COMMENTARY BY THE HON. RUFUS PECKHAM - At approximately 12:30 p.m. last Friday, I was dining at Six Penn with the Mayor and Jon Delano, drawing up a blueprint for Pittsburgh in the 21st Century that will guide every decision of city government for the next 93 years. Sitting at the booth directly behind us was WQED-FM's classical music guru Jim Cunningham, casually dressed and dining with two young women who shall remain nameless because this isn't about them.
This is about me and that son of a bitch Jim Cunningham.
If someone told you that you would be in the same room as Mr. Cunninham, you undoubtedly would expect to hear the modulated, serene voice he employs on his daily FM radio program. Think again. It turns out the comforting voice you hear on the radio is a put-on, a sham like the so-called 20th Century classical music Mr. Cunningham sometimes plays. In fact, Mr. Cunningham's earsplitting voice boomed throughout the restaurant. Several patrons had to cover their ears to prevent permanent hearing loss. My colleagues and I heard every last detail, for example, when Mr. Cunningham explained to his companions that a certain well-known person, who shall remain nameless (because this isn’t about that person, either) is afraid of spiders. On and on he babbled about arachnophobia. One can only imagine how we welcomed hearing about the filthy eight-legged creatures as we ate our soup and tried to solve the problems of Western Pennsylvania.
But, you see, that is what passes for chic, sophisticated discourse in the affected, high-brow world of classical music.
Finally, and to my great relief, Mr. Cunningham got up to leave. But what happened next is nothing short of breathtaking. I am still trying to make sense of it several days later. As he started toward the door, Cunningham looked me in the eye and then – he snubbed me! That's right, you heard me, dear readers. This son of a bitch, public radio disc jockey (and that's exactly what he is) had the audacity to snub the Dean of Pittsburgh journalists.
I expect a heart-felt apology from Mr. Cunningham because Western Pennsylvania is unaccustomed to its Dean being treated in this manner.