Honolulu Advertiser, May 6, 2007
Price: “You keep using the word ‘honest,’ senator; where you from?”
Hooser: “Where am I from? Kapa’a.”
Price: “Yeah, where were you born and raised?”
Hooser: “I was born in California. I graduated high school at Radford High School.”
Price: “You got blue eyes?”
Hooser: “(Laughs) I do. Does that matter?”
Price: “Yes, to us it does. Because when local people hear somebody from the Mainland talk about how honest everything is that means that something’s wrong. You know when they say ‘frankly’ or ‘honestly’ we did a lot of things, you know and stuff like that, that sounds suspicious.”
Hooser: “You know, I don’t really appreciate a reference to where I’m from, from California, or my blue eyes, Mr. Price.”
Price: “Well I don’t care what you think.”
Price later apologized. But Perry said Price didn’t have to apologize.
Even though Perry and Price now consider the Hooser episode closed, Perry said, “we’ll have the loonies call in who still haven’t heard what he actually said and we’ll deal with that.”
After Price’s apology, Perry told him on air, “That’s it? You’re apologizing?”
Price: “Yup. It’s the right thing to do.”
Perry: “You know what I think?”
Price: “I’m afraid to ask you what you think.”
Perry: “I think you’re crazy. You don’t have to apologize.”
Price: “Nah. The apology stands.”
Perry went on at length, calling himself “the blue-eyed member of this morning team.”
“This was not about racism,” he told listeners. “It was about hypocrisy as anybody who heard the whole thing knows. If you listen to the part of the news, the interview that wasn’t in the news stories, you know exactly what it was about. … On the radio, people hear 60 percent of what we say and 40 percent of what we mean. I understand that. So you’re calming the waters. OK.
“This is just so typical. Cries of racism. I’m a victim, I’m a victim. Racism, right. Larry Price, caucasian father from Tennessee and Hawaiian-Portuguese mother from here. Which half of you was racist?
“This stuff drives me nuts. It’s just so typical. A 15-second sound bite overwhelms a devastating, revealing 15-minute interview about our dysfunctional state Senate. People who heard the whole interview know exactly what this is about. Go listen to it. It’s still on the Internet.
“I have a feeling what happened was most people heard the blue-eyed thing and then turned to the people next to them and said, ‘Did you hear what he said?’ They didn’t even listen to the rest of it where you made your point. Your point was exactly the opposite point from the one you are accused of making and that drives me nuts … Would you like to withdraw your apology?”
Perry: “I didn’t think so.”