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

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#2 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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#3 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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#4 Walter Sobchak
June 15 2013, 01:25AM
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Jamie B. wrote:

You complete dickhead. Yeah, sorry to get personal but your comment is as personal an insult to me. This is an Oilers fan website, people here love this team no doubt more than is reasonably sane. We follow these kids from the day they're drafted, not to mention that he played in Edmonton so we got to watch him in person, watch a young man come over here barely speaking any English, watch him work hard and grow.

Yeah, I never met Kristians in person, but that just makes it worse, because if I feel this bad about what happened to him, I can only imagine a fraction of what his family and friends are feeling right now. If Blundell had any of that empathy he would never have made a comment like that. It sickens me that close friends and teammates of Pelss like Travis Ewanyk had to hear some jackass ignore common human decency because he just wanted to make a joke. Don't tell me what I should feel about this. I didn't just decide to be outraged at someone for the hell if it, my life's not that f***ing sad.

"Never argue with an idiot; he will bring you down to his level and win from experience.”

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#5 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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#6 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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#8 Rob...
June 15 2013, 12:00AM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

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/

Standards... get some.

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#9 Roadhouse
June 14 2013, 07:14PM
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Sad...unreal...no words really to discribe this...

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#10 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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#11 Rocket
June 14 2013, 07:29PM
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Total lack of class & respect.

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#12 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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#13 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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#14 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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#15 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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#16 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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#17 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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#18 Raider Jesse
June 14 2013, 08:22PM
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Thanks Robin.

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#19 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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#20 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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#21 Michael Cini
June 14 2013, 11:28PM
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not that you folk don't have the right to be upset, but how pretentious are you people? If you don't like something than change it. Don't take to a public lynching because "I'm" offended. Was it crass and untimely? Sure but all you people who never had a clue for this poor kid was before today are equally repugnant in that your empathy and "numbness" is so insincere it's sickening.

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#22 Kyle
June 15 2013, 12:29AM
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Michael Cini wrote:

No buddy thinks it's funny that the kids dead you a55clown. You completely missed the joke. What was funny was the shot at the CITY OF EDMONTON he took, while I admit, in a not very professional and well thought out method. But there's a big difference between making fun of Edmonton and making fun of a kid dying. give your head a shake

Your right bud, he just insinuated that the kid committed suicide, so he didn't have to return to Edmonton, no harm done there right? I guess thats not an insult to Pelss or his worried family. People like you defend people like Blundell, because your equally as classless as you are stupid. My apologies to the thread for being so blunt I just don't want @mlcselli to "completely miss the joke"

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#23 Jamie B.
June 15 2013, 12:55AM
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Michael Cini wrote:

not that you folk don't have the right to be upset, but how pretentious are you people? If you don't like something than change it. Don't take to a public lynching because "I'm" offended. Was it crass and untimely? Sure but all you people who never had a clue for this poor kid was before today are equally repugnant in that your empathy and "numbness" is so insincere it's sickening.

You complete dickhead. Yeah, sorry to get personal but your comment is as personal an insult to me. This is an Oilers fan website, people here love this team no doubt more than is reasonably sane. We follow these kids from the day they're drafted, not to mention that he played in Edmonton so we got to watch him in person, watch a young man come over here barely speaking any English, watch him work hard and grow.

Yeah, I never met Kristians in person, but that just makes it worse, because if I feel this bad about what happened to him, I can only imagine a fraction of what his family and friends are feeling right now. If Blundell had any of that empathy he would never have made a comment like that. It sickens me that close friends and teammates of Pelss like Travis Ewanyk had to hear some jackass ignore common human decency because he just wanted to make a joke. Don't tell me what I should feel about this. I didn't just decide to be outraged at someone for the hell if it, my life's not that f***ing sad.

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#24 Big J
June 16 2013, 09:16AM
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The level of hypocrisy here is astounding. Everyone has laughed at or joked about Michael Jackson, or the Hitler rant parodies, for example. So I guess its fine for some people to say whatever they like, but not others. Do you really think a manager for a Toronto based radio station is concerned about the backlash from Oiler fans? From a radio station, a talk show, and a host that most people hadn't even heard of?

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#25 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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#26 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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#27 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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#28 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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#29 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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#30 Eddie Shore
June 14 2013, 11:50PM
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I'm kind of shocked that people would just dismiss this as free speech or a cheap attempt at humour. Would you feel the same why if it was your brother, cousin, son, friend? If not, why is it ok to feel differently because you didn't personally know him? At the end of the day, somebody HAS lost their son, cousin, friend. Keep that in mind.

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#31 Kyle
June 15 2013, 12:49AM
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Mumbai Max wrote:

Well, this topic has certainly hit a nerve, hasn't it?

I think it is important to recognize the difference between free speech, and saying things that the community has deemed offensive. This case may or may not be a good example of this, but the reality is that most civilized countries (including Canada) have drawn a line in the sand between those two things. We have as a civilized country agreed amongst ourselves (through the legal system), that there are certain things that can be said publically and certain things that cannot. Yes, we have free speech, but it cannot inspire hatred, be racist, etc. etc. As I say, this radio host example may not be a good example, but for those espousing 'free speech', we do not have truly free speech. We have an agreement that we will only say things publically that 'we' have agreed on are acceptable.

The reaction to this radio host seems to indicate that there is a rather radical difference between what different people consider to be appropriate. There is nothing wrong with that of course.

The point of this rambling missive is that it is important to realize that there IS a line over which people cannot step. You cannot say anything you want on the radio, even if we do live in a free country. The disagreement over what is on each side of the line is important. What worries me is that some posters seem to be on the side of not having a line in the sand, and having unfettered freedom of speech. That worries me.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and please spend a moment of silence this weekend for the family of the young man who could not cope with the world as it is.

Well stated Mumbai, the problem is society has misconstrued the freedom of speech to "freedom to say whatever I want, no matter how offensive" which isn't true and illegal... Right Michael Cini? Education... Get some, after you have been utterly destroyed in a forum you think you would stop pressing your self proclaimed right to offend people, but clearly your mental capacity isn't up to par with the rest of us, so I'll write it in a way you might understand: Stop now, your wrong!! You are making yourself look worse for the public to see.

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#32 Spydyr
June 15 2013, 08:14AM
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Rest in peace Kristians Pelss.My thoughts are with his friends and family.

As time goes by this World gets colder and colder.Everyone is in it for themselves.It is the age of entitlement.

Hope mankind can change but I doubt it.

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”

― Jimi Hendrix

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#33 Gaz
June 15 2013, 08:36AM
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@Kyle

What does "give your head a shake" even mean?

Honestly.

If someone can explain it to me, I will try to stop being irritated when someone says it, but until then, please confine your comments to the Edmonton Sun website (I still honestly believe that rag is an intentional spoof of a real newspaper) where you can tell people to "give their head a shake".

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#34 Chris.
June 15 2013, 12:16PM
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Michael Cini wrote:

And censorship of the radio because your offended, sending death threats to a guy who said something you didn't like and someone losing their job is? Get real

I'm not sure what you're trying to say to me regarding my comment.

Broadcasters have responsibilities under Canadian law and must adhere to a code of ethics. I am free as a Canadian citizen to write the CRTC when I feel a line has been crossed.

I never sent a death threat to anyone. Michael Cini: it is time for you to "get real".

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#35 Rob...
June 15 2013, 03:27PM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

My standards are the same as they were last week. Yours? How amusing it is that you feel you can now insult me with your newfound sense of indignation and outrage. I want to live in a country where anyone can say anything they damn well please. Personal tastes or standards have nothing to do with it. I respect the right of others to say things that offend others. I vehemently defend another's right to act like a donkey's behind, even yours.

In my opinion you don't have anything resembling what I consider standards.

Also, get off your high horse. You stated: "The only people who should feel offended by this is the man's family and friends." You claim to respect the rights of others while also obviously thinking that it is your right to dictate what others are offended by.

I personally am offended both by those who choose to attack or ridicule people when they're most vulnerable and by those who tell me what I should or should not think or feel.

My original statement stands, and you've further shown yourself as being one of the lowest of the low.

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#36 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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#37 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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#38 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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#39 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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#40 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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#41 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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#42 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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#43 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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#44 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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#45 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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#46 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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#47 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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#48 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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#49 @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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#50 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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