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July 05, 2014 11:19 AM Opie and Anthony Are No More

By Martin Longman

The radio in my car doesn’t work and I’m more inclined to listen to music than talk radio, so I don’t listen to The Opie and Anthony Show. I have heard the show, but probably not in the last decade. My impression was that they were knuckleheads kind of in the Howard Stern genre whose main appeal was to young males who have little maturity and no seriousness. I did notice that they had run into trouble once or twice, resulting in the cancellation of their program, but I didn’t remember any of the details.

It looks like they might have finally immolated themselves for good now that Anthony Cumia went on an epic racist tangent on Twitter and forced SiriusXM to terminate their program.

It’s a familiar thing. Mr. Cumia was taking pictures in and around Times Square late at night when a black woman objected to being photographed. When Mr. Cumia responded by calling her some kind of expletive, the woman got aggressive and began punching him. Then some black men got involved in some unspecified way and Mr. Cumia came away from the incident with a raging animus against all black people. You can read about the unsavory details here.

I don’t know if this will be another example where the right complains about the suppression of free speech or not, but what interests me is this tendency to blame an entire race for an unpleasant experience with a few individuals. It’s that old Irving Kristol saw about conservatives being liberals who have been mugged by reality. If being a victim of crime can change your entire political worldview, you must not have had strong reasons for your beliefs. And to blame millions of people for the crimes of a few is the sign of a weak mind.

In this case, too, the misogynistic language used by Mr. Cumia was equally offensive to his racist language but probably won’t elicit anywhere near the same amount of condemnation.

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