Okay, I have to say something here because I want to clarify my position on the topic of local radio talk show host Vincent David Jericho.
Last night and today I've been having a little dialog with John Stone of Curbstone Critic under the blog entry VD(J) is the Antichrist. I'll take a moment to note that I have been conservatively critical of Mr. Jericho myself on more than one occasion, see comment here: Hollow Men at Jericho's Journal.
Anyway, last night after I posted a comment at Curbstone Critic I got to thinking about how I have been effected by allowing who I am to be known among the local bloggers in town and by a publisher of a community newspaper. Though I have tried to fight the effect, it has had one nonetheless. It has made me, to some extent, feel stifled, feel as though I cannot speak my mind as openly as I once did because I have lost the anonymity I had at first. It has caused me to second guess some of the things I have written lately. It has made a difference on the quantity of posts I have been willing to post at my own blog. This got me to thinking about some things that I appreciate and respect about Vincent David Jericho and I don't think it is enough to simply criticize people for what they do that I disagree with, I also believe it is important that, in fairness, I praise the good attributes of people as well and so that is why I am writing this today.
John Stone isn't the only local blogger to bash Vincent David Jericho see: 417 Pundit: Immigrant Talker Should Be Extradited. It is rumored that 417 Pundit is DocLarry of Lost Chord but has not been confirmed. At any rate, anytime Jericho is mentioned in a blog the comments fly, usually accompanied with charges that anonymous commentators are VDJ and he isn't brave enough to attach his own link to his replies. This raises a question in my mind...if Vincent David Jericho is willing to expose himself to Springfield and the larger region by hosting a talk radio show on Newstalk KSGF every morning from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. then why the heck would he not sign his own comments when commenting at blog sites? That doesn't make much sense to me, and we need to keep in mind that Jericho has as many, or more, fans than he does haters.
And that brings me back to my main point. It takes a strong person to be willing to go on the radio five mornings a week and represent KSGF, himself, Conservative Christians and Conservative Republicans in numerous ways all over the region. It takes a strong personality and a certain amount of bravery to bare his soul and private personal thoughts about divisive issues in Springfield and the Nation. He has taken on some pretty powerful people in this City. He has been willing to bare his heart and soul and in doing so he has also opened himself up to criticism. I respect that. I also respect the fact that he has called attention to many worthwhile causes, the illegal immigration debate, what the stem cell research initiative really means to Missouri and the FairTax bill HR 25/S25 among them. He has taken it on the chin for his outspoken views about what Christians should be doing, what Conservatives should be doing. He has stood in the face of extremist anti-war activists and shown their propaganda for what it is, and he has likely received some of the most hate filled private emails that any of us could imagine, yet he has continued to stand by his convictions and be a voice for legitimate viewpoints and concerns here in our City.
I have listened as he has gotten into tiffs with some of his fans when he has given a forum to people with whom his fans disagree but he has done so fairly and in doing so he has exposed the mentality of people who needed to be exposed.
Is he extreme at times? Certainly. How much of his over the top opinions are exaggerated to make a point? I couldn't say.
To be honest, I don't listen to his program as often as I'd like to because it doesn't fit into my schedule very well and I don't have the patience to down load ipod segments like some of his critics do, but as I struggle with my own writing because I am aware that I am not as anonymous as I used to be it has made me think more about what he is exposed to every day.
It's important that we remember that behind the microphone is NOT a cartoon character awaiting his pie in the face, he is a real man with real convictions who, just like the rest of us, does his best to make a difference. Over all, I agree with him more often than not. I don't expect he will be perfect any more than I expect I will be perfect, even though I try my best to be consistent. I'd say he tries his best to be consistent as well and as a public figure, of course he is fair game for criticism. I just got to thinking he should be fair game for praise as well, a little pat on the shoulder for doing his best. Thanks, VDJ!