The St. Louis Post-Dispatch loves its crusades, particularly its crusades for simplistic issues and individual concerns. This morning it reported a shocking case of PREJUDICE against a man with a disablility. A man with a stutter alleges that a nationally-syndicated radio show refused to play his request because he stutters. The Post-Dispatch, with its characteristic fervor, describes the travails of this guy who cannot get his bit on the air because of his disability.
The crusading story describes how the man tells them the producer or call screener slurred his stuttering nature and uses that allegation as its reason d’outrage. Of course, the article also mentions that the protagonist of the “story” has repeatedly called the program and has made on-air dedications before. Further, this dedication is another one for the man’s ex-wife and the man himself is a repeat criminal offender. In the Post-Dispatch’s eyes, he is the Little Man to cast against the Big Media Empire.
Now, I wasn’t there, and unless the gummint powers-that-record release the tapes of the conversation, we’ll never know whether the screener told the guy to buzz off because of his speech, or because he was a weepy repeat caller who wanted to send his estranged ex-wife a different song every hour. However, based on the information in the story, I cannot judge in favor of the alleged stutterer. As a matter of fact, I would have to trust someone who has a reputation and an audience to protect.
As a result of this micro-crusade, though, the local radio station that carried the national show has stopped carrying the show based on this outrage. Well, no, they were going to drop it next month (i.e., in seven days) anyway, but they’ll pay a DJ for a week to cover the extra week of dead air. Message: They care about their individual listeners.
Everyone wins! The stutterer gets his revenge, although I suspect the revenge he wanted remains to be decided by a civil court. The paper wins because its crusade on behalf of the little guy has gotten results. The radio station wins because it sacrifices little to Support the Wronged Little Man.
Of course, producers of the radio station and skeptical readers everywhere are saying “WTS (What the Schnuck)?” and wondering if something in the water stripped from the Missouri River and lightly chlorinated makes St. Louisians this whacky.
The secret’s in the psychadelic Iowan sewage. Who needs shrooms?