Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Making it personal

Did you ever notice how quickly conservatives attack personally when they can't defend themselves substantively?

Jessica McBride -- long may she blog, so we can stay in business -- went on the attack immediately after losing her job on Friday. Her first post on Saturday, back on her old blog:
Thus, it's important that corporate management defend its hosts, particularly when partisan liberal blogs (including a juvenile/abusive anonymous one and one run by the man who was the other finalist for my job at UWM) are driving the outrage in concert with the liberal media.
Presumably, Whallah! is the "juvenile/abusive" one. Need we say that being called juvenile and abusive by Jessica McBride is like being called smelly by a skunk? No, we needn't. (And how can we forget her strong defense of Dennis York's right to anonymity?

We are more concerned by the sliming of Jim Rowen, a polite, thoughtful, policy-oriented wonk blogger who writes primarily about environmental issues but occasionally comments on right-wing talk radio outrages.

Rowen was the first to comment on McBride's tasteless segment that mixed chicken squawks with a question about the killing of 4-year-old Jasmine Owens.

By blogging standards, it was pretty mild:
Tacky Talk Radio: McBride Mocks The Death Of A Child

WTMJ-AM 620 rightwing talker and blogger Jessica McBride stages a fake interview with one of her frequent targets - - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel local columnist Eugene Kane - - and supplies chicken squawking sound effects as Kane's answers, since he didn't accept the interview invitation.

No surprise there, as McBride says the idea behind the kind of interview she wanted to do with Kane is to hammer a liberal on the air, so what, from the 'guest's' point of view, would be the point?

... it seems as if you going to hear another juvenile but relatively harmless political radio rip...except that McBride uses those comedic sound effects for 'Kane's' answer to a question about the recent, horrific Jasmine Owens murder.

Jasmine is the little girl killed by a bullet to the head in a Milwaukee drive-by shooting.

So is the murder of a child, and an earlier murder McBride sets up in a similar way, fair game for entertainment radio programming?

Are listeners entertained?

Would Jasmine's mother enjoy hearing her child's name bandied around on a radio program?

Would Jasmine's mother enjoy hearing the host yuk it up with the producer who collaborated on the scheme hos clever was this bit on the state's largest AM radio station?
That was it. No call for McBride's head. No demand that she be fired. It wasn't until later, after WTMJ management had removed the offending post and audio from their website, that Rowen even suggested an apology was in order.

McBride, lashing out in all directions, says Rowen went after her because she was hired, instead of him, for a UWM journalism lecturer position several years ago. Rowen has moved on to other interests, and seems a lot happier and at peace with what he's doing than McBride does with her life. He's probably thankful he didn't get the job.

John McAdams, a Marquette faculty member who should know better, writes about Rowen like it's an expose. How did he find out Rowen had competed for the UWM job? He asked him. Rowen said yes, that was true -- which is why he has never commented about McBride's performance at UWM.

Pretty big expose, huh?

So pleased with it was McAdams than he began to post comments on lefty blogger sites, saying "you liberal bloggers have allowed yourselves to get caught up in carrying the water for a fellow with some rather personal issues with McBride," and linking to his post.

Excuse us, but who's carrying the water here? He's taken an unfounded attack by McBride -- who left Rowen's name out but no doubt hoped to be asked who she was talking about -- and spread it far and wide. Real Debate Wisconsin chimed in, too. And Badger Blogger is peddling the complete untruth that Rowen wants McBride fired from UWM.

None of them offers any substantive defense for the terrible mistake she made on the air Tuesday night in an effort to score points in her grudge match against Eugene Kane, who calls her out regularly. Just spreading McBride's personal venom. (Michael Mathias points out how ludicrous attack on Rowen is.)

WTMJ management, meanwhile, says McBride was on her way out the door anyway, and the station just moved up her departure date.

Whallah! prefers to think -- although it defies all logic -- that Rowen got her fired.

Rowen has moved on to other topics. Time for us to do likewise.

The last word: Rowen also was critical of Michael McGee's on-air comments about the Sykes family, and praised WNOV for taking him off the air. We're still waiting for the evidence that Rowen had applied to host McGee's show.

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