Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Jay Severin's Bold Gamble

Most people who listen to talk Radio in Boston at least know who Jay Severin is. Last week he got into some hotwater as an Islamic Group called for his firing because he allegedly said, "I have an idea, lets kill all the Muslims," during a broadcast. The Boston Globe published an article about it, saying that somebody had contacted Severin's employer.

I was listening to the radio when Severin said the comments last week. I read the Boston Globe article, but really I couldn't remember Severin's exact words, although I remembered the tirade was very edgy and uncomfortable.

I tuned in Monday because the Boston Globe stated something about Severin offering an apology. Severin took to the airwaves on Monday and rather than offer an apology, he ranted about the Globe misquoting him and not doing any due diligence and that he was possibly going to sue the Globe. However, Severin, would not read any transcript of what he said, nor would he play the tape of his diatribe.

I went online when I went home and looked at the Globe article again. The article frames all of the quotes as "alleged," and it seems as if somebody did contact his boss at the radio station. What was frustrating me about Jay's Monday broadcast is that he just kept hammering home that he did not say what they attributed to him, but he did not clarify what he actually said.

Well, the Globe published a follow up article today and they provided a transcript. Jay's actual comment, following a caller who was trying to explain that a lot of Muslims in this country seem to love freedom, was, "I have an alternative viewpoint. It's slightly different than yours. You think we should befriend them; I think we should kill them."

In the Globe article Severin is trying to spin and parse this six ways to Sunday, but, in the end, Severin was talking about Muslims in this country in his runup to that statement.

The arrogance he displayed by hiding behind the fact that he didn't say, "I have an idea, let's kill all the Muslims," is truly amazing.

My theory is that Jay is actually banking on some twisted belief that his "best and brightest," (a term he uses for his audience.) don't read a newspaper. He is lying straight to his listening audience hoping that:

A. The transcript won't surface.
B. It won't make anymore news than the Globe.
C. His audience are so racist, xenophobic, and facist that they just won't care.

Anybody who listens to Jay at all knows that he is all about strategy. And I believe that he is taking a risk of just outright lying to his audience in hopes that this will blow over.

An Islamic caller called in yesterday and said that he had heard the call last week as well. He asked Jay to clarify what Jay had said. Severin crushed him off of the air. But before he was off, the Islamic man said, to the best of my recollection, "Jay, this is going to be your demise, not telling the truth, here."

I can't wait to tune in today. My prediction is that Jay will not say anything at all, keeping his fingers crossed that the storm has passed.

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