Thursday, January 30, 2014

So you want to talk politics and Jesse Jackson? Here's your place for it

Yes, two postings in a week. How about that?

This one comes from an error in judgement I made. We are in New York for the Super Bowl. Radio Row is kind of an assembly line of interviews. Athletes and entertainers are herded around by PR folks. They do roughly eight minute interviews and at the end tout whatever it is they are representing. It is a challenge to make them interesting.

(Lamont Mann, who is part of a Web site I enjoy called Houston Media Watch, has a nice piece on it here). More on them shortly.

We try to personalize the interviews as much as possible and try to keep the sense of humor we have on the show the rest of the time. Sometimes they are huge successes. Sometimes (like Evander Holyfield today) they are massive failures. You eject as quickly as possible and make jokes.

Today we got to interview the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Politically, I don't agree with everything he's done, but I respect his place in history. I rarely take photos with people unless it's someone I find transcends what we do. The guys from Sons of Anarchy. Sully Erna. People who are outside of sports. I am fortunate enough to get to meet people like that.

I posted a photo with myself, A.J. Hoffman and the Reverend to my Facebook page. I was astounded at the hate and political crap that was being spewed. I took the photo down, because I am fiercely opposed to political debates on Facebook. I find 99 percent of them to be completely partisan crap from one side or the other.

Lamont wrote that I was wrong to take it down. I might agree. My first reaction after working five hours of radio (I know, you all work harder than that, but the format makes it a grind, trust me) was f--- these people for bringing their hatred to my page. Maybe I should have left it, but I despise political rants on Facebook and want no part of it. I have no tolerance for small mindedness and some of the comments were frankly very racist.

(Funny, Lamont and I can disagree but it's not personal or petty).

Many of you invite political discourse on Twitter or Facebook. I rarely do. If so, I deserve whatever response I get. I badly misjudged how people would react. Interestingly, the Twitter response was much more intelligent. Many essentially said "I don't like the guy or his politics, but it must have been cool to meet him."

That was my thought. I even said that on the original post. I was also critical on air of an answer he gave.

My biggest beef with politics is you are either one thing or another and the other side is a complete idiot. A lot of people want to believe it's all because of the tea party, but I believe the left does it just as much. Fanatics on either end of the spectrum are the problem. We don't have true discourse to try to come to a common action that is best for the people. That's the politics I want. I give some, you give some, and the party with the mandate from the masses gets to win more. I am hard core right wing on many issues, especially economics. I also believe in our right to guns. Socially, I am pretty liberal. I am for gay marriage and gay rights. I'd like to see a more effective affordable health plan. I believe in personal freedoms. With my right to bear arms I should have the right to smoke weed and to gamble. I believe we shouldn't tell a woman what to do with her body.

I also believe we should not cut the military budget, bring our troops home and re-open more bases in the States. Let the rest of the world quit counting on us to be policemen. Protect our own shores.

And I believe Canada's governmental, multi-party structure is far superior to ours and we could learn from it. England and Australia as well.

So what does all that make me? A moderate? Liberal? Conservative? Where does that put me on the political scale? And why do I need to be labeled anyway? In reality, both sides represent things I believe in. And they both do things I hate. I'd love for us to negotiate. I'll win some and lose some, but I will accept that.

That's my political stance. So I invite your discourse here. I don't want it on Facebook. I don't want to hear about your religion on Facebook. If you want to know mine, Here it is.  (Hint: whatever you believe, it has some of it).

So here are the questions: Is Lamont right? Was I wrong to take the photo down? Should I have just ignored the ignorant comments? Am I being just as bad by essentially censoring everyone by removing the post and re-posting that I was disgusted? Am I overreacting? Am I quashing the discourse I profess to love?

Frankly, am I a hypocrite? I essentially said STFU, I don't care what you think and it's probably because I was stunned at the amount of pure hatred.

Am I a coward?

Fire away in the comments. Call me an idiot. Tell me how wrong I am. Sound off on Jesse Jackson. You can find the photo below. I am inviting you to do it. This is the place. Feel free to begin a conversation.

Just please keep it off my Facebook timeline.


Anonymous said...

I agree with nearly every aspect of your post. Love the show. Long time listener, Ken in Spring

Yvette Clarke said...

I completely disagree with your politics, but could careless at the same time. I understand why you took the picture down, and most of the idiots making those ignorant comments would have trampled a group of toddlers to take a picture with Jesse Jackson. People make dumb comments online because they cannot be held accountable. Geaux Tigers

Patrick Randel said...

Everyone just chill. Our (Houston) mayor is an openly gay respectable married woman. Our President is black. Diversity is everywhere. Everyone is entitled believe what they want. They do not label themselves, you do. When you walk around with the "We're not arguing. I'm just explaining to you why I'm right" mentality... You're the problem.

Yes, Jesse Jackson might finish every argument by calling his debating opponent a "racist" but the guy literally has a page in the history books for not just what he's done for civil rights but for how strongly he uses his voice weather it's right or wrong. I commend him for having the balls to stand up and use his voice in front of MILLIONS of people knowing that one day he could get wacked by some intolerant/ignorant individual who would only sees the world one way. Their way and only their way. I don't agree with a lot of what he has said or done over the years but he's one hell of a public speaker.

Fred was in no way making a political statement. George Washington made mistakes in his presidency. The same with Lincoln and Jefferson but they ended up on US currency. We're all entitled to our own opinions.

Unfortunately, I could ramble on about this forever but people are so set in their ways that they won't give the other side a chance. Everyone just chill.

Anonymous said...

What I don't like about Jesse Jackson is his propensity for playing the race card whenever someone disagrees with him. And to quote former Congressman JC Watts "teaching a younger generation of blacks to play the race card chilling casualness." That being said, you can't hate the man for speaking his mind or the color of his skin. Would I like to have my picture made with him? No, but Fred is in a far different world and can choose whatever photo ops he likes and I really have no right nor any invitation to spew hatred at Fred because of his choices. Are my political and social opinions closely aligned with Fred? They most certainly are, and that is refreshing to say the least. Everybody has a point of view, everybody has something to contribute, everybody has a right to their beliefs and opinions, at some point we have to learn how to agree to disagree without being disagreeable. There you go Freddy-your old poker buddy Joan

Calvin Taylor said...

Fred, I think you should have left the picture up. I am black and for the record I don't agree with Jesse Jackson on most of his political views. When you and AJ interviewed him today, I was saying to myself, "please America, understand that Jesse Jackson does not speak for all black people." Because people like to afilliate all black people with what he says. But as he spoke and BS'd around a couple of your questions, he reminded us, (after avoiding your question) of his part in history. The man worked directly with MLK Jr, during the Civil Rights Movement.

I don't know who would equal his work in the white community, but I bet you would have taken a picture with them as well and as you should. People need to get over themselves and find something to really complain about. I saw that jerks comment and Was not shocked. I didn't agree with most of George W Bush's political policies, but you can put your last dollar on this, I respected him as the President of the U.S and I would take a picture with him any day of the week. Calvin from SHRP

keith said...

Seeing how its your personal page your not wrong. if it was a public page like the blitz page then maybe.

Jennifer Badillo said...

What Keith said.

Anonymous said...

I think you guys taking a pic w/ Billy Dee Williams is pretty cool...screw whatever everybody else thinks...

Best Wishes, #2

Joe Morris said...

Jackson was standing on the balcony with MLK at the end. Since, he's been a polarizing self promoter, shake down artist that's done far more damage to race relations than any positive he's done for people of color.
I'm not religious but his actions at the rainbow coalition in regards to his illegitimate child is a discrace and referring to him as "reverend" in an attempt to show respect is an abomination.
Because of the way he's conducted himself in the public eye, he brings up emotions in people from many different backgrounds. It's less about politics than common decency. Remember he was caught on an open mic wishing he could casterate President Obama. This is not a good man, in my humble opinion.
Would you have posted a picture of yourself with David Duke or Rush Limbaugh?
I had the opportunity to meet Jackson and briefly speak with him. He's charming and charismatic but it's hard for me to get past the kind of man he's been for the last few decades.
As to the response to your facebook post, if you fly a jolly roger, people will think you're a pirate.

Chris David said...

Fred, I listen to your show nearly every day in Houston. I never contribute to the conversation, but this post made me laugh. You sound like the homer fan who's team just lost to the Raiders.

Your job is clearly based on your opinions. Although you are educated more than most, you still have an opinion like everyone else.

Re-read your article and replace the word "politics" with "opinion". It's the same thing. It is what you guys do every day. You share opinions on topics, players, and teams in sports….and some other stuff. lol.

Bottom line, don't get so butt hurt. You stick by every other opinion you have in Sports, TV, and life…why stop now.

I hope you take my challenge and re-read your article. Let me know if you need any more advice on how to do your job. lol.


Fred said...

Some good thoughts on both ends. This is what I was looking for. While I disagree with Joe that's the best explanation for the response I've seen. As for you Chris David, three thoughts: 1) The show is a forum for opinion. My Facebook page is not. Perhaps I should separate the two and have a Fred Faour radio page where you can all go nuts and a personal page where it is just my true friends and family. A lot of people in media are doing that. I frankly don't consider myself important enough for that but my family had to read racial slurs on my personal page. Clearly I need to find a better way to handle this. I still view my Facebook page as my personal page to connect with people, not a place where I care to engage in debate. I will reevaluate the whole thing. 2) It's oversimplifying to replace "politics" with "opinion." That's a broad range that can involve anything. I'm talking about a specific topic. And if I bring it up on the show, I'm inviting commentary and differing opionions, as I am here. My Facebook page is not the show. 3) "Butt hurt" and "lol?" Seriously?

Chris David said...

Well put Fred. The butt hurt was meant to be joke. You guys are extremely strong willed on the show. I like how you and AJ stand behind your opinions is all on a regular basis no matter who disagrees. Need more people like you

paul said...

Damn Fred I wish there was a name a for the Political party you discribed. The reason is i agree with 100 % on everything you said. I think you should have left the picture but deleted all the comments. I prolly would have kept it up just to shove it in the face of close minded people. Listen to you guys everyday at work from here in bmt.

Travis said...

The picture no question should have came down off of your personal page.

As for your politics i agree with everything except the KILLING BABIES and your overall view, The idiots you hate are the ones who decide the outcome. lol
Your view is like The Blitz. (idiots get a good Keyboard Cat and a dead phone line).
When really politics is more like an AM Stations show. (Idiots get to talk all day about whatever in the hell they want).

So for you to try to think people can have a competent discussion and think. HAHAHA yea right. That is what makes Politics politics.

And i know, that you know, that the majority of people are idiots
And in politics majority is all that matters.

Dana B. said...

I don't think that you should have taken the pic down. It is something that happened in your life and you have the right to document it in any way you want. As far as politics should be in the same category as religion. To each his own. In the future, you have the pic in your file so that you can show your friends/family what you have done and who you have met. I personally think that anyone who has such a strong objection to it should just shut the F*** up and leave everyone else alone.

Hairyparrot said...

Fred. We go back all the way to High School (La Marque). I believe taking the photo down was a bad move. It's just a picture of a semi (if not always believable) historical figure. We in this country forget what our forefathers believed in, freedom. Granted, some take the idea of freedom over the edge, but the basic idea is that my ideas and views, are mine, not yours. As long as I am not hurting this country, or being libelous/slanderous, then I can say what I want. Now, what I say can affect my job (status), or life in the public, but if you have a view, believe in it, then stand up for it. In some ways, this is why our Government does not work. Parties point the finger and will not try to compromise, or see the other side of things. We in the general pop. will yell, berate, or humiliate because others have a different view. I may not agree with what others say, or do, but I have to respect them and their views. Bottom line, this is why America is in the shape its in and it may not get any better. History repeats itself over and over and we are getting close to following suit (early empires, etc.). Next time, stand up for what you believe in, right, or wrong and do not bend to the masses. God Bless the Republic of Texas. Lance

kylenstevesmom said...

OH HEEEELLLLLL NOOOOOO!!!! You know I wouldn't have taken anything down Mr. Fred!!!!

BUT I know why you did it.

J Mc said...

I will call you that because your dad Fred had a lasting impression on me as a child growing up being my football and baseball coach. So I know your cut from a good cloth and generally a do the right thing kind of person. I agree with everyone that says its your personal page so taking it down is totally up to you. I also learned early in my facebook experience that political conversations via fb can go on forever and nothing good usually comes out of it. Can't get past the post that compared Jesse Jackson to David Duke and Rush. That's a prime example of why we have freedom of speech. Even someone not intelligent enough to know the difference in a civil rights activist and a clansman is able to speak their mind. Jesse has done some things in his personal life that are not becoming of someone in his capacity. But lets not forget we have men on Mount Rushmore that owned slaves and fathered children of women they enslaved. If we can still call them President and keep them on the currency that represents our great nation, I think we can still call Jesse Reverend if we choose to do so.

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