Ultra-conservative talk show host Wally George has died of pneumonia.
I saw his show when I moved to L.A. in the 1980s, and I could not believe they’d let such an idiot on television. Wally (father of actress Rebecca De Mornay) would get some poor liberal sucker on Hot Seat and make great sport of humiliating him. Talk about walking into the lion’s den! The Liberal would have a message about how we should treat people with dignity or suppor the arts or how one politician or another should be removed from office, and Wally would shout at him, call him names, etc. while the audience chanted “Wally! Wally! Wally!” He’d usually end up physically throwing the guy off of his set. (Or have his security people do it.) Man, what a goon! I think he was a good example of why we called Orange County “Behind the Orange Curtain”. He really came of as a Fascist.
Of course it’s possible that it was all an act. Something to get people like me worked up and shouting at the TV. Maybe it was reverse psychology: show people a Fascist baboon, and that would show them the dangers of ultra-conservativism. But I think many people agreed with his “message”. So whether or not it was an act, I thought he was dangerous. In my opinion, he was just in it for the money. He saw that by being a flag-waving superpatriot, people would tune into his show. It didn’t matter if they were for him or against him, or even if he believed his own words. The sponsors still paid him.
And now he’s dead.