Magic Johnson has criticized a pair of talk show hosts for accusing him of faking AIDS but said he didn’t want them to be fired.
Chris Baker and Langdon Perry of KTLK in Minneapolis made the remarks during Baker’s conservative radio show last week. After Johnson condemned the statements, the station said it regretted “some offhand remarks” by the pair.
“We can’t have people out here making false statements and putting out bad information, because this battle is too big when it comes to HIV and AIDS,” Johnson told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
“I poured my life into it and a lot of other people have poured their life into it, into getting out the right information so people can protect themselves and know what HIV and AIDS is all about.”
Johnson called the remarks “so stupid,” and said he hadn’t heard from the station. He also wants the hosts to keep their jobs.
“I would rather they educate their audience,” he said.
According to a partial transcript and audio clip posted on a media watchdog site, mediamatters.org, the remarks came after a caller asserted that health care isn’t a basic right. Perry responded by asking about treatable diseases that a person can live with for a long time “if you just get some basic drugs.”
Baker responded, “Like Magic Johnson?”
Perry replied, “Like Magic with his faked AIDS. Magic faked AIDS.”
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