant during the campaign stop for McCain.
If Harris were a dog, he would walk around on two legs. If he were a woman with unusually large breasts, he would show them off in skimpy clothes. Harris sports phony conservative implants because they are unusual on a black man and thereby attract the leering attention of conservatives and their media outlet managers.