Cruz Surrogate Michael Berry Continues To Mock Victims Of Chicago Gun Violence
Research ››› ››› DANIEL ANGSTER & KATHRYN KARMAZYN
Nationally syndicated radio host Michael Berry has continued his weekly segments mocking victims of Chicago's gun violence, with his latest piece berating the Chicago community for "black-on-black" crime and railing against the Black Lives Matter movement. Berry has continued these segments while he has become more involved with longtime friend Ted Cruz's presidential campaign.
Berry Is One Of The Most Widely Heard Conservative Talk Show Hosts In The Country
Berry Is Listed As No. 16 In Talkers Magazine's "Heavy Hundred" Talk Radio Hosts. Michael Berry is a Houston-based radio show host listed as No. 16 in the talk-radio trade publication Talkers' "Heavy Hundred." The Michael Berry Show relies heavily on conservative political commentary and racially charged rhetoric, including gimmicks such as sketch comedy performed by blackface comedian Chuck Knupp. Berry often comments on black crime in disparaging ways and mocks civil rights advocacy. [Talkers, accessed 2/5/16; Media Matters, 6/11/15]
Berry Has Been Friends With Ted Cruz For Over Two Decades
WaPo: Berry Introduced Cruz On Stage In Iowa The Night Before The Caucuses. According to The Washington Post and Berry's own Facebook page, the radio host was among the speakers Cruz selected to introduce him on stage the night before the Iowa caucuses.
"What an incredible array of patriots have been standing up here tonight," Cruz said, naming each of them. He called speaker Michael Berry, a Houston conservative radio host, a "fearless conservative voice" whom he has been friends with for two decades. [The Washington Post, 2/1/16; Facebook, 2/1/16]
KTRK Houston: "Conservative Talk Show Host Michael Berry Has Known Cruz For Over Twenty Years And Now Stumps For Him." During an interview with Houston's KTRK about Cruz, Berry was introduced as a friend "for over 20 years [who] now stumps for him." [KTRK, 2/6/16]
Berry: "I Am Proud To Say That Ted Cruz Has Been My Friend For Over Ten Years." While introducing Cruz in 2012 during his Senate primary campaign victory party, Berry told the crowd he was proud to have been friends with Cruz "for over 10 years." [Youtube, 8/4/12]
Cruz On The Michael Berry Show: "You And I Have More Than Once Had The Opportunity To Perhaps Kill A Few Liver Cells And Laugh At The Joy Of Life." While appearing on The Michael Berry Show, Cruz reminisced about his friendship with Berry, saying that "you and I have more than once had the opportunity to perhaps kill a few liver cells and laugh at the joy of life." [Youtube, 6/30/15]
Cruz Thanking Campaign Supporters: "Are There Any Fans Of Michael Berry In The House?" While on stage thanking supporters after winning Texas' Republican Senate primary race in 2012, Cruz placed his hand on Berry's shoulder and thanked him for his support. [Media Matters, 8/1/12]
Berry's Show Produced A Promotional Video In Support Of Cruz. A video posted to The Michael Berry Show account on Youtube shows a still of Cruz and includes audio of the senator's speech announcing his candidacy for president. [Youtube, 3/23/15]
Berry: Cruz's Presidential Announcement Was "Genius"; Recruitment Of Supporters During Announcement Speech Was "Pure Brilliance." After carrying Cruz's presidential campaign announcement speech live on the air, Berry praised Cruz and referred to his strategy in actively recruiting supporters as "pure brilliance." [The Michael Berry Show, 3/23/15]
Berry Produces Weekly Segment That Mocks Chicago's Gun Violence
Berry: "The Thug Class Of Chicago Was Plum Wore Out." During his October 6 broadcast, Berry claimed the "thug class" of Chicago was tired after causing so much violence:
After two weekends, consecutive weekends, with more than 50 people shot in each weekend, the thug class of Chicago was plum wore out -- slap wore out. After all, with 62 people getting killed by other people, September had the highest homicide total of any month in the last nine years, so a small break was probably needed after all the productivity. ... A 14-year-old girl was standing outside when someone walked up and shot her in the -- now this is rude -- elbow. Po-po believe it may be gang-related. Oh that's something else when the girls are in the gangs too, isn't it? [The Michael Berry Show, 10/5/15]
Berry Compares Child's Shooting To A Scene From Movie Pulp Fiction. During Berry's October 12 broadcast, he brought up the murder of a 17-year-old boy, who was shot in his face and neck in the passenger seat of a car. Berry responded to the incident by saying, "a 17-year-old male sitting in the passenger seat of a parked car when another man came up and shot him in the face and neck. He bled out all over the upholstery. Oh that's like that scene from Pulp Fiction." [The Michael Berry Show, 10/12/15]
Berry Mocks Death of Chicago Victim Shot In Local School Zone. Berry introduced his "Butcher Bill" segment as part of his "Chicago Weekend Crime Report" during an October 19 broadcast by mocking David Thomas, 32, who was shot on a Chicago Public Schools Safe Passage route, saying, "Come on man! Honor the safe zone!"
Normally, a safe passage zone in front of a school is supposed to be a safe place, right? We've all agreed to that. However, David Thomas, 32, found himself the victim of several gun shots fired from a passing gray vehicle as he walked along the safe zone. Come on man! Honor the safe zone! You can't kill me here!
Safe passage volunteers, who were all wearing their neon vests, were reluctant to talk to the 'po-po' about the matter. [The Michael Berry Show, 10/19/15]
Berry: "None Of These People Were Shot By White Cops, You Notice That?" In an October 19 broadcast, Berry responded to the high level of gun violence in Chicago by joking about a 21-year-old man who was shot in the forearm while walking on the sidewalk.
A 21-year-old man was shot in the right forearm as he walked along the sidewalk. You know, none of these people were shot by white cops, you notice that?
You know, after someone goes into a school and shoots it up, they pull out all the stats. You do realize the stats is all these thugs in Chicago and Detroit and D.C. shooting and killing each other right? You can't make laws to make Barack Obama supporters act right. You just can't do it! [The Michael Berry Show, 10/19/15]
Berry On 14-Year-Old Victim: "J'Quantae, Whose Name Was Spelled Out On The Sidewalk With Candles -- I Hope They Put The Apostrophe -- May Have Had Gang Ties." During Berry's weekly segment of his Chicago crime report, the host mocked the vigil for 14-year-old J'Quantae Riles, saying that "the po-po believe that J'Quantae, whose name was spelled out on the sidewalk with candles -- I hope they put the apostrophe -- may have had gang ties." [The Michael Berry Show, 11/9/15]
Berry: "The Thug Class Continued Its Winning Ways Over The Weekend, Blowing Through 470 Homicides So Far This Year ... Way To Go, Chicago!" During a December 7 broadcast, Berry congratulated the city of Chicago for being close to 500 homicides for the month of November. "Chicago is a mere 28 homicides away from 2014's number of 500 and they still have 25 days to go. Way to go, Chicago!" He then mocked multiple victims for being shot in the foot, saying of one, "A 40-year-old man was walking down the sidewalk when someone approached him, relieved him of his wallet and phone, and shot him in the -- foot. Just to keep him from chasing him down. Here! Bow!" [The Michael Berry Show, 12/7/15]
Berry On Three Men Shot In Chicago: "That's A Hat Trick!" In a January 4 broadcast during Berry's weekly segment "Chicago weekend crime report," he joked about three young men who were shot in front of a gas station. "A 20-year-old man, a 22-year-old man, and a 26-year-old man, all hanging out at a gas station when someone drove by and fired shots. The 20-year-old was shot in the back, the 22-year-old was shot in the arm, and the 26-year-old was shot in the leg. That's pretty good -- that's a three for three right there! That's a hat trick." [The Michael Berry Show, 1/4/16]
Berry On Chicago's 37 Deaths In January: "They're Getting At It, Aren't They? And There's Still A Week To Go!" In Berry's Chicago crime report segment on January 18, he joked about the high number of deaths and injuries that have occurred in Chicago. "To date, Chicago has seen 37 people killed and 196 people wounded in the month of January already. They're getting at it, aren't they? And there's still a week to go! ... They are, if nothing else, an ambitious lot." [The Michael Berry Show, 1/25/16]
Berry: "A Member Of ISIS ... Started Firing ... . Sorry, Wasn't A Member Of ISIS, Probably Just A Rival Gang." During the February 1 edition of Berry's "Chicago Weekend Crime Report," Berry compared the violence of ISIS to that of Chicago gang members, claiming people were worried about ISIS but people "don't mind with the people two blocks away who are shooting each other on the street in broad daylight." [The Michael Berry Show, 2/1/16]
Berry Often Claims "Black Lives Matter, Just Not to Black People"
Berry On Shooting Incident: "Oh So No One Cared That Someone Was Killed In Their Community? Well, Black Lives Must Matter!" In an October 26 broadcast, during his weekly segment on Chicago violence, Berry discussed the deaths of multiple victims of gun violence in Chicago over the weekend and declared, "Oh so no one cared that someone was killed in their community? Well, black lives must matter!"
Saturday, 4:50 p.m., 23-year-old Fredrick Dockery was found unresponsive on the sidewalk with gunshot wounds to his neck and abdomen. First responders took him to the hospital, where he later died. Po-po say someone called in the shooting incident but no one would come forward to help with the investigation. Oh, so no one cared that someone was killed in their community? Well, black lives must matter.
Harry Barrell, 26, shot to death in his car by the po-po. He was pronounced dead at the scene because black lives matter.
Remember, black lives matter, just not to black people.
Saturday, 4:30 a.m., a 35-year-old man walked into the ER with a graze wound to his head. He is not cooperating with the investigation because he believes black lives matter, just not his. [The Michael Berry Show, 10/26/15]
Berry: "I'll Tell You About Some Of The Badness In The World, And It's Located In Chicago. Remember, Black Lives Matter!" In a November 2 broadcast of Berry's weekly Chicago crime report, he began his segment by making fun of the death of a 9-year-old boy, saying, "Nobody seemed to care that a 9-year-old boy was lured to his death by thugs who had a message for his father, a rival gang member. By the way, his father is not cooperating with the investigation into the murder of his son. Wow, I guess black sons don't matter." [The Michael Berry Show, 11/9/15]
Berry Follows Up On Murder Of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee: "You See Black Lives Don't Matter When It's The Black Man Pulling The Trigger." Weeks after mocking 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee's death by saying, "His father is not cooperating with the investigation into the murder of his son. Wow, I guess black sons don't matter," Berry followed up on the incident, saying, "You see, black lives don't matter when it's the black man pulling the trigger."
Lost in all the mess was the coroner's report on the death of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee. You remember him; he was the son of a gang member who was executed by rival gang members as a message to his father.
Surprisingly, somebody's actually been arrested. Corey Morgan. Charged with first-degree murder. But Tyshawn's death didn't warrant a protest, a shutting down of the Mag Mile. You see, black lives don't matter when it's the black man pulling the trigger, even if it's a 9-year-old child. [The Michael Berry Show, 11/9/15; The Michael Berry Show, 11/30/15]
Berry On Death Of 16-Year-Old Boy: "Well I Guess That Just Goes To Show Black Lives Matter, Just Not To Black People." On January 4, while reporting the death of 16-year-old Antwan McBee during Berry's weekly Chicago crime report segment, he said of the victim, "16-year-old Antwan McBee told the po-po he was riding in the car when another car pulled upside and someone shot him. He was shot in the shoulder and the head. He died at the hospital. He was 16 years old. Well, I guess that just goes to show -- black lives matter, just not to black people." [The Michael Berry Show, 1/4/16]