It doesn’t take the FCC to bring Johnny Dare to his knees.

Kansas City Strip 

It doesn’t take the FCC to bring Johnny Dare to his knees.

Dear Michael Powell:

This meat patty is writing to you, head of this ever-lovin' country's Federal Communications Commission, in order to file a formal complaint.

You see, this red-blooded protector of decency has noticed that in recent months, your FCC has been taking public complaints about offensive broadcasts over our airwaves a lot more seriously, and we think this is a good thing. Lord knows this country's radio and television bandwidth gets misused each and every day by misfits, brigands and knaves. Just look at local TV news, for God's sake.

We're especially impressed that you're coming down hard on radio personality Johnny Dare, who has a morning show on KQRC 98.9. Last month, the radio station confessed that you've proposed hitting its parent company, Entercom, with a $220,000 fine. Apparently, back in the spring of 2002 a keen listener in Wichita objected to four segments of Dare's show that were carried on an Entercom station in that fine city. These four episodes involved porn stars telling raunchy stories and strippers playing "Naked Twister." And we know for a fact that, down in Wichita, audio descriptions of sexual acts are nigh unto Armageddon.

Of course, Dare is known as the "bad boy" of local radio. At least, that's what we've been told over and over by our local daily, The Kansas City Star, which seems to have a particular fetish for describing Dare as though it were, well, daring to listen to the 36-year-old jock's show. Just in the past few weeks, for example, the Star has breathlessly referred to the "shock jock" as an "infamous," "lewd," "controversial" and "outrageous" radio figure with a "raunchy-beyond-belief" show.

Whew! Those folks over at the Star must go into palpitations just about every time Dare flips on his microphone.

But Mr. Powell, we wanted to bring to your attention the real reason Johnny Dare is an insidious presence on the Kansas City radio dial, and the reason for our formal FCC complaint.

Strippers? Yawn. Porn stars? Please -- who hasn't interviewed Ron Jeremy? Simulated sex? Come on, that's not what's really objectionable about Dare's puerile antics.

No, it's the real sex acts that go down on his show just about every day that truly offend this chuck steak.

We're talking about a near-daily ... occurrence ... involving the marginal Hollywood types whom Mr. Dare interviews on-air. As you may know, Hollywood has-beens and never-weres love to call Dare's show to pimp their latest lame television shows and B-grade movies. They know that whenever they do, they can count on the orgy of good feeling that invariably ensues.

It's embarrassing, really, to hear Dare stroke them, eager to please as he tells this parade of no-talents that their (actually pathetic) careers have been stellar achievements and how he just knows their latest (criminally bad) series/movie/album is going to be the best thing ever.

Take the example of recent Dare guest Scott Schwartz. This child actor gained immortality for getting his tongue frozen to a flagpole in A Christmas Story. Schwartz followed Hollywood protocol by going from child star to dipshit, but at least he got more creative than most and raised a few eyebrows by making a series of bad porn films in the 1990s. Alas, even this experience didn't convince Schwartz to be satisfied with simply sucking the teat of the 1983 Jean Shepherd classic for the rest of his life. (Every Christmas, Schwartz has a guaranteed gig making personal appearances at department stores -- no doubt he gets asked to stick his tongue to all sorts of things, porn career or no porn career.)

But no, Schwartz insists on assaulting more perfectly fine film stock, appearing most recently in a straight-to-video horror flick with that other icon of those-who-are-way-past-their-fifteen-minutes, Joey Buttafuoco.

Sure, we can understand that, because of his porn flirtation, Schwartz would be a natural for Dare's show. But on his very first week back on the air after a vacation conveniently timed to coincide with the announcement of his FCC fine, did the "bad boy" jock have to ask, in all seriousness, what it was like for Schwartz to come "full circle" from making movies as a child actor to the "legit" movies he's making today, like he was Martin Scorsese making a triumphant return to the boxing biopic?

After listening to that, we could only wonder whether Dare had to reach for something to wipe off his chin after the interview was over.

Surely, Mr. Powell, there's a special category of very large fines reserved for radio hosts who undeservedly garner the "bad boy" image when really, they're lapdogs who can't wait to sit and roll over.

And speaking of special fines, certainly there must be something you can do with the seriously annoying Carrie Coogan. The WDAF Channel 4 reporter plays perky foil to Dare in the mornings before she goes on to her hard-hitting assignment as the "We Try It Before You Buy It" correspondent for Fox 4 in the evening.

We know that television news "personalities" are required by law or something to act like mannequins who wouldn't utter a discouraging word, let alone be seen in public with a hair out of place. But please -- the goody-two-shoes act is bad enough on television. Surely it has no place on radio, particularly a station that purports to be a rock outlet with some attitude.

Sincerely, a riled-up rump roast.

Tony Ortega talks about this week's Pitch with KRBZ 96.5's Lazlo after 4 p.m. Wednesday.

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