This site is a fan of Donovan Lewis. Like the sound, like the content, like the attitude. Like the race talk with the other hosts -- funny, respectful, hits the right notes. I hope I don't sound patronnizing, but it has occurred to me that Donnie and the BaD team interact with one another in exactly the right way in this time of delicate racial sensibilities. When he gets friends and family on the air -- some memorable segments, great radio, funny, and educational to those of us who spend too much time on the honkish frontier.
Some commenters have opined that he talks too much, beats things into the ground, takes over segments. Just never got that impression.
But my jaw dropped today as I hit the Philco in the Conestoga, waiting eagerly for Race Week, when Donnie and Cash (I think it was Cash, anyway -- I don't listen to Norm enough to have Mike's sound emblazoned into the living tissue, and I think I heard that Mike was in Las Vegas) discussed Earvin "Magic" Johnson's two decades of good health after his announcement that he was HIV-positive. Thankfully, he never developed AIDS, and has remained in good health ever since through administration of the ever-improving "cocktails" to fight the disease.
(Folks, please: Let's not get into the controversy of whether "HIV causes AIDS." I'm pretty familiar with that controversy, stoked most prominently in the 1990's by Cary Mullis, the Nobel prize-winning biochemist who invented polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology. The biology remains somewhat controversial, and certainly the AIDS pandemic never took hold in the US as predicted, but there doesn't seem to be much legitimate controversy about the connection between the virus and AIDS.)
I remember that announcement well. During the Bulls-Lakers 1991 Championship Series, I recorded a parody for WLUP in Chicago ("Got a Black Magic Johnson") that got some good airplay. A few months later, Magic made his announcement.
It is Donovan's opinion that Magic Johnson was never, has never been, HIV-positive.
He believes that, at age 32, Johnson was approached by the NBA and other powers-that-be offering him -- I'm not sure what -- to falsely represent that he was HIV-positive, end his playing career (mostly, for awhile anyway) and to become a powerful voice in HIV/AIDS education, which he has been in the years since.
His evidence: No one of the many women with whom he had sex in the years prior has ever come forward to claim that Johnson (who, I guess it is reputed, never took Mike Rhyner's advice on appropriating sheathing practices) infected them. Nor his wife (Cookie).
I had never heard this theory before, and wondered whether it was some kind of underground conspiracy theory that never got much pub. My research hasn't been exhaustive (Google), but I only found one reference to anyone else publicly expressing that thought: In 2008, a couple of radio talkers at KTLK in Minneapolis, Chris Baker and Langdon Perry, expressed the view that Magic "faked AIDS." They didn't express their reason for thinking this, not coherently anyway, and seemed puzzled at what his motivation might have been. (They were obviously puzzled about other things, expressing the thought that Johnson was "the only cured AIDS guy ever.")
Magic strongly rebuked them, and the station "regretted" the remarks and ran a series of HIV/AIDS public service ads in penance.
So -- wow, Donnie.
Now, I didn't hear what came before this, so perhaps I need some context here. But it didn't sound to me like he was kidding. He was pretty adamant about it. I would be grateful if anyone else heard this and heard it differently. And let me say this: If I've got Donovan wrong here based on what got broadcast, I'll apologize and take this post down.
Interesting to see whether Donovan's remarks will cause a stir. I'm imagining that Cat is on the phone to The (Incomparable) UnTicket right now.
Donovan -- still love you, man, and you've got some stones. But hokey smokes, Bullwinkle, hope you're wearing your asbestos boxers.
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OK, Confessors: You're a civil bunch, this is a site for respectful comment, and let's keep it that way. It's a delicate subject, and while if you want to take a shot at Donovan you can do it here, I'll cordially invite you to keep it in the ballpark.
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