In April 2006, George Takei visited Dallas during an HRC tour. As a longtime terrestrial Stern fan, I wanted to ask Takei why Howard and Artie Lange always drop F bombs. While Sternâ€™s listeners use every disparaging term in the minority handbook, Stern and Lange never utter the N word â€” out of respect for African-American co-host Robin Quivers.
When that interview ran, I got a truckload of â€œdisappointingâ€ e-mails from Dallas Morning News advertising editor Jon Garinn â€” because I didnâ€™t approach the Takei interview in the same spoon-fed manner that every other gay cheerleading journalist took.
Well, yesterday, Lange finally self-destructed on-air and resigned. Lange had been arguing with his assistant, which nearly became physical. And Lange even said, â€œI hope he dies of AIDS.â€
Since going to Sirius satellie, I havenâ€™t had the pleasure of listening to Stern (whom I worship). And while researching yesterdayâ€™s Lange fiasco, I came across this Gay.com article, which said:
[Lange] also maintains an unlikely but genuine friendship with openly gay actor and recurring Stern star George Takei. As his mentor, Takei even convinced Lange to do a public service announcement for gay-equality group the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), pledging $100 for each on-air use of the word “fag.”
The undeniably funny Lange is obviously working through more than just his internalized homophobia. And I hope Takei and the rest of Sternâ€™s gay fans are in Lange’s corner before he turns into another John Belushi.