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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Yesterday, Toronto radio station CFNY (102.1 FM), on their morning show (The Dean Blundell Show) allowed a U.S. extremist (Shirley Phleps - Wikipedia link) form the "Westboro Baptist Church", a few minutes of airtime in exchange for her group to not protest the funeral of the 9-year-old girl killed in the shooting rampage last weekend in Arizona, because according the group, God sent the gunman as punishment for America's tolerence of homosexuals. As far as can be ascertained, the gunman acted on his own accord, was not affiliated with the Westboro Baptist Church, and left no indication that God had emailed instructions. :rolleyes:

Today, the Toronto Star is accusing the Dean Blundell Show on CNFY, of poor journalistic standards:
http://www.thestar.com/news/article/921700--toronto-radio-station-gives-extremists-airtime?bn=1

Well, I was tuned in when the nutjob was on the air, and I don't understand what the fuss is about. For anyone that has never heard the Dean Blundell Show, I'll just state that the show is anything but a news show. It is an alternative music and shock radio show at best. Anyone that expects a level of journalistic standard on the air at all times, everywhere, is not being realitistic.

The Toronto Star journalist and Carleton University professor, Allan Thompson, compared it to the CBC reading the FLQ manifesto during the October Crisis of 1970. I disagree. They gave her an opportunity to show herself as an idiot, in exchange for letting the girl's family mourn in peace, which is the closest thing that the show has ever done that resembled humanity…. and then IMHO, they mocked her, and her cause, justifiably.

Podcast of Shirley Phleps on-air is here.
 

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I'd call it extortion. Group won't do something if they get something valuable in return (i.e. air time.) On principle I am against it because it sets a bad precedent that will only encourage more whack jobs to demand "air time" or else the will be "forced" into some heinous act.
 

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Not sure if saying that the Star accused CFNY of poor journalistic standards is accurate. The reporter interviewed four people, one (Thompson) opposed to giving Phelps airtime and three supporting it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'd call it extortion. Group won't do something if they get something valuable in return (i.e. air time.)
I could be wrong, but I believe the radio station made the offer to her, in which case I'm not sure it could be considered extortion. In principle I agree with you.

Not sure if saying that the Star accused CFNY of poor journalistic standards is accurate.
I wrote that because Thompson is also a Star journalist, and since the Star is in competition with other non-Torstar media outlets, I felt that using the term "accused" held merit. I suppose it depends on how the author interviewed Thompson: as a journalist, or as a professor of journalism. I took it as the former.
 

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Associated Press is saying that the church agreed to drop the protest after members were offered a radio interview on The Mike Gallagher Radio Show.

I think CFNY was just trying to bump ratings. They didn't need these whack jobs on to stop the protest.
 

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from the American Baptist Press


Gallagher, a radio host and conservative political commentator with an audience of about 10 million listeners, said it was a "no-brainer" for him to allow members of the controversial church clan to air their views on his program instead of bothering families grieving in Arizona.

Gallagher said he did the same thing in 2006, after the church announced plans to protest the funerals of five Amish girls murdered in Lancaster County, Pa., and following the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007.

"Make no mistake about it," Gallagher said in a video explaining the decision. "The only reason I am doing this, the only reason I am giving the Westboro Baptist Church -- which by the way I believe is neither Baptist nor a church; it's largely the Phelps family, the extended grandkids and all of that -- the reason I'm doing this is singular. I have only one goal, and that is to keep the Phelpses from protesting and picketing outside these six funerals, including that of the little 9-year-old girl who was slain last week. I'm not particularly interested in what they have to say, but I'm willing to give them this platform."

Gallagher said he knows the decision "doesn't sit well with a lot of people" but it didn't come "lightly or casually."
 

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I agree, it's not journalism, it's sensationalism.
 

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Let them protest. See how quickly everyone turns on them.

Didn't this group want to come to Canada few years back to protest a funeral here? They decided not to come when Canadians expressed their outrage.
 

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^^^^
I believe there was one incident in Canada they decided against attending. However, this family is an excellent example of the hatred that can be caused in the name of religion. Since religion is nothing but delusion, it's believers can make it say whatever they want it to say. So, as a result, you have this family using it to justify their own prejudices. You have the Islamic militants who think it's a good idea to murder those who don't support them, you have Christian groups in Africa who kidnap "child soldiers". You have the situation in Northern Ireland that's gone on for four centuries, the hatreds in the Middle East, the Inquisition and much, much more, simply because someone claims "God" told them to do it. I see no difference between giving this family air time and giving the same to Al Qaeda. The only difference between them is the degree of their violence against others.
 

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Agreed, that show contains no journalism. It's mostly stunted adolescent attempts at high school level humour(the humour part is debatable), much of it misogynistic.

And a Mark Knopfler song gets censored because of an inappropriate word. sheesh....
 

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Maybe it's just my Northern Ontario roots showing but..

If a "church" group like this every tried to pull something like this at a funeral in the Sault or Sudbury or Timmins or North Bay..they'd have a lot less teeth in their heads than they started out with. Guaran-freaking-teed.

BTW, I am planning to kill and endangered species tomorrow. Anyone want to give me air time so I can air my grievances and thus spare the spotted wombat/s life?

Anyone? ...
 

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They were planning to come protest The Laramie Project, a play which was being put on by Uxbridge high school students. I live here, and there was a lot of concern around that they would come on. At that time, Blundell put her on the radio in exchange for them staying out of Canada. I'm sure there's an undertone of sensationalism here, but who cares?

The bottom line is, we get to listen to a crazy broad rant her hate on the radio and get a chuckle out of it. Anyone who believes what she has to say is a whackjob themselves. I think the ends justify the means.
 
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