Magic Johnson fires back at Minneapolis talk radio hosts

Magic Johnson fired back Friday at two Minneapolis talk-show hosts who had accused him of “faking” his AIDS.

KTLK-FM’s Chris Baker and Langdon Perry had riffed during their conservative radio show Wednesday on the possibility that, as Baker put it, Magic “faked AIDS for sympathy.” Because no disease elicited more sympathy and understanding in the early ‘90’s than, uh, AIDS.

Here's what the radio personalities said:

Here's what Magic had to say during a Friday interview with the AP:

“We can't have people out here making false statements and putting out bad information, because this battle is too big when it comes to HIV and AIDS,” he said. “I poured my life into it and a lot of other people have poured their life into it, into getting out the right information so people can protect themselves and know what HIV and AIDS is all about.”

The flurry of stories on the AIDS comment resulted in the station apologizing for the remarks Friday, according to the Star Tribune:

In a written statement this afternoon, KTLK program director Steve Versnick said that despite the Baker and Perry's "off-hand remarks," the station "recognizes the seriousness of the health issues presented by HIV/AIDS -- and the great work that Magic Johnson has done across the nation in calling attention to this disease, and the importance of HIV testing and treatment."

He added that KTLK will be airing HIV/AIDS awareness public service announcements and will reach out to Johnson for his thought on educating the public. Versnick declinded to say whether either Baker or Perry faced any discipline by the station.

On the air this morning, Baker characterized what he and Perry said as "not news. ... With everything going on right now, that someone would focus on something so stupid; three seconds of radio out of a four-second show."

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