THE ATTACK OF THE MEAN CYBERBULLY
There is one thing that upsets me everytime I listen to talk radio (one thing?). The hosts are always putting down “mainstream media,” A.K.A, the newspaper. They do this while obviously quoting from their local newspaper in order to get the facts for their story. Local radio shows don’t have the money to staff a large research or investigative department, so they let the mainstreamers do the work.
As for myself, I couldn’t face the day without my Los Angeles Times. The headline above is from a story I read in this morning’s edition (March 7, 2008). It was written by Times Staff Writer Seema Mehta, and is about a new form of human tantalizer, the “Cyberbully.” The meanie who posts bully-like comments on the Internet.
This article rang a bell in my head (a very loud bell). I had just posted a new blog which mentioned one of my earlier shows, Lloyd Thaxton’s Record Shop. And I posted a picture of me interviewing Stan Freberg.
The next day after my posting went up, I got my first cyberbully comment.
A great post and a lesson for the ages. If you could only spell Stan Freberg's name, it would be perfect.
Now, I’m not really serious about calling this anonymous person a cyberbully. However, the use of the pseudonym “anonymous” could have been a really big mistake.
The second I saw this comment, I flashed back 43 years to another such subtle attack. It was 1965 and I had decided to change my show’s theme song, So What by Bill Black and his combo. I asked my friend Herb Alpert if he would record a new one for me. Being the great guy he is, Herb never missed a beat. The next day he was in the recording studio and the new theme, So What’s New, was born.
When I received the “Stan Freeberg-Stan Freberg” cyberbully comment, I asked Dan Schaarschmidt, Research Video’s ace video editor, to dig into my show archives and find the famous Herb Alpert end-credit. Remember this?
This credit was posted after every show for six months. That is until we got a letter from a listener (TV bully?) who wrote and said …. What?
Take a closer read. What’s wrong with this picture?
You got it. We spelled Herb Alpert’s name wrong. For six months (180 shows) we didn’t hear one complaint. That is until our TV bully (a woman fan) called and informed us of our mistake.
We were, to put it mildly, extremely flabbergasted. However, we bounced back and decided to make a big deal out of it. We invited our bully viewer to join us on the very next show. Then we told a lie (albeit, a tongue-in-cheek kind of lie). We told her it had been a contest all along and that she, being the first one to catch the mistake, had won a TV set. We presented the prize amidst much applause, corrected our mistake, and the beat went on.
There’s no Business like Show Business!!
That’s why I said that the bully who posted the Stan Freberg-Stan Freeberg comment made a big mistake. By using “anonymous” as their moniker, there is no way I can respond. Think about it. There was always the chance that I was having another contest and that maybe an iPhone, or an iPod, or a plasma HD TV might have been the prize for discovery.
Suggestion: next time anyone wants to be a cyberbully on this blog, add your email address and use the name “anonymouse” instead of “anonymous. “That way I will know you are a Mouse Cliquer and eligible for any prizes that just might be for the taking.
No more lies. I loved the comment. It made me smile.