The strange behavior of Gunny Bob

I’ve been trying to convince journalists to post comments on the discussion boards under their articles online.

If more journalists would comment, we’d probably see more people opining there, with different points of view. This could raise the level of the debates on these discussion boards, and help educate people about journalism and the issues. It would also educate journalists, who need to hear more from citizens and interact with them more.

But journalists seem to have a snotty attitude toward the folks who use the discussion boards. I don’t blame them, to a degreee, but they should comment anyway. I know some journalists read them, but they don’t comment.

I also know a lot of people who read the discussion boards–but never leave a comment.

So I was surprised to find someone claiming to be Gunny Bob, a talk radio host on KOA, commenting on the discussion board under a recent Rocky column of mine. I’ve never seen a mainstream journalist’s name the discussion boards of the daiies? Have you?

I don’t mean to imply that Gunny is a journalist, but here’s what he had to say:

“Jason, during the campaigns you called into my show to express how gleeful you were that so many liberals “hate Bush.” You did this as you rode around in a farcically pedantic and sophomoric truck hauling statues of Bush and McCain embracing. You were giddy with intolerance, venom and loathing. That same embarrassing attitude comes across in your columns, as it does in Littwin’s, Campos’ and so on, as well as the paper’s frequently laughable editorials. When hate becomes the life blood of a media outlet, like Air America that outlet will fail. And you were a part of it. Your own bigotry, arrogance and hate has cost you your job and now you are blaming Scripps rather than yourself in any way. The truth hurts, Jason, but pain builds character.”

Now, it’s possible this wasn’t really Gunny, so I emailed him. He confirmed that he was the author. He seems to be a bit of a regular on the Rocky site. See his online comments in response to a blog by Rocky Editor John Temple.

I respect Gunny for commenting, even if his remarks don’t raise the quality of the online debate and even if his comment is ridiculous because he doesn’t explain why I’m a bigot.

In fact, if you’ll allow me to digress, Gunny appears to be a bigot himself, or completely clueless, judging from his recent comment spotlighted by Colorado Media Matters. Gunny said that if gays serve in the military, then more soldiers will be exposed to the HIV virus. CMM points out that HIV-positive military applicants are rejected and those who become HIV-positive during their service cannot serve overseas. Gunny’s comment sparked a national campaign asking KOA to reprimand Newman.

Oh well. My point is that it’s pretty pathetic that Gunny might be the only representative of the mainstream media who’s commenting on online articles.

One Response to “The strange behavior of Gunny Bob”

  1. anderson Says:

    Apparently the only thing Bob Newsome has to offer any conversation are insults and misinformation. His obvious attempts to goad you and others into an angry reaction is maybe why some other journalists do not comment on blogs. But, it’s a free country. Newsome can lie with impunity and not face any real consequences. As for his calling you a bigot, well, talk radio types have long used such tactics. Distort the concept. Make charges unsupported by any evidence. And like any good propagandist: repeat. Someone will buy it.

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