Best Place to Hear Left-Wing Nuts 2008 | KPHX 1480-AM | People & Places | Phoenix

How does that Stealers Wheel ditty go? "Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right/Here I am, stuck in the middle with you." Well, if you wanna hear clowns on the left, look no further on the radio dial than left-wing nutty 1480 KPHX, "the Valley's progressive talk," where you can listen to 9/11 troofers taken seriously, E.T.-look-alike and ultra-liberal Congressman Dennis Kucinich praised as the second coming, and President George W. Bush bashed all day long as the Antichrist. Hey, everyone knows Dubya ain't the Antichrist. Dick Cheney's the Antichrist. Dubya's just his willing, demonic slave. But, seriously, if you ever require validation that the loony left is alive and well in America despite rumors of its demise, tune into, say, Mike Malloy, and hear him tell his audience, "They're not human; they're Republicans." Or catch callers-in who think everything that's going wrong in their lives is because of a conspiracy perpetrated by the Bushies. Listen spellbound as these same callers demand Dubya be tried for war crimes just like the Nazis at Nuremberg, even though that's about as likely to happen as Rush Limbaugh running a marathon. Ever wonder why left-wing talk radio sucks Democrat donkey? Er, because it's boring to listen to someone tell you "Bush bites" 24-7. No wonder KPHX's ratings are continually in the toilet.

Should you forget the grotesque, arrogant a-holeness of the extreme right in this country and hanker after a dose of gross reality, park your dial at KFYI 550-AM, and get an ear-load. KFYI features not only radio's bloviator-in-chief, OxyContin enthusiast Rush Limbaugh, and reactionary, moonhowler Michael Savage, there are plenty of local wing-nuts on there too. Like Bruce "One Note Johnny" Jacobs, whose raison d'etre is bashing Muslims, or the decrepit Barry Young, who's so old he thinks canned applause is cool, and who hasn't found a national leader he's liked since Jefferson Davis.

Worst of all is former Congressman J.D. Hayworth, mainly because the loser Republican sounds like his mouth is stuffed full of cotton, and like he got hit on the head one too many times with a shovel as a teen (And . . . so . . . he. . . taaalks . . . real . . . slooow . . . liiike . . . this.) Listening to Hayworth, you've got to wonder whether the guy is really that dumb. With a lineup like this one, how did KFYI get to be the number one talk-radio station in the Valley? Because Sand Land is overrun with right-wing loons, people, and they lap up everything these idgits spew. Sca-ry! Great listening, though.

It's official: The Information Overload Age is upon us. With so many choices, who can you trust (other than New Times, natch)? We always breathe a sigh of relief when our channel surfing takes us to Mike Watkiss, the best TV reporter in town. Watkiss has a résumé as long as the channel list, and his reporting makes that clear, whether he's covering breaking news or a national event. The guy is ubiquitous. One day he's up on the Arizona/Utah border tracking his archenemy, polygamist Warren Jeffs. The next, he's interviewing the grieving widow of a father of five who died after a tree fell on him. This earnest old-school storyteller is head and shoulders (and sideburns!) above his peers in this market, and we're very happy to have him around.

We adore Ted Simons, and not just because, once upon a time, he wrote about music and some other stuff for us. Fact is, the guy's worked just about every place in this town (and several other towns), and always done well for himself. He fills an age-old void at Horizon, the local public-affairs show produced out of Arizona State University by public television, by providing a refreshing change to long-long-longtime host Michael Grant, a nice guy with a rather flaccid style and a big, huge conflict of interest in the form of a law practice.

But Simons is a humble journalist, not a lawyer, and it shows in his candor and refreshing style. The boy definitely does his homework. And we especially appreciate his ability to toss in a pithy one-liner or two when things start to get overly turgid — ah, the curse of Horizon. Tune us in!

There's not much on local TV around 2 a.m. (at least not anything worth watching sober). It's an utter wasteland of insipid sitcom reruns, infomercials for lap-band surgeries, and other Z-grade programming. Some entertainment can be found, amidst all the dreck, in the form of the over-the-top and somewhat peculiar commercials for ambulance chas . . . er, personal injury lawyer Glen Lerner. The stock-looking barrister hawks his legal services in amusing ways. One classic advert, set in 1972, features the childhood version of Lerner standing up for a buddy who was harshly tackled during a football game, demanding the ruffian give up his bicycle and clothing in return. Another spot sees the slickster attorney (usually clad in a shiny suit and a wide, sharktooth grin) starring as a miniature angel, standing on one shoulder of his injured client and beseeching him to ignore settlement offers from a devil-like claims adjuster perched on the other shoulder. Visit Lerner's Web site for ads more kooky ads.

Last fall, a Glendale-based business embarked on a mission to get attention for its cause. Hovering over the juncture of the I-17 and the I-10 stood a billboard's query in simple but gigantic script: "Are you as backed up as this traffic?" For's founder, Scott Olsen, it was an important question that required that clever directness. Olsen believes that eradicating constipation and cleansing the colon is the key to good health and disease prevention. Fair enough. Also, gross. What's grosser than gross, though? The unfortunate motorists whose only answer could be a miserable, "Yes!"

So, we're toodling along on Van Buren, not obsessing about sex for a change, when we pass a truck sporting a Statewide Erectors logo on the side and a large, green phallic erection in the bed. A double take showed the mechanical boner to be some sort of hefting device, but that didn't stop us from yukking up our Starbucks. Now, we all know that the good folks at this Phoenix sheet-metal-installation company couldn't have meant it, well, that way, right? What sort of entrepreneur, plotting the future of his new business, jumps out of his seat and shouts, "Eureka! I'll call it Statewide Erectors and install large, green phallic erections in the truck beds"? We have no idea, but we salute his unwitting humor. However, he owes us a Starbucks.

Long before clips of the Verne Troyer sex tape hit Internet gossip sites, the PHX's own version of Mini-Me, Chuey the Rock and Roll Midget, was presenting a sexual performance of his own for the camera, albeit a solo one. See, Phoenix photographer Giulio Sciorio has a series he calls "Faces of Ecstasy: Real People, Real Orgasms." They're close-up, PG-rated portraits of men and women making sweet love to themselves, capturing for all eternity the model's flippin' "O" face. Some folks look like they're in pain, some like they're on the crapper, still others look as wanton and hot as you'd want them to look. But nothing beats the look of closed-eyed concentration that Chuey exhibits while polishing his bishop. In fact, if one of Chuey's shoulders was not lower than the other (Sciorio's portraits never reveal the activities going on below the waist), you might reckon him to be dead. What is it the French call the orgasm, la petite mort? The phrase seems apropos here. Thankfully, Chuey himself is still alive, and rocking the mic at the Scottsdale bar Giligins, where he emcees all kinds of insanity and even has his own, fully stocked "midget bar," where patrons have to sit at eye level with the great and wee man.

Some people just don't take rejection very well. For instance, Kurt William Havelock had dreams of calling his Halloween-themed concept bar and restaurant "Drunkensteins," but after the Tempe City Council denied him a liquor license last fall, the 36-year-old restaurateur took the news kinda badly.

How badly? Well, Havelock reportedly came close to wiping out countless people gathered near University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale for Super Bowl XLII with an AR-15 and 200 rounds of ammo. According to the eight-page manifesto he mailed to various local and national publications (including New Times), it was a revenge scheme that Havelock plotted in response to Tempe's diss. (Most rejected restaurateurs woulda just gone back to the drawing board.) Fortunately, he tearfully turned himself in to Tempe police instead of pulling the trigger. In June, he was convicted of six counts of mailing threatening communications by a U.S. District Court and is facing up to five years in the federal pen. Thankfully, the only murdering going on that day was the killing of the New England Patriots' dreams of a perfect season.

So, what, Crispin Glover's a freak? Hey, tell us something we don't know, Buckwheat. After all, the cult B-lister's probably best known for an incident in which he aimed an on-air karate kick at David Letterman back in the day, in addition to playing weirdo roles in Back to the Future, River's Edge, Charlie's Angels, and Wild at Heart. Then there's his kooky art flick What Is It?, in which a cast of actors with Down syndrome kill snails, and big-breasted women in masks run around naked.

So it's no surprise to us that, according to the folks at Chandler Cinemas, Glover demanded his fee up front, in cash and in crisp, clean bills when he appeared at the theater for a three-night run of What Is It? in May. Supposedly, Glover owns a castle, or something, in the Czech Republic, and the Czechs don't dig the dirty bills. Glover also claimed the Chandler Cinemas damaged his film somehow, and demanded they pay for its repair to the tune of $610. Though the indie operators of Chandler Cinemas didn't really buy that their projectionist harmed the print of the weird-ass movie, they agreed to pay Glover to calm his ass down during a tantrum in which he berated the theater's projectionist and made her cry. For the record, Glover's denied the tantrum, and says he warned the theater ahead of time about having his cash up front. He also claims he never made anyone cry. Well, except for anyone with taste who had to endure that turd of a movie of his.

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