He's been removed from San Francisco talk shop KSFO's website and there's no sign of his erstwhile Sunday night show on his own. It's been replaced on the schedule by reruns of SF local talker David Gold.
Lapin's 2006 move from a Sunday evening show on Seattle's KTTH to the San Francisco radio market (he still lives on Mercer Island) was after years of scuttling around KVI, KKOL, and KGNW; not to speak of a failed attempt at syndication in the '90's.
With this, 2007 seems to have been an extension of some bad years he had after the fallout from his involvement with the felonious, convicted lobbyist, and old friend Jack Abramoff.
His non-profit Toward Tradition (which may now be defunct) was on the ropes because of bad press after it was exposed as an Abramoff money laundry. Christian right friends like Ralph Reed and Tom Delay were sullied or going to jail; and the religious right/Republican coalition enabled by the Bush years was imploding.
His far, far right politics plus the gelt-seeking cronyism of the Bush years have proven disastrous to this man of the cloth. Read all about Rabbi Lapin in the files found here.
(Lapin is now pushing an apocalyptic DVD that claims that moral conditions in America are identical to the Old Testament times just before the Great Flood. He might have felt the apocalypto coming, what with all his troubles and that the Prophets are seeing a liberal sea change. Maybe that's why he's such an avid yachtsman. "End of days" is the new century cash cow for religious hustlers, as gay-frighting was in the '90's. Not many Jews doing this schtick, it could be prophetable).
We were writing about Bernie Ward Sunday when ace Toronto reader, and radio wonk/blogger, Lance, wrote to say that Rabbi Daniel Lapin filled-in on Ward's KGO Sunday morning show, Godtalk.
Thinking about how Bernie Ward would be rolling in his crypt if he were dead, what with this right-wing religious extremist hosting his progressive show about interfaith dialog, morality and ethics. We did a little cursory clicking and discovered that the "Radio rabbi" has been erased from the KSFO schedule. He'd been missing during the football season, and we'd stopped paying attention. The last Raiders' game was Dec. 30; we're not sure if he ever returned.
Another recent mention in the national press of Lapin's previous notoriety is in Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank's new tongue in cheek "anthropological" study, Homo Politicus, The Strange and Scary Tribes that Run Our Government. He describes Washington DC as Potomac Land and profiles the exotic people and rules that govern the nation's capital. He also captures one of Rabbi Lapin's most memorable moments in the Abrsamoff scandal.
One of the best displays of Potomac Land's status obsession, and the role of the Cosmos in it, was uncovered by the Senate committee examining the Jack Abramoff affair. Abramoff wrote an e-mail to a friend who was a rabbi. "I hate to ask you for your help with something so silly but I've been nominated for membership in the Cosmos Club, which is a very distinguished club in Washington, D.C., comprised of Nobel Prize winners, etc.," he wrote. "Problem for me is that most prospective members have received awards and I have received none. I was wondering if you thought it possible that I could put that I have received an award from Toward Tradition with a sufficiently academic title, perhaps something like Scholar of Talmudic Studies? Indeed, it would be even better if it were possible that I received these in years past, if you know what I mean."
The rabbi, conservative radio host Daniel Lapin, gave his blessing. "I just need to know what needs to be produced," he replied. "Letters? Plaques?"
You can bet that KSFO, the station that headlines such harsh-tongued extremists as Melanie Morgan and Lee Rodgers, didn't fire Lapin for his extreme views (after all, he's David Duke's favorite rabbi). Although he can be an inspiring public speaker (he addressed the 1996 Republican Convention) he's tedious and didactic on the radio, a fact that's gotten in the way of his radio career.
Lapin has an inability to stay out of the headlines; we doubt we've heard the last of rebbe.