Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The LuLac Edition #2843, February 24th, 2015

Kristi Capel. (Photo: LuLac archives).
Well I’m sure you’ve all heard the news about former WBRE TV weatherperson Kristi Capel making a rather questionable remark on Fox TV in Cleveland. In an exchange that was supposed to be complimentary to Lady Ga Ga and her performance at The Oscars, Capel referred to some of her music with a racial slur.
A few observations here. I think that this is a case of not having the type of institutional knowledge that one must have to be in the Media. This term has been around for years. At some point Capel must have heard it but it did not register as a slur. When I was growing up, I’d hear all type of crazy things coming out of my father’s co workers mouth’s concerning baseball players. It was usually complimentary regarding their athletic skills followed by a term that is not acceptable in society today. That began to change in the 60s.
The musical “Hair” featured a song in which the slur Kapel used was featured. Albeit it was sung by a man of color but was there nonetheless. I’m not sure that might have been covered in a Communications class because we are still afraid to talk about race in this country. But if you had any sense of history or culture, you’d know the term was questionable.
That said, in the heat of a TV moment, things happen. The list is very long of people who made comments they should not have. Al Campanis of the Dodgers, Howard Cosell, etc. Stuff happens on live TV. When I first started in broadcasting in the mid 1970s I did a few shows on WVIA TV. Live. The last one I did was in 1979.
As many of you know in the last 9 years I have done thing live with WYOU TV, WYLN TV and WBRE. When I first went on WYOU, I was terrified because it was live. It didn’t help that I heard a camera guy say, “Make it good, there are only 29 counties watching this!” My experience and talents pale in comparison to many established people. But there is always an element of danger in live TV. Plus it doesn’t have to be a term, it could be a story. Look no further than Brian Williams. You are expected to think quick and cogently. Sometimes in the recesses of your mind something will come out. That’s what happened here.
Not to totally defend Kapel here but Lady Ga Ga has been all over the place musically the last few years. Recently (and I give credit to her association with Tony Bennett) she has taken a different bent. Not blaming the performer here but just pointing that out.
The incident spurred a debate about how the media used the word. WILK seems to have come under fire for using the term as a point of reference. There are those who say they were using it to increase ratings. C’mon. People don’t stare at the radio and listen anymore like The Waltons. They are moving and can’t catch any reference. They are doing their job to inform.
On institutional knowledge I believe that people in the media have the responsibility to become more historically rounded. I say that from the perspective of a person who lived through eras that I learned about out of curiosity. But I also say that from the viewpoint of a person who is blessed to work with a group of talented twenty somethings in my current position. It is because of them that I know more about what pop culture is in this generation. Sometimes I make the effort, other times I get it by osmosis. But it does come. But this generation of which Kapel is a part of is at least on the surface color blend.
Finally this has to go down as a generational faux pas. Kapel I believe had no idea that it was a slur. The board operator at WILK had no idea it was a slur either as he readily admitted that this morning. That is good and bad. Bad in the sense that perhaps a slur should have been on their radar to prevent a mistake. But in a way it is good that this new generation born after the Civil Rights struggles of the 60s has not been exposed to the ugliness that permeated the time of my childhood.
Three is a wonderful song in the movie and play “South Pacific”. It is called “You’ve Got To Be Taught To Hate”. I don’t think Kapel’s comment was taught. It just happened. Let’s move on.

Candidate Tom Wolf at a campaign stop with then State Representative Phyllis Mundy and your blog editor. (Photo: LuLac archives).
Tom Wolf had some comments directed at him today for his declaration that Pennsylvania has an inferiority complex. Many people weighed in on this as if this was the first time he ever uttered those words.
During the last campaign I attended a dozen Tom Wolf events. At every stop he said that Pennsylvania has to do some chest thumping and be proud of our location and our resources. He’s right. We do need to get out there and promote our strengths. Do we honestly believe people are any smarter or talented in Texas, Massachusetts, (please) or the South?
Look at this area. All the stuff we have here, Steamtown, the renovation of the old train station into what is now The Radisson , The Stadium, The Arena, Triple A Baseball The Kirby, the common denominator was that we were told by the naysayers they would never work.
What was easier everywhere else in America was a struggle here. There’s a reason for that. We think we suck. We think we don’t deserve this stuff. Not all but a negative segment of people that drag us down. Wolf should not have been criticized for his remarks, he should have been thanked. Again.


At 7:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just goes to show, you can still be gorgeous and stupid all at the same time.

At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"it is good that this new generation born after the Civil Rights struggles of the 60s has not been exposed to the ugliness that permeated the time of my childhood."

Well put. Nobody wants to recognize how far we have come. Sometimes things just "hic-cup". We live in a time when people can pervert a word like "niggardly" just because they are cocked and loaded for any perceived slight.

Then there is the current generation who actively self-segregate only to blame others for the results.

Love the transforming of America Yonk. Can't wait until net-neutrality takes hold and journalists - like radio stations - will require a license.

At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If he did indeed use the phrase and declared that Pennsylvania has an inferiority complex then he is a first class "doofus".

The governor needs a PR class. You never point out a negative like that and now we see why.

A better approach would have been "Pennsylvania has been too humble for too long. We need to change that starting today."

Rookie mistake from a thoughtless politico.

At 7:25 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

Just goes to show, you can still be gorgeous and stupid all at the same time.
Are you calling me stupid? What the hell did I do?

At 7:27 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

A better approach would have been "Pennsylvania has been too humble for too long. We need to change that starting today."
Rookie mistake from a thoughtless politico.

At 1:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kristi's remark wasn't questionable. It was stupid. There is no question. Did the WYOU camera operator say "29 counties watching" or "29 people watching?" Wolf's a multi millionaire. His disdain for the little people occasionally rears its ugly head.

At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:21 - You fool. Net neutrality is WHAT YOU HAVE NOW. It has nothing to do with what youre suggesting. I am a computer programmer and have been talking about net neutrality since 2003. Don't take an issue that I've been fighting for and bastardize it because you know absolutely nothing about it.

At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure how Mr. Computer Programmer knows what's going on since NO ONE HAS SEEN the regulations.

Guess he still falls for the "gotta pass it to know what's in it" scam.

Maybe he can be more specific IF he actually knows something.

Me? I'm happy with what I have but of course I'm just a regular consumer who tires to keep up on this stuff.

BTW: the people that brought us Net-Neutrality really complicated, increased my premium, reduced my coverage and totally f'ed up my health insurance. Once bitten...

Can't help but thing 11:21 feels the same.

At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ 10:54

Say what you will. You're guessing. The only info we have been "privileged" enough to get allows us to deduce that the ObamaNet will now be considered a utility and governed as such. Do you think we have a right to internet access?

Probably too young to remember Ma Bell and PP&L who displayed no creativity at all. Then the telecommunications and power utilities were "de-monopolized" and BANG we were presented with an amazing array of choices and models. I lived through it and prefer MY money AND choices to regulate the industry. You are enjoying the results.

Cellphone does not look and feel like a brick.

The backbone of the internet, as you know, is our telecommunications systems. The industry has flourished due to our mavericks and pioneers who invested and invented. Not perfect but look what we got! Your job for instance.

Stop believing what you read on the tech blogs. Populated with ignorance and hubris spouted by kids who have no historical background on anything beyond 15 years at best. (It's like "You Really Got Me" is the best song VanHalen ever wrote". Our editor will get that.) Common denominator is a hatred of the telecoms for no other reason than "they're ripping us off".

Best I can figure is your blind trust in the fed gov, brought on by a poor and limited education - nothing personal, it is what it is - will cost you flexibility, access and speed. Hopefully it won't take too long to figure out - the same folks that are spying on you have just taken over your internet. #Snowden

What's next? Music is too expensive and the companies suck? Let the FCC handle control of that too? Think about it. Right now artists are able to self-distribute their work - freely and on their own terms.

At 7:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the computer programmer referring to the consumer side of the internet? You know, the same one that BUSINESSES use, and UNIVERSITIES use, and RESEARCH facilities use, and LABORATORIES use. Get it?

I'll wait and see how the porn industry responds. That's the litmus test.


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