So: one of my WYSL employees advised me last week that there was a complaint letter about me, alleging I said something obnoxious on the air on WYSL, appearing in the Genesee Valley Penny Saver. I retrieved the GVPS from its usual place of repose – the recycling bin – and read a typical anonymous kvetch in the “I Gotta (sic) Vent” feature, this one claiming the writer heard me say on WYSL’s Tom Hamilton Show that “all French, Italians and Greek are lazy.”
This situation represents several things simultaneously. First of all, drive-by unsubstantiated complaints of this nature reassure us that the Penny Saver’s impeccable journalistic practices will keep hundreds of thousands of copies headed for landfills regularly, unread, for the foreseeable future. Second, this situation is a demonstration that in many if not most cases, horror “can you believe he said THAT??” tales of alleged inappropriate comments by radio talk hosts…are apocryphal at best and malicious at worst. Third, in many if not most cases, the complainant has some kind of personal agenda. (In this case, first ask yourself: “If I heard something offensive on the radio, would I….call the station to complain? Or would I file an anonymous complaint letter with a free-circulation advertising magazine?? Maybe one which sees itself as a competitor of the radio station?”) Then – if necessary – Google “Occam’s Razor.”
Of course, a quick consultation of the podcast of the Tom Hamilton Show in question reveals the truth. The deplored on-air discussion concerned economic stagnation in Europe with resulting rampant unemployment – not laziness.
The Penny Saver would be better off sticking with ads for yard sales, used furniture and hair salons – oh yes, and their fiberglass horse – and leave the op-ed duties to journalists.