Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Dennis Plagiar Show

Wednesday, July 25, 2012
9:23 am PT

Of course, when I met her inside that lovely little bookstore around the corner from our studios, she told me she had entitled it The Rosanne Rosannadana Story.  How was I to know she'd lie in her autobiography?  But in the end, I guess it was pretty much a wash, because we got considerable coverage on that.  But it was fair, I have to admit.  The coverage, I mean.  She wasn't fair, she was a liar!  But I've never denied the media was fair throughout the entire episode.

Actually, "the media were fair" is the correct way to say that, grammatically.  That's Latin for you; always gotta be careful when you try to pluralize anything in an ancient tongue!  You can't just add an S.  Heh, heh.  Yes, we do like to keep things tidy with the language here on The Dennis Prager Show, because language is so vital; after all, it's the currency of our thoughts!

Hey, now that's a cool phrase!  And thought!  Let's keep it!  Allen, remind me to do a "currency of our thoughts" liner for The Dennis Prager Show, a lot of our liners are getting stale anyway, I suppose.  And I would think that should work well on the promo page of Prager U, as well.  Really oughta do a new one for the Happiness Hour though.

But anyway, that woman, that author, I mean:  when someone just baldly lies to you, there's not much you can do about it!  Of course, I've been lucky, for I've always had a thick shock of hair up there.  Been very fortunate in that regard, I admit.  Thank G-d I've been lucky about that.  I remember as a kid in Brooklyn, I remember when reading all those books and always thinking, wondering:  if I'm lucky, I'll never end up like him.  Now what was that character's name?  No, I know, of course.  But I'm wondering if either of you two do, huh, Guys? Huh? Huh?  Neither of you got this one?  Well, his name was Rex Luther, that was it.  Or maybe Tex.

Now I know what you're thinking: you only read comic books when you were a kid, Prager!  No!  I also read Martin Luther.  And Martin Luther King, Jr.  Now, I don't read much by MLK the Third, I admit, though he's got a couple books out himself, I guess.  I've got a new book out, remember.  Visit The Dennis Prager Store online, where I think we can still get you your own autographed copy Still the Best Hope.

By the way, I never really thought Delores was the best Hope, at least not until Bob died.  Did they have children?  By the way, they both reached the age of 100, did you know that?  Well you do now, that's why you never want to miss The Dennis Prager Show.  Oh, the fun we have here, something to get your mind off all this dreadfully bad news.

Anyway, I want to conclude that nasty business about that author.  Though the coverage was fair, the weather sure wasn't that morning when we were walking over here to the studio in that downpour.  But she had her umbrella with her, so we didn't get too wet on the way over.  You have to worry about things like that around sophisticated broadcasting equipment; I first learned that in 1982.

Anyway, let's tie up this business about the author.  It never was going to anything more than a quickie courtesy interview at the top of the show anyway, five minutes tops!  She promised she'd have me on her TV show about Still the Best Hope.  That's the way they do it in the publishing industry, it's called cross-promotion.  But I admit, it all comes down to I'll-stratch-your-back-if-you'll-scratch-mine.

Now that can be both embarrassing and uncomfortable, when your back starts seriously itching and you're stuck behind a microphone until the next break.  Anyway, if I'd have known she'd claim the title of her autobiography was Eleanor Roosevelt Was an Imposter, she'd never have even gotten past security downstairs, much less make air and actually get the bogus plug in, right out of the gate.

Then again, you really can't blame her for that, because publishers really want you to push the title whenever you're a guest.  That's because many hosts are such idiots when it comes to something even as simple as getting your title right.  But she was a sneaky one, wasn't she!  And that's why we have the 7-second relay in this business, because you have to!

Now, if you're quick on your feet--actually, I should be careful to say "our feet", because it is a teamwork thing, The Dennis Prager Show is, always need to give credit where credit is due.  And my credit card payment is overdue, just the Amex one, though, not my Visa actually, but hey, I'm not complaining; I'm paid well to host The Dennis Prager Show.  Very well.  It would not even necessarily be hyperbole for me to even say "very, very well", with the second superlative in there.  Especially if you count the lecture fees, but that's actually a separate company, but hey, you know what they always say, the bucks stop here.

But the truth is, and listeners to The Dennis Prager Show know how I'm dedicated to the truth--I'm paid very well indeed.  Maybe not infinitely well, obviously, but I'm not complaining.  Wouldn't up the numbers much even if I did, I'd guess.  By the way, my birthday is coming up on August 2nd and I never complain when I open a gift box of cigars.  Not of the exploding type, mind you; that would just result in a lot of embarrassing questions from the Feds.

And you can trust me on this, you don't want the AMF coming down on you, they seem to never give up.  You might even end up in a cell right next to that murderous monster.  Well, probably not next to his, and obviously not if you're female, and I'm sure he's kept in much more spartan surroundings anyway, or oughta be at least.  Hey Allen, why doncha keep that idea for an offbeat Male-Female Hour on The  Dennis Prager Show, comparing the respective reactions of each gender toward incarceration!  Maybe sometime when Alison Armstrong is guesting, I'd bet she'd have some interesting things to say about that.

Anyway, in any kind of situation like that crafty broad put us in--the author, I mean, not Alison!--careful, responsible broadcasters know always to have a promo handy on a moment's standby.  We don't run promos for Prager University just to fill airtime, after all!  And yes, I think it affirms a certain, I don't know, a certain maximum masculinity if a guy can call a gal a broad.  When guys get together with themselves, I mean.  Though I hear some babes even consider it flattering.  Others, I guess, figure it's just a man thing.

But yeah, being set up that bitch author was all my fault, I admit it.  I never once blamed it on Allen behind the glass in there; I'm the one who met her in the bookstore, after all.  Even as a married man, you always find your eye wandering, I admit it!  But only your eye.  Well, maybe both of them, but you know what I mean.

But anyway, as I bet Allen recalls, that morning was our last show before a Dennis Prager Cruise, I remember that one because it was unique!  It was the only Dennis Prager Cruise we ever did at Christmastime.  As I recall, that was the one that went all the way up to the Arctic Circle, or maybe just around it, I forget.

You know, it's impossible not to notice how beautiful the North American West Coast is along its entire length!  Wasn't that also the Dennis Prager Cruise where I kept hearing that Tom Cruise was aboard?  I never saw him, mind you, but I bet that rumor was true, because I sure heard his name a lot that week!

Speaking of names, what was the name of that lovely woman who dubbed me The Sinatra of Talk Radio?  Anyone recall?  You Sean?  I mean, did we ever even send her a bouquet of roses for that?  Never any doubt about that making the our Friday highlights clip!  Heh, heh...heh heh.   Ah, Francis Albert.  You can't do better than that, boy how Frank could croon a ballad!

"The Ballad of the Thin Man"!   Ha!  Heh, heh, sorry, Folks, but I just flashed on a title of a song that I've only heard once.   But in some sort of weird way it's been echoing in my mind.  You could even say I was all but haunted it by it for years, and to this very day I can quote its odd title verbatim.  The Columbia professor who played it for me one afternoon in his office insisted it was rock music, but it actually sounded like sorta like classical.

And you know how I know classical music:  inside and out, even back then.  This was during the 60s, when I was probably the nerdiest student on the Columbia campus.  Oh, and by the way, the Jewish guy singing it wasn't exactly singing it at all, but he certainly carried that lovely melody just magnificently, in his own way every bit as powerfully yet suavely as Sinatra!  But this song's weird lyrics seemed dark in some sorta way; guess that's why the song haunted me for years.

The point is, it has the distinction of being the only rock song title I could quote exactly when I was growing up!  It was called "The Ballad of the Thin Man"; you can fact-check me on that one verbatim, and I'd even wager of box of my favorite smokes on it.  But it was the song, not the title that hit me, of course.  Oh, how I loved that odd but moving song!  Such a graceful melody, and pretty decent piano work as well by, what's-his-name, this Jewish guy, something Jones maybe?  Quincy, maybe?  No, that can't be right.  And Jones isn't usually a Jewish surname, so maybe I'm mis-remembering that part.  Happens.

But the reason I definitely remember its title exactly was because I was so surprised when this long-haired professor who played it for me insisted "The Ballad of the Thin Man" was a rock song. As any Dennis Prager Show listener knows, I'm a classical music guy first and foremost.  So ironic how the term "longhair" changed its meaning through the years.  I don't hear much rock music,  I admit that.  I do!

You have to prioritize things in life and you can't hear it all after all, so I don't know many rock songs.  Most all of it's garbage anyway, or at least in my opinion, as my listeners well know.  And they also know when it comes to classical music, I'm recognized as a critic.  But frequent public speakers like me never like to recognize the face of some hostile critic sitting in the first row.

Of course, not all rock's junk.  I like some of it, I must admit--I like that doo-wop genre, for instance, but I wonder why they call it that?  I mean, there's always the potential of someone erroneously taking it as an Italian slur.  You gotta be careful about that in any of New York City's five boroughs, actually, not just in Brooklyn, where I grew up.

And where the Dodgers played at Ebbets Field, of course.  The team's departure left nearly everybody back in Brooklyn back then brokenhearted, baseball fan or not.   Everybody hated the Dodgers owner O'Malley still many years after they moved to L.A.  But when I ended up living here in the L.A. area, it was so nice to have the Dodgers locally again that I've since forgiven O'Malley.  But not O'Reilly, at least not yet, not for what he did.  You know, Bill's even taller than me!  At 6' 3", it's not often I have to look up to anyone, but with Bill's stature, y0u have to, even me.

Anyway, I've publicly admitted numerous times on this very broadcast that I don't have a very good memory for detail.  Never have!  And it isn't an age issue--memory has always maybe been my biggest problem.  My brother Stanley, who is five years older, has a terrific memory for detail, and even my father, who will be 94 on his next birthday, G-d willing, has slowed down a bit of course over the years, but he still seems to have a better memory for detail than I have!  I kid you not!  And mom, who lived to 93, never seemed to forget anything either.  Stan became a physician, while I ended up a newstalk radio host.  Medicine's a discipline which demands memory for all kinds of detail just to survive your first year of med school, let alone eventually getting the M.D.

You might think talk radio would also require the same kind of memory for detail, but it doesn't!   You can have access to everything you need to look up right here in the studio, now that you have the Internet.  Before the Internet, back in 1982 when I started in radio doing a religious show, actually, I used to have lug all those reference books to the studio every Sunday night.  And even back then I always had a team of professionals you folks at home or in your cars virtually never hear that I can call on, even in the middle of a show.  Allen and Sean's predecessors here on The Dennis Prager Show.  That's why I always call The Dennis Prager Show a team effort, even those the program's title suggests it's all me.

The title of that song is, anyway, is what stuck with me, because it was so banal, just like Hannah Arendt famously said about the banality of evil.  Yet sometimes no matter how forgetful you are, some phrases or titles or names are just burned into your brain.  No, the name of that rock song is one thing about rock music I can recall verbatim.  "The Ballad of the Thin Man", come on, fact-check me on this one!

But that's obviously the exception when it comes to rock, I admit.  In fact, it wouldn't be too extreme to admit I hate rock music, if you can call it that.  Well, not only can you call it, many of the young folk do call it that.  I guess that's why they're called rock musicians.  But that doesn't make what they generate beautiful or even listenable.

Yep, most r0ck is just, in a word: garbage.  And you wouldn't be far off if you entitled even a comprehensive history of rock music with just that succinct a title, just Garbage.  I'm into punctuation, so maybe Garbage! would even be better, you know, with an explanation point, like those guys at Jeopardy! do over in Culver City.  Yeah, when it comes to titles in publishing, Shakespeare's rule is still the standard:  brevity is the soul of wit.  So Garbage! might be the perfect title for a history of rock, and maybe even a witty one.

Book publishers tend to prefer short titles, I've learned that over the years, yep, the one-word title is the ideal.  Just like Das Kapital.  Well, that would be two words, actually, because when you see it in the original German, you know, with the Das part, it's two.  But you see, in English it's of course then just Capital.  And you always capitalize nouns in German, that's the rule, and Germans are really known for following rules, or at least orders.  So anyway, in English the title translates to just a single word, Capital, that's just one word.

Capital punishment is the only appropriate fate for this bastard behind the Aurora atrocity.  But anyway, I wanna finish my point on "The Ballad of the Thin Man".  Say, I wonder if that song was what they based all those wonderful Thin Man movies on?  Boy, the way that pair solved those mysteries they'd always be stumbling upon!  Who was it who played the husband, what's his name, uh, Colin Powell?  No, that can't be right.

But I know Teresa Wright played with Powell, whatever his first name was.  Or maybe is; I certainly don't want to put anyone in the grave ahead of their time!  Wonder if he is still with us?  He'd be pretty old by now, I'm, sure, but I don't ever remember seeing an obituary for Powell!  But both Hopes lived past 100, so who knows?  But Bob and Delores weren't nearly the hip couple that I so much enjoyed watching Wright and Powell portray in all those lovely old black-and-white films!  Nora and Nick Fury, always solving whodunits with such elan!  And their cute little dog Astro!

Man, that couple always'd be so stylishly attired!  Speaking of which, I'm tired, and we're still in the first hour of The Dennis Prager Show!  But that's what we've come to expect lately, what with one busy news-day after another!

I admit it!  And I mean this sincerely, it's hard to keep some of this straight!  I told that high school student at the end of the show yesterday, who asked me if he should consider quitting school and instead just listen to The Dennis Prager Show.  I told him, "I can't teach you meth, and I can't teach you algebra."  Never could get that quadrangle equation thing figured out, really.  Not all equations, mind you, I mean, I know that E equals m-c squared, I although I admit I don't understand it.  Alex Trebek, now there's a square emcee for you!

Anyway, as I told that young caller yesterday, you will learn infinitely more about values by listening to my show than you ever will in high school.  There's lots I don't remember, but I recall very clearly using that word: infinitely.  And now today every liberal's saying, "Prager advises teen to drop out".  Too bad it was at the tail end of the show, 'cause I suspect our exchange would have generated some calls.  Have I given out the numbers yet?

Looking up here, I see we have someone who describes himself as a second-time caller, so let's hear again from Fish in Duluth.  Wait a second, Fish just called yesterday, didn't I take his call just yesterday, Allen?  Yeah!  He was the guy who got annoyed when I got his name wrong, 'cause it was really, what, Fiah, I guess.  Fiah, yeah, that sounds right, and hey, I've been thinking about that.  Not only does "Fish" look like "Fiah" in the tiny font up there on the screen that Sean can't seem to rectify, but when I saw that the call was coming from Minnesota, I thought, hey, they've got one thousand lakes there, or so their license plates claim, at least.  So I wanted to know if Fish was a nickname or not; figured maybe he got "Fish" because he was always gone fishing or something.

Actually, the applicable G is usually, as they say, "dropped", not like our calls on talk radio so often, I mean, but rather just so it's pronounced fishin', for effect.  Apostrophes can be tough, even if it's only "its"; such a little word but such a big difficulty for so many people.

But Fish could be onto somethin' here.  I mean with his phrase, second-time caller.
I like the sound of it....heh, heh, heh, you don't hear that phrase in talk radio, because in this business, it's always first-time caller, that's the common phrase.  So you know, Fish's idea has got a certain ring to it.  How about, "We keep the customer satisfied on The Dennis Prager Show; that's why we have so many second-time callers!" Jot that down, Allen, I think it'll work well for a promo for The Dennis Prager Show.  A short one like that we should be able to voice in less than a couple dozen takes, I'd imagine.  Probably will do it before the show tomorrow, assuming Sean and Allen are up on things here on The Dennis Prager Show.

See how cleverly we slip them in, in radio?  Just the show's name itself is a promo in itself!  That's why we don't call the show, oh, I dunno, Dukis!  Or Doofus.  Who'd want to listen to "The Doofus Show"?  And that wouldn't work at all, also because of double-entendre, you gotta watch out for that in radio.  I learned that my first year on the air, back in 1982.

Anyway, we'd better go to the phones, you never know what you'll reel in from this lake.  That's a metaphor I bet Fish, Fiah I mean, would appreciate, but he dropped off.  Have I even given out the numbers yet?  Oh well, the lines are sure jammed today, even without!  

Well, it's been intense around The Dennis Prager Show for quite a few days now, and we all know why.  Anyway, let me take some of your calls now, so let's go to James in Aurora, Colorado, who says here in the comment field that he "formerly lived in Orange County."  Wonder if he means California or Florida, there's one in each state, you know.  Hmmm...--and I wonder why he wants us to know where he used to live?  Well, let's find out without any further ado and talk to James, up in The Rocky Mountain State.  Hi, James in Aurora, Dennis Prager.

No!  Another dropout caller!  Okay, then let's try this one: Leonard in Santa Barbara, Dennis Prager.

"Hello Dennis, I'm a first-time caller, and I want you to know what an honor it is to speak with you finally.  Believe it or not, I heard you from nearly the start, and I can attest to your accurate memory:  it was indeed 1982 when I started listening to Religion on the Line with Dennis Prager, I caught you darned near every Sunday night back when you were on KABC down in L.A.  I listened because I'm fascinated by religion, and no one could dispute your street cred as a pioneer of a serious radio talk about religion.  Preachers have been an annoying part of radio from its earliest decades, but you were doing something way elevated from that, and even your worst critic would credit you for that."

Wow...with us from the start, eh?  I'm flattered and humbled, Sir!  The floor's yours.

"Anyway, I know you studied philosophy at Columbia University, Dennis, and that's what I want to discuss with you.  But first, about that woman who called you The Sinatra of Talk Radio?  She's got the right idea, but the wrong recording artist!  Look, I yield to no one in my respect for nearly the entirety of the Francis Albert catalogue, but no Dennis, you're not the Frank Sinatra of Talk Radio, you're the John Lyden of Talk Radio!"

John Lyden, hmmm, I admit it, I don't think I know his work, Leonard!

"Oh, I bet you've heard him without realizing it.  He's gotten lots of radio airplay with each of the bands he's been most identified with.  You may him know him best from his more recent work as the frontman for Public Image, Ltd.  But that British band's fans often shorten it to just PiL."

But that would be Pill, wouldn't it?  Who'd want to be in a band named Pill, or even listen to them?  Heh, heh, heh, just kidding, Leonard.  No, I can't say I've got all, or even any Public Homage Limited albums, although I do seem to recall owning something by The Love-Limited Orchestra.  Are you sure you're not thinking of that band, Leonard?  That guy Barry Black had one of the best, or at least lowest, voices ever.  One sexy brotha, you gotta admit, but shoulda laid off the burgers and pizza.  Maybe'd still be with us; I remember seeing that obit!

"No, Dennis, I'm quite sure it's Public Image, Ltd.  That's John Lyden's band."

Well, I thank you for the lovely sentiment anyway, Leonard.  What a sweet thing to say!  Oh, I forgot, Allen keeps complaining I use the word "sweet" too much, and he's the guy who's got that honey thing going, how's that for irony?  Huh?  Huh?  So anyway, Leonard, what do you--what?...That's what he--?  Oops, Leonard in Santa Barbara just dropped off the line there.  That's too bad, we've sure had rotten luck with the phone system these last few days here on The Dennis Prager Show.  Can we work on that problem, Sean?  I mean, you can't do call-in radio without reliable phone lines.

Anyway, Leonard wanted to talk about philosophy, and it's too bad he dropped off, for I don't think I've mentioned Kierkegaarde's name even once yet this week on The Dennis Prager Show!  Well, maybe once or twice, I'm not sure, I've never claimed to have a good memory.

But speaking of philosophy, here's a fun philosophical question for a week when the news has been mostly anything but fun:  Why doesn't anyone ever call it "Saint Babs"?   I mean, since "santa" means saint in Spanish, it'd be a natural, right?  Especially since Barbra Streisand lives there.

Did you ever notice her name is spelled with one less A?  Well, her first name I mean, you'd never spell it S-T-R-E-I-S-double-A-N-D!  Well, actually maybe you might, if she was Danish; Kierkegaarde's got that double-A in it, after all!  Copenhagen sure is nice this time of year, by the way.  Maybe we'll take the next Dennis Prager Cruise to the Baltic!  What's that?---Streisand's still in Malibu, you say?  Well, close enough!   They're both just up the coast, after all, Allen, so let's not quibble.  It's a gloriously beautiful coastline that California has been blessed with, no doubt about it.  Quite memorable.

Inspired in unfortunately large part by actual Dennis Prager broadcasts, principally 7/23-24/2012 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love this! He is such a dottering bumbling old coot!