Short Takes On Dumb Radio Hosts and Fruitcake Follies

By Daily Editorials

December 23, 2019 6 min read

No Thanks, We'll Take the Boredom

Something tells us Chuck Bonniwell has been shaken out of his boredom. The former host on Denver radio station 710 KNUS is currently looking for a new job, preferably not in broadcasting, after stating on air that President Donald Trump's impeachment hearings were so boring "You know, you wish for a nice school shooting to interrupt" the monotony.

Co-host Julie Hayden intervened quickly, saying, "No, don't even say that!" She announced to listeners: "Don't call us! Chuck, didn't say that." Well, of course he did. And their show was immediately canceled.

They later posted on Twitter: "It's difficult to put everything into words here but we hope you hear our hearts. Chuck's comment about school shootings was inappropriate and if he could un-say it he would."

Adding insult to the injury Bonniwell caused, the station decided to replace their show with a nationally syndicated one hosted by Sebastian Gorka, the former Breitbart editor and adviser to Trump who has espoused Islamophobic views and assisted with neo-Nazi causes.

Hey, Hallmark, Got a Card for That?

Especially at this time of year, the Hallmark Channel tries its best to serve as a television version of a cozy couch and a snuggly warm blanket with a big cup of hot chocolate and the cutest little puppy in the world fast asleep in your lap. The last thing Hallmark wants is controversy. But in all the network's efforts to avoid it, controversy tipped over the hot chocolate, threw the blanket into the fireplace and shoved the puppy onto the floor.

Cable TV watchers are probably familiar with Zola, an online wedding-planning service. Zola is in the midst of an advertising blitz. One of Zola's ads features two lesbian women getting married. Hallmark accepted it for broadcast. Conservative viewers complained. And since Hallmark hates controversy, it decided to pull the ads.

That caught the attention of LGBT activists, who threatened a boycott of Hallmark. Zola announced it would stop advertising on Hallmark altogether. The network backed down, apologized for the "hurt and disappointment it has unintentionally caused" and reinstated the ads.

We resume our regularly scheduled hot chocolate, warm blanket and cute puppy.

Fruitcake Follies

For some people, Santa is bizarrely a source of terror instead of joy. For others, clowns bring anxiety instead of amusement. And then there's fruitcake, a gift that mysteriously conjures feelings of dread and exasperation, or sometimes relief that it only must be tolerated one month out of the year.

There's a reason why one particular fruitcake has endured for 141 years in Tecumseh, Michigan, and it's probably not because the loaf was just too darned delicious to eat. The fruitcake baked by Fidelia Ford in 1878 has endured intact all this time because her descendants regarded it more as an heirloom than an item of food.

Ford's fruitcake appeared on the Tonight Show in 2003, at age 125.

"It's a great thing," says Julie Ruttinger, Ford's great great granddaughter. "It was tradition. It's a legacy." Until his 2013 death, the cake was in the care of Ruttinger's father, Morgan Ford, who was Fidelia Ford's great grandson, The Associated Press reported. He had stored it in a place of honor, on an antique glass dish on the top shelf of a china cabinet in his Tecumseh home — which is where it continues to be stored today.

Though the cake's endurance is impressive, it's nowhere close to record-setting. A cake found in an Egyptian tomb has been dated back 4,176 years, according to the Guinness organization. It is on display in a Swiss food museum.

Living By the (Wrong) Code

Somehow, Navy and Army military cadets got the impression that it's OK to flash the upside-down OK symbol on national television. It's anything but OK. The symbol is used by white supremacist groups as a code message of solidarity and support. Cadets positioned themselves at last week's Army-Navy football game behind an ESPN reporter, then maneuvered their hands so the symbol appeared behind him and even flashed on the stadium's big screen. A black cadet was standing next to the reporter. President Donald Trump, who has had his own problems with his defense of white supremacists, was at the game.

As if that weren't enough to tarnish the military's image, on a Facebook posting to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, the Army posted a flattering profile of a Nazi SS officer who was deemed a war criminal. The posting carried a large, colorized photo of Joachim Peiper — a Panzer tank commander involved in the deaths of 84 Americans in what is known as the Malmedy massacre, the Military Times reported. Also included were some of his journal entries.

The Army's XVIII Airborne Corps apologized for posting the image and explained: "The intent was to tell the full story of the Battle of the Bulge ... by explaining the incredible odds that were stacked up against the American Soldier by the time" help arrived.

Again: Not OK.

Hellish Hanukkah greetings

Then there's Robert Jeffress, the conservative Dallas megachurch pastor, whom President Donald Trump invited as a special guest to this year's White House Hanukkah party. As the Times of Israel pointed out, Jeffress holds not-too-subtle views that Jews and members of other religions regard as inflammatory and insulting. Jeffress said in 2009: "Not only do religions like Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, not only do they lead people away from the true God, they lead people to an eternity of separation from God in hell." And happy Hanukkah to you, too, pastor.

REPRINTED FROM THE ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

Photo credit: Takmeomeo at Pixabay

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