When did we become so concerned about making sure everything we say was not offensive to anyone? The media needs to take a deep breath and stop being so concerned about how what someone on the air says may potentially be offensive to some group or person.
Today we tend to overlookwhat people say in its proper context. We also ignore the intent of one’s words. Take Billy Packer, for instance. Much is being made today about a comment he made on the PBS’s Charlie Rose Show. Billy Kimmel brought it up on his show the other night. For some reason Packer’s comment that Rose “fagged out” on him for not showing up to help him out is getting way too much play in the media.
I need to get an explanation as to how what Packer said is offensive to anyone? It clearly was a light hearted comment between himself and Rose and Rose himself laughed about it. In this instance the only person who had any right to be offended was Rose…and he wasn’t. End of story. To make a story out of it is just foddder for those who:
- Hate Billy Packer (and there ate plenty of those people out there) or
- Just want to create a stir for the sake of making a stir. These people need to get a life.
The problem I see is that it appears the media has a blanket set of unwritten rules on what can and cannot be said on the air, beyond the seven dirty words made famous by George Carlin.
Packer is not alone. Boston Celtics radio color analyst Cedric Maxwell was called to task on his comments during a game when he questioned a call by referee Violet Palmer by saying she should “get back in the kitchen”. It was evident when you hear the comments that there was no intent to offend Palmer or women in general. Maxwell was making a joke (albeit not a funny one). The outrage that ensued led to Maxwell issuing an apology the next time he took to the air.
Hateful speech should not be tolerated. What Packer and Maxwell said was not hateful or derogatory in any way. We need to be smart enough to make distinctions. Remember, those who report or announce the action are describing a GAME…just a game. Let’s all lighten up a bit.