Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that I added a tag for “Congressman Ron Paul” to the post about the nearly completely unknown, but nevertheless quite amazing occult rock group Kongress. This may have seemed like a mistake. It wasn’t.
So what’s the connection between the Republican Texas congressman currently making his third for president and an insane rock group that made the New York Dolls look like pikers, you ask? That would be Dangerous Minds pal Otto von Ruggins, the group’s keyboard player, who appeared several times on The Morton Downey Jr. Show, a pre-Jerry Springer, late 80s syndicated “talkshow.” One time he was on the program, his fellow guest was then former US Congressman Ron Paul. The discussion was the war on drugs.
Imagine what the people look like who comment on the Fox Nation website and then picture a group of such unhinged yoo-hoos as a talkshow audience. Downey Jr. loved to pit his guests against each other and the Cro-Magnon audience members, who were dubbed “Loudmouths.” Downey Jr and his guests and audience screamed at each other with seething hatred and low IQs. The Morton Downey Jr. Show was the original “trash teevee” show. Just about the only advertisers were local bail bondsmen.
Judging from the evidence that he actually agreed to go on The Morton Downey Jr. Show, I think it’s safe to assume that Ron Paul, who was then running as the Libertarian Party’s candidate for President, never, ever thought he was going to get anywhere near the White House and was probably just trying to do what he could to spread the word about Libertarianism. Still, it was pretty ill-advised to go on a show like this.
I’m sure Ron Paul would like to forget he was ever on The Morton Downey Jr. Show. Too bad! Here is Otto’s recollection of the taping:
I remember the first time I was called to be on The Morton Downey, Jr. Show. He was there in NYC’s Channel 9 Secaucus, NJ studio before Jerry Springer took occupancy. I had written a letter to his producer suggesting they do a show about the legalization of drugs. I even recommended some guests for them - Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw, the Life Extension authors and MIT graduate research scientists. I was told they had no budget to fly people in, but they wanted me to come on the show.
Ten minutes into the show, I was at home base, on stage with Mort, telling him, “I’ve come to slay Dracula!” I made a positive showing, but 45 minutes into the show, my supervisor in the Post Office got a call from the Post Mistress telling him his employee was on the show talking about giving away free drugs and what was he going to do about it? He calmly told her I was a professional, one of his best workers and what I did on my own time was my business. Eventually, I told her I was going on again, displaying to her the Time Magazine cover story on the subject.
My best appearance (I was on six times, they loved me so much) was a July 4th aired show in 1988 where I wore a black and white checkered shirt under a black Teddy Boy jacket with red velvet collar and cuffs. Colonel Bo Gritz, a most decorated Viet Nam vet was also on, telling how Uncle Sam was in the drug business, naming names like Richard Armitage and Frank Carlucci, who would later surface as Chairman of the Carlyle Group with Bush connections, after his stint in the Reagan Administration. I fended off Downey’s initial comment that if I had wheels, I’d look like a checkered cab by declaring that “As outrageous as the war on drugs is, that’s how outrageous I have to dress to give all you mad men out there who want to fight the war on drugs, a sobering dose of reality - and for all you women out there who want to fight the war on drugs, you’re mad men, too!” Downey’s response was, “Sounds like if this was a whore house and you had a thousand dollars, you wouldn’t see any action.” I quipped back, “I didn’t come to fuck around!”
The prime time national debut on that show was the appearance of then Libertarian Party candidate for President, Ron Paul who, when Downey accused me of looking like I just came from Emmett Kelly’s funeral, rose to my defense with - “Stick to the issues, Mort, and don’t attack the way he’s dressed!” Mort quickly ripped Ron Paul’s candidacy, “If I had a slime like you in the White House, I’d puke on you!” It was that clip with me in my glorious outfit and Mort raising his arms over Paul that made it to ABC-TV’s New Year’s Eve highlights of the year in review with Sam Donaldson.
As I came off the stage at the end of the show, I was grabbed by the arm by what I thought was some Fed accosting me for trying to burn the Constitution earlier—Mort stopped me—but it was some representative from Nightline who wanted to know what it was like to be on The Morton Downey, Jr. Show. My response, which was not aired, was, “It’s like being high without drugs!”
Below, a boisterous excerpt from the July 4th, 1988 “War on Drugs” episode of The Morton Downey Jr. Show with Ron Paul, Otto von Ruggins and in the audience, then-Guardian Angel Lisa Sliwa, now known as Fox News correspondent, Lisa Evers.
At about the one minute mark, Downey Jr. tells Ron Paul what he’d like to do to him if he ever becomes president…