Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Styble Has NOT Suffered a Coronary !

Though I bet I very nearly did a few minutes ago.

But not because of my vigorous exercise regimen of a daily two- or three-mile jog pretty much seven days per week. (No, my cardio condition seems pretty decent for a 54-year-old heartbroken-by-career-evaporation guy. Or so my physicians report, I hope reliably.)

Rather, I nearly ended up on a Harborview Hospital cardiac gurney today after I was shocked by a new posting on the BlatherWatch newstalk radio blog. RadioactiveSeattle readers know that that particular competing site is not merely hugely left-leaning, but downright despised The Bryan Styble Program on KIRO 2005-2008 pretty much as much as Holocaust survivors hate Himmler.

Which is fine, by the way, since the blog serves a critical function, after all. (For the record, even though the proprietor of BlatherWatch may very well wish me a fate similar to another of his targets—my murdered KIRO colleague, Mike Webb—I always volunteer that Mr. BlatherWatch is a witty and trenchant if repeatedly vulgar newstalk critic.)

Sure, I wish BlatherWatch , an often angry blog where ideology is everything and the sort of broadcast standards I labored to uphold are disdained and even scorned, had at least occasionally credited me with what other Styble-never-shuts-up-but-at-least-he's-an old-school-broadcaster critics have always granted: That my work featured an all-but-extinct newstalk style radio nowadays—not merely all-open-lines-all-the-time (on the audience-respecting premise that callers need not be spoon-fed host-selected subjects, which often aren't what most energizes them anyway), whenever I wasn't conducting an occasional Radioactive interview with a nationally-prominent figure. But also taking those open-line calls unscreened for content, a risky show format which few of my former colleagues ever attempt at all, much less routinely. But everyone wants to be loved, or at least appreciated, right? But those nasty BlatherWatch writers and posters never liked me, nor were ever polite in their critiques, something I always endeavor to be.* Again, fine.

But inexcusably, BlatherWatch also engaged in relentless character-assassination against me, and once even tried to stage a campaign lobbying KIRO management to fire me and thus destroy my newstalk hosting career which had spanned four timezones, eight radio markets and 19 years, likening me to fecal canine product soiling Seattle newstalk listeners' footwear. (Never mind that neither that one, nor my other alleged crimes against Puget Sound listeners, was an accurate charge. All of which is, uh, not fine.)

Ironically enough, just as RadioactiveSeattle is largely apolitical, so my KIRO work was, though the BlatherWatch proprietor never seemed to realize that self-evident fact, which in turn suggests he never listened to my show closely anyway. And I guess there's no reason he should have, since he for literally years displayed professional and personal vitriol toward me; for my part, I'm a polite guy, so I won't return his sentiments. And besides, I wish good health even to people whom I don't like, or even are trying to ruin my career. (The preposterous charge that I had defended chattel slavery was an accusation management laughed off, and the credible ensuing death threat I received through the mails—that Federal authorities insist remains an open and active investigation—obviously came from someone who doesn't return my good-health wishes.)

Anyway, in answer to a question BlatherWatch posed ("Which talk shows would you pay to have on the air?"), someone using the screen name "Bill" wrote, "Bring back Radioactive and Bryan Styble[;] I'll kick in the initial $10..." And he—or she?—even spelled my name correctly, something BlatherWatch posters often got wrong in their frequent complaints about how pathological or stupid or just unlistenable my KIRO efforts were.

I swear on my beloved Father's grave that I didn't post that startling statement of "Bill"; I don't anyway have nearly the cyber-skills to do so without anyone determining it came from this screen, the Batcomputer here in the Styble Batcave. Besides, I never post anonymously anywhere, least of all on BlatherWatch, where previous posts of mine attempting to correct falsities alleged against my broadcast or me have been deleted or corrupted by the site's owner. Neither will any of my friends I've telephonically queried over the last few minutes own up to posting that. (Few of them tell me they read the often well-written but vulgarity-dense BlatherWatch critiques anyway, much less the respondent reader postings thereto.)

Again, I've absolutely no idea who wrote that, and it doesn't seem to be sarcastic in tone either, much as the BlatherWatch vitriol against Styble almost always has been. But I do expect that "Bill" will be accused of being either a pal of mine, or me. (Again, I can barely turn on my computer; how on earth does one hide one's Internet identity from tech-sophisticated bloggers like the BlatherWatch operator?)

So all I can say is, "Thanks", Sir Bill, whoever and wherever you are. Actually, make that THANKS!


*No Seattleite has ever heard me utter a word less polite than "heck" or "darned"...on or off the air.

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