Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Victor Houston Controversy

Victor Houston was a radio host on KHRO 1150 AM that could be heard Mon-Fri from 10AM-11AM. But don't tune in to catch his show this week. He was given a five day suspension starting on Monday for controversial comments he made about police brutality and about some police officers in the Bay Area. Let me tell you a little bit about him first. Victor Houston is a sixty ear old man from San Francisco, a Vietnam Veteran and a member of the original Black Panther Party. He's not your typical El Paso radio personality. He brings a very unique perspective to the airwaves. Unique can be good in a sea of same old same old. But unique can also be bad when people are used to the same old things and are not open to something different.

Now I don't agree with most of what he says but I would never go out of my way to get him off the airwaves. I do understand that he might have crossed the line by making the comments he made but I don't think it warranted a five day suspension. A slap on the wrist, put him on a probationary period and make him give an apology to the listeners and that would have sufficed. But instead he is on a five day suspension and you have his replacement fielding calls on the issue and hanging up on those who thought Victor should have been suspended.

I was listening to his program the day he said the insensitive comments. That's all they were........insensitive. I didn't even realize what he had said. He speaks in a monotone voice so it's not like he was exiting any mobs by any stretch of the imagination. The comments didn't exactly knock anyone out of their chairs. Someone had to have been hanging on to every one of his words to have reacted that way. There are not too many people who do that during his show.

 Look at it this way, if being insensitive would get you a five day suspension most of us wouldn't hardly ever sleep in our own beds.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not justifying his actions. I just don't agree with the punishment. I think it was excessive. But thats not the worst part. Now the phone lines are are packed with people calling in defending or attacking his comments all day long. Victor wasn't exactly the worst host ever but he sure isn't the next best thing to sliced bread as his temporary replacement paints him to be.

What I don't understand is if Victor's statements were so wrong, why are they available to be heard on the station's website? If they were wrong for him to say in the first place then I think it is wrong for someone to make them available so they could be heard over and over. If you sensor Victor I believe that you have to sensor his comments as well. Why allow others to commit the same offense and not be punished?

Click here to judge for yourself. http://main.talkradio1150.com/?p=2428. His comments are made towards the end of the 12 minute audio provided on the station website. You might miss them if you don't pay close attention.

I'm going to post  a poll asking if his suspension was justified or not. But don't worry, I'll throw the word "only" in there and ask for a new poll if I don't like the results. If city council could do it and charge taxpayers for doing it, why can't I do it for free?

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