The Herald’s New Columnist

On Friday, the Herald loses one of its best reporters when Michele McPhee abandons the tabloid (like so many before her…sniffle). She’s off to be a full-time radio host at WTKK 96.9 FM.

But don’t worry, Herald loyalists. The paper isn’t going down without a fight. McPhee may be out, but Jay Severin is in.

After the jump, I break down Severin’s first column, which appears in today’s Herald. (Preview: It’s full of awesome goodness.)

For the unaware, Severin hosts the afternoon drive-time show on TKK. I’m actually a fan of Severin, if only because I can’t get enough over-the-top shtick. And on that front, Severin more than delivers; in fact, he makes Howie Carr sound even-keeled. But when I heard that Severin was going to write for the Herald, I wasn’t sure if his act would translate to print. I feel better about that now.

Before we get to the column itself, here’s what Severin said about his new gig in yesterday’s press release:

“…to have the opportunity to write a real newspaper column for a truly great American newspaper, the Boston Herald, is a personal challenge and a thrill.”

Yes. As we’ve previously noted in the magazine, that paper rocks, and you’re in fine company, Jay.

Ok, so the column. The headline is “First they came for Don Imus…” Let’s begin with the lead:

In the hands of any garden variety rapper, a ho is not a gardening implement. It is, rather, a key creative element in the hip hop sonnet, a ticket to fame and fortune.

However, the same word uttered as a throwaway line by a white guy on the radio constitutes genocide, scandal, unemployment.

First, “garden variety rapper” and “ho?” Get it? Well, give it a minute to sink in. Second, how astute. Who doesn’t equate using the word ho with genocide?

More, please.

Citizens of America, fans of free speech, in lieu of Oliver Wendell Holmes I give you the (dis)honorable Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Kangaroo Court is in session. The convict is Don Imus, sentenced to a flogging he did not deserve…

I love this technique. Convict him! Pronounce him guilty! Er, wait, that may not be what Severin is getting at…Free Don Imus! If it doesn’t fit you must acquit! Other general catchphrases about injustice here!

Anyway, he’s getting to the point, so hold tight.

Permit me to translate: Say anything, anywhere that may anger somebody – anybody – or hurt their feelings, and you are the next Imus (without the comeback).

Yes, that’s right: commit “offensive” language — you want to, oh I don’t know, maybe overthrow your king and declare independence — and you are a hate speech criminal. Like, say, that rat Thomas Jefferson.

See, this is where he loses me. I get his sarcasm (I love jokes, I swear), but how the hell do you compare one of our greatest patriots to some wannabe schlub who never did nothin’ for nobody? That’s treasonous.

Seriously, Thomas Jefferson couldn’t carry Don Imus’s microphone.