What makes a day rough for a book publicist is for a book-plugging author to get nasty during a live radio interview in which the host is called “absolutely insulting,” as was the case Monday when former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter appeared on a Twin Cities station, finds Grumpy Editor.
Specter, making the rounds promoting “Life Among the Cannibals” published by Thomas Dunne Books at St. Martin’s Press, made it to Jason Lewis, a conservative talk show host at KTCN (a Clear Channel Communications station in Minneapolis that prefers to be identified as News/Talk 1130), when he let loose with an outburst near the close of an interview.
“I have one final comment,” said Specter who turned Democrat from Republican in April 2009. “I gave you 10 minutes. You’ve been over every subject except for my book. I’ve listened to two rounds of your commercials. I think it’s insulting. I’ve been in a lot of interviews in the course of the past 30 years and you are absolutely insulting.”
Lewis fired back with: “Good God. This is not public radio. I don’t have a government grant. We’ve got to pay the bills. They’re called commercials. Capitalism.”
Replied Specter: “I’m talking about someone who’s civilized. I told you the last time around I wasn’t going to sit around and listen to your commercials, and I didn’t want to hang up on you. This is no way for anybody to run an interview. I’m as experienced as you are, if not more so.”
The call wrapped up with Specter saying, “That’s all I have to tell you, so goodbye.”
Lewis countered, “Good Lord, senator, no wonder you got beat.”