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December 28, 2010

“Don’t Ask? Do Tell”

Adam Avery

This column is in response to Kevin Moore’s Letter to the Editor dated December 26, 2010 in The Frederick News Post deriding The Blaine Young Show on WFMD, one that I co-hosted.


I am honored to be on Blaine’s short list as a guest host of his wildly successful and long-running afternoon drive-time talk show, heard Monday through Friday 3-6 P.M. His show is a different format than Frederick’s Forum, which I co-host with Pattee Brown (Saturdays from 9-11 A.M.) and the now defunct, Seniors Talk Radio.


Unlike Frederick’s Forum and Seniors Talk Radio which typically involve in-studio guest interviews and/or a host produced, pre-planned agenda, The Blaine Young Show’s format is purposely designed to engage local listeners to call in and comment about whatever topic interests them.


It is a listener-driven show, edited only by necessary commercial and news breaks.


It wouldn’t be fair of me to allow Blaine to take the heat for his contribution in the final hour of a recent three-hour show. It was my responsibility to allure an audience prior to Blaine’s arrival. I take full responsibility for the tone, which was set well in advance of Blaine’s arrival and participation.


The repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" is a contentious circumstance to say the least. It pits the ideologies of the progressive left against those of the religious right and arouses admonition from many in between. It prompts proponents to postmark opponents as “zealots and/or bigots.” It allows antagonists an opportunity to allege another instance of social engineering and political correctness.


Hosting a successful radio show necessitates the ability to tiptoe a fine line between entertainment and informative discourse. Baiting callers with sarcasm and dead-panned outlandishness is par for the course, yet a skill set few are able to employ.


Admittedly, I stooped to juvenile levels when framing the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” repeal debate. I made comments like, “you can tell the difference between gay and straight soldiers by how well decorated their tents are,” that the stereotypical gay man “wears combat boots and cut off jean shorts while prancing around parades, tethered by dog collars and leashes held by their masters” and recommended that only straight, testosterone-laden men should be on the front lines of combat and that “women and gay men should be in the back cooking and cleaning.”


Did I cross the fine line? Probably.


Loyal followers of The Blaine Young Show and my audience of Seniors Talk Radio and Frederick’s Forum are usually able to sift my sarcastic and general pot-stirring humor from my sincere observation and political exposition. The infrequent listener, who tunes in and out of any one of my – or Blaine’s – broadcasts, will undoubtedly conclude that we are village idiots. It comes with the territory.


The avid assemblage will conclude something altogether different – I hope – that Blaine and I appreciate the views and opinions of all, especially those with whom we may disagree, and that we both have a deep understanding of the implications of local and national legislative initiatives.


As I stated early-on in the show, I am thankful for and in awe of those who put themselves in the line of fire. I don’t care about their race, religion, gender, sexual preference, political proclivity or age. They put their lives at risk and their families make sacrifices which “allow idiots like me the freedom to have fun on the radio.”


I added that the beliefs and desires of those in the infantry, those who put themselves in the direct line of fire, should have their voices heard loudly and their opinions should be given exponentially greater weight when debating issues which affect them – much more so than some bureaucrat on Capitol Hill, who is more concerned with pushing a social agenda or quelling the uprising of a voting block or special interest group.


Mr. Moore’s Letter to the Editor – though well intended – falls short of a successful argument to label those opposed to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as hateful, ignorant and bigoted. In his own words, Mr. Moore calls Blaine’s audience “ignorant” and “moronic.” I suppose as an attempt to rationalize his rant, Mr. Moore inexplicably offers that he is the proud parent of a gay child, begging the question: “Why not just be a proud parent?” He immaturely and hypocritically concludes with “Conservatives sicken me.”


Well, Mr. Moore, how is that any different than a caller announcing that “homosexuals sicken me?”


I would argue that Blaine’s audience is passionate, well informed, diverse, engaged, patriotic and outspoken. They are generally not politically correct. And for that, I am thankful. I tire of the liberal mindset which cries for diversity of opinion, so long as it jibes with their opinion.


Mr. Moore, it is because of your sacrifice, your love of our country and your willingness to protect the rights of our citizens that others may disagree with your ideology and voice those differences on local radio as protected under our freedom of speech rights.


Your derisive labeling of their convictions reveals your intolerance, hatred, immaturity and bigotry – not theirs.


That being said, you are certainly entitled to voice your opinion, and thanks to men like you, I am entitled to disagree. Thank you for your service and thank you for listening.


Yellow Cab
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