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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#101 michael
June 15 2013, 08:35AM
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Psalm 23. I forgive Mr Blundel for the man's lack of couth and class. I am certain that in the light of these comments and others he'll see what a bonehead he was.Maybe.

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#102 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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#103 Chris.
June 15 2013, 09:18AM
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I wrote the station manager and the CRTC. These comments don't reflect Canadian values in an evolving International story.

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#105 Michael Cini
June 15 2013, 11:28AM
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Count wrote:

Great job,tell that loser what needs to be said.

It was a joke that made fun of Edmonton and if you read what I said earlier (which you probably didn't because your sole purpose in life is to be a follower) I said the method used to deliver the joke i.e the death of Pelss (and I'm explaining this to you because you're clearly have trouble thinking for yourself), was crass and unprofessional.

But please continue your campaign to get the guy fired and keep sending death threats through twitter (which is really really classy by the way) because "your offended" and we'll go through every radio station and make guidelines as to what YOU like and don't like to listen to, that why you never ever have to be offended. We'll even call it Kyle radio.

If you really want to have an impact here turn to a different station. Doesn't the author say that this joke was done for ratings? How much free publicity for the show do you think you and the rest of you guys have created? I think you should just take a recording of yourself talking and then play that on your radio's to save yourselves from the heart brake of being offended. Save us your hash-tags and plots to get the guy fired and your letters to the editor (which is probably in the trash)because unfortunately in life you are bound to be offended again, it just happens. Get over it. And thank you for calling me classless, a dickhead and stupid because it just shows how you result to mud throwing when you have nothing intelligent to say. Find a job, a girlfriend (or a boyfriend) and

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#106 Michael Cini
June 15 2013, 11:30AM
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Chris. wrote:

I wrote the station manager and the CRTC. These comments don't reflect Canadian values in an evolving International story.

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

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#107 Big J
June 15 2013, 11:32AM
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Get outraged if you like. Get it out of your system. Outrage doesn't trump free speech, and for anyone who feels this guy on a talk show should suffer retribution for a careless, inane comment-well you've forgotten who we are. Whether it was the excoriation dealt to a local radio station for playing "New Orleans is Sinking" after Hurricane Katrina, or New York Ranger fans chanting "drive a Porsche" at Ron Hextall after the horrible Pelle Lindburg motor vehicle accident, idiots there are a plenty.There are people we all know whom are genetically inclined to stupidity. Do what your mom said...don't listen to it.

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#108 oldhippy
June 15 2013, 11:44AM
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peter wrote:

First of all mr Dean has no knowledge of geography. Latvia has long since not seen any war. Latvia has been part of European Union for years and NATO as well. So that just points out his stupidity in first place. Secondary jumping in this particular river is extreme but is done fairly often so just because a person jumped in it did not mean it was suicide. Water currently is about 22c so its definitely not cold either. Finlay just the fact that one can joke around with somebodies life like this is unacceptable. I hope Dean loses his job for this and gets a proper life lesson, where again he should relay start by going back to school and learning some basics.

This is just what I was thinking. Latvia is a modern, beautiful country. Not only was he offensive to the Pelss family, and to the city of Edmonton, he was offensive to Latvia. I don't think he even considered that.

These shock jocks and their regular listeners, are beyond low. I don't mean their sense of humour. I've told many politically incorrect jokes in my time. It's when you promote an ignorant stereotype about people, and their home, that I find offensive. They will continue to believe Latvia is a poor strife ridden hell hole.

The insult to Latvia is akin to the Fox news insult of the Canadian military four years ago. I'm sure it was funny to most of their audience, but it denigrated the Canadian casualties in Afghanistan, and reinforced an uniformed view of Canadian contributions in this war.

I really don't mind people making jokes about my home, as long as they stick to some semblanc of the facts.

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#109 tileguy
June 15 2013, 11:49AM
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After a google search "blundell + pelss" seems like the only commentary is from Edmonton. Is the rest of the country that insensitive? I don't see this out pouring of sympathy for others that have died (whether they were in a joke or not)so perhaps just another example of ------- journalism. You fill in the blank.

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#110 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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#111 OilClog
June 15 2013, 12:58PM
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Bryan in SK wrote:

I haven't read all the posts, so I apologize if this has already been mentioned. In the past, I've found that contacting the sponsors and advertisers is a much more effective way of addressing concerns. Money talks, and I can vote with my dollars.

A couple of sponsors of The Edge are emergen-c.ca (a Pfizer company) and DeWalt power tools. I left a couple of messages with them as well.

THIS!

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#112 Youri
June 15 2013, 02:33PM
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@oldhippy

I agree that stupid joke about the war and the words speak of the lack of education in the lead. Concerning Latvia ...... This ethnocratic state power which belongs only to the Latvians. The other minorities are considered second-class. Come to Latvia on April 16 and will see how much like Adolf Hitler.

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#113 mik
June 15 2013, 02:36PM
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Michael Cini wrote:

Hair...get some

Haha, you are a tool, that is a picture of Mark Messer.

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#114 Eddie Shore
June 15 2013, 02:54PM
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@ItsDeanBlundell: Truly sorry for untimely remarks about Kristians Pelss. Should have waited to know. Thoughts w family and friends. #lessonlearned.

https://twitter.com/itsdeanblundell/status/345995193809514496

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#115 Youri
June 15 2013, 02:57PM
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Our education is better. We know where Canada is, and that the streets of Canadian cities do not go drunk polar bears with vodka and balalaika in his hands. We now summer. We, too, are in the northern hemisphere. The water in the rivers we warm. The war ended with us in 1945. We do not have any family in which no one would have died in that war, you do not understand. The truth now our soldiers are helping Canadian soldiers to kill civilians in Afghanistan, but Afghanistan is not from us, it further south. Yes, our country is not accepted mock dead people. There is a saying or a well or in any way. I apologize for machine translation. Notre éducation est meilleure. Nous savons que le Canada est, et que les rues des villes canadiennes n'allons pas les ours polaires ivres de vodka et balalaïka dans ses mains. Nous avons maintenant été. Nous aussi, nous sommes dans l'hémisphère nord. L'eau dans les rivières nous réchauffer. La guerre s'est terminée avec nous en 1945. Nous n'avons pas de famille dans laquelle personne ne serait mort dans cette guerre, vous ne comprenez pas. La vérité maintenant, nos soldats aident les soldats canadiens de tuer des civils en Afghanistan, mais l'Afghanistan n'est pas de nous, plus au sud. Oui, notre pays n'est pas acceptée morts simulées. Il ya un dicton ou une quelconque façon ou bien en. Je m'excuse pour la traduction automatique.

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#116 Tim Edwards
June 16 2013, 06:30AM
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Relax ....

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#117 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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#118 Big J
June 16 2013, 09:30AM
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Bryan in SK wrote:

I haven't read all the posts, so I apologize if this has already been mentioned. In the past, I've found that contacting the sponsors and advertisers is a much more effective way of addressing concerns. Money talks, and I can vote with my dollars.

A couple of sponsors of The Edge are emergen-c.ca (a Pfizer company) and DeWalt power tools. I left a couple of messages with them as well.

Testify...whatever you did worked. Dewalt stock plummeted 90%. Mike Duke, president and ceo of Walmart, was overheard saying the company would take great care to never offend you lest you take your shopping dollars elsewhere.

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#119 Rob...
June 16 2013, 10:22AM
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@Big J

If you can't come up with better examples than those two then you just failed big-time. I'd instead compare it to the nurse who hung herself after her mistake involving those Aussie radio personalities. And I didn't hear one joke about her after the news broke.

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#120 @Oilanderp
June 16 2013, 12:32PM
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Hmmm. I'm the lowest of the low. Thanks for your input. Perhaps you will call my boss and try to get me fired now? I deserve it since my opinion is incorrect. I am subhuman. Thanks. You win I guess? *shrug*

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#121 Big J
June 16 2013, 12:46PM
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@Rob...

That's about as compelling evidence as may be found-you say so, so it has to be true. lol I think you'd be better suited on a website like Club Penguin.

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#122 Rob...
June 16 2013, 02:12PM
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@Big J

You're a troll, and may be better suited to commenting on youtube posts.

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#123 Dangilitis
June 16 2013, 10:06PM
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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.

You want to live in a country where anyone can say anything they please? Like preaching ignorant hatred towards minorities (which ultimately lead to the Holocaust, the genocide in Rwanda and countless others). Or using the death of a 20 year old to sell radio time?

Why did I use examples that differed markedly in their consequences? Because if you "respect the right of others to day things that offend others," then you clearly have not read the constitution of this nation. Your rights to freedom extend to the point at which they impinge on the rights of others. Like when you impinge on the rights of a 20 year old to rest in peace without being the punch line of an ignorant joke. Or for his parents to mourn his loss and honour his life.

Do you respect the right of others to say things that offend others? So, would you mind, for example, if I told you that evolutionary pressures have unfortunately been eliminated in much of modern society, to the point that morons like you are allowed to survive to age of reproduction and thus pass on your hereditary predisposition to intellectual deficiency to the next generation? Hypothetically speaking, of course...

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#124 @Oilanderp
June 17 2013, 12:07AM
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Blaaaaaah blahblahblahblahblahblah blaaaaah blahblahblahblah

*click*

See? I can turn it off. I like having that choice.

That's not good enough for most of you is it. You want to make my choice FOR me. You know best. Your standards are the correct ones.

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#125 Scott
June 17 2013, 12:34AM
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Had this been a Toronto player and an Edmonton radio station said this You guys wouldn't care. Distasteful? Possibly. Change the station, you're an adult

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#126 @Oilanderp
June 18 2013, 02:17AM
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I am BIG! I can change station see mom? BIG!

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#127 Kurt Stallings
June 19 2013, 12:34PM
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Well, to be fair, Blundell seems to have brows lower than Mongo's in *Blazing Saddles.* It's like picking on a helpless beast to call him on it.

I mean, look: I wouldn't describe Belgium as "war torn," but it's been roughly the same amount of time since war visited Estonia as it has Belgium. In the end, he pulls in like -- well, gee, can't really say "like MINDED" can we? Um -- listeners who are similarly disinterested in the real world around them. There are a lot of them, just review the results of any recent election.

So that brings in the coin, and the coin is what makes the choo-choo go.

It's all about where the choo-choo go. And at the level "where," he drops out like a man who couldn't point to Europe on a map if they threw him extra Scoobie snacks to do it.

Like Mongo, "[Blundell] only pawn in game in life."

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