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Illinois talk show host fired in attack on Jerry Williams
By Chicago Tribune, 5/24/1985
adio talk-show host Warren Freiberg was fired Wednesday from his $60,000-a-year job at the Lansing, Ill., station WLNR after he squirted liquid soap into the eyes of WRKO-Boston's Jerry Williams during a guest appearance on "A.M. Chicago" on WLS-TV (ABC).
Freiberg, who had been with WLNR for 11 years, was one of five guests on a program devoted to "outrageous talk show hosts." Throughout the show, Freiberg, known for his conservative political leanings, traded barbs with Williams, known for his irreverent, liberal stance. Toward the end of the show, Freiberg announced that he was sick of Williams, stood and splattered liquid soap on Williams' face and shirt. Williams retaliated by knocking Freiberg to the floor, and WLS-TV quickly cut to a commercial. Williams was treated for minor eye irritation.
"I have no regrets," Freiberg said. "I was only doing what a lot of good Americans would have wanted to do to Jerry Williams."
Johnson, a black-owned media conglomerate that publishes Jet magazine, bought WLNR earlier this year and took control of the station two weeks ago. Speculation within the industry is that Freiberg, whose tirades on racial matters frequently angered black leaders, would probably have been released from his job soon anyway.
Williams said Wednesday afternoon that he is "considering legal action" against Freiberg.