shocking the shock-jock

"Any guy who’d date a single mother is pathetic."  He said this, in part, because he was under the assumption that I was, in fact, a single mother.  "I mean, really, what kind of guy would date a single mother when he can, instead, date a single woman without kids?" 

How am I even supposed to respond to this?  "We don’t necessarily choose who we love?  Sometimes the kids are what attracts the guy?  Maybe he’s nurturing and loves her completely, finding her even more alluring after seeing what a wonderful mother she is?"  I’m not sure I said any of this.  It was 6:15 this morning, and I was dialed in from home to the Chicago-based, national, Mancow Muller show, to plug the book, and my reading on Tuesday, at 7:30pm, Borders on N. Clark St., wondering why he was attacking single mothers.  He was doing it because he assumed I was one of them, and he wanted a reaction out of me.  He was being a shock-jock.  What he got, though, was the truth.  "I’m not a single mother."  Knucklehead. 

Obviously, he didn’t hear me.  "What’s your baby daddy up to these days?"

"I don’t have a baby daddy.  When I discovered my husband was off running around town with another woman while I was pregnant, I had an abortion and a divorce.  That’s what the book is about, moving on when you find yourself in a situation you’d never imagined."  DEAD AIR.  He said nothing.  I nearly said, "Hello?" to check if anyone was on the other end of the phone. 

After a really long silence, he responded, "I don’t even know what to say to that."  I’d shocked the shock-jock.  I hadn’t meant to.  It’s not my fault he didn’t bother to skim Straight Up And Dirty before plugging it on his show.  Instead, he spent a good portion of air time talking about how much he favors a Grey Goose Dirty Martini.   Then after more silent reflection, he added, "Did you know abortions can affect future pregnancies?"  He said this to punish me, somehow.  He wanted to make it clear that what I did was wrong, and that I would be punished.  He didn’t discuss God or his beliefs, but I could tell, in the response he managed to muster, his God punished people.

It was an ignorant statement, assuming abortions lead to problems sometime down the line.  "Well mine is progressing just fine," I responded.  Fuck you very much.

"Yeah well, good luck with that."  Then more silence.  Then I heard music, which means they’ve cut to a commercial break.  But I can still hear one of the participants of his morning show.  It’s a woman, addressing me over the music.

"You know, I would have done the same thing.  I don’t blame you at all."  And before I had a chance to respond, they HUNG UP THE PHONE ON ME.  I stood there, thinking maybe it was a technical glitch, alternating listening with staring at the phone, until it went busy, signaling I’d just been terminated for talking about terminating my pregnancy.  Which I suppose, to him, was more pathetic than the men who date single mothers. 

One of the more interesting pieces of information here is, they could have asked me anything.  Weeks prior to today’s show, they had asked for a list of questions they could ask me that would appeal to their male audience.  This is the list I provided:

1.  You mention in Straight Up And Dirty how women should be leery of men who won’t eat carbs, insisting they won’t be any good in the bedroom.  Are there any other telling behaviors women read into about men?

2.  In your memoir you say, "It was a newsflash to me that dating as a pre-thirty divorcette was as bad as having herpes."   Do divorced men have a stigma? 

3.  Who’s the "other woman?"  His mother or his girlfriend/wife?

4.  We’ve all heard that nice guys finish last, and in Straight Up And Dirty, you discard a relationship with Oliver–"Mr. Celery" you call him.  What’s all this about celery and funnel cake?  Can a guy be too nice?  Can a nice guy get lucky?

5. What does the gift you receive from a guy say about them?

6.  In Straight Up And Dirty, your father advises you that "men should treat women like the good china."  What does this mean?

7.  When a woman asks you to be her "and guest" at a wedding, what is really going through her head?

8.  How does sex change after marriage?  How does sex change after divorce?

9.  Men have said, "Thank you for writing Straight Up And Dirty; it has made me be a better boyfriend."  Why do you think this is so?

10.  Your book is littered with your photography, and you write about following your passion instead of putting energy into dating.  Do you think men should follow this advice, too?

11.  Male or female, what’s the one message you hope people take away after reading Straight Up And Dirty?

Instead he approached me with, "For men, sex has nothing to do with love, and I don’t blame men for cheating.  What do you have to say about that?"   Perhaps I’ll answer some of these questions at my reading tomorrow:



  1. i LOVE the funnel cake/celery concept. it's actually what i have shared the most from the book.

    …..all the answers to the questions you listed would be an awesome post.

  2. I will say that I have been there – dealing with radio personalities who are big pigs and barely do a minute's worth of research. And as a sexologist, most of my radio time is spent trying to get dj's to stop asking me about my dirtiest sexual escapades…although occasionally you get a really respectful on-air host. As for sex and cheating, if we could actually communicate with our partners, in and out of bed, we wouldn't have to take the easy way out and cheat. Intimacy is more than just the physical – it's sad that Mancow (as part of his on-air schtick) makes all men seem like cowards.

  3. Holy crap. Seriously? That would piss me off so hardcore. You should've actually SAID "Fuck you very much," when you responded.

    What a jackass.

    Also, I totally wish I could be at the reading tonight. Chicago's only a couple hours away. Good luck.


  4. He's an idiot. What idiot does an interview on a book that he doesn't even bother to look at to then hang up on the interviewee because he's opinion isn't on point. What more can you say other than he's an idiot.

  5. I'm surprised you managed to stay on the phone as long as you did. I can't even listen to that guy.
    I look forward to your reading tomorrow.

  6. Mancow is an insulting jackass of a radio personality. His ignorance rules his show and a lot of people just eat it up! He used to be aired on Q-101, but they pulled the plug on his show. That's silly that they'd air an interview on his show. They should've should've put you on Drex in the Morning on KISS 103.5….anyways. I'm SO excited about the reading tomorrow!!! I can't wait to meet you!

  7. That's terrible. But now I wish I had heard it, the dead air portions sound delightfully awkward for him.

  8. Man, I don't have a clue as to who this Mancow dude is but, I'd like to kick his blue balls in a few good times.

  9. I'm coming to your Chicago reading tomorrow night with 5 guy friends. Maybe it'll be like a single's mixer.

  10. Wow. You're very polite, for I would've just said 'Fuck you'. But then again, you have manners, but what a shitty, shitty thing to do.

    Good luck tomorrow, get some deep dish. Deep dish makes everything better…

  11. Looooong time reader. First time commenter. I was one of the folks who pre-ordered your book and amazon. It was an amazing page-turner. Just like your blog, it was fascinating how raw and unabashed it was. Very refreshing.

    I so agree with your Dad. If I ever become a dad, the first word I will teach my son would be chivalry.

    As a guy, I find it infinitely more appealing when a woman is passionate about something apart from the relationship.

    Looking forward to your next book !

  12. Ha. Besides the crap he said, I can't believe he hung up on you. What a ridiculous, uneducated, moronic asshole. Oh well…it takes all kinds of stupid to make the world go 'round. Sadly, he probably doesn't have a real stand on anything; all the crap he spews is probably part of his "shtick". . . a persona for his show. I have absolutely no respect for someone's opinions if said opinions 1. Obviously aren’t their own; 2. Said person can’t back up their opinion if queried; or 3. Both. In my line of work, I'm always meeting people (usually it’s a man, but some women too) who say shit for shock value as opposed to any real knowledge on the topic. I can handle THAT…since I tend to do that at times. Yet, there really are some out there that say shit that I can NOT believe is coming out of their mouths. . . and they are being serious. And THAT is scary. Very.

  13. I'm sure all 40 of Mancow's listeners had a laugh at your expense, but your bazillion readers are loving that you managed to shut him up for at least a few seconds.

    Looking forward to the reading tomorrow night!

  14. Wow the dude is really an ass… but good luck with your reading.
    What ever happened to that podcast that was promised for us de non-american living people???


  15. You handled it like a lady, something he probably doesnt come across very often with the vibes and attitude that he was giving out. People can only make us feel inferior when we give our consent. I'm glad you didn't let him pull you down to his level.

  16. i can't go to your reading tomorrow night (i live far away from chicago)! will you answer some of those questions on your blog for those of us in cities that you're (very unfortunately) not visiting???

  17. There is a reason Mancow was pulled from the Chicago airwaves — he's gross and most folks don't want to hear his unintelligent crap. (Thank you, Q-101, for getting rid of that flake.) Sorry you had to endure such an awkward interview, Stephanie. You deserve better than that!

  18. And the man calls himself a professional? What an utter prat. How can he claim to be interviewing you about your book if he hasn't even read the synopsis?!? (come on, we all learnt to do that at the very least at university).

    I think the real test of manners is how you respond when someone is lacking manners. As this guy clearly did.I greatly admire your dignified response. I would no doubt have said something brash and irritated and thought of the well worded response later. Good on you.

  19. Yeah, I was never impressed with Mancow anyways… I was glad when the plug was pulled on his show. He's just annoying.

  20. Ugh..he is an ass. I am so glad he is off the air here.What a vile, ignorant pig he is. They should have had you on the Drex morning show instead on Kissfm.

  21. WOW Stephanie! GOOD JOB. I had to go and look up this guy since I'd never heard of him, so I listened to your interview online. You did great, he had no respect and you aren't kidding about shutting him up. He was speechless! love it!

  22. oh, honey! … Stephanie, what a great example of "poise under pressure" … (and give your Dad a hug for me; what a fine, fine man)…

    What a neanderthal this DJ is … I will say this: one thing I have witnessed far too many times is the knee-jerk, misogynist reaction of many men when confronted with the reality of a woman controlling her own biology.

    Just the thought of the pain and suffering that must have been part and parcel of your most difficult decision to have an abortion is heartwrenching. I know there must have been moments when you felt like the top of your head was just going to explode from all the conflicting emotions.

    I am not saying all men are like this; I do not like to generalize. But having said this, there are still men out there who are JUST SO PISSED OFF that they do not have the final control over a woman's choice. Ultimately, WE choose.

    Finally, this guy truly seemed to just be listening to himself talk … did he even HEAR you??? I think not. "Sex is not love" … you weren't even addressing anything like that.

    What a fool … Here's to a very successful visit to Chicago!

  23. Agggghhh. Reading this post gave my ulcer a kick. What a jerk! I'm feeling very jealous because, not only can I not attend any of your readings, (and sorry for myself)I cannot even get a copy of your book in this part of the hemisphere (I'm hoping for family members to travel bring me a copy some time before the paperback edition). I agree with Patricia Danielle and would love to read the answeres to those questions. I am about to commit sin #7 myself….what's up with that??? Should I reconsider???? Help!!!

  24. I always hated Mancow. I mean, what kind of name is that anyway. Fits him perfectly. Or maybe Asspig would be a good one too.

    I'll be missing your reading tomorrow by no choice of mine… Children obligations. But have a great time, and I'm sure there'll be a fun crowd. Sorry to be missing it!

  25. What an ass! I'm glad you shocked him back.

    I was once on a radio show that came on right after Rush Limbaugh. It was NOT good. Especially the people that called in. They made my very tame uniform pictures sound like pornography. I'm glad you're quicker on your feet than I am.

    Take care and have a good trip to Chicago!

    -Ellen aka Q of S

  26. Your agent steered you wrong with that interview. He's a well-known right-wing misogynist asshole, whose target audience consists of 15-25 y.o. poorly educated white males who are angry with the world. Not exactly your target demographic, I wouldn't think.

  27. Here's what I don't understand: If his God punishes people then why is it necessary for him to be rude and punish people too? I don't think it's anybody's job to judge.

  28. What a dick.

    I can't believe someone would say something like that. You handled the situation so well. Had it been me, I'd have given him a piece of my mind and hung up on him.

    I hope your reading goes well, Stephanie.

  29. Come to Boston for a book reading! :) You'll love Chicago. It's a gorgeous city. Much less crowded than NYC!

  30. i just listened to his show (on his web site) and the guy really is a dick. he sounds like a right-wing nutjob and apparently super right-to-life.

    i had never heard of him before and likely won't again since show is kind of unbearable. i mean really amateurish stuff.

  31. Oh my hell. I just listened to your interview on-line. I hope to hell that he doesn't get any credit for me tuning in, because he's a vile, disgusting pig. Scares me to death that there are people like that on the airwaves. We wonder why the country is going to hell is a handbasket? Hatemongers like this moron. Ewwww. I need to go brush my teeth or something. Sick.

    It was great to hear your voice though – you sound as cute as you are. And those pregnant pauses where his teeth dropped out of his head are priceless. Priceless. Sort of like a virtual well-deserved kick in the balls.

    Oh goodness. That's a good way to get your blood pressure going.

  32. omigod! I just listened to his show on his website. What an a-hole!! I can't believe a woman actually married him. GROSS!
    You are so much better than he is!!

  33. Good Lord! After hearing that jerk "interview" you just now, I'm so disgusted that someone gave him a microphone and airtime. How you managed to keep your grace around that trash is beyond me. Interrupting armpit farts to mock single mothers and tell his female co-host that she needs to know her place… ugh, people like that are the reason the rest of the world hates America.

  34. Mancow is a tool. No wonder he's not on the air in Chicago anymore. I know you won't, but I'll say it anyway: please don't judge Chicago on the words of that moron. Looking forward to stopping by the reading. :)

  35. Whoever placed you as an interview for Mancow should be fired. Mancow didn't do his research, but neither did someone who should have been looking out for your best interests. Mancow is featured on Fox & Friends quite often. You should have at least been prepared for what kind of personality he is. You shouldn't have gone into that interview not knowing.

  36. And why are there so many misogynists on the air? Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Glen Beck, Howard Stern and Mancow to name a few. Listen to their shows for at least a week and it's readily apparent they disdain women.

  37. Wow. I don't know which upsets me more–his treatment of you, or his ignorant comment that abortions can cause problems in future pregnancies.

    I have spent eight years of my life working very hard to educate people about why women lose babies or have trouble with pregnancies. And then some back-water, two-bit, pathetic, uneducated, Stern-imitating moron sets this work back several paces by saying such an awful thing on pubic radio to an audience who will subconsciously remember it when a coworker or acquaintance has a problem pregnancy.

    He is a disgrace and probably loves us saying so, loves the attention he's gotten here.

    I'll be asking the people on my website to turn off the radio whenever he comes on. No sense giving him an audience or ratings for being an ass.

  38. And it's for things like this, that I love you so much. I was reading this with such a huge smile on your face because you handled it much better than I ever could have, especially while being loaded full of hormones. You inspire me to be a more outspoken and confident woman. <3

  39. WOW, I agree with the others that you were very polite with him! I would have had to tell him "why don't you read my book BEFORE you interview me about it and make assumptions about me, you fucking moron!" Then again, you showed your class and dignity by not stooping to his ignorant level. Still….what an ass.

  40. Mancow is a first-rate asshole. A small-town Howard Stern wanna-be that was recently fired – and with good reason! Don't let that jerk color your opinion of Chicago, Stephanie, we love you here! Looking forward to tomorrow night's reading.

  41. I just listened to the interview online, and MAN. He literally sounds like he practices a Stern imitation in the mirror every night. Get some originality already. But your answers were awesome – I thought you came off as very cool, and until the end when things got weird, you were totally being a good sport, despite the idiocy.

    I think as soon as the word "abortion" came out of your mouth, it caught him so off guard. Obviously he has a strong anti-abortion opinion, and obviously he didn't do an ounce of research before having you on or else he might have been prepared for the topic to come up. As soon as that term came up, he seemed to not have a trite quip prepared and just decided he didn't want to talk to you anymore and cut you off. But not before spouting a bunch of misogyny. Ugh.

    I listened briefly to the next "interview" and he didn't appear to know much about what that guy's book was about, either. And he treated all his callers (aka his fans) like total crap. I guess that is his schtick, though. What an ass.

    As an aside, if this show really isn't broadcast in Chicago anymore, I'd question my publicist if I were you. You got up early to be abused by an ass and it's not even airing in your market? That seems strange.

    And finally, I second the deep dish pizza recommendation while in Chitown. Good stuff.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.