Tampa talk show host war: Todd "MJ" Schnitt, Bubba the Love Sponge Clem tangle in defamation case
1:43 PM, Jan 14, 2013
2:18 PM, Jan 14, 2013
TAMPA - A fight between two talk radio titans entered its first round Monday in a Tampa courtroom.
In one corner, Bubba the Love Sponge Clem. In the other corner, his accuser, Todd "MJ" Schnitt. It's a civil defamation case pitting the two Tampa shock jocks against each other.
The two are arguably the biggest radio names in the Tampa Bay area, especially when it comes to the shock jock title -- although Todd "MJ" Schnitt is no longer a shock jock, but a political talk show host.
So it may not come as a surprise that these two "A" type personalities have clashed in the past. But what may come as a surprise is the level of escalation -- a court case in which; basically, Todd "MJ" Schnitt claims Bubba went too far.
The roots go back to a another court case involving Bubba in which he was on trial for animal abuse for a radio stunt in which he killed a wild pig.
There were reports that Bubba believed Shnitt's wife, Michelle, who worked at the State Attorney's Office at the time, helped bring that case to a head. So Bubba made it his goal to go after Schnitt, who was working mornings at 93.3FLZ, and to bury him in the ratings to become himself, the number one morning show in the bay area.
The Schnitt camp claims, in that effort, Bubba the Love Sponge Clem went too far, actually launching personal attacks against "MJ" and his wife, Michelle, referring to her in very unflattering terms.
Bubba's team maintains both Schnitt and his wife are public personalities and fair game when it comes to broadcasting parodies or gags. In short, whatever was done was just radio shtick.
In this courtroom however there will be no shtick as this clash of the titans is expected to play out over the course of the next 3 weeks. The Schnitt camp has a list of over 70 potential witnesses to call. Bubba's team has more than 90.
Jury selection is now underway and court officials expect that alone could take a week.