Yesterday, Tom Bauerle‘s Facebook status asked, and I paraphrase, “are all liberals psychotic asshats, or is it just me”. I commented, “wow”. Little did I know it would be today’s show topic. I called in. I said, “Tom, do you really think that people who disagree with you politically are ‘psychotic asshats’”? He replied, “Yes, especially you.”
That was it. He hung up on me.
Now, I wasn’t aware that Bauerle was such a mental coward that he would not engage in a debate over his theorem: that all liberals are “psychotic asshats”. I thought the purpose of raising a point of view, or selecting a topic for a radio call-in show was, you know, to solicit calls from people to discuss the topic. Yet, I did not hear any other dissenting calls make it through this morning. It was all, “attaboy Tom”, calls, which make for uncompelling, intellectually dumb and dishonest radio.
After being hung up on, Bauerle attacked me personally on-air as being “insane” and the “worst” “psychotic asshat”, and that this was evident from all the “drivel” I write on this site all day.
So I called back to defend myself. After all, if you’re going to say that “Alan” is an insane, psychotic asshat, you should have the balls to let me defend myself. When the screener picked up, I said, “Really? He’s going to hang up on me and then attack me..”
*Click*. The call screener hung up on me too.
Now, we were cruising on Awesome Street.
So I continued to listen, unable to participate in an off-the-deep-end, one-sided diatribe by Buffalo’s top-rated radio host.
At around 9:52, Bauerle suggested that a new civil war was in order, advocated for secession, and suggested that liberals want to put people like him and Jim Ostrowski in concentration camps.
Around 11:14, Bauerle advocated for an armed, military coup of the United States government, and wondered whether the military would “side with the people” to, I suppose, wipe out the anti-American liberals.
I’m not kidding about any of this.
During the course of the show, I expressed myself on media that cannot hang up on me – places like Twitter and Facebook. I referred to Bauerle as a coward for hanging up on me rather than attempting to defend the pitiful point of view he was spouting.
At 11:02, after I started listing the advertisers who were paying Entercom to permit Bauerle to accuse liberal democrats of being “insane” “psychotic asshats”, he sent me a message via Facebook:
Re: Leave me alone. Message: you are nuts.
Well, perhaps I’m nuts, but I don’t go around using public airwaves to malign political opponents as “insane”, “psychotic asshats”. I replied:
I think hanging up on me was a pussy move. Your screener hanging up on me when you engaged in ad hominem attacks on me was a cowardly move. If you can’t debate your own point, that’s pathetic for a call-in show host.
He then defriended me on Facebook, and said on the air that he would be doing the same with any liberals who were his friends on Facebook.
When I saw this, I wrote:
Hahaha! Coward can’t defend his own position!
He said on the air that he found it funny that people got all huffy when he defriended them on Facebook. But I wasn’t huffy. I was laughing at him.
His final response, which he echoed on the air:
“Coward? I can kick your ass lib”
He repeated that one on the air, too, and people started buzzing me to tell me. I consider that particular message to be a badge of honor.
When I attempted to respond, I could not. The coward had gone one step further and blocked me on FB. How typical of silly, insecure people – get the last word and block my reply. Reasonable people don’t behave that way; toddlers do.
Yet, consider the cowardice here – Mr. Bauerle is not a prizefighter, he ostensibly operates in the arena of opinion, ideas, and speech. Yet, he is mentally unable or unwilling to debate and defend his points of view when confronted with opposing arguments but is quick to resort to gradeschool fisticuffs. Nothing I said threatened violence on Mr. Bauerle, nor could it have been construed in that way. Yet that’s where his mind went.
(As an aside – I recognize that I have, in the past, banned a few commenters from my site. But it was not because they disagreed with me, but because they engaged habitually in off-topic attacks on me and others. Disagreement I will always allow. Viciousness I won’t.)
I guess I should be ultra-vigilant, given that the biggest talk show host in Buffalo just called me an insane psychotic asshat, talked on the air about armed insurrection, and then took the conversation into the realm of violence. Classy? Obviously not. But more ominously, for all I know, some unhinged, well-armed lunatic heard Bauerle today and decided he’d go all Washington Holocaust Museum on that “Alan” who was being mean to Tom. Or on any liberal in general.
I don’t know whether today was all just some insecure little act by someone who didn’t get enough hugs from mommy, or if he’s even really serious about all this junk. I don’t think it matters, though.
What we heard today on WBEN was a shift in programming. It’s not enough now to just be a lite version of a Rush Limbaugh clone. You have to now go full wingnut and parrot the paranoid talking points of a Glenn Beck to be considered credible among the Freepocracy. If ACORN, George Soros, and Birther crap don’t get a mention on any given day, you’ve abdicated your duties as a wingnut talk show host in 2009.
Hey, radio’s a business. I know how it is. If Bauerle doesn’t go full wingnut, someone else probably will. Maybe this is just schtick to maintain the ratings. Maybe he’s really completely lost control of himself. One is unconscionable. The other is scary.
Then consider how the tables have been turned in just under 10 years. Back when the Republicans were in the majority and Bush was President, it was considered downright treasonous to suggest that invading Iraq wasn’t a swell idea. After all, they had WMDs and were buds with al Qaeda. Right? So, any Democrat who dissented on that point was labeled anti-American. But when the utter mismanagement of the Bush Administration leads to the democratic election of Barack Obama, and a majority Dem house, and a majority Dem Senate, all of a sudden it’s perfectly reasonable and acceptable for right-wing yappers to advocate for violence, armed insurrection, civil war, and to demonize the opposition with poorly chosen psychobabble.
No, I don’t think Tom Bauerle or Jim Ostrowski should go to a concentration camp, because I’m not a Nazi. (Bauerle, however, today defended his frequent and ironic violation of Godwin’s Law by saying, well the Nazis didn’t kill Jews right away. Thereby ignoring the fact that Mein Kampf was released in 1925. You know, Hitler’s book basically detailing his “kill all Jews” strategy? That one.) Nor do I lend much credence to any of the other strawman arguments Bauerle haphazardly erected today.
But I do think that some inquiries to Bauerle’s advertisers are called for. Do Vastola Heating & Air and Toyota think that all liberals are “insane”, “psychotic asshats”? Do Apnea Care, Tylenol, and Niagara Fallsview Casino Hotel agree that maybe 50% of their potential customers are “insane”, “psychotic asshats”?
Here’s the list of local Bauerle sponsors, as taken from his own site:
- Adam’s Nurseries 876-2121 /683-4885
- Apnea Care / 923-2727
- Buffalo Dental Group / 634-1234
- Indoor Air Professionals / 712-2300
- John Lock Heating & Air Conditioning / 694-8400
- Krolick’s Chicken BBQ / 496-5600
- Markarian Rugs / 873-8667
- Rosiek’s Vacuum / 837-0442
- Sheridan Surgical / 836-8780
- Sleep Medicine Centers / 92-DREAM
- Tandoori’s / 632-1112
- Upstate NY Transplant Services / 853-6667
- William C. Rott & Sons / 694-8220
See, the interesting this is that I have myriad home improvement jobs that I need done this summer. I need a garage door panel replaced. I need a duct cleaning. I need some general construction repairs, painting, and a checkup of our furnace and A/C. I’ll be sure to use vendors who do not financially enable cowardly talk-show “hosts” to refer to about 1/2 the population insane psychopaths. Perhaps you’ll do the same. Perhaps you’ll inquire of the aforementioned advertisers whether they condone the speech that they’re financially underwriting; whether they agree that about half of their potential customer base are “insane”, “psychotic asshats”. If they do, then they should be denied asshat business.
And be sure to ask WBEN Program Director Tim Wenger all about Entercom’s thoughts on insanity, psychosis, and asshattery. (And also Entercom’s HQ at 610-660-5610). If anything else, I wonder how great a business decision it is to have one-sided talk shows that hang up on people who disagree.
If you do contact any of the above individuals or advertisers, please be concise, factual, and polite.
And Tom, because I know you and everyone else at WBEN with a computer will be reading this: keep your hands to yourself, and have the balls to defend your point of view.