A conservative radio talk radio show host in Houston hit back at local media Tuesday over allegations that he was involved in a hit-and-run accident outside a gay night club.
Michael Berry, a former Houston city councilman, said during his KTRH show he has been the victim of a smear campaign in a "hit piece" based on "rumors" and "unnamed sources." He went after local media outlets that he said have breathlessly reported that the alleged incident took place outside a gay bar.
"Gay bar, gay bar, gay bar, gay bar. So many times in the story, I lost count," he said. "Saying gay bar and conservative talk host in one sentence repeatedly, oh that's too awesome for a news station to pass up."
Berry, who said he was addressing the matter against the advice of his attorney, did not go into great detail about the Jan. 31 incident because of potential legal proceedings. According to the Houston Chronicle, a police department crash report said a car registered to Berry is suspected of backing into another vehicle outside TC's Showbar. He has not been charged in the incident.
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Local media outlets have aired surveillance video purporting to show Berry inside the club before the accident took place. Berry said the footage only shows that he ordered a beer and used the restroom, not that he committed any crime.
He said he didn't go to TC's because it was a gay bar, but went for a beer and there were "gay people inside."
"There was cold beer waiting inside," Berry said. "Is that a crime? The fact that I'm not afraid of the fact that some of the people inside may be gay? Makes it a bad thing? Would it be better if I was at a strip club? Or a Hooters?"
He said he's never once bashed gay people on his show, despite the prevailing thought that "conservatives hate gays -- or so we're told. Conservatives are all gay-bashers apparently."
"Really? I hate gay people? You jackass! You never listen to my show! Get your facts straight, you stupid fools," Berry said. "I don’t have to bash gays to prove that I’m not one."
Berry charged that local media outlets, particularly Houston's KPRC, are on a crusade against him to boost their ratings during sweeps week. He said he's cooperated with the police "100 percent" and denied he was engaging in any type of cover-up.
“Was it a cover up?” Berry asked. “No, it was a smear campaign. Channel 2, I’ve got my sights on you….You can smear my name without me but I’m not going down without a fight.”
Listen to Berry passionately address the issue on his show below: