Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Hypocrisy and Political Correctness

Followers of Giants baseball might have heard about the recent controversy stirred up by KNBR talk-show host Larry Krueger's intemperate remarks criticizing San Francisco's "brain-dead Caribbean hitters hacking at slop nightly". The remarks understandably touched off a storm with Felipe Alou, the Giants' manager of Caribbean origin, going so far as to condemn Krueger as "the messenger of Satan" and refusing to accept Krueger's apology.

Krueger originally received a one week suspension from KNBR, but now comes news that the radio station has now decided to fire him. The action was apparently precipitated by a morning program that parodied Alou's Satan remark -- two other people associated with the program were fired as well -- although Krueger himself had nothing to do with it.

I'd have no issues with the firings had they been motivated by KNBR's ethical stance, but politics appears to have played a much larger part than principle in the whole story. As early as Sunday, Ray Ratto pointed out that KNBR did not find Krueger's remarks particularly bothersome and suggested the likelihood of a power struggle breaking out between the Giants and KNBR. That seems to be exactly what has transpired.

Where does KNBR get off with its holier-than-thou attitude when it was perfectly content to defend Krueger just a week earlier? (Quote from SVP Tony Salvadore: "Larry's been a terrific employee here for eight-plus years. This is a severe financial penalty and a blow to his professionalism. If this had been a repeat offence, it would be different.") Now they want to make the public swallow the idea that the suspension was to help them "weigh[..] the gravity of his offense"?

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