Friday, 28 May 2010

Fostering intolerance and hatred


I rarely listen to Newstalk Radio, and equally rarely check their website, but recently I have been contacted by folks concerned about the hateful, demeaning, biased, and angry rants of one talk show host by the name of John Gormley.

Particularly, people have been raising his constant and relentless attack on unions as organizations, on their elected leaders, on their staff, and on their members. So, this past week, I've tuned in his show a couple of times, and I've been browsing the newstalk980.com and newstalk650.com websites.

The reports I have received are true. Mr. Gormley appears to be incapable of rational or respectful dialogue when it comes to the subject of unions. His comments are inflammatory, based on rhetoric and unsubstantiated stereotypes. It is obvious to me that he has an intense dislike of people exercising their constitutional right of freedom of association.

Mr. Gormley also does periodic segments called "60 Seconds with John Gormley". Reproduced below is a copy of the "newstalk980.com" webpage with links to one such segment:

http://www.newstalk980.com/audio/60-seconds-with-john-gormley/20100525-60-seconds-with-john-gormley-may-25th-2010

60 Seconds With John Gormley- May 25th, 2010
Play this Episode

Click Here to Download This Episode

About this Episode

We can expect unions to break the law, but the government?

Even the caption is misleading and dishonest. "We can expect unions to break the law"? What evidence does Mr. Gormley or his station have to support such a conclusion or such a broad and sweeping statement? Unions don't break laws. Mark my words, if unions did routinely break laws as implied by Mr. Gormley the jails would be full of union leaders. The courts would be bogged down with case after case of unions violating the law.

But it simply is not true. The statement is a lie.

Sure, from time to time, someone who is a member of a union, or someone who works for a union will run afoul of the law - but that doesn't make every union, or every union member a law breaker. Or justify such an outrageous and inflammatory statement.

Mr. Gormley, and the station he works for are engaged in a campaign of inciting hatred against unions, hatred against union members, and of fostering intolerance.

Perhaps the RCMP should be investigating them.

22 comments:

Not a Dipper said...

Larry, did the Teamsters violate the privacy act? Yes or No. Did the Teamsters knowingly use illegally obtained private information for gain? Yes or No. Should these illegal activities not be subject to the fullest extent of the law? Yes or No.

I know you will not publish this, because the truth hurts.

Larry Hubich said...

Dear "Not a Dipper",

If the allegations against the individuals are found to have merit then the individuals involved should be held to account and the appropriate measures should be taken.

Of course illegal activities should be subject to the fullest extent of the law. No different than if, oh let's say a restaurant owner steals $62,000 from a bunch of students. (http://larryhubich.blogspot.com/search?q=wage+theft)

You obviously missed the point of the blog posting. Which was, that it is irresponsible and inappropriate for a media operation like Newstalk Radio and their "celebrity talk show host" to smear all unions and all union members based on the allegations which flow from an isolated incident.

That is, in my view, inciting intolerance and hatred.

Thank you for contributing to this blog.

Trent said...

Larry, I was a Teamster in the midnineties and got the. Opportunity to vote in the International election...twice. The first election was ruled invalid because of tappering and I do believe a few people went to jail.
So pleased don't act so hurt and upset unless you want to go through the criminal records of your colleagues.
BTW, I voted for the Hoffa slate both times.

Not a Dipper said...

First off Larry thanks for letting my post stand.

While I agree with your premise, that you should not paint all unions with the tainted brush of a few. This same premise can be applied to the business community as well. It aways seems to be portrayed by union management that if a business is not unionized they are treating their employees unfairly. So the same should be said about business, do not paint all employers as evil and thus subject to union domination in the work place. Tit for tat so to speak.

Trent said...

A few more details for you, Larry. Have you ever typed 'union leader convicted' into google? Wow, does that produce results. I guess you're right, the jails ARE full of union leaders.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Carey_(labor_leader)#Accusations_of_financial_impropriety

Larry Hubich said...

Trent,

Google "ceo convicted". Makes your google suggestion pale in comparison.

Enron, Worldcomm, Global Crossing, Arthur Andersen, Conrad Black, Bernie Madoff, etc.

Did last year's scandal ridden global financial collapse and corporate crime wave escape your attention?

Trent said...

Larry,

First of all I'm not making any statements defending ANY Chief Executive Officers or any other corporate executive in any capacity and to the best of my knowledge I don't ever remember doing so.

Secondly, you're not actually trying to suggest that the outrageous theft by corporate executives somehow excuses the wide spread fraud and embezzlement that plagues unions? Do you? Do you somehow think that it is ethical to steal from a union member's pension fund but unethical to steal from a share holder in a corporation?

Larry Hubich said...

Trent,

You need to re-read my blog posting and my responses to comments here. I'm not defending law breaking regardless of who does it.

"If the allegations against the individuals are found to have merit then the individuals involved should be held to account and the appropriate measures should be taken.

Of course illegal activities should be subject to the fullest extent of the law."

My point is, that Gormley et al are making broad and sweeping statements that are false, inflammatory, and hate based. And attempting to paint everyone with the same brush.

You never hear him rant against the Chamber of Commerce or bloviating because Wal-Mart is constantly in court paying fines and settling lawsuits out of court for violating workers rights.

He and his employer need to be investigated by the RCMP for inciting hatred.

Trent said...

"You never hear him rant against the Chamber of Commerce or bloviating because Wal-Mart is constantly in court paying fines and settling lawsuits out of court for violating workers rights."

How would you know that Larry? You also write "I rarely listen to Newstalk Radio, and equally rarely check their website..."

I tend to believe that you really don't listen because if you did you would know that John takes shots at everyone...except Francis. He's afraid of her.

Larry Hubich said...

I don't believe he incites hatred against business and the Chamber. I never get calls from people saying, "Hey Hubich, tune in Newstalk, Gormley is ripping the Chamber a new one."

But I certainly get calls from people concerned about the regular diatribes spewing hatred against unions, their leaders, and their members. When that happens, I go to the web-site and download the show segment in MP3. I now have several.

Thank you for contributing to this blog.

Trent said...

just because someone disagrees with you doesn't mean they hate you.

Thank you, LArry, for allowing people who disagree with you to post on your blog. I think you're a stand up guy for doing so.

Larry Hubich said...

Believe me, having spent the last 3 decades working in the labour movement I can distinguish between normal healthy respectful disagreement and hatred. People are being fed a steady diet of the latter by certain right-wing talk show hosts.

I offer the following to you:

Anti-Unionism: The Last Legal Hate

honourprevails said...

Larry, why won't you appear on Gormley's show? If your convictions are truly omnipotent and just, then surely you'll be able to prove him wrong. And reveal his 'hate'. Are you not a good orator? Of perhaps it's because you disagree with him politically, and don't want to give him 'legitimacy'? But that would be silly: he already has legitimacy. Many global justice socialists appear on his show: Layton, Ignatieff, Dion, Calvert, communists, labour leaders, etc. John's show is mainstream & populist. (Although you did demonstrate that it lags behind rock stations in listenership..)

By refusing to appear on his show, YOU lose credibility, and solidify your radical fringe. Why don;t you stick up for your labourers, and stand up to mean John? BTW; if you have damning evidence that proves Gormley's "hate" (which you don't..), by all means; bring it forward to the police. Your post reeks of pure & simple ad hominem. If you can't beat your opponents: paint them as nazis.

Larry Hubich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trent said...

Larry,

I would be careful about what you write about Gormley allegedly spreading hate. While Gormley is a rather easy going fellow, he is still a lawyer and lawyers tend to be very litigious.

Making comments that Gormley is doing something illegal and that the RCMP should investigate him is really stepping over the line if you can't prove it and so far you haven't offered up anything other than your own indignation for evidence.

Remember Tommy Douglas was sued for making similar comments about Walter Tucker and Tucker won.

Keep that in mind; do you really want to be certified a liar by the courts the way Tommy Douglas was?

Larry Hubich said...

Last evening at 11:24 pm I posted an entry in response to a commenter here.

I my entry I suggested that in the past 2 years I have received invitations to respond on the John Gormley Show on only two occassions.

On reflection, that was not accurate, and I acknowledge that there were probably other instances to which I did not avail myself of the opportunity to response to requests. (Although I do not have records of those instances)

As a result, I have removed the erroneous posting and I offer an apology for any inconvenience the comment may have caused.

Trent said...

As much as I may disagree with you, Larry, I will always respect the open, honest and fair manner in which you manage your blog. You're a stand up guy and you have proven that once again.

Larry Hubich said...

Thank you Trent. I don't know who you are, and we certainly do not agree on many things, but I also acknowledge that your posts are thoughtful, and you do not resort to personal attacks.

I appreciate that, and respect you for it as well. Have a pleasant weekend.

honourprevails said...

So... I ask again: why won't you appear on his show? Better yet: why don't you call in, and demand 3 minutes of uninterrupted speech. Gormley would give you that. You could expose his untruths and especially his "hate". And further your own agenda. Just think: you could convince thousands of people to vote for the NDP!

I agree, you're a pretty stand-up guy for allowing this debate. But I'm curious as to why you allow John to paint you as a left-wing Regina whacky professor, and you just sit there and take it. Without 'standing up', so to speak. (While you probably tune in to JGL when Elizabeth May and Jack Layton display their cohones in your stead)

Larry Hubich said...

honourprevails,

I've appeared on John Gormley's show in the past. So as for 3 minutes of uninterrupted speech on his show, I don't need it.

A few years ago, I was in studio in Saskatoon with John for a full 2 hour segment, taking calls, responding to questions, debating with him.

Then a couple of months later, he and I actually went for a round of golf together. He generously paid.

So going on his show for a 3 minute spot is hardly the issue, and I'm certainly not afraid to go toe to toe with him. Never have been.

As for you implying that I'm a spokesperson for the NDP, well I'm not. My job is to represent working men and women and their rights. That keeps me busy every day of the week. Also, I've never tuned in JGL to listen to either Elizabeth May or Jack Layton - so I couldn't say one way or the other whether they are "displaying their cohones in my stead".

My 80-year-old mother had a saying, "don't stoop to their level, it only encourages them". And you know what, I've kind of tried to live by that. That's one of the reasons why I won't set foot in a business that treats their workers like crap. I don't have to. Because there's lots of other businesses out there to choose from.

In conclusion, if the RadioWest.ca ratings are a true reflection of listener preference in the province the vast majority of people aren't wasting their time tuning in JGL. In that regard, it appears spending my time doing something else is much more productive and valuable.

Thanks for participating in this blog.

honourprevails said...

Sounds good Mr. Hubich. Except you've been changing your story. First you said JGL didn't invite you. Then you backpedaled and said you *were* invited on several occasions, but decided not to appear, because: "John is low-down and can be equated with a crappy employer, and if I appear on his show, I would be sinking down to his low-down level too. And plus: most people who listen to the radio listen to rock music, and don't even listen to talk radio anyways, since only about 8% of Sask radio listeners tune into his show, so that means that not many people are listening to JGL anyways, and (therefore?? I won't put words in your mouth) his show is not "productive" or "valuable"."

JGL is the most listened-to talk radio show in the province. EVERYONE knows who he is. Name your guest: Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Calvert, Layton, every Canadian PM from past 10 years.. all "stooped". So I most respectfully call BS on your concluding excuse of low listenership as being a reason.

You mentioned you don't want to sink to his level. Fair enough. But perhaps you despise the man. I would believe this if you said it. "I won't appear on his show because I absolutely despise himn."

So who you tryin'ta kid. If you're not afraid to go 'toe-to-toe' with someone "low" like JG.... well, there's only one way to prove it: convince John to "raise" his level while he interviews you. Or while you interview HIM. You're amiable: any suggestions on how he can do this?

This is an issue for both you (whether you like it or not) and John, and as you can see I'm very curious to see a resolution. Sorry for writing a book. Flyers won tonight. You have a vested interest in electing ndp govt's. Thanks for allowing me to contribute to your blog.

Larry Hubich said...

hp,

Yer startin' ta' sound like Sarah Palin.

Spin it however you want, throw in the kitchen sink if you like.

You actually have no idea of any efforts made by me to resolve matters in the past with the most senior levels of Rawlco Radio management. Perhaps you should stick to what you know and leave the speculating to the speculators.

I'm rootin' fer Chicago. You probably think that's because it's where Barack Obama made his mark before becoming the President of the USA. In reality, it's because my daughter's boyfriend cheers for them, and I'm the master of compromise.

Well, I'm shutting it down early tonight. Big golf game tomorrow.

Have a nice weekend.