By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

McGuirk gets shirked

WRKO Radio (AM 680) has canceled plans to let fired Imus producer Bernard McGuirk co-host its morning show with Tom Finneran for a few days this week. The Globe’s got the story here (again, with a quote from the proprietor of this blog); the Herald here.

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  1. Boston Venerable Bede

    I actually think that WRKO missed an opportunity here for a several day trial. Whatever one can say about Mr. McGuirk is that he generates heat wherever he goes–an important element for success of this format. With established ground rules, I would have given this a chance.In the end the ones that lose is WRKO.

  2. Anonymous

    Funny, I must have missed the chorus of free speech advocates decrying the “McCarthyism” at work here. I’m sure it’s coming any moment now. Can we at least count on Harvey Silverglate?

  3. A.J. Cordi

    Nice quote.

  4. man who's a npr fan

    I don’t think this could be counted as a loss or a gain for WRKO because I’m not really sure WRKO knows what it’s trying to be.Historically it has become a conservative talk station but it’s bounced around so violently within that large-ish bin that it’s got amnesia as to what the goal of the station’s programming is.The schizophrenic situation with the Red Sox games is ultimately not helping with that problem, although it is providing some short term relief to a terrible ratings situation.But lately it just feels like WRKO is flailing about, throwing anything (and anyone) up against the mic and seeing what sticks.

  5. Dan Kennedy

    Anon 10:29: McGuirk has a right to say anything he wants. He doesn’t have a right to a 50,000-watt platform, or to be paid for it.

  6. freeatlast

    Dan,So you have the right to decide what platform americans get to use..and also decide who gets paid for what..hmmmmmmm you must be the king.

  7. Dan Kennedy

    Free: This is so simple, and people like you, who don’t understand free speech, make it so hard. McGuirk has a right to say anything he wants. CBS has a right to fire him. WRKO has a right to bring him in here for three days. The public has a right to protest. People like me have a right to say WRKO is doing the wrong thing. Advertisers have a right to threaten a boycott. And WRKO has a right to change its mind and disinvite Bernie. I mean, good Lord. As long as the government isn’t trying to censor Bernie (and it’s not, as the FCC doesn’t enter into this), it’s not even a First Amendment issue.

  8. The Scoop

    Obstruction of justice, lying under oath, yeah, that Finneran guy sure has “class” and “dignity.” Give me a break.

  9. jvwalt

    Disingenuous (and apparently unchallenged) line in the Boston Globe story: “But over the weekend, a 1997 interview on CBS’ `’60 Minutes” surfaced in which Imus was quoted using a racial slur to say that McGuirk was hired for his show to tell jokes about blacks.”That interview didn’t suddenly surface “over the weekend.” It was covered extensively during the Imus fiasco. Was well-known to anyone paying attention. But hey, WRKO needs an excuse for disinviting McGuirk; they can’t very well admit they caved to the criticism. I am surprised the Globe printed the rationale without question; I guess they didn’t spend much time on the story.

  10. Anonymous

    So Bernard McGuirk, who does tasteless jokes and impersonations, is held to a higher standard than Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Jay Severin, Michael Graham, Howie Carr, John Dennis, and Gerry Callahan, who lie, defame, and distort with impunity? I think it’s deplorable, much like holding Bill Clinton more responsible for sexual peccadilloes than George Bush for serious transgressions.Are McGuirk’s jokes more harmful than what those others say, mean, and promote day in day out?

  11. Anonymous

    So free speech can only be curtailed by the government? I’ll remember that the next time someone throws a pie at a right-wing speaker on campus. “First they came for the conservatives,…”

  12. Dan Kennedy

    Anon 3:55: No. Only the government can censor. Please try to pay attention.

  13. Anonymous

    anonymous @ 3:55 PM“First they came for the conservatives,…” Actually the Zitat goes, first they came for the Communists, then the Socialist Democrats, then the trade unionists. If you can read German, you might go the the Niemoller Stiftung (the foundation dedicated to the author of the Zitat) at, it says:As the Nazis dragged away the Communists, I remained quiet, because I was not a Communist;As they locked up the Social Democrates, I remained silent, because I was not a Social Democrat;As they dragged away the trade unionists, I remained silent, because I was not a member of a trade union;When they came to drag me away, there was nobody left who could protest.I have a special interest in this Zitat. My spouse’s grandfather was imprisoned in the concentration camp at Dachau.–raj

  14. Don (no longer) Fluffy

    I stand corrected; Mike McGurk was Dick Tracy’s bumbling sidekick.

  15. Bill

    I was disappointed in the Globe stores and just about everywhere else, because no one seemed to mention that McGuirk used the word “jigaboo” during that conversation with Imus. They didn’t have to use the word, but they should have pointed out he used a racist slur.To me, that’s one of the most offensive words available for describing Blacks.

  16. Anonymous

    Wow, I am so glad this evil man will not be on the air with his filthy mouth. We are better off in a society that is dull and boring ( What time is Tom Finneran on again, I sleep so much better with his “smart” and “sassy” quips wafting over me in the backgroun). I can see all the liberal do-gooders snickering over their chardonnay this weekend. PC Crowd 1 Regualr People Looking for A Laugh 0.

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