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Old 06-12-2009, 12:13 AM
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J.B. J.B. is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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Default Personal Attacks, Political Discussion, and Ethical Journalism

First I am going to share a short story, then ask a question...

Today, I was tuned in to AM 670 "The Score", a local sports-talk radio station based out of Chicago. The Score is the exclusive radio home of the Chicago White Sox, so needless to say, I am pretty much tuned in all day everyday for the entire baseball season. Today's game was delayed due to rain, and while we waited, the afternoon team of Boers and Bernstien began broadcasting their usual show. Now, granted, ANYBODY who has listened to their show knows that these two LOVE to rile people up.

The topic of discussion was Jay Cutler, the new Quarterback for the Chicago Bears. Former Bears coach, who needs no introduction, Mike Ditka came out in the press the other day and made a comment that Cutler still needs to prove himself in Chicago, because after all he still has YET to even play a single game. A fair statement, from a man with EXCELLENT credentials in the sport of football. So, in a ridiculous tirade, Terry Boers claims that Chicago fans are stupid, and that Mike Ditka is stupid because he was at a Sarah Palin rally. Now, it's no secret that Ditka is a republican. He almost ran for office in Chicago, and believe me, he will win if he ever does.

Boers then goes on to say that David Letterman should never have apologized for his comments about Sarah Palin's daughter earlier in the week. For those who are unfamiliar, Letterman made a joke saying that when Palin attended a Yankees game during her visit to New York, her daughter got knocked up by Alex Rodriguez (a player for the Yankees). What Letterman failed to realize was that the daughter who actually attended the game with Sarah Palin was not her 18 year old daughter Bristol, but rather her 14 year old daughter Willow.

As if that was not enough, Boers goes on to say that everybody knows Letterman was talking about the 18 year old daughter Bristol, and that because she is 18, she is "fair game". So, I took it upon myself to send a text message to the show, stating that I found it classless of them to attack a young girl solely based on her mother's political beliefs. 14, 18, it makes no difference.

Well, I got a response, both on the air, and in text....

Boers defense on the air, was more ridiculous snotty remarks, which were backed by his little side-kick Bernstien, akin to Robin being led around on a collar by Batman. However, what REALLY hit home, was the response he sent to my phone via text. He said...

"18-year old. Fair game. And a whore"

Wow. Even for this guy, I was truly shocked. What has become of our society where this is considered respectable behavior? I promptly responded and asked Boers if he intended to repeat that statement on the air, and he responded that the term "hosebag" is what he would use on the air (which he did not). He said that there are lots of things he would like to say on-air, but he is limited to "specific boundaries".

Really, "specific boundaries"? Even if the term "hosebag" carried the same negative connotation as "whore", which is DOES NOT, why wouldn't he be barred from saying that? Why is this guy allowed to spew hatred directed at a young girl he has never met and doesn't really know anything about, when he is SUPPOSED to be talking sports? Obviously, I would not type all this crap, or post it in the politics section if the heart of my gripe was rooted in his distaste for Mike Ditka. Da Coach is a big boy, he don't need my defense, but an 18, or a 14 year old girl? Boers is about 70 years old, even if he has an opinion, you would think that he knows where the line is drawn. Would he like it if somebody spoke of his children that way? How do you think Boers would react if a conservative made offensive comments about Obama's daughters? Well, considering that "The Score" is the home of the White Sox, and Obama is a BIG White Sox fan, I doubt you would hear ANYBODY condoning that kind of thing, nor should they. If they did, they would probably be fired.

Boers is considered by many to be a "respected journalist" in the Chicago area. I would have to say I disagree that he deserves much "respect".

Now, my question to the forum is,
what do you guys think is acceptable when debating about political figures? Also, do you feel that people who have a large public forum, like a tv or radio show, should be held to a higher standard?

Surely terms like, "stupid", "idiot", and things of that nature are on one level, but I think this kind of stuff is WAY beyond that. I just cannot see how so many people rally to justify it. They say, "it's just comedy", or they are "fair game", but is that really true? Are they not human beings? Do their political beliefs being different than yours make them, and their families, "fair" targets for personal attacks?

I know this was kinda long, but I really needed to rant on that one.

Last edited by J.B.; 06-12-2009 at 01:20 AM.
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