April 20, 2007 @ 09:13
Yesterday I received several e-mails and several responses on the site asking me what I would have done about the Cho tapes.
Would I have aired them? Here's my answer.
When push came to shove, against my better judgment I probably would have aired them.
As much as we all like to think we're above such things, and that we're not compelled by the ramblings of a cold blooded mass murderer, I think most of us are.
I make this decision based on how I reacted on Wednesday afternoon when I first heard that NBC had acquired Cho's promotional package. I made sure I was in front of my TV at 6:30.
And I guess it comes down to a censorship thing. Who am I to decide what other people can see or hear? This material was no illegal, so why not throw it out there for the viewers or listeners to do with it what they want.
Having said that, back in 1980 when I first became sports director of CFNY I was put in a situation that was the same, but different. It was of a much lesser magnitude.
Canada had just decided to follow the United States boycott of the Moscow Olympics and our athletes were told that despite all their training, all their blood, sweat and commitment, they would be staying home.
I made a decision as sports director not to report any results from Moscow. I thought if our athletes can't go, and most of the free world is staying away, the least I can do is not antagonize them by reporting results.
I figured if our athletes made that sacrifice then the rest of us should follow and ignore the games.
Needless to say, not everyone agreed. There was a large and intimidating woman who worked in the CFNY news room at the time and she thought I was out of my mind.
So after I ignored the Olympics in my sportscasts during the morning run, she came on the air at ten o'clock and made a point of giving the results on the ass end of her newscasts.
It pissed me off but the news director didn't have the balls to do anything about it and I wasn't about to lock horns with Fran because she would have kicked the shit out of me.
The point being, you make a call and you stick with it. That's the quandary that everyone found themselves in yesterday with the Cho material.