Kirk Minihane, a former colleague whom I call my friend, stepped in it a little bit last week, you might say. For those of you who don’t know, on the radio, he went off on Fox sideline reporter Erin Andrews, calling her a “gutless b*tch” several times in response to an interview she did during the All-Star game.
Kirk has taken tremendous heat for this, and rightfully so, but the “media critics” are missing the big picture.
Calling Ms. Andrews a b*tch is bad, but it’s no worse than calling a guy a di**, ass or a scumbag. Is it because she is a woman that we can’t call her the “B” word?
I’ve been in the chair to “save” the talent, so to speak. As a producer, we were often called the “last line of defense.”
People ask, if it had been me back in my old seat, what would I have done differently?
Well first off, I would have NEVER replayed the audio two more times. That’s just dumb and lazy. I would have let the original language go but would have cut Kirk’s subsequent remark in which he wished her dead. I found that more defaming than using the swear.
Now was she being a “b*tch” in that interview at the All-Star game? I don’t think so, but I do think she is horrible as a live interviewer.
It’s never easy in the producer seat to know what to cut from going on the air and what to let go through. Trust me–I found out the hard way. What amazes me are the people who say that Kirk was “trolling” for ratings.
That is the biggest bunch of crap. I know for a fact that Kirk didn’t go in that day and say he was going to call her a b*tch at 6:25 am just to see if the show could create a media firestorm. Those emotions come out organically. They aren’t premeditated.
Kirk’s timing couldn’t have been worse either. All-Star week is one of the worst in all of sports, so the critics had plenty of time and space to jump on something they could write about.
Kirk will take some lumps and he should, but I hope he doesn’t change his acerbic tone. If that happens he will start to lose ratings, not gain them. But he’ll just try trolling again, right?