Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Medal of Honor

It's rare when you find courage on any level in our narcissistic society. This is doubly true when your search is confined only to the media. It is nothing short of amazing when you find not just one but two instances of it in the same place at the same time.

I've been listening to Dallas KLIF 570 radio talk-show hosts, Jeff Bolton and John David Wells, for some time now, and they both have shown themselves to consistently apply in practice what they espouse philosophically. Plus, their respect for their listeners, their patience, fairness and kindness bespeaks a refreshing absence of the malice common in today's politically charged atmosphere.

So far, so good.

But I can't recall when their integrity and commitment to truth has ever been tested as it has in the Medina/Beck debacle of last week and all that has ensued in its wake.

Their commitment to truth in this instance takes courage because that commitment involves both aggressively opposing not only a powerful incumbent in Governor Perry, but Mr. Beck, who is not just nationally popular, but someone who occupies the prime time morning slot on KLIF. Any success by Wells and Bolton will most likely result in diminished ratings for Mr. Beck and possible loss of advertising $$ for KLIF.

In spite of these potential consequences, Dallas' local dynamic duo has persisted in getting at the truth, and once finding it, clinging to and propagating it. They have been true to Beck's avowed principles where he himself has utterly failed and shown himself to be hypocritical. They have questioned and questioned with boldness, and what they have found to be true they have broadcast with energy and passion.

Mr. Beck should take a lesson from them as follows:
1. Be honest and act as consistently with your values as they have, lest you lose all credibility.
2. When you screw up admit it, ask for pardon and move on.

So far, Mr. Beck, you've crashed and burned on both these items and put yourself in the Hall of Broadcasting shame. These local guys, who daily compete against big nationally syndicated names on other local stations, have shown a courage, honor and commitment where you have failed. You've disappointed an enormous amount of people in Texas, Mr. Beck, not just because of how you've treated Debra Medina, but how you've so self-servingly responded to reasonable and understandable outrage. You are doing damage to your integrity and credibility that you will not be able to repair.

It is my hope that Messrs. Bolton and Wells receive the highest of encomiums from listeners, not only in Texas, but nationally as well. They most certainly get my Broadcasting Medal of Honor.
the Armadillo

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