I Deleted Leo Laporte and TWiT Podcasts and Can Now Catch Up on More Important Ones
I encourage people to read lots of blogs and listen to lots of podcasts, but I don’t encourage tuning in to offensive bigotry, especially when it comes to race or, as in this case, religion.
“Read lots of blogs” goes the advice to bloggers. ”Listen to many podcasts” is often thrown in there as well. Simply put, the premise is that you need to keep on top of things in whatever sphere you are blogging in. Frankly, I think that’s true in any walk of life, and the advice is not just for blogging.
Podcasts are a way of getting good information in a timely fashion, and it is always interesting to gauge what catches your eye and what does not. With podcasts, though, it is often as much about sounds as visual. Profanity is a turn-off for me, but never more than when a grown man throws a childish profane rant worthy of ten year old who needs his mouth washed out with soap.
Ever since I build a HTPC, TWiT TV has been somewhat of a staple around here. I’ve caught up on podcasts, I got behind on them, and so forth, as I dallied around with various podcatchers (software that organizes and downloads the episodes), but it has always been there. I like the overall format of the shows produced by TWiT. I even like the concept of mixing traditional broadcasting with the Internet.
I don’t watch any of the shows for religious or political commentary. However, with all of the news surrounding the NSA and Terry Snowden, I understand the bleed-over. Prior to that, of course, was the whole SOPA/PIPA debacle. Technology is not in a vacuum. It is used in “real life”.
There have been times here and there where Laporte has expressed some rather questionable judgment, actually, but they were at best rather circumstantial. Take the way he rants on about certain things which may or may not be true. However, rumors of how he treats his employees and various questionable personal ethics are only made stronger by how he seems to sweet talk Heather Hamann, who handles his phones. While there isn’t anything solid you can hang on his comments, they seem, well, downright creepy if you ask me.
I also understand that someone who produces a show may not share my religious convictions, perhaps not even remotely. I am OK with that. That is not why I am listening to the podcast. However, the mere mention of politics or religion is not in and of itself necessarily offensive, but it is a very fine line to walk. It really does appear that Laporte does not know and possibly does not care where that line is.
In fact, I don’t even care if you mention how much you love reading Richard Dawkins, although admittedly it is a bit telling. It really is just like saying you listen to Rush Limbaugh. I’m not much into extremists whatever the flavor. I love salt and salty foods, but I don’t necessarily want a pound in my spaghetti sauce or cookies.
However, religious bigotry on a tech show is more like putting the salt into my coffee. They just don’t go together — at all. This is why as of yesterday, I have unsubscribed from all TWiT podcasts and freed up a lot of hard disk space.
Yesterday, I was catching up on the podcasts that I got behind on while playing around with the different podcatchers, and I finally started finding the latest The Tech Guy podcasts. Now, I somehow missed the original profanity, but evidently Leo Laporte said “God******”, and someone in the chat room stated “God’s last name is not Dammit”, a phrase I have used myself actually. Laporte went off.
“Has the chat room been invaded by Christians?” (from memory). Then, he read off the line about God’s last name, and he said “You know, that just eggs me on. It makes me want to do it even more!” (again from memory, as I have no intention and going back to listen to it). Then, like a spoiled ten year old, he proceeded to repeat the profanity. You can read a perhaps more objective recount about the entire event at The Acronym Online article “Leo Laporte’s Commits Major Broadcasting Sin“.
Like I said, he likes Richard Dawkins, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Laporte’s militant religious bigotry would surface on the podcast (I don’t think it was on the air, as it seemed to be one of those breaks). I kept hearing various rumors about some difficulties with working with him and even some questionable behavior overall, but this is the first I had heard of an outright disrespect for differing viewpoints.
So, I googled it. It turns out that this bigotry of his isn’t anything really new.
For example, Blog.the-erm.com has a partial transcription from a 2009 FLOSS Weekly episode where Laporte stated that it was “fantastic” that Japan used to boil Christians in water in order to get them to denounce their faith. He subsequently apologized, but in retrospect was he truly sorry about that? Again, it is important to understand that is was not a one time incident.
Mike Dell’s World ran an article also in 2009 about “Why I won’t listen to the Chief Twit anymore – Leo Laporte“. This was just one of a few postings about how Laporte said Cali Lewis, who is probably just barely a conservative, BTW, was not welcome on his show because she voted for the McCain and Palin ticket. I used to listen/watch Lewis a long time before I even knew of TWiT TV, so I found that rather offensive that he would denigrate her in such a way.
Let me state at this point that I no longer listen to Lewis, but it has nothing to do with her personally. When she moved from GeekBrief.tv to GeekBeat.tv, Revision 3 put on their opening and closing credits, which is normal enough, but it always ends with a kid jumping on a skateboard with an exclamation of “Oh, my God!”, which to me trivializes God and breaks the 3rd Commandment by using the name of “God” in a vain manner. It is more surprising, since Cali and ex-husband Neal Campbell are reportedly Christians. Regardless, I find that offensive because it is using God’s name in vain, and I just won’t watch it. I want to point this out because notice how I never previously blogged about it?
So, if I am not going to put up with that, you can well imagine how I feel about Laporte’s juvenile rant. I don’t know if Lewis has control over what Revision 3 does or not, but Laporte not only can control what comes out of his mouth, but he was intentionally offensive! OK, so I am offended to have deleted all TWiT.tv podcasts, not just The Tech Guy ones. Maybe all Christians should accommodate Laporte’s need to be offensive and do likewise. Apparently, he believes we are all too stupid to comprehend his enlightened views anyhow, so he surely will not miss us.
Meanwhile, I now find that I will have a lot more time to keep up with current events and various Moody Radio podcasts, which are more important anyhow. I love technology, but, like this life, technology is ever changing and very temporary. We must not sacrifice the long term and permanent for the temporary.