A Jan. 18 Newsmax article by Phil Brennan takes a one-sided view of the controversy over Radio & Records magazine's reversal on honoring radio host Bob Grant, telling only Grant's side of the story, bashing his detractors and refusing to detail the controversial remarks by Grant that led to the reversal.
R&R decided not to honor Grant with a planned lifetime achievement award after, according to a Washington Post article, activist Scott Pellegrino emailed the magazine's employees with some of Grant's more notorious rantings over the years, such as calling blacks "screaming savages" and "sub-humanoids" and saying in 1996 that then-Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, also an African American, had survived a plane crash, adding "because at heart, I'm a pessimist."
But Brennan doesn't even mention Pellegrino -- noting only that Grant had called the person who emailed R&R a "stalker" -- instead attacking Fairness and Accuracy in Media, which had apparently compiled the Grant remarks Pellegrino sent to the magazine, as "deceptively named" and repeated Grant's attacks on FAIR. Brennan then noted that FAIR "transcribed the e-mailed comments from tapes of Grant's show, whom he says has obsessively harassed him for years." Of course, transcription of comments is a universally accepted form of media watchdogging; we suspect that Brennan and Grant wouldn't describe, say, the Media Research Center as obsessive harrassers.
Nowhere does Brennan detail the offensive remarks attributed to Grant, even though they are central to the controversy, describing them only as "remarks he made back in the 1990s and allowing Grant to complain, "He keeps regurgitating the same things I said back in the early '90s. There’s no statute of limitations." Brennan offers no evidence that Grant has offered others a similar "statute of limitations" on remarks he considers offensive.
Newsmax has long been a defender and supporter of Grant -- indeed, Newsmax chief Christopher Ruddy was among Grant's final guests before his retirement in 2006, after which "NewsMax feted the radio trailblazer at Gallagher's restaurant in Manhattan, where luminaries from former Congressmen John LeBoutillier and Dan Frisa, to Grant's former WABC colleagues Barry Farber and Lynn Samuels, paid tribute." In 2005, it declared Grant the victim of "the forces of political correctness" over his Brown remark, which got him fired from New York's WABC. In a 2006 article, Newsmax insisted Grant's comment on Brown "prompted no outrage at the time" and it was only after "Grant enemies" former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo and Rev. Jesse Jackson got involved that he was fired.