The Man Fight

Dateline: Fri 04 Aug 2006

Abdul of "Abdul in the Morning" (WXNT AM-1430) and Amos C. Brown, host of the afternoon show "The Light" (AM-1310) and a big mouth at The Recorder newspaper, have had their "man spats."

Take Abdul's posting a couple weeks ago, "Negro, Please!" The always saucy Abdul was once again in the elder radio statesman's face about Amos' charges that Honda is racist for locating in Southern Indiana. (!)

"Many whites are afraid to call Amos on the carpet for fear of being called racist. Thank God I'm not white," said Abdul Hakim-Shabazz.

When I worked at The Star, I thought the creative tension between these two talented guys would make great column fodder. The boss didn't bite.

Undeterred, I asked Amos one day what the deal was. "I have senior tenure and Abdul is earning his tenure," Amos said of the punky upstart. "And we both have the same goal -- to knock (Greg) Garrison off his post."

Yeehaw! So imagine my delight when I read recently on Jennifer Wagner's Taking Down Words blog that WIBC might actually say "bye-bye!" to crusty Greg and his grumpy old men, in favor of the loudmouth kid Abdul.

Alas 'tis not in the cards. That's the word from Kate Snedeker, the spokeswoman for all things Emmis, which owns WIBC where Garrison gallops across the waves in the morning. Harumph, harump.

"The rumor is false - no change is contemplated," said Kate on Friday. "Garrison's show is right where we want him to be and the audience continues to grow. In fact, we plan to work with Greg to extend his contract."

Fiddle dee dee. No doubt the snub will make the hard-chargin' Abdul gear it up another notch. And, he points out, his buddy Devon Scott made the leap from WXNT to WIBC.

Abdul also explained why he was hot for Indy when he looked at the possibilities here from his former perch in Springfield, Ill.

"This is the 12th largest city and nobody was really developing local issues in a very thoughtful and entertaining manner. That really surprised me."

Abdul, points out Abdul, works both sides of the street. He gives time to the Rs and the Ds, and that makes his show unpredictable and unprecedented (and everybody mad at him at one time or another).

As for Garrison, "Nobody goes to Greg's show for in-depth analysis on a local issue."

FYI, behind every man fight is a woman. It was the venerable Carolene Mays, prez of the Indianapolis Recorder, who approached both Abdul and Amos during Black Expo about getting along. She was "like Jimmy Carter at Camp David," Abdul said.

Another peace deal shot down.

Contact me at ruth@ruthholladay.com

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