Last August I wrote an article in these pages, “Radio Days,” in which I described WABC talk radio as the only conservative voice to be heard in New York City and the tri-state area. That voice is now gone; although WABC remains on the air, the station has lost its teeth. On April 17, the morning papers announced that “racist” talk-show host Bob Grant had been fired, and that his brilliant colleague Jay Diamond had “taken a temporary leave of absence.”

This may not seem important to readers in the greater United States (and beyond), but wherever New York leads, other places seem to follow. New York and the surrounding states are so given over to absolutist liberalism that the loss of the last few vestigial organs of an alternative point of view must be deplored. Sadly, even the feebly conservative New York Post could not muster a defense of Mr. Grant when the media monolith moved in.

Why did Mr. Grant get fired? He made the mistake of being conservative, and passionately so. How did Mr. Grant get fired? The Disney Corporation recently acquired WABC. Having refused to part with its subsidiary Miramax Films’ anti-Catholic movie Priest and the obscene Kids (a film that graphically portrays young children having sex), Disney suddenly discovered what it imagines to be ethics and then leaned on WABC, after a campaign of slander by such paragons of virtue as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the “media watchdog” FAIR. Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting has long nursed a hatred for WABC and its hosts, putting out a carefully edited tape of Mr. Grant and Mr. Diamond’s racier quotes.

In FAIR’S worldview, any criticism of a black person by a white is “racist,” and the tape of Mr. Grant appears to prove the point. According to the tape, blacks are “savages,” “maggots,” and “animals,” and the local television news media delighted in playing cuts from it. Channel Five news actually denigrated Mr. Grant’s listeners for daring to listen to his program. The New York papers spoke of “the words of hate that built Grant’s tomb.” What they omitted to mention was that Mr. Grant’s “words of hate” were reserved for such heroes of the black community as the rapists who violated the Central Park jogger and the rioters who burned down sections of Los Angeles in 1992. Neither was Grant sparing with his epithets when it came to white savages, but the New York Times and its acolytes forgot to mention this fact. Jack Newfield, the aging leftist at the New York Post, reported that Mr. Grant avoided having black guests on his show; perhaps Newfield said this because Grant’s many black guests were the “wrong kind of black,” including Professor Walter Williams and Dr. Thomas Sowell (both of whom Grant often praised as “brilliant” and “great Americans”).

Last month I received the tape FAIR had cobbled together from Grant’s many years of broadcasting. It was an ill-spliced and amateurish effort, which any college radio intern could see through in seconds, the words hardly fitting together and the phrases selected out of context. But that did not stop the monolith and its friends in “alternative media” trusting the tape’s veracity. I’m surprised some bright spark did not superimpose Mr. Grant’s head on a photograph of Charles Manson.

The firing had, of course, been in the air for a long time, dating from the Republican victories in New York in 1994. Mr. Grant’s effective support of Republican candidates rendered him obnoxious to the New York elite. How dare anyone oppose the saintly orator Mario Cuomo? How dare anyone criticize Mayor Dinkins for allowing a pogrom to take place in Crown Heights, which resulted in the savage murder of a young Rabbinical student? How dare anyone resent the Martin Luther King holiday? Bob Grant did, and his attitudes and ideas were met with a chorus of protest from the Pharisees.

Alan Dershowitz, the liar for hire of choice for murderers and rapists, appeared on the television news to describe Mr. Grant as an anti-Semite (meaning anyone who disagrees with Mr. Dershowitz). Ex-Mayor Dinkins said Mr. Grant was a racist (meaning anyone who forgets that the first black mayor of New York is not to be criticized). A spokesman for FAIR said that though his organization did not wish anyone to be fired, because FAIR believed in free speech, the dismissal of Mr. Grant was a good thing nonetheless because Mr. Grant is a racist.

The chorus was joined by the righteous talk-radio stations in New York, all of whom, far from deploring the loss of diversity in radio programming, rejoiced in it. The black-oriented station WLIB played songs of celebration and invited the tribune of the people, Al Sharpton, to comment. This is what happens, growled Sharpton, referring to Grant’s opinions on the MLK holiday, to racists who “desecrate our heroes.” Of course, WLIB sees nothing wrong with attacking Jefferson and Washington as “no good crackers.” Sharpton also claimed to be appalled by Mr. Grant’s lack of reverence for the corrupt Commerce Secretary Ron Brown. Somehow, because Grant had not pretended that the loss of the Commerce Secretary was as great a tragedy for this country as the media had—somehow, in Al Sharpton’s warped mind, this meant that Bob Grant had killed the Commerce Secretary. That one of Al Sharpton’s disciples had firebombed Freddie’s, a Jewish-owned clothing store in Harlem, and burned alive seven people, including a black security guard, seemed to have escaped the Reverend.

Other radio stations continued the hypocrisy. Bernard White of the “community” station WBAI went on the offensive, calling for the ouster of talk show host and Guardian Angel leader Curtis Sliwa, the last remaining conservative on WABC. Amusingly, Mr. White appeared perturbed that Bob Grant had occasionally referred to Jesse Jackson as Jesse “Jerkson.” White’s own continuous barrage of references to Curtis Sliwa as Curtis “Sleaze-wa” were, of course, unimpeachable: Mr. White is, after all, black. Asked to explain this attack on Mr, Sliwa’s Polish surname, representatives of WBAI told me that African-Americans “cannot be racists in a racist society.” Of course. What is perhaps most nauseating about WBAI is the multitude of talk show hosts and callers claiming to be “shocked” and “offended” by Grant and Diamond. One might imagine from this that WBAI is the last bastion of Victorian reticence and sobriety, with its “community” calling each other Sir and Madam and reading passages from Bishop Golenso, Cardinal Newman, and Matthew Arnold on the air. Rather the opposite. Amidst uncensored foul language, jolly talk about self-mutilation, pseudo-intellectual drivel about “issues” and puffs for Mother Jones magazine, it is easy to discern the rotting morality of aging hippie-Nazis. WBAI knows what is right, and God help those who disagree with the station.

The same can be said for the peddlers of the “Bob Grant tapes.” FAIR has nothing to do with fairness or accuracy, for in its campaign against “Hate Radio,” the so-called media watchdog appears to be colorblind in its left eye. When WLIB’s Gary Byrd reads a poem (of sorts) threatening violence to the “men in black”—meaning Jews in Crown Heights—not a peep from FAIR. (Naturally, being orthodox and conservative, these were not the right kind of Jews.) When WBAI regularly refers to Mayor Giuliani as a fascist and “Ghoul-iani,” this is not Italian-bashing. When the same station makes jokes about the Pope being a pederast (“Into the Pope-mobile, Robin . . . ” ), Catholics are supposed to understand the Swiftian wit. Only Bob Grant’s and Jay Diamond’s witticisms are beyond the pale, being perhaps too pale.

Lest Chronicles readers outside New York imagine that I am making a mountain out of a local molehill, I close with information that strikes nearer to home. Back issues of Chronicles are in the offices of FAIR on West 25th Street in Manhattan. I was told by one of FAIR’s coordinators that dossiers exist on Chronicles editors and contributors. FAIR is a fanatical organization. After the more visible voices of conservative dissent are protested out of existence through McCarthyite accusations of “racist, sexist, et contra spiritu Sodoma,” FAIR and its allies will come for the smaller fish, and they will never be satisfied until there is no longer anyone left to think a free thought. This means you.