The I-man spareth nobody

September 12, 1997

Shock jock zings local targets on national radio


Staff Writer

Shock jock Don Imus zinged everyone from President Clinton to Washington County Commissioner Ron Bowers and local NASCAR fans this morning as he aired his nationally syndicated radio talk show from the Maryland Theatre.

Imus' ventures into local politics included a solution for audience member and Washington County sheriff, Charles Mades, concerning the overcrowded detention center.

"My solution would be to let them out and let them participate in this re-enactment and shoot them," Imus said. He suggested Hagerstown Mayor Bob Bruchey, a former prison guard, help out.


Then Imus noted the presence of Bowers, "who has yet to be indicted."

Imus said he was ambivalent about coming to Hagerstown until he learned about the events commemorating the 135th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.

At first, Imus said he thought it was some kind of militia movement around Tim McVeigh's house.

Imus' sidekick Charles McCord said the thousands of Civil War re-enactors expected in the area take their battles seriously and are sticklers for historical accuracy.

"They actually kill each other," McCord said.

When Imus wondered aloud as to what re-enactors do the rest of the year, comedian Larry Kenney said, "A lot of them are on pit crews at NASCAR."

Imus, who frequently comments on current world events during his four-hour show, picked up on some local news events.

He noted a Herald-Mail classified advertisement for a Smithsburg police chief.

Imus asked Smithsburg residents in the audience if they had a police force.

"Not anymore," someone shouted.

When Imus asked what the chief did to be fired, someone yelled, "his job."

Imus remarked on the size of the crowd of more than 1,300 people at the historic South Potomac Street theater.

"We told them there was going to be a car race," he explained.

Each time Imus mentioned on the air that he was at the Maryland Theatre, he drew applause, but the crowd also did its share of booing.

Sportscaster Warner Wolf got off to a bad start with the audience by announcing from Imus' home-base, WFAN in New York, that the New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 14-2 Thursday night.

He made up for it by saying the Yankees would have to go 17-1 and the Orioles 10-9 during the last 19 games of the season just for the Yanks to tie the O's.

That got him a rousing round of applause, which he also received when he told the audience he used to work in Martinsburg, W.Va.

As usual, President Clinton was in Imus' satirical sights.

When McCord said he would have a story about how to gain access to the White House, Imus said he already knew.

"You show up with a babe and some burgers," Imus cracked.

Imus even took some potshots at the local radio affiliate that airs his show.

When he saw Gene Manning, president and general manager of Oldies 106.9 and WARK 1490, at the airport in Martinsburg, Imus said he thought he was a nut.

He played up the FM station while taking shots at its AM counterpart.

Imus' guests included Bob Schieffer, host of CBS's "Face The Nation," Civil War author Shelby Foote and CBS News anchorman Dan Rather. Rather was interviewed via phone from Calcutta, where he is preparing to cover the state funeral of Mother Teresa.

The I-Man's first broadcast from the Tri-State area raised more than $10,000 for the Easter Seals Break-A-Way program, the Maryland Theatre and the United Way, Imus announced.

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