Morton Downey, Jr. Biography
Morton Downey, Jr.-7-10 PM –“Nightline”-Talk 1982-1983
Mort was forced to resign as host of "Nightline" in July of 1983 after getting into a physical
confrontation with an guest on his show, abortion clinic operator, Bill
Baird. Downey got involved in name calling and "fisticuffs" with Baird and had him (Baird) thrown off the show. Mort's show, early on, was a very kind and gentle type talk show (in the style of Harry Cup). He played his "daddy's records" as he was fond of saying. When the station was sold the show took a turn toward a more confrontational format. Mort ran for president in 1980 on the American party ticket. In 1984 Downey turned up at KFBK in Sacramento,
California on. He would resign from the station after making an on air joke and using the word "chinaman". The remarks were heard by a Sacramento Councilman, Thomas Chinn who was outraged. Mort would hold a news conference, apologize and then resign. Downey would go on to television to host "The Morton Downey Jr. Show". His TV program featured screaming matches between himself, his guests. Late in life, Downey, who was sometimes known to blow smoke into people's faces on his show, became an anti-tobacco crusader after contracting lung cancer. Downey
died in 2001.