Let Him Jump

I was listening to my local talk radio station the other morning and the host was bitching about a huge traffic jam that tied up an area bridge. It seems someone was threatening to jump.

He called the man on the bridge an “attention grabber,” and said we should just  “let him jump.”

Well, don’t be shocked.

Talk radio shows are just that: shows. The host’s job is not to be moderate and thoughtful, it’s to stir you up. The more provocative the better — and appealing to the angry mob brings ratings. Angry mobs don’t talk people down, they scream, “Jump!”

But I’m not here to attack the talk radio host. Doing that would be like going to the circus and criticizing the clowns for — well, acting like clowns. That’s their job.

I’ve never had a suicide affect my family directly, but I’ve known people who killed themselves and seen what it does to those left behind. It’s tragic — and the pain and loss upends lives and lingers forever. I suppose that “let him jump” is one solution when someone is in crisis, but maybe it’s not the best solution.

Meanwhile, the angry drumbeat of talk radio rolls along. Deport all the immigrants. Throw the bums out. And let him jump.

7 thoughts on “Let Him Jump

  1. On a related note, I’m curious about all these reporters who go on the air with he-who-must-not-be-named. Are people like Chris Churchill, Jordan Carleo-Evangelist and Brendan Lyons really that desperate for attention?

  2. Additional suggestions:

    -Let hungry people starve. Not my problem.

    -Orphans? On their own.

    -Sick people without insurance: leave them to die.

  3. What’s funny is how Vanden… oh, sorry, he-who-must-not-be-named, rails about government spending, but gladly takes advertising money from public authorities like CDTA and OTB. Not to mention renting space in the Times Union Center, a taxpayer supported facility.

    It’s hilarious that CDTA’s core customers are the very people Vandenburgh hates: the poor, minorities and disadvantaged people — but I’m sure a lot of middle-aged white men have switched to the bus after hearing CDTA advertise on that station, right?

  4. I’ve been listening to Vandenburgh for a long time, not because I think he has any interesting insights (you’re completely wrong, Metroland), but because I think it’s funny that he’s so dumb.

    Someone said to me, “If you think he’s so stupid, how does he run a successful business?” Well first of all, we don’t know if his business is successful. If it is, you certainly don’t hear it on the air. Just listen to the third rate people he hires to do the news. Dreadful. Seriously, listen to the difference between his people and those on WGY. Secondly, who knows what accounting purpose that radio station serves to the rich people who are the majority owners? Sometimes making a profit is not the top priority.

    But I’m writing today to make this one observation: have you ever noticed that Paul Vandenburgh has never once said anything funny on the radio? Not a hint of irony or humor, ever. That’s amazing — and truly the sign of a weak intellect.

  5. Only time I feel like listening to him is after I read Keyboard Krumbs.

    Yeah, he has no sense of humor, or self awareness, or irony.

    It’s a’ight.

    1. I’m sorry for compelling you to turn that crap on. My bad!

      It’s interesting that the radio host in question is afforded so much credibility. For example, I recently heard him boast about appearing at a fancy event to present an award to Albany Med President and CEO James Barba.

      Really? You’re going to stand on the stage with a man who rants about deporting immigrants every morning? A guy with no empathy for those struggling with hardship? Someone who screams that mentally ill people should be allowed to leap from bridges?

      James Barba is obviously a very smart man, but here’s the thing: when you stand on that stage and shake hands with Vandenburgh and smile and accept your plaque and have your photo taken? Some of the rotten trash he spews every morning is going to rub off on you.

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