Friday, January 21, 2005

Star puts Insignificant Attention-Seeker in his Place

Jerry Agar is a local radio talk-show host who is trying his level best to build an audience. I've also listened to his show, and he lacks the fundamental ability to think on more than a binary level. In a nutshell, he tends to dream up some crazy thing to say on a given topic, and then callers can either agree by rephrasing the talking point, or disagree, in which case he abuses them. He's an ill-mannered, high-energy yapping dog begging for attention. His show is utter stupidity, of course, but that is a sin shared by much radio entertainment. The real sin of his show is that it is boring.

It's bad enough that he is resorting to having "Dynomite" Jimmie Walker on to break the boredom.

Normally, he is somebody simply to be ignored, but his desperate attempts to get more than 6 listeners is making him kind of funny. Yesterday's Kansas City Star published the following letter:
This challenge to The Star aired on my radio show. Please back your support of schoolbooks by printing some of the controversial material without hiding behind symbols or devices such as (expletive deleted). Stand up for principle! Combat “growing censorship” (1/13 editorial, “Keep these books within pupils' reach”).

I know you are competent to put the passages in context. Don't worry about language in a family paper; they will just hear it somewhere else anyway.

I would lose my job if I read the passages on the air, because children are listening, but since you believe the material to be suitable for children in context, have at it. I may have erred when I said your position was a hypocritical double standard. I am sure you will prove me wrong.

I would also like to know why 500 parents are “self-appointed censors” not to be listened to, while one atheist can shut down a Christmas display at school.

Jerry Agar
This lame attempt at self-promotion brings on mixed emotions - should we be disturbed by his fundamental lack of understanding of how a newspaper's role differs from the role of a high school? Should we be amused by the fact that his radio show is so wildly insignificant a voice that even he knows he needs to repeat his challenge somewhere with an actual audience? Should we question his assertion that children (or anyone else) are listening to his show?

The Kansas City Star, for once, nails the proper response. They printed his silly "challenge", and then totally ignored it. Brilliant!


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