Thursday, September 22, 2005

Again with the Rabbi...

Response to Paul W.'s response to the CSO

1. If you run a company where your employees can start planning and publicizing a charity event on your time, please, send me a job application. Where I work, we have this funny rule about doing charity work on your own time.

2. To a radio station, airtime IS money and he certainly doesn't mention offering to pay for that out of his pocket. He makes it clear that instead of talking about what he was being paid to talk about, he was publicizing his event. My company has printing equipment. If I run off 1000 posters for my charity event on their equipment while I'm being paid to do other things, aren't I pretty much doing what this guy was doing?

3. Does the Rabbi at all mention doing anything to satisfy legal liability? Or was the radio station just supposed to cross their fingers and hope that nothing happened and they didn't get sued during an event that they were sponsoring against their will yet had no control over? (e.g. If the station had asked the rabbi to run FBI background checks on all the refugees and all the adoptive families, do you really think he would have listened? Sure sounds like he would have just done what he pleased and just written a column about how they were trying to stifle his good intentions. But if some refugee family was taken in by some squirrelly guy and their teenage daughter got raped, for example, the lawsuit would be against the station.)

4. If you think the station manager could have turned this into positive publicity and I do too, why didn't the rabbi just run it by his bosses? Do you think there might be a reason? It's weeks later and there are still refugees who need homes. Even if getting permission HAD delayed things a few days, he would still be doing a lot of good. And with the station's support, he probably could have done an even bigger event. I think there's a reason he did this behind his bosses' backs.

5. Let's look at one way he could have written this peice:

"Boy, the corporate assholes at my old job sure sucked. They had some rule about getting permission from your boss before starting a big project. They canned me for doing charity work on their time. All they care about is money!"

Yet he chose to make this about Mormonism and Mormons hating black people.

Do you think it's possible that there is more to this than we're hearing?

It sounds to me like this guy doesn't just have a problem with authority. He seems to have a problem with Mormons. That might be why he didn't trust them enough to run this by them, but that also makes this situation of his own making.

I really doubt this is the only problem this guy has ever had with Mormons since he got so hateful so quickly, and I really doubt he wanted his bosses' permission because that would have taken control of the event away from him.



Psyton said...

I'm going to take the "private parts" interpretation of this and say he was justifiably outing his bosses as a bunch of special-underwear sheathed dicks.

First of all, I don't think it was "the stations" event. It was his event, and he was billing himself as the organizer. Now, since he also happens to run a show that is based on "his interesting views" which his bosses obviously valued as a cash-cow and publicity generator, he shared his interesting thought on the air. His thought: that it would be a great idea to go to this event and for local Utah-ians to call and express support.

I think the liability issue is BS... If some crazy seedy guy invites you into his house, you say "no thanks" in a polite manner. There was no feeling that some of the families just _had_ to meet up, it was all about oppurtunities. If organizers were held liable for not screening wacky shit..., bars, clubs, and restaraunts would have gone way out of business by now.

I also think the "using radio resources for his private event" conclusion is also BS. People listen to the show. While he was hyping his event, he was also pausing to let the sponsors chime in with why you should buy their crap... and all the listeners were going "well that's neat, I'm gonna tell my friend about his show". Then the sponsors get more oppurtunity to hype their crap.

For whatever reasons... the station owners decided to play the bureaucracy card, and fire him. I agree with Paul W. that they lost a great opportunity, and deserve to be judged as a bunch of asshats. I hope that offer for The Learning Channel still stands.

Chalicechick said...

You know, Petey, while I don't agree (the liability is thing IS an issue so much so that many shelters are requiring background checks and the FBI is giving them for free and I do think that if their DJs are giving the event a bunch of free airtime the charge that the radio station sponsored the event would have enough validity to be at the very least expensive to fight in court), I have a lot more sympathy for the argument when it is presented your way.

Just as this guy chose not to run the event by his bosses, he also chose not to present it that way, though. He chose to present it as a "Mormons hate black people" thing.

And, I'm sorry, there's something up with that. There is more to this story than we're hearing.


indrax said...

From the article:
Just a few days before, Arquette had sent a new contract to my agent saying that he considered me one of the station’s most vital assets. Two weeks earlier, after I had attempted to stop doing my program on KUTR because of a new TV show that I was to host for The Learning Channel, Arquette refused to allow me to do so, saying that I was one of the most interesting voices he had ever heard on the air.

Sounds like he wanted out and or was leaving anyway. Once you're ready to quit, you're untouchable. He's perobably been saying and doing whatever he wanted for the past two weeks, either because they couldn't affect him, or because he wanted to gt fired. This was just the point at which they realized he was a loose cannon.

The fact that he decided to burn them on the way out means he's either spiteful and ok with religous prejudice, or deluded about his own behavior and religously prejudiced himself.

Moral: Never hire him.

Psyton said...

"Sounds like he wanted out and or was leaving anyway. Once you're ready to quit, you're untouchable. He's perobably been saying and doing whatever he wanted for the past two weeks, either because they couldn't affect him, or because he wanted to gt fired. This was just the point at which they realized he was a loose cannon."

I don't agree. I think he was planning on just doing something neat, and he was just presenting the remark you quoted as a contrast to the way they treated him when they obviously decided he was bad for business.

If they wanted him to stay so badly two weeks ago, they certainly flipped their opinion in a hurry.

New Moral: Never believe anything that employer tells ya.

Paul Wilczynski said...

I hereby appoint Psyton as my spokesperson and analyst. :)

TheCSO said...

This is a comment I just posted on the previous blog post about this. I'm reposting it here since it's still relevant, and this is where the discussion is now.

Also, I agree that the tone of the article is very odd. He seems to be making a big deal out of his bosses' religion without providing a reason it's relevant.

Try reading through that article, and replacing "Mormon" with "Jew" or "black". It's downright inflammatory that way.

Also, I wrote the original reply below before thinking through the liability issues. Those probably were the main concern, now that I think about it. While the station may not have actually been involved with the event, they DID have legal exposure because it was promoted on the air by a station employee. While it's possible that the station would eventually win if sued, there's enough implied approval there to make for some substantial legal fees.

I'm using this Jewish Week article as another perspective - the article has directly attributed quotes.


It sure sounded to me like he had committed station resources to the event, and definitely that he was implying that this was an official, station-sponsored event.

I agree that the station manager acted without considering the PR consequences. Apparently, this was the last straw for a rather controversial host - this is not the first friction he's had with his station. Their version of events is that he was fired for being too far off format - they do not consider their format a confrontational one.

What appropriate action do you think this station could have taken to separate themselves from a host who had strayed off format, and seriously violated station rules in doing so? Looking at the whole situation, he was going to be canned at some point, for something.

I find it very hard to have sympathy for someone who acts incredulous that he would need permission to set up an event. From the station's perspective, I would have to wonder what someone with that attitude would cost me next. Sure, this time it's something that probably would have been approved if he had asked first. Still, what about next time? What if his next unauthorized event was something the FCC could fine the station for?

Psyton said...


I still don't think he was saying "and the Bonneville association supports me whole heartedly"... It seems like something he was planning to do anyways and was just using his show to talk about it and how cool he thought it was.

It's like a DJ saying their going to *******-Con on morning talk radio because, well, the listeners have an interest in what the DJ's do for a life...

Rabbi Shmuley is outraged. I can't say I like the accusations he is making in his anger, but I can see why he is upset, and where he is drawing his conclusions.

Luckily, the event was a big success.

indrax said...

He states himself that he wanted out of his contract two weeks ago, and they wouldn't let him go.
I would assume they filipped their opinions because of things that he did in those two weeks.

Do you thinlk that they station refused to release him from his contract and offered him a new one as part of a secret plot to fire him in a bad PR move?

Which is more reasonable: His implication tat the mormons don't want blacks and utah, and fired him for bringing them; or that he got himself fired froma job he admits he did't want?

I think it's likely he did violate station policy, and it's their perogative to fire him for it. The simple thing for him to do is say "Oops, I made a mistake, rules are rules. oh well, let's keep focused on helping the refugees. oh, and don't forget to watch my new TV show"
Instead, he paints mormons as racist. I find it disturbing that he has to do this to defend his ego, or image, rather than just accepting that he got fired. (even if his bosses are jerks through and through, and fired him on the first technicality, why convolute their personalities into a racial/religious motivation?

I lost a job becasue I had a boss who was a stickler for timliness. Was it personal? no. political? no.

I don't see any motivation the station had to do this other than what they said.