My interviewer's name was Gil Slate. He was a legend in the broadcasting business. Correction, he was a legend in the conservative broadcasting business. He owned several stations in several markets and his hosts were listened to by over 100 million Americans.
He was known for three things: his jet black wig, which was always slightly askew, his staunch Republican politics, and his former cocaine habit in the 80s. He was saved by Jesus in eighty-nine and quit his so called wicked ways. He credits his redemption to finding Jesus, which everyone knew was bullshit. He was arrested for blowing a tranny in a Miami alleyway; solicitation of prostitution, a minor offense, but an embarrassing one. So, to save his marriage and his money, he changed. Which was fine with me. People are people. They make mistakes, they fix their mistakes, they make mistakes again.
"So, I'm looking over your resume here and I see you worked out in L.A. for a while, interning for Gordy and Jill."
"They're pretty liberal, those two. Heavily into the gay rights nonsense that's been sweeping nation."
"No need for you to guess. I know."
He shifted in his chair and he put my resume down next to a statue of an American bald eagle and a framed portrait of Ronald Reagan.
"Look," he said. "If you were to start here and fill that early morning time slot, you'd have to drop that West Coast liberal horsepucky. Our listeners don't want to hear about socialized health care and men marrying men. Our listeners are hardworking, God-fearing Americans. They want to hear about less government, states rights, abortion abolishment, gun rights, death panels, and protection of the family."
He stopped and took a swig from a red Big Gulp he got from an AM/PM, leaving a slick film of chapstick on the straw. His lips, which were thick and red were his best feature and it seemed he wanted to keep them moist.
"So if you're on the air and have the slightest inkling to talk about how homos should be able to marry or how welfare can be help those poor little kiddies in Appalachia, you better check yourself. Because your listenership will go down and you'll be gone."
"Sir, can I ask a question?"
"Anything, son. Anything."
"Why even consider hiring me? I'm certainly not a left wing radical, but I'm fairly centrist. I do believe in gay rights."
"Because I like you, son. You have a nice voice, a good sense of humor. We need people like you on the air to get the attention of the lefties."
"Okay." I was disgusted with myself, because if he offered me a contract I would sign it. I was practically living out of my car. If he asked, I would denounce evolution and support reinstating Jim Crow.
"What do you say son? Are you on board?"
He held out his hand and I shook it.
"Happy to be part of the team, sir."
Prompt: wig, straw, eagle