(l-r: Yonkers Cowboy, David Duke. BFF’s?)
On multiple occasions, Dino Costa of Sirius/XM’s “Mad Dog Radio” has replied to lengthy CSTB posts about his unique brand of free expression with the warning, “you had better not stop covering me and my show.” Since there’s not been much other coverage for Costa’s exploits, save for a 2006 Westword profile (and an earlier item from the same paper concerning his dismissal from a Denver radio station), I think the least I can do is shine as bright a light as possible on his fear of a non-white planet, aversion to inner cities and insistence he’s not a homophobe (despite telling his acolytes, “homosexual sex acts make my skin crawl”, as well as deeming homosexuality, “a lifestyle choice”). With Dino’s frequent contributions to Twitter, I’m somewhat spared the burden of hearing his entire radio program (and accompanying Dice Clay tributes), as he’s proven capable of coming up with a nearly 24/7 output of equally creepy, if not entirely readable material.
So it came as some surprise yesterday — just hours after Dino wrote to CSTB claiming those old sexual harassment charges from 2003 were the result of a “love triangle” (“the person in question was completely discredited, had a history of mental problems and had been through the process of this kind of a thing before”) he announced he’d be taking an immediate Twitter sabbatical (“as America’s most compelling, dynamic, unique, and most knowledgeable sports based talk radio host, I find it personally insulting that I have the scattering of Twitter followers that I currently possess…I’ll be back when my Twitter feed gets to the 5K level”). Later in the day, perhaps realizing that 5 thousand followers might be a slightly ambitious goal for a radio host with not nearly as many listeners, Costa declared on his evening Mad Dog Radio show that he’d retire from Twitter if his follower total hadn’t reached 4 thousand by the end of the program. “And then,” intoned Dino, “I’m gone until 5 thousand.” Seems like he’s really thought his through, right?
As the show dragged on, Costa repeatedly coaxed long-suffering producer Andrew Caplan for an update on the Twitter drive. “You’re doing great, Dino,” Caplan assured Costa, “only 340 to go,” failing to mention of course, that two hours into the broadcast, they’d not gained more than a dozen or so new followers. When the begging mercifully came to a close at 11pm eastern, Costa — who’d earlier promised he’d not return to Twitter — posted again, insisting, “the # must be 4K by the end of this week…if it is not, my tweeting days are done.” And of course, he’s made two subsequent posts to let the world know, he’s SERIOUS THIS TIME.
In the not-so-unlikely event Costa soon finds himself bounced from the radio business, I do realize there’s every possibility he might hold up a convenience store somewhere and take hostages. When that tragic day arrives, I implore authorities to delay negotiations with Dino as long as they can, as we can see a pattern developing. He’ll start by demanding a helicopter, $10 million bucks and free passage to any country that upholds the sanctity of male-female marriage. But by the end of the siege, he’ll surely settle for a four-pack of Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA.
All of that said, I’m a helpful person, even when dealing with bullies, blowhards and guys who embellish their resumes. If Dino’s hellbent on increasing his Twitter followers at all costs, why not petition an audience that really seems to get him? When Costa conducted a smoochy interview with former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke in 2008, who’d have thought the former would someday become such an important fixture on Chris Russo’s satellite channel? Or that the usually attention-starved Costa would neglect to ask Holocaust denier-Duke or his buddies at Stormfront.org for their support in solving this Twitter dilemma? Really, why so reticent, Dino? White supremacists and Nazis are pretty fuckin’ savvy when it comes to social media ; what’s the point of sucking up to them so blatantly if you’re just gonna disassociate yourself when the chips are down?
Putting aside for a moment the irony of someone who routinely blocks his critics later complaining about his number of Twitter followers, regardless of what happens between now and Friday or whatever other artificial deadline Costa comes up with, I have suspect the medium will survive, perhaps even flourish without his participation. The same might even be true of talk radio.