Rich Lieberman has his own radio show in Santa Cruz these days, so he hasn’t been ripping the local media personalities quite as often as did a year or two ago. But he still throws barbs from time to time, and Thursday morning was one of those times.
Included in the line of fire: the “buttheads in upper management” at KPIX, the “frat boys in the morning over at KNBR,” Eric Byrnes, Larry Kruegar (sic), Kate Scott and this guy:
One person who absolutely can’t stand the Radu: 1050 AM’s Damon Bruce. Then again Bruce is a team player who while he detests the bloated one, also understands that it’s best not to confront him. Speaking of which, I lauded Bruce’s new gig at CBS Sports Radio only to be informed that the money isn’t great and that the CBS folks simply needed a West Coast guy really fast.
It’s been a while, so for those who don’t remember I’m going to take you back to the time when KNBR decided to pair Gary Radnich — whose show was a solo act for many years — with Bruce. The two became co-hosts in the beginning of August of 2011 and didn’t last the month together before Radnich went on “vacation” for two weeks and supposedly got stuck in New York. By September, Bruce was back on 1050 and Radnich got a new partner in Krueger.
Bruce doesn’t like Radnich, and the feeling seems to be mutual. And after those comments about how much money he is (or isn’t) pulling down from his work on the weekends, Bruce doesn’t like Lieberman much either. Near the end of the first hour of his show on Thursday afternoon, Bruce went on a rant. I transcribed it, and you can also listen here.
Alright, just for a minute, let me give the desperate for attention the attention they so desperately crave. I’m talking about Rich Lieberman, who writes a Bay Area media column, and in a lot of instances points out some very valid things. But most of the time, it’s done in such a condescending, sniping, nasty way that there’s too much bile for the real message to ever get through.
Now, he can tease anyone he wants and I’m not here to talk about anybody else. But the things he says about Eric Byrnes are not true. The things he says about Larry Krueger and Kate Scott hating one another – totally not true. Kate absolutely carries that show. Who could hate her?
Here’s the article about me today. (Reads paragraph quoted above.)
You know, it’s funny. Rich has told me many times that I’m the best in this market. That’s one thing he’s right about. But he still can’t just stick with that story, he’s got to take a backhanded compliment. And I called him today, because I was angry about this.
First of all, how much money am I making? You tell me.
(Changes voice to impersonate Lieberman) “I know how much you’re making. I won’t tell you.”
You don’t know how much I’m making. Should it be more? Absolutely. You can’t find anyone in radio who shouldn’t be paid more for the hard work that they’re doing, but unfortunately that’s just not how this business is set up anymore. To try to blame it on the host that he’s not making enough money, it’s a clear misunderstanding of how this industry now works. Everybody’s getting screwed.
Now I’m not here to pick a fight with Gary. Everyone knows that there’s a lot of bad blood between us. And I haven’t tried to hide it and neither has he. But this isn’t about Gary, this is about bullies. I have been a rejector of bullies my entire life. If you push me on the playground, you got a knuckle sandwich. If you tried to take my lunch money, I took your manhood. I have never, for a second, tolerated bullying.
Now, I don’t go out and look to pick fights either. But I know a bully when I see him. And that’s what bothered me about Gary, that’s what bothers me about this Lieberman thing. All he does is bully the hard work and accomplishments of other people. And now you’re pulling a page right out of Gary’s handbook by pointing at someone’s wallet and saying “I’m better than you”?
You know that I’m the best out here. So does CBS Radio. That’s why I am on their network now. And if you think that weekend work is all I’m qualified to do, just stick around for a year or two and you tell me what happens with my career.
Secondly, if you think for a second that there were a bunch of names on a wall, and they threw a dart at it, and it was lucky enough to hit my name because they needed a West Coast guy really fast? Talk about misinformed.
Now here’s the point that bothers me probably more than anything else, and it should bother you too as you consume this “work” from Rich Lieberman. When I called him this morning to scream on him … and I did. That’s the thing, don’t tug on Superman’s cape and expect to get away with it. I do bite back. You mess with me, and I mess with you back. That’s how I’ve always operated.
Now this is a situation where I said, “What you wrote is a total scumbag paragraph.” And he said, “No, no, no, no. It’s tongue-in-cheek, it’s tongue-in-cheek. I didn’t mean it. I’ll rewrite it.” See? Right there, you’re not a critic. You’re looking for attention. You’re an attention whore. Look at Rich Lieberman’s last 25, 40 minutes of Twitter. Begging me to talk about him. Begging for attention. Desperate to have his name read. “Make sure you pronounce my name right.” It’s just desperate, man.
You know, Michael Bauer, there’s a critic. And believe me, his critiques are not for sale. He won’t go back and rewrite them if a restaurant calls and says, “I don’t like it.” I could take Rich Lieberman to lunch and he would write beautiful things about me, but I’m not here to kiss ass. I’m here to kick ass. That’s maybe the difference between me and a lot of people who work in this market, which my show stands out like a sore thumb and others just wear beige and blend in.
I’m tired of bullies getting away with backhanded compliments. Like Radnich, all you do is diminish. You diminish the hard work of others. You diminish the careers of others. You diminish the amount of money people are being screwed out of because radio is an unfair industry these days. The diminishers of the world need to be given less of a platform, not more of a platform.
Now I know that Rich is already popping a little bit of a chubby. He’s excited that I’ve used his name and that I’ve talked about him. And he’s a subscriber to any publicity is good publicity. But the truth is when the host you respect the most respects you the least, it’s really not a win for you, Rich. Not at all. Your opinion can be bought with a tongue sandwich in a deli. Your opinion was offered to me today on the phone to be changed. I said, “Don’t even bother. You already pressed send. That’s all that matters.”
And you can go ahead and write about me, don’t write about me, I really don’t care. But let me tell you, there’s not a word you can print that’s going to stop the train that is me. I’m coming. And I’m not stopping and taking a few things along the way, I’m taking it all.
No more bullying. I don’t do well around bullies. That’s why Gary couldn’t work with me for more than five minutes. He shrunk next to me. Same thing with you, Rich. Shrinking. Shrinkage. What’s sad is that both actually had something to offer. If Gary would work hard, the show would be a lot better. Rich, if you would drop the bile, and just the nonstop meanness that permeates everything you do, maybe your critiques would actually land with a little relevancy, not just like anvils all around the yard. You go ahead and bully anyone you want, but just realize that when you come to my corner of the playground, you bully me, you’re going to walk away with a bloody nose. I did not get here making friends, hoping everyone would like me. And as far as I’m concerned, radio, it ain’t a team sport. There can only be one highlander. Understand? Good.
Val in San Francisco. Val? Did you like that? Some bullies need to be put in their place.
Val: Yeah, Hell yeah. I’m with you on Gary Radnich…
Bruce: No no no no no no no no no no no. This is not about Gary. At all. This is about Rich, who likes to throw me into his Gary comments whenever possible. Because he knows I’m the one person who actually stood up to him.
Bruce isn’t the only one to take offense to some of Lieberman’s critiques. Radnich himself has made several unflattering comments about blogs and bloggers, and usually he’s referring to Lieberman (although I guess I was mentioned at least once). After Bruce compared Lieberman to Radnich and said both men shrunk next to him, maybe we’ll hear a similar rant from “the Radu” between nine and noon tomorrow.