“The video that was provided to police was obtained by Local 2 Investigates on Thursday afternoon, and it shows a whisker-faced Michael Berry wearing a jacket as he walked into the show bar during a featured drag show event. The video shows him ordering a beer and walking down a hall to the restroom on two trips.” — “Video shows talk show host inside gay bar on night of hit-and-run,” Click2Houston.com, February 16, 2012
Notes Clasically Liberal, referring to the striking, bright-red advertisement for “TC Drag Race Tuesdays”: “In case you have doubts about the club, here is one of their flyers. Berry knew exactly where he was going.”
Embedded video after the jump — and more updates as they occur; we’ve already had to stop our own “presses” a couple of times before posting this much, as new information is coming fast and furious. Also: We may revamp this entry into our beloved “Claims to fame” format, but if we do, it will be only after all the facts are in — and after we find an especially-perfect “Suggested Bible reading” for Mr. Berry.
First… Who is Michael Berry? The short answer: Nobody we’d ever want in our home — or listen to on Houston, Texas, radio stations KTRH and KPRC, where his unabashed hatred for Muslims (regarding the proposed Muslim community center in New York City, he said: "I’ll tell you this — if you do build a mosque, I hope somebody blows it up. … I hope the mosque isn’t built, and if it is, I hope it’s blown up, and I mean that") is rivaled only by his homophobia.
For starters, Berry’s campaign manager for his failed run at the Houston mayor’s seat was Steven Hotze, “a longtime local kingmaker in conservative politics and author of the Straight Slate in 1985, a coterie of eight City Council candidates he recruited who ran on an anti-gay platform.” (Chron.com).
Berry is also a Teabagger — or at least finds it perfectly acceptable to play M.C. for Teabag Hate Fests. (We wonder what his right-wing friends and fans think of his marriage to “the daughter of an Indian air force commodore”? You know how those ‘baggers feel about anybody whose skin isn’t as pasty-white as theirs!)
He also does a segment on a local Fox News station (which tells you right there just how stable is his grasp on reality), and was a city councilmember.
Richard Connelly sums him up nicely, as “your prototype fire-breathing Obama-hating right-wing talk show host.”
Did we mention his homophobia? When his most recent moment in a most unwelcome spotlight plays out, we may have to go back and amend the phrase “his homophobia” to “his internalized homophobia.”
Because that’s the question of the day: Is anti-gay radio shock jock Michael Berry a hit-and-run closet queen who rammed a car and then ran away after imbibing one or more brews at a gay drag bar — specifically, TC’s Show Bar?
We can’t possibly know. All we can tell you is what we hear. Seems this
gay— er, guy-on-the-go has been accused of a hit-and-run — crashing into a car after leaving a gay nightclub in Houston, and then taking off. The club’s bouncer is absolutely, positively certain the driver was Berry — and caught his license plate number. The club’s managers are absolutely, positively certain Berry is one of their customers — and have surveillance video to prove he was there the night in question. And yet Berry isn’t talking — and the Harris County District Attorney’s office has so far refused to charge Berry with anything — despite the fact (at least, as we understand it) that all is needed is a positive I.D. from one witness… which is what they have now: a “100 percent” positive I.D.
While the story is all over the nation today, Click2Houston.com got the scoop (video below):
Tuderia Bennett, of Galena Park, told Houston police that he was working as a bouncer at the front door during a popular cross-dressing ‘drag show’ that was going on inside the club. He watched the crash happen and told police he rushed up to the car after impact and got a good look at Berry behind the wheel.
“I said, ‘That’s definitely the guy.’ For sure, 100 percent,” said Bennett.
Bennett wrote down the license number from the car that he said caused more than $1,500 in damage to his car. Then, when HPD officers traced that license tag to Berry, the victim said he had no doubt it was him.
He said he did not know who Berry was until HPD officers told him and he viewed an online promotional photo of Berry.
“In my statement, I said there’s no question, 100 percent. I could line this guy up if he’s standing out here with 50 people. I could walk right up to the guy and say, ‘That’s the guy who hit my car,’” Bennett told Local 2 Investigates. …
HPD officers involved in the investigation said that the Harris County District Attorney’s office has declined to file criminal hit and run charges in the case, telling officers that no one can positively identify Berry being behind the wheel for the crime.
“I’d say that’s the government at work. I mean, that’s corruption at its best,” said Bennett.
Our take: It’s going to be interesting to see what Berry’s real problem is: deep-seated, self-loathing, internalized homophobia, or just an inability to stay away from bars. We suspect it’s both.
From: Command Center
To: HPD Group
Date: 2/5/2012 12:51 AM
Subject: INCIDENT INVOLVING A PROMINENT CITIZEN
Significant Event ID: 32377
Title: INCIDENT INVOLVING A PROMINENT CITIZEN
Date: 1/31/2012 11:00:00 PM
Location: 2400 CONVERSE
District 1 Beat: 1A30
Incident Number: 15097212
OFFICERS WERE FLAGGED DOWN BY A CITIZEN REGARDING AN F.S.G.I. ACCIDENT THAT OCCURRED SEVERAL DAYS AGO ON JANUARY 31 AT 2300 HOURS. THE COMPLAINANT SAW THE SUSPECT STRIKE HIS PARKED VEHICLE AND FLEE THE SCENE. THE COMPLAINANT GOT THE LICENSE NUMBER OF THE STRIKING VEHICLE, THE VEHICLE DESCRIPTION, AND COULD IDENTIFY THE DRIVER. THE ONGOING INVESTIGATION INDICATES THAT THE SUSPECT IS MICHAEL BERRY, A LOCAL RADIO TALK SHOW HOST.
— Houston Police Department
Internal “Significant Event Form”
Courtesy of Click2Houston.com
“Mr. Berry is one of those customers who has been to our establishment. The video in question that shows Mr. Berry in our establishment is in our possession. The local authorities have requested this same video and they are in possession to assist with their investigation.”
— Email from club managers to Click2Houston.com
“I don’t respond to such things.”
— Michael Berry’s non-response about the incident to Click2Houston.com
February 16, 2012
“Wish I could, but cannot.”
— Michael Berry’s non-response about the incident to the Houston Press
February 16, 2012
“When you poke your finger in somebody’s eye every day like I do, you make enemies. There will always be attacks on me… that I said this, or did that. It takes a toll on you personally, but you simply can’t go and chase down every nasty thing said about you.”
— Michael Berry’s apparent (and cryptic) allusion
to the incident on his morning talk show
per the Houston Chronicle, February 16, 2012
“Videos don’t lie. They don’t paint pictures that don’t exist.”
— Tuderia Bennett to Click2Houston.com, February 16, 2012
“Berry, in a feat of anti-gay sorcery, managed to discuss the police investigation on his show while failing to mention the gay bar, the drag show, the gay bouncer, or any other piece of the story.”
— Kevin Farrell
“Anti-Gay Talk Show Host Outed in Hit-and-Run After Leaving Drag Show”
Unicorn Booty, February 16, 2012
“Berry’s usually active Facebook fan page and Twitter feed had no updates today.”
— “KPRC reports: Bouncer claims Michael Berry rammed vehicle at gay club”
Houston Chronicle, February 16, 2012
— Sarah Rufca
“Conservative talk show host Michael Berry can’t even drive straight, hits car outside gay bar”
CultureMap Houston, February 16, 2012
“The time may come for Anti-Gay talk show host and former Houston City Councilman Michael Berry to lip sync for his life…
“Is it a case of mistaken identity? Was Berry really in the bar? Who killed Mrs. White in the Lounge with the Noose? Whatever the case may be, I just hope the next time Berry gets a case of the runs, its only in his stockings and NOT in his overpriced gas-guzzler.”
— Ester Goldberg
“Homophobic Talk-Show Host Michael Berry Involved in Hit & Run Outside Drag Bar”
Opposing Views, February 16, 2012
“Now, let’s play a guessing game as to which excuse he’ll use for being in there. Normally, they will say it is for research. But I think he’ll say he was in there doing missionary work…”
— Prince Toddy English
“Closet Queens never cease to amuse me…”
February 16, 2012
“How many times must this scenario play out before people realize that all (or most) of these conservative/homophobic blowhards are just huge closet cases? The pathetic pathology is obvious.
“Isn’t that right Porno Pete LaBarbera Undercover Leatherman?“
— Will Kohler
“Houston’s Anti-Gay ‘Councilman of the Year’ and Radio Host
Michael Berry Accused Of Hit & Run After Leaving Drag Show”
Back2Stonewall.com, February 16, 2012
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