Friday he pleaded guilty and was given a 6-month sentence.
Clear Channel who owns the station, was not charged, though it may be argued the media megalith was complicit by turning a blind eye to Burke's crazed behaviors.
Burke failed as a liberal talk host in Texas, then, after coming to Florida and flipping to the right, got some success. Unfortunately his emotions, let loose in the free market of rugged right-wing individualism turned mean and alcoholic.
Burke now says the ordeal is the best thing that ever happened to him. He got treatment and started a radio show dealing with drug and alcohol recovery on WORL-AM.
“I’m a little different person than I was 7 months ago,” Burke said. “I’m clean and sober. I know the recovery show is helping a lot of people getting them into recovery and that’s crucial, too, for my recovery.”Burke must attend Alcoholics Anonymous, continue mental health counseling, complete a firearms safety course and 100 hours of community service at an animal shelter.
Burke was sentenced to 180 days, with 26 days jail time credit. The judge told him he would most likely be eligible for work release. Burke told reporters he would like to serve that on the air. “That’s my goal. That’s what I do,” he said.
Political therapy should be included here: remember extreme conservatism can kill.
The Orlando Sentinel's Gary Taylor chronicled the decline of a conservative of convenience who fell rather swiftly into a self-indulgent swamp of violent alcoholic behavior.
Burke was a free-wheeling, left-wing talk-show host in Austin, Texas, when Clear Channel brought him to Orlando in 2001. Three years later, after Burke cultivated a local following as a staunchly conservative — though not highly rated — host on 540 AM, the company promoted him. Burke moved down the hall to Real Radio 104.1 FM, a popular blue-collar show that did well in the ratings.
Clear Channel encouraged Burke to develop a "bad guy" image.
He took to it like a rat to cheese, getting tattoos, riding motorcycles, and drinking like a pig despite his well-known allergy to booze.
"They [managers at Clear Channel] enabled it by making excuses, and sending him to bar gigs, knowing he would drink, even if he knew he shouldn't have," [friend and talk host Jeff] Duncan said.
Taylor describes a suicide attempt and alcoholic acting out as far back as 2004 in a bitter divorce. His ex-wife is asking a judge to keep him away from their 9-year-old daughter after his "erratic, volatile and escalating behavior."
Another girlfriend accused him in court records of biting and choking her and firing a gun in her presence. He also "has issues with drugs and alcohol," she said.
Of course, Clear Channel, with their signature sociopathic, ratings-first, see-no-evil management fired him only after his shooting up his wife and dog went very public.
It's Shannon Burke's fault. He's the alcoholic, violent asshole. But we've seen this enabling too many times before: whether it's Entercom ignoring Mike Webb's deep problems and misdemeanors; or WTKK letting Jay Severin run at the mouth with violence-encouraging hate-speech.
We're joking, of course, about the dangers of embracing a right-wing philosophy, but not about radio management. Too frequently it lets outrageous stuff go until their bottom line is threatened or somebody gets hurt and it makes the papers.And oh yeah: How many more talk hosts are out there, hollow and seared inside because they took up a political stance alien to their natures because the market seems to demand it?