Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bell Wants to Face Accusers

In an interesting continuation of the Zeb Bell story, Bell is now claiming that local Democrats have refused to meet with Bell face-to-face and will not come on his show to air their grievances.

From the Times-News:

Local conservative AM talk show host Zeb Bell, who for a week has faced accusations of pushing racism on his show, didn't get the chance to confront his accusers. And he is furious.

Bell said Idaho Democrats - his accusers - declined to meet with him on Tuesday's show, as planned, to mull over their differences. Local Democrats say they don't have time.

Meanwhile, Bell's guest who was scheduled to apologize Tuesday for racial remarks he made last week, instead apologized a day early. Some Democrats described Monday's as falling short of even minimal expectations.

Any hope that a mutual understanding might have been reached this week is for now suspended.
Bell's friend and self-professed Democrat Bob Powers was scheduled to be interviewed on Bell's show on "behalf of the Democratic platform," but declined the invitation saying that he and other Democrats were busy.

I cannot state emphatically enough that this story is NOT a partisan story. It has nothing to do with Republican or Democrat and everything to do with hate and bigotry. The media outlets that broke this story sought a comment from the Idaho Democratic Party, that was their mistake and it was the mistake of the IDP for not flatly stating that this was not a partisan matter. It would not have mattered an iota more had they been speaking about Alan Keyes rather than Barack Obama.

This hatred should not be tolerated on our airwaves, period. No political party should be receiving phone calls asking for a comment on a pundits use of the term "Negroid" in reference to a candidate for the presidency of the United States. This should not be tolerated.

Democrats are not Bell's "accusers." The people accusing Bell of being a racist and allowing derogatory comments to be aired on his show subscribe to any number of political philosophies. Even those responding to the letter written by Mr. Eller, however off-point and illogical they may be (follow the comments and you will find one blaming Oprah for the feminization of America), have the sense to state they are not publicly defending Bell, his comments, or the comments of his guests.

Intelligent, thoughtful Idahoans are accusing Bell of spreading hate and bigotry throughout our state. It has nothing to do with the Democratic party as Bell suggests and everything to do with Bell not owning up to his own mistakes. Pride, Mr. Bell, you are well aware, is one of the cardinal sins.

(More on the Zeb Bell story here, here, and here.)

*Update: Julie has a write-up at RSR with an LTE from years ago when she was living in the Magic Valley. Take a gander.


Anonymous said...

Tara, I have spoken with the leaders of the state party concerning this issue. If they had talked to the local people driving this, who had given them the heads up, the story would have been written from the local community perspective. The state party needs to work with us in the future.
Deborah Silver

Anonymous said...

I think Gary Eller's letter to the Times News summed up my thoughts.
Zeb Bell's comments perpetuate hate rather than elevating discourse.

- Randal Serr

Unknown said...