I have been doing the show now for coming on five years, dating back to when Bryan Hyde was the host of The Perspectives Show. In point of fact, it’s a real privilege to do the show, and you might not know it from listening but Kate and I are really good friends.
In fact, we agree on a lot more than it seems on the show.
But do understand that neither Kate the host nor myself the guest espouse views contrary to those we hold in the namesake of ratings. We both say exactly what we mean. Being a person who leans a little left of center on most issues, and seeing that this is quite possibly the reddest county in the Union, I take a pretty good beating from the callers on the show.
But even with the callers, I recognize voices and have even befriended a few people taking the banter of the show to private threads or conversations over coffee.
Anyhow, last Wednesday I was taking a woodshed beating on climate change. Pressed to apply Occam’s Razor where the opposing views espoused on the one hand that it was a reality that we must deal with globally and on the other hand it is simply a hoax to allow the government the power to take away our guns and “give you the gay.”
From my vantage point, I witness quite a bit of what would be considered in most areas of the country a pretty broad range of sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, racism, and an adamant adherence to what I like call Zionistic Dominionism.
I rarely let it get the better of me, and while I am confrontational by nature, I always try to maintain a professional bearing. Last week got out of hand, and for my part in it, I would be remiss not to say I took it to heart that I needed to take a step back, realign, and come back with that professional bearing. It’s a tough business opining on political issues, and thick skin and some requisite humility coupled with bold assertiveness is a necessary combination. No place for the meek.
After the show, I got a Facebook message from a listener who told me in essence that she did not know who I was paying off to be on the show but that I was the worst thing to happen since the plague and that the likes of me was not wanted in this town.
I thought about giving this nice lady a lesson in “I buy ink by the barrel” and publish her note, because it was hilarious. But self-control got the better of me, and I did what I always do: I wrote back and tried to find some common ground with her. If you are reading, ma’am, the door is open on my side.
A while back, I read an article in a pop culture magazine that gave a “to do” list for would-be media producers like myself. One phrase that stood out to me was “See you out there.”
It was an irony of sorts, because I had been saying it for as long a I could remember. It’s my way of saying that at the end of the day I have more in common with people than some of the befuddled arguments convey and that perhaps if we met under different circumstances we’d be friends.
I like to say I never meet a stranger. Occasionally I meet a person I don’t like, but I never meet a stranger. Despite the iconoclastic, confrontational, and contrarian part I play in my day job, I really do hold this community in high regard and see the very best of it more than perhaps I say.
Just wanted you to know.
See you out there.