Excerpt from Wright for America Now available on Amazon.com
Everyone on the nineteenth floor knew better than to stare at Pryor Wright’s hairpiece. But boy, it was hard not to notice – a virtual ledge of bangs swept back at an improbable angle that was once described by a female columnist for the New York Times as “having all the sex appeal of industrial shelving.” Wright retaliated on the show, calling her a cross-eyed liberal bitch, and she forever joined the list of people he despised. The list was long.
Today, despite a heated, sweaty performance, the shellacked divot remained lodged firmly atop his head as he swiveled in his custom calfskin chair, eyes closed, savoring the final words of his taped broadcast. His long-time program director, Jill Fairbank, and the show’s producer, Alan Eisenman, listened patiently.
What more could he do to ruin this country? Wake up, people! He’s hell-bent on destroying the America that you and I love. And I’ll be honest with you, I’m afraid. And you ought to be afraid, too. This so-called ‘legislation’ is no more than a Roman decree from a President who wants to rule the country like Caligula ruled the Roman Empire. And we will become his slaves. The pitch of his nasal voice rose to near-hysteria.
We’re getting fed to the lions, folks! We’re getting devoured by the flesh-eating maggots in Washington! And we’ve got to fight like our lives depended on it, ‘cause they sure do. I know you’re with me on this. Over a million of you have signed up for my web letter. You get a free transcript of my radio broadcasts every day – so you can quote me verbatim. You get special coupons for some of the important products you hear about on the show. Only $9.95 a month. You won’t regret it! I’ll be back tomorrow – stay tuned, stay informed, and fight back so that you can do … what’s Wright for America! The show’s theme music kicked in and a deep voiceover boomed out the tagline, Pryyyyor Wriiiiiiight! Superior intelligence and more truth than they can handle!
Meanwhile, Eisenman gazed around the walls of Wright’s office scanning the Fox News awards for fair and balanced journalism and the signed photographs from some of Nashville’s biggest stars. Wright loved country and western; what he didn’t love were any interruptions of his broadcast, including the coveted thirty-second commercial spot at the end – today an advertisement for the “all natural” alternative to Viagra that he was endorsing this month. She deserves a stud, not a dud. Finally, when the news hour chimed, Wright lowered the sound and pointed his finger at Jill.
“What do we have for tomorrow?”
Jumping to attention, she announced, “There’s a state legislator in Montana who’s opposing the federal gun restrictions on minors.”
Wright raised one eyebrow.
“He claims the Second Amendment guarantees anyone the right to own a gun, and they should be able to carry it anywhere, including to school.”
“Because of that middle school shooting last month, he says that minors should be able to protect themselves.”
“Kindergarteners with guns?” Wright mulled that over for a moment before responding, “Crazy, but I can use it. What else?”
“More proof of the climate change hoax.”
“Kill that. It’s ninety-three friggin’ degrees outside and it’s only June. Find something else and we’ll milk the Caligula thing.” He shook the heavy diamond-encrusted Rolex on his wrist. “What’s goin’ on, Al? I have dinner plans.”
Thin-lipped, Jill snatched up her legal pad and removed herself. She knew what Al wanted to talk about and couldn’t bear to see Pryor upset.
“We received another grievance letter from the ACLU,” said Eisenman, thankful that Jill wasn’t around to take Wright’s side.
The radio host snorted. “My favorite organization. The Always Complaining Lie-through-their-teeth Uberliberals. Let me guess. They’re whining about my piece on gays.”
“The legal department’s asking that you tone it down a little. Stick with the political stuff.”
“You think ‘gay rights’ is not political?” challenged Wright, his natural inclination toward peevishness heightening the color in his fleshy cheeks. “Gay marriage? Gays on the battlefield?”
“Okay, it’s political. But we don’t want you to come across as homophobic.”
Wright dismissed his producer by turning away and retrieving his sports coat from the back of his chair. “Al, I’m not homophobic, okay? I know a lot of gays. Some of them are great folks. That actor on TV? You know, the show about the guy with the other guys and the … the bar? What’s his name?”
Eisenman hadn’t a clue.
“I forget his name, but he’s great. Funny. Funny guy.”
“They’re trying to get the FCC on board.”
“The Ubers don’t have a prayer. You know there’s no profanity on my show.”
“It’s not that. They’re citing the indecency clause, ‘patently offensive by community standards.’”
Wright stood and shrugged his shoulders into his jacket. “Listen to the call-ins, Al,” he said flatly. “Nine out of ten will tell ya that two fags getting married is ‘patently offensive by community standards.’”
“Well, there’s a fine line between–”
“No. No fine line. Our ratings have climbed two points since the mid-term elections. We got sponsors lined up like Mexicans looking for lawn work. The network is happy. I’m happy. You work for me, so you’re happy. Now, go tell legal to get happy.” He strode around the desk and checked himself in the mirror above his mahogany credenza. Apparently satisfied, he turned to pat Eisenman on the cheek. “What’s our motto, Al?” he prompted.
Eisenman swallowed a sigh.
“Come on, say it for me.”
“That’s right, baby. And don’t you forget it.”