Listener Calls Paul Out For Remark On The Air [AUDIO]
Lots of people here what I say, so, if I just rattle off irresponsible comments, I'm going to hear about it. Last week, a listener thought that I spoke when I should have just kept my mouth shut.
Here is the entirety of the blurb upon which he commented. I did not edit it in any way, except to clip it out of the rest of the newscast that originally aired.
When I arrived at work on Monday, this email was waiting for me.
I would like to first say that I think you do a great job & I really enjoy listening in the mornings. I would also like to say that I don't own guns, shoot guns or have any vested interest in guns whatsoever. That said, I think your comment that gathering of the gun right group this weekend was 'insensitive' was out of line.
Whether you or I think it's insenitive is totally a moot point. They have a first amendment right to peacefully assemble. We can make our own personal judgements, but if people want to voice those I feel that's more for 600am not 102.5fm.
Also, remeber that the gatherers this weekend are mostly 'protesting' the fact that the theater was a gun free zone & their belief is if some of the audiance would have been able to be amed someone may have been able to pick the gunman off & today we'd have less mourning families. I don't know it they're right or wrong, but I do know if they're peaceful, their views have a right to be heard.
Thank you for your time,
Here is how I replied.
Thanks so much for listening to us, and for writing me.
I appreciate your point, and I appreciate your tone even more.
Whenever I say things like that (against my best TRI 102.5 judgment, sometimes) I know that I am taking chances. I think that when you said that it was 'more for 600am', you were close to right on.
The beauty and the beast of this business is its instantaneousness. Susan brings a story, a thought pops into my head...do I say it? This time, I did.
Upon reflection, I will stand behind my statement with no apology. I can and do apologize, and most definitely have in the past when I felt I screwed up on the air. In this case, here is how I see it.
Yes, they were exercising their First Amendment right, and that right is up there with the most important things humans have ever come up with. We can say what we want, when we want, where we want, how we want to whom we want. Just because we can, doesn't mean that in all situations, we should.
I would never say that any law or rule should be passed that would ever stop anyone from assembling peacefully. What I said stated nothing about the validity of that right. Just because they have the right doesn't make every situation they do it appropriate. I believe that time and place was inappropriate. I think it was insensitive, and I think it was a bonehead move.
Now, as you said in your email, that is a personal judgment, and this time I decided to share it on the air.
Thank you so much for letting me know how you feel. It makes a difference, and as I walk away from sending this email, I will continue to consider your comments, and whether or not I should have said that. Though today I stand firmly behind my sentiments, I am open to learn and open to change if things come to light or if I realize something that changes my thinking.
That's just how it is with my profession. I make split second decisions of what to say or what not to say, then live with it. I have been learning from people who listen since I started on the air, and I appreciate learning from you.
Let me know if you have any more thoughts. If you ever want to talk, the studio line is 1800 964 1025, or just email me.