DeBella walks Independence Mall in response to Glenn Beck’s Philadelphia rant

January 19, 2011

This evening between 6pm and 7pm, 102.9 WMGK morning host John DeBella will walk the area surrounding Independence Hall (known as Independence Mall) with cash hanging out of his pockets. DeBella, a fixture on the Philadelphia radio dial for over 25 years, is taking this walk to counter claims made by Glenn Beck on his national radio program that Philadelphia is unsafe and “not a place that you want to be”. DeBella is confident that he won’t encounter any problems.

Beck’s rant stemmed from a discussion about the police and fire department layoffs in the city of Camden, New Jersey, which is across the river from Philadelphia. During the discussion about Camden, Beck began a diatribe about “the killing streets around Independence Hall,” claiming that Philadelphia was an unsafe city and “a place you didn’t want to be.” When Beck’s co-host Stu Burguiere asserted that Philadelphia’s Center City and Independence Hall neighborhoods were safe for dining and culture, Beck responded to Burguiere as follows: “I’m going to put you on a hidden cam and we’re going to have you go downtown 6, 7 o’clock at night and walk around.” Beck continued, “Don’t listen to Stu. Philadelphia sucks.”

These offensive comments had DeBella and many callers to his radio show irate, and prompted DeBella to decide that he needed to do something to defend Philadelphia’s reputation. “Beck’s claims about the area surrounding this important national landmark are preposterous, unpatriotic and libelous,” said DeBella. “My listeners won’t stand for it, this city won’t stand for it, and what I’m doing this evening will prove that his rant was just a case of sour grapes. His radio show was taken off-air in Philadelphia and he chose to denigrate our city and the area surrounding one of our country’s most treasured landmarks as a way to voice his disappointment and frustration.”

For more information, please contact Dan Fein, Promotions Director, WMGK, at 610.6174866.