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October 10, 2008

Magic Johnson Accused of Faking HIV

Conservative morning radio duo Chris Baker and Langdon Perry of Twin Cities, Minnesota station KTLK (100.3 FM) accused NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson on October 8 of faking being HIV positive, the Star Tribune reports.

The story garnered nationwide exposure when liberal watchdog blog Media Matters for America posted audio and a transcript of the conversation.

“You think Magic faked AIDS for sympathy?” Baker asked, to which Perry replied, “I’m convinced that Magic faked AIDS.” Perry later referred to Johnson as “the only cured AIDS guy ever.”

In a statement released October 9, Johnson expressed his disappointment in trivializing his own HIV status and the epidemic in general.

“Millions are dying from HIV/AIDS, and the fact that they would make jokes about my status is unbelievable,” said Johnson, 49, who came out as HIV positive in 1991. “Chris, Langdon and KTLK should use their power in a more positive light by encouraging people to get tested for this disease instead of making up such ridiculous lies.”

In response to the media attention over their remarks, Baker dismissed the controversy as “not news,” saying their comments were just “three seconds of radio out of a four-hour show.” The duo declined to comment when reached by the Star Tribune.

Search: Magic Johnson, NBA, Minnesota, KTLK

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