NEWS BLOG (WSAU) Years ago I worked with a very popular radio host. He was a household name. And his on-air persona was a family man; a big teddy bear. He was larger than life.
But behind the scenes, he had a four mouth. He’d curse regularly. His language was coarse and offensive. He wasn’t unfriendly or mean-spirited, but the day to day frustrations that he’d encounter would be met with a blue streak that poured from his mouth. Things that would cause other people to roll their eyes or shrug their shoulders would draw unpleasant words from him.
Every broadcaster knows there are things you just can’t say on-air… and you have to assume that when you’re around a microphone it might be on. But sometimes there’s a difference in theory and practice. And it’s difficult to turn bad habits on and off at the appropriate time.
I think Vice President Biden has a similar problem. In pubic, a high office-holder must assume that there’s always a microphone around and that everything he says could be heard. That’s why it’s puzzling that Biden would tell Cedarburg custard-shop owner Scott Borkin "Why don't you say something nice instead of being a smart-ass all the time.” I suspect the VP is like that all the time, and on this occasion he forgot to turn it off.
That’s not a fatal flaw for a politician. Certainly it was a weakness of Dick Chaney. Hillary Clinton, too.
To date, my morning show host has never been caught saying something inappropriate on-mic. But his microphone gets turned off. A politician in public doesn’t have that luxury, and their job is hard enough without self-imposed problems.
Operations Manager-Midwest Communications, Wausau