Neil Bender: Asshole
Posted by disappointmentzone on 23 July 2006
Neil Bender, radio jockey for WKNR 850 and co-host of Cleveland Rants, today drew a comparison between the Indians front office, which publicly stated a couple of months ago that the team still had a shot at making the playoffs, and George W Bush making claims about Iraq having WMDs as a pretense for the Iraq War.
Jay from Cleveland sent an email to Cleveland Rants complaining that the trades Mark Shapiro made (Perez, Wickman) didn’t help the team this season even though he said the Indians would only trade for big league talent (I don’t know if Shapiro ever said this). Neil Bender and Les Levine agreed that the front office back in June could not say that the Indians had no chance to make the playoffs, that the front office essentially had to tell white lies to ensure that fans would keep coming to games. Les then made a point about how fans should know that when the front office speaks its motivation is to ensure that the fans keep coming to games, not to tell the honest truth.
Neil was so outraged that the front office would lie or, more specifically, that the public would be OK with the front office lying, that he asked why it was OK for Shapiro to lie about the Indians’ chances of making the playoffs but not for George W Bush to lie about…well, he never specified what Bush lied about, just that it was OK for Bush to lie. Neil Bender thinks that since the Indians’ front office lied (and this is a bit of a stretch of the word lie; the Indians had a chance to make the playoffs back in June) it’s OK for Bush to lie, and if the fans think it’s OK for the front office to lie then they shouldn’t get upset when Bush lies.
It’s sad to see radio/TV personalities calibrate their moral compasses by the actions of sports executives, just as it’s sad to see adults base their ethics on the seven-year-old’s motto, “But everybody’s doing it…” Watching Neil Bender blur the distinction between sports–where if executives lie fans get upset–and politics–where if executives lie hundreds of thousands of people can die–is deeply troubling. What Neil Bender said was egregious and hurtful. He needs to know this. Neil Bender’s an asshole.