Ethics-twister, Mexican-basher and tireless self-aggrandizing lip-flapper Darrell Ankarlo, winner of the 2008 New Times Best Bigot Award for constantly being down on the brown during his morning show on KTAR 92.3 FM, will once more muck up the airwaves this Tuesday, September 15 after a long, involuntary hiatus caused by a car crash, and some resultant brain shake-up that apparently left his gray matter wiggling like Jello in a loose mold.
Indeed, if you've noticed some civility in local talk radio since Ankarlo was sidelined several months back, your ears do not deceive you. Such conservative talkers as Bruce St. James and Austin Hill have been sitting in for Ankarlo during his absence, and though these guys are right-wing, neither is as annoying, obnoxious or offensive as Ankkkarlo.
You might argue that's why they're bringing Ankarlo back. But then, Ankarlo's never been a huge ratings winner for KTAR. Maybe they just don't want to have to pay out his contract. Or perhaps the station's owners find Ankarlo's white-boy rants to their liking ideologically. Who knows? In any case, where his time slot used to be a muscular 8:30 a.m. to Noon, it will be pared down considerably when he reseats himself behind the morning mike.
"Ankarlo will return on a part time schedule while he continues to recoup," reads a message on Ankarlo's official blog. "He will host a two hour show on Tuesday, September 15th. He will come back the following day for another two hour show. After that, Darrell will be on the air Mon, Tue and Wed from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m."
Back in June, Ankarlo phoned in to the station for a fundraiser, and he sounded a little like Adam Sandler in The Waterboy. In other words, not good. He was maudlin, full of self-pity, and definitely did not sound ready to return. Surprisingly, he told his co-workers that he'd learned "compassion" while coping with his injury.
I guess it's possible that Ankarlo had an Ebenezer Scrooge moment while someone was wiping the drool off his chin. But pardon me if I take some convincing. I recall Ankarlo's disparaging remarks as he recounted his forays into ethnic enclaves such as Guadalupe. I remember his persistent sycophancy toward Sheriff Joe Arpaio, despite Arpaio's many misdeeds.
Then there was Ankarlo's station taking RICO money from County Attorney Andrew Thomas to endorse a tour for Ankarlo's conservatard tome Another Man's Sombrero. (Ankarlo ended up endorsing Thomas for reelection in 2008, after Thomas foe Tim Nelson made hay over the scandal.) Or there was the time Ankarlo said that U.S.-born children of illegal immigrant parents -- otherwise known as American citizens -- should be sent back to Mexico. Or the time Ankarlo repeated the canard that leprosy was on the rise due to Hispanic immigrants.
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I even recall Ankarlo saying on-air that he could not rule out Obama being the anti-Christ. And he was dead serious, folks. Religious wacko, Archie Bunker-like bigot, and Hermann Munster lookalike, Ankarlo makes his buddy, freakjob conspiracy-nut zealot Glenn Beck, seem reasonable by comparison. Um, almost.
For me, it just means one more hater in Sand Land I have to pay attention to. Like there aren't enough already. There's no love lost on Ankarlo's side either. Check his Tweet from July 29, which makes reference to yours truly: "A raging rumor says my car crash killed me (probably started by that idiot non-journalist at the N.T. rag). I AM well and will return soon!"
Oh, he's returning. But, "well"...?