Bye, Bye, Marty

04/15/05: The morning after

The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio and the Lonestar Times in Houston, Texas have thrown in their two cents.

“Note to would-be replacements: Do not question, on the air, in a heavily Catholic region, whether Pope John Paul II made it into heaven because he was not a ‘born-again’ Christian. Ironically, doing so has put Minto in radio purgatory.” – Chuck Yarborough, Plain Dealer

“While the station manager is certainly free to program in any way he sees fit, one wonders if this is another case of ‘Let’s play it safe.'”

“Fortunately for Houstonians there is little fear of boring ‘safe’ radio, as evidenced by the lively discussi
on of this story on KSEV [AM 700] during Mr. [Dan] Patrick’s show.” – Jeremy Weidenhof, Lonestar Times

Powerball reacted to the furor this morning.

“Well, the story is all over the place. ‘Pittsburgh Radio Host Fired For Wondering If Pope Went To Heaven’ My day started out with a phone call about an AP article that talked about Marty Minto. Then the Drudge Report picked it up. Then my phone started ringing with reporters from ABC and other national talk shows. Many of you have emailed me as well.”

“I’m going to say one thing and one thing only about all this. Don’t believe everything you read. That’s it. Nothing more. I have too much respect for everyone involved to push the issue. Most of you have been very kind to me. Some of you have accused me of being behind all this. Believe what you want to believe.”

“I have always said things happen for a reason. Both good and bad things. Sometimes it takes years to know what that reason is and when we do it’s just another reminder of who is really in control of our life.”

Marty and I certainly didn’t see eye-to-eye on theological issues, but he seemed like a great guy and he had a good radio presence (butchering of English aside). I will miss hearing his voice every day.

It’s funny, his anti-Catholic antics drove me up a wall and the plethora of emails I sent him probably annoyed him just as much. Now that I know that his show won’t be on anymore, I feel sick to my stomach and I’m feeling kind of misty-eyed. I would have liked to see him soften up a little on certain issues, not get fired.

WORD-FM has finally given an official comment.

“The story in Thursday’s Pittsburgh Tribune Review would lead you to believe that we ended Mr. Minto’s program because ‘He questioned if the pope’s Roman Catholic beliefs would impede his entry to heaven.’ This statement did not come from the management of WORD-FM. A similar headline accompanied an AP wire story that unfortunately was not fact checked. We have never placed any restrictions on subject matter for the talk show. Mr. Minto knows that. The decision to release Mr. Minto had been under consideration for an extended period, primarily because of our concern that he tended to unnecessarily alienate listeners; and was finalized well before the pope was in the news. The conclusion that he was released because of his views on the pope is completely without foundation. We regret that you were left with a perception that is false.” (emphasis mine)

I heard Marty crack jokes about nearly getting fired several times but I didn’t think much of it at the time. I guess he wasn’t kidding.