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Interview: Mike Gallagher Reveals the Idiots of Our Time

Monday, 08 August 2005 12:00 AM

Gallagher: The activism part of the radio show has sort of just come into fruition over the last couple of years, after the war started. It felt great to be able to exercise some action rather than just talking about things on the radio.

After 27 years in broadcasting you are able to get people who listen to your show motivated to buy products, but it's the first time I felt that we were really doing something truly positive on behalf of people who deserved it, like the soldiers and their families and the sons and daughters of slain police officers.

Clearly the formation of ‘Gallagher's Army' is something I'm most proud of. It was one of those things we came up with on the fly on the air.

(Gallagher told NewsMax.com that the idea for Gallagher's Army was sparked by incidents in Colorado listeners had reported to him. One teacher was favoring giving condoms to 14- and 15-year-olds, and another had forbidden a student to wear a cross. The stories infuriated him.)

Gallagher: That was the straw that broke the camel's back and I thought. ‘Let's do something positive instead of bellyaching about an anti-Bush administration teacher in Colorado. Let's make a difference.' That's how it took off.

NM: In your book, you write about a stunt where you mock the animal rights nuts at PETA ...

Gallagher: They made it so easy. That too was a stunt – it was meant to turn the tables on them because they are all about stunts themselves, so we thought, ‘Why not do a stunt that would get their attention?' In this case, broadcasting the slaughter of a steer.

It made them apoplectic – they went out of their minds. We fed hundreds of homeless people with the meat.

NM: In your book you write about the idiotic things that irk you, starting with your complaint about people who come here and refuse to learn the English language.

Gallagher: That's a recurring theme on the radio show and it's one of the examples that jumps off the page; people who refuse to acclimate. I think of all the stories of our grandparents and great-grandparents who came over here and were proud to learn English. They were proud to become familiar with the United States.

Yet today it seems like there is a whole segment of our population that is proud not to. They want to maintain the little Koreas, Chinas and Havanas. Americans are just tired of it.

NM: You also wrote about women who breast-feed in public.

Gallagher: It's exhibitionism. Public breast-feeding is a topic that I have gone to once in a while over the last six or seven years and people really enjoy it.

Most people are uncomfortable with public breast-feeding. There's a kind of activist streak in these women who dare anyone to challenge them when they pop their breast out in a restaurant or a shopping mall and feed their child. My wife says if you can see a woman's breast when she's breast-feeding, she's doing it wrong. She ought to know – she fed four hungry mouths.

NM: Another one of your pet peeves is people who don't know how to say ‘thank you.'

Gallagher: It's such an essential component to a civilized culture. We don't say thank you enough, or give a little wave when someone lets you in front of them in traffic. These are little things that make a difference – like saying thank you when somebody holds the door for you.

We're a lot more selfish than we used to be. Neighbors don't hang out on the fence anymore to talk to neighbors. We are all just so consumed with our own lives that we don't think of anybody else. I long for a time when we can return to that era when people were gracious and kind and civil to each other.

NM: You raised the subject of parents who are afraid to discipline their children …

Gallagher: I hear it all the time from young parents in particular who seem to want to be their child's buddy rather than their parents. It's the dumbing down of our culture – it is producing a bunch of scared, timid parents who don't know how to say no to their child. Young parents especially don't want to say no and they are going to produce a whole generation of spoiled brats who are going to throw temper tantrums whenever life doesn't go their way.

NM: You are happy with Americans who are proud to fly the American flag. What do you think about these cases we keep reading about of such groups as neighborhood associations who try to prevent their neighbors from flying Old Glory?

Gallagher: It's unconscionable that patriotism has almost become a dirty word in our country. It's almost like the way we are supposed to act about our Christianity. You have to hide it – to be a patriot you nearly have to be in a secret cult with a hidden handshake and a gesture. It's insane.

We're in the middle of a war and ultimately that's the theme of my book and what I hope people will take away from it. That is, the terrorists don't care whether they kill Democrats or Republicans. They want to kill us all, and we are battling for our survival in a very real and a figurative sense.

I love seeing people flying their flags all the time. I never go on TV without wearing an American flag lapel pin. Compare that to ABC, which once set a policy against wearing an American flag lapel pin. We shouldn't have to be embarrassed or ashamed or secretive about our love of country and there are lots of ways we can do it.

Symbols mean a lot when it comes to patriotism. A lot of liberals don't like to hear that but it's true.

NM: Gallagher's Army has sent tens of thousands of dollars in gifts to servicemen and their families. Are they really economically disadvantaged?

Gallagher. Yes. The Bush administration has done everything they can to try to rectify it, but these are people who are not making a lot of money. The gift items that we've been able to send not only to the troops overseas but to the families back home are sometimes something as simple as a box of CDs or some books or shaving cream or some moisturizing lotion for wives – things they might not get for themselves.

I think everybody is aware that a lot of young soldiers and reservists are not making a lot of money. I think people are painfully aware that some of these men and women are putting their lives on the line for a little more than minimum wage. Getting a gift box is a bright reminder that we know why they are there and that we respect them and we honor them.

NM: Do you think that the vast majority of Americans support our troops and what they are doing?

Gallagher: I think Americans support the troops every chance they have. I think that sometimes the cacophony of angry liberal lunatics drowns out the majority of us who do honor our soldiers' sacrifices.

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Gallagher: The activism part of the radio show has sort of just come into fruition over the last couple of years, after the war started. It felt great to be able to exercise some action rather than just talking about things on the radio. After 27 years in broadcasting you...
Monday, 08 August 2005 12:00 AM
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