DEAN BLUNDELL: AS LOW AS IT GETS

Robin Brownlee
June 14 2013 07:06PM

There's so much low-brow one-downsmanship on the radio now it's not often something is in such bad taste or so offensive it grabs my attention to the point of outrage, but The Dean Blundell Show at 102.1 The Edge managed it today.

Blundell, an Albertan and a talk show host based in Toronto, apparently finds humor in what is feared to be the drowning former Edmonton Oil King and Edmonton Oiler draft pick Kristians Pelss in Riga, Latvia.

While family, friends, fans and members of the Oil Kings and Oilers hope for the best and fear the worst while awaiting word on the fate of Pelss, who has been missing for three days, Blundell and his co-host used this unfolding tragedy as material on their show today – as pointed out by an Edmontonian going by the handle of JRM on Twitter.

Listening to the podcast of Blundell's show, which runs 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., made me numb – as numb as I felt when I first heard reports yesterday Pelss has gone missing was feared drowned. I'll resist the urge to mount the soap box here and let Blundell's routine speak for itself.

WHAT HE SAID

"Edmonton Oilers prospect Kristians Pelss disappeared without a trace after reportedly jumping off a bridge in his native Latvia. Pelss, who played two seasons with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL is believed to have jumped into the dark of a river in the capital city of Riga, Latvia early Tuesday morning," said Blundell, reading the first part of the item in straight news style. "Rescuers have seen no sign of him, according to a news agency.

"His clothes were found on the scene but a search of the river failed to turn him up. Edmonton Oil Kings organization along with the Edmonton Oilers and AHL Barons ba-da-ba-da-ba-da said that reports of him going missing are being looked at this week. There's been contradictory information reported at times. They are hoping he returns to the Edmonton Oilers and Oil Kings organization shortly."

Then, the item takes a sickening turn.

"How much must it suck playing hockey in Edmonton when you . . . I'm not going back. I mean, you'd rather jump off a bridge in like a war-torn country in a freezing cold river than go back to Edmonton. Shame. I hope they find him. I've been to Edmonton. I know what that guy's talking about (laughs)."

The link to the offending podcast is here. It's the first item under "Current Feed Content," using the "play now" button.

The station manager at 102.1 The Edge is Ross Winters. If you care to reach him, you can do so here.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 Roadhouse
June 14 2013, 07:14PM
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Sad...unreal...no words really to discribe this...

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#2 FTO
June 14 2013, 07:16PM
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*sigh* saw this joke coming a mile away, unfunny and unoriginal. Knew some zilch shock jock wannabe was going to make it at some point.

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#3 Miley
June 14 2013, 07:20PM
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Kudos on this bud, he's being lynched as we speak although there's a sad amount of people coming to his defence. His comments were ridiculous and pathetic and I hope he gets what's coming to him now. I've been doing whatever I can to get this out to the public.

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#4 Jodes
June 14 2013, 07:26PM
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Maybe one should arrange a phone call from the family of Mr. Pelss and he can man up and explain his actions and words. But He will probably give some half assed apology andcontinue to be his usual classless self.

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#5 Toro
June 14 2013, 07:27PM
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What a f**king GOOF

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#6 NewfieMikey
June 14 2013, 07:28PM
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I have working my arse off on twitter to get this out there, thanks for helping spread the word on a pathetic excuse for a person. I wonder if he'd be cracking jokes if his kid jumped off a bridge. I know his comments were sent to the crtc, let's hope they do something about it. Keep up the good work.

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#7 Rocket
June 14 2013, 07:29PM
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Total lack of class & respect.

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#8 RexLibris
June 14 2013, 07:33PM
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I'm reminded of the Don Imus (I think I got that name right...) issue a few years back about a women's basketball team.

He was sanctioned, pilloried, fired...and then re-hired.

I suspect that even if this example of human detritus were to be fired on account of this he'd quietly find another job with carte blanche to speak his mind at another station.

Thanks for leading the charge here Robin. I only hope others in the media, specifically those in the Toronto-based national media pick up on this and treat him appropriately.

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#9 dawgtoy
June 14 2013, 07:38PM
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Blundell clearly has the class of an unflushed toilet, now onto sending Mr.Winters a message as to what I think of his employee and his comments.

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#10 Eddie Shore
June 14 2013, 07:40PM
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Completely inappropriate and very disrespectful...exactly what I told Ross Winters in my email. Pathetic that someone would make light of this, no matter where or who they play for.

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#11 Racki
June 14 2013, 07:41PM
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That's "lose your job" level of stupidity, if you ask me. Completely insensitive to Pelss' family, teammates, friends, and fans to make light of a terrible situation. I'm not sure what goes through someone's mind to actually think it would be a good idea to say something like that, especially right now when it's weighing on peoples' minds.

Hopefully the idiot gets fired.

I actually got choked up a bit just telling this story to my fiance

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#12 Robin Brownlee
June 14 2013, 07:41PM
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RexLibris wrote:

I'm reminded of the Don Imus (I think I got that name right...) issue a few years back about a women's basketball team.

He was sanctioned, pilloried, fired...and then re-hired.

I suspect that even if this example of human detritus were to be fired on account of this he'd quietly find another job with carte blanche to speak his mind at another station.

Thanks for leading the charge here Robin. I only hope others in the media, specifically those in the Toronto-based national media pick up on this and treat him appropriately.

I just hope we aren't jaded enough to think this kind of humor is funny. A young man is likely dead -- that he's a hockey player is secondary. Does this kind of crap really draw listeners today?

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#13 Robin Brownlee
June 14 2013, 07:45PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Completely inappropriate and very disrespectful...exactly what I told Ross Winters in my email. Pathetic that someone would make light of this, no matter where or who they play for.

I've written to Winters as well. I'd urge anybody as offended by this to do so -- it's the only way people who make the decisions at places like radio stations will get the message.

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#14 Eddie Shore
June 14 2013, 07:46PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I just hope we aren't jaded enough to think this kind of humor is funny. A young man is likely dead -- that he's a hockey player is secondary. Does this kind of crap really draw listeners today?

That would be something that would make me switch stations, and not look back.

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#15 ThatGuy109
June 14 2013, 07:52PM
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@Robin Brownlee

Long time lurker, first time poster.

I've also mailed in my disgust.

#prayforpelss

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#16 Racki
June 14 2013, 07:52PM
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I sent in an e-mail to the station manager. I'm sure he'll get a bunch.

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#17 DJ Dynasty Handbag
June 14 2013, 07:52PM
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pathetic.

I've done my part and sent a lengthy email to ross winters.

I've asked for the removal of Blundell from the air - hopefully enough other people do as well.

thanks for passing this story along.

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#18 Mac962
June 14 2013, 08:00PM
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Unreal- Lets pitch in for a a plane ticket to come to our City and vist with us. I know a place they will never find his sorry assed carcass.

That is the ultimate no-class move i have ever heard.

Bud F--K you. You piece of s--t We should turn you over to his family.

Lets do what we have to do to have him fired, petition whatever it takes.

You absolute F--k. Sorry Guys , i like all of you despise crap like this.

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#19 NewfieMikey
June 14 2013, 08:00PM
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Sent my email, hope a lot follow suit. I am still tweeting this to as many people as possible.

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#20 Valic
June 14 2013, 08:22PM
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Thanks Robin.

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#21 Abby Oil
June 14 2013, 08:29PM
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Somebody has likely lost their child.... I could not ever imagine. Wow. As Robin stated, he was a hockey player second.....

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#22 Deeg
June 14 2013, 08:32PM
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Was the same joke on the Terry, Bill and Steve show in Edmonton - as per their producer? This was eventually deleted from twitter:

https://twitter.com/brandanpeterson/status/345703952190435329/photo/1

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#23 WhattaMike
June 14 2013, 08:53PM
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Hey Robin thanks for showing us just how pathetic persons can be...

A life is lost and people think it can be a funny affair...whattaDoorknob Blundell is..

I will say that I made a personal but polite (no swearing) phone call to that station and left a rant voice mail message of that now and how this station should immediately apologize and fire Blundell, if not suspend him...

Tragedy is never funny nor understood...and the fa,ily of that young man deserve peace and support from those who can sympathize.

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#24 MarcusBillius
June 14 2013, 08:53PM
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I visit Toronto for work.

This isn't exactly off the wall behavior for the show.

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#25 Bruce McCurdy
June 14 2013, 08:55PM
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(what I wrote to station manager; thanks for the link, Robin)

That is a pretty disgusting attempt at "humour". Edmonton hockey fans are feeling bereaved at this time, and to take asinine pot shots at us and our city at this time is beneath contempt.

This jackass needs a job far, far removed from any microphone. Maybe fixing sewers?

Disgraceful.

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#26 Disgusted
June 14 2013, 08:59PM
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Disgusting. Add my name to the list of those who have let Mr. Winters know my displeasure.

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#27 Bruce McCurdy
June 14 2013, 09:03PM
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"Hi and thanks for your email. Your input is valued, although I won't be able to get back to each and every email, I will read them. Thanks again. Ross Winters Program Director 102.1 the edge Toronto, Canada"

Oh, you're very welcome, Mr. Winters. I expect you will have lots of reading to do in the near future.

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#28 Jamie B.
June 14 2013, 09:08PM
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Gee, I'm shocked that the need to make a joke about what a s***hole Edmonton is takes precedence over a dead 20-year-old kid.

Eff this guy. What a disgusting lack of humanity.

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#29 The Beaker
June 14 2013, 09:21PM
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Congratulations all. We've just accomplished exactly what this guy wanted. Attention. Seriously this dudes got more attention for his asinine joke that whole Pelss story has got so far.

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#30 MarcusBillius
June 14 2013, 09:25PM
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The Beaker wrote:

Congratulations all. We've just accomplished exactly what this guy wanted. Attention. Seriously this dudes got more attention for his asinine joke that whole Pelss story has got so far.

Bingo.

Blundell thrives off this kind of attention. It's a schlock jock morning show, like Paul Brown but even more classless.

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#31 Darren Martin
June 14 2013, 09:30PM
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Unreal. This guy's dad jerked off in a flower bed and they raised a bloomin idiot.

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#32 RexLibris
June 14 2013, 09:32PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I just hope we aren't jaded enough to think this kind of humor is funny. A young man is likely dead -- that he's a hockey player is secondary. Does this kind of crap really draw listeners today?

There was some discussion on CBC this morning or last evening (yeah, my memory is getting that bad) about this same media/public effect: is the public getting so desensitized to poverty/abuse-of-power/crime/etc that we simply shrug and accept it as a form of entertainment in the same vein as "reality television"?

If somebody wants to crack wise about this to their friends at a bar, so be it. But when did a professional's resume expand to include this kind of thing?

Sadly, I think some program directors feel that this kind of "loose cannon" approach does attract listeners.

If one really wants to get the station's attention, find out the principle sponsors of the show and send CC Winters in an email expressing your feelings about this idiot.

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#33 MK
June 14 2013, 09:34PM
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Email sent. Felt ill after reading this. I can't picture how this guy thought this could be at all humorous. What a moron...

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#34 toprightcorner
June 14 2013, 09:35PM
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Disgusting, this guy does not deserve to speak on the airwaves. Email sent and I hope everyone sends one.

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#35 larryg
June 14 2013, 09:43PM
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What a jerk. Making light of this, like its funny. Small minded fool. Hope he's proud. Sympathy goes out to the young mans family with this unfortunate circumstance. To the douche on the radio, stay in your hole you coward, you're nobody. To the ass who's his boss, take the crap out of your ears, grow a set and deal with this idiot. Signed a human being From good old E- town.

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#36 Quintana
June 14 2013, 09:44PM
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https://twitter.com/dblundellshow here is his twitter, what a tool!!!!

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#37 Eddie Shore
June 14 2013, 09:44PM
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@MarcusBillius

Toilet humour is one thing, this is another. This went too far, and I think it is more than fair to let them know.

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#38 DigDeepNBleedBlue
June 14 2013, 09:45PM
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Didn't somebody in Toronto have a sign about how 'Toronto's stronger' during their series with beantown?

Yup, the center of the world is filled with A$$ clowns.

I'm shaking my head right now, but I'm not surprised.

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#39 Racki
June 14 2013, 09:51PM
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Deeg wrote:

Was the same joke on the Terry, Bill and Steve show in Edmonton - as per their producer? This was eventually deleted from twitter:

https://twitter.com/brandanpeterson/status/345703952190435329/photo/1

K97 did it too?? I have no idea who "Scott Banger" is.

These types seem to thrive off any attention.. positive or negative. I'll be honest and say that when I joke around with friends, I habitually go over the line to get a reaction, but you can't do that kind of stuff publicly. These guys need to grow up.

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#40 etownman
June 14 2013, 10:03PM
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I'm ashamed to think of Blundell as a Canadian, shame on him for being so disrespectful!

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#41 Rigis
June 14 2013, 10:17PM
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I'm from Latvia.

War-torn? Are you serious?

Secondly, learn some respect. A rude and disrespectful comment! Imagine how his family is feeling right now!

There's jokes, and then there's crossing the line. I'm guessing this guy wouldn't like it if someone else made a rude joke about a deceased family member.

Learn some respect.

Not sure why it bugs so much, but that was just so offensive.

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#42 george99
June 14 2013, 10:20PM
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I think we should all be upset that this young man choose an inopportune moment to show off his tacky style of so-called humor. But those of you are taking this as a personal slight to Edmonton need to relax. Have you noticed lately that Edmonton is the envy of the country. We're booming and the rest of the country doesn't like it.

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#44 daver78
June 14 2013, 10:33PM
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wow people. You all need to calm down. People are way to sensitive. If you don't like what he said, don't listen to him! Easy as that.

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#45 vetinari
June 14 2013, 10:46PM
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I'm all for free speech but there is a difference between discussing controversial ideas in a respectful manner and being a "Grade A a55h0le" for the sake of a cheap laugh. It isn't a clever shot at the city of Edmonton-- it's a comment on the value of a human life.

A man lost or took his own life. A family lost a son/brother/grandson. A team lost a teammate and a community lost a young person.

People are affected by this tragedy and no matter whether you knew this man personally or not, you or someone you know likely has been affected by similar tragedies and everyone should have some basic empathy for those affected.

Taking a shot like this doesn't demonstrate wittiness-- it demonstrates ignorance, bullying and worse of all, hatefulness.

Blundell and his station have an opportunity to quickly own this mess, address it like adults and unequivocally apologize to those directly affected by the loss of this young man or who have gone through these types of losses themselves.

And once they have done that, Blundell can hand in his "Man Card" until he can demonstrate that isn't the 13 year old schoolyard bully that he sounds like.

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#46 @Oilanderp
June 14 2013, 10:50PM
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100 people in the world die every single minute. So yeah... it's quite common. The only people who should feel offended by this is the man's family and friends. You know, the people who have actually suffered real loss, not the people who like to get on high horses and look down at others.

http://www.worldometers.info/

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#47 Matt
June 14 2013, 10:51PM
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Anyone ever heard of ratings? I totally agree that Dean Blundell is a total hack. But c'mon he gives the people what they want to hear. Shock. Howard Stern is the king of 'shock jockage.' Dean is a wannabe! Under crtc rules at least. I listen! Why. Cuz it's the most entertaining thing on radio between 6-10am.

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#48 justcause
June 14 2013, 11:03PM
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If you don't like it, don't listen. Its free speech. Why listen if it just going to offend you?

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#49 vetinari
June 14 2013, 11:12PM
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justcause wrote:

If you don't like it, don't listen. Its free speech. Why listen if it just going to offend you?

The problem with your logic is that you assume that someone knows the content of the statement before it is said to them-- "don't listen" is an excuse to justify the statement once it is delivered and generates a reaction.

The second problem is that it cannot be used to justify hateful comments. "I make hateful comments all the time but you should know that so don't listen." Doesn't work that way.

The last problem is that it is easy to make a comment like that without looking those affected by it (like the kid's family) in the eye. Try it to their face and see what happens.

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#50 7_even
June 14 2013, 11:20PM
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Dear Sir, I respect your position, having to manage programming and the personalities both up-stream (management) and downstream (talent in the booth). I also firmly believe that radio arts are a great way to hear one's opinion while cocurrantly being entertained. That all said, for your man to comment the way he did on Kristians Pelss is an egregious reflection of you and your abilities to discern a good "on-air" product. This behaviour is shameful and disrespectful not only against a missing person and the family's torment during that time, not only against the passing of that person, but truly against how that person has passed away. I'm a Christian dude, but my heart is still broken enough for me to think "what a gawddamn travesty."

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