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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 57,784

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Tears of joy! Reading this caused a few for me, too.

God bless them both - Danica Roem AND Joe Biden. And their families.

And a facial expression to match the bowel movement!

What a low-life!

An opportunistic infection in a cowboy hat.

I'm sorry, but my immediate thought upon reading the headline was

“...because they’re doin’ it, too?”

You're welcome. That's exactly what happened.

What else happened:

Evidently, somebody'd noticed I had spoken to Gloria Allred. There were a few calls coming into the station complaining about what had happened on the air. Granted, my dad and my husband were among them, but there were evidently more than two. The behavior toward me changed a little. Suddenly the GM was calling me into his office, to offer me a "lovely parting gift" of $3,000. My dad heard that and said "if you can get $3,000, you can get $50,000." I'd already suspected as much. The GM also "suggested" to me that if I pursued any sort of redress (like if I sued), "you might never get hired in this city again."

DAYUM I learned so much during that little bit of time! In my head, I was already busy calculating financial and other costs. Okay so $50 grand? And indeed WHAT IF it winds up that nobody will hire me from here on if I sue (and presumably win)? Will $50 grand be enough to live on? Anything I could do preemptively, aside from maybe hiring Gloria Allred to take my case, in which it would be splashy and noisy and covered coast-to-coast? I calculated my "worth", as in clout, and name-recognition value. As in - was I prominent enough, at least locally, that I had some weight to throw around? Answer: NO. "News chick" on rock stations. Never mind that you worked morning drive, on-air. It was the (male) morning jock you worked with, who got the big paycheck, programming's priority, and all the promotional attention. Morning show was the heaviest of the heavy-weights in the pecking order. Still is. All your high-priced big-name talent is on in the morning. All the must-buy advertisers are on in the morning. A good morning show can carry the whole rest of the day and do well in the ratings. Afternoon drive in radio is big, too, but secondary to morning drive.

Success is like that. "The Tonight Show" alone, during Johnny Carson's day, provided one quarter of ALL of NBC's revenue. ONE out of every FOUR dollars the network brought in came from the Carson show. "Today" much the same, especially when Carson was king of late nights. People would fall asleep with their TVs tuned to his channel, and sure enough, they'd wake up the next morning to check on the news - on NBC's morning monolith. Johnny's parking spot on the lot was PRIMO. Do note, btw, that his longtime nightly sidekick Ed McMahon DIDN'T have a parking space that close to the stage door. Nor did he have that size paycheck or promotional prominence.

Anyway - my instinct was to lay low, take the three grand, and leave quietly because THAT reinforced that I had some dignity. I did already have an ace in the hole, though, and nobody at the station knew about that. I was getting ready to leave anyway. I had another job lined up at NBC Radio. I've occasionally mentioned being part of that network's experiment - a news network that programmed to rock stations. Nobody cared about such things until John Lennon got shot. We were already up and running by then, and our New York reporter's coverage was referenced in Rolling Stone magazine's coverage of it.

But I gotta tell ya - I know what it is and how it feels when you read about your replacement in the trade papers - before anybody in charge has the decency to tell you. And because the programming, music department, and upper management got the trades before they filtered all the way down the hall to where the newsroom was, EVERYBODY'D read about me in the pop/rock column, being replaced by the new jock's morning man before I saw it. This "hilarious" moment ensued, wherein I had indeed read the column and saw that I was about to be replaced, and by whom. So as I approached the hallway to the other side of the building, who should come breathlessly hustling out of his office but the program director. He sure was a piece of work. The same guy who roared hot bile and burning asphalt (accessorized with strings of swear words) at all of us at various times, and whose temper was usually dialed up to about two-thousand degrees Fahrenheit (except for the way he fawned over the new morning jock and his on-air entourage), was much different at this moment. He was serious in demeanor, his facial expression was earnest and troubled, his eyes were great big, and his chin was tipped downward instead of jutting out, as if to jam his way into your comfort zone and intimidate you (notice with trump sometimes! Same posture!). He was nervous. He called me by name and said "I need to talk to you." I knew what it was about. I smiled and said so. I believe my comment was "I'll bet you do." We didn't talk for long. At that point, I figured any encounter with him was irrelevant. I was already outta there.

One of the other jocks, in the meantime, let it be known to me that he had a copy of that morning show disaster and wanted to make sure I had it (should I need it for any reason...). He beckoned me through the news booth glass window to come into the studio while he was on the air. He said he wanted to give me a hug. I complied and while we were hugging, he slipped me his copy in a little bag. Wanted to make sure no one saw. I did have a few friends there.

Oddly enough, two jobs later, I was being interviewed by the manager and news director of the FM sister station to that other one. The horrific incident there a few years earlier came up in the conversation. At one point, the news director, a rather brilliant and highly creative woman (who wound up being really terrific to work for/with) blurted out, "so you sued, right?" I corrected the record eagerly, because I never did sue. I liked my work and I wanted to be able to keep doing it. I knew women who suffered abuse and sued, and won. They won A LOT. Which was GOOD. Because that's what they lived on, from then on. They never worked in that capacity again. Btw - they wound up hiring me at that FM station.

I heard Gloria Allred's next client promo'd just a little bit ago. My reaction is: "God Bless Gloria. Standing up for us again! Taking our side when nobody else will! And making the guilty SWEAT."

That's how Steve Bannon "got rid of" his wife, just before he was about to face abuse charges.

They were estranged. They'd had another horrible argument in which he got violent, threw a phone across the room with such force that it shattered, and threatened her in a rage. She had a right to be fearful, witnessing that display up close. He called her up the night before and threatened her, that she'd be sorry, if she showed up in court the next morning to testify against him. She was fearful for their kids and didn't want them in his custody, either. (Shit - I sure wouldn't! Would YOU?) And sure enough, it worked. She didn't show. up. And the judge had no choice but to dismiss the case.

He's a rat-bastard. Hell is too good for him.

Ummm... beg to differ.

I faced some very rough times, relatively early in my career, that put me in contact with her. She'd come into the radio station once a week to voice a public affairs minute called "Woman to Woman." It was part of an on-going series. Five parts, one per weekday. We ran into each other because to go anywhere on the production/on-air side, you had to cut through the newsroom if you didn't want to go a really long, roundabout way to the production room.

I had been publicly humiliated in a really awful, crude, and seriously sexist way, live on the air by the newly-arrived morning jock, as a way to "explain" to listeners why the female morning news anchor was being replaced by a man. Nobody asked me about it in advance, or told me the extent of what was planned. They did not get into the hideous details of how they planned to illustrate this on the radio. Nobody was interested in how I felt about it, either, whether I was okay with it, or whether I'd find it offensive (so maybe they'd dial it back a little bit). Nope. The morale with all the staff changes was really bad, mine in particular. I knew I had no recourse and no say in this. I was merely expected to play along, without question. It was HORRIBLE.

It was HORRIBLE. Embarrassing as hell. Disgusting and vulgar. One of the worst professional experiences of my life. I'm still embarrassed, lo these 30-some-odd - NO! Correction! FORTY-some-odd years later, to recount the details. It was HORRIBLE. I was sure that whatever credibility I'd built in this market was completely dashed, and my reputation irrevocably tarnished. And I was very young, green, low-ranking, no clout, still fairly naive, easily intimidated, and still new at the learning curve. Age 23. My only consolation as I cried - no, SOBBED all the way home that day was that it was Memorial Day, and probably most listeners didn't have to get up early to go to work that day, so perhaps I was spared because most of 'em probably weren't even awake yet. Morning drive, dontchaknow. Primo slot to work in, but excruciatingly early. Stupid-early, as a matter of fact. Thank heavens for small favors, I thought. Most people wouldn't have heard a thing. After all, holiday Monday mornings like Memorial Day were when almost everybody slept in. Upper management wouldn't even show up, period.

So whaddya know? The next day, Tuesday morning during that same big, high-profile morning-drive time slot, when everyone's back awake, on schedule, listeners on the freeway, their clock-radio alarms (set to our station) having awakened them up in plenty of time to get ready to go to work, the new morning jock REPLAYED THE ENTIRE SORDID DAMN THING ON THE AIR (because he'd made sure to record it the day before when it was done live).

Anyway - she and I spoke briefly, in the newsroom. She'd heard what had happened on the air. She was outraged for me. She invited me to lunch - just to talk. Made me no offers or deals. I went. I basically cried on her shoulder. Literally. She was tremendously kind. Talked to me at length, comforted me, gave me the sense that I wasn't alone - and that somebody cared, and somebody was on MY side. She listened to me, sympathized, consoled. Let me know I wasn't alone. She LISTENED. She cared. And the kindness. She was so kind. I'm literally starting to get teary-eyed as I write (and recall) this. She didn't rush me through lunch or push to wrap things up after such-and-such a time. She let me talk and burble and cry for as long as I felt like it. Then she picked up the tab for lunch and told me she was not going to call me or pursue me, but that she would be there to help me if I ever needed help. She did not bill me for her time. And she never followed up or tried to hound me to hire her so we could make a public stink about it and sue people.

And she was true to her word. She's no ambulance-chaser. She kept our conversation confidential. She was non-judgmental, caring, and tremendously supportive. Being surrounded by men in that job, there was NOBODY willing to take my side or stand up to upper management and their shiny new "toy" (the presumably big-ass big-name DJ and his newly-arrived entourage).Absolutely NONE. Except my husband and my parents, and Gloria Allred. She came along at a time when I needed someone to hear me out, offer objective and seasoned support, and tell me I wasn't just being whiny or misunderstanding the situation or some other definition of "being in the wrong" or "don't take it personally, this is JUST BUSINESS."

I will NEVER forget Gloria Allred. Her personal advice, support, consolation, and discretion - it all meant THE WORLD to me at a tremendously difficult and terrifying time, when I had no other professional allies. She is TOPS in my book. She will ALWAYS be TOPS in my book. I'll be a fan and admirer of Gloria Allred till the day I die. I am honored to be able to defend her, and I'll take any chance I get to do so.

Anybody who wants to diss her, well, go ahead if you must. But you need to hear and understand the other side of the story.

I keep mumbling to myself - "this ISN'T the Manhattan real estate market!"

THIS does NOT work like the Manhattan real estate market does, with all its corner-cutting and sweetheart deals, bullying and blustering to intimidate and bluff your opponent, fast-talking fancy convoluted deals and "arrangements", winks 'n' handshakes, and other sleazy under-the-table wheeling 'n' dealing. It's an arena where figuring out how to bend and/or get around the rules is the favorite indoor sport. Government (at least good, scrupulous, responsible government, anyway) DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY, DAMMIT!

If you're part of the government, YOU ARE A PUBLIC SERVANT. You are supposed to be in it for the people YOU SERVE. NOT for yourself. It's not supposed to be about getting rich, or fleecing the flock, or helping yourself to all the goodies you can grab before you're forced to resign in disgrace or even flirting with indictment. And these lovely people don't have a template for that. It's not who they are, what they know, how they've lived, or where they've come from. Their mistake was believing that this "presidentin'" business was merely another round of business-as-usual.

I wish I had a nickel for every argument I've had with dim bulbs who insisted the government "should be run like a BIZness!" DAMMIT, government is NOT a business!!! Its whole reason for being is NOT to make a profit. It exists to serve the needs and interests of THE PEOPLE, DAMMIT! NOT oneself.

You're NOT supposed to go into public service to pad your own pockets, DAMMIT! You're NOT supposed to go into public service to give yourself a tax cut. You're NOT supposed to go into public service with an eye toward slapping the presidential seal on everything in your golf club's pro shop, or so you can then jack up the price of membership to take advantage of your new "position".

Public service is, and should be, a higher calling. To which money-grubbers and grifters need not apply.

Welcome to DU, scarytomcat!

I doubt you'll find anybody opposed to that sentiment, here.

Lock 'em up. BOTH of 'em.

No fucking kidding.

Damn right it's about time.

It's long PAST time.
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