Somebody's Gotta Say It

Somebody's Gotta Say It

by Neal Boortz

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061736803
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/13/2009
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
File size: 756 KB

About the Author

The host of radio's The Neal Boortz Show, syndicated in nearly two hundred national markets, Neal Boortz is the author (with Congressman John Linder) of the New York Times bestsellers The FairTax Book and FairTax: The Truth, and author of The Terrible Truth About Liberals. He has been nominated twice for the National Association of Broadcasters' Marconi Award and divides his time between Atlanta, Georgia, and Naples, Florida.

Read an Excerpt

Somebody's Gotta Say It

Chapter One

Death Knocks—Along with Opportunity

There was a time when I would have killed to get into talk radio. As luck would have it, I didn't have to.

The name Herb Elfman probably doesn't ring a bell, and there's no reason it should. His name is but a small, sad footnote in the history of talk radio, but a very important one in the history of yours truly. In fact, it can fairly be said that I owe my entire career to this long-forgotten pioneer.

Bear with me, now, while I put you through a short course in radio history. Don't worry, it'll get interesting.

Elfman, like many of us who eventually landed our own shows, actually started out as a caller. Way, way back in the 1960s, Elfman lived out in Los Angeles. For years he worked as a salesman, apparently for a portrait photography company. And he loved listening to a local blowhard on KABC named Bob Grant.

Yes, that's right, the Bob Grant—the one who's been called "The King of Talk Radio."2 Controversial, opinionated, and wildly popular, Grant went on to become a living legend at WOR in New York, blazing a conservative yet independent trail for more than a quarter-century before retiring not too long ago.3 Grant was years ahead of nearly everyone else in the business. Even Howard Stern has credited him as a strong influence. WOR's website goes so far as to call Grant "the inventor of controversial talk radio"—which is somewhat truer than Al Gore saying he invented the Internet.

But still, I must humbly set the recordstraight. The fact is, Grant learned the ropes from the meanest guy in the business.

Grant had been working as a radio newsman since 1949, but it was when KABC hired him as sports director in 1962 that he met Joe Pyne, the station's headliner. By all accounts, Pyne was a miserable guy, on and off the air, and his show was a train wreck: People listened because they just couldn't help themselves. This guy was so nasty, he used to tell callers, "Go gargle with razor blades!"

From time to time, Joe Pyne allowed Bob Grant to substitute for him. Then, in 1964, when Pyne left KABC for an equally noxious television gig that lasted several years on NBC,4 Grant eagerly stepped in to fill his footprints.

Isn't it nice when things work out like that? I couldn't tell you from experience—my own big break wasn't anything like that. Which brings us back to Herb Elfman.

Elfman was one of Grant's devoted listeners in L.A., and became one of his infamous "pest" callers.

Now, you've got to understand, talk radio in the 1960s wasn't what it is today. It just wasn't a very popular format; the hosts literally had to beg for calls. So even a pest like Elfman had no trouble making it on the air.

For a while, at least.

Eventually, Elfman grew enamored of his status as a minor celebrity, and became increasingly strident in his opinions and on-air arguments with the host, until Grant finally had to ban him from the show.

Undeterred, Herb Elfman then decided to become the host of his own talk show.

As fate would have it, Atlanta was one of the last major cities in the country to come around to having an all-talk radio station, and nobody was expecting much when it finally happened in late 1967. WRNG—"Ring Radio," as it was known—was located at 680 AM, the last available spot on the dial.

"Radio does so many things bad that it is hard to know where to start," columnist Paul Hemphill wrote in the city's evening newspaper when the news was announced.5 And, fact is, he was right. Given what had come before, who was really expecting much from a new talk-radio show?

"There will be no music, just talk," explained another article in the Atlanta Journal just before the station's inaugural broadcast. "On-the-air personalities will discuss news events, feature interviews with people in the news, offer household hints, sports analysis and the like."

By then, Joe Pyne was a household name—and not a good one. "A lot of people have the idea that all-talk radio features a great deal of syndicated shows of the Joe Pyne caliber," the article continued. "But this is something that WRNG will steer clear of."6

And so it did.

For a while, at least.

WRNG tried hard to play it straight—so hard that two of its hosts, Micki Silverstein and Teddy Levison, actually won the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for a documentary on police brutality.

Then, in February 1970, Herb Elfman came to town.

Until then, the closest WRNG had come to genuine controversy was a guest appearance by famous LSD advocate Dr. Timothy Leary—a hippie-era nutcase who would have come across as sane and reasonable next to Herb Elfman.

Yet, somehow, Elfman ended up on the morning show on Ring Radio. Not as a caller—as the host.

I was out there listening. I can't quite remember what I was doing at the time—either selling chemicals or writing speeches for the governor—but I was an Elfman fan. I was completely fascinated. So were a lot of other people.

I recently came across an old newspaper clip saying that Elfman "wooed his audience with conservative zeal," which explains, I suppose, why he appealed to me. "A churchgoer with a patriotic passion, Elfman castigated critics of the nation's institutions."7 But that hardly captures it. Elfman was a wild man on the radio—driven and unpredictable.

One day I picked up the phone, dialed the number for WRNG, and Elfman put me on the air. Before long, I was a regular caller.

There was always something in the news, something to talk about—one side or another to argue. Richard Nixon, still in his first term, was struggling with the war in Vietnam abroad and rebellious youth on the home front. William Calley was being court-martialed in connection with the My Lai massacre. NASA was trying to figure out just what had gone wrong on Apollo 13. A grand jury was looking into Senator Edward M.

Somebody's Gotta Say It. Copyright © by Neal Boortz. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Table of Contents

Introduction     1
Death Knocks-Along with Opportunity     8
Schenectady     15
The War on the Individual     19
Because She's Earned It     30
I'm Never Going to Listen to You Again     35
Flag Burning     40
Evolution vs. Creation     44
Homosexuals and their (GASP!) Agenda     47
The Ninth Circuit and the Pledge of Allegiance     54
Prayer in the Schools     56
The Rainbow Fraud     65
Nice Pencils! Now, Fork Them Over...     71
Shining a Lighght on Arts Funding     77
The Louder the Commercial... The Dumber They Think You are     86
The Right to Vote     89
The "Invest in America" Approach     99
Abortion     101
Giving Back     103
What Kind of Mindless Horsesqueeze is This?     111
The Tragedy of Our Government Schools     120
Shopping with Svetlana     139
Fixing our Schools     144
Things that Should be Taught in Government Schools     152
Minimum Wage     156
Sorry, Not Interested     169
Reasons not to Vote For...     173
The Democrats'(Secret) Plan for America     176
Our Absurd War on Drugs     201
Chasing Cats     208
Freedom-Loving? I Think Not     217
Terrorizing the Mailroom     226
Smokers     229
The Presence Ever Felt     238
Trigger Words     246
The Insipid United Nations     260
The Terrible Truth About Talk Radio     272
Destroying Talk Radio: Detailing the Left's Plan for the End of Conservative Talk Radio     282
President Bush, the Democrats, the Media, and the War on Islamic Fascism     289
No Way in Hell     296
The Dollar Bill Savings Program     316
Acknowledgments     321

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Somebody's Gotta Say It 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
furniturerestorer More than 1 year ago
I had never heard of Neal Boortz before reading this book so I had no preconceived ideas. The book is very entertaining and humorous and has some very provacative ideas, some I agree with others I question. The author makes the point that he will lie on his radio program to keep the program entertaining so what does this say about the "facts" in his book? He is a libertarian in his views like legalization of all drugs and sites statistics that make a compelling financial case (if they are true). Like taking a rehabilitation approach to reduce cocaine abuse would cost $34 Million while intradiction costs $250 M and irradicating at the source almost a $billion. First I can' get my head around the idea of legalizing hard drugs. I simply can't envision a society where we would go into our local Coke Store to buy cocaine, so how does it work??? His ideas about a "Fair Tax" are interesting and compelling. He and a congressman wrote a book with this title that is intriquing and compelling. He seems to have considerable expertise in this area. The research doesn't have the credibility that Tomas Sowell's work does but then Boortz doesn't have Sowell's intellectual chops; conversely Sowell is no where near as entertaining and dare I say funny as Boortz. The book is a quick read and a fun couple of hours. It does make you think. I am a social issues conservative and disagree with him on those issues but he did make me think about abortion in one respect. He makes the point that he couldn't sentence a woman who had been impregnated by a rapist (or for incest) to carry the baby to term. I am torn by that scenario and would have a hard time not making an exception for that case. Realizing that it is less than 1% of all abortions performed and the vast majority are simply negligent birth control aka murder, this would seem to be a reasonable concession for right to lifers. Like I say you won't agree with him on every issue but you will think and be entertained along the way!
Guest More than 1 year ago
You can call yourself anything you wish in terms of party lines, however, to be entertained, provoked, and laugh out loud, a great read.
sergerca on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Much more thought provoking than I expected - not the predictable blather I expect from most comedic talking heads. His chapters on funding the "arts" and his presidential platform alone are worth your time.
Sigualicious on LibraryThing 5 months ago
He's kind of redundant and loudmouthed but I think he's made me realize that I'm probably a libertarian.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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EMMACAR More than 1 year ago
I wish I could say this was a fun read - it was written from a view point I happen to agree with - I have loaned it to a few believers of other views and they found it very interesting...........I'm sure if we all tried a bit harder to listen to both sides, we could find the right - sorry, the correct middle.......
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Neil Boortz keeps it simple in explaining his ideas and beliefs. He puts forth valid intellectual ideas in a clear and concise manner inabling the layman to understand his philisophical stances. Both entertaining and insightful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Boortz is right about everything in the book. I am not sure his solutions would work but any attempt at a solution would be better than the status quo. Government schools for example. Boortz thinks introducing competition would make them better. I do not totally agree. The problem with government schools isn't just the lack of competition - it is a combination of many things such as: truly ignorant teachers, students incapable of learning, ignorant parents, and teaching the wrong things. School needs to be like it used to be. Teach Math, English, Science, History, and Physical Education and that is it. When the schools have to teach politically correct nonsense it takes away from the core subjects, which should be the core of what is taught. Nevertheless, Boortz is a smart and funny and I enjoy listening to him on the radio. He is much more enjoyable to listen to than the other talking heads. And the reviewer that called Boortz a conservative obviously doesn't know the meaning of the word. Boortz is not a traditional conservative. Read about his views on gay marriage, abortion, and religion and there is no way he could be labeled as conservative. You could call him conservative on some issues but then you would have to call him liberal on others. So, read the book and learn something.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Boortz has it all right in this book. Americans can choose where to live, what to eat, what acr they drive, what clothes they wear, almost everything...except where to educate their children. We have 3 choices goverment education, home schooling, or privite education. Answer this question. If you had a choice what would it be?
Guest More than 1 year ago
First, to Mr. Fontaine, we do not live in a democracy, we live in a republic. Also, there is NO RIGHT TO VOTE in the constitution. From 'The Constitution contains many phrases, clauses, and amendments detailing ways people cannot be denied the right to vote. You cannot deny the right to vote because of race or gender. Citizens of Washington DC can vote for President 18-year-olds can vote you can vote even if you fail to pay a poll tax. The Constitution also requires that anyone who can vote for the 'most numerous branch' of their state legislature can vote for House members and Senate members. Note that in all of this, though, the Constitution never explicitly ensures the right to vote, as it does the right to speech, for example. This is precisely why so many amendments have been needed over time - the qualifications for voters are left to the states. And as long as the qualifications do not conflict with anything in the Constitution, that right can be withheld. For example, in Texas, persons declared mentally incompetent and felons currently in prison or on probation are denied the right to vote. It is interesting to note that though the 26th Amendment requires that 18-year-olds must be able to vote, states can allow persons younger than 18 to vote, if they chose to.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
Unlike those above me who only read the back cover and then spouted off their own political viewpoint, I read the book. It was very funny, thought provoking and written on a level that even someone as 'intellectually challenged' as John Brayns Fontaine can understand.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book if you are open minded. Unfortunately, because Boortz is on the radio the liberals will think he is a Republican when in fact he is a Libertarian. But, if read this book, no matter what your politics are, it will get you thinking. And to the reviewer that says Boortz is against the voting rights act. Well, you know what, maybe everyone should not be able to vote. Why let a dependent ignorant person vote? Look what happens when the ignorant vote. Marion Barry D.C. Mayor. After getting caught with crack the ignorant returned him as Mayor. See, somebodys gotta say it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'if somebody gotta say it' by neal bortz is an all time classic! I really love this book cause he really puts the cards on the table and tells you not only about curuption but how it gets started and were its warning signs are . this publication I think is a real wake up call and I think if it will motivate a group of citizens to get involved and make a difference in there community thean I think this book can be a real blessing as well as a motivator I know it has greatly inspired me that with alittle bit of effort I can make difference. the arthur is to be congradulated for calling attention to certain ills that would other wise go unnoticed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I must admit that I almost completely agree with this man on every issue raised. From our deficiencies in education and the reason for them, to how the tax system really stagnates and stiffles our economy. He raises great points about how our court system needs an overhaul, and why the libertarian stance on drugs makes sense. He stands with libertarians where they are right, and disagrees with them where they are being completely naive.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although the writing isn't particularily eloquent, and I don't agree with everything he says, Neal Boortz makes you step back and think about your views on this country and what's going on in it. Neal will never run for President, but I would like to see a candidate adopt some of the ideas presented in this book: allow school choice for all, pass the Fair Tax, and privatize Social Security.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Boortz¿ book is replete with insight. His assessment of the current state of affairs in this country is right on target and he conveys it with razor sharp wit. Some of his best chapters are, ¿The Democrats¿ (Secret) Plan for America¿, ¿Minimum Wage¿ and the chapters pertaining to ¿government schools¿. He correctly assesses the central problem as the powerful teacher¿s unions, which he accurately tells us are a greater threat than the Islamofascists (122). Government schools are nothing more than indoctrination centers for a collectivist society. Sadly, this is also true of higher education in government schools, where diversity of thought is not permitted and one is graded down for it. If parents were given their tax money¿s worth in the form of vouchers we would soon see kids who could pass high school exit exams, even those set at the actual 12th grade level. Overall, this is a WONDERFUL, WELL WRITTEN book by an intelligent and articulate author that examines much of the nonsense that is prevalent in our society. While making my book purchasing decisions after reading the reviews, those that resort to ad hominem attacks on the author are discredited. I would highly recommend this book for those appreciating a cogent argument, even if it doesn¿t agree with ones politics.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I believe he is a good writer and a very entertaining radio host, but he is so close minded....he is afraid of a multicultural US, he is afraid of people that do not think the same way he does.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have always thought that Neal Boortz was one of the most influential people in my education and this book was all the proof I needed. Somehow, Neal is able to fit his HUGE personality into 322 cold, hard pages full of humor and compelling arguments. The only reason Mr. Boortz didn¿t make it to #1 on the Best Sellers list is because so many radio stations refuse to play such an offensive man on the air! But hey, that¿s why we love him¿.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Boortz's views on education are absolutely deplorable. He takes the 1 in a 100 example to try to prove his case. If he taught in a public school he would be fired or quit before period 2. I have served in both public and independent schools for over forty years. From this experience I have learned that the only reason that an independent school, on average, delivers a little better product is they have a better product to begin with. The top students from public schools would do just as well as those from the independent in any evaluation. The independent schools educate only those they want, the public schools have to try to educate everyone who gets off the bus. I would go further and state that when comparing teachers from both types of schools that the teachers from the public schools would do a much better job teaching in the indepdent schools than those from the independent who tried to exist in the public schools. Boortz should look at some of the research that has been done in states that have given bonuses to those who left business and industry to teach. Most couldn't handle it, not that they didn't know their 'stuff', but because they couldn't handle the kids. He is correct when he states that the government is the problem with education only he doesn't understand why. To be truthful it's really simple. Those in government making decisions pertaining to education know very little to nothing about education. This whole NCLB and high stakes testing 'thing' is only a myth and a waste of billions of dollars in this country. Our public school systems do a much better job than they are given credit for and would do an even better job without government interference. When he talks about merit pay he has again no idea of what he speaks. Let teachers pick the students to teach and see who gets the merit pay. There is no way that a comparison between America's kids and those from other countries can be made. Other countries don't try to educate all students K-12 the way we do. Who is this guy to talk about curriculum? I am neither a democrat or republican but I believe I lean toward conservatism. This guy makes me want to be as far away from him as possible and not admit to concervatism.
Guest More than 1 year ago
All one has to do is look at 'Somebody's...' back cover to find that Boortz does not think Americans have a right to vote. He actually opposes the Voting Rights Act. Which makes one wonder how many other aspects of Democracy Boortz despises. Then again, Democracy has had many enemies. Hitler detested it because he thought that it was created by the Jews.