It's probably safe to say that neither party sufficiently persuaded the other during the Steve Horner-Chad Hartman ladies' night debate on WCCO radio this afternoon.
Nonetheless, it was a pretty entertaining discussion.[jump]
Two weeks ago, Hartman first made a few jokes on his show at Horner's expense following a City Pages story on Horner's plans to sue over his anti-ladies' night crusade.
We blogged about the segment, and sent a link to Horner as a courtesy.
Sorry about that, Chad.
Horner became so upset with Hartman that he went on to call the radio host seven times over the next couple weeks. He also left messages with WCCO's program director, sales director, and general manager.
"At times, Steve, you have called me on the voicemail, gutless, a coward, anti-Semitic remarks," said Hartman on his show today, after WCCO agreed to bring Horner on as a guest to debate the issue.
Here are a few of the highlights (full audio at WCCO):
At the start of the discussion, Hartman expressed surprise that Horner took such offense to the original segment. To be sure, Hartman isn't the first person to heckle Horner's 18-years-long-and-counting crusade to criminalize ladies' nights across the country.
Horner explained that it was Hartman's tactics -- not so much the message -- that got to him.
"I've been bashed from north, east, west, and south for about 20 years," said Horner. "I've got thick skin. I can take it. The problem I had with you bashing me on the air is that it was behind my back."
"I would say this, Steve," Hartman retorted. "If it was behind your back I wouldn't have done it on a 15,000 watt signal and also put it on our website."
Later in the show, Horner tried to make the point that ladies' night is just like any other civil rights issue.
"Chad, take a look at the what-ifs about this," suggested Horner. "What if I'm the black guy? What if I'm the Jew? What if I'm the gay guy? What if I'm the person in the wheelchair?"
Hartman couldn't help but remark on what he thought was an absurd comparison. "Steve, are you telling me you really believe that if a business denied someone an opportunity to come in or work there because they were African American, or their religion, or they're handicapped, that's the same thing as a bar trying to bring women and men there, and the way they dangle the carrot, this particular night, for a certain period of time, ladies drink for free?"
Horner didn't take Hartman's point. "It's a different soap opera but the same principle, Chad."
The most heated point of the interview came when Horner discussed his mantra toward haters like Hartman: Can't Understand Normal Thinking -- or C.U.N.T. (Horner has often said he is writing a book with this title, but explains it's still on the back burner).
Horner asserted that it's just an innocent acronym, and anyone who takes offense really needs to grow up and pull their mind out of the gutter.
"If anybody feels as though that is targeted to women, because of what their dirty mind perceives from it, I would guess that they're the ones with the problem," explained Horner.
Hartman had to clarify the argument.
"So you would say that if it's an offensive comment toward African Americans, or Jews, or whomever...it's on those who are offended by it, not those who utter the words?" asked Hartman.
Again, Horner didn't take Hartman's point.
"In today's culture, it seems like we can't hardly even say anything without offending somebody."