You want the epitome of garbage human on the radio, you are not going to find it on anyone polluting the airwaves today. See, the talk-shit hosts in this day and age are generally seen as laughing stocks and get the piss taken out of them so much on social media, that they only do this to make whatever cash they can generate being a scumbag. But there was a time when the crap they can only grift with was mainstream and had real relevance. That is the world Bob Grant lived in, and he is one of the reasons why talk radio is to this day a insufferable cesspool. But even in that world Grant could not avoid a comeuppance and by the time of his death in 2013 he was pretty much a broken man, still talking shit, but not with as many people caring. And that was a good thing considering all the people he hurt with his BS.

Grant was a radio talk-shit host that until his retirement in January 2006 used to broadcast from New York radio stations 77 WABC and  WOR-AM and was syndicated nationwide. He was probably the most racist mainstream radio personality going.  He was also a perfect example of how the right reacts when the rest of the world tells them they can go to hell. Bob Grant once served notice on the country, saying that America will not survive if it does not maintain its “humane, west European culture.” And he spent his last days on Earth fighting a futile fight against that.

Wikipedia notes that Bob Grant, born Ciro Girgente in 1924, graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in journalism and began working in radio in the 1940s at the news department at WBBM in Chicago, as a radio personality and television talk show host at KNX in Los Angeles, and as an actor. He later became sports director at KABC in Los Angeles, where after some substitute appearances he inherited the talk show from early radio host Joe Pyne in 1964. In 1970, Grant landed in New York where he hosted a talk show on WMCA as the “house conservative”, staying there for seven years before going to other stations in the area. In 1984, he began his tenure at 77 WABC. It was this era that he is best known for, the era that pretty much cemented his reputation as what National Vanguard founder and convicted collector of child porn Kevin Alfred Strom regarded in 1996 “the only mainstream talk-radio host who, at least occasionally, speaks the truth on racial matters.”

And what might those truths be to a white supremacist like Strom? Well, among Grant’s more notable remarks were on how American Indians “should consider themselves lucky that America let them survive,” one in which he hopes George Halliday, the Rodney King videographer, “gets what’s coming to him” after the 1992 LA uprising, how Martin Luther King, Jr. was a scumbag (he attacked King regularly) and saying he was being a pessimist in thinking Commerce Secretary Ron Brown was the only survivor in the plane crash that took his life. That last comment in 1996 cost him his job at WABC after a barrage of complaints (Former NY Governor Mario Cuomo was especially pissed since he and Ron Brown was very close), but he went to WOR soon after. This is the move that launched Sean Hannity, who replaced Grant in his time slot. Hannity considers Grant a “mentor” and has even had him on his television show, two of those times – interestingly enough – on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

He has a few other notable  actions on the air too. One of them was promoting his so-called “Bob Grant Mandatory Sterilization Program,” which he described as temporary sterilizations for women of childbearing age who wish to receive welfare payments. This is similar to a position that white supremacist Jared Taylor promoted in his 1992 book Paved With Good Intentions, a book that Taylor’s publishers credited Grant for promoting and helping them sell (see audio in sidebar). And let’s not let that go without noting other times Grant has either promoted or helped to promote also white supremacist groups allowing them to give their contact information over his airwaves. He even had a rather chummy conversation with White Aryan Resistance leader Tom Metzger about the anti-immigrant Prop. 187 in California. Members of the National Alliance were regular callers to his program and the group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) noted that on March 27, 1995 a caller recommended the National Alliance as a group “for support of European-American males.” Grant declared twice: “I don’t have any problem with the National Alliance!” Grant apparently grew to be afraid of the heat however. When a caller called in on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in 2005, he prattled on for a few minutes about how much he hates the holiday, how much he hates King, how insecure blacks are, etc., but as soon as he said, “My group, the National Alliance,” Grant laughed nervously and cut him off saying he had to go to news.

On April 19, 1995, as people were tuned in to hear about the Oklahoma City bombing, Grant agitated around the notion that Arabs were responsible. As it started to surface that the suspects were white, he suggested that either the suspect was a white looking Arab or a white person duped by Arabs. Then, after a right-wing militia affectionado named Tim McVeigh was arrested (you know, the guy who was inspired by the white supremacist novel The Turner Diaries, written by National Alliance founder William Pierce) he had the audacity to attack President Clinton for charging talk radio in a speech for creating the atmosphere that gave us the bombing, even though Clinton never mentioned talk radio.

The incident that truly shows how much of a problem he was occurred on December 12, 1996, when Grant attacked the Asian Indian community in Iselin, NJ as a people who “…live in curry, cook in curry, bathe in curry…” spending his four-hour program attacking the immigration policy. The next day swastikas were drawn on Indian homes there and one Indian store had its windows shot out. Grant and his handlers insist there is no connection, but many disagreed. 

Grant toned down the racist crap for a while, but as it became more and more apparent that no one was listening to his show anymore, it started creeping back. On June 10, 2004 he began his radio show defending washed up sixties “sex kitten” Brigitte Bardot, when the actress was convicted in Paris the day before of inciting racial hatred in a book where she attacked what she called the “Islamization of France”, inter-racial marriage and homosexuals, Her publisher was ordered to pay $5,000, making this the fourth such fine for her since 1997. This was a problem for Grant who declared that he opposed the “Islamization of America” as well. “Look, you yourself – and I presume most of you are not Arabic, Islamic – I think your background might be similar to mine,” he said. “And therefore why in heaven’s name would you want to see your culture, your religion, your ethnic roots buried by a group of people who in many, many ways represent (a different) position from ours?”

On this radio show, Grant also defended disgraced New York Police Officer Justin Volpe, who he said received an “incredibly harsh sentence” – two consecutive 15-year terms – after he pled guilty of brutalizing and sodomizing Haitian immigrant Abner Louima with a toilet plunger. Currently serving his time in a federal penitentiary in Minnesota, Grant felt that he needed to relay the softer side of Volpe, how he has taken up painting and writes poetry. He also decided to rant about what he felt was a bad deal given him. “Now if you want to talk about injustice, Volpe getting two consecutive 15-year terms is an example. And the only reason he got that kind of harsh sentence was because people are afraid of the minority community. And when the government acts out of fear and not motivated by justice, then that represents the beginning of the end of that society.” Again, Volpe pled guilty, which would suggest even he admitted he committed a crime, and Grant didn’t seem to care, and we would like to thank him for reminding us just what it was that made him an idiot.

That and other things reminded a lot of other people too. Soon, Grant started to get called out more. He began to see protest after protest, and in 2008, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the trade publication Radio & Records was revoked after a spark of outrage. That generated an outcry from the talk-shit hosts he inspired, like Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Neil Boortz, Rush Limbaugh, and others who have themselves been called on the carpet for their own racist stunts. Later that year, an evening show he had on 77 WABC (yeah, after he retired from WOR they brought him back) was cancelled, but then the announcement that he was coming back in September 2009 came out, prompting New York Daily News columnist Errol Louis to cry foul, taking note of other  radio personalities who at the time were not given the kind of leeway that Grant was getting:

“Grant and (WABC Program Director Laurie) Cantillo should realize that times have changed in New York. Hosts that dabble in violent and degrading speech get held accountable.

People realize that the best response to offensive speech is more speech – aimed at program directors, parent companies and, in extreme cases, advertisers and investors.

Thanks to protests, the foul-mouthed Miss Jones got fined and suspended from Hot 97. She was eventually fired.

DJ Star was arrested for bawdy talk about sexually assaulting a child. He, too, is now off the air.

And Don Imus got the boot after calling black college students “nappy headed ho’s,” although he later found a home at – where else? – WABC. Or, as I call them, W-“hate”-B-C.”

Of course, Louis got a lot of flack from that, but c’mon. It came from this crowd who try to pretend that Bob Grant and other conservatives aren’t the racist scumbags that they are, thinking that all they have to do is get loud and angry to make the charges go away. But it didn’t work. This is who those who know and remember Bob Grant know him as, and that was the reputation he left this earth with and he helped us start 2014 right by dying on New Year’s Eve 2013.  Like Errol Louis said, times have changed from the days when he could get away with this. Today, we are dealing with the also-rans, but we are in a position to deal with them effectively. That is probably why you don’t hear too many people bringing up Bob Grant these days despite how much he contributed to the hate machine talk radio is. Of course, if you run across one of these characters defending him, don’t simply chalk it up to a case of denial. Call it what it is – lying.

Categories: GPerson