David Sirota apologizes to Mike Rosen -- but not for attacking comments about NY Islamic center
KOA's Mike Rosen unloaded on AM 760's David Sirota earlier today, arguing that Sirota's claims about Rosen's comment regarding an Islamic Center near Ground Zero, which got Rosen branded the worst person in the world by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, twisted what was obviously a satirical remark.
Sirota disagrees -- although he does express regret for attacking Rosen personally.
According to Rosen, the audience attending a debate involving him, Sirota and KHOW's Peter Boyles at Comedy Works South earlier this month understood he was being ironic when he said, "I think they should be allowed to build it, following the hijacking of an Iranian plane right into that building and blow it to smithereens" in part because the crowd was dominated by his fans rather than Sirota's "left-wing minions." He also said he didn't hear Sirota call the remark "sick shit" because they were on opposite sides of the stage -- but he believes his progressive rival's "humorless" and "programmed" approach caused him to get crushed in the face-off.
Even so, Rosen was upset at Sirota for implying the remark represented his legitimate position in a Huffington Post piece that sparked MSNBC's Olbermann incendiary take-down. Moreover, he says Sirota was "grossly unprofessional" because "he attacked me on his radio show personally. He wasn't talking about the merits of any disagreements. He talked about my divorces, my financial losses, my plastic surgery. It was so obviously a petulant, sore-loser, childish rant on his part, no doubt because everyone in the room knew that I made him look like a monkey that night."
What's Sirota got to say about that?
"I think if you listen to the reaction on the tape" -- listen to the complete recording here -- "you'll hear that there was a fist-pumping cheer. There wasn't laughter. And I said what I said afterward right into the mic -- so I think him saying he couldn't hear it because I was on the other side of the stage is ridiculous."
As for Rosen's assertions about the comment being clearly ironic, Sirota says, "I think if you were someone in the audience who was Muslim, it probably wasn't funny. And if you were someone who wasn't Muslim, but who felt that violent and hateful rhetoric in our society is a problem, it wasn't funny, either. Mike made a statement, trying to get a rise out of the conservative listeners in the crowd, and I think he went many steps too far. He made quite an offensive statement, and afterward, all he really would have to say is, 'I went too far. I'm sorry about that.' But instead, he's trying to manufacture an explanation that absolves him, instead of admitting, 'I was wrong to say it.'"